Efforts for Prevention and Control of Deforestation

Brazilian efforts to reduce deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon Forest have been acknowledged around the world. Primarily, Brazil’s technological pioneer efforts towards monitoring changes in the forest canopy have been carried out by the Brazilian National Institute of Space Research (INPE) since 1988. In addition, the country has been recognized for recent achievements in reversing the increment of annual rates of deforestation, as described below.

The Action Plan for Prevention and Control of the Legal Amazon Deforestation (PPCDAM) initially comprised 13 ministries of the federal government, under direct coordination of the President's Chief of Staff. Implemented in 2004, it refers to a governmental effort which significantly contributed to the decrease of deforestation rates, achieving, for instance, a reduction of 59% in this rate over the 2005-2007 period.

There are also other examples of Brazilian efforts aimed at discouraging illegal deforestation in Amazon Forest, such as the implementation of frameworks for management of Public Forests, which were recently introduced in Brazil’s legal system through Act N.º 11,284, of March 2, 2006. Besides this, the Brazilian government intends to invest around US$ 500 million in initiatives connected to the PPCDAM over the 2008-2011 period, under its Pluriannual Plan (PPA).

Complementing the PPCDAM, local society, since 2003, has been discussing the guidelines for a new model of development, embodied by the Sustainable Amazon Plan − PAS, which was official inaugurated on May 8, 2008. The PAS aggregates a set of strategic guidelines for backing government policies, private investments and compliance with society’s demands.

Nonetheless, there is still a long way to go to make the remaining forest more economically and socially attractive than deforesting for cattle-raising and farming purposes. The more the deforestation rates are reduced, the more costly the new and successive reductions thereafter. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to define a model of development for the Amazon Forest, valuing and protecting its assets, while simultaneously fostering social and ethnic diversity and improving the population’s standard of living. Accordingly, such new improvements will demand more sophisticated efforts from Brazilians and the federal government.