Can Brazil Eliminate Amazon Rainforest Deforestation By 2020?

Amazon deforestation brazil_Pedro_Biondi

“The zero net deforestation goal for 2020 goal is not an idea from outside, it’s a demand from society. Most are in favor of reducing deforestation. There are some groups that want to continue deforesting but they are in the minority.” -Governor Jatene

Governor Simao Jatene of Pará, Brazil told there’s no question Brazil needs to stop deforestation which is good news. Brazil is home to much of the Amazon rainforest, often called “The Lungs Of The World”. The giant forest is so vital to the world it has the attention of many all over the world. Deforestation would spell disaster for all of us and biodiversity on this planet. Pará, Brazil is a state that “is three times the size of California and has lost more Amazon forest — 90,000 sq km of Amazon forest since 1996 — over the past decade-and-a-half than any other in Brazil.” We have already seen how deforestation exacerbates already bad situation in Haiti and famine in Somalia.

So now the will is there and not because of some noble sensibility of its leader. The people have forced Jatene to take a stand against deforestation. Now the question is how? How do we end deforestation? This question is being asked in many places all over the globe as poor people are given more money to sell their local forests than education about why that shouldn’t be done. In Pará there are incentives and a system of land registry called CAR (Cadastro Ambiental Rural) that blocks credit and trade if buyers aren’t registered.

“‘A lot of deforestation happened in the Amazon because of a belief on the part of the perpetrators that they wouldn’t be punished,’ Jatene said. ‘With CAR, land ownership is no longer anonymous.'”

Read the rest of’s interview with Governor Jatene to find out about the more complex problems of elevating poverty, increasing consumption, the negative feedback loop that causes, and how these deforestation rates are going to be lowered.

Photo Credit: Mato Grosso deforestation by Pedro Biondi

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