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A recent study out of Columbia University indicates that in the Mato Grosso region of Brazil food production has increased along with a sharp decrease in deforestation. Among the reasons cited for this outcome as reported by Mongabay are high-profile policy initiatives by the government encouraging farmers to continue farming on previously cleared land, fluctuations in commodity markets and a Greenpeace campaign urging a moratorium of the clearing of new land for soya farming.
To continue seeing these promising results the authors of the report point to the need to modernize the private sector while pushing policy measures in the public sector to protect the Brazilian Amazon and also meet the increasing food demand. A word of caution is raised however, that revision of Brazil’s current Forest Code may undermine these successes and lead to an expansion of intensive agricultural production.
In May of 2011 Brazil eased rules for farmers using land previously protected as rainforest land.
Image Source: Gabriel Prehn Britto/Flickr