Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Brazil’s efforts to better monitor forest clearings and enforce laws prevented the clearing of over 59,500 km2 of Amazon forest area from 2007 through 2011, according to a new study by Climate Policy Initiative (CPI), DETERring Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Deforestation observed during this period totaled 41,500 km2 – 59% less than would have occurred in the absence of the policy change.

The deforestation rate in the Brazilian Amazon decreased sharply in the second half of the 2000s, falling from a peak of 27,000 km2 in 2004 to 5,000 km2 in 2011. DETERring Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon examines one of the main Brazilian forestry policy changes introduced during that time period. It finds that the implementation of a satellite-based monitoring system, called DETER, greatly enhanced monitoring and targeting capacity, making it easier for law enforcers to act upon areas with illegal deforestation activity. This improvement in monitoring and law enforcement was the main driver of the 2000s deforestation slowdown.

“Brazil’s monitoring and law enforcement efforts are clearly playing a big part in preventing deforestation,” said Juliano Assunção, director of CPI’s Brazil operations and professor at the Department of Economics at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). “Based on our analysis, we recommend maintaining these important policies and further improving monitoring technology to increase the effectiveness of law enforcement activities.”

DETERring Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon also finds that better monitoring and law enforcement at deforestation hotspots had no impact on agricultural production in Brazil.

This work is part of a series of CPI studies that examine the impacts of policy on deforestation in Brazil. For more information, and to download the report, visit . CPI will also host a webinar about this report on May 29; attendees can register on the CPI website.

Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) is a global policy effectiveness analysis and advisory organization.  Its mission is to assess, diagnose, and support nations’ efforts to achieve low-carbon growth.  An independent, not-for-profit organization supported by a grant from the Open Society Foundations, CPI’s headquarters are in the U.S., with offices and programs in Brazil, China, Europe, India, and Indonesia.

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