While infrastructure is a major driver for deforestation, its financing also holds potential to boost conservation and development. Successfully addressing economic and conservation needs depends heavily on the integration of conservation and infrastructure planning, rather than relying on the project-based, largely ineffective environmental assessment process. This also requires bringing evidence around economic and environmental impacts to the beginning of the process and frontloading environmental mitigation and compensation. Furthermore, the public must have greater access to, and understanding of, information on the environmental and economic values at stake in major infrastructure decisions.

That is why CPI’s infrastructure projects work with opening and capacitating dialogue that will promote regional planning, with the objective of potentially driving a different kind of sustainable development for governments to meet local demands. CPI, through its rigorous analysis, generates evidence on the social and environmental impacts of infrastructure development to facilitate this kind of interaction, and to inform civil society of the trade-offs.

See the most recent publications from CPI/PUC-Rio’s infrastructure potfolio:

Governance, Area of Influence, and Environmental Risks of Transport Infrastructure Investments: Case Studies in the State of Pará

The study analyzes each stage of the life-cycle of these projects, as well as the socio-environmental studies carried out, identifying any points that can be strengthened and opportunities for dialogue with the Federal Government, which is essential for state and municipal governments to develop actions that avoid or mitigate negative effects of such projects. In addition, researchers also estimate the deforestation potential of each project, as well as the cost of mitigating these impacts.


Strengthening Environmental Studies for Federal Land Infrastructure Concessions

In this brief, researchers from CPI/PUC-Rio identify and analyze the socio-environmental components covered by the terms of reference for Technical, Economic and Environmental Feasibility Studies and Environmental Assessment Study.


Environmental Viability of Land Transport Infrastructure in the Amazon

An assessment by CPI/PUC-Rio investigated the regulations applicable to federal railroad and highway concessions granted to the private sector.


The New Bidding Law Offers Opportunities to Improve Infrastructure Projects and Prevent Socio-Environmental Impacts

Abandoned infrastructure projects, of little use or with negative socio-environmental impacts are symptoms of inconsistent feasibility assessments. Researchers from CPI/PUC-Rio analyze the New Bidding Law and identify a unique opportunity to strengthen these analyses, through the regulation of the so-called preliminary technical studies.


Improving Public Contracting Processes of Socio-Enviromental Studies for Brazil’s Land Transportation Projects

In this report, researchers from CPI/PUC-Rio analyze in detail the public contracting process for EVTEA and EIAs for land transport infrastructure projects in the Amazon and reveal: a lack of transparency in the contracting process and a lack of criteria for selection, evaluation and approval of the studies.


Brazil’s Infrastructure Project Life Cycles: From Planning to Viability. Creation of a New Phase May Increase Project Quality

In this brief, researchers from CPI/PUC-Rio and Inter.B collaborated to analyze the instruments available for infrastructure planning – particularly those related to the land transport sector.


Measuring the Indirect Effects of Transportation Infrastructure in the Amazon

In this Whitepaper, researchers from CPI/PUC-Rio highlights the need for the logistics projects’ EVTEA and EIAs to incorporate and correctly identify the indirect effects that result from the changes in transportation costs induced by improvements. It describes how using a combination of geoprocessing tools and statistical analysis can be used to identify these impacts and provides an example of their importance.


Ferrogrão: Weaknesses and Lessons Learned in Implementing a Sustainable Infrastructure Agenda

CPI/PUC-Rio has assessed Ferrogrão’s governance, planning, and environmental risks as a way to contribute to the ongoing debate on sustainable infrastructure policies and projects in the country. This executive summary presents three studies conducted over the last year, which: (i) analyze the robustness of Ferrogrão’s planning based on a set of structuring questions, which should be prepared in the pre-feasibility stage; (ii) evaluate the administrative rites and the governance of decision-making related to the project; and (iii) develop an innovative methodology to understand Ferrogrão’s area of influence and deforestation risk.

Available in Portuguese only.


The Need to Better Define and Delimit Area of Influence for Infrastructure Projects

In this technical note, researchers from CPI/PUC-Rio (i) analyze how areas of influence are currently defined by government bodies and in the Terms of Reference for EVTEA and EIAs for land transportation infrastructure projects; (ii) present a set of recommendations for the adoption of clearer criteria for the definition and demarcation of areas of influence for new projects, from a perspective that explicitly incorporates where the direct and indirect effects of this type of undertaking will occur; and (iii) propose a dialogue between the EVTEA and the EIA.


Adjustments to the New Concessions Law Bill Could Ensure Higher Quality, and More Sustainable Infrastructure

In this technical note, researchers at CPI/PUC-Rio, analyze the legislative process of the new Concessions Law bill from a social and environmental perspective. They recommend items that could be incorporated into the bill to head off potential conflicts currently handled later in the project life cycle — notably during the environmental licensing procedure — and which would foster bidding on more robust, higher quality projects, promoting safer investments, and ensuring social and environmental protections.


The Environmental Impacts of the Ferrogrão Railroad: an Ex-Ante Evaluation of Deforestation Risks

In this work, researchers from CPI/PUC-Rio show that the construction of the Ferrogrão railroad will induce farmers and ranchers located in the state of Mato Grosso to expand their production, increasing land demand. If no mitigation measures are implemented, this will lead to the clearing of about 2,043 square kilometers of native vegetation in almost forty municipalities of the state of Mato Grosso.


The New Legal Framework for Railroad Authorizations Requires Adjustments to Strengthen the Socio-environmental, Governance, and Transparency Aspects of Projects: an Assessment of MP no. 1,065/2021 and PL no. 261/2018

In this Technical Note, CPI/PUC-Rio researchers draw off previous work and outline how the legal framework for railroad authorizations suffers from similar problems.


The Role of Brazil’s Federal Court of Accounts in Managing Social and Environmental Risks for Federal Railway and Highway Concessions

This publication study and analyzes the prior oversight by the TCU of federal railway and highway concessions, focusing on how the court has assessed the socio-environmental aspects of the projects, with the aim of mitigating risks.



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