Two new stories about the Brazilian Cerrado (Mongabay)

Posted on by Brendan Borrell

A tale of two maps: Brazilian state won't use new atlas to close Cerrado deforesation loophole

Farmers in north-central Brazil, where the savanna meets the Amazon rainforest, are clearing land at an unprecedented rate. The government hasn’t stopped the cutting, partly because it is using inaccurate, outdated maps that hugely underestimate the extent of its endangered dry forests. State regulators in Tocantins have continued using the old maps, even after commissioning superior, detailed vegetation maps that could identify at-risk forest patches and help curb deforestation. 

Read more:

Conservation and carbon storage goals collide in Brazil's Cerrado

The Cerrado has long been a neglected ecosystem. Approximately 46 percent of the Brazilian Amazon has been preserved, but just 7 percent of the Cerrado is protected. There's a saying in Portuguese: The Cerrado é para serra. The Cerrado is for sawing. 

"I'm afraid that in the future, few natural areas in the Cerrado will be left," says Carlos Bianchi, an ecologist at the Federal University in Goías. "Agriculture is moving much faster than conservation can." 

The failure to protect the Cerrado glaringly highlights a conflict policymakers would rather not talk about: the mismatch between biodiversity conservation and carbon mitigation strategies. 

Read more: