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Illegal Deforestation for Forest-risk Commodities Dashboard: Brazil

By Forest Trends
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Illegal deforestation has soared since 2016, particularly in natural forests. In 2020, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rose to its highest level in more than a decade, and recent reports for January-March 2022 indicate that forest clearances in the region are the highest ever recorded. While Brazil saw dramatic reductions in deforestation and illegal clearances in the period between 2000 and 2012 due to strong political commitment, conservation measures, and enforcement efforts, there have been well publicized concerns about the scale of forest destruction (deforestation and forest degradation caused by logging) over the last few years. Illegal land grabbing has been found to be highly correlated with conversion of forest land for agricultural commodities, particularly for cattle and soy, the largest drivers of deforestation in Brazil. At least 88 percent of deforestation is due to commercial agriculture, of which 95 percent is likely illegal, often in violation of the Legal Reserve (LR) forest conservation quotas established by Brazil’s Forest Code.