Mato Grosso is the largest producer of soy, beef and cotton in Latin America. Soy and beef are the biggest drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. More than half of the extensive cattle ranches in Mato Grosso are highly unproductive, while new forests are being cleared to expand production. Intensifying cattle production to free up land for responsible soy, cotton and other farming is key to stopping deforestation in Mato Grosso. Through the state government-led “Produce, Conserve and Include” strategy, IDH partners with leading producers, municipalities, NGOs and others to maintain and conserve 60 percent of native forest while doubling economic output by 2030.
The State of Mato Grosso produces nine percent of the global supply of soy, 60 percent of Brazil’s cotton and is the top producer of the country’s beef, supplying to domestic and international markets.
The state, which spans 90 million hectares across three biomes, Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal, has faced massive deforestation as a result of agricultural expansion in the last decades.
A large portion of Europe’s soy is sourced from Brazil, including from Mato Grosso. This is sourced mostly for animal feed, but also for soy meals. Soy is thus a component of a wide range of consumer goods.
Many consumers demand products that are free of deforestation. Major global retailers and other companies have committed to delinking their products from deforestation. One example of this is through the Consumer Goods Forum or CGF, which is a network of 400 consumer goods manufacturers, retailers and other stakeholders. CGF companies have committed to achieve zero net deforestation by 2020.
The government of Mato Grosso also has ambitious plans to conserve the state’s forests while at the same time stimulating economic growth. To do so, it has put in place a green growth strategy, named Producir, Conservar e Incluir (“Produce, Conserve and Include” or PCI). The PCI is made up of leading producer companies, NGOs, the state government and others, including IDH, working together to prevent deforestation, restore forests and improve livelihoods and contributing to economic growth in Mato Grosso.
Through our landscape program, we collaborate both with the PCI coalition in Mato Grosso and with market players such as CGF to achieve zero net deforestation. We do this in three main ways:
The growth in agricultural output is closely linked to deforestation. In the past fourty years, Mato Grosso has had one of the highest deforestation rates in Brazil and globally, though it is now in slow decline.
Massive areas of forest are cut down to make room for pastures, which currently make up almost a third of the state’s territory. More than half of these pastures are said to be degraded and low in productivity. Until now, once pastures degrade, new forest is cut down to graze cattle rather than restoring and using existing land.
Crop production takes up 8 million ha and is usually planted on former pastures. Just under 60 percent of the state is intact forest, which is currently subject to further deforestation.
|Mato Grosso total area||90 million ha|
|Protected forests in natural reserves & indigenous territories||19 million ha|
|Forests on private land||37 million ha|
|Pastureland||24 million ha|
|Crops||8 million ha|
|Other||2 million ha|
|Riparian areas (APP)||565 thousand ha|
|Legal reserve (LR)||5.8 million ha|
Summary of the PCI goals by 2030:
|Replace 6 million ha of low-income pastures with high productive crops:||Rehabilitate 2,9 million ha of APP||Increase smallholder participation in domestic food market from 20 percent to 70 percent|
|3 million ha of grains||Eliminate illigal deforestation by 2020||Promote land regularization in 70 percent of smallholder farms|
|2,5 million ha of livestock (intensification)||Reduce deforestation in Amazon forest by 90 percent and in Cerrado by 95 percent||Provide technical assistance to all smallholder farmers|
|0,5 million ha of planted forest||Conserve 1 million ha of those areas likely to be deforested||Increase access to credit|
|Another 6 million ha of sustainably managed natural forest|
You can download the detailed PCI strategy here.
IDH concluded the Soy Fast Track Program 2011-2016 through which we supported soy producers in Latin America to become RTRS certified or equivalent. As a result of the joint program with Solidaridad, 1.7 million ha are now RTRS certified or equivalent. Almost 900.000 ha of native vegetation is under protection and in 2016 over 3 million ton RTRS soy was produced.
The Little Sustainable Landscapes Book, which was launched at the COP21 in Paris, is now available Spanish, making it available for a large audience base, primarily in Latin America, where it is most relevant.
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