We often hear how Brazil’s deforestation crisis threatens its major ecosystems and the people who live in them. That’s an undeniable truth. But, even as the country lost 2.7 million hectares (6.6 million acres) of tree cover in 2019 alone, regenerating forests is also a big opportunity.
Thousands of farmers, budding entrepreneurs, NGOs, and established companies are restoring lost forests and degraded farms through the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact and the Alliance for the Restoration of the Amazon. Some landowners are helping biodiverse, carbon-rich forests grow back naturally. Others are sustainably producing timber and paper for the international market.
When Brazil became the first Latin American country to include forest restoration in its Paris Climate Agreement commitment, these leaders quickly began working toward the goal of revitalizing 12 million hectares (29 million acres) of forests by 2030.
Now, for the first time, we can track progress toward that commitment and see where tree cover is increasing throughout the country.
The Brazilian Restoration and Reforestation Observatory combines satellite monitoring from MapBiomas, which tracks changes in how people use the land, with self-reported data from projects. This initiative builds on the work of the Brazilian Coalition on Climate, Forests and Agriculture, a nationwide alliance of state governments, researchers, businesses and NGOs — including WRI Brasil, Imazon (Institute of People and the Environment of the Amazon), the Atlantic Forest Restoration Pact and The Nature Conservancy.