Strengthening Voices for Better Choices in Brazil

13 January 2009 | Downloads - publication

Helping to free Acre of illegal logging

Forest governance in Brazil

Brazil, the world’s fifth-largest country, has the greatest extent of forest in the tropics. This includes nearly a third of the world’s remaining tropical rainforests, found mainly in the Amazon Basin. Partly because of its size, Brazil is the world’s leading megabiodiversity country, with more than 56,000 recorded vascular plant species, 1,600 bird species and 77 primates.

Deforestation rates in Brazil vary among the major forest biomes. The loss of theAtlantic rainforest, for example, has largely been halted and in places is being reversed. The dry forests of the central cerrado savannas, however, are shrinking at a faster rate than the more famous Amazon rainforests. Deforestation in the Amazon has declined in recent years, owing to greater government action and falling prices for beef and soybeans. As prices have rebounded, however, so the pace of clearing for ranches and cropland has re-accelerated.