Brazil has great potential to sustainably develop the products of its biodiversity, including timber and non-timber products. The current forestry economy is already responsible for 1 percent of the national GDP, with technology and space to grow. Because emissions from deforestation account for 65 percent of Brazil’s total GHG emissions from 1990 to 2014, Brazil’s climate commitment under the Paris Agreement aims to end illegal deforestation and to restore 12 million hectares (30 million acres) of forest land. Brazil is also committed to restoring native vegetation, promoting large-scale reforestation and landscape restoration and adopting low-carbon agricultural practices on 22 million hectares (54 million acres) by 2030.
WRI Brasil promotes smart planning for Brazilian landscapes, developing and coordinating strategies to reconcile the challenge of producing food, fiber and fuel while safeguarding biodiversity and maintaining environmental services that are key to human wellbeing.
WRI Brasil helps Brazil adopt smart land use planning that combines functionality and productivity on a landscape scale. Key components of this approach are:
- developing a system to monitor restoration actions across the country;
- mobilizing government agencies, agribusiness entrepreneurs and other decision-makers towards a forest restoration economy; and
- developing the forest restoration economy with native species.
Example of this work are the support to the development of the National Native Vegetation Recovery Plan and the coordination that led to Brazil's participation in the Bonn Challenge and in Initiative 20x20, with the goal of restoring 20 million hectares (49 million acres) of degraded land in Latin America and the Caribbean by 2020.
We also work to accelerate the national agenda to foster native vegetation recovery, enhance forest services and encourage sustainable supply chains. We have developed a methodology to identify areas with potential to recover from environmental degradation on their own, thus supporting the adoption of cheaper and more efficient restoration policies. We also work in the application of the Restoration Opportunities Assessment Methodology, or ROAM, which provides a flexible, affordable framework for countries to rapidly identify and analyze areas that are primed for forest landscape restoration. Finally, we study and spread the word about the role natural infrastructure such as forests and wetlands can play in providing essential ecosystem services including water flow regulation, flood control and water purification.