Comprehensive data collection on Brazil’s savannah will foster conservation and GHG emission reduction
A comprehensive initiative to gather forest and land use data on a threatened biome in Brazil will support conservation measures and contribute to sustainable programs to mitigate GHG emissions.
The project, which will be financed by the Forest Investment Program, will encourage the rational utilization of forest resources by fostering production chains of timber and non-timber forest products as well as measuring and adding value to environmental services.
The project. The IDB’s Forest Information for Conservation and Valorization of Forest Resources project will be financed by a US$16,550,000 FIP grant and executed by the Brazilian Forest Service.
The financing will support the collection and dissemination of biophysical and socio-environmental data in Brazil’s Cerrado biome to enable the country’s National Forest Inventory (NFI) to provide timely and quality information on forest resources for decision-makers in the public and private sectors.
The Cerrado, a vast savanna region that accounts for more than a fifth of Brazil’s territory, is home to many habitats and species as well as indigenous cultures. The principal threat to the Cerrado is the boom in mechanized agriculture, which has contributed to making Brazil a global leader in food production. The challenge is to ensure that agriculture in the Cerrado can continue to develop, but in response to incentives to adopt more sustainable practices that can maintain or increase productivity and profitability while preserving natural resources and reducing GHG emissions.
The project will include data collection in approximately 5,000 sample points and analyses of landscape samples for the study of forest fragmentation and land use. Combining this dataset with vegetation mapping will produce regional-wide results that will give decision-makers and civil society accurate estimates on the area of forest cover, forest degradation, forest regeneration, at-risk species or those threatened by extinction, estimates of increasing carbon stocks (volume and biomass) and soil carbon, both above and below ground, diversity of forest tree species, forest management, forest dynamics, health and vitality, characteristics of soils under the forest, forest fragmentation, the proportion of different land uses, and trees growing outside the forest. It will also provide information on local use of forest products and services by rural populations and their perception of the importance of these resources.
The NFI is designed to provide comprehensive information about forest resources and their utilization throughout the country. To date, however, the inventory and its accompanying National Forest Information System (NFIS) have not yet been implemented in the Cerrado.
The new project will help to consolidate the National Forest Information Systemas the main platform for the analysis and dissemination of information, and knowledge management, of forest resources in the Cerrado and their potential use for promoting actions and activities leading to climate change mitigation. It will also scale up the system to address issues such as decentralized forest management at the state level, forest production, and teaching and research. In addition, it will include information on related subjects, such as environmental regularization of rural lands, sustainable production in areas previously converted to agricultural use, and data needed for the implementation of an early-warning system for preventing forest fires
Expected results.The data produced by the project is expected to support projects that serve local needs by optimizing natural resources, increasing private sector investment, producing information on carbon density above and below the ground, and fostering climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and actions.
The implementation of the NFI in the Cerrado biome has four principal objectives, as follows:
- Establishment of institutional partnerships, including state environmental agencies and participating institutions, such as (universities, herbaria, etc.
- Strengthening the NFI’s capacity in the Cerrado, including updating data collection methodologies, addressing specific requirements related to the biome, establishing training mechanisms, and training quality control field teams and NFI stakeholders.
- Collection, processing, and analysis of data and information on forest resources in the Cerrado following the protocol defined for the National Forest Inventory.
- Dissemination of information on the NFI in the Cerrado and use of such information by stakeholders. Included will be a communication plan to inform people living in the biome about the project, organization of technical and scientific events to discuss results, preparation of reports on forests in the Cerrado biome, and broad dissemination of the results achieved.
The consolidation of the NFIS has three principal objectives, as follows:
- Identify demands for priority information and respective information sources identified, and establish mechanisms for providing the information.
- Manage and operate the information system. managed
- Collect, process, store, analyze, and disseminate the information to stakeholders, including establishing and operating a database, designing, implementing, and operating nine information technology systems, collecting and processing information, upgrading and operating the NFIS portal, and preparing and disseminating specific studies.
Lessons learned.The project is expected to provide lessons learned that can be replicated in other areas of Brazil as well as in other biomes similar to the Cerrado. Transformational effects are expected to include the following:
- Improvement of estimates of biomass and carbon density above and below ground•Increased investment by the private sector resulting from valorization of the forest resources.
- Availability of spatial information onforest resources to meet local needs.
- Updated information for decision making by public and private sectors.
- Potential replication of methodology in other similar biomes.