COP1730 November

Forest loss higher in Latin America in the 1990-2005 period says FAO new survey

Sergio Abranches, from Durban

A new, satellite-based survey released by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) shows the changes in the world’s forests. The survey indicates that forest land use declined between 1990 and 2005. The highest rate of forest conversion to other land uses in both periods was in South America, followed by Africa. More »

Article30 June

Changes in the Forest Act trigger wave of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon

Sérgio Abranches

The early-warning satellite system for monitoring deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, DETER, developed by the National Institute for Space Research, INPE, has detected an atypical increase in cleared forest area on March-April this year. It was the largest area cleared in this period since 2008. Compared to 2010 deforestation was 473% greater. Today, INPE has announced that deforestation in May was 146% greater than in May, 2010. More »

Article11 May

Can local sustainable development save the Amazon?

Sergio Abranches

Local sustainable development 2.0, that’s how we should call what is happening in 80 municipalities of the Brazilian giant state of Pará, in the Amazon region. Pará is 1.8 times the size of Texas. These 80 towns are basically dominated by cattle-ranching and some timber production. Beef, timber, and soybean have been the main culprits for a long history of illegal logging, that has claimed about 20% of the Amazon rainforest, and 27% of Pará’s forest cover. More »

Article04 May

An African looking at Africa and China

Sergio Abranches

Manuel is an investment banker from Mozambique. He runs an investment and private equity company with stakes in pratically all sectors of almost all African countries. He moved from Mozambique to Namibia, where he lives. So far all his company’s investment were financed with its own capital. No leveraging. He is in a strategic position that gives him a broader and yet deep view of what is going on in Africa. We’ve met recently at an event on global sustainable logistics and had a long conversation about China’s involvement in the region. He asked me to have our talk off the records, for understandable reasons, that’s why I don’t write his full name. Our chat was in Portuguese our common language. More »

Analysis02 September

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: positive trends, changing patterns

Sergio Abranches
Logging of large areas in the Amazon region has dropped significantly, from August 2009 to July 2010. Both the Brazilian Space Agency, INPE, and Imazon, a non-governmental think-act tank, have captured this trend on their monitoring through satellite images. Imazon says that this trend holds for both large and medium sized plots with at least 12,5 ha. INPE’s head, Gilberto Camara, alerts that the satellite used, MODIS, can’t see logging in areas smaller than 100 ha. More »

Analysis12 June

Political threats to the Brazilian rainforest

Sergio Abranches
How can a supposedly communist legislator champion the interests of traditional landowners, and seek amnesty to illegal logging, often associated with violent land-grabbing and force-labor? The Brazilian House is right now discussing a bill proposing changes in the Forestry Code Law that does exactly that. The proposal under discussion was drafted by communist deputy Aldo Rebelo, a former Speaker of the House during President Lula’s first term in office. More »