Today, soy continues to put pressure on forests including the Amazon, the Atlantic Forest and the Chiquitano Dry Forest, as well as mixed landscapes, savannahs and natural grasslands such as the Cerrado, the Gran Chaco, the Pampas in Argentina, the Uruguayan Campos and the North American prairies.
Over the last few decades vast areas of forest, grassland and savannah have been converted to agriculture. Much of this land is in biologically rich and highly ecologically important areas of global importance.
While this has helped to increase meat production to meet rising demands and has brought economic benefits to the countries that produce and trade soy, converting natural ecosystems carries a heavy cost. Biodiversity is in decline, forest loss is a key factor in climate change, and as ecosystems are destroyed or degraded, we lose many of the ecological components we rely on, from clean water and healthy soils to pollination and pest control.
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