In Rio+20, Governor of Para, in Brazilian Amazon, pledges for 2020 zero net deforestation

Posted on 15 June 2012

The state is known for the extensive cattle ranching.
The Governor of the State of Pará, Brazil, Simão Jatene, has announced yesterday (14) that the state will work hard for achieving zero net deforestation in 2020. The announcement was done during an official event at United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

The surprising declaration astonished the audience as Pará is known for the extensive cattle ranching – almost 18 million herds; less than 1 head per hectare. The state has today 33 million hectares legally deforested. The Governor’s commitment accepts the possibility of legal deforestation, but would promote compensation by an equivalent area.

The Governor pledge also talks about increasing productivity in the cattle ranching sector. “Refer to deforestation is not rational for we do not need more land. There is land to work. What we need is to change the way this is done, which has been proven ineffective.”

The State of Pará, located in the Brazilian Amazon, is the second largest state in the country, with 144 municipalities. It is also the most populated in the north region with more than 7 million inhabitants. Pará’s economy is based on mineral extraction (iron, bauxite, manganese, limestone, gold, tin) and plant (wood), agriculture, livestock, industry and tourism.

The Amazon is under increasing pressure and many factors are contributing to the deforestation and threats to ecosystems’ integrity, among them, rapidly expanding global markets for beef and soy, large scale transportation and energy infrastructure projects, poor planning and weak governance.

"We welcome this important official commitment, for zero net deforestation until 2020. We all need good examples of governments in setting and implementing good public policies with clear goals and indicators, so we can generate virtuous cycles towards an effective sustainable development. But also help society to follow attentively for this not become just “playing words to the wind” in an international event", said Claudio Maretti, WWF Living Amazon Initiative´s leader.
Pará state, in the Brazilian Amazon, is known for the extensive cattle ranching.
© WWF-Brasil / Adriano Gambarini