In the first six months of 2023, deforestation in the Brazilian Cerrado reached record levels. This is largely canceling out any progress made in the Amazon rainforest.
As President Lula took ambitious measures to reduce deforestation in the Amazon, agribusiness shifted its predatory activities to the Cerrado, a territory with lower environmental protection and seen as Brazil’s ‘last agricultural frontier’ – only 8.21% of the Cerrado territory is in protected areas.
The industry lobby, through their political allies in the Brazilian Congress, launched a counter-offensive jeopardising the country’s environmental agenda. A number of measures, supported by the agrifood industry, directly threaten indigenous Populations and indirectly, Brazil’s climate goals.
Meanwhile, the EU is still trying to make progress on the ratification of the EU-Mercosur deal which will further fuel environmental destruction of the region by boosting trade in products linked to deforestation and human rights abuses.
This factsheet is the third in a series. Read the first one on how European trade deals propel destructive agribusiness in the Mercosur region here. The second one, on how the toxic EU-Mercosur deal will undermine Brazil’s climate and deforestation goals is still available here.