A huge area of 1645 hectares in Gleba do Pacoval, 100km from Santarem, Amazon, illegally logged to clear land for soya plantations.
In 2006, we joined forces with the local community in Santarém,
Brazil, to exposed the role of soya farming in the destruction of
Soon after, the Brazilian soya traders, in concert with
Greenpeace and McDonald's, announced a
landmark moratorium on the purchase of soya grown on newly
As part of the moratorium, the soya traders, which combined
account for 90 percent of all Brazilian soya exports, agreed not to
buy any soya grown on newly deforested land for a period of two
A system of monitoring newly deforested areas is being put in
place to ensure compliance with the historic agreement.
The first field evaluation has now been completed and it shows
that the soya produced last year in the Brazilian Amazon has not
come from newly deforested areas. In other words, the moratorium is
holding well, despite the pressure from rising soya prices.
This is in stark contrast to the recent news that after three
years of decline, Amazon deforestation rates doubled to a new
record level in the second half of last year compared to the same
period the year before.
Monitoring was carried out using data supplied from the National
Institute for Spatial Research (PRODES). Newly deforested areas
larger than 100 hectares (250 acres) were examined in the states of
Rondônia, Pará and Mato Grosso, which together account for almost
all the soya plantations in the Brazilian Amazon.
The current moratorium ends in July this year. Greenpeace
carried out its own aerial survey of some of the areas covered by
PRODES and while we confirmed the results it also showed that some
recent deforestation can be found in areas owned by soya farmers:
raising the concern that the destruction of the Amazon for soya
could begin all over again if the moratorium is not extended in
"The challenge now faced by the trading companies is how they
can reinforce their commitment to the moratorium on deforestation
and help the Brazilian authorities and civil society to put an end
to the destruction of the forests on which everyone's livelihood
depends at a time when higher soya prices are stimulating farmers
to increase their plantations", said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace
Amazon Campaign Coordinator.
Deforestation is a major contributor to climate change, causing
about 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Brazil is the
world's 4th largest contributor to global warming, mainly due to
deforestation and land clearing in the Amazon.
It is vital that the moratorium is now extended, as it is a key
component in protecting the Amazon and combating climate
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