InfoAmazonia report draws front page headlines in Brazil

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Internews, Sao Paulo, Brazil

A new study released by InfoAmazonia takes an in-depth look at the allocation of resources to combat deforestation by the Brazilian government between 2007 and 2014. The period covers the second term of President Lula da Silva and the first term of current President Dilma Rousseff and reveals a drop in investments in protecting the Amazon rainforest.

The data analysis has also had wide repercussions. Folha de S. Paulo, Brazil´s most read newspaper has featured The Deforestation Policy on its front page (it was shared 69,000 times on Facebook) and the study made headlines on all major news sites of the country.

The main purpose of “A Política do Desmatamento” (The Deforestation Policy) report, released by InfoAmazonia in March 31 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, is to understand in detail how the government of Brazil uses its budget to curb deforestation and preserve the Amazon.

The InfoAmazonia team of journalists and developers worked closely for six months with researchers and consultants to create what is now considered the first analysis of the finance behind the environmental policy in Brazil. The initiative analyzes the modern era of deforestation in the region and points out some successes and failures of the government's strategy to combat threats to the Brazilian Amazon.

All results and analysis are hosted on a multimedia platform specially developed by the project team. You can read the highlights of the research, search for information by phases of the study, hear testimony from experts and watch historic videos of the region. The narrative was organized in a timeline format.

Some of the conclusions of the study are:

  • In her first term, the amount President Dilma Rousseff spent on federal initiatives to control deforestation and preserving the Amazon was less than a third of the amount disbursed in the second term of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
  • In the same period, the country recorded the lowest deforestation rates since 1988. The expert explanation for this is that Rousseff inherited a less dramatic situation than was faced by Lula in early 2003.
  • Dilma invested 7 times less than Lula in the development of sustainable activities in the Amazon. These expenditures relate to support for sustainable activities in the timber sector, agricultural and agrarian reform settlements, etc.
  • The Prevention Plan and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon (PPCDAM), created in 2004, provided protection of 25 million hectares of forests through the creation of federal protected areas.

InfoAmazonia aggregates data and news about the Amazon, the largest continuous rainforest in the world. The project, launched by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network in 2012, is supported by a network of organizations and journalists who provide constant updates of the nine countries in the region, in Portuguese, Spanish and English. The databases shared by InfoAmazonia are always available for download and are also renewed frequently.