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Forests of Brazil: Strengthening public policies by using accurate and updated information on forest resources

Forests of Brazil: Strengthening public policies by using accurate and updated information on forest resources - a way forward


Brazil’s forests constitute 13% of the global forest area and almost 30% of the tropical forest area. They account for a significant proportion of global terrestrial biodiversity and store about 20% of global above ground forest carbon. Brazilian forests support the livelihood of people living in and around them, especially in regions such as the Amazon and the Northeast part of the country.

Currently, these forests suffer from a high rate of deforestation (approximately 2.5 million ha per year) due to pressure to convert forests to other land uses. They are also threatened by widespread degradation through illegal logging and poor management as well as devastating fires. However, they may be a sustainable source of timber and non timber forest products, and provide scope for services that are increasingly valued by society, such as tourism, recreation, and water and soil conservation. Building policies on the basis of reliable information is key in promoting the sustainable management of forests. GEF is helping Brazil to achieve this by financing the project “Strengthening National Policy and Knowledge Framework in Support of Sustainable Management of Brazil´s Forest Resources”.

This project, launched in 2011, aims to provide good quality information and analysis on forest resources and land use to improve policies and decision making by stakeholders so as to increase Brazilian forests contribution to national sustainable development. It seeks to facilitate informed and participatory strategic decision making in natural resources management, with an emphasis on minimizing unsustainable land use changes to conserve biodiversity and carbon stocks.

The project objectives will be achieved by supporting improved decision making by stakeholders through the provision of credible, timely and relevant information and policy analysis about the state and dynamics of Brazil’s forest resources, their management, land cover, use, changes, the factors influencing forests’ contributions to poverty reduction and livelihood improvement, forest carbon stocks and land degradation in forest landscapes. Data will be collected and analyzed through the establishment of a National Forest Monitoring and Assessment System (NFM&AS) - a programme activity in the Brazilian Forest Service that will continue after the closure of the project.

The initiative is designed as a five-year project, mainly to provide technical assistance to develop the core capacities and support the implementation of the NFM&AS. It will be executed with FAO as implementing agency and the Brazilian Forest Service (BFS) as the primary executing partner.

By providing different analyses of collected data, including a baseline and periodically monitored forest resources indicators, the project will enhance the Government of Brazil’s capacity to identify and reduce environmental threats by adjusting policies, strategies, and interventions and to highlight their effectiveness. Private sector and other nongovernmental decision makers will also be able to make more informed decisions which, given the appropriate policy incentives, can increase the attractiveness of forest land use, mainstreaming biodiversity conservation in production activities, and increasing and conserving carbon stocks in the forest biomass.

For more information:;

Project Details
Duration: 5 years (2011-2016)
GEF grant: $ 8,850,000
Co-financing: $ 56,667,042
Summary and Documents: GEF PMIS # 3767
Contact persons: Joberto Veloso de Freitas, / Anne Branthomme,

As part of the GEF's support to the International Year of Forest, every month we are publishing a story about a successful GEF project that is promoting sustainable forest management, and having positive impacts on forests, climate, biodiversity and local livelihoods.