Implementing prevention and control policies for reducing deforestation
Since 2004, the Brazilian government has been implementing the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Amazon (PPCDAm) aimed at reducing illegal cutting of forests and based on a three pillared strategy which includes: (i) territorial and land-use planning, (ii) environmental control and monitoring, and (iii) fostering sustainable production activities.
Dozens of government agencies were deployed to tackle what seemed to be an uncontrollable problem. The PPCDAm is led by 13 ministries initially under the direct coordination of the Executive Office of the Presidency, and more recently transferred to the Ministry of Environment. For ten consecutive years, over 200 measures were implemented in the region, including: creation of protected areas, demarcation of indigenous lands, battling corruption in government agencies and companies, combating "illegal occupation" of public land (land grabbing), transparency in environmental monitoring, involving different police forces, and improvement of satellite monitoring systems.
As a result of these measures, deforestation has fallen significantly in the Brazilian Amazon. While in 2004 annual forest loss reached 27,700 km2, by 2012 this figure had been reduced to 4,500 km2, representing a reduction of almost 84%, despite the continued growth in agricultural production in the Northern region (see diagram below).