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September 24, 2012

Study Indicates Soy Planted on just 0.4% of Cleared Amazon Forest

Studies conducted by the National Institute of Space Studies in Brazil (Inpe) indicate that since 2006 soybeans have been planted on just 0.41% of lowland Amazon rainforest that has been cleared over the last six years. The year 2006 is used as a reference point because that is the year when industries, exporters, grain companies, government agencies, and environmental groups collaborated to prohibit the purchase of any grain produced on lowland Amazon rainforest cleared after that date.

During the 2011/12 growing season, only 18,400 hectares of soybeans were identified as being grown on the 4,510,000 hectares of rainforest that has been cleared since 2006. The three main states along the southern edge of the Amazon forest are Mato Grosso, Rondonia, and Para and 58 municipalities in these three states account for 98% of the soybeans grown in the lowland Amazon region. The vast majority of rainforest cleared after 2006 has been converted to pastureland for cattle grazing.

Agencies that have participated in the moratorium on the purchase of grain produced on recently cleared rainforest include: the Brazilian Vegetable Oil Processors Association (Abiove), the National Association of Grain Exporters (Anec), The Environmental Minister, the Bank of Brasil, Conservation International, Greenpeace, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund.