Data on enforcement show that impunity still prevails in the fight against deforestation

MapBiomas launches new platform that monitors public data on deforestation enforcement by the federal government and in five states

More than 97% of deforestation alerts in Brazil verified by MapBiomas since January 2019 have no record of enforcement action or authorization, according to official data available from the federal government. When analyzing five states of the federation - Goiás, Mato Grosso, Minas Gerais, Pará and São Paulo - a slightly better situation was found. The highlight is Mato Grosso, where inspections have already covered 29% of the deforestation alerts. This is what the first set of data from the Deforestation Surveillance Monitor - a new online platform that MapBiomas launched on Tuesday (May 3) - shows. It presents, in a direct, updated and transparent way, data on deforestation authorizations and enforcement actions by the federal government and the state governments of five federal units. 

The Deforestation Control Monitor is a MapBiomas initiative led by the Instituto Centro de Vida (ICV) and Brasil.IO teams that collects and organizes information on deforestation authorizations, enforcement actions, and rural property embargoes issued by federal and state control agencies. For this, the databases available in the digital platforms of the agencies are accessed, such as SINAFLOR and IBAMA's Open Data Portal, and the Transparency Portal of the Environmental Secretariat of Mato Grosso. All the data are then cross-referenced with the deforestation alerts published by MapBiomas to identify how much of the deforestation detected in Brazil has overlapping enforcement actions. At the moment, the monitoring includes the federal government and five states that already provide geographic data. Over the next few months other states will be incorporated as they publish monitoring data.

What the first data from the Deforestation Surveillance Monitor show is that until March 2022, in the case of the federal government, only 2.17% of the alerts had some enforcement action. The area with registered enforcement actions reached 13.1% of the total deforestation detected since 2019.

In the case of state governments, the situation varies from state to state, but already shows more favorable data in some cases:

  • In Minas Gerais, enforcement actions by SEMAD or permits issued by IEF crossed geographically with 22.4% of deforestation alerts published in the state. The alerts where actions were identified represent 34.6% of the deforested area.

  • 29.5% of the more than 13,000 deforestation alerts in Mato Grosso focused on enforcement action or deforestation authorization. After the acquisition of a deforestation alert system with high resolution images, the state has strengthened the fight against illegal deforestation. When considering the total area of the alerts with some action or authorization the percentage rises to 41%.

  • Pará is the state with the most deforestation alerts validated by MapBiomas - more than 60,000 since January 2019. From the analysis of available public data, in 1.8% of these alerts incur state government authorizations or embargoes, which represents 9.8% of the total deforestation published.

  • In São Paulo, SIMA's enforcement actions covered 21% deforestation alerts that occurred in the state, or 26 % of the total deforested area.

  • In Goiás, enforcement actions covered 10.3% deforestation alerts that occurred in the state, representing 24.8% of the deforestation area detected in the period.

"What we were able to verify with the Deforestation Surveillance Monitor is that despite the abundance of information and evidence of environmental crimes, enforcement actions are still short of what is necessary to curb deforestation," says Ana Paula Valdiones, ICV coordinator and one of those responsible for the platform.

"The application of fines, seizures, embargoes, interdictions, among other measures by the competent agencies, can prevent environmental damage, punish offenders and avoid future environmental violations," explains Tasso Azevedo, general coordinator of MapBiomas. "There are important advances, especially in the states, but the Monitor's data show that impunity still marks illegal deforestation in Brazil," he adds. "Giving transparency and publicity to deforestation enforcement actions allows decision-makers, especially in the private and financial sectors, a clearer view of the risks they run in relation to the contamination of the production chain with products originating locally from illegal deforestation activities," he highlights.

To build the Enforcement Monitor, the MapBiomas team evaluated the availability of information by federal and state agencies. Active transparency is one of the bottlenecks in the monitoring of actions to combat illegal deforestation. For this reason, in this first phase of the Monitor, it was only possible to count on updated data in adequate format for five states (GO, MT, MG, PA and SP) and the federal government.

Access the Enforcement Monitor at: https://plataforma.alerta.mapbiomas.org/monitor-da-fiscalizacao


About MapBiomas Alerta - MapBiomas Alerta consolidates information provided by various systems that monitor deforestation in Brazil, such as DETER/INPE, SAD/IMAZON, GLAD/Univ. Maryland and SAD Caatinga/Geodatin/UEFS. Each alert is validated and generates a report with high-resolution images of before and after deforestation, in addition to possible crossings with areas of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), National Registry of Conservation Units (CNUC), Indigenous Lands and other geographical boundaries (e.g. biomes, states, watersheds). The result is a complete report for each deforestation event detected in Brazil. This documentation is made available openly and free of charge so that enforcement agencies, financial agents, companies, and civil society can act to stop illegal deforestation. From January 2019 to December 2021, more than 195,000 deforestation alerts covering more than 4 million hectares have already been published.

See how the launch event of the Deforestation Inspection Monitor was: