Brazil's Southern region has 150% growth in deforestation in 2020

The Annual Report on Deforestation in Brazil - 2020, produced using data from MapBiomas Alerta, revealed a 150% increase in deforestation in the Southern region of the country compared to the previous year. In 2020, 9,622 hectares were deforested in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. In 2019, this number was 3,846 hectares.

Deforestation in the south of the country, including the reasons for this increase – which may be related to a weakening of the environmental agenda – and policies to reverse this trend will be addressed this Friday (June 25) in an online event, at 10am (GMT-3). The MapBiomas team and invited experts, including representatives from environmental agencies and the Public Ministry, will present data and debate about them and solutions.

Even having registered the smallest total deforested area, when compared to other regions of the country, the increase from one year to the other reinforces the importance of monitoring and inspection actions. Consisting of the Atlantic Forest biomes, to the north, and Pampa, to the south, the region already has high levels of suppression of native vegetation.

Deforestation in the southern region is predominantly concentrated in the Atlantic Forest areas: 86% of the loss of native vegetation occurred in this biome, while the remaining 14% occurred in the Pampa. In this biome, grassland predominates. However, the current deforestation alert system is still unable to detect the suppression of this type of vegetation, so these figures still underestimate the real problem of loss of native vegetation in Pampa.

The peak of the deforestation area in the South is concentrated in the second semester, mainly in September and October. In other words, it differs from what happens in Brazil as a whole, where the numbers are influenced by the Amazon, with the highest levels of devastation registered in the middle of the year. “It seems to be a characteristic of the southern region, that the largest areas are deforested in the spring months, precisely during the preparation period for the summer crop,” says Eduardo Vélez, coordinator of the Pampa team at MapBiomas Alerta.

The Annual Report on Deforestation in Brazil, for the second consecutive year, presents uniform data with methodology, making it possible to measure and compare the size of the problem, allowing the monitoring and management of deforested areas in all biomes in the country. “The data help to understand the scenario and seek solutions, to build paths and deal with the challenges”, says the coordinator of institutional articulation at MapBiomas, Magaly Oliveira.

Both the state environmental agencies and the Public Ministry in the South region are users of the MapBiomas Alerta data, using them in actions to combat illegal deforestation. In 2020, MapBiomas signed a Technical Cooperation Agreement with the National Council of the Public Ministry (CNMP).

Highlights of the South region in the Annual Report on Deforestation in Brazil - 2020:

  • 1,504 alerts detected, validated and refined
  • 9,622 hectares of deforestation (increase of 150% compared to 2019)
  • All states in the region registered an increase in deforestation compared to the previous year
  • Paraná was the state with the largest total deforested area: 5,710 hectares (59% of the total deforested in the South)
  • Rio Grande do Sul had a loss of native vegetation of 2,165 hectares, which corresponds to 23% of the deforestation detected in the region
  • In Santa Catarina, deforestation was 1,747 hectares (18% of deforestation in the region). In 2019 there were 494 ha, that is, an increase of 254%
  • The municipality with the largest deforested area in Paraná was Nova Laranjeiras (631 ha); in Rio Grande do Sul, Piratini(187 ha); and in SC, Passos Maia (166 ha)
  • In 85% of deforestation alerts, the area was less than 10 ha (average of 6.4 ha), and the highest alert in the Southern region in 2020 was 159 ha.

Access the full 2020 Annual Deforestation Report on the MapBiomas Alerta website.

South region webinar
What does the 2020 Annual Deforestation Report say about the southern states of Brazil
Date: 06/25/2021(Friday)
Time: 10am
Live at

Liuca Yonaha - (11) 94186-4029