With the sharp decline of deforestation in the Amazon, achieved to a great extent due to the implementation of the PPCDAm, the Cerrado biome takes a central role in maintaining greenhouse gas emissions from land use change under control and in mitigating any potential leakage risk from the Amazon biome.
The Cerrado biome has been under heavy deforestation pressure for years. This is due to its characteristics, namely the ones that make the region suitable for agriculture and livestock farming, with the demand for charcoal, mainly from the steel industry, playing a part too. Among all Brazilian biomes, it is in the Cerrado that the challenge of reconciling production and environmental protection manifests at its starkest, due to the legal protection regime (20% of rural landholdings assigned as legal reserve) and high demand for land.
The Cerrado biome is known as the cradle of waters (for hosting sources of several important river basins that flow across Brazil), but also as the largest granary in the country. It is the most biodiverse savanna in the world, but also the largest soybean exporter. Dealing with these contradictions is the main challenge to the Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation and Forest Fires in the Cerrado - PPCerrado.
In 2009, at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP-15) to the UNFCCC, held in Copenhagen, Denmark, Brazil made a voluntary commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The effort would include reducing deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado biomes. The voluntary commitment gained legal status with the enactment of the National Policy on Climate Change - PNMC (Law No. 12,287/2009), with the Decree No. 7,390/2010 providing further regulation. The target set by the PNMC for the Cerrado biome is a 40% reduction in the annual rate of deforestation in relation to the average recorded between 1999 and 2008.
Since the commitment made in 2009, the Cerrado biome has received a specific strategy for the prevention and control of deforestation, with the establishment of the PPCerrado. Based on the successful experience of the PPCDAm, the PPCerrado has been structured on three axes:
• Monitoring and Control: environmental monitoring, control and enforcement actions, such as the development of satellite-based systems for measuring native vegetation loss.
• Protected Areas and land use planning: actions to improve territorial planning, with the aim of promoting sustainable land use alternatives. This includes actions to create and to consolidate Conservation Units and Indigenous Lands, water resources planning, developing an Ecological-Economic Macrozoning for the biome and incentivizing the states to do so on the state level.
• Fostering Sustainable Production: promotes activities that can contribute to a transition to a sustainable development model, based on more intensive land use, conserving and enhancing the organic matter content in the soil, diversifying economic activities in rural properties and considering the local and regional specificities.