Beyond zero deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon: Progress and remaining challenges to sustainable cattle intensification

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Key messages

  • A governance approach, combining public policy and private initiatives was effective in slowing down deforestation, but was unable to support a transition to more sustainable production systems.
  • New technical intensification models must be identified for low-productivity systems in degraded lands, adapted to the biophysical and sociotechnical conditions of the Amazonian landscapes.
  • Multiple constraints inhibit progress toward sustainable intensification of cattle ranching, and reversing them requires that all such constraints be addressed in a coordinated way.
  • Designing options that work for all stakeholders, and monitoring and verifying progress of territories toward sustainability is essential to support current public policies and private initiatives.


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