Amazonas Brazil
Amazonino Mendes
Environmental Analyst of Institute for the Protection of the Environment of Amazonas - IPAAM
Secretary of Environment

The State of Amazonas  has an area of 1,559,159,148  km² and is made up of 62 municipalities.With 96% of its original forest cover, the State is home to the largest stock of tropical forest carbon of any subnational jurisdiction on the planet.

With 85% of its surface is below one hundred meters of altitude, the region has a low lying topographical relief. The várzea and igapós forests are among the unique ecosystems in the State, which have a rich and complex diversity in the composition. A total of 66 indigenous peoples groups live throughout the forests of Amazonas.

The state of Amazonas is comprised mainly of dense and open forests, though you will also find seasonal forests, igapó forests, flooded fields, floodplains, savannahs, mountain refuges, campinaranas and pioneer formations. This biome harbors vast stocks of commercial wood and forest carbon and produces a wide variety of non-timber forest products that support the livelihoods of various local communities.

Amazonas is home to the Amazon river which runs 6,570 kilometers long with a volume of 100,000 cubic meters. This river is born in the Andes Mountains in Peru, and in the State of Amazonas forms from the junction of two great rivers, the Solimões and Rio Negro.The Amazon Basin accounts for approximately 20% of all the world's freshwater reserves.

Protected areas in the state represent 56.15% of their territory with 266 conservation units (CU) in 2016. 151 Indigenous Territories are established in Amazonas representing 27.7% of the territory.

Amazonas is a pioneer in establishing state-wide public policies related to climate change and designing positive incentives for forest conservation. In 2007, Amazonas established its State Policy on Climate Change (PEMC) (law 3.135/2007) and a complementary law (53/2007), which establishes the State System for Protected Areas (SEUC). These were followed by the development of the State’s Deforestation Prevention and Control Plan (PPCDAM), involving a broad range of state secretariats in an integrated effort to develop ways of reducing deforestation while creating new economic alternatives.

However, it is important to emphasize that, despite the legislation of Amazonas and the experience in conducting projects to reduce forest emissions, the current environmental legal framework of Amazonas has gaps for the adequate establishment of carbon asset market elements. Some of these shortcomings are partially fulfilled by the Environmental Services Law (Law No. 4,266 of 2015). To fill remaining gaps, the Government of the State of Amazonasis committed to building legal instruments that consolidate a legislative package capable of providing environmental, social, economic and legal security and integrity. This includes the creation and expansion of programs, subprograms and projects aimed at encouraging the maintenance and provision of environmental services and for the Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +), protection of natural resources, projects aimed at Traditional Communities and Indigenous Peoples. Regulations within the framework of the Environmental Services Law are needed to achieved these goals.

Another effort to contain deforestation is through State Decree 37.421 / 2016 which aims to boost the local economy on a sustainable basis, promoting environmental recovery and conservation of natural resources, promoting mulit-level governance, and allowing for a more effective participation of civil society and the productive sector.

Another strategy adopted by the Government of the State of Amazonas was the creation of a public-private foundation, the Sustainable Foundation of Amazonas (FAS), to manage the Bolsa Floresta Program (PBF). The PBF is a pioneering pilot program for payments for ecosystem services that supports 15 State Protected Areas.

Additional information can be found on the GCF Impact Platform.

Summary

1.56 Mkm²
92.8%
-11.3%
2016 - 2017

Demographics

3.48 M
1.7%
Category% 
Urban79.00
Rural21.00
Group% 
Multi-ethnic69.00
White21.00
Indigenous5.00
Black4.00
Other1.00

Economy

BRL65.04 B
BRL14,014
Category% 
Services42.60
36.30
Agriculture, Forestry4.20
0.713
Industrial (electronics, motorcycles)

Forest Status[a]

1.56 Mkm²
1.45 Mkm²
112,788km²
18,476M MtC
Categorykm² 
Forest1.42 M
Other Land Uses110,120
Secondary Vegetation15,797
Pastureland9,127
Agriculture125
Categorykm² 
Unprotected1.04 M
Protected412,668

Expansion of ranching, agriculture and illegal land occupation has increased pressure on forests, particularly in southern Amazonas. In the southreastern counties of Apuí, Manicoré, and Novo Aripuanã, small family agriculture is increasingly being replaced by cattle ranching in large INCRA settlement projects. At the border with Acre and Rondônia, in the counties of Canutama, Lábrea and Boca do Acre, immigration from the neighboring states via the BR-364 and BR-317 highways is accompanied by the expansion of cattle ranching and logging. Forests in other counties, such as Manicoré, Humaitá, Canutama, and Lábrea, are under pressure from expanding industrial crop production, driven by increased access to financial resources and improved technology.

The expansion of deforestation in Amazonas is concentrated in two geopolitical regions: the Metropolitan Region of Manaus (RMM) and the South region, which present different dynamics of land use and occupation. In the metropolitan region of Manaus, comprising 13 municipalities, including the capital Manaus, a total of 471.8 km² of deforestation increment was recorded in the temporal analysis from 2008 to 2013, corresponding to 16% of total deforestation in the Amazonas of the analyzed period (3,015.3 Km²) (PPCD-AM, 2015).

According to the results of environmental control actions of the IPAAM, some activities that lead to deforestation in this region include land speculation (particularly near highways) and agricultural production and to a lesser extent mineral extraction an illegal timber and wood fuel extraction.

Located along the arc of deforestation, the south of the State of Amazonas contains the areas with the highest concentration of deforestation in this state. In order to contain the progress of deforestation, both the federal and state governments have increased the creation and recognition of protected areas. Environmental protection areas play an important role for the environment, such as reducing carbon emissions  protecting biological diversity and maintaining the functions of water cycling in the forest. However, protected areas can not be considered as the only solution to contain deforestation.

The expansion of the agricultural frontier in southern Amazonas is a consequence of large settlement projects that were cattle-raising due to a long process of abandonment of family production. It demonstrates that the way it is acted out and the intensity of deforestation varies over time, but in general, the main actors are large and medium-sized farmers, and small farmers, when concentrated, can act expressively.

The southern region of the State, made up of 7 municipalities, has a total of 1,786.2 km² of deforestation increment (2008 to 2013), corresponding to 59% of the deforestation recorded in Amazonas in the analyzed period. There are several factors in the south of the state of Amazonas that can be attributed as causes of deforestation, such as the conversion of forest to pasture, the cutting and burning of forest for crops, the opening of illegal roads, logging predatory and land grabbing.

In summary, the main drivers of deforestation in Amazonas are land grabbing associated with illegal logging for conversion to pasture and agrarian conflicts. The main locations with deforestation concentration are in settlement projects and in some federal protected areas and expansion of deforestation in areas close to borders with other states. 

Notes

a.Due to different methodological approaches and base years, Forest Status data fields may differ slightly. Data sources for each field are listed below.

Sources

1.IBGE link
2.Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística - IBGE. IBGE
3.GOVERNO (SEPLAN) Anuário Estatístico do Amazonas (2009-2010). Manaus, volume 23, 2011.
4.GOVERNO (SEPLAN) Anuário Estatístico do Amazonas (2009-2010). Manaus, volume 23, 2011
5.PNUD 2003, Atlas de Desenvolvimento Humano 2003 link
6.MMA, 2004. Uso e Cobertura da Terra na Floresta Amazônica, São José dos Campos link
7.PRODES 2015
8.Prodes link
9.Terraclass 2014
10.https://uc.socioambiental.org/uc/pesquisa/uf/RR