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Sci Adv. 2019 Jul 17;5(7):eaav7336. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav7336. eCollection 2019 Jul.

Expanding the Soy Moratorium to Brazil's Cerrado.

Author information

1
International Institute for Applied System Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria.
2
National Institute for Space Research, São José dos Campos, Brazil.
3
Sustainable Development Solutions Network, 19 Rue Bergère, 75009 Paris, France.
4
The Nature Conservancy, Minneapolis, MN 55415, USA.
5
The Nature Conservancy, Brasília, Brazil.
6
KU Leuven, Division Forest, Nature and Landscape, Celestijnenlaan 200E, B-3001 Leuven, Heverlee, Belgium.
7
Institute for Applied Economic Research, Brasília, Brazil.
8
Caixa Econômica Federal, Brasília, Brazil.
9
University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA.

Abstract

The Cerrado biome in Brazil is a tropical savanna and an important global biodiversity hot spot. Today, only a fraction of its original area remains undisturbed, and this habitat is at risk of conversion to agriculture, especially to soybeans. Here, we present the first quantitative analysis of expanding the Soy Moratorium (SoyM) from the Brazilian Amazon to the Cerrado biome. The SoyM expansion to the Cerrado would prevent the direct conversion of 3.6 million ha of native vegetation to soybeans by 2050. Nationally, this would require a reduction in soybean area of approximately 2%. Relative risk of future native vegetation conversion for soybeans would be driven by the Brazilian domestic market, China, and the European Union. We conclude that, to preserve the Cerrado's biodiversity and ecosystem services, urgent action is required, including a zero native vegetation conversion agreement such as the SoyM.

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