Specialty of the Day: Amazonian Beef Steak and climate change.


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Specialty of the Day: Amazonian Beef Steak and climate change. Maria Jose Barney e João Meirelles Filho (2011)

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Specialty of the Day: Amazonian Beef Steak and climate change.

  1. 1. Peabiru Working Paper No. 1Specialty of the dayJoão Meirelles FilhoMaria Jose Barney Gonzalez Delicious 500gms of Amazonian Beef Steak produced by 7.000 grams of carbon dioxide, 7.000 litres of water, mixed with belched methane, is the ideal recipe for climate change This paper has been presented to Nature TM Inc. Questioning the Market Panacea in Environmental Policy and Conservation Conference, June 30 - July 2nd 2011, ISS, The Hague, The Netherlands July 2011 Rua Ó de Almeida, 1083 | CEP: 66053-190 | Belém, Pará, Brasil F +55 91 3222 6000 | peabiru@peabiru.org.br | www.peabiru.org.br
  2. 2. Peabiru Working Paper No. 1/ 07/2011 Specialty of the Day:Delicious 500gms of Amazonian Beef Steak produced by 7.000 grams of carbondioxide, 7.000 litres of water, mixed with belched methane, is the ideal recipe forclimate change João Meirelles and Maria Jose Barney Gonzalez, Belém, Pará, Brazil & Amsterdam, The Netherlands, July 2011We thank AVINA Foundation - Amazon Program for supporting this paper and related research, and IMAZON for the maps This paper has been presented to Nature TM Inc. Questioning the Market Panacea in Environmental Policy and Conservation Conference, June 30 - July 2nd 2011, ISS, The Hague, The NetherlandsAbstract“Delicious 500 grams of Amazonian Beef Steak produced by 7.000 grams of carbondioxide, 7.000 litres of water, mixed with belched methane and other gases, is the idealrecipe for climate change” is a call for attention to the impact of the cattle productionvalue chain on the conservation of the Amazon and climate change. This paper looks atthe Brazilian cattle industry as the main driver of the Brazilian Amazon deforestation, itsmassive production of greenhouse gases, its social impact and strategies to deal with itsimpact. 2
  3. 3. Map 1 - Vegetation & Deforestation in Brazilian Amazon, IMAZON, 2011.Key words: Amazon – Cattle production – Climate change – Meat industry – FoodSecurity 3
  4. 4. 1. General contextResearch is increasingly demonstrating that the livestock industry, in particular cattleproduction, is one of the world’s most significant contributors to climate change andenvironmental damage. Increased consumer capacity due to income availability isleading consumer of grains and plants to replace their diet for meat and dairy products.This current trend of increased global demand for beef, combined with unsustainableproduction practices, particularly in the Brazilian Amazon, can lead to the collapse of theAmazon forest biome, and the environmental balance services it provides to the planet.The FAO’s 2009 report, The State of Food And Agriculture: “Livestock in the Balance”,recognises that the expansion of livestock production contributes with 18% of globalgreenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and increased deforestation in some countries, whileproducing less than 2% of global gross domestic product (GDP). This low level of GDPcontribution requires 26% of the earth’s ice-free land surface for grazing, and 33% ofagricultural cropland for the production of the feed needed by livestock (STEINFELD etal., 2006). The report also argues that current GDP calculations “underestimate theeconomic and social contribution of livestock as it does not capture the value of thenumerous multifunctional contributions of livestock to livelihoods”; and is calling forimprovement of resource-use and efficiency of livestock production, policies andregulations, in order to reduce the negative environmental externalities produced by thesector. (FAO, 2009, pg. 5).Demand for beef is growing fast. According to the same report there is pressure todouble livestock production by 2050, from 228 to 463 million ton, this will mean an 4
  5. 5. increase of cattle-heads of more than 73%. If that causes euphoria among the packingand processing industries it causes panic in climate change and conservations forums.Other FAO Study - Livestock Long Shadow, alerts to the threat to food security formost excluded groups: “Booming demand in the world’s most rapidly growingeconomies for food derived from animals has led to large increases in livestockproduction, supported by major technological innovations and structural changes in thesector. This surging demand has been mostly met by commercial livestock productionand associated food chains. At the same time, millions of rural people still keep livestockin traditional production systems, where they support livelihoods and household foodsecurity. (FAO - Livestock Long Shadow, 2006)Brazilian contextSince the 1970’s, the Brazilian government had implemented economic modernizationpolicies and provided subsidies to support the economic development of the Amazonregion. The main economic activity became cattle production, particularly in the statesof Mato Grosso, Rondônia and Pará. The government’s policies and strategies havebeen the main responsible of a major Amazon forest clearance, which created the so-called Deforestation Arch. Those policies and strategies did not take into considerationthe heavy resource-use required by this particular production activity. Numbers showsthat cattle production, in the Amazon, is unsustainable, inefficient and un-fair, as forevery human being living in the region there are 3 head of cattle, each requiring overone hectare of land. 5
  6. 6. Today, Brazil has one of the world’s largest commercial cattle herd. By offering lowprices Brazil has managed to become the largest exporter of beef, and a big player inthe international market, with policies and practices aiming to have vertical control ofthe chain by buying companies abroad to process and pack the products derived fromcattle production. The Brazilian Government is determined to invest in becoming a topplayer in the export of agribusiness commodities such as beef, aiming at incorporatingmore value by giving emphasis to processing, packing, marketing and distributionfacilities. As part of this policy, the Federal Investment Bank - BNDES, has spent morethan US$ 10 billion in the beef processing industry. Approximately 30% on loans, 60%on acquisitions (JBS/Friboi and Marfrig), the other 10% is kept for future acquisitions.Specialists believe that other investments in the development of the Cattle/beef chainshould be expected, as the country seeks control of a significant portion of the worldmeat (mainly beef) export markets.Meat consumption in Brazil grows consistently at 0.5 kg/inhabitant per year; in 2007each Brazilian consumed 36.7 kg. With millions leaving poverty and increasing itsconsumer power from E to D, from D to C etc. meat consumption, especially beef,increases significantly. In Brazil eating beef is a matter of social status. Considering ascenario of 20 years, in 2030, the per capita consumption will be around 48-50kg/capita (close to United States 45.3 kg/capita nowadays). This will require andincreased beef production, of 29%, from 6.8 million ton/yr to 8.8 million ton/yr just tosupply its local market.If we also consider the growing international demand, specially from China, wherealthough beef represents only 4 kg/yr per capita compared to pork - 37 kg/yr thedemand for beef will still be considerable due to the increased of consumption capacityof its large population. 6
  7. 7. 2. Climate change, cattle production, and deforestation in the Brazilian AmazonThe Amazon basin holds the largest remaining tropical forest in the planet, with themost complex known biome, representing 5% of the Earth surface. The Amazon andthe Tocantins Estuary contains 1/5 of the planet’s river water. The region is in themiddle of polemic debates concerning climate change, as scientific research isestablishing a clear link between processes of deforestation and the planet’senvironmental and climate balance. The traditional slash and burn practices used in theAmazon to steal land from the forest, means its rich biodiversity is lost as a service tothe planet, and becomes smoke, releasing massive emissions of CO2 into theatmosphere. Deforestation and slash and burning of the Amazon forest wouldrepresent rough 5-6% of the World’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.According to The World Resources Institute, Navigating the Numbers Report, Brazil isthe 8th largest emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) in the world, producing 815 milliontons of Carbon Dioxide. After Indonesia, Brazil is the 2nd largest emitter of CO2 due tochanges in land-use; in other words deforestation. The report estimates that, by 2025,the growth of the Brazilian GDP could increase its current level of CO2 emissions fromanything between 84 to 165%.Deforestation of the Amazon contributes with 75% of the Brazilian large carbon dioxideproduction. The Greenpeace study, “Amazon Cattle” mentions that from 1996 to2006, pasture for cattle production in the Brazilian Amazon grew by 10 millionhectares, and area 2.4 times the size of the Netherlands. By 2009, approximately 74million hectares equivalent to 15% of the Brazilian Amazon has been deforested (INPE, 7
  8. 8. 2010), this is an area equivalent to Germany, Austria and Italy combined. According toa CIFOR (2004) study, more than 91% of the deforested lands (approximately 70million hectares) are used for cattle pasture, and agriculture land to produce grains foranimal feed.According to a recent IMAZON & ISA study, only 43% of the Brazilian Amazon (219.7million ha) is protected, either by conservation units (22.2%) or Indian Reserves(21.7%), therefore, there are still many areas that need protection or deserve specialattention1. (ISA, IMAZON, April 2011). Among those un-protected areas that needattention IMAZON recommends to consider both “deforested” and “under pressure”areas.Currently, there is a lot of pressure for the economic exploitation of the region richresources. Most, if not all, of the planned economic activities require access and use ofland. For example: to increase cattle production to respond to international marketsdemand, or to implement mining projects and mega-agribusiness. Any of such projectswill require forest clearing, and just this process would produce such an amount ofGHG emissions that Brazil and the planet could face a huge environmental problem.Therefore, the prediction that by 2030 more than 55% of the Brazilian Amazon forestcould disappear would become reality.We call for action, as this is no longer a viable option for Brazil and the planet. Thedevelopment of policies and regulations is a must and this should be based on researchand monitoring of the environmental, social and economic impact of cattle production1 Although these areas are legally protected, in a decade (1998/2008) 12 thousand ha were deforested. That is mainlydue to invasion of public land destined for conservation being used by loggers and cattle production. 8
  9. 9. and other economic activities based on the implementation of any mega-projects in thearea.The mentioned Greenpeace study argues that the Amazon cattle industry carries aheavy environmental, economic and social footprint. The maps of this study clearlyshow a link between the cattle and beef industry and the destruction of the Amazondue to deforestation. João Andrade de Carvalho Jr. from UNESP, figures show that 100hectares of burnt forest is equivalent to the amount of CO2 produced by 6,820 cars ayear.Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is also a lost opportunity for environmentalservices. Dr. Philip Fearnside, from the Brazilian Amazon Institute of Research (INPA)sees deforestation as an activity that “causes losses of environmental services that aremore valuable than the short-lived uses that replace the forest. These services includemaintenance of biodiversity, of water cycling and of the stocks of carbon that avoidfurther intensification of the greenhouse effect. Feedbacks between climatic changesand the forest through such processes as forest fires, tree mortality from drought andheat and the release of carbon stocks in the soil represent dangers for the climate, theforest and the Brazilian population. Recent events indicate that deforestation can becontrolled, given the political will, because the underlying processes depend on humandecisions”. (FEARNSIDE, 2005)For Paulo Barreto, from IMAZON’s, a Brazilian think-tank institution, “the debate aboutclimate change, however, has facilitated policies and market pressures againstdeforestation”. (BARRETO, 2010). 9
  10. 10. A crucial key issue for researchers, NGO and policy makers, is to understand the causesof deforestation. For Dr. Philip Fearnside, deforestation in Amazonia proceeds at a rapidrate for various reasons, many of which depend on government decisions (FEARNSIDE,INPA, 2005). Many studies demonstrate that when the government builds new orimproves old roads, to facilitate access to mega-projects, deforestation and pressure totraditional population grows in geometric rates. In the last four years, the federalgovernment Growth Acceleration Plan (Plano de Acerelação do Crescimento PAC) hassupported a series of large-scale engineering works, such as a dozen of hydroelectricdams, roads and ports improvement, among others, which are resulting in more thanUS$ 90 billion of investment in the region (VERISSIMO, 2010).Timothy J. Killeen’ a senior analyst at Conservation International, when describing theimpact of a series of investments in the Amazon, said that “The ongoing changes thatthreaten the Amazon Wilderness – agriculture, logging, climate change – will likely beintensified under a South American initiative to build roads and other infrastructureacross the continent. (KILLEN, 2007)The above prediction will, unfortunately, become a reality, if the Brazilian governmentcontinues with its drive to increase its cattle and beef international market share from30 to 60% during the next decade. Undoubtedly, as in the last decade, this growth willtake place mainly in the Amazon.Lack of national and international regulations and policies promoting sustainable beefproduction practices should be a major concern for all, as the shear survival of theAmazon is a stake for a meagre steak. 10
  11. 11. There is an incredible lack of awareness of beef consumers, at international and nationallevels; about the impact beef production has on climate change and the survival of theAmazon forest, which calls for a global consumer awareness campaign. We urgentlyneed to increase consumer understanding of what is the real cost the “the 500 or 250grams beef steak they have at their table”. At the same time, we need to influencedecision makers, by demanding the urgent development and/or implementation ofsustainable beef production strategies.WorldWatch Institute contributes to the debate through the followingrecommendation: Whenever the causes of climate change are discussed, fossil fuels topthe list. Oil, natural gas, and especially coal are indeed major sources of human-causedemissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs). But we believe that the life cycleand supply chain of domesticated animals raised for food have been vastlyunderestimated as a source of GHGs, and in fact account for at least half of all human-caused GHGs. If this argument is right, it implies that replacing livestock products withbetter alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. In fact, thisapproach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmosphericconcentrations—and thus on the rate the climate is warming—than actions to replacefossil fuels with renewable energy. (GOODLAND & ANHANG, 2010) 3. Consuming “expensive food”Since the early 1970s, when the North American researcher Frances Moore Lappésaid… “For every 16 pounds of grain and soy fed to beef cattle in the United States weonly get 1 pound back in meat on our plates. The other 15 pounds are inaccessible to 11
  12. 12. us, either used by the animal to produce energy or to make some part of its own bodythat we do not eat (like hair or bones) or excreted”. (LAPPE, 1971, p. 76) - manystudies have been discussing the cost of producing “expensive” food.Forty years have passed, in spite of a number of studies identifying the effect of cattleproduction on climate change, and its ecological footprint, Brazil is aiming to be thelargest world player on cattle and beef production and trading, without addressing theexpensive and un-sustainable production processes used and its enormous impact onclimate change.Beef is an “Expensive food” to produce. The price of a beef steak fails to incorporatethe real cost of its production footprint, e.g. in order to obtain a kilo of beef, 15.000kilos of Carbon Dioxide is produced and 14,000 litres of water are required to producea kilogram of beef. In reality, the cheap beef arriving on your plate from the BrazilianAmazon is an extremely “expensive food” due to its huge environmental, social andeconomic footprint.Amazon Cattle production pollutes water sources, soil and air and has high social cost.As already mentioned, this chain produces high levels of Carbon Dioxide emissions, andmethane gas (CH4) due to cattle belching which is 23 times a more potent gas fortrapping heat than CO2. On the other hand manure is the source of nitrous oxide (aman made product) 300 times more potent than CO2. The production of beef in theAmazon also has social impacts, since it generates little employment and normallyworkers are underpaid. In fact, in some farms slavery and child labour are still a normalpractice. We also have found that traditional communities have been displaced by cattlefarmers, and they have no or limited access to water and other natural resources.A recent article in the France Press, with the provoking title “Eat a steak, warm theplanet” says that according to a Japanese study led by Akifumi Ogino of the NationalInstitute of Livestock and Grassland Science in Tsukuba, “ producing a kilogram of beef 12
  13. 13. creates 36.4 kilos of CO2 which is more greenhouse-gas and other pollution, thandriving for three hours, while leaving all the lights-on, back at home”. 4. Amazonian Cattle production from peasants to large-scale producersGlobally, the production trend we are seeing is the vertical integration of cattle and beefchain, and the governance of the chain on the hands of a small number of large-scaleenterprises. This vertical integration of the chain means that large-scale producers andprocessors are having greater control and coordination of activities along the livestockvalue chain and using contract farming as a growth strategy (FREEMAN, 2006, PG220). As mentioned, the Brazilian government is supporting this vertical integration andconcentration of the chain through investment.From 1990 to 2008, the Brazilian Amazon cattle herd grew from 25.7 million to nearly71.5 million heads, an increase from 18% to 35% of the total Brazilian herd.(BARRETO, 2010). One third of the Amazonian herd is in the hands of thousands ofsmall-scale producers.The impact of the vertical control of the cattle and beef value chain by large-scaleenterprises on small-scale producers and peasants is unknown and further research isneeded. Few studies have been concerned with the position of peasants and small-scaleproducers in the chain, the environmental impact of their production practices and therelation with livelihood issues. 13
  14. 14. However, we know that the benefits this group of producers derive from cattle as aneconomic activity are insignificant if compared to larger producers. They are basicallyexcluded from active participation in the formal beef value chain. The lack of access toformal markets and other value chain activities increases the economic inequalities,which are at the root of current social problems in the region.When small holders fail to generate income from agriculture activities such as cocoa,Brazil nut, guaraná, tropical fruits or other annual crops, due to lack of access to credit,markets or expensive transport cost, etc. many turn to cattle production as a majoreconomic activity, (MEIRELLES, 2003). More than an option, it becomes the onlyalternative to survival, in many cases it is an insurance policy or a saving account, as inemergencies when cash is short cattle is sold.Although in the last five years, due to law enforcement, deforestation in largeproperties has substantially diminishedi, the challenge is to guarantee effective publicpolicies to offer alternatives to deforestation for small landholders2.According to the 2006 Federal Government Rural Census (IBGE, 2006) figures for theNorth Region added to those of the Mato Grosso State3, means there are over 588,753properties, occupying 102.5 million hectare (equivalent to 1/5 of Legal Amazonia). Ofthese, 76,743 properties were acquired through land reform programs, more than 80-90% of the properties belong to family agriculture and small holders (50+cattle-heads)whereas most public policies related to cattle production are basically directed tomedium and large-scale properties.2 Small landholders include family agriculture (less than 10 ha) and small production units (less than 150-200hectares).3 Amazon region comprises the North Region, part of the Mato Grosso state and part of the Maranhão state. 14
  15. 15. Cattle production in the Amazon has been traditionally a pioneer economic frontier,associated with illegal logging, in low value forested land, which was opened by slash &burning after logging. This economic practice, we believe, results from the fact that onlydeforested land has value, as the Brazilian law only recognises land ownership titleswhen the land is deforested.Further, public policies are not oriented towards effective and sustainable productivitygrowth, e.g. increase in the kg of beef produced per hectare of land. Although Brazil isa leading country in terms of research and development of new technologies for cattleproduction, little is invested in sharing the existing knowledge with small or largeholders, and changing their practices. Government and other Institutions are notdeveloping strategies to make sure all small or large cattle producers apply the existingknowledge to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the production, whilediminishing its huge footprint. At the same time, cattle production is an extremelyinformal activity and there is not enough public pressure to change current practices. Inparticular, large-scale producers (among them the economic elite, politicians and otherpublic figures) controlling the chain, are not interested in having their rural activities inthe Amazon under control. Many are selling their expensive land in other parts of thecountry and acquiring cheap Amazonian land, where labour is cheap and informal,slavery practices are in existence, and where environmental law enforcement is veryweak, and corruption levels high. The picture is really bleak!In the last 50 years, the transfer of cattle production to the Amazons has been thelargest in history. If we project the growth of the Brazilian cattle herd for the next 20years based on the 1.7% growth of country’s herd from 1994 to 2007, we will have103.7 million head of cattle in the Amazon by 2030. The mayor source of land 15
  16. 16. expansion will undoubtedly be the Amazon region, and the predictions abovementioned would become a reality e.g. by 2030 we will have 55% of the BrazilianAmazon deforested.For example, the 2006 IBGE Agriculture Census confirmed a significant cattleproduction expansion in Oriental and South Amazonia, which is moving from East toWest in Oriental Amazonia, now pressing the Xingu and the low Tocantins basins; andSouth to North, following the roads linking Cuiabá, in the state of Mato Grosso, to RioBranco, in the state of Acre.All this facts enter in contradiction with Brazil’s commitment to cut GHG emission.Following Freeman (2006:219) we believe that the key challenge or question faced byBrazil’s livestock decision makers is: How can research and development institutionsrespond to the livestock demands of the market in ways that address social equity, theenvironment (in particular GHG emissions), and public health issues? 16
  17. 17. 5. Brazilian Government PoliciesAs mentioned, since the 1970’s Federal incentives have been responsible for asignificant support to cattle production in the Amazon.More than 590 large-scale agriculture farms received fiscal incentive from the federalgovernment and, of these, 90% was for cattle production. Located in the heart of theforest these farms facilitated access to land invasion, and to illegal logging. Besides, inthe last 20 years, loans with very low interest were offered to large and middle sizecattle produces and to the processing industry. IMAZON calculates that at least US$ 2billion where given mainly by two public banking institutions - the BNDES and theBanco da Amazônia (a federal bank dedicated to the region).According to an IMAZON study, in the Amazon, 1,354 rural settlements had beencreated up to 2002, occupying more than 231 thousand square kilometres. Thosesettlements are vital for land distribution and have already benefited some 231,815families. However, activities developed by the families, such as agriculture and logging,generates deforestation and forest degradation in the region. The research found thataround 106 thousand square kilometres (49% of the area of settlements mapped) weredeforested up to 2004, representing 15% of Amazon deforestation. Additionally, from1997 to 2004, the rate of deforestation in the settlements was 1.8% per year(IMAZON, 2006) 17
  18. 18. Critics, of this land reform, such as Jean Hervé Thery comments: “what is done in Brazilis not the largest land reform on Earth but the largest counter-land reform in thePlanet.” The impact of this policy is that rural settlements become major contributors ofGHGs due to deforestation using slash and burning in small scale. The problem is thatthe government does not have a serious comprehensive monitoring activity; neither isdeveloping strategies to support more sustainable forms of cattle production forpeasant or small-scale producers.Map 2 - Official roads & Rural Settlement Brazilian Amazon, IMAZON 2011. 18
  19. 19. In the last years of President Lula da Silva 2nd mandate, we have seen a change in publicpolicies implementation due to pressure from Greenpeace, other conservationist groups,backed by public opinion. The federal government was forced to launch a series of lawenforcement campaigns. This lead to the shut down of saw mills, large farms and theimplementation of a meatpacking embargo, etc. The focus was on 36 of the 760municipalities located in the so-called “deforestation arch”. The effect of this campaignwas that deforestation diminished, large supermarket chains (responsible for 1/3 of themeat distribution in Brazil) became very nervous with public opinion pressure, however,the industry did not change, they just continued with the “business as usual” approach,ignoring the problem. No real effort to change practices was made to improveproductivity by the key actors in the value chain.Large meat packers also signed agreements with the Federal Public Ministry, in whichthey were committed to buy meat from non-deforested areas. These measures did nottry to address the real problems which are the production practices used by cattle-producers, neither try to create policies or regulations preventing increase ofdeforestation, or limiting the use of land for cattle-production, or creating a code ofconduct.To this respect Paulo Barreto questioned the extent to which the beef market isvulnerable to voluntary environmental pressure. The recent pressure against the meatpacking industry was facilitated by the fact that the sector is becoming moreconcentrated and therefore more visible as a target for environmental campaigns, bynon-governmental organizations and by the government. As in other cases, the largecorporations of the meat sector in Brazil were more likely to commit to bestenvironmental practices (Cohen & Konar, 2000; Simpson, Garner, & Gibbs, 2007), dueto the potential negative impact on their brand. The question is: to what extend the 19
  20. 20. government will be able to enforce such pressure to the whole meat sector?Approximately one third of the Brazilian slaughter activity is still clandestine. Illegal,clandestine abattoirs, operate in informal markets and do not abide to rules andregulations, animals are slaughtered without sanitary and fiscal controls. Thisuncontrolled activity might continue buying from producers who deforest land for cattleproduction. (BARRETO, 2010)The Brazilian Forest Code (a hot issue at the Brazilian Congress at the moment)determines that 80% of a property in the Amazon should be kept as forest. Less than5% of the landowners in the region respect this limit, therefore, a large number ofcattle is produced illegally. Of course the situation in the rural settlement is even worseas access to land is limited. (IMAZON, 2006) 6. Results from Peabiru recent researchAnalysing some of the findings of two studies undertaken by Peabiru in 2010 – 2011, intwo geographical regions (municipality of Tailândia and Moju, and in MarajóArchipelago - Amazon River Estuary, both in the state of Pará) Peabiru concluded that:  The government economic development model for the Eastern Amazon basically encouraged occupation of land that in reality benefited few; on the opposite it has contributed to exacerbate the socioeconomic exclusion of traditional rural communities. Social groups such as Indigenous communities, Afro-descendents, Riverside Communities (riberinhos), and Peasants are still living in isolation in a 20
  21. 21. subsistence and/or informal economy, lacking access to: a) basic services (education, health, electricity, transport etc.); b) land security; c) access to markets; d) technical knowledge and expertise etc. Creating a negative impact on traditional rural communities capacity to actively participate in the formal economy and fully benefit from the government strategies for the region. Large and middle size cattle-producers practices have a negative impact on communities. 1) Land conflict has increased as communities are pushed out of their land in order to increase the number of cattle heads, in many cases using force or violence; 2) Food security is reduced as access to natural resources (such as forest and rivers), is denied or reduced. Communities access to products harvested for family consumption, such as hunting, fishing, fruit picking (açai – Euterpe olereacea, bacuri – Platonia insignis etc.), and other non-timer products, are being reduced; 3) natural water resources, normally used by communities for household needs and leisure, are being destroyed, the course of streams is being diverted, and igarapés (small rivers) are being drained. In Marajo as well as in Tailândia (Brazil), natural resources are not valued; therefore the practice of deforestation is not questioned, in spite of awareness that this diminishes access to natural resources. A study of Peabiru with UFRA University found that In the native wetland of Marajó, small farms are not economically viable without access to 3 hectares of land per animal. Existing data informs that the current average is 1.3 ha/animal, this means overgrazing with possible serious environmental damage in the medium term. In Marajó cattle production is dominated by middle and large- scale producers, and their production practices are limiting its development and affecting the long term sustainability of the production process. Lack of 21
  22. 22. infrastructure, and access to energy, potable water and transport in the case of Marajo is also serious constraint for the development of the chain in spite of Marajo being a significant player in cattle and buffalo production. This chain activity is neither generating development for the region, in spite of generating revenue for the large producers; the Isle has high poverty levels. Local communities are excluded from the main chain activities, remaining at its margins, mainly as labourers, and therefore, from having no or limited access to its benefits.7. Conclusions and recommendations -- The economic development paradigm for the Brazilian Amazon, is still in essence, and in spite of progress made, based on the old concept of deforestation, and in the slash-and-burning method of deforestation, which carries a significant impact on climate change. This paradigm needs to change to a paradigm based on conservation of natural resources and biodiversity, while addressing the socio-economic and environmental inequalities and exclusion affecting the life of the traditional Amazonian rural communities. This change would demand a mayor cultural shift, the strict implementation of existing policies as well as the development of new policies and regulations addressing the issues.- Current cattle production practices in the Amazon region are un-sustainable. Urgent action seeking the transformation of the cattle and beef production value chain is needed. We must campaign for change by influencing the: 22
  23. 23. - 1) Development of national and international policies and regulations seeking socioeconomic and environmentally sustainable cattle and beef production;- 2) Formalization of all activities in the cattle-beef production chain in Brazil with emphasis in the Amazon region;- 3) Development of a monitoring systems to ensure the implementation of policies and regulations, and contributing to law enforcement;- 4) Development of sustainable and inclusive policies and strategies geared to address the needs of traditional rural communities, peasants and small- scale producers to increase their capacity to implement more efficient and sustainable production practices, as well as benefiting from their active participation in cattle-beef value chain and technical and financial services;- 5) Consumer level of awareness of the real cost of the 250 grams of beef they eat during a meal;- 6) Development of environmental awareness and production practices of traditional rural communities by involving them in a process of monitoring the impact of cattle-production in their livelihoods and development of income diversification strategies that value the forest such as environmental services and other products contributing to maintain bio- diversity;- 7) Research activity making sure studies of cattle-beef value chain include the environmental and economic impact this activity has on economically and socially excluded traditional rural communities, in particular in the state of Pará;- 8) Development of strategies seeking better production practices in support of more sustainable production technologies, making more efficient use of resources. 23
  24. 24. 24
  25. 25. Annex 1:Instituto Peabiru, Belém, Pará, BrazilThe Instituto Peabiru (Peabiru) is a Civil Society Organization of Public Interest - OSCIP,established in 1998 with headquarters in Belém, Pará, Brazil, concerned with the socio-economic and environmental issues related to the long-term sustainability of theBrazilian Amazon, in particular those encountered in the Eastern part of the BrazilianAmazon (states of Pará and Amapá) which since the 1970s has been one of the mostimportant Brazilian fronts of economic occupation.Our purpose is to work alongside communities and local civil society organizations toincrease capacity to exercise full citizenship, as part of their human developmentprocess, and enjoy the benefits of a sustainable economic model while promoting theconservation of the forest. Peabiru also works with the private sector, as we believethey must play a role in the development of strategies seeking to address the socio-economic and environmental impact of the economic activities.Currently, Peabiru is addressing the socio-economic, environmental and cultural issuesthat concern the organization through three main programmes: 1) Local Developmentand Protected Areas; 2) Corporate Social Responsibility; 3) Inclusive Value Chains.Inclusive Value ChainsPeabiru believes that strengthening the active economic participation of excluded ruralcommunities in the development of inclusive chains valuing biodiversity and natural and 25
  26. 26. social resources contribute to the long-term sustainability of the Eastern AmazonRegion.Peabiru works with a broad concept of inclusive value chain development, whichconsider five core dimensions: Economic, Human capacities Citizenship, Culturalvalorisation of resources, and Environment aspects.Currently, Peabiru is working on the development of two products: honey from theMelipona bees native to the Amazon (non-stinging-bees) and Community-based-ecotourism.The Institute is involved in researching four product chains: Açaí berry (Euterpeolereacea); Artisanal fishing; Manioc flour from bitter cassava (Manihot utilissima) andCattle & Buffalo production in the wetlands of the Island of Marajo.Peabiru’s work on cattle & buffalo production, is aiming to explore the impact of thiseconomic activity on the environment and its negative contribution to climate change.The purpose is to work with traditional rural communities in the development ofsustainable production strategies, in order to reduce the negative environmental impactof cattle production in the region, with particular attention to the Marajó Archipelagoand the Northeast of Pará.Contact information:João Meirelles, General Director, Instituto PeabiruMobile + 55 91 91447566; office + 55 91 3222.6000 26
  27. 27. Rua Ó de Almeida, 1083, Reduto, Belém, Pará, Brazil cep 66053-190jmeirelles@peabiru.org.br - www.peabiru.org.brMaria Jose Barney Gonzalez, Program Advisormariajose@peabiru.org.brMobile +31 6 24 88 97 14 (The Netherlands) 27
  28. 28. BibliographyAFP - Associated France Press - Eat a steak, warm the planet(http://www.afp.com/francais/home/).ARAUJO, E., & Barreto, P. (2010, July). Formal threats to protected areas in theAmazon.The State of the Amazon (16).BARRETO, P., & Silva, D. (Novembro de 2009). Os desafios para uma pecuária maissustentável na Amazônia. Estado da Amazônia , 14, 4. Belém: Instituto do Homem eMeio Ambiente da Amazônia.BARRETO, Paulo, SILVA, Daniel – Will cattle ranching continue to drive deforestation inthe Brazilian Amazon? IMAZON November 2010 pbarreto@imazon.org.br,BRANDAO Jr., A. & Souza Jr., C Deforestation in Land Reform Settlements in theAmazon. 2006. State of the Amazon, nº 7. Belém: Imazon. 4p.CLARK, Nathalia, Como parar o desmate nos assentamentos? O Eco 30-MARCH-2011- http://www.oeco.com.br/reportagens/24921-como-parar-o-desmatamento-nos-assentamentosCEDERBERG Christel, U. Martin Persson, Kristian Neovius, Sverker Molander, andRoland Clift, Including Carbon Emissions from Deforestation in the Carbon Footprint ofBrazilian BeefFAO - Livestock Long Shadow, 2006 Annual Report,http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.HTMFAO Annual Report 2009 - The State of Food And Agriculture: Livestock in the BalanceFEARNSIDE, Philip M. DESMATAMENTO NA AMAZÔNIA: DINÂMICA, IMPACTOS ECONTROLE; Coordenação de Pesquisas em Ecologia-CPEC Inst. Nac. de Pesquisas daAmazônia-INPA 14 de dez. de 2005 revis: 29 de set. de 2006 28
  29. 29. FREEMAN, Ade H., Philip K. Thornton, Jeannette A. van de Steeg & Anni Mcleod,Future scenarios of livestock systems in developing countries; International LivestockResearch Institute, Nairobi, Kenya, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome, ItalyWAAP Book of the Year 2006, page 219-232 E-mail: A.FREEMAN@cgiar.orghttp://www.eaap.eu/pages/Freeman.pdfGREENPEACE Amazon Cattle Footprint, Mato Grosso: State of destruction,http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/amazon-cattle-footprint-mato.pdfGOODLAND, Robert & ANHANG, Jeff, Worldwatch Institute,http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdfIMAZON & ISA - Áreas Protegidas na Amazônia brasileira : avanços e desafios /[organizadores Adalberto Veríssimo... [et al.] ]. Belém: Imazon; São Paulo: InstitutoSocioambiental, 2011.KILLEN, Timothy J., A Perfect Storm in the Amazon Wilderness: Development andConservation in the Context of the Initiative for the Integration of the RegionalInfrastructure of South America (IIRSA), Conservation International, 2007LAPPE, Frances Moore, Diet for a Small Planet. New York: Ballantine Books, 1982, pp.76)MEIRELLES, Joao, Livro de Ouro da Amazônia, Ediouro, Rio de Janeiro, 2003STIGLITZ, Prof. Joseph E. Chair, SEN, Amartya; FITOUSSI, Jean-Paul UN; Report by theCommission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progresswww.stiglitz-sen-fitoussi.fr, 2008THERY, Herve & ENGLIN, Jean, Le pillage de l’Amazonie. Paris: François Maspero,1982. 29
  30. 30. i In its peak, in the 1990’s it reached 25,000 km/yr. Now it is under 10,000 km/yr. 30