The Brazil Region called The Cerrando is seen by some as 500 million acres of potential cropping land
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The Cerrando region is a sprawling savanna stretching across 1.2 million square miles of central Brazil. It is the world’s most biologically rich savanna. It has over 10,000 species of plants, of which 45% are exclusive to the Cerrado, and it stretches across nearly 500 million acres of Brazil — an area nearly three times the size of Texas. The Cerrado also feeds three of the major water basins in South America: the Amazon, Paraguay and São Francisco Rivers.
Located in Brazil’s central high plains region, the Cerrado covers approximately 23 percent of Brazil’s surface area.
MAJOR HABITAT TYPE
Tropical Grassland Savanna
The Cerrado is home to 935 species of birds and nearly 300 mammals, including such endangered species as:
Marsh and pampas deer
Scientists estimate that the Cerrado harbors as many as 10,000 species of vascular plants. There are more than 400 tree and shrub species are unique to the region.
The Cerrado is one of the most unprotected savannas in the world with less than 2% of its region protected in national parks and conservation areas.
The 1960s marked the beginning of the expansion of large-scale agriculture across the Cerrado. Although Brazil is one of the largest producers of soya beans in the world, the price biodiversity is paying is seen by some as too high. Environmentalist groups have being trying to change this with The Conservancy being prominent.
The Conservancy has been working on a new initiative in partnership with local NGOs, farmers, agribusiness companies and governmental institutions. This pioneering project has combined sustainable ranching and farming with protection of land set-asides in areas surrounding Emas National Park in the southwestern Cerrado. In addition to the protection of natural habitats, the results of the project have shown a clear improvement in the quality of soil and water and increased profitability.
Working with Brazilian partner O Boticário, The Nature Conservancy has created a new 22,000-acre private preserve in the heart of the Cerrado grasslands of central Brazil.
We hope this partnership between growers and environmentalist continues.
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