Activity Report 2022

Letter from the Executive Board

In 2022, the Legal Amazon suffered its fifth consecutive annual record in forest clearing, which has caused severe social, economic and environmental damage in the region. According to Imazon’s Deforestation Alert System (SAD), from January to December, 10,573 km² were devastated, the equivalent of 3,000 soccer fields per day of forests. This was the most significant destruction in 15 years since the institute implemented its monitoring system using satellite images in 2008.

In this alarming context, Imazon’s scientific production and field projects were more widely accessed by the population, with a 17% increase in content views on the institution’s website, reaching almost 700 thousand. In the press, the data produced by the research teams was used in more than 4,000 national and international reports from more than 80 countries.

This scientific production has also contributed to the MapBiomas Network, integrated by Imazon since its creation and winner of the 2022 Skoll Award for Social Innovation. Currently, the institute contributes to the network by being responsible for two different technical coordination tasks: the one that produces data on land use and cover in the Amazon biome and the one that produces information on the surface area of water throughout the country. The latter even has its own platform, called MapBiomas Água. In 2010, Imazon had already won the same award.

Also in 2022, the institute mapped out all the roads in the Amazon using artificial intelligence, an unprecedented piece of work that was published in a scientific article in the international journal Remote Sensing, one of the most important in the world in the field of remote sensing. This research showed that the roads already cut through, or were within a 10-km radius of, 41% of the Amazon forest area in Brazil. This study has great potential to help public policies to tackle deforestation, since 95% of all forest clearing takes place within 5.5 km from a road and 85% of wildfires are detected up to 5 km away from a road.

In 2022, Imazon also launched Radar Verde, a transparency indicator for the meat chain in the Amazon. The tool is designed to show consumers what meatpackers and supermarkets are really doing to prevent illegal products from entering the Amazon. This initiative can also help in the fight against deforestation, since more than 80% of the ravaged areas have become pasture. In the  ield of law, Imazon published an unprecedented study on the judicial punishment of illegal loggers in the region, which analyzed the first results of the Amazônia Protege Program, run by the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF). This work showed that jurisprudence has been created to accept satellite images as evidence, no longer requiring field inspections. A legal innovation that could speed up the accountability of environmental criminals and the reclamation of deforested areas.

And speaking of reclaiming cleared forests, another unprecedented study published by Imazon showed that at least 5.2 million hectares of secondary vegetation six years and older in the Legal Amazon were located in areas with low agricultural suitability. This means that they do not compete with grain crops and are a priority for Assisted Natural Regeneration (ANR) actions, which could help the country meet its internationally agreed forest restoration targets. This and five other studies were produced by Imazon researchers as part of the Amazon 2030 project, which seeks to create a development plan for the region to achieve sustainable use of natural resources by the end of this decade. In total, in 2022, we produced 37 scientific articles, books, reports, technical notes and manuals.

Last but not least, at the end of the year, the institute also supported the expedition that located the largest tree in Latin America and the fourth largest in the world. It is an 88.5-meter-high red Angelim, which is more than twice the size of Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro. And in order to conserve the place where it is located, the Paru State Forest (Flota), which from October to November was among the five most deforested conservation units in the Amazon, Imazon also launched the Protect the Giant Trees campaign. Before the action, it was possible to find more than 500 Rural Environmental Registers (CARs) irregularly registered in the territory, which were later canceled.

These are just a few highlights of Imazon’s work throughout 2022, always with a focus on fulfilling the institute’s mission: “To promote conservation and sustainable development in the Amazon”! That’s why we invite you to learn a little more about our work on the following pages and get involved with us in defending the region and the people of the Amazon. Enjoy your reading!

Ritaumaria Pereira
Chief Executive Officer

Verônica Oki
Chief Administration Officer

Tap here to read the full Activity Report

This post was published on 10 de maio de 2024

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