Remote Sensing Images to Detect Soy Plantations in the Amazon Biome—The Soy Moratorium Initiative
Published: 23 May 2012
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The Soy Moratorium is an initiative to reduce deforestation rates in the Amazon biome based on the hypothesis that soy is a deforestation driver. Soy planted in opened areas after July 24th, 2006 cannot be commercialized by the associated companies to the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE) and the National Association of Cereal Exporters (ANEC), which represent about 90% of the Brazilian soy market. The objective of this work is to present the evaluation of the fourth year of monitoring new soy plantations within the Soy Moratorium context. With the use of satellite images from the MODIS sensor, together with aerial survey, it was possible to identify 147 polygons with new soy plantations on 11,698 ha. This soy area represents 0.39% of the of the total deforested area during the moratorium, in the three soy producing states of the Amazon biome, and 0.6% of the cultivated soy area in the Amazon biome, indicating that soy is currently a minor deforestation driver. The quantitative geospatial information provided by an effective monitoring approach is paramount to the implementation of a governance process required to establish an equitable balance between environmental protection and agricultural production.