The dramatic expansion of Brazil’s agricultural sector is an undeniable story of successful productivity growth, but it also has created significant opportunities for effective conservation and forest preservation. Under the watchful eye of the Brazilian government, the country’s farmers are legally obligated to set aside portions of their property for conservation.
To help farmers meet conservation requirements in two biodiversity corridors—one in the Atlantic Forest (Northeast Corridor) and the other in Cerrado (Jalapão/Western Bahia Corridor)—Monsanto has partnered with Conservation International (CI). Through this collaboration, we believe we will encourage positive changes for biodiversity and natural habitats.
Founded in 1987, CI empowers groups to responsibly and sustainably care for the environment, our global biodiversity and the long term well-being of people. Headquartered in the Washington, DC, area, the organization has 900 employees working in nearly 30 countries on four continents, plus more than 1,000 partners around the world.
In Brazil, the combined efforts of CI and Monsanto support the implementation of best practices along Monsanto’s supply chain. The work also involves the implementation of concrete conservation actions in the two biodiversity corridors.
Specifically, their objectives are:
1. Preventing illegal deforestation
2. Preventing the local extinction of species
3. Ensuring compliance with legislation in the agriculture and livestock supply chain
The initiative focuses on two regions of Brazil identified by CI as biodiversity hot spots; they are among 34 areas considered the biologically richest and most threatened in the world, having lost at least 75 percent of their original vegetation. Thus, they are priority areas for conservation actions. The areas also coincide with regions where Monsanto operates and where agribusiness has a significant impact on the environment.
CI is advising Monsanto on ways it can improve its environmental practices in relation to protecting the region. In turn, Monsanto is adopting the conservation of biodiversity in the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest as one of the key elements of its business strategies in the region. As part of the partnership, both institutions are carrying out activities that will produce concrete and measurable results to guarantee the conservation of biodiversity in areas selected as critical by both partners.
This article is excerpted from Monsanto’s 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability Report. The full report can be found at Monsanto.com.