Deforestation in the Amazon: Drivers and Policy Solutions


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The Amazon River Basin is home to the largest tropical rainforest on the planet. The Amazon rainforest plays a critical role as a storehouse of carbon and mediator of the global water cycle. It holds a greater share of the world’s known biodiversity than any other ecosystem and is home to millions of people, including uncontacted tribes.

Yet, increasing rates of deforestation put the future of this region at risk. In 2018, Brazil alone lost 800,000 hectares of forest, while deforestation in Colombia and Peru reached record highs in the last two years. The main causes of deforestation vary between countries – from cattle ranching and soy production to infrastructure development, land grabbing, and illegal gold mining.   

A lack of oversight – often due to inadequate resources for environmental regulation – is a pervasive challenge in Amazonian countries, and signs suggest this problem is only growing. In his first months in office, Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, reduced the already strained budgets of national environmental and indigenous offices. In Colombia, the peace agreement with the FARC created a vacuum of governability now occupied by illegal armed groups, resulting in land grabbing.

What are the main drivers of deforestation in the Amazon? Which policies are leading to improvements and what policies are causing a deterioration in forest cover? What are the most important measures that could reduce deforestation in Amazonian countries?

Please join us for an event launching the latest publication by the Inter-American Dialogue in collaboration with the Andes Amazon Fund: Nearing the Tipping Point: Drivers of Deforestation in the Amazon Region.

A light breakfast will be served.

Follow this event on Twitter at #DialogueClimate and @The_Dialogue


Thomas Lovejoy

Professor, George Mason University (@Tom_Lovejoy)

Kristina McNeff

Program Officer, Andes-Amazon Initiative, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation 

Rodrigo Botero

Director, Fundación para la Conservación y el Desarrollo Sostenible (@RodrigoboteroG)

Enrique Ortiz

Program Director, Andes Amazon Fund


Lisa Viscidi 

Program Director, Energy, Climate Change & Extractive Industries, Inter-American Dialogue (@lviscidi)

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