The EU and UK’s deforestation-free supply chains regulation:Implications for Brazil

This paper analyses the potential implications of the proposed European Union Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) and the recently adopted United Kingdom (UK) legislation on deforestation-free supply chains (henceforth ‘the legislation’) for different stakeholders in Brazil. These regulations intend to address global commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation by ensuring that targeted commodities and products placed on (or exported from) markets are of minimal risk of being associated with - in the EU - deforestation and forest degradation or - in the UK - illegal deforestation.

Conflicts and opportunities for commercial tree plantation expansion and biodiversity restoration across Brazil

Substantial global restoration commitments are occurring alongside a rapid expansion in land-hungry tropical commodities, including to supply increasing demand for wood products. Future commercial tree plantations may deliver high timber yields, shrinking the footprint of production forestry, but there is an as-yet unquantified risk that plantations may expand into priority restoration areas, with marked environmental costs. Focusing on Brazil—a country of exceptional restoration importance and one of the largest tropical timber producers—we use random forest models and information on the economic, social, and spatial drivers of historic commercial tree plantation expansion to estimate and map the probability of future monoculture tree plantation expansion between 2020 and 2030.

Yield increases mediated by pollination and carbon payments can offset restoration costs in coffee landscapes

Ecological restoration is vital for reversing biodiversity loss and climate change but faces cost-related implementation challenges, hampering global restoration efforts. Identifying when restoration within agricultural landscapes provides financial benefits—either by increasing crop yields or providing carbon credits—is imperative. Here, we developed restoration scenarios and estimated their financial outcomes to understand conditions where coffee yield and carbon-credit-derived restoration benefits compensate restoration costs in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest hotspot. We found that costs can be balanced by yield increases when farms already have >10% forest cover and restoration targets are below 25% forest cover.

Quantify wild areas that optimize agricultural yields

We contend that the sustainable management of agricultural landscapes depends on quantifying the impact of their areas of natural habitat on biodiversity and food production. This quantification at the landscape scale will account for the yield lost by taking land out of production.

Evidence of time-lag in the provision of ecosystem services by tropical regenerating forests to coffee yields

Abstract Restoration of native tropical forests is crucial for protecting biodiversity and ecosystem functions, such as carbon stock capacity. However, little is known about the contribution of early stages of forest regeneration to crop productivity through the enhancement of ecosystem services, such as crop pollination and pest control. Using data from 610 municipalities along the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (30 m spatial resolution), we evaluated if young regenerating forests (YRFs) (less than 20 years old) are positively associated with coffee yield and whether such a relationship depends on the amount of preserved forest in the surroundings of the coffee fields.

Agricultural certification as a complementary tool for environmental law compliance

Abstract Agricultural sustainability standards are an important way of reducing commodity expansion’s pressures on biodiversity. Despite the increase of global area under certification and mounting evidence of positive socioeconomic outcomes, certification-derived conservation benefits are less clear. We applied a robust counterfactual approach with a difference-in-difference methodology to quantify the environmental consequences of certification in one of the largest coffee-producing areas in the world, in southern Brazil, within the Atlantic Forest and Cerrado biomes.

Nine actions to successfully restore tropical agroecosystems

Abstract Well-designed approaches to ecological restoration can benefit nature and society. This is particularly the case in tropical agroecosystems, where restoration can provide substantial socioecological benefits at relatively low costs. To successfully restore tropical agroecosystems and maximise benefits, initiatives must begin by considering ‘who’ should be involved in and benefit from restoration, and ‘what’, ‘where’, and ‘how’ restoration should occur. Based on collective experience of restoring tropical agroecosystems worldwide, we present nine actions to guide future restoration of these systems, supported by case studies that demonstrate our actions being used successfully in practice and highlighting cases where poorly designed restoration has been damaging.

Private reserves suffer from the same location biases of public protected areas

Abstract Setting aside private land is an essential component of the biodiversity crisis response. In Brazil, landowners are required to have Legal Reserves (LR) (20%–80% of their property set aside for native vegetation) which, if degraded, need to be restored. Alternatively, landowners can compensate for an LR deficit by purchasing surplus credits. Each landowner can define the location and spatial arrangement of their LR, affecting the reserve’s ability to maintain biodiversity and provide ecosystem services (ES).

Lack of evidence of edge age and additive edge effects on carbon stocks in a tropical forest

Abstract Despite the importance of tropical forest fragmentation on carbon balance, most of our knowledge comes from few sites in the Amazon and disregard long-term underlying processes related to landscape configuration. Accurate estimation of fragmentation effects should account for additive edge effects and edge age. Here we investigated those effects on C stock and forest structure (density, height, basal area) in fragments (13 to 362ha) of forest with≥70years old, surrounded by pasture, in the Brazilian Atlantic forest region.

Gaps and limitations in the use of restoration scenarios: a review

Abstract The use of scenarios to evaluate restoration effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES) is fundamental to improve restoration practices. Here we developed a systematic review to verify the existence of gaps and limitations in the use of scenarios for environmental restoration, and assess the state of the science of “restoration scenarios” and implications for future research. From 419 studies reviewed, most were held in developed countries, using exploratory scenarios at the regional scale, actively restoring ES and habitat at “habitat, ecosystems or communities” at landscape level, targeting forests and fragmented landscapes.

Best practice for the use of scenarios for restoration planning

Abstract Scenarios are important tools to facilitate the communication among scientists, practitioners, and decision-makers, and, thus to support policy and management decisions. The use of scenarios has an enormous potential to reduce ecosystem restoration costs and to optimize benefits, but this potential remains poorly explored. Here, we recommend and illustrate six best practices to guide the use of scenarios for planning native ecosystem restoration. We argue, first, for a participatory process to consider aspirations of multiple stakeholders along the whole scenario building process, from planning to implementation and review phases.