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  • Brazil is home to the largest tracts of tropical vegetation in the world, harbouring high levels of biodiversity and carbon. Several biomass maps have been produced for Brazil, using different approaches and methods, and for different purposes. These maps have been used to estimate historic, recent, and future carbon emissions from land use change (LUC). It can be difficult to determine which map to use for what purpose. The implications of using an unsuitable map can be significant, since the maps have large differences, both in terms of total carbon storage and its spatial distribution. This paper presents comparisons of Brazil's new ‘official’ carbon map; that is, the map used in the third national communication to the UNFCCC in 2016, with the former official map, and four carbon maps from the scientific literature. General strengths and weaknesses of the different maps are identified, including their suitability for different types of studies. No carbon map was found suitable for studies concerned with existing land use/cover (LULC) and LUC outside of existing forests, partly because they do not represent the current LULC sufficiently well, and partly because they generally overestimate carbon values for agricultural land. A new map of aboveground carbon is presented, which was created based on data from existing maps and an up‐to‐date LULC map. This new map reflects current LULC, has high accuracy and resolution (50 m), and a national coverage. It can be a useful alternative for scientific studies and policy initiatives concerned with existing LULC and LUC outside of existing forests, especially at local scales when high resolution is necessary, and/or outside the Amazon biome. We identify five ongoing climate policy initiatives in Brazil that can benefit from using this map.

  • Dentre as diversas barreiras existentes para a implementação eficiente do Código Florestal no país está a falta de informações confiáveis sobre a localização e a extensão dos déficits ambientais, Idificultando o desenvolvimento de políticas públicas e privadas que possam dar suporte ao processo de regularização ambiental. Utilizando os dados recém-liberados pelo SFB, o projeto Atlas – A Geografia da Agropecuária Brasileira gerou pela primeira vez uma base fundiária nacional integrada, que possibilitou a realização de cálculos mais precisos sobre os déficits de APPs e RLs no nível de imóvel rural. Acreditamos que esses novos números podem servir de embasamento para o desenvolvimento dos PRAs estaduais, assim como de outras ações e políticas que interagem e sustentam a implementação da Lei 12.651/2012 no país.

  • Amazonia holds the largest continuous area of tropical forests with intense land use change dynamics inducing water, carbon, and energy feedbacks with regional and global impacts. Much of our knowledge of land use change in Amazonia comes from studies of the Brazilian Amazon, which accounts for two thirds of the region. Amazonia outside of Brazil has received less attention because of the difficulty of acquiring consistent data across countries. We present here an agricultural statistics database of the entire Amazonia region, with a harmonized description of crops and pastures in geospatial format, based on administrative boundary data at the municipality level. The spatial coverage includes countries within Amazonia and spans censuses and surveys from 1950 to 2012. Harmonized crop and pasture types are explored by grouping annual and perennial cropping systems, C3 and C4 photosynthetic pathways, planted and natural pastures, and main crops. Our analysis examined the spatial pattern of ratios between classes of the groups and their correlation with the agricultural extent of crops and pastures within administrative units of the Amazon, by country, and census/survey dates. Significant correlations were found between all ratios and the fraction of agricultural lands of each administrative unit, with the exception of planted to natural pastures ratio and pasture lands extent. Brazil and Peru in most cases have significant correlations for all ratios analyzed even for specific census and survey dates. Results suggested improvements, and potential applications of the database for carbon, water, climate, and land use change studies are discussed. The database presented here provides an Amazon-wide improved data set on agricultural dynamics with expanded temporal and spatial coverage.