Sugarcane Landscapes in Brazil

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1 Sugarcane Landscapes in Brazil Dismantling the Myths and Facing the Realities Alexandre Strapasson Imperial College London Sugarcane Landscapes Workshop University College London, 6 th July 2016

2 What defines a rural landscape? Source: Strapasson

3 A rural landscape comprises multiple interconnected variables, including not only bio-physical features, but also social, cultural, technological, political and economic aspects. Living organisms Economics Physical features Landscape Technology Social Politics Culture

4 Sugarcane landscape in Brazil Key figures for the 2016/17 national forecast by Conab: 9 Mha of sugarcane fields 691 Mt of cane being harvested 37.5 million tons of sugar (+12% over 2015/2016) 30.3 billion litres of ethanol (no signif. variation over 2015/2016) Sugarcane annual GDP: approx. US$ 50 billion Number of jobs: approx. 1 million people 387 operational mills (several shut down in recent years)

5 Sugarcane mills and production fields Average mill size (crushing capacity): about 2 million t y -1 Area of sugarcane influence around the mill: 40 km max.

6 Land use in Brazil Source: Strapasson (2014), adapted from Strapasson et al. (2012), with data from MAPA, Conab and IBGE.

7 Main land use variables Total food consumed per person Meat consumed per person Crop yields Livestock yields Bioenergy yields and forms Sustainable use of freed-up lands Use of wastes and residues Land multiuse Source: Strapasson et al. (2014)

8 Land multiuse Multiple cropping systems Land use integration systems Source: Strapasson et al. (2016)

9 Amazon deforestation MAIN DEFORESTATION DRIVERS: Illegal logging Land grabbing (tenure rights) Livestock production (cattle) - extensive

10 Sugarcane ethanol vs Amazon deforestation Source: Strapasson (2014), using official data from INPE (2014) and MAPA (2014)

11 Energy cane: a new paradigm ahead? Energy cane vs. conventional cane Yield per hectare: Source: IAC and Folha de São Paulo (2015)

12 Integration of sugarcane co-products Leftovers Source of carbon, soil protection and fertilising effect Bagasse Source of energy (CHP systems) Vinasses (industrial liquid residue) Source of nutrients, mainly Potassium

13 New Forest Code (federal law) New rules for forest reserves: - legal reserve (farm level) - environmental preservation area (APA) - permanent preservation area (APP) - national parks - indigenous reserves Creates the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR - Cadastro Ambiental Rural): farmer s responsibility to inform land use inventory to legal authorities.

14 Main land use planning systems - Ecological-Economic Zoning (EEZ): for strategic planning - Climatic Risk Zoning: for agricultural financing - Agro-Ecological Zoning (ZAE): for guiding the expansion of certain crops (only sugarcane and oil palm so far)

15 Sugarcane Agro-ecological Zoning in Brazil Restricted areas for the sugarcane expansion in Brazil: Amazon and Pantanal (swampland) biomes Lands with any kind of native vegetation (incl. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest) Lands without soil and climate favourable conditions Lands that would require full irrigation systems for producing sugarcane Land slope > 12%, in order to stimulate mechanical harvest Protected areas and indigenous reserves Lands with high conservation value for biodiversity (UN concept)

16 Sugarcane Agro-ecological Zoning in Brazil LEGAL FRAMEWORK: Presidential Decree 6.961/2009; MAPA Normative Instruction 57/2009; Bacen(Central Bank of Brazil) Resolutions 3.813/09 and 3.814/09; Federal Law Project 6.077/2009; Ministerial Decree 333/2007 (Portaria MAPA). Total potential for sugarcane: 64 million ha Current sugarcane area: approx. 9 million ha Brazilian territory: 851 million ha Since its implementation in 2009, all the new sugarcane industries installed in Brazil have been attending this zoning in full compliance to the Brazilian legislation. Source: MAPA & Embrapa (2009)

17 Sugarcane landscapes and the green-hubbert model For oil reserves, M. King Hubbert proposed in the 1950s a bell curve to describe a potential peak oil over time. The Hubbert s model is quite controversial, but it shows reasonable accuracy when the oil reserves and their exploitation rate are well known Would it make sense to think about land as a finite resource and therefore a green -Hubbert curve for its exploration over time for bioenergy purposes under zoning schemes?

18 The green-hubbert Model Land use allocation for bioenergy production (S curve):!" # = &. ()* (, - -/ ) 1 + ()* (, - -/ ) gh s = green-hubbert S-curve Z = land suitable for sustainable bioenergy production t = reference date (year) tm = date at midpoint (year) b = factor describing the slope of the curve Land Use Change (LUC) for bioenergy production (bell curve):!" 345 = & ( "(, - -/ ) gh LUC = green-hubbert Land Use Change curve Source: Strapasson (2014)

19 green-hubbert model simulation for sugarcane expansion in Brazil Land use curves for the expansion of sugarcane in Brazil, using the green-hubbert Model Source: Strapasson (2014)

20 green-hubbert model simulation for sugarcane expansion in Brazil Land use change curves for the expansion of sugarcane in Brazil, with historical moving average data (12 years), using the green-hubbert Model Source: Strapasson (2014)

21 KEY MESSAGES 1. Sugarcane is just part of a complex land use system and is far to be a relevant driver of deforestation in Brazil, at least not to date. 2. Sugarcane fields in Brazil could be better integrated in the regional landscapes, increasing the provision of ecosystem services, and biodiversity. 3. Sugarcane sector in Brazil is still under a severe crisis motivated by several political and economic issues, but it may gradually recover in the long term, given to the positive fundamentals of this sector in a global perspective. 4. The Brazilian experience has valuable lessons that could be adopted and adapted by other countries, but respecting their different interests and contexts.

22 Thank you Dr Alexandre Strapasson Imperial College London Centre for Environmental Policy Centre for Energy Policy and Technology 14 Prince s Gardens, London SW7 1NA Harvard University (from Sep 2016) Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs Webpage:

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