New platform gathers data on Brazil’s disappearing Cerrado biome

New platform gathers data on Brazil’s disappearing Cerrado biome

Monitoring the ongoing deforestation of the Cerrado, the vast savanna scrubland that abuts the Amazon in Brazil, has become increasingly essential in recent decades. This biome, the most biodiverse savanna on the planet, has already lost 55% of its native vegetation, and its degradation poses water and food security issues for Brazil. Surprisingly, it is better known as the “granary of the world” than for its invaluable socio-environmental contribution. The clearing of the Cerrado is driven primarily by cattle pasture and soybean plantations. In an effort to provide accurate data, shed light on the situation and help in decision-making about the biome’s management, researchers at the Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory of the Federal University of Goiás (Lapig/UFG) launched the Cerrado Knowledge Platform at the end of last year. By crossing data that include aerial images, the online, bilingual and collaborative tool helps to chronologically identify the biome’s land use and socioeconomic status, associating physical factors, social data and biodiversity data. Snapshot of the Cerrado Knowledge Platform. “The Cerrado needs to be urgently known; only then we might be able to save it,” says Ivanilton Oliveira, a professor and director of UFG’s Institute of Socioenvironmental Studies, which includes Lapig. “Its devastation is the result of public actions and policies, which have been transforming the savanna’s landscape for the benefit of agribusiness since 1970. We have to change people’s views about the region as a ‘granary.’” From a hydrological point of view, the Cerrado is home to three aquifers that supply…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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