World Rainforest Movement

Brazil: Large landholders, the main cause of deforestation in the Amazon


A study conducted by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) of Sweden reveals that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, which had been curbed for almost a decade, began to increase again in 2013. While earlier studies pointed to the expansion of forested frontiers by peasant farmers and small-scale ranchers, this study demonstrates that those primarily responsible for deforestation are large landholders. In an interview with the newspaper “El País”, the head author of the research study explained, “Smallholders maintain the land better. They clear smaller areas with no edge-related impacts or effects; the surrounding area is less prone to drought and closes faster.” In the meantime, large-scale cattle ranchers and soybean growers cause 80% of deforestation.

See article in Portuguese at:

and full study at: