Nature Fuels Our Economy

Sustainable soy production is a profitable choice for Brazil's forests and its farmers.

Luciane Copetti serves as the secretary of the environment in Lucas do Rio Verde, a city in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Along with her husband and grown children, she also grows soy and other crops on a large farm outside the city.

All regions of Brazil grow soybeans, but the state of Mato Grosso is responsible for 27 percent of national production and contributes 8 percent of all soybeans produced globally.

The soy grown in Mato Grosso is turned into many products – everything from animal food to biodiesel.

Increasingly, corporations are demanding soy that is grown sustainably. In Brazil, one important element of this equation is to grow soy in compliance with the Forest Code.

The Forest Code is national policy. It requires producers to set aside and care for certain percentages of their land in order to retain habitat for wildlife and allow nature to clean air and water.

Working with partners and producers like Luciane, the Conservancy created CARGEO, software that allows producers to map, evaluate and register their properties in the Environmental Rural Registry (CAR), recover degraded areas and certify compliance with the Forest Code.

“We need to use technology so that we can increase production without having a negative effect on the environment, without opening new areas. Today, this technology is available to us.” – Luciane Copetti

This mapping tool was piloted and refined in Luciane’s community, and it has now been adopted at the national level.

“It was a home-style recipe, a practical recipe, a recipe of 'let’s make it happen.' And we can see that this work has been disseminated. I love being part of the history of Lucas do Rio Verde and having done that with the Conservancy´s help.” – Luciane Copetti

“There is no way for you to be on this planet and not take care of it. You are part of it, it is your home—so, it is important that you take care of it.”– Luciane Copetti


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