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Navigating the (yet) unseen waters of Cerrado, the Brazilian savanna

Water-related conservation efforts, such as the Water Producer Programme, are under way to align ecosystem services maintenance with sustainable agricultural practices in the Cerrado biome.

Cláudia Coleoni, Tomás Carvalho / Published on 22 November 2021

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Coleoni, C. and Carvalho, T. (2021). Navigating the (yet) unseen waters of Cerrado, the Brazilian savanna. Water Science Policy, 2(51).

Home to the headwaters and the largest portion of South American watersheds and the upper catchments of large Amazon tributaries, the Cerrado biome plays a vital role in Brazil’s surface and groundwater availability.

Agribusiness expands at the cost of Cerrado’s biodiversity, leading to ever-increasing deforestation rates that favour a ‘water scarcity’ narrative despite the biome’s ‘water abundance’ potential.

Recently published data from the MapBiomas initiative show that the Cerrado biome lost 1.8 Mi hectares of water surface between 1985 – 2020. However, water-related conservation efforts are under way to fulfil the yet untapped water abundance potential of the Cerrado biome.

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SEI authors

Cláudia Coleoni

Research Associate

SEI Latin America

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