Brazil International Field Experience – 2013
In January 2013, a team of graduate students and professionals traveled to the state of Pará in the Northern Amazon Basin to examine the partnership built between The Nature Conservancy’s Amazon Program, Cargill, local soy producers, and the state environmental agency to develop the Responsible Soy Program. This program has developed a series of tools and strategies to expand soy production in the region while simultaneously reducing the state’s record high rates of illegal deforestation. The team had an opportunity to meet with high-level representatives from each of the key stakeholder groups with the goal of developing a comprehensive documentation of this partnership, particularly how it has evolved over the last five years (since the last case study was published). The team’s findings were remarkable! The Responsible Soy Program has essentially served as the catalyst for a much wider range of initiatives than any of us had realized. In fact, one of the most successful elements of the program was incorporated into the most recent version of the federal Forest Code enacted in 2012.