Bonde i Brasil
Photo: Marte Lid/Norad

Increased agricultural productivity with lower net carbon emissions

Technical solutions identified for enhanced productivity without clearing more forest in Brazil.


Fundación Solidaridad Latinoamericana (FSLA)

The purpose of the project was to scale up sustainable land-use solutions to reconcile agricultural expansion and environmental conservation.

Why did Norway decide to support this project?

Land in Brazil is a scarce resource. Agricultural expansion adds pressure on tropical forests and savannah land. FSLA with its partners seek technical solutions which combine economic and environmental sustainability. With FSLA’s experience and promising progress through previous projects, Norad decided to support their work.

The planned outcomes of the projects were

Outcome 1 - Integrated sustainable land-use planning developed in different scales and biomes

Outcome 2 - REDD+ and land-use policies incorporate knowledge and tool associated to Land Neutral Agricultural Expansion and Ecological Restoration (LNAE) and integrated land-use

Outcome 3 - Technical and economic cases for climate smart agriculture techniques developed and disseminated

Outcome 4 - A scalable demonstration of clean beef supply chain is implemented in Alta Floresta – Mato Grosso, serving as reference for producers and the industry

Outcome 5 - Large scale implementation of sustainable solutions via LNAE


While the report concludes that all outcomes have been fully achieved, Norad assesses that outcomes have been partially achieved. Most outputs seem to be fully and successfully achieved as per set targets. Some adjustments have been made during implementation, and the reasons behind re-prioritizations seem well justified.

Research findings, reports and policy recommendations have been disseminated widely to relevant stakeholder groups. Some examples are also given on actual use of the project’s products by the target groups.

However, incorporation of recommendations into actual policies, and their implementation, seems for other components still at intention stage. While solid ground work has been made in the project, it may be too early to fully assess effects on the target groups.

Outcome 1: FSLA with partners has performed technical analysis of sustainable land use and intensified agricultural practices. They have produced three territorial plans for landscapes in two different states (Mato Grosso and São Paulo). These plans have been presented to a variety of stakeholders, including local and state governments, civil society and private sector. According to FSLA’s report, the territorial plans have been well received by the target group and have been used to inform other projects. For example, the Environmental Secretary of São Paolo State has used FSLA’s territorial plan for a watershed to develop a larger-scale state-wide project supported by the World Bank. To what extent the recommendations have led to actual changed land use or agricultural practices in the targeted regions, seems too early to assess.

Outcome 2: FSLA highlights two scientific articles which the project has produced. One was published in the scientific journal Science in 2016, and the other was used by the Ministry of Environment in setting Brazil’s Nationally Determined Contributions presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This seems like a major achievement. Other use of produced technical tools and policy proposals seem still at intention stage.

Outcome 3: All planned outputs, which were reports and presentations of business cases for sustainable agricultural techniques, seem fully achieved. Adoption of recommendations related to improved cattle ranching, seem too early to assess, because research results and their dissemination are still recent. One major achievement was that FSLA’s partner IIS brought its research findings related to commercial restoration of vegetation, into Brazil’s National Plan for Native Vegetation Recovery, which was later signed into law.

Outcome 4: This outcome seems to have been fully achieved. FSLA with its partner ICV has demonstrated intensified beef production with lower green house gas emissions, through partnerships with 38 ranchers covering 2,000 hectares of intensified grazing area, with plans to expand further. One challenge has been access to financing for farmers to scale up demonstration projects. ICV succeeded by building a partnership with Althelia Climate Fund, which lent money to the private company Pecsa, who is also a partner in the project. Another major achievement is an MOU, which was about to be signed, for sale and purchase of sustainably produced beef between Pecsa and Mc Donalds, and between Pecsa and the slaughter house JBS. These achievements are part of a larger programme, called “Programa Novo Campo”, to which other projects funded by other donors also contributed.

Outcome 5: This outcome seems partially achieved. Ultimately, the aim was that good agricultural practices was implemented in 20,000 – 100,000 hectares of land. FSLA reports that 38 farmers with a total of 45,000 hectares are now enrolled in the programme. However, from outcome 4, it is stated that 45,000 hectares is the total area of the grazing land owned by these farmers, while intensified grazing area is actually implemented on 2,000 hectares, with a plan to reach 10,000 hectares by the end of 2017. If financing may be secured, there seem to be promising prospects for expanding sustainable, intensified practices further in the future.


The result descriptions are based on the information provided by the organisations. Their presentations and conclusions do not necessarily reflect the views of Norad. Norad has not verified all results reported.

Published 22.10.2013
Last updated 09.05.2019