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By Wayne Balta

After years of progress, deforestation of the Amazon basin in Brazil has increased for the past two years running. It rose by 29% in the last recorded year, according to a recent report from the Brazilian government.

The Nature Conservancy, which is the largest environmental advocacy group in the world, has adopted a promising approach to addressing deforestation, which it calls “conservation with development.”

The strategy is starting to show signs of working in the Amazon. Rather than focusing just on preserving land or enacting and enforcing preservation laws, TNC is working with government, businesses and landowners to safeguard the natural environment while addressing economic realities. Countries need to grow their economies and individuals need to make a living.

At IBM, we believe that effective and sustainable solutions to environmental challenges must come through the collaboration of governments, businesses and civic groups. That’s one of the reasons we are so pleased to be collaborating with TNC on one of its key initiatives in the Amazon.

Ten IBMers participating in our pro-bono Corporate Service Corps program recently spent one month in Belem, Brazil, helping TNC further develop a land management tool the organization has created to help municipalities enforce and landowners comply with Brazil’s Forest Code.

TNC hopes that the system, called PAM, can ultimately become a forest management tool used by governments and other stakeholders in rainforest regions around the globe.

In addition to the PAM system, TNC is developing programs in the Amazon aimed at helping farmers and ranchers make their existing cleared land more productive so they’re not pressured to cut more trees.

In one program, called Sustainable Beef, TNC works with large purchasers of cattle who have committed to reducing deforestation and have begun buying only from ranchers who are in compliance with the Forest Code. In addition, TNC helps the ranchers learn more sustainable cattle-raising techniques and encourages government programs that provide incentives for land owners who are in compliance.

Wayne Balta, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Product Safety, IBM

Wayne Balta, Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Product Safety, IBM

We at IBM are thrilled to be collaborating with TNC on its Amazon initiatives. I hope that out of this comes an increased understanding of why rainforests matter. I’d like to see an increased understanding of how information technology can play an essential role in solving our global environmental challenges. And, finally, I hope this collaboration serves as an example to others showing how cooperation between businesses and environmental advocates can help make progress on environmental issues.

In the rainforest, and elsewhere around the world, we shouldn’t see nature and development as necessarily being in conflict with one another.  It’ s not an either/or proposition. We must safeguard the environment even as we promote economic growth for societies and individuals everywhere. That’s the balanced approach to dealing with deforestation and other environmental challenges.

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June 11, 2016
9:42 am

Forests are a common heritage for all

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May 21, 2016
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Posted by: mobogenie pc
January 6, 2016
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Posted by: Alex
July 21, 2015
1:24 am

It is not easy for a government to curb deforestation more so where the land is getting scarce and scarce and citizens are looking for areas to settle down. It is a fight which a government is yet to win.

Posted by: paul
May 8, 2015
7:40 am

Brazil once had the highest deforestation rate in the world and in 2005 still had the largest area of forest removed annually.After years of gains against destruction of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil appears to be suffering from an increase in deforestation as farmers.

Posted by: Rehabilitation Centre
January 27, 2015
1:33 pm

The rain forest must be protected!

Posted by: Joe Watson
January 6, 2015
10:41 am

Brazil’s Forest Code places environmental requirements on private landowners to maintain forest and requires that they register their land with the government. Brazil maintains a remote sensing program to detect deforestation (PRODES and DETER). Essentially the PAM is a tool to bring together the legal requirements, the property location and the monitoring data so the user can diagnose its legal status. This information is also useful to companies who only want to source commodities such as beef or soy from farmers who meet the environmental law or at least are not actively breaking it by illegally clearing forest on their land.
Its aim is to help in particular municipal governments to actively manage land use and ilegal deforestation.

Posted by: Ian
December 12, 2014
7:23 pm

very nice

Posted by: خرید کریو
December 3, 2014
2:49 pm

I’m glad IBM is involved and helping The Nature Conservancy. I would like to know a little about what PAM actually does besides being a “land management tool.”

Posted by: HKGarner
December 3, 2014
1:40 am

Really impressed to hear og great efforts taken by IBM in collaborating with TNC in deploying PAM for management of resources for preservation of eco-system !!!

Three cheers guys !!! Get going with the good work …

Posted by: Pradeep Gupta
December 2, 2014
10:07 am

Wonderful news that IBM is involved in this crucial endeavor to assist in the preservation of the ecosystem !
Would love to know more about PAM if possible.

Posted by: Sushmita Senmajumdar
December 1, 2014
8:31 pm

its amazing! perhaps deploying PAM system to other countries as well. my country is facing this at the moment, deforestation.

Posted by: Elizabeth Fay
December 1, 2014
2:12 am


Posted by: andi
November 28, 2014
5:29 am

Thats really great.Heart warming to know that techies not only talk about shrinking forests ,nature and species that everybody does, but they get involved to stop such a devastating thing from happening.

Posted by: Anubhav Srivastava
November 26, 2014
9:11 am

Great..This is outstanding and magnificent. Safeguarding nature is the very very essential for a healthy life of Human beings and 8.7 million species.

Posted by: Jitendranath Palem
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