Economic Valuation of Deforestation on Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Land

Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Land, Rondônia state
Region & Country

In recent years, deforestation has been threatening the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Land, located in the state of Rondônia. Incentivized to buy from illegal indirect suppliers, the cattle ranching industry is responsible for much of this deforestation as their suppliers continue to convert forested indigenous land into pasture. Deforestation is associated with a reduction in both quantity and quality of clean water supplies, the loss of biodiversity, and a decrease in carbon stock, which affects both regional and global societies.

To address these risks, Conservation Strategy Fund (CSF Brazil), in partnership with the Center for Climate Crime Analysis (CCCA), conducted an economic valuation of the impacts of deforestation of Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous Land by outside cattle ranchers since 2019. 

The study will contribute to the lawsuit by Envol Vert, Sherpa and nine other associations, before the Judicial Court of Saint-Etienne, with the aim of making the Casino Guichard-Perrachon group review and improve upon its surveillance obligations and to compensate for the damage suffered because of their previous non-compliance and lack of vigilance over their beef providers.  

Through geoprocessing, CSF valued the deforested areas within the indigenous land illegally converted into pasture since 2019 at US$5.4 million, or about US$ 9,800 per hectare over 550 hectares of deforestation. CSF valued the losses of various ecosystem services in the deforested areas within the indigenous land, making an important economic case for compensation efforts and the protection of these natural resources. 

Our results were presented in a workshop in December 2021 for the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau indigenous community and its partners. We hope to continue this work with CCCA to expand the methodology developed to value other invaded indigenous areas in Brazil.

Learn more about the Center for Climate Crime Analysis (CCCA) here.

Photo Credit: Uru Eu Wau Wau – Land in dispute, Pulitzer Center / InfoAmazonia, Brazil, 2019