News




Holly Gibbs' new study published in the journal Conservation Letters highlights the response of JBS slaughterhouses and ranchers to the Zero-Deforestation Cattle Agreements in the Brazilian Amazon state of Pará. These agreements were signed starting in 2009, and now include 2/3 of federally inspected slaughterhouses in the Legal Amazon.  The study was led by a team of colleagues in the U.S. and Brazil including the National Wildlife Federation and Imazon.  

Summary of findings: 
• Slaughterhouses significantly changed purchase criteria, and now avoid buying from ranches with deforestation (36% of suppliers with deforestation before agreements, down to 4% after the agreements)
• Supplying ranchers quickly registered their property boundaries with the rural environmental registry (CAR) within months of the agreements (2-3 years prior to neighboring properties)
• Ranchers selling to JBS after the agreements had 50% lower deforestation rates than those selling only prior to the agreements.
• Despite these achievements, the outcomes for forest conservation are limited by the narrow scope of the agreements, which opens the door to laundering and leakage. 
• Among the solutions: i) monitoring systems for all slaughterhouses; ii) expand to include all ranches in the supply chain including including calving and breeding ranches; iii) and continued investment in the quality and transparency of public information by the cattle industry and government. 

Read the Article
Read more background info
Read Press Coverage: Thomson Reuters Foundation; ClimateWire

(5/12/15)




Jonathan Patz co-authored an op-ed published on Grist.com "Doctors are already seeing links between climate change and their patients’ health" (5/5/15)





Read the Huffington Post Blog by Jonathan Patz and Jason Vargo "Sustainable Cities Work for Climate Change" (4/29/15)






Maggie Grabow has won a fellowship in the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health to work on mindfulness and climate change (a project linking human behavior and actions toward low-carbon lifestyle). (4/25/15)




Valerie Stull won a Fulbright Student Award for her dissertation on meal-worms and sustainable agriculture and nutrition. (4/25/15)


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Weston Roundtable Lecture Series

The Weston Roundtable is a weekly lecture series with on- and off-campus leaders in sustainability science, engineering, and policy. The unique, discussion-heavy format aims to build a community around policy-relevant sustainability science and engineering topics. The weekly 4:15-5:15 PM meeting includes a 40-45 minute presentation, followed by 15-20 minutes of discussion. Each meeting is preceded by coffee, tea, cookies, and conversation. All lectures are free and open to the public.

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Weston Roundtable Lecture series will resume in the fall semester.

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