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


Jonathan Patz co-authored an op-ed published on "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)


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.

Location: 1106 Mechanical Engineering, 1513 University Avenue, unless otherwise noted

Weston Roundtable Lecture series will resume in the fall semester.

View all Weston speakers
View past and present WEBCASTS

Contact Carol Barford for more information

For email updates of SAGE events, email Mary Sternitzky with "Join SAGE Friends List" in the subject line.

Are you a SAGE alum? (Or interested in where we go after UW?) Visit our Alumni page, and send us your current info!

Updated: 5/12/15

SAGE is a Research Center of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Contact us with feedback, questions or accessibility issues

Copyright © 2015 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System