Palm oil expansion on degraded land for biodiesel production: a case study in Pará state, Brazil

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Biodiesel development in Brazil is a key factor for the environment and sustainable development of the country, especially palm oil due to its high productivity when compared with other oil seeds. Palm oil production in Brazil is about to increase and the government has launched programs in order to plan this expansion in a sustainable way by avoiding deforestation, focusing on social inclusion and directing crops only to degraded land. Brazil has plenty of degraded land as well as suitable environmental conditions; however, deforestation is a big concern and, because of that, strong land-use management criteria are necessary. This paper assesses the palm oil status in Brazil, focusing on Pará state, and also looks at future expansion, taking into account new government policies. This paper develops a discussion regarding land availability and distribution in the hot spot of palm oil production, as well as related impacts.

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