Thanks to Anthropocene for a moment of relief:
by Emma Bryce | May 5, 2017
For such a tiny bean, soy has done a huge amount of damage, destroying untold hectares of South American rainforest over the decades.In the mid-2000s the situation became so dire that the soy industry brought in the Soy Moratorium. This ambitious policy is designed to stop companies from buying soy grown on land that was newly deforested in Brazil after 2006. Now a PLOS One study, led by University of Kansas researchers, shows that despite lurking skepticism, the moratorium appears to have worked, bringing about reduced deforestation rates in one of the Amazon’s most intensively-farmed states…
…Of course, deforestation is still a complex and ongoing problem. The researchers note, for instance, that even if it’s being driven less by soy production, there’s still an incentive to keep on clearing forest in order to grow other crops—which continues to happen on some soy farms.
Nevertheless, the study comes at an opportune time: in May 2016 the soy industry decided to renew the Soy Moratorium indefinitely. This research provides at least some valuable, data-driven evidence that the policy is worth its salt.
Source: Kastens et al. “Soy moratorium impacts on soybean and deforestation dynamics in Mato Grosso, Brazil.” PLOS One. 2017.
Read the whole summary here.