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New platform in Brazil gathers data on the Cerrado

Dunes of Jalapão, in Tocantins. Photo: vanessaobrzut / Pixabay. Source: Mongabay Brazil

per  on 18 February 2021, via Mongabay Brazil

  • Virtual and collaborative tool created by the Federal University of Goiás seeks to gather the largest and oldest collection on the Cerrado already available in the country.

  • The Cerrado Knowledge Platform will always be updated and aims to be a national reference on the biome, to unify access to researchers for the preservation of the biome.
  • Bilingual, the tool includes figures on deforestation, land use, biodiversity and socioeconomics. Users can also contribute by inserting data, maps and geospatial information.
  • Its creators believe that the site can provide solid knowledge to support researchers in public policies or programs for the conservation of a biome that has already lost more than 50% of its native vegetation.

Monitoring the devastation of the Cerrado in recent decades is a necessary exercise, especially since the disappearance of the biome compromises water and food security in Brazil. The most biodiverse savanna on the planet has already lost 55% of its native vegetation and it is surprising that it is better known as the “barn of the world” than for its invaluable socio-environmental contribution.

In an effort to bring accurate data, throw a spotlight on the situation and help make decisions about biome management, the Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory of the Federal University of Goiás (LAPIG / UFG) launched at the end of last year the Cerrado Knowledge Platform.

The virtual, bilingual and collaborative tool allows to chronologically identify the situation of land use and the socioeconomy of the biome, associating physical factors, social and biodiversity data, through the crossing of data, including aerial images.

Image of the Cerrado Knowledge Platform. Source: Mongabay Brazil

The Cerrado urgently needs to be known, only then will we have the chance to save it. Its devastation is the result of public actions and policies, which since 1970 have been transforming the savannah landscape to benefit agribusiness. It is necessary to change this idea of 'granary' that people have about the region ”, says professor Ivanilton Oliveira, director of the Institute of Socioenvironmental Studies at UFG, in which LAPIG is inserted.

From a hydrological point of view, the Cerrado is home to three of the aquifers that supply the country: Guarani, Urucuia and Bambuí. The ecology of the Pantanal, the largest floodplain in the world, depends on the water flowing from the Cerrado, while most of the southern tributaries of the Amazon River also originate in this ecosystem. The biome also provides water for human consumption and agriculture through surface runoff, underground recharge and through flows in the atmosphere for the formation of rain in various regions of the country - a resource benefited by the central location of the Cerrado, connecting several biomes.

The platform, produced with financing from foreign institutions through the Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (CEPF), took about six months to be consolidated. The collective effort involved UFG and several partners, including NGOs, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTIC / Inpe), Public Ministry of Goiás and Mapbiomas.

Divided into three subplatforms - Socio-environmental, Aerial Images and Deforestation -, the site also brings statistical data from 1985 to 2019, geoprocessing tutorials, photo collection and digital library for books and scientific articles related to the biome. All were contributed by public, private, academic and environmental organizations.

In the virtual environment, it is possible to identify, for example, territorial conflicts or conflicts over water in indigenous lands, conservation units, rural properties and quilombola territories, denounced by the Pastoral Land Commission. The tool allows you to view results by state, municipality or geographic location of your own interest.

It is also possible to visualize cartographically a clear division in the current landscape of the biome: the center-south has already been greatly transformed by cattle farming and the expansion of the agricultural frontier (specifying the main types of cultivation), advancing towards the north of the country, especially in the Maranhão, Tocantins, Piauí and Bahia (region known as Matopiba).

Soy cultivation in western Bahia. Photo: Fernanda Ligabue / Greenpeace. Source: Mongabay Brazil

“Swiss Army Knife”

According to Paulo Cícero Lopes, master's student in Geography at Unimontes, in Montes Claros (MG), participating in one of the training courses for using the platform, it is a very solid, intuitive and clear tool for anyone looking for accurate data. “Having everything in an environment only allows analysis not only for environmental organizations, but also for the government, since they are data that can improve the planning of the territory. I would say it is a Swiss army knife: it gives a view of the Cerrado as a whole and will help us to implement the good management we need for the natural resources of this hotspot ”, the forehead.

Manuel Ferreira, professor at UFG and general coordinator of the initiative, reveals that the source of inspiration was Global Forest Watch: “Of course, there are several platforms that provide information about the Cerrado; however, gathering this enormous knowledge on a single platform favors researchers from Brazil and the world in order to find and cross-reference this data more easily ”.

The professor reinforces that the platform is unprecedented in Brazil and reiterates the need for the dissemination and collaboration of agencies and institutions in the constant updating of data:

“In the 'Contribute to the Platform' section, there is a form to be filled out and an environment for uploading files. After an evaluation by our technical team, the material can be made publicly available, accompanied by due credits and context. ”

“Our intention is to be a national reference for those who research the Cerrado. In three months we already have a lot of content, but we count on the contribution of the academic community, public agencies and civil society in favor of the preservation of the biome ”, concludes the professor at UFG.

The creators have already conducted four online training courses to access the tool, which can be accessed on here.

Access the article in the website from Mongabay Brazil.

LAPIG and CEPF Cerrado

Dr. Manuel Ferreira has been working with a team of researchers and civil society institutions on the project. “Cerrado Knowledge Platform”. The project is executed by Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory (LAPIG) and has the support of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF, in English for Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) and Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB) and aims to share data, information and knowledge among various stakeholders in the Cerrado and empower civil society through reliable information and tools for monitoring Cerrado ecosystems.

The Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory (LAPIG) It is linked to the Institute of Social and Environmental Studies (IESA) of the Federal University of Goiás (UFG). Its activities began in 1994 and have since contributed to the elaboration of several monographs, dissertations and theses, as well as offering remote sensing, digital cartography and geographic information systems. In 2010, they started the “Geocourses”, an extension project that offers short and medium courses in the field of geotechnologies, offered to the community in general. The research is an important front for the production and / or organization of geographic and documentary data for territorial and environmental monitoring of Brazilian biomes and their natural and anthropic landscapes.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.


III Technical Training Cerrado Knowledge Platform: Socio-environmental Analysis

Participate in the III Technical Training of the Cerrado Knowledge Platform: Social and Environmental Analysis

🗓️ 26/01 (Tuesday)
🕦 14h & #8211; 5 pm
📺 Live through the Cerrado Knowledge Platform channel on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Cerebr Knowledge PlatformadoFree registration: https://cepf.lapig.iesa.ufg.br /

3-hour certificate issuance

Program content:
• Acquisition of socio-environmental data;
• Land cover and use reports;
• Deforestation reports;
• Vectorization in Google Earth Pro;
• Spatial operations in QGIS;
• Area calculations, and
• Elaboration of maps.Based on the experience of the Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory (LAPIG) at the Federal University of Goiás (www.lapig.iesa.ufg.br), the Cerrado Knowledge Platform gathers in one place a large list of georeferenced data, such as land use, deforestation history, fires, limits of conservation units, hydrographic basins, biodiversity, among many others. Check out!

THE Cerrado Knowledge Platform is a project of the Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory (LAPIG) with support from the Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (CEPF) and the International Education Institute of Brazil (IEB).

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.

LAPIG (UFG) and CEPF Cerrado launch tool for the conservation of the Cerrado on 11/16

The Cerrado Knowledge Platform invites institutions across the country to collaborate with data, avoiding duplication of efforts

by Caroline Pires via UFG & #8211; Goias Federal University

In order to gather and enable easy and intuitive access to reliable information on the Cerrado biome, in addition to offering data on land use, biodiversity and socioeconomics, the Image Processing and Geoprocessing Laboratory (LAPIG / UFG), launches the Cerrado Knowledge Platform next Monday, 16/11, at 10am. The transmission will be made through the Cerrado Knowledge Platform channel at YouTube and it was possible thanks to the partnership with Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund) and Brazilian International Institute of Education (IEB). Those interested in following the launch should sign up for free in this link.

The tool allows researchers from around the world can collaborate with the platform, inserting data, maps, or geospatial information that will provide solid knowledge to support public policies or conservation programs for the conservation of the threatened biome Cerrado. In addition to allowing the sharing of information, the platform provides society with a unified and organized vision of the biome, promoting awareness on the topic. Manuel Ferreira, professor and general coordinator of Cerrado Knowledge Platform, explains that there are several data platforms that provide geographic information about different biomes. However, many times this huge volume of information from public, private, non-governmental organizations does not communicate. “Therefore, the importance of encouraging this sharing, to avoid duplication of efforts in the same direction. We want this information to assist projects in the Cerrado, gathering data and favoring access & #8221;, he highlighted.

The teacher's expectation is that the Platform will be permanently established for receive data from the most diverse research and institutions. “This collaboration between researchers and institutions promotes a culture of collaboration that in fact generates a positive result for the conservation of the Cerrado biome”, concluded.

Culture change

In addition to being a tool that offers data in an open and easily accessible way, to provide society with reliable information about the Cerrado biome, the platform values the cooperation and dissemination of science among society in general. The tool will already be launched with information on the biome from the LAPIG database and partner institutions of the laboratory. & #8220; As the platform brings information in the form of maps, graphs and tutorials, we believe that we can also sensitize managers, government programs, to reverse processes related to the reduction of water resources, losses of biodiversity, or soil contamination, for example ”, he stated. Finally, Manuel Ferreira stressed the need for more and more partners to collaborate to strengthen the Platform and its effective performance. “Our main objective is to protect the Cerrado biome, which is seriously threatened with extinction and which has faced so much damage”, he defended. According to him, the permanent feeding of the database is fundamental for the social impact and success of the project.

Protection of threatened biomes

The Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (CEPF, in its acronym in English) acts worldwide, favoring the transfer of resources, aiming at promoting changes in society, with the objective of protecting critical and threatened areas. In Brazil, CEPF works through the International Education Institute of Brazil (IEB).

The International Institute of Education of Brazil (IEB) is a Brazilian non-economic association, headquartered in Brasilia, founded in November 1998, with the mission of strengthening social actors and their role in building a fair and sustainable society. The IEB stands out on the national scene for being dedicated to training and qualifying people and strengthening organizations in various aspects and themes related to the environment, development and sustainability.

The LAPIG competed in 2018 for the institution's public notice with the proposal of adding information produced in the Cerrado Biome and for its preservation. “The platform will also be very useful to assist other projects financed by CEPF, which need a computational environment with a sufficiently robust structure to receive and make available the data and information produced. Our goal is to prevent information from being literally lost or shelved in institutions ”, he concluded.

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a joint initiative of the French Development Agency, Conservation International, the European Union, Global Environmental Management, the Government of Japan and the World Bank. A key goal is to ensure that civil society is involved in biodiversity conservation.