Brazil to Count Every Tree in its Rainforests in Massive Census

Written by Jaymi Heimbuch

How do you conserve something that you aren’t sure is there? The answer is simple: go make sure you know what’s there. That’s why Brazil is starting a massive census of its rainforest trees, counting each and every one so that it knows what is there and thus how to conserve the forests.

The AFP reports, “The planned tree census, set to take four years, ‘will allow us to have a broad panorama of the quality and the conditions in the forest cover,’ the ministry said in a statement. The head of the national forest service said that the survey will provide a detailed knowledge of the rainforest, which has been under environmental threat from logging and climate change.”

So how does a team even begin such a monumental task?

Fast Company writes, “Teams sent across Brazil’s 3,288,000 square miles, encompassing about half of the world’s remaining tropical forest, will sample about 20,000 points at 20-kilometer intervals. Researchers will log the number, height, diameter, and species of trees, along with soil types, biomass carbon stocks, and even local people’s interactions with the forest at each site. Once completed, it will the most comprehensive national inventory in Brazil since 1983.”

The entire effort is part of Brazil’s plan to reduce its 2004 deforestation rates by 80% by 2020. But it has to know what all is there, where, what it needs and how it is threatened in order to reach such an ambitious and important goal. In 2010, a study led by Brazil’s National Institute of Special Research noted that half of the Amazon could be gone by 2050, which would be the tipping point beyond which the rainforests could never recover. So a census of this scale and the ensuing conservation measures couldn’t be coming at a more important moment.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: jkvill1/flickr


Jav R.
Jav R4 years ago

Bien por ellos. Suerte

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Waheeda S.
Waheeda E4 years ago

What a great (and challenging) project! Good luck to them.

Lynda Duke
Lynda Duke4 years ago

This reflects on the story above about Peru and the Amazon being sold out for oil.

The President is counting every tree before destroying the entire rain forest, for oil. Count every tree Madame President, make sure you get every dollar on every tree, and make sure you run off the indigenous people who live there, all 40,000 of them. Make sure you get every penny. And maybe one day you will learn, YOU CAN'T EAT MONEY!

rene davis
irene davis4 years ago

good on them!

Vicky P.
Vicky P4 years ago

that will be a bit tough, but good for them, as long as they don't destroy it once they are done

Milan L.
Milan L4 years ago must be this darned Old Age ! My brain is slowing down. It only just occurred to me that quite possibly this whole Tree Census idea is a brainchild of the Logging Monster. Brilliant ! Get all the information you need to find the best areas for future logging sites and let the Brazillian Taxpayer foot the bill. Pure Genius !

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson4 years ago

that willtake a while...

Anna Undebeck
Anna Undebeck4 years ago

One can only hope for the best. Thank you, good reading!

Milan L.
Milan L4 years ago

(contd.) - I end by restating my previous prediction: This is a Flim-Flam, a Public Relations Exercise and we shall hear very little more about it.