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To examine the role of the international community in shaping Latin America’s environmental agenda, the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program and its Brazil Institute, the Environmental Change and Security Program, China Environment Forum, and Global Europe Program launched a collaborative research project in 2020, Latin America’s Environmental Policies in Global Perspective.

The latest paper in this series explores the role of agricultural commodities in South America and their influence on accelerating deforestation. The author is André Vasconcelos, a senior associate at Global Canopy and Trase, an organization tracking issues of supply chain sustainability.  Vasconcelos examines the environmental impacts of soy and beef production in Uncovering the Deforestation and Climate Risks of Chinese and EU Soy and Beef Imports.  He argues that current efforts to address deforestation are focused largely on the Amazon region while ignoring other important, highly diverse biomes. He argues that shifting targets to combat deforestation to “specific production regions" offers a "strategic opportunity" for Chinese and European buyers to address the environmental impacts of large-scale beef and soy production.   

About the Author

André Vasconcelos Headshot

André Vasconcelos

Senior Research Associate, Global Canopy and Trase
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Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Brazil Institute

The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors.  Read more

Environmental Change and Security Program

The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy.  Read more

Global Europe Program

The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, U.S.-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. It does this through scholars-in-residence, seminars, policy study groups, media commentary, international conferences and publications. Activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The program investigates European approaches to policy issues of importance to the United States, including globalization, digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance, and relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.  Read more

China Environment Forum

Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge U.S.-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues.  Read more