Overlooking vegetation loss outside forests imperils the Brazilian Cerrado and other non-forest biomes
A global emphasis on halting forest loss has failed to recognize the biodiversity and ecosystem service provision of non-forest biomes such as the Brazilian Cerrado. It is urgent to coordinate policy instruments and projects to avoid deforestation and conversion leakage from forests to these ecosystems. These strategies should not only prevent further conversion and loss of natural vegetation but also encompass water resources and fire management, establish ecological corridors, restore converted and degraded lands, and protect the territories of Indigenous peoples and traditional communities.
In this article, we stress the urgent need to address their destruction, including at the upcoming UN Conference of the Parties (COP28), and for coordinated efforts to protect these non-forest ecosystems amid the climate crisis.