Mato Grosso, Brazil

Challenges · Deforestation · Landscape Restoration · Livestock and Pasture

Landscape Profile

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Mato Grosso, Brazil

Approximate size (hectares)



Dry-summer Subtropical, Tropical Rainforest

Production Systems

Livestock, Soy


Mato Grosso is Brazil’s agricultural giant, producing more soybeans and cattle than any other state in the country. Agriculture is the largest component of Mato Grosso’s economy, representing more than 40% of the state’s GDP. This western state is home to 3 million inhabitants, 3 in 4 of which live in cities. It also has significant natural ecosystems: 60% of its native Amazon rainforests, Cerrado tropical savannahs, and Pantanal tropical wetlands are intact. Expansion of agriculture into these areas in response to rising global demand for commodities has been a significant driver of deforestation. Other challenges include national political and economic instability and limited alignment among policies and market incentives for sustainable production.

Voices From The Field

I am an agronomist with expertise in agri-industrial management based in Cuiabá, Mato Grosso. With over 20 years of combined experience in the Brazilian agri-business sector, I lead the Earth Innovation Institute’s strategy and activities in Brazil to support the transition to large-scale sustainable agriculture model. The territorial approach can promote large-scale impacts at a low cost and in a reasonable timeframe. It provides a framework for bringing the full range of commodity supply chains and land-use activities of a jurisdiction into a sustainable track, improving environmental performance and reducing reputational risks regionally, making entire jurisdictions more attractive for investment and preferential procurement.

João Shimada Researcher and Agro-Commodities Lead, Earth Innovation Institute

Major Successes


Broad coalition involved in improving territorial performance

Since 2013, a broad coalition of diverse Mato Grosso stakeholders, led by Earth Innovation Institute (EII) as part of its Forests, Farms & Finance Initiative (3FI), has implemented a jurisdictional approach to rural development, agriculture, greenhouse gas emission reduction, and ecosystem conservation. Using EII’s Territorial Performance System, partners are advancing a statewide, integrated transition to leverage performance incentives that align private sector initiatives, government policies, international mechanisms, and local activities towards sustainable development.



Identified keys to success in other contexts

EII and its partners hope that this jurisdictional program can be easily adapted in other contexts to support integrated landscape management. Keys to success include strong private sector and government engagement to mutually reinforce a unified system of positive sustainability incentives for producers, developing consensus across sectors on time-bound performance goals and collaborative governance structures, and creating a transparent, reliable online monitoring system.

Working Together

Mato Grosso jurisdictional approach partners include producers, local communities, government agencies, companies, civil society groups, commodity roundtables, and financial institutions. They work together by attending dialogues, developing regional performance goals, establishing incentives for improved outcomes, creating collaborative governance models, initiating pilot projects, and building an online monitoring platform.

To learn more about the project, please visit the Earth Innovation Institute Mato Grosso website.

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