Abstract Brazil’s Midwest is composed of four biomes: the Cerrado, predominant in the region; the Pantanal, the largest wetland in the world; the Amazon, which occupies part of Mato Grosso; and the Atlantic Forest. The objective of this study was to identify the evolution of occupation and use of land in the rural settlements of the Brazilian Midwest depending on the biome of location. A total of 54 settlements distributed in the four biomes of the region were analyzed using direct observation and Landsat images from the years 2004 and 2014. Using the software QGIS 2.8 Wien, the vegetation indices NDVI and NDWI were used to classify agricultural, pasture and forest areas by biome. Native vegetation is declining in most of the analyzed settlements and pastures, for milk production, occupied the largest area. Between 2004 and 2014, pasture areas expanded to the detriment of forests. Although they have the highest percentage of environmental preservation areas, the settlements we analyzed in the Amazon biome do not comply with legislation. Part of the forest in these settlements was transformed into areas of bushy cerrado. However, there was an increase in forests in the settlements of the Atlantic Forest biome.
Abstract Brazil’s Midwest is composed of four biomes, the Cerrado (Brazilian savannah), predominant in the region; the Pantanal, the largest irrigated plain on the planet; the Amazon biome; and the Atlantic Forest. The Midwest is the largest producer of grains and livestock in Brazil, activities that have a negative impact on environmental preservation. Agrarian reform redistributes land and reinforces small family farming, which many authors consider as favorable to environmental protection. The objective of this study is to characterize the impact of agrarian reform on environmental preservation and agriculture on each biome of the Brazilian Midwest. Fifty-four settlements were surveyed using direct observation and Landsat images available for the year 2014. QGIS software 2.8 Wien was applied to calculate NDVI and NDWI vegetation indices to classify areas of agriculture, pasture, and environmental preservation. Pasture and savannah land occupy the largest areas in all biomes, with the main human activity based on livestock. Most settlements in the Midwest lead to small-scale activities such as dairy farming and polyculture, practices that differ from large-scale farming based on monoculture, and are more favorable to environmental protection.
Abstract The Midwest region of Brazil has a high concentration of land and is the primary producer of grains and livestock in the country, activities with a negative impact on environment. Agrarian reform allows redistribution of land and reinforces family agriculture, which is considered to be favorable to environmental protection. The aim of this study was to use field and remote observations to verify the evolution of environmental preservation and land use in rural settlements in the Midwest region of Brazil. 54 settlements distributed in the region were analyzed. We used images from Landsat 5 satellite obtained by the Thematic Mapper sensor in 2004 and images from Landsat 8 satellite from 2014. The NDVI and NDWI vegetation indexes were used to classify urban, agricultural, pasture, savannah and forest areas. Forests declined in all states, however Mato Grosso, the only one with Amazonian forest, where settlements presented lowest compliance with environmental legislation. The evolution indicates the transformation of forest areas into savannah. Settlers predominantly engage in dairy farming, which requires large areas of land and thus exerts significant pressure on the environment. Productive areas are poorly exploited, and better technical assistance could have a significant impact on environmental protection.