Total Land Area [1]
277,621 km² 68.8 % Forest
Deforestation Trend
46.6 % 2017
Original Forest Area [2]
278,421 km²
Current Forest Area [3]
191,073 km² 1.337 % of Global Total
Total Area Deforested
87,348 km²
Total Forest Carbon
17 M MtC 0.011 % of Global Total
Description [4]

Tocantins is the most recent state in the twenty-seven states of Brazil, having been created in 1988. With 22% of its protected area in protected areas or indigenous lands (equivalent to about 62,000 km²), Tocantins is a State with great relevance in the national and international context due to the natural resources and the sociobiodiversity that it harbors. Two biomes are present, the Cerrado biome, with greater predominance in terms of the occupied area, and the Amazon biome, as well as transition zones between biomes (Cerrado-Amazon ecotone and Cerrado-Caatinga ecotone). Economically, the agricultural sector is the most relevant sector, with emphasis on the production of soybeans and meat and its derivatives. According to data from CONAB - Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (March 2013), it is estimated that the soybean harvest in Tocantins in 2012/2013 has a record increase compared to the previous harvest, with an expected growth of the area cultivated in about 20% to 543 thousand hectares, and a production of 1,657 thousand tons, the largest in the North Region.

Regarding the existence of regulatory frameworks in the areas of Climate Change, REDD + or Environmental Services, Tocantins pioneered the establishment of a State Policy on Climate Change, published in 2008. Currently, this Policy on Climate Change, Conservation (Law No. 1,917 / 2008) is in the process of being reformulated to accommodate recent national and international developments in the field of climate, including REDD +. The State Plan for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change is also in the initial stage of elaboration, as well as the State Policy on Environmental Services, the latter aiming to define the guidelines for encouraging biodiversity conservation and services provided through ecosystem services, notably through Environmental Services Payment Programs and other conservation incentive strategies.

The Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development of Tocantins has a Climate Change Coordination and an Environmental Services Payment Coordination, which demonstrates efforts to create robust regulatory frameworks in both areas. The State also reactivated the State Forum on Climate Change in 2012 (through Decree-Law no. 4,550), which is composed of governmental and non-governmental representatives, whose objective is to raise awareness and foment public discussion on issues related to change climate, energy, biodiversity, forests and ecosystem services and REDD +.

In addition to having specific legislation on Climate Change in the process of revision and developing a regulatory framework in the area of environmental services, the State of Tocantins has a great legal tool that provides for actions to reduce illegal deforestation and degradation forestry: the Plan of Prevention and Control of Deforestation and Burnings of Tocantins - PPCDQ / TO, published in May 2009, revised in 2015, and under consultation for a further revision in 2017 or 2018. This plan aims to contain illegal deforestation and forest fires through integrated actions in four areas of action: monitoring, territorial and landscape management, forest management and promotion of sustainable production practices. Among the 23 targets of the PPCDAM-TO, the reduction of illegal deforestation rates to zero within five years stands out; the reduction of 15% per year of fire outbreaks in the municipalities with the highest incidence; the promotion of environmental regularization, the improvement of annual monitoring routines and the implementation of the environmental register of rural properties (CAR).

In addition to these policies, Tocantins is committed to developing a State Plan for Reducing GHG Emissions and Adapting to Climate Change.

Tocantins will make every effort to elaborate a plan that will have as objectives

  1. to make an inventory of GHG emissions in each sector,
  2. identify possible actions
  3. reduction, mitigation and compensation
  4. strengthen municipalities and
  5. decentralization of actions, thus ensuring the promotion of a low-income economy carbon.

The Plan will be in force until 2020.

Additional information can be found on the GCF Impact Platform.

Leonardo Cintra
Secretary of Environment
Francis Frigeri
Manager of Energy Resources and Climate Change
Mauro Carlesse
Population of State/Province [5]
1,383,445 0.7 % of National Population
Urban vs. Rural Population [6]
Urban 78.80 %
Rural 21.20 %
Ethnic Groups [7]
Multi-ethnic 68.00 %
White 24.00 %
Black 7.00 %
Indigenous 1.00 %
State/Province GDP [8]
BRL 17,240,000
Annual Per Capita Income [9]
BRL 12,462
Human Development Index [10]
GDP Breakdown [11]
Services 70.00 %
Industry 16.00 %
Agriculture, Forestry 14.00 %
Main Exports [12]
Soy, meat, pineapple
Forest Status (1)
Major Vegetation Types [13]
Pastureland 80 km²
Agriculture 12 km²
Forest 10 km²
Forest Management
Protected 70,167 km²
Deforestation Rates [14]
Drivers of Deforestation [15]

The most recent deforestation in the state of Tocantins has been occurring:

  1. in the vicinity of the intensive and semi-intensive agricultural production zone in the Papagaio Bico (North Tocantins);
  2. around the northwest region of the state, for the production of beef cattle by small and medium-sized producers;
  3. around the central belt, along the BR 153 highway, as a result of the competition between the different uses and the intensification process;
  4. in the extreme northeast and east of the state under pressure from the soybean fronts in Bahia and Maranhão;
  5. along BR010, TO 050 and marginal and isolated areas;
  6. in the Southeast and Northeast of the State for the production of charcoal.

In summary, the main drivers of deforestation are: the expansion of agriculture, the lack of land-use planning caused by squatting of public lands by squatters, livestock and infrastructure works, especially roads.

(1) Due to different methodological approaches and base years, Forest Status data fields may differ slightly. Data sources for each field are listed below.
Atlas do Tocantins: subsídios ao planejamento da gestão territorial, Secretaria do Planejamento e da Modernização da Gestão Pública - SEPLAN, 2012
Machado, R.B., M.B. Ramos Neto, P.G.P. Pereira, E.F. Caldas, D.A. Gonçalves, N.S. Santos, K. Tabor e M. Steininger. 2004. Estimativas de perda da área do Cerrado brasileiro. Relatório técnico não publicado. Conservação Internacional, Brasília, DF.
183.933 km² (Cerrado – remanescente de vegetação nativa), 7.140 km² (Amazônia – remanescente de vegetação nativa


Indicadores sócio-econômicos do Tocantins, SEPLAN, 2011
TerraClass 2014
Plano de Ação para Prevenção e Controle do Desmatamento e das Queimadas no Estado do Tocantins, 2009