RTRS Maps

This is a zoning tool designed to guide responsible soy production in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay, identifying areas where biodiversity Is most relevant and should therefore not be converted. It also defines where expansion can take place over areas already consolidated.

Committed to the conservation of biodiversity

RTRS has developed its zoning tool to guide the expansion of soy farming and promote ecosystem conservation. This initiative was carried out jointly by producers, the industry and civil society organizations, both regional and international.

The project was supported by:

How to analyze RTRS Maps?

The maps can be used as guides when analyzing the following categories:

Category I Areas

Areas with critical biodiversity hotspots. Stakeholders agree that conversion of native vegetation into responsible soy production should not occur.

These areas are therefore designated as non-certifiable, except in cases where producers can reliably demonstrate that the area was cleared prior to May 20091.

 

Category II Areas

Areas of great importance to biodiversity. Pursuant to version 2.0 of the Standard, soy expansion in these areas can only occur after an assessment of High Conservation Value Areas (HCVAs) to identify areas for conservation and areas where expansion can take place. Version 3.0 of the Standard states that conversion without an HCVA assessment is only allowed until June 2016. Conversion of natural lands is forbidden as of June 2016.

Land legally converted by June 20162 is certifiable. Conversion of natural lands is forbidden as of June 2016.

Category III Areas

Areas where the existing legislation is suitable to control the expansion of responsible by June 2016 (these are often areas of great relevance to agriculture, but not to conservation). Conversion of natural lands is forbidden as of June 2016.

Land legally converted by June 20162 is certifiable. Conversion of natural lands is forbidden as of June 2016

Category IV Areas

Areas already used for agriculture where there is no remaining native vegetation (except in legal reserves) and, therefore, no expansion. Conversion of natural lands is forbidden as of June 2016.

Land legally converted by June 20162 is certifiable. Conversion of natural lands is forbidden as of June 2016.

Notes:

Due to the regional scale of the Maps (1: 250,000 or 1: 500,000), their use as guidance tools does not preclude in-farm scenarios that can be used by producers to check whether the RTRS Standard requirements on expansion are being met. In Category 3 and Category 4 areas, unmapped scenarios can be found within the properties (e.g. small wetlands, areas of cultural value, etc.) because of scale or other factors.

(1) In Category 1, producers can demonstrate that properties were converted before May 2009 using verifiable tools and / or combinations thereof (e. g., high-resolution images showing that the change took place before 2009, pre-2009 land use maps, planting services invoices, bills of lading or delivery documents stating the property as the point of origin, etc.).

(2) In Categories 2, 3 and 4, producers can demonstrate that properties were converted before June 2016 using verifiable tools and / or combinations thereof (e. g., high-resolution images showing that the change took place before 2009, pre-June 2016 land use maps, planting services invoices, bills of lading or delivery documents stating the property as the point of origin, etc.).

Learn more about map development in each country

RTRS Maps are the result of a multi-stakeholder process spearheaded by technical groups from each country. As part of a fully participatory process, technical groups 

in each country set criteria used to classify lands into the four categories established in the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production

Brazil
Argentina
Paraguay

The project started in February 2012 with the creation of a technical group and an advisory group. By an open call from RTRS Project Manager, participants for both groups were recruited

from networks and contacts from partner organizations and finally selected by academic / professional experts on project-related topics and by RTRS.

Participants
Consultants

The RTRS Maps for Argentina project started in March 2015. Criteria were established by consensus by a technical group with representatives from NGOs, the government, the financial sector and the industrial and production sectors. Of particular note was the work done by Mayra Milkovic and Daniela Arpigiani from the GIS team of Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina.

The RTRS Maps considered data from official sources (such as Native Forest Zoning – OTBN) provided by the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development, nationwide deforestation charts prepared by the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development and the hierarchical classification of land cover and land use provided by INTA, among other databases.

Participants

Work began in July 2013 with the creation of a diverse technical group with representatives from NGOs, the government, the financial sector, and the industrial and production sectors. In a participatory process, they set criteria to classify the territory into the four categories set forth by

the RTRS Standard for Responsible Soy Production, using sources such as maps from national and international government and non-government institutions, satellite images, geospatial analyses and thematic digital data.

Participants
Consultants
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