Imazon (Amazon Institute of People and the Environment) is a research institution based in Brazil that focuses on monitoring and sustainable development in the Amazon. Since 2008, Imazon has developed the Deforestation Alert System (SAD), and combines satellite images with GIS mapping in order to detect, quantify and monitor deforestation and logging and contribute to public policy and regional planning. Imazon is one of the partners in PrevisIA, a platform that uses AI technologies to map areas at risk of deforestation.

Belém, Pará, Brasil


PrevisIA is a platform for predicting areas at risk of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. PrevisIA was developed through a partnership between Imazon, Microsoft, and Fundo Vale (a socio-environmental investment fund started by the global mining company Vale, headquartered in Brazil). The platform uses an AI algorithm that automatically detects unofficial roads in the forest using satellite images, and then monitors these roads, drawing on evidence that unofficial roads are often risk indicators of deforestation practices including logging, mining, and land grabs. It also draws on data from the past to suggest where deforestation might be most likely to take place in the future.


Screenshot of the PrevisIA platform, indicating areas of the Brazilian Amazon at most and least risk of deforestation between July 2022 and July 2023. Image source: Imazon PrevisIA [screenshot]. Retrieved 26 July 2022, from https://www.previsia.org/

The focus on predicting future deforestation makes PrevisIA different from other mapping and monitoring projects in the Amazon such as MapBiomas (which researchers from Imazon also worked on) and platforms for monitoring Indigenous territories such as SOMAI and RAISG. Prediction modelling facilitates earlier interventions to protect forest environments. At the same time, the advantages offered by AI monitoring technologies and prediction models cannot be separated from particular constructions of risk and forms of risk governance produced across scientific, state, and commercial discourses.

Find out more in our radio interview with Dr Carlos Souza from Imazon.

smart forests radio