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The Public Policy Group (GPP) is linked to the Luiz de Queiroz Higher School of Agriculture (Esalq), at USP. He has accumulated experience, since 2000, in projects of territorial analysis, evaluation, proposal and monitoring of public policies aimed at the interface between agriculture, environment and society. The dynamics of multidisciplinary analysis of this interface, called “territorial analysis”, is the great identity of the GPP. The Group's mission is to establish a relationship and synergy between universities, civil society and public authorities. 


The GPP works in partnership with governments, private institutions, NGOs and national and international cooperation agencies. In its portfolio, it brings together dozens of projects carried out and under implementation. 

Foto aérea do campo de colheita

The GPP understands that any dynamic of rural reality involves a large number of components that operate at different scales. The explicit spatial relationship is essential to compare all scales of manifestation of the physical reality of agriculture. This means that the representation of rural reality is preferably done through simplifications or models, especially when the focus of the analysis has continental dimensions such as Brazil. 

The models must include several components and representations made at different scales, which move from the individual to the collective, from the local to the regional, or vice versa. The multiple scales involved make non-linear relationships appear between them, attributing complexity to the logic of “territorial analysis”.


The work of the GPP in the implementation of Territorial Analysis aimed at Modeling Public Policies has an approach to the rural reality that considers and requires multiple themes, disciplines and scales, an infinity of components and the development of complex methods to deal with this set of information in a spatially explicit analysis environment. At the same time,  considers and welcomes the specificities of public management with its characteristics, such as budget availability, technical and human resources capacity, impact of decisions at different scales and in different short and long horizons term, harmonization of interests of different social groups and mitigation of conflicts. 


In this sense, the methodologies and products generated through Territorial Analysis aimed at the Modeling of Public Policies are receptive by managers who demand an organized factual base that generates adequate responses at different scales and time horizons, as a subsidy to their own decision making.




Joaquim Bento de Souza Ferreira Filho

Agronomist and Master in Applied Economics from ESALQ/USP and Doctor in Economics (FEA/USP). Postdoctoral fellow at the Center of Policy Studies (Monash University, Australia). Senior Professor at ESALQ/USP. Member of RedeClima. He works in the areas of land use change economics, computable general equilibrium models, regional analyses, input-output models, social accounting matrices and analysis of economic policy impacts. At GPP-ESALQ, he coordinates the design of solutions aimed at public policies through economic modeling.



Pedro Coutinho

Engenheiro Agrônomo e mestre em Agronomia (solos) pela Esalq/USP. Possui experiência em geoprocessamento, modelagem espacial e análises estatística de dados. No GPP, atua em projetos voltados ao desenvolvimento de políticas públicas voltadas ao meio rural, especialmente, na gestão de soluções em ciência de dados e geotecnologias.


Pietro Gragnolati

Engenheiro Florestal formado pela (Esalq/USP). Mestre em Ciências Florestais pela UFRPE. Possui experiência em geoprocessamento, modelagem e análise estatística. No GPP atua em projetos voltados a avaliação e proposição de políticas públicas e desenvolvimento rural, especialmente, nas áreas de geoprocessamento e ciência de dados.

Rogério de Souza Nóia Júnior

Engenheiro Agrônomo (UFES), Mestre em Engenharia de Sistemas Agrícolas (Esalq/USP) e Doutor em modelagem de sistemas agrícolas pela Universidade Técnica de Munique. Foi pesquisador em agrometeorologia na Universidade da Flórida. Experiência com variabilidade climática e eventos extremos sobre a produção agrícola brasileira e mundial. No GPP atua como pesquisador no desenvolvimento de soluções em projetos de políticas públicas por meio de modelagem agrometeorológica e de sistemas agrícolas.



Jose Lucas Safanelli

Agronomist (UFSC), Doctor in Agronomy (ESALQ/USP). He has experience in the application of geotechnologies and data science in agriculture and environmental studies. He works in agricultural mapping, modeling and monitoring projects.


Jose Lucas Safanelli

Agronomist (UFSC), Doctor in Agronomy (ESALQ/USP). He has experience in the application of geotechnologies and data science in agriculture and environmental studies. He works in agricultural mapping, modeling and monitoring projects.


Richard Torsiano

Specialist and master in multipurpose cadastre, territorial planning and property valuations (Universidad de Jaen/Spain). He was Director of Land Planning at INCRA for ten years, with experience in the federal, state and judiciary executive powers, professor at the National School of the Judiciary, consultant to the FAO/UN and the World Bank. He works in land governance and administration, land management, cadastre and property registration.






Shortly before the beginning of the 2000s, a group of research agronomists linked to the Department of Soil Science at USP's Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (Esalq), coordinated by Dr. Gerd Sparovek was formed to meet a demand from the federal government for the development of tools to help assess land from a physical point of view. This project required extensive interaction with various public institutions and expanded the group's knowledge of the specific needs of this sector, opening opportunities for the development of studies that provide technical and scientific support for the formulation of public policies aimed at the rural environment.


Based on traditional knowledge of pedology, mapping, assessment and land use planning, combined with incipient geotechnologies (Geographic Information Systems, Global Position System, geoprocessing and remote sensing), which were fundamental for the initial project, the group gradually developed to conduct nationwide surveys for rural areas, addressing public policy issues based on data analysis from the perspective of their spatial distribution and geographic patterns. Hence, the Esalq-USP Public Policy Group or Group of Public Policies was born.


The group's origins in agronomy and pedology gave prominence to the organization of data from the physical environment, which evolved towards the understanding of its effects on land occupation and which, in turn, led to the effort to include in the analysis a whole universe of variables and environmental, economic and social issues, without which the understanding of the process of occupation of the territory, of agricultural production and exploitation of natural resources would be very limited. This migration path from processes related to the physical environment to economic and social processes positioned the group in a profile that addresses, interfaces between environment and agriculture, agriculture and society, physical and socioeconomic processes, spatially represented. The dynamics of analysis of the interfaces that arise from the human-nature contact assumed a multidisciplinary profile, being called “territorial analysis”, a great area of activity of the GPP.


Given the wealth of possibilities that this approach revealed, the group's performance evolved and new projects using territorial analysis began to be demanded. In 2016, still under the coordination of Dr. Gerd Sparovek, the GPP was linked to the ESALQ board with the mission of establishing contact between the university, civil society and public authorities. From this link, more projects were incorporated and the GPP gained an institutional dimension. In mid-2019, the group was coordinated by Dr. Durval Dourado Neto and currently has dozens of projects already carried out or in progress, in response to different governmental demands and international cooperation organizations. The GPP also works in partnership with private institutions and NGOs.


To support the complex spatial modeling required in the projects, the GPP has a network of partners, among which the Geoprocessing Laboratory (GeoLab) of Esalq-USP stands out, which shares the same origin as the GPP, in the Department of Soil Science. , which currently acts as the main support for the operationalization of geospatial databases and the production of scientific material, which support the projects under the responsibility of the GPP.

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