Upland agricultural and forestry development in the Amazon: sustainability, criticality and resilience

19 de setembro de 1996

set 19, 1996

Emmanuel Adilson S. Serrão, Daniel Nepstad, Robert Walker

This paper provides an overview of agricultural and forestry development in the Amazon basin, and presents and discusses the main land use systems in evidence today in that region. These are logging, shifting-cultivation and ranching. The issue of sustainability is addressed, and current Amazonian land use is interpreted in light of ecological impacts and long-run viability. Also considered are the ecological notions of criticality, endangerment, impoverishment and resilience.

After addressing the threats of land use encroachment to the forest resource base, the paper identifies sufficient conditions for regional ecosystem sustainability and considers desirable technological and policy-oriented responses in this regard. The paper concludes with a call to future research on land use systems, noting, however, that the greatest challenge is the design of equitable government policy for the adoption of sustainable systems.

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