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Deforestation and local sustainable development in Brazilian Legal Amazonia: an exploratory analysis

Douglas Sathler, CeGEO; FIH; UFVJM
Susana B. Adamo, CIESIN-Columbia University
Everton E. C. Lima, NEPO-IFCH; UNICAMP


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We focus here on deforestation and human development dynamics among 211 small and medium-sized municipalities (in terms of population) in the Amazonian arc of deforestation, Brazil. First, we construct a typology of municipalities through principal component analysis and cluster analysis. Using this typology, we seek to identify changing deforestation frontiers in the study area based not only on forest loss levels, but also on sets of socioeconomic and demographic elements associated with human development. We find four well-defined macro-deforestation frontiers that exhibit distinct interactions between forest loss and human development levels. Our results show different levels of demographic and economic pressures in these frontiers while revealing some important trends such as the internalization of investments and demographic growth in the arc of deforestation. In addition, population growth and in-migration and out-migration patterns in the explored municipalities suggest a demographic complementarity among frontiers. Finally, we explore implications for public policies seeking to advance forest recovery and long-term conservation through sustainable development growth at the local and regional levels.

Key words

Amazonia; deforestation; local sustainable development; multivariate methods; public policy

Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087