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Potential increase of legal deforestation in Brazilian Amazon after Forest Act revision
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management. (Environmental Management and Assessment)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8313-5845
Univ Sao Paulo, Soil Sci Dept, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.
Chalmers Univ Technol, Dept Space Earth & Environm, Phys Resource Theory, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Chalmers Univ Technol, Dept Space Earth & Environm, Phys Resource Theory, Gothenburg, Sweden.
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2018 (English)In: Nature Sustainability, Vol. 1, p. 665-670Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Brazilian Amazon rainforest is protected largely by command and control regulation of public and private land. The Brazilian Forest Act requires private landholders within the Amazon to set aside 80% of their land as legal reserves for nature protection, but this requirement can be reduced to 50% if more than 65% of a state’s territory is protected public land (for example, public conservation units and indigenous reserves). In the ongoing land designation process in Brazil, some Amazonian states may cross this 65% threshold. We assess the potential reduction in the legal reserve requirement from 80% to 50%, through spatially explicit modelling of scenarios concerning land tenure consolidation, employing up-to-date databases on land ownership. Depending on the outcome of land designation processes and political priorities, some 6.5–15.4 million hectares of private land previously protected as legal reserves may become available for legal deforestation. While protection of public land is crucial for safeguarding the Amazon, revisions of federal and state legislation may be needed to avoid the further extension of protected public land triggering increased legal deforestation on private lands. Zero-deforestation commitments and other initiatives may mitigate impacts in the absence of such revision.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 1, p. 665-670
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-238667DOI: 10.1038/s41893-018-0171-4ISI: 000450118100012Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85056455572OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-238667DiVA, id: diva2:1261341
Note

QC 20181207

Available from: 2018-11-07 Created: 2018-11-07 Last updated: 2019-05-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Brazilian public protection regulations and the preservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Brazilian public protection regulations and the preservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Brazil is significant for sustaining ecosystems services and biodiversity of global importance. However, the expansion of forestry and agriculture to supply national and international markets often results in loss of ecosystem services and biodiversity. Public protection regulations play a crucial role in setting limits for agricultural expansion. This thesis aims at improving the understanding of the potential impacts of prevailing policies in the preservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity associated with the native vegetation in Brazil. The Land Use Governance Assessment (LUGA) model was developed to simulate the implementation of existing public protection regulations, in particular, the Brazilian Forest Act.

The results suggest that command and control regulations do not protect about 28 % of the above-ground carbon in Brazil. The regularisation process of undesignated land is expected to expand protection to an additional 18 % of the above-ground carbon stocks, leaving about 10 % of the carbon stocks unprotected. On the other hand, the preservation of viable populations of several threatened mammal species is highly dependent on an urgent expansion of protected areas in the Cerrado and Caatinga biomes. Furthermore, the results from this thesis indicate that offsetting legal deficit of native vegetation may have little or no additional effects on the protection of native vegetation. The potential loss of forest protection due to reduced legal reserve requirements in the Amazon could potentially range from 6.5 Mha to more than 15 Mha.

There are critical gaps in the land use policies in Brazil that threaten the preservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity associated with native vegetation. Market-driven mechanisms can potentially contribute to filling this gap, protecting nature beyond the legal requirements. Yet, additional regulations may be necessary to improve the efficiency of the trading system of legal deficit of native vegetation among farmers, ensuring environmental and socio-economic functions of this system, and effectively balancing production with conservation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. p. 64
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 1920
Keywords
Brazil; Native vegetation, forest conservation, Brazilian Forest Act, Protected areas, Ecosystem services, Biodiversity
National Category
Environmental Management
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-251513 (URN)978-91-7873-234-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-11, Room F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC20190515

Available from: 2019-05-15 Created: 2019-05-14 Last updated: 2019-05-15Bibliographically approved

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