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Who owns the Brazilian carbon?
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
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2018 (English)In: Global Change Biology, ISSN 1354-1013, E-ISSN 1365-2486, Vol. 24, p. 2129-2142Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Brazil is one of the major contributors to land-use change emissions, mostly driven by agricultural expansion for food, feed and bioenergy feedstock. Policies to avoid deforestation related to private commitments, economic incentives, and other support schemes are expected to improve the effectiveness of current command and control mechanisms increasingly. However, until recently, land tenure was unknown for much of the Brazilian territory, which has undermined the governance of native vegetation and challenged support and incentive mechanisms for avoiding deforestation. We assess the total extent of public governance mechanisms protecting aboveground carbon (AGC) stocks. We constructed a land tenure dataset for the entire nation and modeled the effects and uncertainties of major land-use acts on protecting AGC stocks. Roughly 70% of the AGC stock in Brazil is estimated to be under legal protection, and an additional 20% is expected to be protected after areas in the Amazon with currently undesignated land undergo a tenure regularization. About 30% of the AGC stock is on private land, of which roughly two-thirds are protected. The Cerrado, Amazon and Caatinga biomes hold about 40%, 30% and 20% of the unprotected AGC, respectively. Effective conservation of protected and unprotected carbon will depend on successful implementation of the Forest Act, and regularization of land tenure in the Amazon. Policy development that prioritizes unprotected AGC stocks is warranted to promote conservation of native vegetation beyond the legal requirements. However, different biomes and land tenure structures may require different policy settings considering local and regional specifics. Finally, the fate of current AGC stocks relies upon effective implementation of command and control mechanisms, considering that unprotected AGC in native vegetation on private land only accounts for 6.5% of the total AGC stock.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 24, p. 2129-2142
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-219436DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14011Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85044789716OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-219436DiVA, id: diva2:1163089
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QC 20171212

Available from: 2017-12-06 Created: 2017-12-06 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)
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QC20190515

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

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