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Title: Is deforestation accelerating in the Brazilian Amazon?
Authors: Laurance, William F.
Albernaz, Ana Luísa Kerti Mangabeira
Costa, Carlos da
Keywords: Deforestation
Laws And Legislation
Population Pressure
Environmental Protection
Infrastructural Development
Population Pressure
Road Construction
Environmental Impact
Public Health
Issue Date: 2001
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Environmental Conservation
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 28, Número 4, Pags. 305-311
Abstract: Recent studies suggest that deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon could increase sharply in the future as a result of over US$40 billion in planned investments in highway paving and major new infrastructure projects in the region. These studies have been challenged by several Brazilian ministries, which assert that recent improvements in environmental laws, enforcement and public attitudes have fundamentally reduced the threat posed to forests by such projects. The notion that hazards to Amazonian forests have declined over the last decade was assessed using available data on deforestation rates from 1978 to 2000. Although the alarmingly high rate of forest loss during 1978-1989 (1.98 million ha yr-1) declined somewhat in 1990-1994 (1.38 million ha yr-1), it rebounded to a high level in the period 1995-2000 (1.90 million ha yr-1). Moreover, correlation and regression analyses reveal that both absolute and per caput rates of forest loss accelerated significantly over the last decade. These trends fail to support the assertion that deforestation pressure in Amazonian forests has been brought under control. Poor enforcement of existing environmental laws, rapidly expanding logging and mining industries, increasing population pressure and other challenges are greatly hindering efforts to limit the environmental impacts of development activities in Brazilian Amazonia.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1017/S0376892901000339
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