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    Author(s): Emmanuel Adilson S. Serrao; Daniel Nepstad; Robert Walker
    Date: 1996
    Source: Ecological Economics 18 (1996) 3-13
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (893.0 KB)


    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.

    Publication Notes

    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Serrao, Emmanuel Adilson S.; Nepstad, Daniel; Walker, Robert. 1996. Upland agricultural and forestry development in the Amazon: sustainability, criticality and resilience. Ecological Economics. 18:3-13.


    Amazon basin, Agricultural development, Forestry development, Land use, Criticality, Resilience, Sustainability

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