, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 1-21

Deforestation and land use in the Brazilian Amazon

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Abstract

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon was less than 1% before 1975. Between 1975 and 1987 the rate increased exponentially. By 1985, world opinion and attention to the destruction of the richest biome on earth led to elimination of some of the major incentives that had fueled deforestation. Favorable credit policies for cattle ranchers, rather than population growth, explains the process of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. The paper suggests other actions that may be taken to reduce deforestation, and examines the rapid growth rates of secondary successional species in a colonization area.