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Brazil’s Amazonian protected areas as a bulwark against regional climate change

Abstract

Brazil’s Amazonian protected areas play an important role in maintaining the environmental services of the region, including Amazonia’s role in regional and global climate. These protected areas face threats both from deforestation and from degradation of standing forest. Preserving carbon stocks in protected areas is important both because of the climatic benefit of avoiding greenhouse gas emissions and because of the potential to provide a monetary value that contributes to supporting local human populations in ways that maintain rather than destroy the forest. REDD+ represents one potential mechanism for maintaining these areas. A variety of legal threats to protected areas in Brazilian Amazonia has arisen, leading to concern over the future of these areas and their role as a bulwark against regional climate change.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the National Institute for Research in Amazonia (INPA: PRJ15.125), the National Institute of Science and Technology for the Environmental Services of Amazonia (INCT-SERVAMB), the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq/PCI Program Proc. 304130/2013-3 and 301183/2015-5; CNPq: Proc. 304020/2010-9; 573810/2008-7), the Foundation for Support of Research in Amazonas State (FAPEAM: Proc. 708565), and the National Postdoctoral Program (PNPD/CAPES: Proc. No. 028176/2009-41) for financial and logistical support. This article is a contribution of the Brazilian Research Network on Global Climate Change, FINEP/Rede CLIMA Grant Number 01.13.0353-00. Three reviewers contributed valuable comments.

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Correspondence to Philip Martin Fearnside.

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Nogueira, E.M., Yanai, A.M., de Vasconcelos, S.S. et al. Brazil’s Amazonian protected areas as a bulwark against regional climate change. Reg Environ Change 18, 573–579 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-017-1209-2

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Keywords

  • Conservation units
  • Indigenous reserves
  • Biomass
  • REDD
  • Amazon
  • Global warming