Emergy assessment of a coffee farm in Brazilian Cerrado considering in a broad form the environmental services, negative externalities and fair price
A new way of thinking about conservation is represented by the preservation of native areas and the payment for their environmental services. In the present study emergy synthesis was applied to assess the environmental performance of a coffee farm located in Coromandel, Minas Gerais, in the Brazilian Cerrado. The farm produces green coffee for exportation, and holds an area with native vegetation of 80ha, larger than that required by Brazilian legislation. The assessment of the native area within the farm was carried out in order to determine its environmental sustainability. The emergy ternary diagram was employed to interpret the results, which show that a farm with 54ha of productive area must be matched with 200ha of native vegetation for medium term sustainability. The Cerrado’s farm production is primarily for export, and an evaluation of the environment and economic changes with respect to importing countries was performed. Emergy synthesis is proposed to calculate the price of environmental services balancing trades in the international market. A discussion of the problem of assigning payments for environmental services is presented.
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