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Agrarian Reform in the Brazilian Amazon: Its Implications for Land Distribution and Deforestation

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  • Pacheco, Pablo

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Summary This paper examines the interactions between state-led land reform, agrarian structures, and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. Land reform tends to promote land redistribution through regularization of smallholder land invasions of large-scale landholdings, and by redistribution of public lands to smallholders in existing colonization frontiers. The implications of state-led land reform on deforestation are heterogeneous. I argue that impacts of agrarian reform are strongly related to the pre-existing social and economic configuration of the frontiers where it takes place. While it leads to lower rates of deforestation in landscapes dominated by smallholders with diversified land use, its impact on forest conversion is higher in landscapes where extensive land use, mainly prompted by large-scale cattle ranching, tends to dominate. I provide an assessment for the whole Brazilian Amazon, and examine two research sites in the state of Pará, namely Uruará and Redenção. The study is based on informant interviews, secondary information, agricultural census data, and remote sensing data.

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  • Pacheco, Pablo, 2009. "Agrarian Reform in the Brazilian Amazon: Its Implications for Land Distribution and Deforestation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1337-1347, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:37:y:2009:i:8:p:1337-1347
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    7. José Sobreiro Filho & Enzo Barberio Mariano & Vinicius Amorim Sobreiro & Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour, 2016. "Beyond the Agrarian Reform Policies in Brazil: An Empirical Study of Brazilian States from 1995 Through 2011," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1093-1114, December.
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    10. McDermott, Constance L. & Irland, Lloyd C. & Pacheco, Pablo, 2015. "Forest certification and legality initiatives in the Brazilian Amazon: Lessons for effective and equitable forest governance," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 134-142.
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    15. Ferreira, M. & Feres, J.G., 2018. "Farm Size and Productive Efficiency in Brazilian Amazon," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277289, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Katrina Mullan & Erin Sills & Subhrendu K. Pattanayak & Jill Caviglia-Harris, 2018. "Converting Forests to Farms: The Economic Benefits of Clearing Forests in Agricultural Settlements in the Amazon," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 71(2), pages 427-455, October.
    17. Madalina Epure, 2013. "How Does the Changing Access to Resources Affect the Power and Authority of the Postsocialist Romanian State?," Journal of Economic Development, Environment and People, Alliance of Central-Eastern European Universities, vol. 2(1), pages 32-56, March.
    18. Duchelle, Amy E. & Cromberg, Marina & Gebara, Maria Fernanda & Guerra, Raissa & Melo, Tadeu & Larson, Anne & Cronkleton, Peter & Börner, Jan & Sills, Erin & Wunder, Sven & Bauch, Simone & May, Peter &, 2014. "Linking Forest Tenure Reform, Environmental Compliance, and Incentives: Lessons from REDD+ Initiatives in the Brazilian Amazon," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 53-67.
    19. Duchelle, Amy E. & Almeyda Zambrano, Angélica M. & Wunder, Sven & Börner, Jan & Kainer, Karen A., 2014. "Smallholder Specialization Strategies along the Forest Transition Curve in Southwestern Amazonia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(S1), pages 149-158.
    20. Sébastien MARCHAND, 2010. "Technical Ef?ciency, Farm Size and Tropical Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazonian Forest," Working Papers 201012, CERDI.
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