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Government policies and deforestation in Brazil's Amazon region (English)

This paper analyzes the impact of government policies on the magnitude and rate of deforestation in Brazil's Amazon region. The main hypothesis is that efforts to slow or stop tropical deforestation through fiat only will be much less likely to succeed if the overall policy and regulatory frameworks give people incentives to do just the opposite. The paper first reviews the most recent estimates of deforestation in the region. These indicate that almost 600,000 square kilometers of Amazon forest have already been cleared. Moreover, 80 percent of this has occurred since 1980. The paper then traces the evolution of regional development policies for Amazonia over the past 25 years. This section shows that policies and programs emphasizing road-building, official settlement, and extensive livestock development have generally not been designed and carried out with due regard for their environmental consequences. The paper concludes with several recommendations on how current policies could be reformed in order to improve their environmental impact.




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Mahar, Dennis ENV

Government policies and deforestation in Brazil's Amazon region (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.