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Environmental licensing system of rural property (SLAPR) was implemented in the State of Mato Grosso in 2000, within a process of decentralization of forest policy to subnational states. The main objective of SLAPR was the reduction of illegal deforestation in the State, and this has caused a lot of enthusiasm among public managers at that time. This article analyzed the results of deforestation occurred within the system, as well as the level of its regularization that this policy could cause in the state until 2007. It was used geoprocessing tools, extracting licensed properties data (until 2006) and deforestation dynamics (2000-2007) from SEMA -MT (Secretary of State of Mato Grosso for the Environment). In addition, documents stating the number of authorized deforestation during the period were used. Among the results it was found that system licensed, in that period, mostly large properties (1500 ha average), existing high level of deforestation allowances. A total of 1,420,500.50 hectares were cleared on farms throughout the state of Mato Grosso in the period 2000 to 2007, representing an increase of 32% accumulated in the previous period, from 1995 to 1999. Most of this deforestation had legal authorization. Also was concluded that there was deforestation in legal reserve within the licensed properties, even though such breach was minor in relation to properties outside the system. The deforestation allowance fell down drastically after 2005, showing that system was most effective when the whole state had performed high levels of deforestation and higher deforestation polygons. The study addressed to the necessity of being careful on numerical data analysis about the deforestation control by SLAPR, indicating in which aspects that enthusiasm could be confirmed or not, and addressing the traps and difficulties of this kind of instrument of environmental public policies. Source

Hajjar R.,Forest Science Center | McGrath D.G.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | McGrath D.G.,Institute Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia IPAM | Kozak R.A.,Forest Science Center | Innes J.L.,Forest Science Center
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2011

Community forestry initiatives have been shown to reduce rural poverty while promoting the conservation and sustainable use of forests. However, a number of challenges face communities wanting to initiate or maintain formal, community-based forest management. Through a grounded theory approach, this paper uses three case studies of community forest management models in the eastern Amazon to create a framework showing challenges faced by communities at different phases of formal management. The framework shows that, in the development phase, four root problems (land ownership, knowledge acquisition, community organization, and adequate capital) need to be addressed to obtain legal management permission. With this permission in hand, further challenges to operationalization are presented (deterring illegal loggers, maintaining infrastructure, obtaining necessary managerial skills and accessing markets). The interrelatedness of these challenges emphasizes that all challenges need to be addressed in a holistic manner for communities to maintain a profitable and self-sufficient operation. This contradicts current development approaches that only address part of this framework. The framework proposed here can be used as a starting point for community forestry initiatives in other regions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Silveira J.M.,Federal University of Lavras | Barlow J.,Lancaster University | Louzada J.,Federal University of Lavras | Moutinho P.,Institute Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia IPAM
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Fire is frequently used as a land management tool for cattle ranching and annual crops in the Amazon. However, these maintenance fires often escape into surrounding forests, with potentially severe impacts for forest biodiversity. We examined the effect of experimental fires on leaf-litter arthropod abundance in a seasonally-dry forest in the Brazilian Amazon. The study plots (50 ha each) included a thrice-burned forest and an unburned control forest. Pitfall-trap samples were collected at 160 randomly selected points in both plots, with sampling stratified across four intra-annual replicates across the dry and wet seasons, corresponding to 6, 8, 10 and 12 months after the most recent fire. Arthropods were identified to the level of order (separating Formicidae). In order to better understand the processes that determine arthropod abundance in thrice-burned forests, we measured canopy openness, understory density and litter depth. All arthropod taxa were significantly affected by fire and season. In addition, the interactions between burn treatment and season were highly significant for all taxa but Isoptera. The burned plot was characterized by a more open canopy, lower understory density and shallower litter depth. Hierarchical partitioning revealed that canopy openness was the most important factor explaining arthropod order abundances in the thrice-burned plot, whereas all three environmental variables were significant in the unburned control plot. These results reveal the marked impact of recurrent wildfires and seasonality on litter arthropods in this transitional forest, and demonstrate the overwhelming importance of canopy-openness in driving post-fire arthropod abundance. © 2010 Silveira et al. Source

Balch J.K.,Pennsylvania State University | Balch J.K.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Massad T.J.,University of Chicago | Brando P.M.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | And 3 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

Anthropogenic understorey fires affect large areas of tropical forest, yet their effects on woody plant regeneration post-fire remain poorly understood. We examined the effects of repeated experimental fires on woody stem (less than 1 cm at base) mortality, recruitment, species diversity, community similarity and regeneration mode (seed versus sprout) in Mato Grosso, Brazil. From 2004 to 2010, forest plots (50 ha) were burned twice (B2) or five times (B5), and compared with an unburned control (B0). Stem density recovered within a year after the first burn (initial density: 12.4-13.2 stems m-2), but after 6 years, increased mortality and decreased regeneration-primarily of seedlings-led to a 63 per cent and 85 per cent reduction in stem density in B2 and B5, respectively. Seedlings and sprouts across plots in 2010 displayed remarkable community similarity owing to shared abundant species. Although the dominant surviving species were similar across plots, a major increase in sprouting occurred-almost three- and fourfold greater in B2 and B5 than in B0. In B5, 29 species disappeared and were replaced by 11 new species often present along fragmented forest edges. By 2010, the annual burn regime created substantial divergence between the seedling community and the initial adult tree community (greater than or equal to 20 cm dbh). Increased droughts and continued anthropogenic ignitions associated with frontier land uses may promote high-frequency fire regimes that may substantially alter regeneration and therefore successional processes. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved. Source

Mendoza E.R.H.,Institute Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia IPAM | Perz S.G.,University of Florida | Souza da Silva S.,Institute Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia IPAM | Brown I.F.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management | Year: 2014

In an integrated world, knowledge exchange is becoming more important for empowerment to participate in planning processes. This is particularly the case in areas undergoing rapid change and with unequal stakeholder constituencies. The 'knowledge exchange train' (KET) model was designed to address knowledge inequalities and large-scale change by disseminating the results of new research rapidly and on a large scale. The KET involves two-way dissemination of knowledge as a means to support the formation of partnerships and participation in regional environmental planning. We compare three KET experiences in the southwestern Amazon: comparisons of KET I and II highlight adjustments in the model to amplify two-way exchange and to focus on key planning issues, and comparisons of KET II to III show how KET fosters partnerships for downstream environmental planning and management activities. KETs thus address knowledge inequalities and catalyse follow-on environmental management activities, both of which facilitate public participation in regional environmental planning. © 2014 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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