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Reducing the deforestation of the Amazon through farming system intensification

Burlamaqui A.B., Tourrand J.F., Mourão M., Da Veiga J.B., Bommel P., Poccard Chapuis R.. 2008. In : Dedieu Benoît (ed.). Empowerment of the rural actors. A renewal of farming systems perspectives : 8th European IFSA Symposium, 6-10 July 2008, Clermond-Ferrand. Paris : INRA, p. 511-513. European IFSA Symposium. 8, 2008-07-06/2008-07-10, Clermont-Ferrand (France).

The Amazon has become the last Far West of the planet. Today, the attention is focused on some sectors in which the region plays a major role: the mineral richness of the soil - especially hydro fuels - biodiversity, climate change and the coca plantations. Big portions of the huge forest have been transferred to the agricultural sector. The vigour of colonisation has transformed the Amazon into a major grain and meat provider with relevant environmental impact in terms of deforestation. This increasing demand for food is changing the context of Amazonian agriculture. Big ranches, which are occupying around 80% of the deforested land and initially conceived as mere land investments, are seeing agriculture as a means to raise their value. At the same time, the world has changed. Unsustainable environmental and social practices which were common a few years ago are no longer acceptable. Accordingly, new production strategies, protecting the environment and human work, are starting to spread.

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale; amazonie

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