(English) Production and conservation on forest frontiers of Brazil’s state of Amazonas: prospects for improving governance
G. Carrero; O. Nogueira; M. Cenamo; M. Pavan; P. Soares Although deforestation rates have been declining in the Brazilian Amazon, remote forest-rich frontiers need a better understanding of land use change and underlying processes for subsidizing more localized strategies for forest conservation and governance. We analyze and describe government structure and actions regarding conservation, forest-based and agriculture production in 12 municipalities on the forest frontiers of Brazil’s state of Amazonas. Our analysis suggests that governmental aids (economical and technical) favor much more the implementation and management of agricultural production than forest-based activities. In this sense, the result is the expansion of highly destructive productive systems, such as extensive cattle ranching. In turn, there are few accessible credit options for pasture management, agroforestry and agricultural diversification for small and medium landholders. Results from surveys showed that institutions responsible for credit lending operations are prepared for assessing the feasibility and financial flows of agriculture enterprises, but are deficient and lack skilled personnel when it comes to assessing forest-based enterprises. Overall, policies and programs for forest-based activities or environmentally sound agriculture are completely disarticulated and ineffective as compared to the successful implementation of extensive cattle ranching. Policy implications for improving governance and conservation in these forest frontiers means ceasing incentives for production with low technological standards. In addition to increasing command and control actions, governments should strengthen institutional capacity and personnel for fostering productive systems with environmental stewardship as well as facilitate credit lending and providing technical assistance for forest-based activities.