The Economics of Deforestation in the Amazon

The Economics of Deforestation in the Amazon

Dispelling the Myths

João S. Campari

This provocative new book presents the results of twenty years of research on deforestation in the Amazon. By carefully observing the changing character of human settlements and their association with deforestation over such a prolonged period, the author is able to reject much of the ‘perceived wisdom’. He skillfully dissects various models of deforestation and provides hard evidence on what is myth and what is reality.

Chapter 6: Colonization Projects: Field Work

João S. Campari

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


INTRODUCTION The data for this study were collected from surveys of colonization projects in the Brazilian Amazon that were carried out in 1981 and 1991, under the auspices of the federal government’s Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) in Brazil and the National Institute for Colonization and Agrarian Reform (INCRA). The partnership established in 1980 between IPEA and INCRA turned into a project called ‘Internal Migrations and Small Agricultural Production in Amazonia: An Analysis of INCRA’s Colonization Policy’. The project lasted for four years, from 1980 until 1984, and is summarized in six volumes that are currently held by IPEA in its Rio de Janeiro branch. The 1991 data set was an undertaking by IPEA alone. From 1992 until 1995, the data set was maintained by the World Bank’s Poverty and Social Policy Department (PSP), where research and analysis continued with updating (which included further field visits). At IPEA, the data were mostly used for cost-benefit analysis of public versus private colonization. At the World Bank, the purpose of the work was to study the frontier’s rural poor with respect to their dependence and impact on the natural resource base. Figure 6.1 shows the locations surveyed. Surveys were carried out in the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, in the eastern and western Amazon, respectively. Frontier farmers, merchants and institutions were interviewed to establish a broad picture of economic, social, political and institutional conditions of directed colonization in the Amazon. In this study, only the agricultural surveys on farmers...

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