Selected Case Studies from the Americas
Edited by Mohammed H.I. Dore and Rubén Guevara
Chapter 10: Forest Management in a semi-arid region in Brazil: a case study of the state of Rio Grande do Norte
10. Forest management in a semi-arid region in Brazil: a case study of the state of Rio Grande do Norte Sebastião Kengen, Frans Pareyn, Newton D.E. Barcellos and Francisco C.B. Campello INTRODUCTION Environmental matters have received unprecedented attention in recent decades. Within this context, forest resources, especially their conservation and management, have deserved attention by scientists and policy makers. The primary focus has been on tropical rainforests. For instance, in Brazil the focus has been concentrated on the Amazon rainforest. It is important, however, to note that Brazil encompasses a great diversity of climate and soils and, consequently, its forest resources are very diverse too. They range from tropical rainforest to subtropical forests. In spite of their environmental and socioeconomic importance, evidence suggests that most of them have not received the attention that they deserve. In short, it should be emphasized that they are as important and as fragile as the Amazon rainforest. Forestry interventions have traditionally viewed the biomass problem as a simple supply and demand problem. Such thinking suggests that forest resources have been depleted due to a lack of balance between demand and supply. What can be generally noted is that extraction is much greater than what the environment can produce in a sustainable manner. From this perspective, the obvious solution is to plant as many trees as possible. Thus establishment of forest plantations, generally on a large scale and as monoculture crops, has been advocated. In Brazil, this approach found a favourable environment in its...
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