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What Comes after Deforestation Control? Learning from Three Attempts of Land-use Planning in Southern Amazonia

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According to recent reports on deforestation control, Brazil’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are successful. This is attributed to a combination of command-and-control style of public regulation and civil society pressure. Looking beyond decreasing deforestation rates reveals a different picture for the future of GHG optimized land use in Brazil. Command-andcontrol regulation seems to work as long as prohibitive measures against deforestation are concerned. However, as soon as tailormade policies for complex issues such as land-use planning are required, the outcomes are ambiguous. Comparing the origins, the actors and the perspectives of three different cases of resource governance in Southern Amazonia, we show that the major challenges of regulation attempts are the lack of transparency and the appropriation of state agencies by powerful groups. Due to institutional weakness, the various regulation efforts fail to consider the system links needed for effective implementation. To conclude, we provide suggestions to possibly overcome the problems through innovative forms of governance.
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Keywords: Brazilian Amazon; environmental governance; land-use regulation; law enforcement; sustainable development

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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