Amazon deforestation in Brazil: effects, drivers and challenges

Authors Ometto, J.Pierre; Aguiar, A.Paula Dutr; Martinelli, L.Antonio
Year of Publication 2011
Type of Publication Journal Article
Journal Carbon Management
Volume 2
Issue 5
Pagination 575-585
Open Access No


The concept of global ecosystem services has become a powerful paradigm for understanding the link between ecosystem processes and related human activities, which is expressed by the economic and ecological quantification of the services in regards to sustainable development. The role of tropical forests in the global climate system and the uncertainty of the exact magnitude of this complex interaction has become a major concern to the scientific community. In this paper we review and synthesize the global effects of Amazon deforestation in Brazil, as well as drivers and challenges related to this process. To this end, we provide data on carbon emissions from combined annual maps of clear cutting of primary forests and spatial information on biomass distribution for different vegetation types and secondary vegetation growth, as well as the temporal dynamic related to the deforestation process and its interregional heterogeneity, the social and institutional drivers. In 2009, during the Conference of Parties, of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (Copenhagen, Denmark), Brazil announced a voluntary commitment to reduce the national GHG emissions by 2020 and, to this end, such commitment requires reducing Amazon rainforest deforestation by 80% over a decade. To achieve this target, a set of consolidated remote sensing techniques have served to monitor and calculate the extent of deforestation, which became indispensable auditing tools for conservation, forest restoration and implementing climate change mitigation schemes.