Michael Walch

Florestas Nacionales, Flonas

Posted in Rates of Exchange: Amazon Studio by michaelwalch on 29 January, 2010

It’s no secret that the Amazon is one of Brazil’s key resources, and is being deforested.  The country has been struggling to find balance between conservation and economic development.  This has led to an innovative set of forest management tools that address ranging levels of access, extraction, and protection of the Amazon.

By the numbers

Conservation Ecology: Human-caused disturbance stimuli as a form of predation risk

Type of Area Area in km2
Brazilian Amazon 5,000,000
Protected 1,200,000
Unprotected 3,600,000
     Nonforest 1,550,000
     Forest 2,050,000
     Occupied 450,000

The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources/IBAMA since 2000 has developed a series of guidelines for expanding public conservation land in the Amazon.  Specifically, the guidelines are for the selection of flonas, sustainably-harvested areas of forest which will produce goods (timber and non-timber forest products) while helping maintain biodiversity in the Amazon.  Starting with the unprotected areas of the ‘Legal Amazon’ (this geographic boundary exists, and due to deforestation, contains many non-forested areas, as evidenced by the table of numbers above), the group systematically eliminated zones for various reasons.  First, populated areas, including those suspected to be populated by Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), were excluded.  (Protected areas include indigenous lands, so are already excluded.)  Next was to protect environmentally sensitive areas which could not afford extraction.  Also excluded were areas with insufficient economically valuable tree species and access to make harvesting economical.  Through process of elimination, the study identified about 700,000 square kilometers of new flonas, which are predicted to meet present and future demand for sustainably-harvested lumber and forest products.   Here is the resultant map:

This information is largely from Priority Areas for Establishing National Forests in the Brazilian Amazon


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