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  • Fire risk perpetuates poverty and fire use among Amazonian smallholders
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Fire risk perpetuates poverty and fire use among Amazonian smallholders

Source(s):  Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions

Forest fires exacerbate carbon emissions, threaten biodiversity and cause welfare losses to local populations. Most fires accidentally ignite from mismanaged swidden and pasture fires. This study provides evidence that fire risk in the Brazilian Amazon, the world's largest remaining tropical forest, perpetuates low yield and environmentally degrading agricultural activities. Using a combination of household interviews and remotely sensed data on fire occurrence in Eastern Amazon municipalities of Paragominas and Santarém, we show that smallholders in consolidated farm-forest frontier regions are locked into a vicious cycle that inhibits their adoption of fire-free practices. Households that invest in more capital-intensive fire-free agricultural technologies experience greater revenue losses from escaped fires than non-fire users. Changes in revenues are as sensitive to these fire impacts asthey are to changes in physical capital investments. To overcome this fire-poverty trap, a “big push” of co-ordinated local incentives is needed. Policies mitigating fire risk may achieve a triple-win that reduces green-house gas emissions, forest degradation, and fosters inclusive economic development.



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  • Fire risk perpetuates poverty and fire use among Amazonian smallholders
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Cammelli, Federico; Garrett, Rachael D.; Barlow, Jos et al.
  • Number of pages 10 p.
  • ISBN/ISSN 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2020.102096 (DOI)

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