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Logging generates more income than ranching in the Amazon

New research conducted by Brazil’s Federal Rural University of Amazonia (UFRA) found that logging generates more income from cattle grazing and agriculture in the Amazon provided landowners operate under existing social and environmental laws, reports the International Tropical Timber Organization in its bimonthly update.

The study, conducted on behalf of the Pará State Forest Development Institute (IDEFLOR), found that “forest management” can generate 22 reais ($13.03) per hectare per year, while cattle ranching generates 6 reais ($3.55) and agriculture 14 reais ($8.29).

However the research suggests that under non-compliance with local laws, ranching is more profitable.

The non-compliance scenario is important given the lack of governance on the deforestation frontier of the Brazilian Amazon.

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Is the Amazon more valuable for carbon offsets than cattle or soy?

(October 17, 2007) After a steep drop in deforestation rates since 2004, widespread fires in the Brazilian Amazon (September and October 2007) suggest that forest clearing may increase this year. All told, since 2000 Brazil has lost more than 60,000 square miles (150,000 square kilometers) of rainforest — an area larger than the state of Georgia or the country of Bangladesh. Most of this destruction has been driven by clearing for cattle pasture and agriculture, often in association with infrastructure development and improvements. Higher commodity prices, especially for beef and soy, have further spurred forest conversion in the region. While drivers of Amazon deforestation are stronger than ever, mounting concerns over climate change and the effort to reign in greenhouse gas emissions may provide new economic incentives for landowners to preserve forest lands through a concept known as “avoided deforestation”.

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