[OPE] Trade, Agricultural Expansion, and Climate Change in the Amazon Basin - GDAE research project

From: GERALD LEVY <gerald_a_levy@msn.com>
Date: Mon Feb 02 2009 - 15:58:01 EST

Date: Mon, 2 Feb 2009 12:59:05 -0500From: GDAEAnnounce@tufts.eduSubject: GDAE Launches Amazon Research

Trade, Agricultural Expansion, and Climate Changein the Amazon Basin
GDAE is launching a new research project to assess the socio-economic and environmental consequences of trade-led agricultural expansion – particularly soybean cultivation – in the Amazon. Part of the institute’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program, the research is being led by GDAE Senior Research Fellow María del Carmen Vera-Díaz, who has just joined the institute. Vera-Díaz is an ecological economist who recently completed her Ph.D in Geography and Environment at Boston University. From 1999 to 2003, she worked as a researcher at the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) in Belém (Brazil).Soybean production is one of the main economic forces driving the expansion of the agricultural frontier in the Amazon Basin. The expansion of soybean cultivation has important implications for the regional and global economy, rainforest and biodiversity conservation, greenhouse gas emissions, as well as the livelihoods of communities of indigenous people and smallholders. Key to that expansion is a series of infrastructure projects designed to reduce transportation costs, which has increased the economic viability of soybean production in the Amazon Region. Foreign demand, particularly from China, is a significant driver of soybean expansion in Brazil, Bolivia, and other producing countries in the region.
Vera-Díaz will build on her dissertation research, in which she modeled the likely impacts of infrastructure projects on land use in the Amazon Basin. Her analysis uses spatial-econometric techniques to estimate the change in the returns to land with the completion of different infrastructure projects in the region. Combining ecological and economic data with satellite imaging and GIS analysis, Vera-Díaz offers a detailed mapping of the sensitive forests that these infrastructure improvements transform into potentially profitable agricultural lands. The research can allow governments, international agencies, and non-governmental organizations to anticipate the threats posed by the rapid expansion of agro-export production to the local environment and communities and to global climate change.
For more on the Amazon Project, see:http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/policy_research/amazon_project.html
For more on GDAE’s Sustainable Rural Development Program:http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/policy_research/community_control.html
For more on GDAE’s Globalization and Sustainable Development Program:http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/policy_research/globalization.html

ope mailing list
Received on Mon Feb 2 15:59:42 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 24 2009 - 20:30:37 EDT