Land change in the Brazilian Savanna (Cerrado), 1986–2002: Comparative analysis and implications for land-use policy

Brannstrom, C. and Jepson, W. and Filippi, A.M. and et al, . (2008) Land change in the Brazilian Savanna (Cerrado), 1986–2002: Comparative analysis and implications for land-use policy. Land Use Policy, 25 (4). pp. 579-595.

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The Brazilian Cerrado, a biodiverse savanna ecoregion covering ∼1.8 million km2 south and east of the Amazon rainforest, is in rapid decline because of the expansion of modern agriculture. Previous studies of Cerrado land-use and land-cover (LULC) change imply spatial homogeneity, report widely varying rates of land conversion, use ambiguous LULC categories, and generally do not attempt to validate results. This study addresses this gap in the literature by analyzing moderate-resolution, multi-spectral satellite remote sensing data from 1986 to 2002 in two regions with identical underlying drivers. Unsupervised classification by the ISODATA algorithm indicates that Cerrado was converted to agro-pastoral land covers in 31% (3646 km2) of the study region in western Bahia and 24% (3011 km2) of the eastern Mato Grosso study region, while nearly 40% (4688 km2 and 5217 km2, respectively) of each study region remained unchanged. Although aggregate land change is similar, large and contiguous fragments persist in western Bahia, while smaller fragments remain in eastern Mato Grosso. These findings are considered in the current context of Cerrado land-use policy, which is dominated by the conservation set-aside and command-control policy models. The spatial characteristics of Cerrado remnants create considerable obstacles to implement the models; an alternative approach, informed by countryside biogeography, may encourage collaboration between state officials and farmer-landowners toward conservation land-use policies.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Brazil; Cerrado; Agriculture; Land change; Land use; Conservation
Author Affiliation: Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, 3147 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843 3147, USA
Subjects: Social Sciences > Agricultural Extension,Technology, ICT
Soil Science and Microbiology > Soil Sciences
Statistics and Experimentation
Environmental Science
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr Balakrishna Garadasu
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2013 18:13
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2013 18:13
Official URL:

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