The Amazon rainforest hosts some of the richest biodiversity in the world; stores vast amounts of carbon; and regulates the climate and rainfall over a vast area. But it’s also home to more than 30 million people in nine South American countries, many of whom rely on the forest for their livelihoods. CIFOR’s research in the region aims to shed light on how the forests can be used in more sustainable ways – while improving the lives of their poorest inhabitants.
In Brazil’s far west, the state of Acre – made famous by the rubber tapper social movement and the murder of its leader Chico Mendes – is now trying to prove that it is possible to safeguard the Amazon – and improve the lives of rural people at the same time.
Smallholders, logging and the law
In the Ecuadorian Amazon, CIFOR researchers have been examining the country’s thriving domestic timber market, trying to understand how smallholders and chainsaw millers relate it, and the links to the international timber trade. They’re also looking at women’s roles in timber harvesting.
Balancing Brazil nuts and timber
In Madre de Dios in Peru, CIFOR scientists are tackling a controversial question. They are working alongside local university students to try to determine the impact selective logging is having on nut production in Brazil nut concessions.
Brazil has dramatically reduced the deforestation rate in the Amazon over the past decade. How did they do it? Can they sustain it? Can this success be replicated by other countries? And have the costs been borne by Brazil’s other forest ecosystem, the Cerrado?