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Forest management in Amazonia; the need for new criteria in evaluating development options

by Fearnside, P.M.
Publisher: 1989ISSN: 0378-1127.Subject(s): MANEJO FORESTAL | ANALISIS ECONOMICO | TASAS DE INTERES | RIESGO | POLITICA DE DESARROLLO | AMAZONIA | BRASIL | PERU | SURINAME | GUAYANA FRANCESA | ECONOMIC ANALYSIS | INTEREST RATES | RISK | DEVELOPMENT POLICIES | AMAZONIA | BRAZIL | PERU | SURINAME | FRENCH GUIANA | ANALYSE ECONOMIQUE | TAUX D'INTERET | RISQUE | POLITIQUE DE DEVELOPPEMENT | AMAZONIE | BRESIL | PEROU | SURINAME | GUYANE FRANCAISE In: Forest Ecology and Management (Países Bajos) v. 27(1) p. 61-79Summary: Sustained management of Amazonian forest in nonexistent on a commercial scale and is in its infancy as a research front. Systems are under trial in Brazil, Surinam, French Guiana and Peru to overcome technical barriers to sustained production. The low priority that has been given to developing and implementing sustainable systems is a reflection of the low weight given to future costs and benefits in presently-used economic calculations. An examination of presently used criteria in Amazonia suggests that they do not lead to development choices that are in the best interests of the region. Problems include: the lack of connection between discount rates applied to future returns and the biological rates limiting forest growth; inappropriate accounting for environmental and social factors: and common property effects -including the distribution of environmental costs. The result is destruction of the forest, along with its potential for sustainable production through forestry management. Alternatives must be evaluated on the basis of their contribution to the well-being of the present residents of the Amazon region and their descendants.
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1 tab. Bib. p. 75-79. Sum. (En)

Sustained management of Amazonian forest in nonexistent on a commercial scale and is in its infancy as a research front. Systems are under trial in Brazil, Surinam, French Guiana and Peru to overcome technical barriers to sustained production. The low priority that has been given to developing and implementing sustainable systems is a reflection of the low weight given to future costs and benefits in presently-used economic calculations. An examination of presently used criteria in Amazonia suggests that they do not lead to development choices that are in the best interests of the region. Problems include: the lack of connection between discount rates applied to future returns and the biological rates limiting forest growth; inappropriate accounting for environmental and social factors: and common property effects -including the distribution of environmental costs. The result is destruction of the forest, along with its potential for sustainable production through forestry management. Alternatives must be evaluated on the basis of their contribution to the well-being of the present residents of the Amazon region and their descendants.

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