Public policies and communication affecting forest cover in the Amazon

Monday, 15 December 2014
Elza Kawakami Savaget1,2, Mateus Batistella1 and Ana Paula Dutra Aguiar3, (1)EMBRAPA Satellite Monitoring, Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation, Campinas, Brazil, (2)Center for Environmental Studies and Researche, Campinas, Brazil, (3)National Institute for Space Research, Earth System Science Center (CCST), São Jose dos Campos, Brazil
The research program Amazalert was based on information delivered by the IPCC through its 2007 report, which indicates forest degradation processes in the Amazonian region as a consequence of anthropogenic actions. Such processes affecting the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems would harm environmental services that guarantee, for example, the regulation of climate and the provision of fresh water. A survey was organized, through a multidisciplinary perspective, on the main policies and programs that can affect forest cover in the Amazon. These rules and norms seek to regulate societal actions by defining a developmental model for the region. Although deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon have decreased significantly since 2004, some locations maintain high levels of deforestation. In 2013, for example, the municipalities of Monte Alegre, Óbidos, Alenquer, Oriximiná, Curuá and Almeirin, in the northern region of the state of Para, showed the highest rates of deforestation in the Amazon. Managers and stakeholders within these areas are being interviewed to provide insights on how policies are interpreted and applied locally. There is an understanding delay between discourses normalized by federal governmental institutions and claims of local societies. The possible lack of clarity in official discourses added to the absence of a local communicative dynamics cause the phenomenon of incomplete information. Conflicts often occur in local institutional arenas resulting in violence and complex social and historical dissonances, enhanced by other public policies idealized in different temporal and spatial conditions.