Spatial spillover effects from agriculture drive deforestation in Mato Grosso, Brazil

Kuschnig, N., Crespo Cuaresma, J., Krisztin, T. ORCID:, & Giljum, S. (2021). Spatial spillover effects from agriculture drive deforestation in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Scientific Reports 11 (1) 10.1038/s41598-021-00861-y.

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Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest is a threat to global climate, biodiversity, and many other ecosystem services. In order to address this threat, an understanding of the drivers of deforestation processes is required. Spillover effects and factors that differ across locations and over time play important roles in these processes. They are largely disregarded in applied research and thus in the design of evidence-based policies. In this study, we model connectivity between regions and consider heterogeneous effects to gain more accurate quantitative insights into the inherent complexity of deforestation. We investigate the impacts of agriculture in Mato Grosso, Brazil, for the period 2006-2017 considering spatial spillovers and varying impacts over time and space. Spillovers between municipalities that emanate from croplands in the Amazon appear as the major driver of deforestation, with no direct effects from agriculture in recent years. This suggests a moderate success of the Soy Moratorium and Cattle Agreements, but highlights their inability to address indirect effects. We find that the neglect of the spatial dimension and the assumption of homogeneous impacts lead to distorted inference. Researchers need to be aware of the complex and dynamic processes behind deforestation, in order to facilitate effective policy design.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR)
Biodiversity and Natural Resources (BNR) > Integrated Biosphere Futures (IBF)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Migration and Sustainable Development (MIG)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2021 13:21
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2021 13:21

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