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Scenario Analysis to Identify Viable Conservation Strategies in Paraguay’s Imperiled Atlantic Forest

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Carlson, Matthew; Mitchell, Ross E.; Rodriguez, Laura
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 16
Date: 2011
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7638
Sector: Forestry
Region: South America
Subject(s): conservation
land tenure and use
Abstract: "A common challenge facing land use planning is assessment of the future performance of land use options. The challenge can be acute in developing regions where land use is expanding rapidly and funding and data needed for planning are scarce. To inform land use planning for a biosphere reserve located in Paraguays Atlantic forest region, a scenario analysis explored the relative merits of conventional and conservation agricultural practices, sustained yield forestry, and protection. Simulations compared them long-term impacts on land cover, biotic carbon, and income of the areas residents. Ecological and economic decline were projected under conventional practices. Protection and forestry scenarios achieved only small relative improvements to ecological indicators at the cost of reduced economic performance. By addressing the underlying issue of land degradation, conservation agriculture including no-tillage was the most successful land use strategy both ecologically and economically. Identification of conservation agriculture as the most promising land use strategy prioritizes issues that must be addressed to achieve sustainability, most importantly the provision of education and funding to smallholder farmers. We conclude that scenario analysis offers a flexible strategy to integrate available data for the purpose of informing land use planning in data-limited regions such as Paraguays Atlantic forest."

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