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Restoration pathways for Brazil’s Atlantic Forest: finding co-benefits for people and biodiversity

Shennan-Farpón, Yara; (2022) Restoration pathways for Brazil’s Atlantic Forest: finding co-benefits for people and biodiversity. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Brazil’s Atlantic Forest biome (Mata Atlântica) is a global conservation and restoration hotspot lying within the Neotropics, one of the most species-rich realms on Earth. Around 80% of Brazil’s population live within its range, competing for land and natural resources. The biome’s remaining forests are highly degraded and fragmented and ambitious targets have been set to restore native forest over the coming decades. Diverse, often marginalised, rural communities from different socio-political, cultural and ethnic backgrounds exist across areas targeted for large-scale restoration. This thesis uses mixed-methods to explore opportunities for Forest Landscape Restoration to benefit both biodiversity and livelihoods while reaching Atlantic Forest restoration targets. First, I explore evidence on forest cover thresholds to understand the ecological evidence-base for restoration targets. I then combine Participatory Scenario Development, creating narratives of change for the region, and partial economic equilibrium modelling to evaluate the potential implications of restoration policy pathways using GLOBIOM-Brazil, a Brazilian regional biosphere management model. Modelling outcomes from different policy scenarios are explored comparing indicators of agricultural development, land-use change, and biodiversity. Finally, I use a case study of agroforestry as a restoration method, exploring its potential to deliver biodiversity and livelihood gains for subsistence farmers from the Rural Landless Workers Movement (MST). This case study allows an in-depth understanding of family farmers’ place in Atlantic Forest restoration, and explores the feasibility of modelled policy scenarios. It shows that restoration through agroforestry can deliver benefits to these communities, but multiple policy and financial barriers prevent uptake and implementation. Scenario modelling results show different policy pathways involve trade-offs between biodiversity gains, spatial distribution of restoration and agriculture, but importantly suggest that restoration goals are not incompatible with necessary agricultural development in the biome. I end by outlining recommendations towards the creation of policy and management options which promote restoration approaches which may benefit smallholder farmers in the Atlantic Forest.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Restoration pathways for Brazil’s Atlantic Forest: finding co-benefits for people and biodiversity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2022. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10153597
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