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Copyright 2008 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance. Grau, H. R., and M. Aide. 2008. Globalization and land-use transitions in Latin America. Ecology and
 

Summary: Copyright © 2008 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance.
Grau, H. R., and M. Aide. 2008. Globalization and land-use transitions in Latin America. Ecology and
Society 13(2): 16. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol13/iss2/art16/
Guest Editorial, part of a Special Feature on The influence of human demography and agriculture on
natural systems in the Neotropics
Globalization and Land-Use Transitions in Latin America
H. Ricardo Grau 1,2
and Mitchell Aide 3
ABSTRACT. Current socioeconomic drivers of land-use change associated with globalization are
producing two contrasting land-use trends in Latin America. Increasing global food demand (particularly
inSoutheastAsia)acceleratesdeforestationinareassuitableformodernagriculture(e.g.,soybean),severely
threatening ecosystems, such as Amazonian rain forests, dry forests, and subtropical grasslands.
Additionally, in the coming decades, demand for biofuels may become an emerging threat. In contrast,
high yields in modern agricultural systems and rural­urban migration coupled with remittances promote
the abandonment of marginal agricultural lands, thus favoring ecosystem recovery on mountains, deserts,
and areas of poor soils, while improving human well-being. The potential switch from production in
traditional extensive grazing areas to intensive modern agriculture provides opportunities to significantly
increase food production while sparing land for nature conservation. This combination of emerging threats
andopportunitiesrequireschangesinthewaytheconservationofLatinAmericanecosystemsisapproached.
Land-use efficiency should be analyzed beyond the local-based paradigm that drives most conservation

  

Source: Aide, Mitchell - Department of Biology, Universidad de Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology