Out-migration and household land use change in Altamira, Pará, Brazil

Leah K. VanWey, Brown University
Gilvan R. Guedes, Brown University
Alvaro O. D'Antona, Indiana University

Understanding land use change is essential to understanding the future of many regions in the tropics, particularly those that have historically been forested. The Amazon is particularly important in this regard, being the largest existing contiguous tropical forest and therefore of great importance for preserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change on a global scale. A great deal of work has shown the role of economic change and the building of infrastructure in the development and deforestation of the Amazon. Work primarily in the last 15 years has built upon that foundation, and upon earlier ethnographic work, to examine the micro-level processes of such development and land use change in the Amazon. This paper builds upon that work and upon demographic theory about migration to understand the relationship between individual out-migration of household heads or their children and household land use change among rural families in Altamira, Para, Brazil.

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Presented in Session 97: Population distribution processes and environmental change