Title: Industrial development on logging frontiers in the Brazilian Amazon

Authors: Frank Merry, Gregory Amacher, Daniel Nepstad, Eirivelthon Lima, Paul Lefebvre, Simone Bauch

Addresses: Woods Hole Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA 02540, USA. ' Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA. ' Woods Hole Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA 02540, USA. ' Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazonia, Belem, Para, Brazil. ' Woods Hole Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA 02540, USA. ' Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, USA

Abstract: In this paper, we review the concept of forest sector industrialisation and technology adoption with the goal of identifying reasons that have shaped the technological development, or lack thereof, in the Brazilian forest sector. The image of the timber industry in the Amazon has been one of excessive harvest, deforestation, and arguable misuse of a renewable resource. In this paper, we use the results of a survey of 499 mills in the Amazon, as well as secondary data, to discuss the drivers of unsustainable frontier development. Our research suggests that unsustainable logging, or the |boom-and-bust| scenario, is not an inevitable outcome for the industry. New and intermediate frontiers are sufficiently different from old frontiers, in key issues, to show that the industry can respond rationally to policy interventions.

Keywords: Amazon; forest policy; industrial organisation; sustainable development; sustainability; unsustainable logging; Brazil; technological development; timber industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSD.2006.012849

International Journal of Sustainable Development, 2006 Vol.9 No.3, pp.277 - 296

Available online: 18 Mar 2007 *

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