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Transition of shifting cultivation systems at the agriculture/forest frontiers in Brazil

Grant number: 10/20101-8
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2011
Effective date (End): July 13, 2011
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal researcher:Cristina Adams
Grantee:Cristina Adams
Host: Ole Mertz
Home Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of Copenhagen, Denmark  


Shifting cultivation used to be the backbone of smallholder agriculture throughout the tropics, but today it is abandoned in many places in favor of large scale cash crop production - e.g. for biofuels. The extent of these changes is not well documented because shifting cultivation land rarely appears on official maps and census data seldom identifies shifting cultivators. Moreover, the consequences of these changes for livelihoods (e.g. food security) and environment (e.g. carbon storage) are not well known. The aim of this project is to analyze the extent and consequences of change in shifting cultivation by combining meta-analyses of existing studies and census data with case studies in selected areas in Asia, Africa and Latin America. This interdisciplinary project focuses on: 1) Trends in change in shifting cultivation landscapes and demography and 2) Changes in livelihoods due to these changes. The outcome will be relevant to planning and policy-making on land and forest management. In Brazil two case studies are being carried out - Amazon and Atlantic Forest. The aim of this scholarship proposal is to cover my expenses while working together with the University of Copenhagen team in the final data analysis and writing up process. (AU)

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