Remote sensing and land prices as tools to understand land system dynamics: the case of Brazil.

Authors: Eugenio Arima*, The University of Texas at Austin
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Latin America, Economic Geography
Keywords: land systems science, land change science, Amazonia, cerrado.
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Studio 3, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Expansion of intensive cropping systems such as soybeans and sugarcane in south-central Brazil has encroached on existing pastures, displacing them to the Amazonian and cerrado frontiers. This phenomenon, known as indirect land use change (iLUC), has been analyzed with the use of governmental official data through statistical and computational models. This paper shows empirical evidence of iLUC by combining Landsat-based land use and land cover data with countrywide land prices dataset from 2001-2016. Pasture land appreciation caused by alternative, more profitable agricultural use and huge price differentials between pasture lands in south-central Brazil and forests in Amazonia is likely the main cause of iLUC. This price differential is decreasing through time, suggesting that the agricultural frontier is catching up with the cattle ranching frontier.

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