45th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Land Use and Water Management in a Sustainable Network Society", 23-27 August 2005, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Brazil has the largest tropical rainforests in the world and most of them are located at Amazon River basin area. During the last three decades, deforestation are growing very fast in this region, having negative impacts at local and global weather. In order to minimize these impacts and protect part of the biodiversity, Brazilian government established several national forests in this area, but just one have being explored, the Tapajós National Forest (known as Flona Tapajós). This paper evaluates the economic and social features of a reduced impact logging project conducted at Flona Tapajós from 1999 to 2003. It was coordinated by IBAMA (the Brazilian governmental agency responsible for managing National Forests), funded by ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization) and conducted by Treviso Agropecuária Ltda (a private enterprise). This project is locally known as ITTO project. Basing on field interviews and examining IBAMA's and Treviso's documents, this paper concludes that ITTO project was highly profitable for the private company, in spite of the company had obeyed all Brazilian working laws, what is not very common at this Brazilian region. Treviso's internal rate of return was 35.79%. ITTO project impacted significantly the community workers involved with the project and it was able to teach this population how to manage rainforests in order to produce timber without destroying them. The paper ends by suggesting some attitudes that Brazilian government can follow in its discussion about new reduced impact logging projects to be implemented at Flona Tapajós and other national forests by both private enterprises and local communities.