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Open AccessArticle

Reducing Amazon Deforestation through Agricultural Intensification in the Cerrado for Advancing Food Security and Mitigating Climate Change

1
Department of Soil Science, “Luiz de Queiroz” College of Agriculture, University of São Paulo, 11 Pádua Dias Avenue, Piracicaba 13418-900, SP, Brazil
2
Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo, 303 Centenário Avenue, Piracicaba 13400-970, SP, Brazil
3
Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Alagoas, Campus Marechal Deodoro, 176 Lourival Alfredo Street, Marechal Deodoro 57160-000, AL, Brazil
4
Carbon Management and Sequestration Center, SENR/FAES, The Ohio State University, 422B Kottman Hall, 2021 Coffey Rd, Columbus, OH 43201, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
In memorian.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 989; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10040989
Received: 5 February 2018 / Revised: 19 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land-Use Competition)
Important among global issues is the trilemma of abrupt climate change, food insecurity, and environmental degradation. Despite the increasing use of fossil fuel, about one third of global C emissions come from tropical deforestation and indiscriminate use of agricultural practices. Global food insecurity, affecting one in seven persons, aggravates environmental degradation. The importance of judicious land use and soil sustainability in addressing the trilemma cannot be overemphasized. While intensifying agronomic production on existing land, it is also essential to identify suitable eco-regions for bringing new land under production. Based on 35-years of data from Brazil, we report that C emissions from agroecosystems are 4 to 5.5 times greater by bringing new land under production in Amazon than in the Cerrado for pastures and cropland production, respectively. The data presented indicate that agricultural intensification is feasible in the Cerrado, and the forest in Rondônia and Mato Grosso states must be protected and restored for nature conservancy. Now is the time to think beyond COP 21—Paris 2015 and take concrete actions to address these issues of global significance. View Full-Text
Keywords: land use change; best management practices; soil carbon; greenhouse gas emission land use change; best management practices; soil carbon; greenhouse gas emission
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Cerri, C.E.P.; Cerri, C.C.; Maia, S.M.F.; Cherubin, M.R.; Feigl, B.J.; Lal, R. Reducing Amazon Deforestation through Agricultural Intensification in the Cerrado for Advancing Food Security and Mitigating Climate Change. Sustainability 2018, 10, 989.

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