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In the Field with Justin Laue and Dr. Arima: Conflict and Conservation in Amazônia National Park

Posted: July 18, 2013
Justin Laue (right) and a local resident near the confluence of the Araguaia and Tocantins rivers.

Justin Laue (right) and a local resident near the confluence of the Araguaia and Tocantins rivers.

Graduate student Justin Laue and Dr. Eugenio Arima are traveling throughout the Brazilian Amazon to research the factors behind recent changes to Brazil's protected areas network. Over the past three years, many of the Amazon's parks and forests have undergone downsizing and degazetting (removal of protected status). The objective of this fieldwork is to investigate the drivers behind these reductions.

As part of their investigation, they have spent time at Amazônia National Park conducting interviews with officials and community leaders. In addition, they have taken measurements using Global Navigation Satellite System receivers to inventory and verify the park's current boundaries.

Preliminary data has suggested that Amazônia National Park is caught in a four-way intersection that involves inconsistent property rights, conflicting environmental regulation, local land-use pressures, and national economic development. These factors each contribute to create a nebulous definition of the park's long-term boundaries.

Funding to support this fieldwork comes from UT's Brazil Center, the National Science Foundation, and the Robert E. Veselka Endowed Fellowship. You can learn more about Justin Laue and Dr. Eugenio Arima and the scope of their research on their graduate student and faculty profiles. 

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