Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Reforesting Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest

Over the last 500 years, logging, agriculture, and population growth have decimated Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest, an ecosystem that once spanned 1000 miles of coastline and hosted unparalleled biodiversity. Many plants and animals native to the forest are now on the brink of extinction, and small farmers living in the midst of the largest remaining forest fragments have few options for rural socioeconomic development.

At IBES, Leah VanWey and Stephen Porder are working with local populations to determine the economic incentives that are likely to both encourage forest restoration and produce the best societal outcomes. Their goal is reforestation of the region, which will not only improve livelihoods and protect valuable plants and animals, but will also improve carbon sequestration and mitigate CO2 emissions.