Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
FEARNSIDE, Philip M.. Migration, colonization and environment: the potential of Amazonian ecosystems. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 1993, vol.9, n.4, pp.448-457. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X1993000400005.
Amazonian ecosystems have the capacity to support a sparse human population and to supply irreplaceable environmental services. The region's capacity to produce financial returns through sale of commodities is limited. The production systems presently being used to exploit these ecosystems are unsustainable and do not attend to the basic needs of the region's population, in general offering little employment and little financial return that remains in the region. Fundamental assumptions of the programs for promoting forestry management and other systems are flawed, and basic changes are necessary in order for these systems to produce in a sustainable way on a commercial scale. Amazonia plays a key role in the supply of environmental services, both in Brazil and in the world as a whole. Institutional mechanisms are needed to assess the value of these services and to translate this value into a means of supporting the people who maintain the forest.
Keywords : Human Carrying Capacity; Agricultural Colonization; Forest Management; Climatic Change; Amazonia.