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A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: the Sustainable Amazon Network Public Deposited

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  • Science has a critical role to play in guiding more sustainable development trajectories. Here, we present the Sustainable Amazon Network (Rede Amazonia Sustentavel, RAS): a multidisciplinary research initiative involving more than 30 partner organizations working to assess both social and ecological dimensions of land-use sustainability in eastern Brazilian Amazonia. The research approach adopted by RAS offers three advantages for addressing land-use sustainability problems: (i) the collection of synchronized and co-located ecological and socioeconomic data across broad gradients of past and present human use; (ii) a nested sampling design to aid comparison of ecological and socioeconomic conditions associated with different land uses across local, landscape and regional scales; and (iii) a strong engagement with a wide variety of actors and non-research institutions. Here, we elaborate on these key features, and identify the ways in which RAS can help in highlighting those problems in most urgent need of attention, and in guiding improvements in land-use sustainability in Amazonia and elsewhere in the tropics. We also discuss some of the practical lessons, limitations and realities faced during the development of the RAS initiative so far.
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  • Gardner, T. A., Andretti, C., Aragão, Luiz E O C, Araújo, I., de Ávila, W. S., Bardgett, R. D., . . . Zuanon, J. (2013). A social and ecological assessment of tropical land uses at multiple scales: The sustainable amazon network. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences, 368(1619), 20120166. doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0166
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  • 368
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  • 1619
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  • We are grateful to the following for financial support; InstitutoNacional de Cieˆncia e Tecnologia—Biodiversidade e Uso da Terra naAmazoˆnia (CNPq 574008/2008-0), Empresa Brasileira de PesquisaAgropecua´ria—Embrapa (SEG: 02.08.06.005.00 and 01.05.01.003.05),the UK government Darwin Initiative (17-023), The Nature Conservancy,Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (NE/F01614X/1, NE/G000816/1, NE/F015356/2 and NE/l018123), ConselhoNacional de Desenvolvimento Cientı´fico e Tecnolo´gico (CNPq)(477583/2009-1), the Fulbright Commission (RH), Sa˜o Paulo ResearchFoundation (FAPESP) (2011/19108-0), Fundac¸a˜o de Amparo a` Pesquisado estado de Minas Gerais (FAPEMIG), and the Brazilian Coordenac¸a˜ode Aperfeic¸oamento de Pessoal de Nı´vel Superior (CAPES). R.M. andJ.R.T. were supported by Australian Research Council grantDP120100797.
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