Uncertainty and Inaction : a study on forces of concern in the Cerrado of Mato Grosso, Brazil
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This study is an analysis of uncertainty and inaction among actors of the agricultural industry in the Cerrado region of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The Cerrado is a vast savannah biome neighboring the Amazon and is fraught with both concerns for the environment, the sustainability of industrial farming and those seeking land rights within it. The region, which is the largest exporter of soy in the world, is of great ecological importance but presently lacks strong protection and is experiencing vast deforestation due to industrial agriculture. There are colonization projects to provide land rights to landless farmers, however the process also presents uncertainties in adaptation. As such it requires further study to understand how and why only limited responses to climate change are enacted. Data was collected through qualitative interviews of individuals living in the region and through selected literature. The information was analyzed to see how uncertainty arose among respondents and how this can lead to inaction. Uncertainty was identified surrounding continued soy production, climate change and land tenure. Responses to reduce uncertainty proved difficult for many respondents due to limited resources, knowledge gaps and skepticism. The results suggest uncertainty will remain as a cause for inaction unless methods to reduce it can be proven effective. Further findings indicate that complex land tenure regimes as well as weak enforcement of nature protection both need to be addressed with a firmer stance.