Living Amazon Initiative: Sound land planning and conservation
Land and resource use are primarily motivated by economic interests ranging from the large-scale needs of extensive landowners and industrial-scale investors to those of subsistence farmers. While demand is a key driver for habitat conversion, how this process plays out spatially is largely determined by the rules for land occupation (or lack thereof). In the Amazon, where a significant proportion of the lands are still considered to be public and undesignated, land grabbing and illegal encroachment are rampant. The means most often used to lay claim to an area is to deforest it, and then show it to be “productive” by sowing crops or raising cattle.