Multi-'steak' holder Sustainability: Reduced Deforestation and the Cattle Agreement in Brazil

Jan 02, 2015
Peter Newton, Avery S. Cohn

This case-study explores the contemporary challenge of producing food in tropical forest landscapes. The socio-environmental system is the cattle sector in Brazil, which is associated with high levels of deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. The case-study focuses on the governance of the Brazilian cattle sector, and particularly on a recent (2009) multi-stakeholder agreement that aims to enhance the environmental sustainability of beef production.
The case-study draws on disciplines as broad as ecology, economics, geography, and politics. It provides opportunities for students to engage with a set of real-world sustainability issues in a socio-environmental system of considerable global importance. Included in the case-study are activities that aim to develop students’ knowledge and their analytical skills. For the Answer Key to this case, please contact the case authors.

Estimated time frame: 
SES learning goals: 
  • Understand the structure and behavior of socio-environmental systems
  • Consider the importance of scale and context in addressing socio-environmental problems
  • Co-develop research questions and conceptual models in inter- or trans-disciplinary teams
  • Find, analyze, and synthesize existing data, concepts, or methods
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