Multi-'steak' holder Sustainability: Reduced Deforestation and the Cattle Agreement in Brazil (2014-9)

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Jan 02, 2015
Author: 
Peter Newton and 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 or Cynthia Wei at SESYNC (cwei@sesync.org).

Estimated time frame: 
multiple-weeks
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
Has this been tested in the class room: 
Yes
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