Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has been partially attributed to the establishment of settlement projects. Acknowledging the difficulties in quantifying the rate and patterns of deforestation, the objective of this paper is to determine forest dynamics (deforestation and reforestation) in areas where settlement projects have been established, at multiple levels and using different methods. Using satellite images from 1985 to 2010, a study was conducted in five settlement projects in Para State, aiming to determine forest dynamics at municipal and settlement levels. At property level, participatory maps were constructed to understand settlers' perception of forest/non-forest areas. The results show that reforestation is the current process in the municipality and in some settlements. Settlers, however, perceive areas with secondary regrowth as potentially fertile cropland and might deforest again in the future. More research is needed to elucidate whether the observed reforestation will lead to a forest transition or is merely a temporary trend.
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Vol. 15 • No. 4