Access Regimes and Regional Land Change in the Brazilian Cerrado, 1972-2002 Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine how access regimes, defined by a set of interrelated institutions and organizations, facilitated the flow of production resources and benefits that resulted in patterns of land change in the Brazilian Cerrado. We analyzed remotely sensed data (Landsat MSS, TM, +ETM) for three time periods (1972/1973-1986, 1986-1992, 1992-2002) with qualitative and archival data for eastern Mato Grosso state. Overall we found that land privately colonized was cleared more rapidly and extensively than lands under no colonization scheme. We also identified significant spatial variability in Cerrado conversion within and outside colonization areas and variability of annual rates of Cerrado conversion during each period. We explain that farmers in the Cerrado engaged in land-leasing and production contracts and worked through cooperatives and firms to marshal resources, including credit, technology, and inputs, which, in turn, influenced land-use decisions and regional patterns of land-cover change. We conclude that a mesoscale analytical framework that examines how land managers access natural and productive resources provides useful insights to explain the processes that cause patterns of high-input agricultural expansion. 2010 by Association of American Geographers.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Jepson, W., Brannstrom, C., & Filippi, A.

citation count

  • 85

complete list of authors

  • Jepson, Wendy||Brannstrom, Christian||Filippi, Anthony

publication date

  • January 2010