Environmental policy reform on north-eastern Brazil’s agricultural frontier
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The expansion of modern agriculture in developing countries presents numerous challenges for environmental policy makers. Environmental policies for agriculture in north-eastern Brazil's soybean belt are analyzed, with emphasis on the role of a non-state actor in leading policy reforms. An organization representing large farmers is leading policy reforms to reduce the environmental impacts of modern agriculture. By contrast, state agencies are relatively weak and ineffective. The analysis situates this question conceptually in literatures stressing the political and structural causes of corporate environmentalism and literatures explaining the increasingly strong role of non-state actors in environmental governance. The case study focuses on the content of reforms, reasons why the non-state actor is so prominent, and the implications of policy reforms. State agencies face major challenges in environment-agriculture policy debates in places where environmental subsidies are unlikely, environmental information is poor, and organized private interests are influential. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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