The overall ambit of the INCT-MPEG project is to implement an integrated, multidisciplinary study that involves ecologists, forestry engineers, social scientists, economists, biologists, anthropologists and other specialists from different areas, with a unified common research agenda. To confront this ambitious undertaking specific scientific questions are being treating by individual groups, with each group contributing to the same over-arching and cross-cutting themes.

  1. The role of climate and landscape change in the past and future evolution of vertebrates and higher plants of conservation concern in the Amazon. To produce and validate biogeoclimatic models that can evaluate the biodiversity impacts of alternative environmental and climate change scenarios predicted for the Amazon region, and help reconstruct the evolutionary history of key elements of the Amazon biota. Coordinator: Alexandre Aleixo (MPEG);
  2. Balancing the costs and benefits of environmental conservation and development in the Amazon region. To develop an integrated spatially-explicit analysis of changes in biodiversity, key ecosystem services and indices of social and economic development across gradients of land-use and land-use intensity, Moreover, to identify and quantify critical trade-offs between conservation and development in multiple-use landscapes.   Coordinators: Toby Gardner (University of Cambridge) e Joice Ferreira (Embrapa-CPATU);
  3. Biodiversity loss in the Centre of Endemism of Belém. To quantify patterns of endemic biodiversity within the Belém region, identifying the long-term ecological impacts of change in landscape composition and structure. Coordinators: Marlúcia Martins (MPEG) e Márcia Maués (Embrapa);
  4. Quantifying the social and environmental costs of fires in Amazonia. To develop a novel analytical framework for identifying the long-term consequences of wildfires on Amazon biota. Coordinators: Jos Barlow (Lancaster University) e Ima Vieira (MPEG);
  5. Ecosystem services in agro-silvi-pastoral systems. To evaluate patterns of natural resource use in multiple-use production systems, and quantify gradients of impact as associated with different agricultural practices in the Arc of Deforestation region. Coordinators: Izildinha Miranda (UFRA) e Michel Grimaldi (IRD);
  6. Land-use change and dynamics in the east of Pará. To monitor and evaluate dominant land-use patterns in a region of Pará that is experiencing rapid investment in the biofuels industry. To help guide the planning of private reserves and riparian reserves in municipalities with oil-palm plantations, and to evaluate the potential social and environmental impacts of future oil-palm expansion. Coordinator: Ima Vieira (MPEG);
  7. Resource use and restoration of agricultural productivity in eastern Pará. To evaluate different opportunities to exploit natural resources and restore degraded lands in different systems of production. Coordinator: Lourdes Ruivo (MPEG);
  8. Mapping of traditional populations and conflict areas in the region of influence of the BR-163 highway. To map spatial distribution of traditional populations, and human-environment conflict zones along the BR-163 highway. Further, to draw attention to areas of uncertainty in land-rights and land-access. Coordinator: Rodrigo Peixoto (MPEG);
  9. Sustainable development in indigenous reserves. To evaluate current patterns of forest loss and human-ecological interactions across indigenous reserves in eastern Pará. Specifically, to develop a showcase laboratory of sustainability practices in the Alto Turiacu and Las Casas reserves, with a view to motivating the restoration of degraded lands and implementation of alternative livelihood strategies based on extraction of non-timber forest products. Coordinator: Claudia Lopez (MPEG);
  10. . Restoration of private reserves and permanent protection areas around riparian habitat. To generate models of forest regeneration in areas of small-scale farming in rural Pará with a view to promoting the restoration of degraded lands and long-term ecological monitoring. Coordinator: Silvio Brienza (Embrapa-CPATU);
  11. . Capacity building of professional botanists. To invest in and develop human resources in the area of botany and develop regional centres of education and training in botanical field and laboratory research. Coordinators: Anna Ilkiu-Borges (MPEG) e Ubiratan Santos (UFRA).