Sustainability Science Program

Judson Valentim

Judson Valentim

Judson ValentimDr. Judson Valentim
Sustainability Science Program
Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 81
Harvard University
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
Office: 504 Rubenstein Building
Tel: (1) 617-495-1417
Group affiliation: Giorgio Ruffolo Research Fellow in Sustainability Science

Judson Valentim is a Giorgio Ruffolo Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program and a Research Associate at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies. He is a researcher at the Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research (Embrapa). His research investigates strategies to more effectively mobilize science and technology to address the goal of equitably enhancing agricultural production, food security and environmental conservation in the Brazilian Amazon. His research has focused on development of technologies and policy recommendations aimed at reconciling intensification of cattle production systems with environmental conservation in the Brazilian Amazon. Judson is contributing to collaborative work with the Initiative on Innovation and Access to Technologies for Sustainable Development led by William Clark. He was the leader of the Research Group on Sustainable Cattle production Systems in the Western Brazilian Amazon (1979-2008). He has also been associated with the Ecologic and Economic Zoning of the State of Acre (1999-2006). Judson was the Director General of the Agroforestry Research Center of Acre – Embrapa Acre (1995-1999 and 2008-2013) and a member of the Steering Committee of the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Program (ASB-ICRAF, Kenya – 1996-1999), Science, Technology and Environmental Council of Acre (1999-2006; 2008-2013), Forest Council of Acre (2008-2013), Sustainable Rural Development Council of Acre (Member, 2010-2013) and Steering Committee of the NGO Friends of Earth Brazilian Amazon (2007-). Judson holds a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy (1978) from the Federal Rural University of Amazon and a Master of Science (1985) and PhD (1987) in Agronomy from University of Florida. His faculty host at Harvard is William Clark.

Mobilizing science and technology to equitably enhance agricultural production, food security and environmental conservation in the Brazilian Amazon
The Legal Brazilian Amazon occupies an area of 5.2 million square kilometers, representing 61% of the Brazilian territory, with a population of over 25 million people and over 74 million hectares of deforested land. From 1960 until the early 1980s the prevailing policies of the federal and state governments aimed at occupying and integrating the Amazon with the other more developed regions of Brazil. Since the 1980s the Amazon has been at the center of national and international debates on issues such as tropical deforestation, agricultural development (particularly cattle ranching and grain production), global climate change, biodiversity conservation, and the rights of indigenous populations. In the last ten years, the increase in environmental governance and technological innovation in forestry and agricultural production systems is allowing a gradual decoupling of deforestation in the Amazon. Between 2004 and 2011 annual deforestation decreased 77%, from 27,772 to 6,418 km2, while the cattle herd grew 11% from 71.6 to 79.8 million heads and the area planted with agriculture grew 19% from 12.3 to 14.6 million hectares. The great territorial extension and the environmental, economic, cultural, and institutional diversity of the Brazilian Amazon offer an exceptional opportunity to study and learn from different successful and unsuccessful development experiences. This research has the objective of studying how science and technology can be more effectively mobilized to address the goal of equitably enhancing agricultural production, food security and environmental conservation in the Brazilian Amazon.

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