The problem of transport accessibility in rural areas in the state of Amazonas, Brazil, is identified and analyzed in this paper. While rural roads are an important communication route between remote and urban areas, offering conditions for production and commercial outflow, besides better access to education, health and leisure activities, they also can encourage deforestation and uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources. The main aspects regarding rural road specificities in the state, such as local demand, transport costs to and from agricultural markets, access to education and health facilities and illegal and legal exploitation of natural resources are considered. The environmental questions raised by rural road building in the region are contrasted with public policies for economic and social development. The methodology used to establish environmental viability is based on the system dynamics technique, using information gathered on rural road characteristics to build a dynamic system map. The results suggest that the environmental viability of rural roads in the Amazon region depends on local characteristics like the type of agricultural production, transport accessibility, deforestation aspects and natural resource exploitation.

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