This research aims to analyze the relationship between the deforestation of the Atlantic Forest and economic activity, under the hypothesis of the Environmental Kuznets Curve, considering the municipalities of the state of Ceará. For this, it is estimated a Tobit model for panel data, in the period from 2011 until 2017, considering the GDP per capita and controlling for associated factors with both deforestation and environmental protection. Unlike the expectations, the population density and cattle farming soften deforestation activity. The evidence found for the relationship between deforestation and GDP per capita rejects the “Inverted-U” hypothesis, and yes, suggests the “N” format, indicating that deforestation in the region may be cyclical. Therefore, there are no indications to ensure that the economic activity of the municipalities analyzed assure by itself the environmental protection and sustainable use of the Atlantic Forest and associated ecosystems in the state of Ceará.
Ceará; Environmental Kuznets Curve; deforestation; Atlantic Forest