Fostering Sustainable Forest-Based Livelihoods: The Case of Riozinho do Anfrísio Extractive Reserve, Amazon, Brazil

7 Jun 2010 Altamira, Para, Brazil, Central and Latin America Forests

Vivian Zeidemann

This project analyzes how household characteristics, access to natural resources, social networks, and institutional contexts affect adoption of sustainable livelihood strategies within an Extractive Reserve model.

Interviewing a Riozinho do Anfrisio Extractive Reserve family.

Interviewing a Riozinho do Anfrisio Extractive Reserve family.

Riozinho do Anfrísio Extractive Reserve (RDAER) is located in the Xingu river basin and protects 736,430 ha of mature, old growth forest. It houses approximately 43 households (or 500 people). Extractive Reserves are conservation units designated for sustainable use and conservation of natural resources by traditional communities. Reserve residents bring a wealth of knowledge and experiences to the reserve management table. In the context of the Extractive Reserve model, adoption of livelihood strategies that are sustainable is extremely important for long-term reserve viability. Thus, in this research I will provide a comprehensive analysis of the influence of 4 multi-scalar factors central to resident families’ adoption of sustainable livelihood strategies in RDAER:

Presenting the research project to Riozinho do Anfrisio Extractive Reserve residents.

Presenting the research project to Riozinho do Anfrisio Extractive Reserve residents.

(1) household characteristics,

(2) access to natural resources,

(3) engagement in social networks,

(4) the institutional context of the reserve. This information will serve to help resident families and Reserve support organizations better manage RDAER and other such multi-use reserves.

To analyze the influence of the 4 multi-scalar factors, I will apply survey instruments to every household within the reserve. Livelihood strategies will be measured using total family income, which is the sum of consumed and traded non-timber forest products extracted (Brazil nuts - Bertholletia excelsa, copaiba - Copaifera langsdorffii, andiroba - Carapa guianensis, fish and game), crops, and other sources of income (salary, contracted work, retirement income, maternity salary, etc). Family access to forest resources will be measured by using the location of family landholdings and distances to Brazil nut, copaiba, andiroba trees, and fishing and hunting areas.

Institutions for delineating, accessing, and managing these resources will be illuminated through the household questionnaire, participant observation, and informal conversations. Finally, a social network questionnaire will be applied to family members to collect information on interactions they have with individuals, institutions, and markets, providing details on social ties, mutual collaboration, affiliation and membership to local and external institutions, and participation in activities and meetings organized by external actors. By working directly with residents and higher-level reserve stakeholders and sharing my insights with them, I hope to help develop long-lasting strategies and actions that meet RDAER conservation and development goals.

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