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Forest management by small farmers in the Amazon - An opportunity to enhance forest ecosystem stability and rural livelihood

concluded 03/2009


In many situations, forest management concepts arrived at for small farmers in the Amazon have been defined externally and do not adequately correspond with their livelihood systems and competences. This is one of the reasons why only few farmers effectively use the potential of the wide variety of forest management options available to enhance their well being. The project aim is to identify locally viable forest management options contributing to local livelihoods and the ecological stabilisation of landscapes, and to define possibilities to promote them as a basis for sustainable development in the rural areas of the Amazon. The project also seeks to strengthen the capacity for collaborative research and networking amongst local and international project partners. The project will identify and analyse existing local forest management initiatives in the Bolivian, Brazilian, Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon, where farmers have decided to manage and not clear forests for other land-use purposes. Following the ‘Integrated Natural Resource Management’ approach, the project will analyse institutional, environmental and technical aspects of the livelihoods of small farmers, to assess and value the local viability of selected forest management systems and their possible contribution to the ecological stability of the different regions. Through the application of both ‘Action Research’ and traditional research approaches, the project will ensure local relevance and stimulate constructive learning processes. A sound background to the decisions made by small farmers to invest in forests is provided through the analysis of a formal and informal institutional framework, such as political, economic, legislative and infra-structural key drivers. Complementary to this, an analysis of livelihoods and environmental aspects will be carried out. This is perceived as a basis for the development of key indicators for sustainable forest management by small farmers in the Amazon.


  • 1 Post Doc (BAT IIa)
  • 3 PhD at the University of Freiburg
  • 1 PhD at the Universtiy of León
  • 2 PhD at the University of Wageningen


  Acronym:                        ForLive


Timeframe: 01/02/05 to 31/01/09
Sponsor: European Commission
Budget: 1.849.720 €
Coordination: Benno Pokorny
Researcher: Benno Pokorny, Jürgen Bauhus, Lisa Hoch, Marco Renán Robles Morillo, Gabriel Medina, James Johnson
Main Partners: Wageningen University, University of León, Autonomous University of Beni , IMAZON (Instituto do Homem e Meio Ambiente da Amazônia), SFA (Fundación Servicio Forestal Amazonico), CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), AIDER (Asociación para la Investigación y el Desarrollo Integral), UFRA (Unversidade Federal Rural do Pará in cooperation with FUNPEA (Foundation to Support Research)
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