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Governance of Natural Resources by smallholders in the rural Amazon

concluded 02/2014


About 45% of the Brazilian Amazon with large tracts of primary forests is formally dedicated to a wide variety of smallholders, including ribeirinhos, settlers, indigenous groups, quilombolas, and extractivistas; with large numbers of these living in extreme poverty. The advance of agricultural frontiers opens up opportunities to make use of the commercial potential of their forests as one of the few possibilities to improve their often precarious situation. But, within the extremely dynamic frontier contexts this represents an enormous challenge for the families, as they are confronted with powerful actors of the private sector and have to deal with a stronger presence of the State. In these contexts, the families need to reorganize their strategies for using their natural resources and have to find ways of getting acknowledged these strategies from governments and society. Attempts by development organisations to achieve this through promoting community forestry, agroforestry, and local tree plantations as well as providing programs for technical assistance and credits have not been successful as showing strong incoherence and incompatibility with local realities. Against this background, those initiatives that have been developed by the smallholders themselves in accordance with their interests and capacities have a much higher probability for success. However, although many governments are committed to smallholders and recognize that respecting local livelihood strategies is fundamental for achieving a social equitable and environmental sustainabl development, little is known about how to make use of this potential. In this situation, this project brings together smallholders, governmental agencies and development organisation to develop and implement local governance systems for the use of natural resources, including the management of production, processing and commercialization of agricultural and forest products. In addition, the project, in cooperation with governmental authorities will search for possibilities to acknowledge and formally legitimize these locally designed systems. The project considers two development contexts typical for the Brazilian Amazon, the municipality of Medicilândia located along the Transamazon highway, and the Extractive Reserve “Verde para Sempre” in the municipality of Porto de Moz situated along the Xingu rivers.



Dr. Benno Pokorny


European Commission, EU

Timeframe: 01.03.2003 – 28.02.2014
Main Partners: Comitê de Desenvolvimento Sustentável de Porto de Moz (CDS); Fundação Viver, Produzir e Preservar (FVPP); Serviço de Apoio à Produção Familiar na Amazônia (Serviço Cerne), Serviço Florestal Brasileiro (SFB), Instituto Chico Mendes para a Conservação da Biodiversidade (ICMBio). Empresa de Assistência Técnica e Extensão Rural do Estado do Pará (Emater), Banco da Amazônia SA



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