4732 - Participatory Natural Resources Management in Sustainable Development Reserves, Amazon, Brazil

The Amazon forest corresponds to 30% of all forested areas on earth. With a rich sociobiodiversity that represent ecosystems services essential to the maintenance of life in the planet. However, 18% of the Brazilian Amazon has been deforested. The government has responded with the creation of protected areas: 44% of its Amazon region is under some form of legal protection. Since there are few institutional arrangements that enable local populations, governments and other actors to effective manage these territories; most of them exist only on paper. Thus, in order to change such scenario, local experiences in the management of protected areas are worth attention. This paper investigates natural resource management strategies developed in two protected areas: the Mamirauá and Amanã Sustainable Development Reserves in the central Amazon basin. Some of key elements to participatory management are: an alliance between traditional and scientific knowledge, community participation and shared management, and an association between conservation of biodiversity and economic benefits. This ‘participatory management’ refers to a relation between human beings and their environment, which is mediated through knowledge generated from allying traditional and scientific paradigms. This knowledge is translated, negotiated, and institutionalized through norms and regulations over the use of natural resources (like fish, timber, but also landscape). Community-based tourism and fisheries management are two systems of local institutional arrangements designed to manage natural resources. Socio and ecological indicators may describe some of the results of these experiences. There was a raise in 130% in the average family annual income. And the main species of fish exploited under the participatory management systems had an expansion of 435% in population. However, sole use of quantitative indicators conceals some important processes of negotiation and social change that have to be considered. These include the strengthening of local leadership and institutions, and a continuous dialogue enabling revision of local norms, conflict management and mediation. Some of these strategies will be discussed in the paper. Co-author: Deborah Lima, PhD in Anthropology, UFMG, Brasil

Keywords: amazon, participatory management, sustainable reserves, protected areas.

Author: Peralta, Nelissa (Instituto Mamirauá, Brazil / Brasilien)


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