Instituto Socioambiental

Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, Brazil

Instituto Socioambiental

Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, Brazil
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Urzedo D.I.,University of Sao Paulo | Vidal E.,University of Sao Paulo | Sills E.O.,North Carolina State University | Pina-Rodrigues F.C.M.,Federal University of São Carlos | Junqueira R.G.P.,Instituto Socioambiental
Environmental Conservation | Year: 2016

Government regulations have created new markets for non-timber forest products such as tropical forest seeds for ecological restoration and agroforestry in Brazil. This paper examines whether and how participation in the seed market has affected assets that will shape households' ability to pursue new livelihood opportunities. These impacts may vary across different dimensions of capital and among sociocultural groups. Impacts were characterized through semi-structured interviews following the sustainable livelihoods approach; 40 producers in the Xingu Seed Network, from settler farmer, urban and indigenous groups, were interviewed. The groups differed in perceptions of impacts on their natural, social and human capital, which could be related to the sociocultural background and vulnerability context of each group. Communities that were already organized were most likely to strengthen their social capital through participation. Cash income earned from sale of seeds was correlated with household-reported gains in financial capital, but not correlated with changes in other dimensions of capital. Contrary to expectations, sociocultural groups less integrated with the market achieved better livelihood outcomes through participation in the seed market. © 2015 Foundation for Environmental Conservation.


Constantino P.A.L.,University of Florida | Carlos H.S.A.,Centro Estadual Of Unidades Of Conservacao Do Amazonas | Ramalho E.E.,University of Florida | Ramalho E.E.,Institute Desenvolvimento Sustentavel Mamiraua | And 6 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2012

Biological resource monitoring systems are implemented in many countries and often depend on the participation of local people. It has been suggested that these systems empower local participants while promoting conservation. We reviewed three wildlife monitoring systems in indigenous lands and sustainable development reserves in Brazilian Amazonia and one in Namibian Caprivi conservancies, analyzing the strategies adopted and conditions that facilitated local empowerment, as well as potential impacts on conservation. This provided insights into potential avenues to strengthen empowerment outcomes of monitoring systems in Latin America and Africa. We assessed four dimensions of empowerment at individual and community scales: psychological, social, economic, and political. The conditions that facilitated local empowerment included the value of natural resources, rights to trade and manage resources, political organization of communities, and collaboration by stakeholders. The wide range of strategies to empower local people included intensifying local participation, linking them to local education, feeding information back to communities, purposefully selecting participants, paying for monitoring services, marketing monitored resources, and inserting local people into broader politics. Although communities were socially and politically empowered, the monitoring systems more often promoted individual empowerment. Marketing of natural resources promoted higher economic empowerment in conservancies in Namibia, whereas information dissemination was better in Brazil because of integrated education programs. We suggest that practitioners take advantage of local facilitating conditions to enhance the empowerment of communities, bearing in mind that increasing autonomy to make management decisions may not agree with international conservation goals. Our comparative analysis of cases in Latin America and Africa allows for a greater understanding of the relationships between resource monitoring systems, local empowerment, and conservation. © 2012 by the author(s).


Durigan G.,Instituto Florestal | Guerin N.,Instituto Socioambiental | da Costa J.N.M.N.,Instituto Socioambiental
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

Over the past two decades, the headwaters of the Xingu Basin in the Amazon have been subjected to one of the highest deforestation rates in Brazil, with negative effects on both terrestrial and aquatic systems. The environmental consequences of forest land conversion have concerned the indigenous people living downstream, and this was the first motivation for the Y Ikatu Xingu campaign-'save the good water of the Xingu'. Among the objectives of the initiative was to restore riparian forests on private land across the basin. For a region where the rivers, rainstorms, forest remnants, distances and farms are huge, the challenges were equally large: crossing the biotic and abiotic thresholds of degradation, as well as addressing the lack of technology, know-how, seeds, forest nurseries, trained personnel and roads, and the lack of motivation for restoration. After 6 years, despite the remarkable advances in terms of technical innovation coupled with a broad and effective social involvement, the restored areas represent only a small portion of those aimed for. The still high costs of restoration, the uncertainties of legislation and also the global economy have been strong forces constraining the expansion of restored forests. Additional efforts and strategies are necessary to overcome these barriers. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.


Cochran F.V.,University of Kansas | Brunsell N.A.,University of Kansas | Cabalzar A.,Instituto Socioambiental | van der Veld P.-J.,Instituto Socioambiental | And 4 more authors.
Sustainability Science | Year: 2015

Identifying appropriate temporal and spatial boundaries for assessments of human–environment systems continues to be a challenge in sustainability science. The livelihood of Indigenous peoples in the northwestern Brazilian Amazon are characterized by complex ecological management systems entwined with sociocultural practices and sophisticated astronomical and ecological calendars. Sustainability of fisheries and bitter manioc production, key elements of food systems and economic activities in this region, depend on cyclic high river levels for fish spawning as well as periods of dry days for preparation of agricultural fields. Since 2005, participatory research has been underway between Indigenous communities of the Tiquié River and the Brazilian Socio-environmental Institute (ISA). Indigenous agents of environmental management (AIMAs) keep notebooks of ethno-astronomical, ecological, and socio-economic observations of the annual cycles, and some of them have reported that river levels and dry periods have become more irregular in some years. To investigate how these possible climatic changes may impact the sustainability of resources, we share knowledge from the Tukano ecological calendar with methodology for examining changes in precipitation and river levels and their interactions at multiple timescales. Our collaboration indicates that high spatial and temporal variability in precipitation patterns and river levels may complicate climate change and sustainability analyses. However, combining results from participatory research with novel methods for climate analysis helps identify a 4-day trend in precipitation that may impact agroecosystem management. Indigenous participation in systematic data collection and interpretation of results is essential for distinguishing between socio-economic and climate forcings and evaluating climate impacts. Continued efforts to bridge Indigenous and Western knowledge systems are vital for sustainable environmental management in Indigenous territories and other regions where traditional management may be challenged in the context of global climate change. © 2015 Springer Japan


Stropp J.,University Utrecht | van der Sleen P.,Wageningen University | Assuncco P.A.,Autonoumos | da Silva A.L.,Instituto Socioambiental | ter Steege H.,University Utrecht
Acta Amazonica | Year: 2011

The high tree diversity and vast extent of Amazonian forests challenge our understanding of how tree species abundance and composition varies across this region. Information about these parameters, usually obtained from tree inventories plots, is essential for revealing patterns of tree diversity. Numerous tree inventories plots have been established in Amazonia, yet, tree species composition and diversity of white-sand and terra-firme forests of the upper Rio Negro still remain poorly understood. Here, we present data from eight new one-hectare tree inventories plots established in the upper Rio Negro; four of which were located in white-sand forests and four in terra-firme forests. Overall, we registered 4703 trees ≥ 10 cm of diameter at breast height. These trees belong to 49 families, 215 genera, and 603 species. We found that tree communities of terra-firme and white-sand forests in the upper Rio Negro significantly differ from each other in their species composition. Tree communities of white-sand forests show a higher floristic similarity and lower diversity than those of terra-firme forests. We argue that mechanisms driving differences between tree communities of white-sand and terra-firme forests are related to habitat size, which ultimately influences large-scale and long-term evolutionary processes.


Schwartzman S.,1875 Connecticut Avenue | Boas A.V.,Instituto Socioambiental | Ono K.Y.,Instituto Socioambiental | Fonseca M.G.,Instituto Socioambiental | And 7 more authors.
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2013

The 280 000 km2 Xingu indigenous lands and protected areas (ILPAs) corridor, inhabited by 24 indigenous peoples and about 215 riverine (ribeirinho) families, lies across active agriculture frontiers in some of the historically highest-deforestation regions of the Amazon. Much of the Xingu is anthropogenic landscape, densely inhabited and managed by indigenous populations over the past millennium. Indigenous and riverine peoples' historical management and use of these landscapes have enabled their long-term occupation and ultimately their protection. The corridor vividly demonstrates how ILPAs halt deforestation and why they may account for a large part of the 70 per cent reduction in Amazon deforestation below the 1996-2005 average since 2005. However, ongoing and planned dams, road paving, logging and mining, together with increasing demand for agricultural commodities, continued degradation of upper headwaters outside ILPA borders and climate change impacts may render these gains ephemeral. Local peoples will need new, bottom-up, forms of governance to gain recognition for the high social and biological diversity of these territories in development policy and planning, and finance commensurate with the value of their ecosystem services. Indigenous groups' reports of changing fire and rainfall regimes may themselves evidence climate change impacts, a new and serious threat. © 2013 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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