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Perz S.,University of Florida | Chavez A.B.,National University of Costa Rica | Cossio R.,CGIAR | Hoelle J.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Land Use Science | Year: 2015

The land science literature has consistently documented the importance of infrastructure for land use. Less attention has gone to land use around national borders receiving trans-boundary infrastructure upgrades for cross-border integration. We take up the case of the Inter-Oceanic Highway, a trans-boundary road being paved in the tri-national ‘MAP’ frontier of the southwestern Amazon. We draw on a tri-national survey of households in rural communities across the MAP frontier to evaluate the effects of access connectivity on land use. At the time of fieldwork, paving was complete in Acre/Brazil, underway in Madre de Dios/Peru, and planned in Pando/Bolivia. This permits a tri-national comparative analysis. The results confirm different effects of access connectivity on land use by paving status; further, they also document cross-border processes stemming from trans-boundary infrastructure that affect land use. The findings call for more attention to the impacts of regional integration initiatives on landscapes. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.

Perz S.G.,University of Florida | Qiu Y.,University of Florida | Xia Y.,University of Florida | Southworth J.,University of Florida | And 9 more authors.
Land Use Policy | Year: 2013

Economic globalization manifests in landscapes through regional integration initiatives involving trans-boundary infrastructure. While the relationships of roads, accessibility and land cover are well-understood, they have rarely been considered across borders in national frontier regions. We therefore pursue an analysis of infrastructure connectivity and land cover change in the tri-national frontier of the southwestern Amazon where Bolivia, Brazil and Peru meet, and where the Inter-Oceanic Highway has recently been paved. We integrate satellite, survey, climate and other data for a sample of rural communities that differ in terms of highway paving across the tri-national frontier. We employ a suite of explanatory variables tied to road paving and other factors that vary both across and within the three sides of the frontier in order to model their importance for deforestation. A multivariate analysis of non-forest land cover during 2005-2010 confirms the importance of paving status and travel times, as well as land tenure and other factors. These findings indicate that integration affects land cover, but does not eliminate the effects of other factors that vary across the frontier, which bears implications for the study of globalization, trans-boundary infrastructure, environmental governance and land cover change. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Perz S.G.,University of Florida | Leite F.L.,University of Florida | Griffin L.N.,University of Florida | Hoelle J.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 4 more authors.
Sustainability (Switzerland) | Year: 2015

Infrastructure has long been a priority in development policy, but there is debate over infrastructure impacts. Whereas economic studies show reductions in poverty, social research has documented growing income inequality. We suggest that a focus on livelihoods permits a bridge between the two literatures by highlighting decisions by households that may capture economic benefits but also yield social inequalities. We therefore take up two questions. First is whether new infrastructure allows households to diversify their livelihoods, where diversity begets resilience and thus affords livelihood sustainability. Second is whether households with more diverse livelihoods exhibit greater increases in livelihood diversity, which would widen livelihood inequalities. We take up the case of the Inter-Oceanic Highway, a trans-boundary infrastructure project in the southwestern Amazon. Findings from a rural household survey for the first question show a strong effect of accessibility on increasing livelihood diversity in areas receiving infrastructure upgrades, an indication that infrastructure fosters household resilience. However, results regarding the second question indicate that households with more diversified livelihoods also exhibit larger increments in diversity, which implies growing livelihood inequality. There remains a need to account for inequalities in livelihood diversity, since less diversified households benefit less from new infrastructure and remain more exposed to risks to their livelihoods. © 2015 by the authors.

Perz S.G.,University of Florida | Rosero M.,University of Florida | Leite F.L.,University of Florida | Araujo Carvalho L.,Federal University of Acre | And 2 more authors.
Human Ecology | Year: 2013

The Inter-Oceanic Highway is among the first wave of large infrastructure projects under the auspices of the Initiative for the Integration of Regional Infrastructure in South America, which proposes regional integration as a means of economic development. Such projects have reignited debates over infrastructure impacts, which in many ways center on the ramifications for natural resource management. We pursue an analysis of the implications of highway paving for local livelihoods by focusing on the effects of market connectivity on livelihood diversity. Given that infrastructure brings shocks to affected regions, we argue that livelihood diversity is usefully interpreted in terms of household resilience to such shocks. We draw on rural household surveys from the tri-national frontier where Bolivia, Brazil and Peru meet in the southwestern Amazon, where the Inter-Oceanic Highway has recently been paved. The findings show that households more connected to markets in terms of travel time and road paving have less diverse livelihoods. This confirms concerns about regional integration and rural household vulnerability. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Duchelle A.E.,University of Florida | Duchelle A.E.,Center for International Forestry Research | Cronkleton P.,Center for International Forestry Research | Kainer K.A.,University of Florida | And 2 more authors.
Ecology and Society | Year: 2011

Increased devolution of forest ownership and management rights to local control has the potential to promote both conservation and livelihood development in remote tropical regions. Such shifts in property rights, however, can generate conflicts, particularly when combined with rapidly increasing values of forest resources. We explored the phenomenon of Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) theft in communities in Western Amazonia. Through interviews with 189 Brazil nut collectors in 12 communities in Bolivia and Brazil and participation in the 2006 and 2007 harvests, we quantified relative income derived from Brazil nuts, reported nut thefts, and nut collection and management practices. We found a much greater incidence of reported Brazil nut thefts in Pando, Bolivia than in the adjacent state of Acre, Brazil. Our analyses suggest that three factors may have affected nut thefts in the forest: (1) contrasts in the timing and process of formally recognizing property rights, (2) different historic settlement patterns, and (3) varying degrees of economic dependence on Brazil nuts. Threat of theft influenced Brazil nut harvest regimes, with potentially long-term implications for forest-based livelihoods, and management and conservation of Brazil nut-rich forests in Western Amazonia. © 2011 by the author(s).

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