Sustainability of natural resource use for an Amazonian indigenous group
This research examines how the Kandozi indigenous group governs access to fish and timber for sale and evaluates their perceptions of sustainability of those natural resources. The Kandozi occupy a biodiverse tropical forest in the northern Peruvian Amazon with lakes and seasonally flooded areas. Qualitative methods and a comparative examination of access to resources were used to explore current processes that shape access and the people’s perceptions of their benefit from natural resources. Results indicated that environmental heterogeneity, kinship, land tenure, the legal framework, and knowledge all shaped access with some differences due to the dissimilar natures of fish and timber. This research concludes that the sustainability of this and similar systems are dependent upon the moment at which the analysis is done, because of the changing needs of people over time, in addition to changes in external factors and the natural variations that occur in the resources used. The range of relations and interactions among different processes that shape access, and the historically contingent characteristic of access and its evolution over time, help better understand the complexity of a given social-ecological system.