The Importance of Forest Extractive Resources for Income Generation and Subsistence among Caboclos and Colonists in the Brazilian Amazon

Abstract

We investigated the importance assigned to forest extractive resources (FR) for subsistence and income generation by colonist and Caboclos populations in the Brazilian Amazon. Key informants in 114 settlements (82 Caboclos and 32 colonists) in the southwest region of Pará classified on a four-level ordinal scale the importance of fruits, medicinal plants, hunting, fishing, and wood for both subsistence (FRI-s) and income generation (FRI-i). FRI-s was higher than FRI-i, which had a lower importance overall, except for fishing among Caboclos. The differences and similarities found both within and between the social groups refuted this social dichotomy as a major factor mediating the relationship with FR. We discuss possible socioeconomic factors as probable causes to explain the importance values found. The low importance for income generation may reveal the constraints on FR extraction in the Amazon, which can jeopardize the role of forest extractive reserves for economic development in the region.

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Data Availability

The datasets analyzed during the current study can be provided on reasonable request.

Notes

  1. 1.

    A comprehensive list of the FR in each category can be found in Escada et al. (2013).

  2. 2.

    Muchagata (1997) shows that among colonists in the Brazilian Amazon FR can contribute up to 58% of household income for the poorest and less than 10% for the wealthiest.

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Acknowledgements

The logistical requirements for the study were provided by URBIS Amazônia project (founded by ITV Vale); LUA Project (FAPESP); and MSA – Monitoramento Ambiental por Satélites do Bioma Amazônia, founded by BNDES/Fundo Amazônia, contract 14.2.0929.1. VL Camilotti received a Doctorate scholarship from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), process number 142030/2011-2 and a visiting scholarship from the Programa de Doutoramento Sanduíche no Exterior provided by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), process number BEX-3773/14-0, developed at the Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes, Indiana University. The LBA Project Field Station at the Tapajós National Forest provided us accommodations during the fieldwork. We are grateful for the contributions of our fieldwork researcher team and the interviewees in the settlements we visited. We thank the two anonymous reviewers, whose comments have improved our manuscript.

Funding

This study was funded by São Paulo Research Fundation (FAPESP) with resources for the Land Use and Land Cover Change in the Amazon Project (LUA), process number LUA/IAM - FAPESP: 2008/58112–0, and by Vale Institute of Technology (ITV-Vale) in agreement with Foundation for Space Technology, Science and Applications (FUNCATE), process number 3.611.000.00/11; MSA – Monitoramento Ambiental por Satélites do Bioma Amazônia - BNDES/Fundo Amazônia, contract 14.2.0929.1.

Resarch grants from funding agencies: Vagner L. Camilotti received a Doctorate grant from Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), process number 142030/2011–2 and a visiting scholarship from the Programa de Doutoramento Sanduíche no Exterior provided by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), process number BEX-3773/14–0.

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Camilotti, V.L., Pinho, P., Brondízio, E.S. et al. The Importance of Forest Extractive Resources for Income Generation and Subsistence among Caboclos and Colonists in the Brazilian Amazon. Hum Ecol 48, 17–31 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10745-020-00127-7

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Keywords

  • Forest resource extraction
  • Non-timber forest products (NTFP)
  • Income generation
  • Subsistence economy
  • Sustainable livelihood framework
  • Colonists
  • Caboclos
  • Brazilian Amazon