Participatory Conservation and Local Knowledge in the Amazon Várzea: The Pirarucu Management Scheme in Mamirauá

  • Leandro Castello
  • João Paulo Viana
  • Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez
Chapter

Abstract

Participatory natural resource management has become the most used approach to the conservation of the Amazonian várzea. But poor understanding of the process of integration of local knowledge in such conservation schemes impedes further progress. We contribute to this subject by analyzing some of the challenges of one of the most significant schemes of participatory conservation based on local knowledge in the várzea. The scheme relies largely on the knowledge and skills of local fishers, and it has been shown to be very effective at promoting the recovery of previously overexploited populations of the fish pirarucu (Arapaima spp). Our analysis shows that the prevailing practice of simply including local communities in the management process is not sufficient to promote resource conservation. It also is necessary to (i) identify individuals of the communities that possess acute knowledge of natural resources, (ii) develop cost-effective approaches to assess local knowledge in a systematic fashion, and (iii) monitor the effectiveness of participatory schemes at promoting resource conservation. We suggest that conservation and development organizations need to develop further their current practices with the knowledge of local inhabitants, if that knowledge is to contribute further to the conservation of the várzea.

Keywords

Local knowledge Participatory conservation Resource management Overexploitation Sustainable development reserves Livelihoods 

References

  1. Agrawal, A. (2001). Common property institutions and sustainable governance of resources. World Development, 29, 1649–1672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arantes, C. C. (2009). Ecologia do pirarucu Arapaima gigas (Schinz,1822) na várzea da Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá, Amazonas, Brasil. Masters Thesis, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, 85p.Google Scholar
  3. Arantes, C., Castello, L., & Garcez, D. S. (2007). Variações entre contagens de Arapaima gigas (Schinz) (Osteoglossomorpha, Osteoglossidae) feitas por pescadores individualmente em Mamirauá, Brasil. Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Sciences, 2, 263–269.Google Scholar
  4. Arantes, C., Garcez, D. S., & Castello, L. (2006). Densidades de pirarucu (Arapaima gigas, Teleostei, Osteoglossidae) em lagos das Reservas deDesenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá e Amanã, Amazonas, Brasil. Uakari, 2, 37–43.Google Scholar
  5. Aswani, S. (2005). Customary sea tenure in Oceania as a case of rights-based fishery management: Does it work? Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 15, 285–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baelde, P. (2007). Using fishers’ knowledge goes beyond filling gaps in scientific knowledge: Analysis of Australian experiences. In N. Haggan, B. Neis, & I. G. Baird (Eds.), Fishers’ knowledge in fisheries science and management Paris: UNESCO Publishing, 381–399.Google Scholar
  7. Barret, C. B., Brandon, K., Gibson, C., & Gjertsen, H. (2001). Conserving tropical biodiversity amid weak institutions. BioScience, 15, 497–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bayley, P. B., & Petrere, M., Jr. (1989). Amazon fisheries: Assessment methods, current status and management options. In D. P. Dodge (Ed.), Proceedings of the international large river symposium, 106, 385–395. Ottawa: Canadian Special Publication of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.Google Scholar
  9. Berkes, F. (2004). Rethinking community-based conservation. Conservation Biology, 18, 621–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Berkes, F., Colding, J., & Folke, C. (2000). Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management. Ecological Applications, 10, 251–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Berkes, F., Mahon, R., McConney, P., Pollnac, R. C., & Pomeroy, R. S. (2001). Managing small-scale fisheries: Alternative directions and methods. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.Google Scholar
  12. Buckland, S. T., Anderson, D. R., Burnham, K. P., Laake, J. L., Borchers, D. L., & Thomas, L. (2001). Introduction to distance sampling: Estimating abundance of biological populations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Castello, L. (2004). A method to count pirarucu Arapaima gigas: Fishers, assessment and management. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, 24, 379–389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Castello, L. (2008a). Lateral migration of Arapaima gigas in floodplains of the Amazon. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 17, 38–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Castello, L. (2008b). Nesting habitat of pirarucu Arapaima gigas in floodplains of the Amazon. Journal of Fish Biology, 72, 1520–1528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Castello, L. (2008c). Re-pensando o estudo e o manejo da pesca no Brasil. Pan-American Journal of Aquatic Sciences, 3, 18–22.Google Scholar
  17. Castello, L., & Stewart, D. J. (In press). Assessing CITES non-detriment finding procedures for Arapaima in Brazil. Journal of Applied Ichthyology.Google Scholar
  18. Castello, L., Stewart, D. J., & Arantes, C. C. (In review). Population dynamics and conservation of Arapaima in floodplains of the Central Amazon. Fisheries Management and Ecology.Google Scholar
  19. Castello, L., Castello, J. P., & Hall, C. A. S. (2007). Problemas en el manejo de las pesquerias tropicales. Gaceta Ecológica, 84–85, 65–73.Google Scholar
  20. Castello, L., Viana, J. P., Watkins, G., Pinedo-Vasquez, M., & Luzadis, V. A. (2009). Lessons from integrating fishers of Arapaima in small-scale fisheries management at the Mamirauá Reserve, Amazon. Environmental Management, 43, 197–209.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Castilla, J. C., & Defeo, O. (2001). Latin American benthic shellfisheries: emphasis on co-management and experimental practices. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 11, 1–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Costanza, R., Andrade, F., Antunes, P., et al. (1998). Principles for sustainable governance of the oceans. Science, 281, 198–199.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Crampton, W. G. R., Castello, L., & Viana, J. P. (2004). Fisheries in the Amazon várzea: Historical trends, current status, and factors affecting sustainability. In K. Silvius, R. Bodmer, & J. M. V. Fragoso (Eds.), People in nature: Wildlife conservation in South and Central America New York: Columbia University Press, 16–95.Google Scholar
  24. Davis, A., & Wagner, J. R. (2003). Who knows? On the importance of identifying “experts” when researching local ecological knowledge. Human Ecology, 31, 463–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Garcez, D. S., Castello, L., & Queiroz, H. L. D. (2005). Parecer do Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá (IDSM) sobre o “Relatório do Manejo Participativo dos Recursos Pesqueiros em 2004 – Programa Zona Franca Verde – Município de Fonte Boa – Alto Solimões” e sua solicitação de nova cota de pesca para o ano de 2005 Institute de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel Mamiraua, Tefe, AM, p.5.Google Scholar
  26. Goulding, M. (1980). The fishes and the forest: Explorations in Amazonian natural history. Los Angeles, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  27. Goulding, M., Smith, N. J. H., & Mahar, D. J. (1996). Floods of fortune: Ecology and economy along the Amazon. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Haggan, N., Neis, B., & Baird, I. G. (2007). Fishers’ knowledge in fisheries science and management Paris: UNESCO Publishing, p. 437.Google Scholar
  29. Hiraoka, M. (1992). Caboclo and riberenõ resource management in Amazonia: A review. In K. H. Redford & C. Padoch (Eds.), Conservation of neotropical forests: Working from traditional resource use New York: Columbia University Press, 134–177.Google Scholar
  30. Huntington, H. P. (2000). Using traditional ecological knowledge in science: Methods and applications. Ecological Applications, 10, 1270–1274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Isaac, V. J., Rocha, V. L. C., & Mota, S. (1993). Considerações sobre a legislação da “piracema” e outras restrições da pesca da região do Médio Amazonas. In L. G. Furtado, W. Leitão, & A. F. Melo (Eds.), Povos das águas, realidade e perspectivas na Amazônia. Belém: Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia, Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi.Google Scholar
  32. Isaac, V. J., Ruffino, M. L., & McGrath, D. (1998). In search of a new approach to fisheries management in the middle Amazon. In F. Funk, J. Heifetz, J. Ianelli, J. Power, T. Quinn, J. Schweigert, P. Sullivan, & C. I. Ahang (Eds.), Symposium on fishery stock assessment models for the 21 century Fairbanks: Alaska Sea Grant College Program, 889–902.Google Scholar
  33. IUCN. (2006). 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. Retrieved from <www.iucnredlist.org>.
  34. Johannes, R. E., Freeman, M. M. R., & Hamilton, R. J. (2000). Ignore fishers’ knowledge and miss the boat. Fish and Fisheries, 1, 257–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lüling, K. H. (1964). Zur biologieund ökologie von Arapaima gigas (Pisces: Osteoglossidae). Zeitschrift für Morphologieund Ökologie der Tiere, 54, 436–530.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McGrath, D., Cardoso, A., Almeida, O., & Pezzuti, J. (2008). Constructing a policy and institutional framework for an ecosystem-based approach to managing the Lower Amazon floodplain. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10, 677–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McGrath, D., Castro, F., Futemma, C., Amaral, B., & Calabria, J. (1993). Fisheries and the evolution of resource management on the Lower Amazon floodplain. Human Ecology (Historical Archive), 21, 167–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moran, E. (1984). Human ecology in the Amazon. Interciencia, 9, 341–424.Google Scholar
  39. Nunan, F. (2006). Empowerment and institutions: Managing fisheries in Uganda. World Development, 34, 1316–1332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Orenzans, J. M., Parma, A. M., Gabriel, J., Barahona, N., Montecinos, M., & Elias, I. (2005). What are the key elements for the sustainability of “s-fisheries”? Insights from South America. Bulletin of Marine Science, 76, 527–556.Google Scholar
  41. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Padoch, C., Ayres, M., Pinedo-Vasquez, M., & Henderson, A. (1999). Várzea: Diversity, development, and conservation of Amazonia’s whitewater floodplains. New York: Botanical Garden Press.Google Scholar
  43. Pinkerton, E. (1989). Introduction. In E. Pinkerton (Ed.), Cooperative management of local fisheries: new directions for improved management and community development. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. 3–33.Google Scholar
  44. Pomeroy, R. S., Katon, B. M., & Harkes, I. (2001). Conditions affecting the success of fisheries co-management: Lessons from Asia. Marine Policy, 25, 197–208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Queiroz, H. L. (2000). Natural history and conservation of pirarucu, Arapaima gigas, at the Amazonian várzea: Red giants in muddy waters. Ph.D., University of St. Andrews, Scotland.Google Scholar
  46. Queiroz, H. L., & Sardinha, A. D. (1999). A preservação e ouso sustentado dos pirarucus em Mamirauá. In H. L. Queiroz & W. G. R. Crampton (Eds.), Estratégias Para O Manejo de Recursos Pesqueiros em Mamirauá Tefé, Brazil: Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Sociedade Civil Mamirauá, 108–141.Google Scholar
  47. Ruffino, M. L. (2004). A pesca e os recursos pesqueiros na Amazônia brasileira. Manaus: IBAMA/PróVárzea.Google Scholar
  48. Sagar, A. D. (2000). Capacity development for the environment: A view for the south, a view for the north. Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, 25, 377–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schmink, M., Redford, K., & Padoch, C. (1992). Traditional peoples and the biosphere: Framing the issues and defining the terms. In K. Redford & C. Padoch (Eds.), Conservation of neotropical forests: Working from traditionalresourceuse. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Sears, R. R., Padoch, C., & Pinedo-Vasquez, M. (2007). Amazon forestry transformed: Integrating knowledge for smallholder timber management in Eastern Brazil. Human Ecology, 35, 697–707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sociedade Civil Mamirauá. (1996). Mamirauá management plan. Tefé: Sociedade Civil Mamirauá/Ministério de Ciência e Tecnologia/Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa.Google Scholar
  52. Stocking, M. A. (2003). Tropical soils and food security: The next 50 years. Science, 302, 1356–1359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Veríssimo, J. (1895). A pesca no Amazônia. Rio de Janeiro: Livraria Clássica Alves and Companhia.Google Scholar
  54. Viana, J. P., Castello, L., Damasceno, J. M. B., et al. (2007). Manejo comunitário do pirarucu Arapaima gigas na Reserva de Desenvolvimento Sustentável Mamirauá – Amazonas, Brasil. In: Áreas aquáticas protegidas como instumento de gestão pesqueira, 4, 239–261. Série Áreas Protegidas do Brasil. Brasília: Ministério do Meio Ambiente e IBAMA.Google Scholar
  55. Viana, J. P., Damasceno, J. M. B., Castello, L., & Crampton, W. G. R. (2004). Economic incentives for sustainable community management of fishery resources in the Mamiraua Sustainable Development Reserve, Amazonas, Brazil. In K. Silvius, R. Bodmer, & J. M. V. Fragoso (Eds.), People in nature: Wildlife conservation in South and Central America New York: Columbia University Press, 139–154.Google Scholar
  56. Walters, C. (1986). Adaptive management of renewable resources. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  57. Western, D., Wright, R. M., & Strum, S. C. (1994). Natural connections: Perspectives in community-based conservation. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leandro Castello
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • João Paulo Viana
    • 2
    • 4
  • Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez
    • 5
  1. 1.College of Environmental Science and ForestryState University of New YorkSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Instituto de Desenvolvimento Sustentável MamirauáTeféBrazil
  3. 3.The Woods Hole Research CenterFalmouthUSA
  4. 4.Diretoria do Programa Nacional de Conservação da BiodiversidadeMinistério do Meio AmbienteBrasíliaBrazil
  5. 5.Center for Environmental Research and ConservationColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations