terça-feira, setembro 05, 2006

Vanessa Research - Pesquisa da Vanessa

Caros Colegas,
Por esta ser uma Rede de Pesquisadores dos quais varios conheciam Vanessa, eu estou dividindo com vocês um pouco de informação sobre a pesquisa dela no Acre. Vanessa me enviou sua proposta de doutorado para eu tentar comentar quando ela estava ainda definindo suas perguntas de pesquisa.

Dissertation Research Proposal
Joint CATIE/UWB PhD programme in Tropical Forest Science

Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica
University of Wales Bangor (UWB), United Kingdom

Title:Trade-offs between livelihood security and forest conservation in the Brazilian Amazon: the case of forest-based settlements in Acre
Vanessa A. S. Sequeira
PhD candidate:
September 2004

Objectives and guiding research questions

Principal objective and question

In order to contribute to addressing the outlined development problem and to filling the identified research gap, the proposed research project’s general aim is to assess the two-way compatibility of conservation-oriented use of the forest with local livelihood strategies in forest-based settlement modalities in the Brazilian Amazon, and in this way contribute to an analysis of their socio-economic and ecological viability. The study aims to shed light on a basic question that underpins much of policy-making, research and implementation in tropical forests worldwide: At what cost to the forest and to livelihood security can people make a living in the forest? In the context of forest-settlements in the Brazilian Amazon, where residents are committed to forest-dependency through their specific regulatory framework, the hypothesis is that trade-offs are occurring between livelihood security (such as improved income level and stability, reduced vulnerability, improved food security) and forest conservation.

The research will be undertaken by focusing on case studies in the state of Acre. The study will attempt to relate the forces driving the choices of forest households in shaping their livelihood strategies and how these have an impact on the forest resources. The study will work on the premise that communities are heterogeneous, that the micro level is the starting point for analysis, and that livelihood strategies are dynamic over time.

Specific objectives and research questions

It is intended that the research be conducted through three specific objectives and their associated guiding questions:

Objective 1 (livelihood focus): The first objective of the research project is to identify how households are achieving livelihood security in the face of the perceived constraints and opportunities of a forest-based production system, and determine the extent to which the income needs of the resident population are being fulfilled by forest resources.

Research questions Obj. 1: What are the main types of livelihood strategies – and their influencing factors - of the local population, and how have they changed over time? What are the main marketed and non-marketed forest resources being extracted by local households, and what is their relative importance in terms of total income? Do local households perceive that they are able to live from forest resources?

Objective 2 (conservation focus): The second objective is to determine the impacts of livelihood activities on forest conservation, and identify the causal decision-making processes from a household level.
Research questions Obj. 2: To what extent has land use change occurred since the establishment of the forest-settlement? What are the driving forces of these impacts from the perception of the household level?

Objective 3 (livelihood-conservation trade-offs): The third objective, which intends to link the former two, is to determine the current and potential trade-offs between livelihood security and forest conservation, and identify options to maximise both livelihood security and forest conservation (“win-win” or “best-bet” outcomes).
Research questions Obj. 3: What are the positive and negative relationships between livelihood security and forest conservation (trade-offs)? What options exist to find equilibrium between livelihood security and forest conservation that maximise positive impacts?

The research project’s most tangible purpose is to draw results, and ultimately recommendations, related specifically to forest-settlement models in Amazonia, and the state of Acre is currently a “laboratory” in leading initiatives for more sustainable options for the Amazon, and therefore technically, politically and logistically appropriate for undertaking the research study. It is expected that the findings may be relevant to other models with restricted livelihood options in Latin American tropical forests, such as protected areas and buffer zones, forest reserves, and forest concessions.

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