Participatory Research to Support Rural Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services Conservation in the Pico Duarte Region of the Dominican Republic
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Participatory Research to Support Rural Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services Conservation in the Pico Duarte Region of the Dominican Republic

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Results of master's research by University of Vermont graduate student Lee Gross from 2009-2010.

Results of master's research by University of Vermont graduate student Lee Gross from 2009-2010.

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  • I’d like to first introduce this research with a short trailer from a documentary film we put together during my field season this summer in the DR. The purposes three fold. 1 st as a promotional piece for the association of coffee farmers I worked with: 2 nd as a way of documenting the research and providing another outlet for dissemination of findings 3 rd demonstrating the intimate connection between people, their landscape, and the choices that affect this relationship, particularly as it related to shade coffee
  • What An interdisciplinary investigation of coffee farmer household livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation Where and with who? 42 household interviews, 17 biodiversity transects, two focus groups In Pico Duarte region of the Central Cordillera, Hispaniola Members of the Association of Coffee Producers from Jarabacoa.
  • The field of ecological economics pioneered the ecosystem services framework, which is based on assumption that ecosystem functions provide a wide range of services, and that the value of these services to humanity is substantial and essential. Ecosystem functions represent “the capacity of natural processes and components to provide goods and services that satisfy human needs, directly or indirectly” (DeGroot, 1992). The goods and services provided by ecosystems are referred to as ecosystem services (Costanza et al., 1997), and they are considered to be essential for sustaining human life (Daily et al., 1997). According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (2005), these ecosystem services may be broken down into four broad areas: provisioning (food, fiber and fuel), regulating (climate, flood, water quality and disease regulation), supporting (soil formation) and cultural (spiritual, aesthetic, heritage, and recreational and tourism benefits).
  • Zhang Ecosystem good and services are provided at varying spatial scales (i.e. field, farm, landscape, global). In agricultural landscapes producers at the farm level produce services such as food, fiber and fuel. These provisioning services are rewarded by financial compensation in the way of formal markets. Meanwhile, farmers also produce services at higher levels of benefit to both themselves, those nearby and global actors. For example, a farmer who chooses to practice integrated pest management, which increases habitat for natural enemies and pollinators, can offer benefits no only to his own far, but also that of his neighbor’s (Naylor and Ehrlich, 1997). On the other hand a farmer may choose to plan a cover crop, which provides greater services to his farm through increased soil organic matter and less benefits for his neighbors. These inequalities in ecosystem service delivery can be attributed to the fact that at higher levels services function more like public goods, lacking financial value and markets. Therefore, farmers have little or no financial incentive to promote them since they often receive no financial benefits (Costanza and Farber, 2002). Zhang et. al, (2007) argue that the appropriate scale of management is determine by the provisioning service and the supporting and regulating service on which it relies.” Successful management of ecosystem services flows will require coordinated management among many farms within a landscape. Coordination can be achieved by investing in the social and technical capacity of small farmers and their organizations to manage high productivity diverse agroecological systems (Mendez, 2009; Perfecto & Vandermeer 2008). Significant loss of diversity in food Erosion control, water regulation, pest regulation, pollination… Many of these can be found in Agricultural systems
  • DFID has adopted the following definition of sustainable livelihoods. " A livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintains or enhances its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base." This is adapted from the definition originally proposed by Chambers and Conway in their 1992 work. (Adapted from Chambers, R. and G. Conway (1992) Sustainable rural livelihoods: Practical concepts for the 21 st century. IDS Discussion Paper 296. Brighton: IDS.). The livelihood framework: presents factors that affects people’s livelihoods and the typical relationships btw these Its aim is to help stakeholders with different perspectives to engage in structured and coherent debate about the many factors that affect livelihoods, their relative importance and the way they interact MY FOCUS ON SOCIAL AND NATURAL CAPITAL ASSETS Core Principles of Livelihood Analysis The Core Principles of Livelihoods Analysis are as follows: Effort should be devoted to identifying and understanding the livelihood circumstances of marginalised and excluded groups. Analysis should take into account important social divides that make a difference to people's livelihoods. For example, it is often appropriate to consider men, women, different age groups, etc. separately. It is not sufficient to take the household as the sole unit of analysis. The SL approach seeks to build upon people's strengths and resourcefulness. When conducting analysis it is important to avoid thinking only about need. The SL approach embraces the idea of dynamism . Avoid taking one-off snap shots and instead think about change over time, including concerns about sustainability . There will never be a set recipe for which method to use under which circumstances. Flexibility is key. Equally, it is not necessary to produce one definitive 'map' of livelihoods. Different 'maps' may be appropriately used for different purposes. The Core Principles of Livelihood Analysis should not be confused with the core principles of the sustainable livelihoods approach which are much broader. Core Principles of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach These are that poverty-focused development activity should be: People-centred: sustainable poverty elimination will be achieved only if external support focuses on what matters to people, understands the differences between groups of people and works with them in a way that fits in with their current livelihood strategies, social environment and ability to adapt. Responsive and participatory: poor people must be key actors in identifying and addressing livelihood priorities. Outsiders need processes that enable them to listen and respond to the poor. Multi-level: poverty elimination is an enormous challenge that will only be overcome by working at multiple levels, ensuring that local-level activity informs the development of policy and an effective enabling environment, and that higher-level policies and institutions support people to build upon their own strengths. Conducted in partnership: with both the public and the private sector. Sustainable: there are four key dimensions to sustainability - economic, institutional, social and environmental sustainability . All are important - a balance must be found between them. Dynamic: external support must recognise the dynamic nature of livelihood strategies, respond flexibly to changes in people's situation, and develop longer-term commitments.
  • The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) documented the dominant impacts of agriculture on terrestrial land and freshwater use, and the critical importance of agricultural landscapes in providing products for human sustenance, supporting wild species biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem services, (MA 2005). Yet global demand for associated agricultural products is projected to rise at least 50% over the next two decades (UN Millennium Project 2005). The need to reconcile agricultural production and production-dependent rural livelihoods with healthy ecosystems has prompted widespread innovation to coordinate landscape and policy action. (Scheer & McNeeley, 2008) There is increased recognition that conservation should look beyond protected areas and take place at the scale of landscapes to maintain ecological processes and the production of goods and services to a variety of actors. Biodiversity Conservation in Tropical Agroecosystems: A New Conservation Paradigm Invette Perfecto, and John Vandermeer Talk about the role: 1. Agricultural landscapes should be included as an essential component of conservation strategies 2. Agricultural landscapes can contain high levels of biodiversity and ecosystem service provisioning. Diverse, low input agroecologically based system are the best. 3. The new conservation paradigm should incorporate a landscape approach in which small farmers, through their social organizations, work with conservationists to create a landscape matrix dominated by productive agroecological systems that faciliatate interpatch migration while promoting a sustainable and dignified livelihood for rural communities. My research site is located in The Madre de las Aguas Conservation Area is an aggregation of five Dominican Republic National Parks and one scientific reserve created by USAID and The Nature Conservancy through the Parks and Peril Program between 1997-2004. Difference between top picture, highly managed monoculture systems of Constanza vs Rio Jaque del Norte basin with shade coffee at bottom in the middle we have Minda How do we assist smallholder farms to enhance the quality of the agricultural matrix through low input agroecological management (in this case shade coffee) while enhance ecosystem services conservation and rural livelihoods. Agricultural intensification through investment in natural capital. The Madre de las Aguas Conservation Area is an aggregation of five Dominican Republic National Parks and one scientific reserve located in the island’s Central Mountain chain. Madre de las Aguas covers about 5 percent of the land in the Dominican Republic and is home to many local stakeholders and small, rural communities. As indicated by its name, Madre de las Aguas (Mother of the Waters), is the source for most Hispaniolan rivers and supplies water to about 80 percent of the population of the Dominican Republic and most of Haiti. Madre de las Aguas extends east from the Haitian border. This mountainous region shelters the headwaters of 17 rivers that provide energy, irrigation and drinking water for more than 50 percent of the Dominican Republic’s population. Unsustainable logging, uncontrolled fires, slash and burn agriculture, expansion of sun-grown coffee fields and hillside farming are causing soil erosion and significant species loss. The highly mountainous Madre de las Aguas contains the best representations of coniferous pine, montane broadleaf, and cloud forests on the island. The highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, rises to 10,125 feet. The rugged topography of the park contributes to the species richness and high endemism found here: over 90 percent of the amphibians and reptiles found in the area are endemic, along with 40 percent of plant species, 50 percent of butterflies, and 35 percent of its birds. About 40 percent of the Dominican Republic’s 5,600 plant species in Madre de las Aguas are found nowhere else in the world. Cloud forests play an important role in the origin of fresh water for much of the country's river systems while montane broadleaf forests provide protection to these waterways at lower elevations. About 90 percent of the area's amphibian and reptile species, 43 percent of the butterfly species, 10 percent of the bird species and 94 percent of the bat species are unique to this area. Found 30 million years ago in North America, the now endangered solenodon is a small shrew-like mammal found only on the island of Hispaniola. A member of the rodent family, the rare hutia, can also be found in these forests. Of the 300 birds found in the Dominican Republic, 27 can be found nowhere else in the world, including the Hispaniolan Woodpecker and the Narrow-billed Tody.
  • My research project takes place on the island of Hispaniola, located east of Cuba and west of Puerto Rico The island of Hispaniola, comprising the countries of Haiti and Dominican Republic are now vastly different since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. The island is now home to approx. 20 million. While these numbers are split evenly btw the DR and Haiti. Haiti only contains 1/3 rd of the landmass compared to 2/3rds in the DR. Similarly, Land forest cover in Haiti is 1% while, 28% in DR . DR has lessons to learn from Haiti in terms of forest cover. Much of the differences are a result of the islands rich political ecology defined by French and Spanish occupation, years of political dictatorship, and trade agreements within the Americas Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico are collectively know as the Greater Antilles. The Greater Antilles are made up of continental rock, as distinct from the Less Antilles, which are mostly young volcanic or coral islands. The highland of Hispaniola has five mountain ranges the highest of which is: The Central Range, know in the Dominican Republic as the Central Cordillera, highest point is Pico Duarte at 3,087 or over 10,000ft above sea level. The highly mountainous Madre de las Aguas contains the best representations of coniferous pine, montane broadleaf, and cloud forests on the island. The highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, rises to 10,125 feet. The rugged topography of the park contributes to the species richness and high endemism found here: over 90 percent of the amphibians and reptiles found in the area are endemic, along with 40 percent of plant species, 50 percent of butterflies, and 35 percent of its birds. About 40 percent of the Dominican Republic’s 5,600 plant species in Madre de las Aguas are found nowhere else in the world.
  • Utilize an interdisciplinary research framework: to better understand the interactions between the social and ecological processes that contribute to the livelihoods of coffee farmers of the Pico Duarte region. Partnerships and participatory approaches btw researchers, farmers, and other stakeholders to integrate ecological and socio-economic research are instrumental in understanding ecosystem services and the tradeoffs of different management scenarios (Jackson et. al., 2008) Interdisciplinary Framework Baseline information collected through focus groups, personal interviews and ecological sampling will be used: In a participatory process with local farmers to offer organization/cooperative models that could be adopted by farmers to provide greater access to existing networks, and in order to better support their perceived needs. To examine the relationship between ecosystem services conservation and farmer livelihoods and how this relationship affects ecosystem services conservation. To provide data as one of three sites in a larger study, funded by the University of Vermont, to analyze long-term changes in livelihoods and ecosystem services of shade grown coffee landscapes in Latin America. Integrated Natural Resource Mgmt. – enhance productivity, human well-being and ecosystem resilience (Tomich et al, 2004, 2007; Sayer & Campbell, 2003). What are the social, cultural, ecological and economic constraints local farmers have to producing organic Less emphasis on FT cert. and more on increasing supply of high quality coffee with organic certification. First, (as research will tackle) addressing underlying farmer livelihood needs in order to do so (create co-ops. Transaction costs involved with switching over Integrating social and ecological research, What ES functions do people value the most? How do livelihoods factors affect ES conservation. What role can shade cooperative play in promoting ES conservation in the landscape? By addressing livelihood needs in terms of higher coffee prices, more diverse farming practices are we contributing to ES conservation? At what scale (farm, landscape, etc) should we work at? How ecosystem services conservation interacts with the livelihood strategies of farmers. Few interdisciplinary studies have been able to clearly address the social and ecological factors that could affect the integration of ecosystem services conservation and farmer livelihoods at multiple scales. Will examine interconnectivity between ecosystem service function and livelihoods. How to encourage and manage them at the landscape level in agricultural settings (through PES schemes, shade coffee co-op models and promoting high quality agricultural matrices).
  • We hypothesize that: 1) Shade coffee plantations can support both farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation, over ten years ; 2) Farmers affiliated with cooperatives and alternative market networks (e.g. Fair Trade, organic) achieve a higher level of ecosystem service conservation than independent, conventional farmers; 3) Globally-driven processes, such as the coffee price crisis (circa 1989-2002), and recent rises in food prices differentially affect shade coffee farmers, depending on their specific livelihood strategies and their social and support networks. The main questions being addressed by our research are: 1) What is the contribution of shade coffee plantations to the conservation of ecosystem services, such as such as biodiversity, agrodiversity, carbon sequestration, and recreational amenities? 2) How does shade coffee plantation management affect ecosystem services conservation, over a ten-year period? 3) What social networks and economic factors (livelihoods) affect the ecosystem services conservation potential of smallholders and their cooperatives? 4) How do globally driven processes, such as coffee and food price fluctuations, and international environmental initiatives affect coffee farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation?
  • We hypothesize that: 1) Shade coffee plantations can support both farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation, over ten years ; 2) Farmers affiliated with cooperatives and alternative market networks (e.g. Fair Trade, organic) achieve a higher level of ecosystem service conservation than independent, conventional farmers; 3) Globally-driven processes, such as the coffee price crisis (circa 1989-2002), and recent rises in food prices differentially affect shade coffee farmers, depending on their specific livelihood strategies and their social and support networks. The main questions being addressed by our research are: 1) What is the contribution of shade coffee plantations to the conservation of ecosystem services, such as such as biodiversity, agrodiversity, carbon sequestration, and recreational amenities? 2) How does shade coffee plantation management affect ecosystem services conservation, over a ten-year period? 3) What social networks and economic factors (livelihoods) affect the ecosystem services conservation potential of smallholders and their cooperatives? 4) How do globally driven processes, such as coffee and food price fluctuations, and international environmental initiatives affect coffee farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation?
  • Baseline information characterizing the coffee farms is necessary to better understand livelihood strategies, vulnerability and perceived needs in relation to agroecological management. Information collected through community focus groups, household interviews and ecological sampling will be used: Household unit of analysis
  • Presentation first given to the Junta directiva two weeks before, research accepted and a focus group organized with ASCAJA members Community Focus Groups Purpose: Bring members together Introduce research Livelihood activities (IUCN, 2008) - Community timeline - Income & consumption 4. Adjust survey 5. Provide technical assistance
  • We sampled the Southeast corner of each farm, as close as could be determined from farm shape with a Silva Ranger compass. The compass, measuring tape, and carefully measured rope were then employed to create a 20 x 50 m rectangle, which comprised the transect. Slope distance compensations were performed with a Suunto clinometer. All crop species and tree species greater than DBH (1.3 m) were identified and counted. The periphery was walked again in the case of any discrepancy). The 20 m periphery commenced on the Eastern end of the farm running West and the 50m periphery commenced on the South side running North unless farm size and shape dictated otherwise and prevented the establishment of a 20 x 50m transect (e.g. the southern end was less than 50m). Edge effects were reduced through the establishment of each transect at a minimum of 20m from major roads, roughly large enough for two medium-sized pick-up trucks. Transects were also performed at a minimum of 20m from the farm house, unless farm size was too small, to reduce bias towards crop accessibility. Farmer participation was solicited when available in species identification and farm shape/size, though transect location was randomized. Seventeen transects were performed, dependent on farm accessibility and farmer availability, and included a cross section of small (__ ha), medium (__ ha), and large (__ ha) farms (include numbers of each). Transect characteristics 50m x 20m = 1000m 2 GPS coordinates, SE corner All crop and tree species greater than DBH (1.3m) Assisted by local experts
  • We sampled the Southeast corner of each farm, as close as could be determined from farm shape with a Silva Ranger compass. The compass, measuring tape, and carefully measured rope were then employed to create a 20 x 50 m rectangle, which comprised the transect. Slope distance compensations were performed with a Suunto clinometer. All crop species and tree species greater than DBH (1.3 m) were identified and counted. The periphery was walked again in the case of any discrepancy). The 20 m periphery commenced on the Eastern end of the farm running West and the 50m periphery commenced on the South side running North unless farm size and shape dictated otherwise and prevented the establishment of a 20 x 50m transect (e.g. the southern end was less than 50m). Edge effects were reduced through the establishment of each transect at a minimum of 20m from major roads, roughly large enough for two medium-sized pick-up trucks. Transects were also performed at a minimum of 20m from the farm house, unless farm size was too small, to reduce bias towards crop accessibility. Farmer participation was solicited when available in species identification and farm shape/size, though transect location was randomized. Seventeen transects were performed, dependent on farm accessibility and farmer availability, and included a cross section of small (__ ha), medium (__ ha), and large (__ ha) farms (include numbers of each).
  • Commercial polyculture: mostly planted canopy trees (timber and fruit trees) and N-fixing legumes, few very a genera. Traditional polyculture coffee: some forest trees and some planted timber and fruit trees Ecosystem Services: Alternative food/ timber sources, pollination, pest control, biodiversity, Alternative food/ timber sources, pollination, pest control, biodiversity, natural disaster protection, climate regulation Sun Coffee: with rare isolated trees or without tree canopy. Shade Monoculture: Canopy dominated with one species or genus of tree (e.g. Inga spp.) Minimal soil erosion control and organic matter incorporation from coffee leaf litter
  • Find global numbers
  • In the 14 transects all crop species and tree species greater than DBH (1.3 m) were identified and counted. In total, 39 species were identified for a total abundance of 1849 species. The most abundant species were Guama (Inga vera) , Guineo ( Musa paradisiaca) and Yautia ( Xanthosoma sagittifolium) . Inga vera was the most common shade tree, a native nitrogen fixing legume ranging widely throughout the Neotropics (Beer et al. 1998). Within coffee plots yautia, banana, and plantain were the most abundant crop species. Pine ( Pinus occidentalis) was also found but in low numbers (30). Its presence as an endemic tree in the Hispaniolan landscape for at least 4,000 years render it attractive in terms of wildlife benefits (Kennedy et al. 2006; Speer et al. 2004).
  • In the Dominican Republic, three primary producers types exist: traditional, medium technified, and modern. Producers demonstrated great heterogeneity in technological advancement, cultivation and post harvest processing techniques. As in other coffee producing countries farm size provided a good proxy of production type and degree of commercialization (CEPAL, 2002). In this study the mean area of owned or allocated land for coffee cultivation was 2.88 ha per household. Small producers were characterized as those with 0.12 to 2 ha, medium producers as 2 to 5 ha and large producers as those with 5 ha or more of land (N=42).
  • Fix the dependence on coffee
  • The average household size was almost 4 members with the head of household an average of 56 years old. It appears that 64% of the sons and daughters of the interviewed coffee growers are being educated through primary school, with no apparent gender bias. For young adults, in the 17-19 age range, 68% had completed primary school and 27% had graduated from high school. However among household heads 54% had 1-6 years of school, 16% had no formal education and 23% reported not knowing how to read and write. Households were asked about their ability to cover basic expenses for education. Fifty-seven percent responded that they were unable to cover expenses for their children to attend pass primary school. According to the World Bank in 2001 education levels in rural areas were low, with about 25% of rural household heads had no schooling at all, and about 60% having 1-6 years of school. The lack of education and basic reading literacy is seen as a constraint on improving agricultural productivity particularly in sectors of increased global competition such as coffee and cacoa (World Bank, 2004).
  • Moderate gross returns were obtained via all production methods with only small differences in price received across management types. Those in transition to organic coffee had the highest yields and gross returns $1,139.00, at the second highest price. Conventional production provided intermediate yields and gross returns $1,094.00 with the lowest price, while certified organic had the lowest yields and returns at the highest price. However, differences between yields (F=.452, df=2 P=.640) and price (F=.730, df=2, P=.488) received were not statistically significant. An ANOVA was performed to compare yields, price and gross income between management types using SPSS statistical software version 18.2. Yields, price and gross income were log transformed for normality using Levene and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests. In 2004, the cost of production was estimated at $0.44/lb for traditional producers (CODOCAFE, 2008). Using this price conventional farmer’s net income falls to around $250 a household annually, which corroborates the conditions of economic poverty for most producers. However, differences between yields (F=.452, df=2 P=.640) and price (F=.730, df=2, P=.488) received were not statistically significant. An ANOVA was performed to compare yields, price and gross income between management types using SPSS statistical software version 18.2. Yields, price and gross income were log transformed for normality using Levene and Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests. In 2004, the cost of production was estimated at $0.44/lb for traditional producers (CODOCAFE, 2008).
  • Household consumption and health Farmers were asked a series of questions regarding household consumption and food production. The majority (71%) of respondents possessed a “ cunuco ” or food plot located near to their house or coffee plot. In the Dominican Republic “ cunucos ” are food plots full of “ viveres ” or starchy vegetables (i.e. yuca, potato, banana and plantains.) while “ jardines ” are small ornamental gardens located primarily around the house. Households were asked about the presence of both in relation to household consumption. Despite such a large percentage of respondents with cunucos the average producer purchased 67% of their basic food necessities and produced only 33%. Families spend between $111-277 (mean = $194) a month on dietary staples of mostly rice, beans, eggs and cooking oil. When asked: is there ever a point in the year when you have difficulties covering your family ’ s basic food necessities. Eighty-two percent of the households interviewed reported that they did struggle to meet their basic food needs. Of these 34 respondents, 32 or 76% of the total experienced food insecurity on an annual basis, primarily in the months just before the harvest, July through October. At this time income from the previous year ’ s harvest had usually been spent on basic necessities and the necessary farm investments throughout the year. The same line of questioning was applied to covering medical expenses, of which 79% answered yes and to covering basic education expenses, of which 57% responded yes. Numerous medical ailments were documented from infected wounds to mental disorders. Seventy-eight (33) of households reported prolonged sickness, which had kept them from working at some point in the past three years. Free medical treatment is available at clinics in Manaboa and Los Dajaos, however medicines are not covered. This leads us to believe that producer ’ s inability to cover medical expenses is more related to the price of medicines, not diagnosis. 71% of respondents possessed a homegarden Families spend between $111-277 (mean = $194) a month on dietary staples Produced beans until mid-1990s, coffee was profitable, they became cheaper to buy
  • While most producers reported farm gate prices as relatively good in recent years, prices were insufficient at increasing the state of household savings. Organic and transitional farmers reported using most of their savings to pay day labor for the additional farm maintenance (i.e. weeding, composting, pruning) needed during the non-harvest season. This resulted in decreased savings for 42% of organic and 52% of transitional producers. For conventional producers 54% had seen no change in their state of savings with 18% increasing and 27% decreasing. Despite these figures conventional farmers savings are perceived to be the most stable. Organic farmers had the highest percentage of savings…. The highest percentage of producers increasing their savings were organic farmers at 20% but as before mentioned with 70% experiencing decreased savings or no change at all. In summary, 45% of all producers had no savings and 36% had seen their savings decrease in the past three years. 14% of producers had seen no change in their savings while only five percent had managed to increase their savings. Organic and transitional producers saw greatest reduction in savings Producers lack land titles Small loans was primary benefit of association membership
  • findings suggest that all farms independent of size or management maintained native tree and fruit species biodiversity
  • The data suggest that all management types and sizes of farms exhibited similar species richness and abundance as determined by Shannon and Simpson indices (F=.48, df=1, P=.830). Diagnostic tests included Smirnov-Kolmogorov tests for normality and analysis of variances (ANOVA). Results suggest that all management types and farm sizes exhibited similar species richness and abundance as determined by Shannon and Simpson indices (F=.48, df=1, P=.830). Also farm age had no significant correlation to species richness (F=48, df=1, P=.920).
  • Farmers recognize the role of their shade coffee systems in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. Producer’s ability to maintain farm diversity is constrained by low prices and livelihood challenges, resulting in poverty (ONAPLAN, 2005; CRMG, 2002). Findings highlight the potential trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and farmer livelihoods in coffee production (Philpott et. al; 2007).
  • A broader approach is needed; context matters Strategies must incorporate smallholder producers’ diverse set of livelihood strategies Greater engagement through PAR, improved quality and product promotion with geographical indication could help ensure captured price premiums (Galtier, 2008) Investments in the social and technical capacity of producer cooperatives can be seen as contributing to both conservation and livelihood goals (Mendez, 2009; Perfecto & Vandermeer 2008)
  • Meetings with VCC in December of 2008 to discuss supply issues, work at Finca Alta Gracia, et., Many efforts to support smallholder coffee farmers have been largely based on certification programs, such as Fair Trade and organic. However, recent research shows that although efficient in providing higher prices, certifications may not be able to improve important livelihood factors, such as food security, education and gender equity. A recent alternative to support coffee farming communities is to develop networks of farmers, coffee companies and researchers that work together to achieve common goals. (Bacon et al. , 2008; Jaffe & Bacon, 2008). Talk about ASCAJA, 165 member organizations, problems exporting, etc.
  • A payment for ecosystem services (PES) model has been introduced as viable for the Rio Yaque del Norte for ensuring watershed service functions and providing a model for other watersheds in the country (Heindrichs, 2008). Globally water supply PES schemes offer the most promise as to their ease of identifying beneficiaries and providers of service functions (Southgate and Wunder, 2009; Landell-Mills and Porras, 2002). The lack of access to land tenure among producers warrants attention in both equity and design for potential payment schemes (Corbera, 2007). Greater public sector involvement is needed to secure more equitable and transparent access to land tenure and for promoting broad-based improvements in well being. In the Way Besai watershed of Indonesia, restoring producers access to land rights was seen as an incentive to reward producer for providing watershed service functions (Suyanto, 2007). Long-term land transactions of 10-30 years can be seen as secure arrangements to allow farmers to invest environmental service provision and agricultural modernization (Tschakert, 2007). In this case, coffee companies and associations, researchers, local municipal governments and community stakeholders provide the guiding institutional networks for a bottom up approach to the design, management and monitoring of service provisions at multiple scales (Table 1). Farmers perceived benefits of their shade coffee farms supports their willingness to provide services if compensated for the opportunity costs of alternative land uses (Quintero, Wunder and Estrada, 2009). Future research requires a greater understanding of these trade-offs. Results from this study support that PES could be seen as a way of further diversifying the income opportunities of smallholders and contributing directly to poverty reduction. A model for the region was built using ARIES (Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services) to determine how shade coffee farms and other food production schemes provide critical sources and sinks of ecosystem services of value to humans across the landscape (Villa et al. 2009). This tool can serve as a powerful tool for stakeholders to make coordinated decisions that improve overall landscape functionality with minimum levels of investment. Better understanding of tradeoffs (Quintero, Wunder and Estrada, 2009) Payments for Ecosystem Services scheme is viable in region for ensuring watershed service functions & model for other watersheds (Heindrichs, 2008) Water supply schemes offer most promise (Southgate and Wunder, 2009) Lack of land tenure requires more public sector involvement Equity and transparency in design is needed (Corbera, 2007) Diversify income and contribute to poverty reduction (Gross, 2010)  
  • Even though Small producers were less diversified in income/consumption compared to larger producers their farm agrobiodiversity was higher as part of their livelihood strategies (problems: access to markets)
  • Vulnerability among small producers with less income from less diversity in crops. Whether they were selling them or not.
  • Items that people “valued” for consumption (i.e. mention of water by small producers important) Large producers much more diversified in terms of income/consumption (i.e. have greenshouses, more capital, hired labor, etc.)
  • My research project takes place on the island of Hispaniola, located east of Cuba and west of Puerto Rico The island of Hispaniola, comprising the countries of Haiti and Dominican Republic are now vastly different since the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. The island is now home to approx. 20 million. While these numbers are split evenly btw the DR and Haiti. Haiti only contains 1/3 rd of the landmass compared to 2/3rds in the DR. Similarly, Land forest cover in Haiti is 1% while, 28% in DR . DR has lessons to learn from Haiti in terms of forest cover. Much of the differences are a result of the islands rich political ecology defined by French and Spanish occupation, years of political dictatorship, and trade agreements within the Americas Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica and Puerto Rico are collectively know as the Greater Antilles. The Greater Antilles are made up of continental rock, as distinct from the Less Antilles, which are mostly young volcanic or coral islands. The highland of Hispaniola has five mountain ranges the highest of which is: The Central Range, know in the Dominican Republic as the Central Cordillera, highest point is Pico Duarte at 3,087 or over 10,000ft above sea level. The highly mountainous Madre de las Aguas contains the best representations of coniferous pine, montane broadleaf, and cloud forests on the island. The highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte, rises to 10,125 feet. The rugged topography of the park contributes to the species richness and high endemism found here: over 90 percent of the amphibians and reptiles found in the area are endemic, along with 40 percent of plant species, 50 percent of butterflies, and 35 percent of its birds. About 40 percent of the Dominican Republic’s 5,600 plant species in Madre de las Aguas are found nowhere else in the world.

Participatory Research to Support Rural Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services Conservation in the Pico Duarte Region of the Dominican Republic Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Lee H. Gross Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Vermont [email_address] Participatory Research to Support Rural Livelihoods and Ecosystem Services Conservation in the Pico Duarte Coffee Region of the Dominican Republic
  • 2. Presentation Overview
    • Introductory video (2 min)
    • Theoretical & Conceptual Frameworks (8 min)
    • Research Objectives, Questions & Hypotheses (5 min)
    • Methods (5 min)
    • Results (15 min)
    • Discussion (5 min)
    • Recommendations (5 min)
  • 3.  
  • 4. Ecosystem functions represent “the capacity of natural processes and components to provide goods and services that satisfy human needs, directly or indirectly (DeGroot, 1992). The goods and services provided by ecosystems are referred to as ecosystem services (Costanza et al., 1997) , and they are considered to be essential for sustaining human life” (Daily et al., 1997). What are ecosystem services?
  • 5. Provisioning Regulating & Cultural Source: Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005; Zhang et. al., 2008 Status of Ecosystem Services Service Status Food crops  livestock  capture fisheries  aquaculture  wild foods  Fiber timber +/– cotton, silk +/– wood fuel  Genetic resources  Biochemicals, medicines  Fresh water  Service Status Regulating Services Air quality regulation  Climate regulation – global  Climate regulation – regional and local  Water regulation +/– Erosion regulation  Water purification and waste treatment  Disease regulation +/– Pest regulation  Pollination  Natural hazard regulation  Cultural Services Spiritual and religious values  Aesthetic values  Recreation and ecotourism +/–
  • 6. What is a livelihood? The concept of l ivelihoods has been defined as ‘comprising people, their capabilities and their means of living (e.g. food, income and assets), which can be tangible or intangible’ Chamber, R. and G. Conway (1992) . Bebbington added a cultural component to the material and economic focus behind livelihood assets, simply defining livelihoods as “the way people make a living and how they make it meaningful” (Bebbington, 2000).
  • 7. Source: Department For International Development, Chambers, R. & G. Conway, 1992; Bebbington, 1999; Sen,1981; Sayer et. al 2008
  • 8. Sources: MEA, 2005; Perfecto & Vandermeer, 2008; Scherr & McNeely 2007 A new conservation paradigm: A landscape approach
  • 9. Study Area: River Yaque del Norte watershed
  • 10. Research Objectives
    • To document and analyze the livelihood strategies of coffee farmers in the region. (Chambers and Conway, 1992)
    • Through a participatory process with local farmers to examine existing organizational models to better support farmer’s perceived needs (Bacon et. al., 2008)
    • To analyze the relationship between ecosystem services conservation and farmer livelihoods. (Jackson et. al., 2008)
  • 11. Research Questions
    • What is the contribution of shade coffee plantations to the conservation of ecosystem services?
    • What social networks and economic factors (livelihoods) affect the ecosystem services conservation potential of smallholders and their cooperatives?
    • How do national and international market forces and actors, affect coffee farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation?
  • 12. Research Hypotheses
    • Shade coffee plantations can support both farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation
    • Farm management and size impacts coffee system tree and fruit species diversity
    • National and international market forces and actors, such as the coffee prices and international organizations affect shade coffee farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation
  • 13. Methods: Data Collection
    • Baseline information collected through:
    • 2 Community focus groups
    • 42 Household interviews
    • 17 Biodiversity transects
    • Interviews with key stakeholders
  • 14. Methods: Community focus groups ✓ Introduction ✓ Rapid rural appraisal (IUCN, 2008) ✓ Technical assistance
  • 15. Methods: Household interviews
    • Sample:
    • Members of ASCAJA
    • Small, medium & large producers
    • Conventional, organic & transitional
    • 42 households in 9 communities
    • Survey elements included
    • savings
    • income
    • farm management
    • consumption
    • labor
    • infrastructure
    • conservation practices
    • subjective well-being
    • debt
    • coffee
    • prices
    • food security
    • education
    • health
  • 16. Methods: Coffee plot biodiversity transects PRISMA, 2004 50 m m Transect Parcel 20 m Sample Zone Transect
  • 17. Methods: Biodiversity metrics
    • 1. Species Richness - # of different species
    • 2 . Species Abundance - # of plants per species in a given area
    • 3. Species Diversity
    • used Shannon Diversity Index (Magurran, 2004)
    • calculated in Estimates 8.0 Software (Colwell, 2006) takes both species abundance and evenness into account
    Book for ID : Liogier, A. 1978. Arboles Dominicanos. Academia de ciencias de La Republica Dominicana. Comision de Biologia. Rama de Botanica Vol III. Cecropia schreberiana
  • 18. Traditional/Commercial Polycultures Shade Monoculture/Sun Coffee Moguel & Toledo, 1999
  • 19. Inga vera Coffea Arabica: typica Banana ( Musa paradisiaca) & Plantain Common Dominican Shade Coffee Agroforestry System
  • 20. Results: Coffee production systems, ecosystem services & the landscape Philpott et al. 2008; Jha et al. (forthcoming) Tree composition Sun Coffee: with rare isolated trees or without tree canopy. Some Shade Monoculture : Canopy dominated with one species or genus of tree (e.g. Inga spp.) Commercial polyculture: mostly planted canopy trees (timber and fruit trees) and N-fixing legumes, few very a genera Traditional polyculture coffee: some forest trees and some planted timber and fruit trees Potential Ecosystem Services Offered Minimal soil erosion control and organic matter incorporation from coffee leaf litter Alternative food/ timber sources, pollination, pest control, biodiversity Alternative food/ timber sources, pollination, pest control, biodiversity, natural disaster protection, climate regulation Reviewed in Philpott et al. 2008 Jha and Vandermeer 2010, Philpott et al. 2008 Jha and Vandermeer 2010, Philpott et al. 2008, Méndez et al. 2007 % of Total Land Area Pico Duarte Region 36% 64%
  • 21. 39 species, 1849 total abundance Species Latin Name Native Abundance Primary Use Guama Inga vera yes 1137 Timber tree Yautia Xanthosoma sagittifolium yes 181 Food Guineo Musa paradisiaca yes 149 Fruit tree Tayota Sechium edule no 103 Agricultural crop Pino Pinus occidentalis yes 33 Timber tree Platano Musa paradisiaca no 24 Food Naranja Citrus sinensis yes 12 Fruit tree Penda Citharexylum fructicosum yes 11 Timber tree Aguacate Persea americana yes 10 Fruit tree Higuelas 9 El Memiso de Paloma (Mata de Memiso) Trema micranthum yes 8 Ornamental Palo Santo Bulnesia sarmientoi no 7 Granyumbo (yagrumo) Cecropia schreberiana yes 7 Timber/Ornamental Cana Sabal domingensis yes 6 ornamental Bambo Bambusa vulgaris no 6 Timber tree Guayaba Psidium guajava yes 5 Fruit tree Higuero Crescentia cujete yes 5 Fruit tree Copey Clusia rosea Jacq. yes 5 Ornamental Yuca Manihot esculenta yes 4 Food Sapodilla Manilkara zapota yes 4 Fruit tree Yarey Copernicia berteroana yes 3 Ornamental Violeta Melia azedarach no 2 Timber tree Pingamosa 2 Jaba 2 Chinola Passiflora edulis yes 2 Fruit tree Mango Mangifera indica 2 Fruit tree Manacla 1 Vija 1 Pelia 1 Limones Citrus limon yes 1 Fruit tree Vealito Melia azedarach 1 Lechosa Carica papaya 1 Pies de gallo 1 Manacla 1 Unidentified Tree 1 Unidentified Thorny Tree 1 Raspberry Rubus no 1 Fruit tree Species Latin Name Native Abundance Primary Use Guama Inga vera yes 1137 Timber tree Yautia Xanthosoma sagittifolium yes 181 Food Guineo Musa paradisiaca yes 149 Fruit tree Tayota Sechium edule no 103 Agricultural crop Pino Pinus occidentalis yes 33 Timber tree Platano Musa paradisiaca no 24 Food Naranja Citrus sinensis yes 12 Fruit tree Penda Citharexylum fructicosum yes 11 Timber tree Aguacate Persea americana yes 10 Fruit tree
  • 22. Results: Dominican farmer typology 0.12 to 2 ha 2 to 5 ha 5 + ha Modern
    • Contract labor
    • Significant capital
    • Principal source of income: coffee,
    • commercial and industrial activities
    • Level of farm technology: high
    Moderately Technified
    • Family labor. Contract for certain activities,
    • all the harvest.
    • Limited capital
    • Principal source of income: coffee. Level of farm technology: medium
    Traditional
    • Family Labor. Contract only for certain activities,
    • almost all of the harvest.
    • No capital.
    • Principal source of income: activities
    • outside the farm and family.
    • Level of farm technology: low
    n=6 n=14 n=22
  • 23. Results: Smallholders & the Pico Duarte Landscape
  • 24. Results: livelihood & income sources Livelihood % Comments Coffee 100 Fifty-seven percent of households received less than 50% of their income from coffee and less than 15% received 75-100% from coffee. Fruit 40 Banana, avocado, orange, lemon Other work 35 Day labor; more important for small producers. Gov. support 33 “ tarjeta ” welfare provided by government Viveres 31 Starchy vegetables for consumption/sale Tayota squash 28 Lucrative cash crop in Manabao Animals 21 Pigs, chickens, cattle, rabbit Remittances 12 Mostly from domestic migration by family members to nearby cities Wood 9 Harvested from shade coffee plots
  • 25. Results: Percent of Livelihood by Income Source
  • 26.
    • Household heads:
    • 54% had 1-6yrs, 16% none, 23% could not read and write
    • All: 70% of respondents know how to read and write
    • Teenagers: 68% primary school, 27% high school
    Results: education of family members by age & gender 5-10 years 11-17 years 18+ years Male Fem Male Fem Male Fem None 5 2 1 - 12 6 1-2 primary 6 9 8 7 33 23 High School - - 4 2 8 6 University - - - - 4 1
  • 27.
    • With cost of production at $0.44/lb (CODOCAFE, 2008). Conventional producers net income = $250 annually, which corroborates the conditions of economic poverty for most households
    Results: Coffee yield, price paid ( pergamino ), gross return, production cost magnitude Coffee type Yield kg/ha Range kg/ha Price $/lb Gross $ Prod cost Certified Organic (13) 407 13 - 706 1.15 814 ++ Conventional (11) 511 79 - 1071 1.07 1094 + Transitional (18) 569 21 - 996 1.09 1139 +++ ANOVA F=.452, df= 2, P=.640 F=.730, df=2, P=.488
  • 28. Results: Consumption of the household
  • 29. Results: Savings, land tenure and credit = Livelihood and Landscape Vulnerability
  • 30. Results: Producers perceived ecosystem services benefits of shade coffee systems Swinton et. al., 2007
  • 31. Discussion: shade coffee plantations can support both farmer livelihoods and the conservation of native tree and plant species. Hypothesis accepted
    • Sales of fruit accounted for 40% of household income
    • Over 39 species identified, 70% of which were native
    • Diversity indices showed moderate species richness relative to other studies in Mesoamerica (Mendez et. al. 2010; Philpott et al. 2008).
  • 32. (F=.48, df=1, P=.830) Discussion: Farm management and size impacts coffee system tree and fruit species diversity. Hypothesis rejected
  • 33. Discussion: national and international market forces and actors, such as the coffee prices and international organizations affect shade coffee farmer livelihoods and ecosystem services conservation. Hypothesis accepted Total Production 2000 - 2009
  • 34. Conclusions: Coffee, conservation and poverty
    • Farmers recognize the role of their shade coffee systems in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    • Results highlight trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and farmer livelihoods in coffee production (Philpott et. al; 2007).
    • Producer’s ability to maintain farm diversity is constrained by livelihood challenges, resulting in poverty (ONAPLAN, 2005; CRMG, 2002).
    hispaniolan parrot
  • 35. Recommendations: National & regional development policy
    • Beyond commodity approach
    • Context matters
    • Incorporate diverse set of livelihood strategies
    • Capture price premiums (Galtier, 2008)
    • Invest in social capital
  • 36. Recommendations: Ecosystem services of shade coffee landscapes and their stakeholders in the Pico Duarte region Local / Farm Level National / Regional Level Global Level Carbon Sequestration Biodiversity Preservation Migratory Bird Habitat
    • Coffee Companies
    • Int. Conservation Organizations
    • Dominican Government
    • Trade Organizations & Certifiers
    • HINDRI - Hydroelectric
    • Ministry of Agriculture and Environment
    • Provincial Government
    • Development Organizations USAID/GTZ
    • Nearby cities, Jarabacoa
    Water Service Functions Erosion Control Recreation Scenic Viewshed Nitrogen fixation Wood products Pest Control Erosion Control Production
    • Farmers
    • Laborers
    • Local Communities
    • Cooperatives/Association
  • 37. Farmer’s Association: Disorganization, coordinated farm management, quality control, not exporting or receiving price premiums, lack infrastructure and technical expertise, economic pressures to abandon coffee Researcher: Livelihood and ecosystem services questions, graduate degree Coffee Company: Supply issues, social and environmental commitment, poor communication with farmers association, lack of knowledge about area Shared Goals: more organization, increased supply, new markets, technical support, higher quality coffee, sustainable farmer livelihoods, conservation of landscape and ecosystem functions P.A.R P articipatory A ction R esearch
  • 38. Gracias a todos!
    • Advisors: Drs. Jon Erickson and V. Ernesto Mendez
    • Committee member: John Hayden
    • The University of Vermont: Alan Howard, ARLG and Gund colleagues
    • Vermont Coffee Company: Paul Ralston
    • Finca Alta Gracia: Bill Eichner, Julia Alvarez, Alex, Dylan, Eli and Ria
    • Instituto Dominicano de Investigaciones Agropecuarias y Forestales
    • The Conservation and Research Foundation
  • 39. Bacon, C. M., V. E. Méndez & J. A. Fox (2008) Cultivating sustainable coffee: persistent paradoxes. pp. 337-372. In C. M. Bacon, V. E. Méndez, S. R. Gliessman, D. Goodman & J. A. Fox (eds.) Confronting the coffee crisis: Fair Trade, sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems in Mexico and Central America. Cambridge, MA, U.S.A. Chambers, R. and G. Conway (1992) Sustainable rural livelihoods: Practical concepts for the 21 st century. IDS Discussion Paper 296. Brighton: IDS Jackson LE, Pascual U, & Hodgkin T (2007) Utilizing and conserving agrobiodiversity in agricultural landscapes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 121, 196-210. Jaffe, R. & C. M. Bacon (2008) From differentiated coffee markets towards alternative trade and knowledge networks. pp. In C. Bacon, V. E. Méndez, S. R. Gliessman, D. Goodman & J. A. Fox (eds.) Confronting the coffee crisis: Fair Trade, sustainable livelihoods and ecosystems in Mexico and Central America. MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, USA. Méndez, V. E., C. Bacon, S. Petchers, D. Herrador, C. Carranza, L. Trujillo, C. Guadarrama-Zugasti, A. Cordón & A. Mendoza (2008) Sustainable coffee from the bottom-up I: effects of Fair Trade and organic certification on small-scale farmer households in Central America and Mexico . in review at World Development Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA), 2005, Ecosystems and Human Well-being: Synthesis, Island Press, Washington, DC. (2005). Perfecto, I. & J. Vandermeer (2008a) Biodiversity conservation in tropical agroecosystems - A new conservation paradigm. pp. 173-200. In Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology 2008. 1134. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Swinton, S.M., Lupi, F.G., Robertson, P., Hamilton, S. K., (2007). Ecosystem services and agriculture: Cultivating agricultural ecosystems for diverse benefits. Ecological Economics 64, 245-252. References
  • 40. Appendix
  • 41. Ecosystem threats: Unsustainable farming practices
  • 42. Recommendations: PES
    • Payments for Ecosystem Services scheme is viable (Heindrichs, 2008)
    • Water supply schemes offer most promise (Southgate and Wunder, 2009)
    • Lack of land tenure requires attention from public sector
    • Equity and transparency is needed in design (Corbera, 2007)
    • Diversify income and reduce poverty (Gross, 2010)
    Salto de Jimenoa
  • 43. Recommendations: Ecosystem Services Modeling
  • 44. Results: Livelihood Analysis
  • 45. Alta Gracia Foundation Vermont Coffee Company Ecosystem Services Modeling Payments for Ecosystem Services Heindrichs, 2008 Villa et. al., 2008
  • 46. Participatory Action Research: Vermont Coffee Co. & ASCAJA
  • 47. Recommendations: Invest in social capital
    • University of Vermont
    • Alta Gracia Foundation
    • Vermont Coffee Company
    • ASCAJA & IDIAF
    • Development Organizations
  • 48. Small producers < 2.5 hectares Large producers > 35 hectares Medium producers 2.5 < x < 35 hectares
  • 49. Income (on-farm/off-farm) Small producers < 2.5 hectares Large producers > 2.5 hectares Farm Products Banana Yuca Eggplant Eggs Corn Squash Other sources Day labor Small business Farm Products Banana Yuca Eggplant Eggs Squash Pig Cow Rabbit Avocado Papaya Lemon Mandarin Raspberry Other sources Day labor Small business Contracts Salary Work Coffee Coffee Large producer Small producer
  • 50. Non cash-consumption Small producers < 2.5 hectares Large producers > 2.5 hectares Farm products Vegetables Corn Beans Grass for animals Herbal Tea Animals “ Viveres” Corn Platane Banana Forest Products Wood for construction Firewood for cooking Water Coffee Farm products Vegetables Corn Eucalyptus Lettuce Beans Tomato Banana Platano Yuca Limon Papaya Avacado “ Viveres” Sugar Cane Forest Products Wood for Construction Firewood for cooking Livestock Chicken Pig Goat Cow Rabbit Coffee Small producer Large producer
  • 51. Contextual Processes: Dominican Coffee Sector – International & Domestic Total Production 2000 - 2009
  • 52. Small producer < 2.5 hectares Medium producer 2.5 < x < 35 hectares (R 2 =0.00045, df = 1, P ≤ 4.029).
  • 53. Study Area: River Yaque del Norte Watershed
  • 54. Results: Producer Size & Management Characteristics Globally, small producers manage btw 1-3 hectares