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Smallholder livelihoods and land use in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon: Lessons for REDD+ from Proambiente


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This presentation explores lessons to be learned for REDD+ in the Brazilian Amazon from Proambiente, a federal pilot program that intended to reconcile smallholder production and natural resource conservation through land use planning, technical assistance and payments for environmental services.

Marina Cromberg gave this presentation on 18 June 2012 at a panel discussion organised by CIFOR and partners at the ISEE 2012 Conference at Rio, which convened under the topic "Ecological Economics and Rio+20: Challenges and Contributions for a Green Economy". The panel was titled ‘A comparison of intervention strategies and impacts of four incipient REDD+ initiatives in the Brazilian Amazon’. For more information, visit

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Smallholder livelihoods and land use in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon: Lessons for REDD+ from Proambiente

  1. 1. Smallholder Livelihoods and Land Use in theEastern Brazilian Amazon: Lessons for REDD+ from Proambiente Marina Cromberg (UDESC), Amy E. Duchelle (CIFOR)
  2. 2. Proambiente in the Transamazon• Proambiente:- Articulation of small farmers and civil society to conciliate smallholder production + environmental conservation- Became a federal pilot program in 2004- 11 pilot sites in the Amazon Basin- Transamazon site: 15 community groups; 350 families- Interventions in the Transamazon: Land use planning, community agreements, technical assistance and PES- Ended prematurely in 2006 due lack of a national framework for PES, limited funding and implementation capacity…- To provide continuity to this initiative IPAM has proposed a REDD+ pilot project with the same families THINKING beyond the canopy
  3. 3. Sustainable Settlements in the Amazon• Proponent: Amazon Institute of Environmental Research (IPAM)• Scale: 350 families of Proambiente (318 km²) ; 3 reference settlements (2,288 km²);• Target actors: Colonist settlers• Drivers of D&D: cattle ranching, swidden agriculture, Illegal logging• REDD+ intervention mechanisms: - Land tenure regularization; - Assure environmental compliance; - Incentive based mechanism: PES and sustainable land use alternatives. THINKING beyond the canopy
  4. 4. Research objective• Analyze the possible outcomes of Proambiente related to conservation and livelihood improvement: - land use - agropastoral management - capitalization level and means of obtaining income• Identify implications for the REDD+ project interventions. THINKING beyond the canopy
  5. 5. CIFOR’s GCS-REDD Component 2 in BrazilMap: CIFOR GCS-REDD
  6. 6. Transamazon site IPAM & FVPP, 2009
  7. 7. Data collection methods• Timing of fieldwork: July and August 2010• 10 enumerators• 4 village meetings 67 participants of Proambiente• 137 interviews in 4 villages 70 non participants of Proambiente THINKING beyond the canopy
  8. 8. Results: Income Pro: USD 3,310Anual per capita income (2009 -2010) = NPro: USD 2,084 Income Share 28 Livestock 41 Agriculture 35 28 17 Non Proambiente 12 11 Proambiente Wage 12 Forest 8 4 2 Business 4 0 10 20 30 40 50 % household income (cash + subsistence) THINKING beyond the canopy
  9. 9. Results: Land Use % land cover (2010) 46 Primary Forest 53 Pasture 32 24Mature Secondary Forest 12 13 Non Proambiente Recent deforestation 2008-2010 Initial Secondary Forest 8 (Pro: 3.4; Npro: 3.7 ha) 5 Proambiente Crops 6 70 64 7 60 Agroforestry 2 51 2 50 Proambiente 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 40 30 Non Proambiente % % 30 21 19 20 15 - Forest cover (Pro: 66% e Npro: 58 %) 10 - No differences related to the mean % land area allocated for each use between the 0 Primary Secondary Did not clear groups Forest Forest THINKING beyond the canopy
  10. 10. Results: Agropastoral management• More cultivated species diversity (Pro:12; NPro: 9.5) p=0.025• Pro households obtained higher mean agricultural income per hectare (2009-2010) (Pro:USD 632; Npro: USD 445) p=0.057• Reduced fire use in the last two years• No differences related to the % of households that use pesticides• No differences between livestock income/ha and number of cattle heads/ha (0.6 animals/ha) THINKING beyond the canopy
  11. 11. Take-home messages• Lessons learned from Proambiente• Although there were no differences related to income, Proambiente participants engaged in some practices that reflected the program’s values: - used agricultural land more efficiently - preferred to clear secondary forest - reduced fire use• However, we can not affirm that these differences were determined by the program, since we do not have baseline data for the period before the start of the program. THINKING beyond the canopy
  12. 12. Take-home messages• Implications for proposed REDD+ Interventions• The Importance of income from livestock and agriculture show the need for more intensive and diversified production techniques, as already anticipated by the project proponent.• Given the fact that the families are not compliant with the current forest code reforestation on degraded lands are important to promote environmental compliance THINKING beyond the canopy