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The Social Context of Participation: Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) and the Creation of a Marine Protected Area In...


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THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF PARTICIPATION: PARTICIPATORY RURAL APPRAISAL (PRA) AND THE CREATION OF A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN BAHIA, BRAZIL RONALDO WEIGAND JR. A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2003

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To my grandparents Carlos and Rosa, my parents Vera and Ronaldo, and the fishers of Itacar

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I first want to thank my advisor Dr. Marianne Schmink for her support to this dissertation and in my academic life at the University of Florida. I also appreciate the support of the other members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Gerald Murray, Dr. Peter Hildebrand, Dr. Marshall Breeze and Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith during my graduate studies. I want to thank Dr. Marcos Sorrentino, at the Universidade de So Paulo, for his advice and support in critical moments during the research process. I want to thank Cludio Lpo of Itacar, who was the first to tell me about the proposal of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. He and his family, received me in his house during the first contacts with the fishing community, and he was a good friend throughout the process of research. I also want to thank the following people: Anglica and Amos, from Pousada LArcobaleno; Kikiu, from Taboquinhas; Salvador, Valria Cyrillo, Ana Paranhos, Rui Rocha, and other people from Instituto de Estudos Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia (IESB) and the Programa de Educao Ambiental da APA de Itacar Serra Grande; Luiz Souto, from NGO Jupar; Jane Voisin, from UESC; and Roberto Setubal, from the Municipal Government. Essential support was given by Rita Romano from Terra Nuova. I also thank Viviane Hermida, Ana Claudia Mendes Malhado and Daniela Martins, who volunteered in the PRA in Itacar and were great research assistants. Particularly, the talks I had with Viviane illuminated my research. I further want to thank the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, particularly Catu, Breno, Batista, Gilmar, Celinha, zio, Brbara and Vinha, for letting me research with them. I am grateful for the invitation from ASPERI iii

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and for the support of its presidents, Raimundo, Pingin and Pedro. I was also pleased with the support from the Colnia de Pesca Z-18, the Municipality, Restaurante Senzala and small businesses and local groups that supported the creation of the Extractive Reserve. Special thanks go to Rubens Lopes and his oceanographic team at Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC), particularly Slvia, Lcio, Gessely, Mnica, Cntia and Alexandre. I also thank Rafael Pinzn and Alexandre Z. Cordeiro, of CNPT/IBAMA; and Mrcio Torres, of the Ministrio Pblico Federal in Ilhus. I am very grateful for the support from and friendship of Valria Rodrigues, Francisco R. Cartaxo Nobre, Carla and Robert Miller, Ana Maria Arglo, Norman Breuer and his family, Kathleen Ragsdale, Sandra Baptista, Viviane Hermida, Valrio Gomes, Marta Hager Strambi, Richard Wallace, Ilka Arajo, Christine Archer, John Engels, Amy Cox, and Maria Thereza Pedroso, who all made my time in Gainesville endurable and more enjoyable. I also want to thank my mother, Vera; my father, Ronaldo; his wife Genes; my aunt Denise; my brothers and all my family for their support. This research and my doctoral studies were funded by a fellowship from the Fundao Coordenao de Aperfeioamento de Pessoal de Nvel Superior (CAPES) of the Brazilian Ministry of Education. I especially thank my country, Brazil; my government and my people for supporting my education, both in Brazil (at the University of So Paulo) and in the United States (through CAPES). iv

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................................................................................ iii LIST OF TABLES .......................................................................................................... vii LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................ viii ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... ix CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................................1 Origins and Concept of Participatory Rural Appraisal ...........................................5 Definition of PRA .................................................................................................11 Collective Action and PRA Experiences ..............................................................12 Research Questions and Explanatory Propositions ...............................................14 Theoretical, Methodological and Practical Significance of this Research ...........45 Organization of the Dissertation ...........................................................................46 2 METHODOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES: AN INTRODUCTION TO ACTION RESEARCH ..............................................................................................................48 Main Characteristics of Action Research .............................................................49 Epistemology for an Investigative Action Research: Discovery and Learning 50 Politics of Action Research ...................................................................................53 Diverse Voices, Emic Explanations and Conscientizao ...................................55 Objectivity and Action Research ..........................................................................56 Comparing Action Research and Research-Only Strategies ................................57 3 RESEARCH METHODS ..........................................................................................60 Research Site and Population ................................................................................60 Research Design ....................................................................................................61 Data Collection: Observant Participation and Participant Observation ................81 Testing the Explanatory Propositions ...................................................................86 4 ITACAR AND ITS FISHERS ................................................................................90 Indians, Jesuits and Pirates ...................................................................................91 The Violent Land ...............................................................................................93 Colnia de Pesca Z-18 ..........................................................................................97 Rise of Tourism and Environmentalism .............................................................103 Fishers Association of Itacar ............................................................................114 v

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Links to a Wider Context ....................................................................................116 Summary and Conclusions .................................................................................117 5 COOPERATION AND INDIVIDUALISM IN THE FISHING ACTIVITY ........122 Is the Fishing Activity Solitary? .........................................................................122 Modernization of the Fisheries ...........................................................................128 The Lobster Gold Rush .......................................................................................132 Resource Management ........................................................................................135 The Extractive Reserves .....................................................................................142 Summary and Conclusions .................................................................................145 6 ORIGINS OF THE TASK GROUP ........................................................................148 Courses on PRA and Community Leadership ....................................................149 The Movement for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar and the Formation of the Task Group ............................................................................................152 Black-or-White Views ........................................................................................164 Summary and Conclusions .................................................................................166 7 RESEARCH QUESTION 1: WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCED FISHERS PARTICIPATION IN THE PRA MEETINGS? .....................................................168 PRA Training for TG Members ..........................................................................170 First-Round PRA Meetings ................................................................................178 Second-Round PRA Meetings ............................................................................223 Explanatory Propositions Tested in Action ........................................................224 Summary and Conclusions .................................................................................233 8 RESEARCH QUESTION 2: WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE PARTICIPATION BY LOCAL PEOPLE AS LEADERS IN THE PRA TEAM? ................................235 Participation in the Task Group ..........................................................................240 Action Tests for Research Question 2: Summary and Conclusion .....................262 9 CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................265 Why Participation? ..............................................................................................265 Participation of the Fishers of Itacar in the PRA Meetings ..............................266 Communitarian or Individualistic? .....................................................................272 Conflict and Consensus in PRA ..........................................................................273 Local Participation in the PRA Team and Leadership ........................................274 Multidimensional Model .....................................................................................280 Competing Extractive Reserve Models ..............................................................282 Action as Research and Research as Action .......................................................286 REFERENCES ...............................................................................................................289 APPENDIX: SCHEDULE OF PRA MEETINGS .........................................................297 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ..........................................................................................300 vi

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1: Research question 1 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced fishers participation in the PRA meetings? .........................................................................15 1-2: Research question 2 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced participation by local people in the PRA team? ......................................................16 1-3: Comparison of peasants and fishers. ........................................................................21 2-1: Comparing action research and conventional research ............................................58 5-1: Accomplishments of the fishers of Itacar and necessary personal qualities and skills to realize them.............................................................................................. 127 7-1: Attendance at the PRA meetings............................................................................169 7-2: Research Question 1 and explanatory propositions ................................................170 7-3: Contents of the course on PRA for the Task Group ...............................................172 7-4: Results of the action tests for the explanatory propositions for research question 1 ...............................................................................................................................226 8-1: Research question 2 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced participation by local people in the PRA team? ....................................................236 8-2: Results of the action tests for the explanatory propositions for Research Question 2 ...............................................................................................................................263 vii

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1: Location of Itacar and the area proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve........61 3-2: Web of life game in the community of Banca do Peixe. ..........................................75 3-3: Participatory mapping exercise in Forte community. ...............................................76 3-4: Institutional diagram in Banca do Peixe community (a TG member is facilitating the discussion). ..............................................................................................................77 3-5: Historical diagram in small groups in Taboquinhas, facilitated by a volunteer research assistant. ....................................................................................................78 3-6: Logo of the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. .....................................................................................................................83 3-7: Action as a research testing strategy. .......................................................................88 7-1: Natural resource map created by the PRA participants of Banca do Peixe ............187 7-2: Institutional Diagram of Banca do Peixe................................................................ 189 7-3: Participatory mapping in Banca do Peixe. .............................................................196 7-4: Institutional diagram of Porto de Trs. ...................................................................205 8-1: Participation within the Task Group. ......................................................................241 A-0-1: Schedule of PRA meetings. ................................................................................298 viii

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Abstract of Dissertation Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF PARTICIPATION: PARTICIPATORY RURAL APPRAISAL (PRA) AND THE CREATION OF A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN BAHIA, BRAZIL By Ronaldo Weigand Jr. August 2003 Chair: Marianne Schmink Major Department: Department of Anthropology This dissertation is a study of a participatory rural appraisal (PRA) process for the creation of the Marine Extractiv e Reserve of Itacar, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, and examined two main research questions: \203 What factors influenced fishers pa rticipation in the PRA meetings? \203 What factors influenced participation by lo cal people as leaders in the PRA team? To test 14 explanatory propositions, I ad apted action research, a participatory research paradigm concerned both with acti on to improve local conditions faced by the participants, and with research about the processes that cause these conditions. The most important factor affecting participation in the PRA meetings was politics. Often, fishers did not participate because they were resis ting the Extractive Reserve proposal, the local PRA team, or because they opposed some other aspect. My research provides evidence against the proposition that fishers do not participate because they ha ve an individualistic culture, and against the proposit ion that fishers do not atte nd PRA meetings if they can ix

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free-ride on the PRA exercise. In Itacar, all communities eventually attended PRA meetings in good numbers, actively participated in the discussions, and ended up supporting the Extractive Reserve. Attendance at meetings was also influenced by the credibility of the PRA team and by multidimensional costs and benefits related to the PRA methodology (moral, emotional, and informational). The factors influencing participation within the local PRA team included the pace of the PRA and individual opportunity costs involved in facilitating it. Multidimensional costs and benefits also affected participation; individuals would stay in the PRA team while they felt that their material, political, moral, and emotional capitals were above a certain critical level. The dissertation further shows the importance of internal conflicts in the local PRA team, and shows how PRA, because of its technical need for outside facilitators, can increase such conflicts. Conflicts among insiders may be equally important. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of recommendations for research, PRA practice, action research, and the creation of extractive reserves. x

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Everybody is talking about participation. Why participation? To some, participation is an end in itself; a human right. In conservation and development initiatives, community supporters and activists defend that local people have the right to participate in any decision process that could influence their lives. Donors, governments, universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community organizations are so interested in participation because it gives legitimacy to development and conservation initiatives, and because it is believed that participation makes these initiatives more efficient and effective. The word participation may mean different things: How do people participate? Who participates? Why do they participate? How much power do participants have? How do outsiders and locals see participation? How much do they gain or lose by participating (or not)? The answers to these questions (if they are ever asked) influence the legitimacy, the efficiency and the efficacy of conservation and development initiatives. Participation can take different forms. For example, in the research process, Rocheleau (1994) points out that there are extractive and interactive approaches, and that land users can take different roles, from providing labor, to acting as hosts, informants, evaluators, collaborators, partners, advisors or board members. As in Rocheleaus description, the types of participation can be classified in a one-dimensional scale, such as a ladder, implying that some forms of classification are better (more legitimate) than 1

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2 others and that it is possible, desirable and necessary to move across this continuum to the most intense form of participation, a kind of participation nirvana (Guijt and Sha 1998b:10); Guijt and Sha (1998) discuss other problems with participation typologies. To promote participation, a series of methods have been developed, such as participatory rural appraisal (PRA). Participatory rural appraisal is "a growing family of approaches and methods to enable local (rural and urban) people to express, enhance, share, and analyze their knowledge of life and conditions, to plan and to act" (Chambers 1994b:1253). In the 1990s, as participation of local people became an important element towards a more effective, efficient and socially just way to promote development and manage protected areas, PRA became increasingly popular among development and conservation organizations and professionals for use in different contexts (protected areas, indigenous communities, rural resettlements, poor urban neighborhoods, etc.). However, as PRA scales up, the concern about the quality of participation has increased (Blackburn and Holland 1998). Criticism of PRA is growing, both for its lack of a theoretical basis and its lack of consideration for the complexity of rural communities (Goebel 1998; Guijt and Sha 1998a). To some authors, problems with PRA may stem from its massive use, and from scaling up without proper care, training and understanding of the methodology (Blackburn and Holland 1998). To other authors, the problems with PRA emerge from the methodology itself. For example, Guijt and Sha (1998b) and Goebel (1998) argue that PRA, by emphasizing public expression of knowledge and consensus, may obscure power differences and disagreeing interests in the community (particularly gender-related differences), therefore contributing to the disempowerment of already disempowered groups.

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3 PRA also seems to be applied without consciousness of a theory that explains its success or failure. Chambers (1994b) points out that one aspect of PRA is that it lacks a theoretical basis and is oriented more by "what works" than by "why it works." He argues that the advantage of this approach is that it is practical and related to the field, as opposed to an academic approach. However, if PRA is to evolve in quality, not only quantity, and if we want to avoid a blind search for improvements, "why it works" (and why it does not) should become important, and social scientists should contribute to answer this question. The first question a critical academician would ask is perhaps what does PRA work for? What is the goal of PRA? I devote further discussion to the goal of PRA later in this introduction, but for now, I accept Chambers definition (the goal is to enable local people to express, enhance, share, and analyze their knowledge of life and conditions, to plan and to act, Chambers 1994b:1253) with an emphasis on planning and action. Participatory rural appraisals goal is to involve local people in well-guided (legitimate and effective) collective action. A research opportunity to explore how PRA contributes to participatory practice and collective action opened up to me in March 1999, when I visited the town of Itacar, located on the south coast of the State of Bahia, Brazil. Itacar is located in a gorgeous region, with many reminiscent fragments of Brazils Atlantic rainforest, one of the richest and most endangered ecosystems in the world, and with many paradise beaches that attract thousands of Brazilian and foreign tourists. Tall waves, coconut groves, a tiny but lively night life, action sports opportunities and warm welcoming people acted as magnets for surfers and tourists, whose sometimes overwhelming presence started to change the social and natural landscapes.

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4 Raimundo, the president of the Associao dos Pescadores e Marisqueiras de Itacar (ASPERI, or Itacar's Association of Fishers and Shellfish Harvesters), was very friendly to me. We were talking at a bar table in Itacar when he told me that the main problem of the local fishers was the sea-bottom trawling done by guinchos (industrial shrimp trawler boats). These boats were equipped with a winch (in Portuguese, guincho") that enables them to trawl large nets. In most cases, they also had two tangones, small cranes from which the nets were pulled. "They destroy everything, kill all fish, even the very small ones," he said. In my later visits, the fishers of Itacar consistently repeated that same story. Each of these boats trawled two large nets and a smaller sampling net that scraped the sea floor. Shrimp, crabs, fish, stones, corals, algae, and trash were all lifted into the boat. Small fish and other sea life were discarded dead, leaving behind a floating trail of waste and death that revolted local fishers. In response to that problem, some people in Itacar were requesting that the Brazilian Federal Government create a Marine Extractive Reserve. An extractive reserve is a government-owned area in which a particular population of extractors is allowed to use natural resources according to the rules proposed by the community and approved by a management council composed of government and nongovernment organizations, which should ensure resource sustainability (Allegretti 1994; Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovveis 1995; Murrieta and Rueda 1995; Nepstad et al. 1992; Schwartzman 1992). Extractive reserves have been widely created in the Brazilian Amazon and along the Brazilian coast, protecting forest, estuarine and marine resources.

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5 Raimundo invited me to promote the development of local community organizational, or institutional, foundations for the creation of the future Marine Extractive Reserve in the fishing community of Itacar. Based on my previous experience with PRA in the extractive reserves of Rondnia state (Weigand Jr. and Paula 1998), southwestern Brazilian Amazon, I chose to develop that work using a participatory rural appraisal (PRA) approach. As does much of the PRA literature, I assumed that participation would be more or less a natural phenomenon and that people were willing to participate if just given the chance. Chambers (1994a) relates the success of PRA to a series of "reversals, as follows: 1) of frames (from etic to emic, that is, from the point of view of outsiders to the one of insiders); 2) of modes (from individual to groups, from verbal to visual, from measuring to comparing); 3) of relations (from reserve to rapport, from frustration to fun); and 4) of power (from extracting to empowering). However, in the case of some fishing communities in Itacar, at first these reversals did not matter because people were not coming to the meetings to experience them. Itacar teaches us that participation in PRA has a social context, and that promoting PRA is not restricted to its meetings, but is related to the management of a complex social reality. Realizing that PRA does not happen in a social vacuum, this research tries to answer the following questions: What factors influenced fishers participation in the PRA meetings? What factors influenced participation by local people as leaders in the PRA team? Origins and Concept of Participatory Rural Appraisal Villagers gather around an outsider who invites them to draw a map of their community. They use anything to represent different aspects of their reality; stones, sand,

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6 wood, leaves or any material they are used to. Some people go to the ground, start drawing the contours of the village, the river that passes by, the main roads. Other people start placing trees and houses. Someone draws the church. They argue and ask each other for information. Where does that guy live? one asks. By the river curve, another participant answers. Slowly, the map takes shape. After a while, the outsider asks what the participants see in the map (what are the community problems, what should be done, etc). This is participatory mapping, one of the PRA tools. Participatory rural appraisal has been loosely defined, and the label has been used to designate a broad range of research and development work. According to Chambers (1994a:953), PRA "has evolved from, draws on, and resonates with, several traditions." PRA evolved mainly from RRA, or rapid rural appraisal, but is also related to activist participatory research, agroecosystem analysis, applied anthropology and field research on farming systems. Rapid rural appraisal (RRA) is a relaxed form of survey in which questionnaires are avoided; it gained recognition as a way to obtain valid information from a community because it is more cost effective, more personal and faster than formal surveys (Chambers 1994a). The difference between PRA and RRA is that RRA is intended for learning by outsiders, while PRA is intended to enable local people to analyze and, often, to plan and to act together. Both "methodologies" share several "methods" such as the use of secondary sources, semi-structured interviews, key informants, participatory mapping and modeling, transect walks, seasonal calendars, and others (Chambers 1994a). According to Kabutha et al. (1991), PRA was first applied in Mbusyani, Kenya, in 1988.

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7 However, there is still confusion about the concept of PRA. Although the name stands only for appraisal, the original PRA process, as described by Kabutha et al. (1991), was an adaptation of rapid rural appraisal (RRA) intended to promote action through the creation of a community development plan or community action plan. As explained by Dr. Richard Ford (personal communication to pra@listserv.uoguelph.ca), When we put together the concept and the structure of PRA in the mid-1980s, it had two structural elements and three conceptual elements that differed from its parent, RRA. The two structural elements were 1. That the participatory research must lead to an action plan that reflects the community's ranked priorities and how they intended to implement them. In our original handbook we call them VRMPs-Village Resource Management Plans. Over the years, they have come to be known as CAPs (Community Action Plans). 2. That the communitys data, collected primarily through visual instruments, should be organized and recorded in ways that could be left with the community so that local organizations and village institutions could use them for monitoring, tracking, or holding groups accountable for what they had promised to contribute. The data have also served in many communities as useful management tools for community institutions. The three conceptual elements were 1. That community be the primary initiative taker in solving their own problems 2. That community institutions serve as the primary building blocks for initiating development action 3. That the community institutions be the primary architects in crafting partnerships with NGOS, CBOs, government, international agencies, and private sector organizations If the methodology contains these five elements, I don't think it makes any difference what one calls it. The main point is that it provides tools for community institutions to play a substantially larger role in planning and managing their own development than under previous methods. In spite of this, many papers describe only the use of the "PRA tools" (maps, calendars, diagrams), isolated from a process intended to generate community action. In

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8 the PLA Notes, perhaps the main periodical about PRA, published by the International Institute for Environment and Development, there are several papers on a "PRA" that does not include community planning or action (Binns et al. 1997; Dirorimwe 1998; Sarch et al. 1997; Townsley et al. 1997). According to Garett Pratt (personal communication to pra@listserv.uoguelph.ca), After having all this time to reflect on what PRA is, I find it most useful to think of the diversity of practices that people label PRA. For example, some people focus on the diagrams, and so would use that to define whether others are really doing PRA or not, i.e., if there is no mapping, it isnt PRA. But other practitioners who say that they are doing PRA argue that diagrams are often or always inappropriate in their work with communities, so they work by simply talking to people, often in groups. But they call it PRA. You also find people saying, We did a PRAfirst a questionnaire survey and then focus group discussions. Some say that PRA is a way of life or a set of vaguely defined attitudes and behaviors. So in that case, they could see someone using diagrams like maps but failing to display the correct attitudes and behaviors, and say, that person is not doing real PRA. But they might count the way a person interacts with their family as PRA if they displayed the right PRA attitudes and behaviors during that interaction. Given the muddle of things that people label PRA, it is very difficult to set boundaries around PRA by naming specific practices that are somehow the essence of PRA. The other route might be to define it somehow by the purpose it is used for. For example, does the facilitator intend that the use of PRA should lead to an action plan or not? You find people saying that if there is no development project coming out the end of the process, then it is not PRA Focusing on the purpose of the facilitator as the defining factor for PRA may tend to overplay their determination of the outcomes, as of course the participants actively shape what happens. But it seems that a lot of times PRA is a hit and run data collection technique to serve the project management needs of development organizations, so there isnt much chance for participants to shape the process. Nor is it likely that such a purpose will become the official definition of PRA! I have learned not to assume anything when someone tells me they use PRA. These points summarize the varied impressions of PRA practitioners who participated in an international retreat evaluating the experience of PRA in Kenya (Institute of Development Studies 1999). The imprecise definition of PRA has generated

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9 confusion and has endangered the practices labeled PRA. Any action labeled "PRA" that does not yield positive results in terms of quality of life and community mobilization will create frustration, because: The original PRA involved a process in which communities mobilized to improve their situation The prestige of PRA derives from the claim that it improves communities. Confusion about the PRA concept may stem from the origins of PRA. Robert Rhoades' 1990 paper on the oncoming revolution in methods for rural development research suggests that, by the late 1980s, Rapid Rural Appraisal was changing, starting to utilize research methods that were more visual (Rhoades 1990). However, at that time, the same visual "tools" started to be used in Africa by Richard Ford and others to generate community action plans (Ford et al. 1994; Ford and Lelo 1991; Ford et al. 1992; Ford et al. 1993; Kabutha et al. 1991). When their first results appeared to be very positive, participatory rural appraisal gained popularity. Because it was a direct evolution of rapid rural appraisal (a methodology that was not intended to generate community action, but to yield valid, fast and inexpensive information), much PRA is in fact participatory RRA with a new label. In the early 1990s, PRA was described as a process of diagnosis and planning to generate a community action plan (Instituto de Los Recursos Mundiales and Grupo de Estudios Ambientales 1993; National Environment Secretariat et al. 1991; Odour-Noah et al. 1992). However, by 1994, PRA was already described as "a growing family of approaches and methods" (Chambers 1994b:1253), with several different uses. Thus, there are two concepts of PRA: one that emphasizes the process and the objective of

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10 community appraisal, planning and action; and another that emphasizes the participatory use of diagrams in data gathering and raising community awareness. This second concept of PRA seems to be an appropriation of the PRA label by the RRA practitioners, among them Robert Chambers. To Chambers (1994a), the main differences between RRA and PRA are that RRA is extractive and verbal, while PRA is "empowering" and visual. To him, planning and action are often a result; they are not a necessary part of the methodology. Those differences can be disputed because RRA had already started to use more visual techniques and include local participation even before the PRA label was created and first used in Kenya PRA involved, originally, the generation of a community action plan After RRA established itself as a valid research strategy, it has been criticized and described as extractive and not very participatory (Chambers 1994a). To escape criticism of RRA, concerned RRA practitioners had to differentiate their work. It can be argued that PRA, as a data gathering method, is just a perfected use of RRA, in terms of local participation. This perfected form of RRA, apparently, is today labeled as PRA as a way to enjoy the prestige of this new approach and to escape criticism directed toward old and because participatory sounds a lot better than rapid! In fact, RRA still exists and is surprisingly common. However, a PRA research strategy faced some of the same problems of validity that RRA faced. The RRA debates in the early 1980s were mainly related to its capacity to yield valid data. When the concern is to generate valid data and conclusions, PRA data gathering techniques also had to be defended because they started to involve more visual elements and nonstandardized ways of representing data; and because locals started to analyze data. As a research strategy, PRA depended on the knowledge and skills of the

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11 local people. Proponents of PRA research such as Robert Chambers then had to defend the assumptions related to the locals' capacity to know and analyze their reality. Often, the objective of PRA is described in terms of empowerment. The poor in a community setting are normally empowered by collective action, because the poor are individually weak but can be collectively powerful. However, while the validity of PRA for research has been extensively defended, PRA for community action has had little theoretical discussion. Definition of PRA Now, we must choose between the two views of PRA. While the generation of community action does include participatory research, it should involve more than this. In this dissertation, PRA means a method to involve a group or community in a process of participatory diagnosis, planning and action, intended to build local capacity for collective action and improve local conditions of life. That is, PRA is a collective planning and implementation process with an empowerment goal. Is the name participatory rural appraisal still appropriate? Because PRA has been used in urban areas, rural does not seem appropriate anymore. Because planning and action are often part of PRA processes, appraisal is not able to express what PRA is in practice. According to Blackburn and Holland (1998), to reflect this expansion in PRA practices, some practitioners have maintained the acronym PRA, but changed what it stands for: instead of participatory rural appraisal, they talk about participatory reflection and action. However, apparently this change in terminology is still not complete. To facilitate the dialogue of this dissertation with other papers discussing participatory methods, rather than inventing new terminology, I use the more popular terms participatory rural appraisal and PRA.

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12 A number of manuals and papers that follow this definition describe how to conduct a participatory rural appraisal exercise (Instituto de Los Recursos Mundiales and Grupo de Estudios Ambientales 1993; National Environment Secretariat et al. 1991; Odour-Noah et al. 1992; Tillmann and Salas 1997). Most publications stress the diagnosis and planning part, while neglecting to address the implementation process. However, there are still several cases of PRA intended to promote collective action. Collective Action and PRA Experiences PRA intended to mobilize community collective action was used first in Mbusyani, Kenya, in 1988 (Kabutha et al. 1991). There, self-help achieved several improvements in the production and natural resource conservation. Although the villagers were responsible for most tasks, close collaboration with extension officers and NGOs played a major role in implementation. Ford et al. (1992) describe a PRA process in Pwani, another village in Kenya where the community organized itself through PRA, good practical results. Razakamarina et al. (1996) describe the use of PRA to establish partnerships between parks and people in Madagascar. By using PRA, communities improved their health, education, production, storage and transportation. A major strategy in the implementation phase was the use of small projects and the advice of outsiders for rapid results. Small projects created visibility for the park and its resources, changed local people's attitudes, and strengthened local capabilities and self-confidence. Weigand and Paula (1998) describe the use of PRA to generate community development plans for two extractive reserves in the Brazilian Amazon. Participatory rural appraisal helped extractive communities to diagnose their problems, set priorities, plan solutions and implement improvements, helping them to build self-confidence and

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13 change their attitudes toward community organization. More people became involved in community activities. Women, in particular, increased their role and influence in the reserves. As a result, economic alternatives helped to increase male and female income, education and health services were implemented, and the community became more organized toward environmental protection. Among PRA accounts, Ford et al.(1994) describes the use of PRA to generate a community action plan for a village of pastoralists in Somalia; Bronson et al. (1995) describes a PRA assessment and planning exercise in a community in Vanuatu Islands, South Pacific; and Ford et al. (1993) describes a PRA exercise in a village in Botswana. All these case studies were part of training workshops for local professionals and do not discuss the results of the implementation phase. Ford and Lelo (1991) evaluating the Mbusyani experience, point out weaknesses and strengths of PRA. Participatory rural appraisal strengths include The provision of a community forum for dialogue among community, government, NGOs and other parties PRA focus on locally sustainable solutions Participatory data gathering and analysis Systematized participation Moreover, PRA builds self-confidence by giving villagers significant accomplishments, and stimulates self-reliance by the awareness that communities need not wait for outside help. However Ford and Lelo (1991) point out that PRA requires strong institutions to mobilize communities; and that local leaders may lack needed management skills. In addition, participation does not eliminate self-interest, and enthusiasm eventually declines. Regarding planning, more precision is needed in the

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14 village plans. In the implementation phase, more guidance and support are required. Care must be taken to avoid perpetuating dependence on outsiders (Ford and Lelo 1991). Although few case studies describe PRA implementation, the studies just mentioned describe relatively successful processes of community mobilization for action. They share some important characteristics. Implementation starts with small projects that require low external assistance, which helps to build community self-confidence and a sense of self-reliance. These projects take advantage of initial enthusiasm. First successes serve to prolong the enthusiasm. However, outsider support (advice or resources) for implementation increased the chances of success. The process also includes establishing alliances with external organizations. In this way, the empowerment provided by PRA is the result of successful community experiences with implementation of planned changes. The PRA cases cited above suggest that PRA works in building local capacity for collective action through systematizing local knowledge, creation of consensus, increasing self-confidence and cooperation, and forging effective alliances with outside organizations. If so, PRA implies the following assumptions: Communities have difficulty in acting collectively for a given goal Their knowledge is fragmented, disorganized, and perhaps not well distributed There is little consensus as to the most important problems and the best solutions Self-confidence is generally low Communities are not inclined to cooperate Outsiders may be required to catalyze changes Research Questions and Explanatory Propositions My research questions emerged from the literature and from the practical problems of creating the community organizational basis for the Marine Extractive

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15 Reserve of Itacar. A series of explanatory propositions 1 for the research questions (Tables 1-1 and 1-2) were tested through action research 2 In this study, I used action research as the main instrument for testing competing explanations for problems encountered in the participatory creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar (see Chapter 2). Table 1-1: Research question 1 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced fishers participation in the PRA meetings? EP Number Explanatory propositions EP1 Logistics: People participate if meetings are well-advertised and planned for convenient dates, times, and locations EP2 Culture: Fishers are individualistic and do not participate because of the nature of their activities EP3 Free-riding: If fishers can benefit from a collective good without contributing, they will free-ride and not participate EP4 Political aspects: Participation is a political currency and fishers attend meetings strategically EP5 Multidimensional costs and benefits: Attendance at meetings depends on the participants consideration of benefits and costs in multiple dimensions EP6 Urban vs. rural: Attracting participation in urban areas is more difficult than in rural areas EP7 Previous experience and credibility: Previous negative community experience with projects and outside assistance reduces credibility of the participatory process and participation in the PRA meetings EP8 Credibility of the PRA team: The credibility of the PRA team and its members influences participation in the meetings These propositions were generated in a process of dialogue between me and community members. Some propositions are mainly emic, that is, they were proposed by 1 Instead of hypotheses, which refer to the conventional research paradigm, I use the term explanatory propositions. Participants (including TG and me), involved in action, discussed one or more explanatory propositions to explain the problems, their causes, and possible solutions. 2 The methodological basis for action research is explained in Chapter 2, and the use of action research in this dissertation is described in Chapter 3.

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16 community members, but often find support in the literature, as is indicated later in the text. Others are mainly etic, as they derive from social theory. This research shows that the dialogue between the two can produce interesting and useful local learning. Table 1-2: Research question 2 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced participation by local people in the PRA team? EP Number Explanatory propositions EP9 Pace and material opportunity costs: people have to make a living and cannot be exclusively involved in PRA (or leadership) voluntary activities. EP10 Multidimensional costs and benefits: Participation in the local PRA team is inversely related to the material, moral and emotional costs of leadership The intensity of this relationship depends on individual interpretations EP11 Cyclical fatigue of the group: after enduring the costs of leadership, the group may need a break before becoming more active again. EP12 Credibility of group: participation in the local PRA team depends on whether the objectives of the group are seen as likely or possible. EP13 Outside facilitators vs. insiders: PRA technical needs preserve decisive power in the hands of outsiders; this may frustrate local people in search of empowerment, reduce their participation or create internal friction. EP14 Insiders vs. insiders: internal friction may decrease the participation of people who are less involved, committed or empowered in the group. Research Question 1: What Factors Influenced Fishers Participation in the PRA Meetings? PRA is highly adaptable, and its use may vary from location to location, from practitioner to practitioner. If there is a typical PRA process, the literature suggests that it involves an outside team that visits a (rural) community and promotes a series of activities aimed at identifying community problems. Some community members may join the outside team in promoting household and group interviews where the PRA tools (mapping, calendars, transects, etc.) are used to systematize local knowledge and create

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17 hypotheses about the community problems. The group interviews take the form of meetings where participation is voluntary. After problems are identified, PRA meetings are carried out to rank priorities and plan solutions. A community action plan is created, with specific tasks assigned to participants, who start to implement them. Participation in PRA, takes different forms. The most elementary form is attendance at the PRA meetings. Once participants come to a PRA meeting, they may participate by speaking, carrying out tasks to complete the PRA tools (mapping, diagrams, etc.), analyzing information, or voting in decision making processes. They may also facilitate or coordinate the meetings, and take charge for different tasks planned by the participants. Before a PRA meeting, locals may participate in the PRA team, and decide on meeting topics, dates, places, times and advertising strategies. They may also carry out the necessary steps to organize the PRA meeting, such as preparing a meeting location, and advertising it. In 1999, I gave a course on community leadership to fishers from Itacar fishing communities and a course on PRA to a group of local people with secondary education who showed an interest in promoting the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. The interaction between these two groups, the government agency responsible for the extractive reserves in Brazil, and a regional NGO, resulted in the formation of a group of four to ten fishers (the number varied during the process) involved in the promotion of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. This group was named Grupo de Trabalho pela Criao da Reserva Extrativista Marinha de Itacar, or Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar (TG). In 2000, I returned to Itacar, and began

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18 fieldwork with a PRA course for TG members. Then, the TG and I organized the PRA meetings, jointly planned meeting locations, dates, times; and invited the people. However, community participation in the PRA meetings proved difficult in Itacar. Sometimes meetings had to be cancelled because of lack of attendance. What explains attendance at PRA meetings? Trying to solve the problem, TG members and I identified a series of explanatory propositions, explained below. Logistics (EP1): People participate if meetings are well-advertised and planned for convenient dates, times, and locations When a meeting failed, the thought that immediately came to my mind was why? and the first explanation was often related to logistics: did we get the word out effectively? Was the meeting at a convenient time and location? PRA manuals usually present guidelines for approaching the community and for setting up community meetings where the PRA tools are applied. Participation increases when meetings are well-advertised and carried out at convenient dates, times, and locations. If participation is low it may be because the logistics of the meetings were bad. However, attracting participation may be more complicated than just providing good logistics. This dissertation explores the logistical proposition by examining different attempts to promote participation in Itacar (action testing, see Chapters 2 and 3). Culture (EP2): Fishers are individualistic and do not participate because of the nature of their activities When I started fieldwork in Itacar, the fishers had their own explanations when the first meetings had low or no participation. The most common was a self-deprecating view that fishers are just like that; to them, fishers were just selfish and self-interested or, worse, they lacked interest at all. Fishers are hopeless, said a retired fisherman.

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19 Many TG members also agreed with that at their moments of disappointment with the participation of their communities. In the literature, too, some scholars say that fishers are individualistic because of the nature of their activity, which is described as solitary. Poggie (1980) compares the fishers' perceptions of themselves and of their cooperative managers, and shows that fishers perceive themselves to be more individualistic than they perceive the managers. He argues that fishers, because of the nature of their activity, are very individualistic, and that this individualism is a constraint to the development of cooperatives. Individualism is also reported by Kottak (1992), who conducted studies of social change in a fishing community in northern Bahia, Brazil. However, there is little consensus in the literature on whether fishers are individualistic or cooperative. Pollnac and Carmo (1980) verify that fishers and farmers in the Azores had similar attitudes: both were not very inclined to cooperation. Nonetheless, McCay (1980) demonstrates that fishers in the New York Bight Region of the American Mid-Atlantic Coast were able to achieve cooperative organization and resource management that is very effective and not individualistic. In addition, Orbach (1980) argues that cooperative action does not necessarily mean a formal cooperative, and that fishers in the Chesapeake Bay are cooperative, despite the failures of local cooperatives. To him, fishers take advantage of multiple forms of organizational arrangements of cooperation that best suit their needs. Moreover, cases in which fishers' cooperatives fail normally involve top-down processes of cooperative creation, with strong governmental influence and paternalistic assistance, such as the cases described by Sabella (1980) in Peru, Poggie (1980) in Costa Rica, and Kottak (1992) in Bahia, Brazil.

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20 Finally, the nature of the fishing activity is not always solitary, nor is it the only solitary rural activity. Farmers often work by themselves in crop fields, rubber tappers work alone in the forest, and herders are often alone taking care of cattle. On the other hand, several fishing modalities demand team work, and longer overnight fishing trips with a fishing crew demand high social skills to avoid fights in the confinement of little boats. Moreover, fishers often share a port and a trading place. Therefore, fishing is not necessarily solitary and should not always determine an individualistic culture. This research expected to falsify this proposition by trying to involve fishers in the PRA meetings in Itacar. The results of such an attempt and a discussion of fishing cooperative arrangements found in Itacar are used to examine this explanatory proposition (action testing). In addition, cooperation and individualism in the fishing activity are discussed in Chapter 5. Free-riding (EP3): If fishers can benefit from a collective good without contributing, they will free-ride According to Guijt and Sha (1998b:1), in community development, The assumption is that participatory approaches empower local people with the skills and confidence to analyze their situation, reach consensus, make decisions and take action, so as to improve their circumstancesYet, in many cases where participation has been pursued something is going wrong Looking back, it is apparent that community has often been viewed naively, or in practice dealt with, as a harmonious and internally equitable collective This mythical notion of community cohesion continues to permeate much participatory work. If communities are not harmonious, internally equitable collectives, what are they? Communitarian and individualistic scholars have discussed the nature of peasant communities for centuries and perhaps their debate can help us understand fishing communities too. Nonetheless, some might argue that fishers are radically different from peasants. In using theories and interpretations developed for peasants to look at fishers

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21 one has to be careful to consider the degree of differences and similarities between these groups. How similar are they? Table 1-3 shows different aspects of the two groups. Both groups have a high dependence on natural resources for their livelihoods, but resource management, that is, intentional interference over natures productivity, is more intense in the case of peasants, and very weak or nonexistent in the case of fishers. Agricultural production requires from peasants that they transform nature, suppressing natural production of the local biota to replace it as much as possible with domesticated plants and animals. Table 1-3: Comparison of peasants and fishers. Aspect Peasant Communities Fishing Communities Dependence on natural resources High High Management of natural resources High Low Resource tenure systems Individual/household areas and communal areas Communal area/ open access Predictability of production Medium Low Knowledge of resources High High Isolation Varies (from village dwelling to isolated households) Village or town dwelling Wealth Marginal Marginal Risk High High In Brazil, though, different resource management conditions apply according to the environment and the population pressure. Where land is still abundant, peasants are less intensive about their resource management, practicing slash-and-burn agriculture and, in the case of open frontiers, they can be very destructive about resource use, migrating and establishing new farms when land becomes depleted.

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22 This is similar to what fishermen in Itacar reported. They told me that fishermen from other municipalities, after their fishing grounds became depleted due to predatory fishing, came to Itacar, where fish were still abundant. Most of the fishers associated to one of the local fishers' organizations came from another municipality where fish, reportedly, have become scarce due to practices such as fishing with explosives. Although it is argued that, because of the nature of marine resources, fishers are less likely to perceive the link between their own practice and resource depletion, this does not appear to be the case in Itacar, where the local population tends to reject newcomers and blame them for the destruction of fisheries in other municipalities. The difference between peasants and fishers is that peasants often can exclude outsiders from using their resources. For Brazilian fishers, however, resources are legally open access, and encroachment of fishing grounds through destruction of mangroves and by industrial fishing fleets have challenged the traditional rules that regulate access to marine resources (Cordell 1989). That is, tappers and peasants can, by modifying their behavior, influence resource conservation, but fishers can not. The creation of marine extractive reserves responds to this issue by "closing" the fisheries and excluding outsiders from the area. Table 1-3 shows other important differences. One is the predictability of production. Peasants have a medium level of predictability, but fishers face greater uncertainty. Irregularity of production is common among fishers and they have fewer indicators of future production than do peasants. Considering their similar levels of poverty, if peasants present social institutions that act as a safety net (Scott 1976), these

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23 institutions should be even more evident among fishers. Indeed, Cordell (1989) reports exactly that in his research with the fishers of Bahia. However, still regarding predictability, Cordell (1989:133) points out that, because fishers have to conform with tidal cycles to take advantage of specific fishing spots in the mangroves, It enables those adept at net casting, the mestres (canoe bosses), to monitor closely the behavior, migratory routes and the cycles of fish. Because fish predictably concentrate in certain areas depending on the tide, weather and other natural cycles, seines operations are specialized. From the discussion presented above, I argue that the categories "peasants" and fishers are no more different from each other than the groups that compose each are different from other groups in the same category. That is, different peasant groups may be more different from one another than a peasant group is different from a fishing group. Therefore, if the literature on peasants have any general value across different peasant groups, it should also be useful to understand fishers. There is no reason why peasant theories cannot be applied to fishers, and I use them to discuss participation and collective action among fishers as did Forman (1966), for example, in his study of raft fishermen in Northeastern Brazil. The timelessness of the debate on the nature of peasant communities in social sciences is illustrated by the response of Russian anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin to the social Darwinists at the end of the 19 th century. Kropotkin counter-argued the ideas of social Darwinist Thomas Huxley, one the most famous of the Darwin's followers, who published "The Struggle for Existence and its Bearing upon Man" in the journal Nineteenth Century. Kropotkins response, a series of three articles in the same journal, was later published in a book (Mutual Aid: A Factor of Human Evolution, 1972, orig.

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24 1914) where he argued that cooperation, or mutual aid, was a force as strong as, or even stronger than, competition in shaping the course of biological and human evolution. Kropotkin also anticipated the words of James Scott (see below) that the rational individualistic peasant is a product of the state: Only the wholesale massacres by the thousands could put a stop to this widely spread popular movement [of mutual aid], and it was by the sword, the fire, and the rack that the young States secured their first and decisive victory over the masses of people The absorption of all social functions by the State necessarily favored the development of an unbridled, narrow-minded individualism (Kropotkin 1972: 195-197). And writing about the battles fought by communities resisting the state, Kropotkin says that In short, to speak of the natural death of the village communities in virtue of economic laws is as grim a joke as to speak of the natural death of soldiers slaughtered on a battle field (Kropotkin 1972: 203). Kropotkin emphasized the harmonious side of communities as a way to oppose the extremely individualistic social sciences of his age, that is, the teachings of a war of each against all, which are offered to them [the people] under the title of science, but are no science at all (Kropotkin 1972:222). Another example is the disagreement between Robert Redfield (Redfield 1930) and Oscar Lewis (Lewis 1951). Both authors described the village community of Tepoztln, in Mexico, but emphasized different aspects of village life. Redfields Tepoztln was harmonious and community-oriented, while Lewis Tepoztln was individualistic and full of conflict. After reading the two accounts, one is left wondering if the difference was due to the time lapse between the two studies, to accuracy of the methods or to the theoretical lenses used by the two researchers. In southeast Asia, Scott (1976) makes a point similar to Kropotkins when he reports on peasant cooperative social arrangements based on a subsistence ethic that

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25 worked not as a product of altruism, but of necessity. These arrangements were enforced by gossip and other redistributive mechanisms that forced patrons to provide peasants with food security. However, the increasing presence of the state reduced the influence of the moral economy on peasant behavior. Scott (1976) agrees with Kropotkin: paternalism, lower dependence on village institutions, repression of local institutions, and expropriation of communal land, all contributed to create a rational peasant, an individual increasingly involved in profit maximizing behavior. Conversely, Popkin (1979) writes in response to Scotts Moral Economy (1976). As Scott did, Popkin (1979) focused on Southeast Asia (Vietnam), but instead of explaining lack of cooperation as a result of the influence of the state, the approach offered by Popkin focuses on factors that make mutually beneficial coordinated action among peasants difficult. To Popkin, whenever collective work can produce collective goods, "individuals may calculate that they are better off not contributing" because an individual can benefit from many collective projects whether or not he or she contributes (1979:24). These free riders may appear whenever they cannot be excluded from the collective good. To Popkin, peasants were rational self-interested maximizers long before the state. According to Popkin (1979:25) it "is difficult under the best circumstances to organize peasants to provide collective goods. Each individual calculates that it is better not to contribute to the collective project and hopes that others will behave differently. However, contrarily to what Popkin believed he did, Scott also argued that a particular rationality explained peasant behavior: it was extreme poverty that made peasants risk-averse and made them use and accept the subsistence ethics. The problem

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26 with Scotts argument is not a lack of peasant rationality (to Scott, it is rational for peasants to prioritize food security and enforce the subsistence ethics), but that He fails to deal with the free-rider problem He sees paternalistic protective institutions in peasant villages as the product of peasant choice and not of domination (there could be other institutions that could be as effective in protecting peasants with equality instead of domination, but Scotts peasants seem to have failed to develop them) Democratic, egalitarian institutions and forms of action are a goal of participatory practice, but face the problem of collective action described by Popkin. From an economic viewpoint, there are three problems with participation, as follows: Its opportunity costs Future benefits are discounted Risk of failure. First, participation in PRA meetings often carries with it material costs (e.g., missed economic opportunities, such as a work-day in their crop field or fishing). This opportunity cost aspect includes part of the logistic proposition (i.e., the opportunity costs of PRA meetings are higher if they are at inconvenient dates, times and locations). Second, the benefits from participation (such as an Extractive Reserve) may take time to be produced, and participants may discount their future value in favor of present needs. Thus, the opportunity costs of participation feel even higher, compared to its benefits, than they are, and if peasants can obtain benefits from a PRA meeting without contributing, they will. Conversely, participation can be mobilized by the offer of present benefits, such as food and transportation to the meeting place (logistics, again), in the case of poor populations, which one cannot enjoy without participating, and whose value is not

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27 discounted. Such benefits could at least compensate the opportunity costs of participation. However, offering present benefits was not always justified or viable in Itacar. Food was offered only in rural areas, where meetings took the whole day, so as not to create a custom that would increase the cost of participatory activities in the future. Food, transportation and lodging were offered to a few representatives of each community later in the PRA process, when they interacted to produce a joint view of the problems faced by the fishers of Itacar. Despite the discounting problem, future benefits can still attract participation if participants cannot free-ride. Any development practitioner knows that the offer of credit or money almost always mobilizes participation, even when it will come in the future, if peasants cannot free-ride (i.e., if receiving the benefit depends on their presence in the meetings). In Itacar, some fishers also pointed that out: tell the people that the meeting is for credit to buy boats to see if they will not come! Its going to be a crowd! But that was not the case; we were working towards an extractive reserve, a collective good that fishers could enjoy without individual participation in those first meetings, even though collective participation was still important. Only if resource use rights to the Reserve depended on individual fishers participation in the meetings (to avoid free-riding), would an additional material incentive be created for participation. Still, participation would be dependent on the perceived risk of the action. The risk factor predicts that fishers participate more if they believe that the initiative will be successful (credibility). In the case of an extractive reserve, risk perception depends on the fishers trust in government agencies, NGOs and community leaders involved in the

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28 process. The higher the risk, the greater is the tendency to free-ride. Opportunity costs, discounting, risk and, therefore, free-riding could indeed be playing a part in the difficulty to mobilize the fishers of Itacar. I discuss this proposition based on the results of TGs actions, and on the views expressed by fishers in informal conversations and meetings discussing participation problems in Itacar. In Chapter 5, I also discuss the fishers arrangements cooperating in the fishing activity, and how these arrangements could influence perspective on participation. Political aspects (EP4): Participation is a political currency and fishers attend meetings strategically It is often forgotten that when PRA is initiated it is not in a social vacuum. In order to understand why participation is sometimes difficult to mobilize, I propose that we look at it as a multidimensional behavior. Let us accept the previous proposition, that if people can free-ride on the benefits of a collective project and avoid the costs of participating, they probably will. Still, in addition to material costs and benefits, participation has extensions in the political, moral, emotional and informational dimensions, where free-riding is often more difficult (the present explanatory proposition deals with the political dimension, while the next one deals with the last three dimensions of participation). Participation can be a way to show political support to an initiative, or to influence it in a certain direction, and lack of participation can be a way to show resistance. According to Scott (1989), peasants' resistance is a form of political action that is typically nonconfrontational and anonymous, and can be either material or ideological. Examples of "everyday forms of resistance" are poaching, foot dragging, evading written records, refusal to pay taxes, supplying lower quality products, desertion,

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29 sabotage, dissimulation, and gossip. In Itacar, when some of the meetings for Extractive Reserve failed, the fishers involved in promoting the meetings said that the community was telling them that it did not want the Reserve by not participating. Ironically, this implies that even when peasants choose not to participate, they may indeed be participating Why was the community resisting the Extractive Reserve and the PRA process? Several alternative political explanations are possible, such as 3 Fishers predicted losses with the Reserve and did not want to legitimize it Fishers did not trust the PRA team and did not want to legitimize it in a leadership position Fishers were allied with people opposed to the Reserve or to the PRA team. In Itacar, the PRA process and the Extractive Reserve proposal were inevitably linked, because the same people promoting the PRA (the Task Group and I) were also promoting the PRA, and PRA was a strategy to promote the Extractive Reserve among the fishers. Resistance through withdrawal of participation (or of attendance) at the PRA meetings could have been either against the Extractive Reserve or the PRA process itself. However, although PRA had the predetermined goal of creating the Extractive Reserve in Itacar, there was great room for decision making by the participants in the Reserve proposal. The Extractive Reserve provided a legal framework that allowed exclusion of outsiders and decision making by locals, but the resource use rules and almost every other aspect of the Reserve were defined by the fishers of Itacar. There was little chance that local fishers would loose with the Reserve, but there were misunderstandings. 3 Task Group members and I gathered these explanations in our interactions with the fishing communities of Itacar, where some fishers expressed their concerns and opposition to the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve.

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30 If, on the one hand, nonparticipation of some people may mean resistance, on the other hand, some people may participate to acquire or maintain political influence and leadership. The president of a community association, for example, is likely to lose face and be criticized if s/he does not attend meetings supported by the community. By the same token, someone who aspires to political leadership may come to a meeting to increase his/her political capital, that is, the willingness of other people to support him/her in the local political game. Still further, information about the meetings may be important later, as a way to resist the meetings by gossip or planning of strategic behavior. Trust in the PRA team may be important to avoid resistance. When PRA facilitators approach the community, to avoid the opposition or even legal problems, they often try to obtain explicit or implicit permission from authorities and leaders. If the relationship between the community and its leaders is not harmonious, and is permeated by resistance and discredit, the outside team may face great difficulty to balance between a strategy of avoiding conflicts with community leaders and local authorities, and one that strives to gain community trust and promote community empowerment. Even the term community becomes problematic because communities are often made up of factions with opposite interests, and initial alliances established between outsiders and locals may shape the relationship between the community and the PRA team for the rest of the work. Another aspect is that meeting locations have political meaning and affect participation. For example, some community sectors may not come to meetings in certain places, just because locations may represent their opponents in local politics. Often,

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31 meetings are planned in places that are convenient to facilitators or local leaders, but are politically compromised. For example, the associations leaders planned my first PRA meeting in an extractive reserve in Rondnia, Brazil, in the largest house in the community because it could accommodate more than 30 people and it was close to the unpaved road that gave access to the reserve, so that we and association leaders could get there easily. It was a nice meeting place, but later we learned that it belonged to a middleman who was perceived as an exploiter of the community. Local people came, but were careful with their words. The middleman became involved in the PRA meetings and affected the rest of the process with his dominance. Only later was the community able to neutralize and overcome his influence. In addition, participants come to the meetings with their reputations, alliances, antagonisms and resentments. Power relations influence their participation, which can be particularly influential in the case of gender (Goebel 1998; Guijt and Sha 1998b), but extend also to patron-client and racial relations, among others. Participants are not blank sheets over which PRA can write a new participatory history, and dealing with such problems is part of a long-term participatory process. Multidimensional costs and benefits (EP5): Attendance at meetings depends on the participants consideration of benefits and costs in multiple dimensions In addition to the material and political dimensions, discussed above, participation also has moral, emotional and informational dimensions. In the moral dimension, participation may be wrong or right and it may be prescribed in a particular way, all of which will influence how much people participate. People may feel compelled to participate by their moral values, or simply by peer pressure; or they may feel that participating in a way that challenges authority is wrong. These rules need not be

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32 inflexible. Some people say that rules are made to be broken; that is, there are justifications for disobedience. In the context of participation and collective action, a series of beliefs can develop to explain why the community often fails, and to justify ones lack of participation. The free-rider myth, for example, is the belief that if one participates, one will be taken advantage of, either by the leader of the collective effort or by those who did not participate, but who will benefit anyway. According to this myth almost everyone (but ones self) is self-interested, and leaders are out there to take advantage of their communities. In addition, community views may be that when people participate, they are actually losing, because they are giving for free what they could have exchanged for other benefits from leaders and people who do not participate. The perception that community resources are limited and that any progress of one individual results in loss for other villagers (which is also reinforced by increased competition over natural resources) was described by George Foster (1961) and became known as the notion of the limited good. In the participation context, since someone gains without contributing, and resources are limited in the community, one who is contributing is probably losing. This can be an important justification for not participating. In the emotional dimension, different people find different forms of emotional satisfaction from participation. Often peasants go to community meetings to see their compadres or friends, and sometimes they go in search of romance or of a soccer game, as I witnessed several times in different communities. In addition, they are more likely to attend meetings facilitated by people that they like. Some people (but not all) enjoy speaking in a meeting, expressing their opinions, or learning new things. Participatory

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33 rural appraisal meetings try to be fun (although sometimes they involve hard analytical work), and give opportunities for self-expression and learning. In this dissertation, I discuss how different emotionally rewarding elements in PRA created additional elements for participation, and how traditional meetings lacked them and often created emotional disincentives. This is also true in the informational dimension. For example, it is very common that peasants go to meetings seeking information. For people with limited access to information, meetings may be worthwhile just for the sake of the information that is exchanged there. First, information often is not well-distributed in the community. There are people that know more about the past, about fishing spots, about hunting, about the situation of the community association. Community meetings, and particularly PRA meetings, are important occasions to obtain such information. In addition, information is interpreted through frameworks or discourses, which organize perception. Producing discourses demands considerable intellectual effort and resources and peasants are often dependent on the elite for their discourses, and often use discourses that contribute to their domination. Participatory rural appraisal meetings can be occasions when alternative discourses are developed, as information about peasant reality is organized in light of both locals and outsiders experiences and viewpoints. The empowerment feeling that such discourses may bring to participants can create incentives for further participation. Conversely, if people want to undermine the PRA process, participating may be important to obtain crucial information to do that. All these aspects were observed as PRA meetings were carried out in Itacar.

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34 Urban vs. rural (EP6): Attracting participation in urban areas is more difficult than in rural areas As pointed out above, not all the benefits of participation can be obtained by free-riding. This proposition derives from the validity of the last three propositions described above. For example, emotional benefits of the meetings can only be obtained through participation, and resistance (nonparticipation) in the political dimension has to be compared to the lost opportunity to enjoy emotional benefits. If one does not participate, informational benefits of a community meeting can only partially be obtained, as second-hand information from people that did attend the meeting. In addition, peasant morals usually prescribe participation and mutual help, although the way in which it should happen varies. Therefore, for a rural community, with limited social and information opportunities, and a pro-participation moral, resistant nonparticipation is more costly than in urban areas. In urban areas, resistance is more viable, because people have other social and informational opportunities, and because their participation (or lack of it) is less visible and they are less dependent on each other (making moral coercion less likely). Moreover, in order to happen, participation in urban areas has to present lower material costs. Therefore, attracting participation in urban areas should be more difficult than in rural areas. This dissertation compares the difficulty and problems of promoting participation in four urban and three rural fishing communities of Itacar, and in one district where rural residents came to town to participate with urban residents.

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35 Previous experience and credibility (EP7): Previous negative community experience with projects and outside assistance reduces credibility of the participatory process and participation in the PRA meetings As pointed out above, the multidimensional view of participation suggests that rural communities participate more readily than urban communities. However, an additional aspect makes this difference even stronger: urban communities are often more experienced with community projects and government assistance than are rural communities. One explanatory proposition derived from this is that the more experienced the community with projects and outside assistance, the lower the credibility of the participatory process; participation in the PRA meetings becomes more difficult. The experience of peasants and fishers with collective action, community projects and political organization is often negative. More often than not, collective action and community projects have failed, and political leaders have been shown to be corrupt, selfish or simply ineffective. The experience with government help is commonly even worse. If the previous experience was negative, the more experienced in community projects, political organization and government assistance, the more suspicious of them the community becomes. Other factors, such as the paternalistic influence of the state and lower dependence on village institutions, the erosion of institutions for natural resource management and greater pressure on limited resources (Kropotkin 1972; Scott 1976), also contribute to free-rider behavior. This explanatory proposition was tested in the promotion of PRA in urban communities with and without previous project experience, and a comparison of those with the rural communities where projects were not carried out, and where government assistance was incipient.

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36 Credibility of the PRA team (EP8): The credibility of the PRA team and its members influences participation in the meetings In PRA, the outside team is supposed to be the catalyst of community action, but locals can take part, too. The credibility of the team and its members may affect participation. Several factors may influence the credibility of the outside members of the PRA team, from the organizations to which they declare affiliation, to their race, gender, class, or behavior. In the case of insiders, in addition to these aspects, the people involved in the PRA team may have popularity problems or suspicious interests. Conversely, they may help the team gain acceptance if they know and are trusted by their community. However, even when locals are trusted by the community, they may cease to be so, as their very involvement in a project may make them suspicious. Other members of the community might wonder why some locals become part of the PRA team. The free-rider myth combined with the notion of limited good generate antagonism towards local politicians, community leaders, local people involved in the PRA and anyone who seems to be improving their situation. However, a PRA team composed exclusively of outsiders also faces similar obstacles: often, in more experienced communities, outsiders have (or appeared to have) been shown to take advantage of locals. Community experience with outsiders is consistent with its experience with insiders, or worse. Again, we can predict that PRA finds it most difficult to attract participation in communities that are more experienced with bad development, failed projects and political manipulation. In addition, although PRA outside facilitators may try to maintain neutrality over local issues and problems, they may experience further trust problems. In the beginning, community members may try to pull PRA facilitators to their side of issues. However,

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37 when outsiders spend more time in the community, as influence attempts fail because outsiders continue to demonstrate neutrality, local people may create their own interpretation about the outsiders position. By trying to be neutral, outsiders may face rejection from all the conflicting parties, which may be negative to the PRA process, reducing participation. What happens when PRA practitioners spend more time (longer than the usual one to two weeks) in the community? What are the attitudes of the community towards the outsider facilitators? Can they really mediate conflicts? How neutral can they be? At some point, PRA outside facilitators may have to take sides. The free-rider myth and the notion of limited good are discussed in light of peoples behavior and expressed interpretation of the behaviors of others in Itacar. Even though these myths can reduce the credibility of the PRA team, its image can be improved if special strategies are adopted. In Itacar, the credibility of the PRA team proposition is action-tested by an active public image management strategy adopted by the TG to neutralize gossip against it. The neutrality aspect is discussed from my personal experience in Itacar. Research Question 2: What Factors Influence Participation by Local People as Leaders in the PRA Team? Leadership is essential to community collective action and empowerment. However, established leaders do not always work in the best interest of their communities. Forman (1966; 1970) describes how better educated and wealthier fishermen in a fishing village in Northeastern Brazil tried to place themselves as intermediaries between peasant fishermen and the agricultural elite in a fishing community in Northeastern Brazil. Acting as intermediaries, they were able to obtain political favors from the ruling political parties and used those favors to maintain and

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38 compensate the ties that they had with relatives, who enjoyed positions and benefits from their relationship with the intermediaries (nepotism). These ties allow that intermediaries occupy a leadership position, even though they are often socially rejected or ostracized by the community, and even by the elite they serve. Intermediaries, such as those described by Forman, are likely to exist in all fishing communities. If they do not oppose the PRA process, the types of intermediaries described by Forman are the most likely people to join the process, to continue their role, this time mediating the relationship between the outsiders who are members of the PRA team, and their community. Other community members know and expect this, and become suspicious not only of the intentions of the intermediaries, but also of the intentions of anyone who tries to play a leadership role in the community. To be effective in promoting change in the community, and not reinforce the current power structure, a PRA process needs to include strategies to select and empower people who are sincerely interested in their community and avoid traditional intermediaries. Avoiding intermediaries not only contributes to social change but also reduces suspicions towards the PRA process, even though new leaders may look suspicious just because they are trying to occupy a similar position as that of intermediaries. However, we have to be careful not to be nave about the notion of people who are sincerely interested in their communities; it is not exactly that purely altruistic, honest individuals are empowered against selfish and corrupt people. Reality is not black-or-white, and grey is much more common. In this dissertation, altruistic or sincere leaders are people that, despite their own agendas, are bound by internalized moral norms and

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39 have emotional reward preferences (values) that lead them to avoid using their leadership position primarily for their personal benefit, but instead, make them use the leadership position to benefit the majority of their community, or the poorest, and so on. In addition, altruistic leaders can even be considered those for whom community rewards (honors, etc.) for altruistic behavior are important, and provide them higher status. Their personal interests may sometimes bias their evaluation of the community interest but, once aware of this, altruistic leaders are able to correct themselves. However, there are some problems with the strategy to promote social change by empowering sincere, altruistic leaders. It is practically difficult (and ethically questionable) to recognize and choose who are the sincere leaders. Democratic election of local PRA team members by the community may or may not solve the problem of finding sincere leaders in the community, but the election process itself may have to be an external intervention whose rules influence the likelihood of who gets elected. Anyway, PRA facilitators interfere in the power relations within the community, with ethical implications. In addition, intermediaries or established leaders may oppose the PRA once they recognize that it represents empowerment of new competitors in the local political game. However, agents trying to promote community development, community organizing or community-based conservation may have to make these tough decisions. Participatory rural appraisal is always a political activity, and hesitation to make choices may lead the practitioner to benefit the already powerful. When PRA is carried out, often a team of outsiders visits a community, and facilitates meetings and participatory research tools. However, locals can be involved

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40 as facilitators and become part of the PRA team, which also can be a strategy to promote their empowerment and leadership. Local groups of leaders may participate more or less, develop enthusiasm or skepticism, persist or desist. What factors influence participation by local people as leaders in a PRA team? 4 The participation of local volunteers in the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar varied throughout the PRA process, sometimes exceeding ten people, and other times reduced to two to three people. What factors explained such variation? Trying to solve the problem, remaining TG members and I identified a series of explanatory propositions: Pace and material opportunity costs (EP9): people have to make a living and cannot be exclusively involved in PRA (or leadership) voluntary activities. Community members have to make a living and cannot be exclusively involved in PRA for too long. Participatory rural appraisal activities compete in time and resources with other activities (such as farming, fishing, working for a job, etc.). If locals become part of the PRA team, the demand on their time is even greater: in addition to the PRA activities that involve everybody else, they may need to participate in PRA training, preparation of PRA meetings (finding a location, providing food and lodging, advertising, buying materials, obtaining support, contacting local leaders, etc.), and systematization of the information (mainly writing reports). In addition, PRA raises community demands, and the local people in the PRA team may become the main reference for supporting the community in the efforts to satisfy such demands. 4 The same factors may affect the locals willingness to become community leaders, and develop activism for some collective objective such as community organizing and empowerment

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41 If the pace at which PRA is carried out is too fast, the opportunity costs may be too high for local PRA team members to afford. If they have to do all the PRA preparations and systematization activities, the costs can be even higher. As the costs increase, the participation of those local team members who cannot afford them decreases. This proposition suggests three possible solutions, which also serve to test it: To reduce the pace of PRA To compensate locals for the time they spend in PRA To have outsiders doing part of the preparation and systematization activities This proposition was forwarded by two people in the TG, those who first tried facilitating PRA, to explain why other people were not participating so much, and why they themselves were not very enthusiastic about facilitating PRA. Multidimensional costs and benefits (EP10): a) participation in the local PRA team is inversely related to material, political, moral and emotional costs of leadership; and b) the intensity of this relationship depends on individual interpretations. However, becoming a local leader in the PRA team involves not only material costs and benefits, but also political, moral, emotional, and informational costs and benefits. When outside PRA practitioners choose strategies that favor equality in the community, with the empowerment of new, altruistic leaders in opposition to traditional intermediaries, these intermediaries are likely to actively oppose or, if they do not have authority, resist. Although Scott (1989) defined resistance as a political strategy of lowers against uppers, uppers can use the same strategy, often more effectively than lowers, by refusing to cooperate and by gossiping. In fishing communities, uppers can more effectively use gossip because they are often the source of information for lowers; they are supposed to know more, and use this to manipulate the community in the direction they want. Entering a community with a PRA process may require a balanced strategy to avoid too

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42 much opposition from intermediaries but this, again, has ethical implications. I describe and discuss the effects of such a strategy in Itacar. If local people who are sincerely interested in their communities join the PRA team, it may be difficult for them to maintain their participation because, as new people acquire political leadership, intermediaries start to fear their competition for political support and resist them, as pointed out above, by spreading gossip, by sabotaging the participatory process, or by active opposition. Because of the free-rider myth and the notion of limited good, the gossip denigrating volunteers that become involved in PRA becomes credible, even if not true, resulting in political, moral and emotional costs to the local PRA team members. That is, even if PRA costs are reduced by the strategies described in EP9, the problems with participation of local leaders in the PRA team persist. If the volunteers are not after personal material gain, they are likely to lose enthusiasm as they face an increase in personal attacks to their reputation or as they seem to lose friends. In order to maintain their motivation, they have to control their own image or interpret the situation in a favorable light. As pointed out above, the effects of this control are discussed in this dissertation. Cyclical fatigue of the group (EP11): after enduring the costs of leadership, the group may need a break before becoming more active again. If the multidimensional costs of PRA activities are too high, a possible consequence is that local PRA team members participate in cycles of enthusiasm and fatigue: they dedicate themselves to PRA or leadership activities up to the point they can afford, and then reduce their activities to recover from the costs of leadership. During their break from leadership activities, these leaders become less visible and not so much a

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43 target of gossip and resistance by traditional leaders. They try to rebuild their moral and emotional capital, and often their political capital. In Itacar, TG members presented this proposition with the phrase o pessoal t cansado (the folks are tired). After many months of hard work previous to the PRA, the additional costs presented by this new activity were too high. Some people said they needed a break before resuming their participation in the TG. Credibility of the group (EP12): participation in the local PRA team depends on whether the objectives of the group are seen as likely or possible. The internal credibility of the group, that is, whether the groups objectives are seen as likely or possible, may also affect participation. This proposition implies that participation in the local PRA team is directly related to responses from the government and NGOs that increase the credibility of the local PRA team. The likelihood that individual goals can also be attained by the participation in the PRA team may also affect how much locals participate. Participation is not only a matter of balancing multidimensional costs and benefits in the present, but also of investing in the present, expecting benefits in the future. If people are investing in the local PRA team considering its risks, a different logic is established. When risks are considered low, people who have invested more material, political, moral, emotional and informational resources become more committed to the group, and people who have invested less are more likely to leave the group when its credibility goes down or internal problems happen. If risks are still considered high (credibility is low) when some benefits are attained, people may leave the group while they are winning, just like a gambler might leave a game when he starts to win after a period of losses, to guarantee that he will at least break even at the end. This could

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44 explain puzzling situations when participation goes down just when some victory is achieved. Finally, in addition to the internal credibility of the local PRA team to achieve collective goals, participation may be affected by the groups credibility to attend individual interests. Group and individual interests are not always in agreement; sometimes they are in opposition, as when a leader trying to maintain his/her leadership ends up creating internal conflict and reducing participation. The same thing can happen between group interests and community interests; for example, while the PRA team tries to monopolize the new role of community facilitators, they may limit the communitys opportunities for development and political organization following other ways. Outsider facilitators vs. insiders (EP13): PRA technical needs preserve decisive power in the hands of outsiders; this may frustrate local people in search of empowerment, reduce their participation or create internal friction In some cases, as local people involved in PRA rise as community leaders, they may feel limited by the PRA approach. The use of the PRA tools requires knowledge, skills and training that community members may have difficulty mastering. This preserves decisive power in the hands of outsiders and empowers some local people for whom mastering this new language is easier. Participatory rural appraisal carries with it a potential for stratification that is in contradiction with its participatory rhetoric. For this reason, some local people may stop participating in the local PRA team or, in the case of Itacar, in the Task Group. This potential for conflict may also create internal friction in the PRA team and even resistance against the PRA approach.

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45 Insiders vs. insiders (EP14): internal friction may decrease the participation of people who are less involved, committed or empowered in the group. Power struggles may create conflicts among insiders. Some locals may be more able (or less scrupulous) about manipulating the rest of the group, or may control trust of outside sources of support, and use these advantages to maintain control over the group. This can frustrate some members with similar aspirations, particularly if the internal group discourse is one of equality. Disappointed members who are less involved, committed or empowered may just leave the group (to them, the credibility of the group goes down). Theoretical, Methodological and Practical Significance of this Research Traditional anthropology looks at cultural systems, first asking a descriptive what question andin some theoretical schoolsprobing an additional why question. In addition to these, I also asked how to questions, which are implicit in the research questions described above: how to promote participation and collective action? How to promote the creation of extractive reserves with greater community participation and empowerment? How to make PRA more effective? Asking how to questions involves some methodological changes in the research process because we do not know how to until we try to and succeed (failure just teaches us that we were wrong, that is, how not to do things; that is, we learn by making mistakes, but we learn even more when we get it right). Because of this, I adopted action research, a research methodology that allows for successive attempts and their participatory evaluation. Furthermore, action research allows not only generation of knowledge by the researcher but also learning by the participants, which was necessary to achieve the empowerment of the fishers of Itacar.

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46 Anthropological research, through action research methodology, participatory design of strategies, and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) were used to achieve desired participation and empowerment results. I argue that the new, PRA-based approach for extractive reserve creation emerging from this research process is more effective and efficient in promoting community empowerment and generating the required documents for the creation of a reserve than the conventional approach normally used by the Brazilian government. Therefore, the significance of this research involves practical, theoretical and methodological aspects. The research Supported the creation process of the Marine Extractive Reserve in Itacar, which will benefit an estimated population of 400 fishing families Provides an evaluation of an approach to extractive reserve creation that is more participatory than the one practiced until now in Brazil, and that can be used in other development and conservation contexts where participation and empowerment is a main concern Provides theoretical insights to explain the effects of PRA Makes an innovative use of action research and action science concepts, with a strong empirical focus, which enabled its engagement with the resolution of practical problems in the studied communities and the generation of valid, actionable knowledge Documents a process of extractive reserve creation, how it worked in the field, how community support for it was built, its effects in the political organization of an extractive community and the reactions of other sectors. Despite much writing on the extractive reserves and the great number of reserves created in the last 12 years, this has been underdocumented. Organization of the Dissertation This dissertation started with the present Introduction, where I discussed the importance of studying PRA, and the factors that influence community participation, defining research questions and explanatory propositions. In Chapter 2, the foundations of action research, the general methodological approach taken in this research, are discussed. Chapter 3 discusses research design, how PRA was applied, and the methods

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47 used in the research, including data collection and the testing of explanatory propositions, through participatory action. Chapter 4 presents and discusses the history of Itacar and its fishers, providing the social and historic context for the research. Chapter 5 discusses individualism in the fishing activity, that is, whether fishers are individualistic and if their activities really lead them to be so. Chapter 6 discusses the origins of the Task Group in Itacar and how fishers came to be empowered in the local movement for the creation of the Extractive Reserve. Chapter 7 deals with Research Question 1; what factors influenced fishers participation in the PRA meetings? I discuss the problems the TG and I faced trying to mobilize participation of the fishers in the meetings, the explanatory propositions for the problems, and the actions trying to solve the problems, which tested the explanatory propositions. Chapter 8 discusses Research Question 2; what factors influenced participation by local people as leaders in the PRA team? The TG had problems maintaining participation of its own members. The attempts to solve these problems served to test the explanatory propositions. Finally, Chapter 9 summarizes the findings and concludes the dissertation. In order to avoid identification of people and organizations when controversial information is presented and discussed, I often avoided giving their names or used pseudonyms.

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CHAPTER 2 METHODOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES: AN INTRODUCTION TO ACTION RESEARCH In this dissertation research, I have been committed not only to its scientific results but also to the empowerment of the fishers of Itacar and the creation of their Marine Extractive Reserve. I needed a methodology that could generate both reliable research results and local action, and found it in action research. Action research (AR) comprises a broad range of approaches and methods. It is not just a methodology. It is also an ideology of research. Among many modalities of AR, participatory rural appraisal (PRA) has received great recognition in recent years and is one of the focuses of this dissertation. Nevertheless, in this dissertation, while the PRA diagnosis process provided data about the community, AR was used to research PRA itself. Most times, action researchers express their commitment to social change, participation and empowerment. Action researchs emphasis on action or on research varies from one extreme, where action is the most important aspect and knowledge generation is secondary, to another, where knowledge is the main aspect and action is secondary (Dick 1993). Participatory learning may be counted as action or research, depending on the emphasis of the researcher. In this dissertation, action research was intended to allow generation of knowledge while action was taking place, and to guide action to successful results. 48

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49 Main Characteristics of Action Research Although there are great variations among the several schools of action research and their specific applications, the main characteristics of action research are the following: Participatory and collaborative. Action research is normally participatory and collaborative, that is, a group of people, the beneficiaries of the research, participate in the definition of the problem and methods, in data gathering and analysis, and in elaborating conclusions. To Friedman (2001) action research involves the creation of communities of inquiry within communities of practice, that is, the involvement of practitioners in the enquiry about their practices and resolution of practical problems. Action as testing. Although sometimes the label action research incorporates research that is participatory but does not produce action, action is often the means of verification of interpretations generated with local groups (see discussion below). In fact, action can be a testing strategy for explanatory propositions even when the research is not participatory. That is, although it would probably not be labeled action research, one can do action-based research by him/herself. Still, group processes are richer and more interesting. Emancipatory. Action research is frequently viewed as a method to produce emancipatory knowledge (Reason and Bradbury 2001). This is done by the recognition of local views, by the empowering of local voices, by making participants realize their potential, by conscientizao (or consciousness raising, Freire 1970). This feature of action research reflects the political stand taken by many practitioners, but researchers must be careful that it does not interfere with the production of valid knowledge.

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50 Learning. From the above discussion, we see that action research is a research strategy with action-based verification procedures. Bridging the gap between research and practice and creating communities of enquiry, action research allows participants to learn about their realities. This learning may (and should) lead to emancipation. However, we must consider the difference between a participatory learning process intended for research (to know the unknown), and a process intended to teach (to explain the known to people who do not know). Many cases of action research may fall in the latter type, while this dissertation is concerned with the former type. Action. Producing collective action to transform social realities is part of the political agenda of most action researchers. However, the same distinction made above for learning should be made here for acting. There is a difference between action carried out to change social reality (mobilization, empowerment) and action carried out to verify interpretations of reality (research). Action in many action research interventions is the former type. However, although that is not always the case, an action can be of both types at the same time (as in this dissertation). Thus, we must distinguish between a pedagogic action research (learning the known; mobilizing action) and investigative action research (learning the unknown; using action to test interpretations of reality). Epistemology for an Investigative Action Research: Discovery and Learning Action should be the core of action research. However, much action research does not integrate action as a research strategy, instead using just participatory discussion and sharing of peoples current knowledge to investigate reality. Theories created in such discussions have not been subjected to test until they are put into practice. According to Friedman (2001), testing in action research relates to Poppers (1959) idea of falsifiability (Argyris, 1993: 284, cited by Friedman 2001) in which it is assumed that

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51 all knowledge of reality is partial and indeterminate. Theories of practice can never be proven, but they can be maintained as long as they withstand disconfirmation (Friedman 2001:162). Participants have to formulate their claims in ways that they are open to be proven wrong. In action research, discovering ones errors is more important than winning a debate (Friedman 2001). Thus action research is concerned with uncovering reality because it is concerned with changing it. Although there are idealist action researchers, social change objectives of action researchers imply a material world out there (an objective reality) that is being changed. However, while no one can claim an ultimate unmediated knowledge of reality, when people disagree about their interpretations of a situation, they can engage in the process of jointly testing their reality images (Friedman 2001:162). And testing is done through action. To Greenwood (1998), the proof that a theory is correct or valuable is if the action planned based on such a theory achieves appropriate results or changes. To Bill Torbet (quoted in Reason and Bradbury 2001:1) knowledge is always gained through action and for action. From this starting point, to question the validity of social knowledge is to question, not how to develop a reflective science about action, but how to develop genuinely well-informed actionhow to conduct an action science. Friedman (2001) criticizes both mainstream positivist social science and phenomenological and interpretive research. On the one hand, he argues that positivist science often produces knowledge of limited use to practitioners because it requires completeness and precision, observation of causal relations under controlled conditions, and maintenance of distance as safeguard for objectivity. It focuses on means rather than on ends. Thus, the rules that produce valid positivist explanations of social problems

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52 cannot produce the knowledge needed to do something about them. Applied science fails to bridge this gap because it functions according to the same positivist rules and standards as basic science (Friedman 2001:160). First, while positivist mainstream social research often has robust testing procedures, many times those tests are limited to the verification of association between variables. Because social research (including anthropological research, and maybe with the exception of some psychological research) seldom involves action and manipulation of independent variables to verify their effect on dependent variables, evidence of causal relationships is often given just by the association and the theory that the tests are supposed to be verifying. Second, once causal relationships are verified, anthropological research rarely tests solutions for the problems found. On the other hand, Friedman (2001, citing Argyris et al., 1985: 26-8) criticizes phenomenological and interpretive research, pointing out that it has no technical or rational way of coming to agreement over the validity of different interpretations. Action requires that people make choices among different interpretations of the same particular situation (Friedman 2001:160). To solve the problems present in both positivist and phenomenological/interpretive approaches, action science (a type of action research) builds theories which explain social phenomena, inform practice, and adhere to the fundamental criteria of a science (Friedman 2001:160). Most social research is not involved in promoting change, although explaining it is at the heart of social theory. In fact, the most basic anthropological research technique, participant observation, promotes noninterference as the way to know reality as it is. Interference is often seen as negative. However, some sort of change is likely to reveal

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53 aspects of social reality that would otherwise be hidden from the eyes of the participant observer 5 Social reality reacts when we shake it so that we can harvest the fruits of research. When we intervene is when the social structure and power relations show themselves. Changing (or co-creating) and knowing the social reality come together. The most robust tests of validity are those that can be used to predict about universes that do not, as yet, exist. It is such tests that Lewin focused upon when he advised that, if social scientists truly wish to understand certain phenomena, they should try to change them Creating, not predicting, is the most robust test of validity-actionability. (Argyris 1997) Argyris (1997) also argues that causality should be central to action research, and makes a critique of the field: In examining the literature it is clear that there exists agreement that action research is intended to explain problems and, in many cases, attempt to solve them, through the use of collaboration and participation. [It seems that] the majority of the contributors do not focus explicitly on causality and how it is to be established. Indeed, there is a significant proportion who claims that it is not possible or necessary to make causal claims. Many of those typically decry positivism as being out of date and irrelevant. The same group substitutes a more humanistic approach, subjective, postmodern perspective Moreover, taking the position that causality is not relevant or testable is itself a causal claim. How can those who decry causality make arguments about more relevant ways to explain phenomena that are, themselves, based on causal reasoning? (Argyris 1997) Politics of Action Research The purpose of action research is not to produce academic theories based on action; nor is it to produce theories about action; nor is it to produce theoretical or empirical knowledge that can be applied in action; it is to liberate the human body, mind and spirit in the search for a better, freer world (Reason and Bradbury 2001). It is common to regard the main distinction of action research from other research paradigms as its politically-oriented character, aimed at freeing the poor and the 5 When I was a kid, growing up on a farm in Brazil, my way to assess the pitanga berries that were ripe and ready to be harvested was to shake the tree; the ones that fell were ripe and sweet (I also looked at their color). I always think of that when promoting change and harvesting the fruits of action research.

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54 oppressed. Action researchers often express their commitment to social change and the liberation of "oppressed groups, to creating a better world. I share the same commitment, but in this section, discuss the dangers of political engagement and how this should be addressed in action research. Science and academic work have had positive and negative impacts on different groups; thus, what we say in our research reports, what topics we investigate, the methods we choose and the results we obtain are unavoidably political. Foucault (1978) has pointed out that knowledge is power; therefore, any knowledge-generating activity is a political activity, or has political consequences. What we know shapes our behavior, and our research may result in policy and public opinion changes that may affect innumerable people. Knowledge, in the form of technology, may represent new production alternatives that allocate wealth in a different way, empowering some groups and disempowering others. Knowledge that is empowering to a particular group may provide an interpretation of reality that gives incentives for collective action, or that substantiates arguments for favorable policies, for example. However, if research results are wrong, that is, if they misrepresent the real potential for empowerment of that particular group, paradoxically the results may be disempowering for the group. The group, liberated by action research, may fail, sometimes incurring in terrible losses. This is why I defend the idea that, although researchers should be clear about their political and ethical commitments, politics should not blur the sharp lenses potentially offered by action research, in particular, and science in general.

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55 Action research can and should be used to know what reality is, or better said, to create explanatory models of reality to effectively guide action that results in the desired objectives of the groups involved. Moreover, although I think that some research methodologies (such as action research) are better suited to promote liberation of the oppressed and generate emancipatory knowledge, other research paradigms, even positivism, can also be used to empower and liberate. That is not a monopoly of action research. Finally, the effectiveness of the method is not restricted to the poor. In spite of the claims of emancipation, more powerful people (such as men, the wealthier in a community, etc.) are more likely to participate and to take greater advantage of the participatory process. These are not extreme examples but show that action research can also be explicitly or accidentally used to empower the already powerful. Thus, we realize that action research is a research and action methodology, not a political program to change the world. If we are committed to social change in benefit of the poor, of the disempowered, then specific strategies have to be adopted to achieve this, and action research can be a great tool. Diverse Voices, Emic Explanations and Conscientizao One important aspect of action research is the recognition of emic explanations and of the diverse voices in the research process. However, emic explanations should not just be accepted, but should be tested in action. The emic can change with local learning, and this is something that makes action research of great value: learning is not the imposition of outside views but is built locally, and tested in action. In addition, if action requires the choice of a particular interpretation, then in action research we have

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56 competing voices or interpretations. These interpretations compete first in the dialogue between different actors, and then in action testing. Often, however, as pointed out before, action testing is not carried out, and action research takes the form of discussion and dialogues, raising peoples consciousness about their problems. Yet, if no testing is done, conscientizao can also be false. Concientizao implies an object, a reality of which one can be conscious, knowing that reality, creating a theory about it, a theory that can be the basis for action. Being critical about reality does not always do this. The critical may simply recognize that reality violates their moral values. Deep conscientizao examines one's own values and how that affects ones perception of the world, creates theories about how the world functions and what the strategies are for change. These strategies are the starting point of conscious action, and only with the results of action can one know the value of the new consciousness, that is, of the new theory to explain past and present life experiences (a theory that also produces future life experiences). Objectivity and Action Research I argued that action researchers should strive to avoid that their politics (and that of the participants) distort their findings. On the one hand, researcher and participants must try to be critical of their own interpretations and explanatory propositions. On the other, their explanatory propositions should be testable in action, and disconfirming information should be sought. That is, even though there is no objective knowledge, I believe that there is objective reality, and I do not think that we should just give up objectivity. As pointed out before, when I discussed the politics of action research, a problem with giving up the ideal of objectivity and value-neutral research is that sometimes

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57 "engaged" research creates illusions about the power and potential a person or a group (which the researcher is willing to favor) actually has. That illusion can help the favorite party to gain power, but can also make it weak and expose it to danger. Self-indulgence can create weakness. Explanations that make someone feel good and empowered may not work or be useful in practice, and may even lead to dangerous or destructive actions. The researcher and participants should be aware of their intentions and strive for useful, empowering knowledge. However, they should watch out for illusions they may be creating just to justify themselves, their own failures, or to dehumanize other groups. Attribution distortions should be avoided. Because the creation of pleasant illusions may be self-defeating in the long run, taking care with the problem of attribution distortions is what I call empowering objectivity in the context of action research. Objectivity and lack of involvement (or distance) are different things. Action researchers are involved with the realities that they study and try to change. Yet, they should strive to maintain objectivity, that is, to obtain knowledge that can give the basis for effective action. Comparing Action Research and Research-Only Strategies Several differences between action research and research-only strategies are shown in Table 2-1. Research-only strategies are more extractive and, although their research results may benefit the communities involved in the research, these benefits usually take longer to reach the community and may be just indirect. Action research is more interactive. Participants in AR usually define research topics and analyze data, and this local learning, and the results of action can provide immediate benefits to the communities involved.

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58 Table 2-1: Comparing action research and conventional research. Research Only Action Research Extractive: Immediate benefits to the researcher Interactive: Immediate benefits to the community and to the researcher Distance Involvement Less emotional stress More emotional stress Commitment to data collection and research design Commitment to community needs and action All time is dedicated to research Time has to be dedicated to research and action (less time to explore questions, and to write and analyze results) Pre-defined research design Adaptive research design Emphasis on externally valid results Emphasis on locally useful results Informants responses biased by the expectation of how the information will be used or received by the researcher Informants responses biased by the expectation of how the information will affect the researchers actions in the community Little influence on the local power structure Greater influence on the local power structure Little confusion about the researchers role Activist and research roles are often confused The biases introduced by the researchers perspectives and local involvements are often hidden behind a faade of objectivity and distance The biases introduced by the researchers perspectives and local involvements are often more explicit In research-only strategies, it is easier for the researcher to maintain distance from local issues, and focus on a commitment to data collection and research design; the researcher can be exclusively dedicated to research activities. In AR, the researchers time has to be dedicated both to research and action, resulting in less time to explore emerging questions of little relevance for action, and less time to write and analyze results. The greater involvement of action researchers may result in greater emotional stress, which may introduce biases. Research-only strategies usually have predefined research designs and seek to obtain results that are externally valid. Conversely, AR is adaptive and flexible, and focuses on locally useful results (which may have limited usefulness beyond the research

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59 site). The greater focus on research in research-only strategies potentially provides more robust and comprehensive research results. However, each approach introduces its own type of bias in the participants answers. In research-only strategies, the informants responses are often biased by the expectation of how the information will be used or received by the researcher. In AR, responses are also biased by the expectation of how the information will affect the researchers actions in the community. Action research may intentionally and unintentionally influence and change the local power structure, while in research-only strategies, such influence is normally unintended. There is little confusion about the researchers role in research-only strategies, but in action research, activist and researcher roles are often mixed. However, many of the features of research-only strategies described above are idealized. Threats to objectivity are present in both types of research. Often, researchers involvement and influence is underreported in research-only strategies. Anthropologists, particularly ethnographers, who often choose to live in a community for a considerable time (several months or years) can hardly claim that after such time they continue to be neutral or objective observers, with no influence in the community. They are participant observers, but are not invisible. After some time, they must develop alliances and relationships, and often develop some type of action. In research-only strategies, the biases introduced by the researchers perspectives and local involvements are often hidden behind a faade of objectivity and distance. In AR research, generally such biases are more explicit and easier to assess by the scientific audience.

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CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODS Research Site and Population Itacar is located in a tropical, rainy region with annual precipitation between 1,750 and 2,000 mm, well distributed throughout the year, and the annual mean temperature is between 21 C and 25 C (Secretaria da Cultura e Turismo 1998), in the southern coast of the state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil (Figure 3-1). The tropical and humid climate created the conditions for a lush tropical rainforest that was in great part destroyed to implement cacao plantations, and later for timber extraction, cattle ranching and small farming. At the time of the fieldwork for this dissertation, the forest still remained in certain areas. Itacar was a beach town that was not located on the beach, but by the river, close to the river mouth, testifying to its past as a port town. Only recently, with tourism development, were some houses built on areas of the municipality closer to the beaches. In Itacar, the traditional cacao economy was destroyed by years of low prices and witches broom (Crinipelis perniciosa), a tree disease that made most cacao farms economically unviable. However, tourism was booming. The municipality had 18,105 inhabitants, according to the preliminary 2000 census data. About six thousand people lived in the town of Itacar and four thousand lived in the urban district of Taboquinhas. The remaining population lived in the rural areas, in small communities, or in the old cacao plantations. 60

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61 Figure 3-1: Location of Itacar and the area proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve. The fishing population comprised about 400 families, both in the rural and in the urban area. About half of them were families of professional fishers, people that had their main source of income from fishing. The other half, mainly rural, were subsistence fishers. Professional fishers focused on shrimp, fish, crab and lobster fishing. Subsistence fishers caught almost anything. While offshore fishing on motorized boats was mainly a male activity, inshore fishing was practiced by men, women and children. Research Design This dissertations research design evolved in response to local needs, such as the need to create local community organizational capacity for the implementation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, and unexpected factors, such as the difficulty for the Task Group to maintain constant participation in the process, and my increasing involvement with the action of promoting the reserve. Action research, PRA, observant participation and participant observation were the main research strategies.

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62 In order to allow the reader to understand the research design, a description of the research methods has to include some of the action that was promoted in Itacar, which laid down the research opportunities that I explored. The research design included the following elements: An action researcher, PRA practitioner, and observing participant in the promotion of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar Three volunteer research assistants Oceanographic researchers The Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) exercises in eight fishing communities: four urban, three rural, and one that included both urban and rural fishers Action Researcher, PRA Practitioner, and Observing Participant in the Promotion of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar From my first contacts with the fishers of Itacar, some methodological trends started to be established. First, I did not start as a neutral figure studying an object detached from me. I was a participant trying to help the fishers of Itacar create their Extractive Reserve, but I was also forwarding a particular approach to extractive reserve creation. My study depended on that particular approach because it focused on PRA, mainly, and its effects in the community. Second, although I planned to build local capacity for PRA and then stand back and evaluate the effects of the work done by the Task Group with some distance, I started my interaction as a participant in the process. Third, my presence influenced how the Task Group organized and performed their activities. I was their consultant for the Extractive Reserve. Later, I coordinated the PRA process and facilitated the PRA meetings with the help of volunteers and TG members. Thus, from the beginning, I was an observing participant of the process, not just a neutral participant observer. I was a researcher who interfered in the local reality and tried to transform it in collaboration with locals, while observing reactions and results.

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63 As an observing participant I had to strive, first, to be an impartial consultant (that is, to avoid influencing the work for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar in a less beneficial direction just to make the process fit my research needs), and second, to be an impartial observer (that is, avoiding that my stakes in the process and my engagement with the Reserve influenced my observation of the facts). During the process, this was often difficult. I experienced evaluation swings, that is, confusing changes of my view of the process, as different information about other peoples (and my own) behavior became available to me. Immersed in the process, it was often hard to maintain clarity about what was going on. However, in reporting and discussing the data, I tried to be self-critical, evaluate my stakes, the limitations of my observations, and be honest about them. Moreover,while some aspects of reality were hidden from me as an observing participant, I also was able to see some aspects of reality that would have been hidden from a researcher using just a participant observation strategy. Another factor that has to be considered is my background. I am Brazilian and did not have significant language problems with the fishers, because we all spoke Portuguese, although there were some regional vocabulary differences. Yet, I grew up in So Paulo state, a region culturally different from Bahia. Stereotypes of Paulistas (the people of So Paulo) and Bahianos (the people of Bahia) reveal some of potential conflicts involved in the interaction between the community and me. Paulistas are known as work-focused, not very friendly but serious (or uptight) people, while Bahianos (particularly on the coast) are famous for their laidback, fun-loving (often lazy) life style, and their friendliness. However untrue these stereotypes may be, they sometimes shaped

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64 interactions, and sometimes local people seemed to find me too much focused on work, while I found some local people slow and not very committed. For example, it took me a while to slow down and start to arrive at the meetings as late as everybody else. The adaptation was mutual: local TG members gradually started to come to the meetings on time. Other factors also influenced my interaction with the community, such as race (I am considered white in Brazil, while most fishers were of African descent), gender (being a man opened some research opportunities and closed others), and social class (which often created very different viewpoints). Another aspect is my formal education and professional experience. I have a bachelors degree in agronomic engineering from the University of So Paulo. This degree provided me a broad range of knowledge. Agronomic engineering students in Brazil study a great variety of subjects, from crops to animal husbandry, from food science to agricultural machinery, from sociology and economics to forestry. By the end of the five-year course, students are expected to have directed their education towards a specialization. My specialization area was informal environmental education. For two years after graduation I coordinated an environmental education radio program in my college town (Piracicaba, So Paulo state), but also helped in my familys dairy farm, and worked on a short-term consultancy for the state environmental agency and on a food education consultancy for Piracicabas municipal government. Then, in 1992, I became an ecology professor at the University of Acre, a state located in the western Brazilian Amazon, where I first had contact with the extractive reserves. Part of my work in the university involved rural communities of small farmers and rubber tappers, with training and support for the implementation of agroforestry

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65 systems. In 1994, I started my masters in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida, and my research focused on the factors that made rubber tappers more conservation-oriented. In the masters research I used some of the PRA techniques for the first time. When I finished my masters degree, in 1996, I started work in Rondnia, southwest Brazilian Amazon, as a United Nations Development Program consultant for the extractive reserve component of PLANAFLORO, Rondnia Natural Resource Management Project. My main activity was to develop a participatory procedure for the creation of community development plans, and my previous learning and experience with PRA led me to believe that it could provide a good basis for participatory planning in the extractive reserves of Rondnia. The experience in Rondnia was particularly rich in insights and questions about PRA. When I started my Ph.D. at the University of Florida, I started exploring these questions in my classes. Due to my background and my fascination with science, I tended to explore materialistic approaches, which are also common in the classes at UF. My background in ecology and ecological economics also created further interest in systemic approaches to explain the behavior of social systems, or in my area of interest, participation in small communities. The discussion presented in the Introduction reflects this interest. It was with this background that I first looked into the reality of participation in Itacar. Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar (TG) During dissertation fieldwork, the Task Group was the main agent promoting the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. In 2000, I initiated a collaborative relationship with this group, which was formed of fishers, former fishers now employed in the tourism

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66 industry and a fishermans wife (she was the only one with a college degree; the rest of the group did not finish high school, and despite some formal education, had trouble reading and writing). They had been involved in the promotion of the Extractive Reserve for about a year, during which they received advice from local technical volunteers and from two staff members of Assessoria Agroecolgica (AAE), a nongovernment organization based in Ilhus, a city located 65 km to the south of Itacar. These people also interacted with me (via E-mail) during that year and we exchanged information and ideas on how the work should be done. TG members had a good knowledge of the fishers of Itacar, and the municipality, but they knew the seat of the municipality better than they knew the district of Taboquinhas and the rural communities. During their first year working for the creation of the Reserve, they carried out meetings in two fishing communities located in the district of Taboquinhas and by the beach of Piracanga, started to interview fishers for a socioeconomic survey to be sent to the government for the creation of the Reserve, and mobilized two enforcement missions by the regional officers of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA). The initial design of the PRA process was that the TG was going to have the assistance of two local technical volunteers, whom I previously had trained in PRA. However, this did not work out. In my first meeting with the TG members, about eight people came and we talked about the challenges ahead. They were unhappy with the two local technical volunteers who had been working with them for the last year. We discussed PRA and its technical needs. They decided that they would carry out the

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67 participatory rural appraisal process by themselves, with my help. TG members would need training in PRA, and they and I decided that I would give a course to them. The PRA course started with about 18 people, but by the end of the two-week course load, there were about seven, and I was only confident that three people out of that total were prepared to carry out PRA meetings, and only with my assistance. In order to have an effective PRA process in Itacar, I would have to take a more active role than I had predicted and wanted. All actions carried out in Itacar were discussed with this group (or some of its members, when a meeting was not possible). Their decisions greatly affected the course of this research, from my timetable to the methods that were used. They were co-researchers in the participatory process, trying to understand why things that we did were successful or not, gathering data in their own normal life in the community or in the (more structured) PRA meetings. The TG and I discussed together several of the explanatory propositions presented in the Introduction, and this discussion is reported later in the dissertation. Scientific learning (by me) and local practical learning (by TG members) originated from the same process, but we did not need to agree. While their learning had to stand the test of practicability and perform several functions (from understanding their successes and failures, to justifying their participation; from creating group cohesion to defending them from moral attacks), my learning had also to stand scientific peer scrutiny. As a doctoral candidate, although I had local collaboration, this dissertation is not a collective product. I am the author, and the conclusions expressed here are my own.

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68 Oceanographic researchers In the PRA process, the TG and I had the collaboration of the Oceanographic Group at the Universidade Estadual Santa Cruz UESC 6 The researchers who participated in the PRA exercise are listed below: Dr. Rubens Lopes Plankton/ UESC M.Sc. Lcio Figueiredo de Rezende Physic Oceanography/ UESC Sylvia M. M. Susini Ribeiro Plankton/ UESC Dr. Gecely R. A. Rocha Nekton (fish)/ UESC Dr. Mnica Y. Tsuzuki Aquaculture/ UESC M.Sc. Cntia S. Coimbra Algae/ UESC Alexandre Oliveira de Almeida Freshwater crustaceans/ UESC Erminda C. G. Couto Benthic animals/ UESC M.Sc. Luiz Alberto Mattos Silva Botany/UESC M.SC. Ana Amlia Lavenre-Wanderley Geologic Oceanography/UESC Some of these researchers participated in PRA meetings, but all interacted with the communities during field trips to collect samples in Itacar. Each wrote a report that was later incorporated in the PRA report. Three voluntary research assistants Later in the PRA process, it was realized that the TG members would not have the necessary time to dedicate to the PRA, and voluntary research assistants were selected to help us. They were selected among 12 candidates who submitted a letter of application and curriculum vitae in response to an E-mail message that I sent to colleagues in community development and conservation. Three people were selected, as follows: Ana Cludia Mendes Malhado: a recent ecology graduate from So Paulo state, with experience in environmental education (first four weeks of PRA); Viviane Menezes Hermida: a recent psychology graduate from Salvador (Bahia state), with experience in community work in a fishing community on the northern Bahian coast (third and fourth weeks of PRA); 6 Saint Cross State University, a small regional University located in Ilhus, which has received investment from the State Government.

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69 Daniela Maria Barreto Martins: with the same background as Ms. Hermida (sixth and seventh weeks of PRA) These assistants helped me in the preparation of PRA meetings, note taking and report writing. They also discussed with me the results and provided insights on my relationship with TG. In addition to these three assistants, a number of local and outside people helped in the organization of the meetings, but did not collect data for the PRA. An exception was botanist Ana Maria Arglo, who, in addition to helping in some of the meetings, wrote a report on the coastal vegetation. Eight Fishing Communities Locating (and circumscribing) the fishing communities of Itacar was not very straightforward. Fishers lived all over town and also in rural communities and in the urban district of Taboquinhas. They were clearly not just one community. There seemed to be several fishing communities overlapping in Itacar or maybe the fishers were not really a community but only a sector of the larger community of Itacar. Fishers were linked not only among themselves, but to neighbors that were not fishers, to shopkeepers, to politicians, to traders, to people and businesses of the tourism sector. Some fishers were fulltime; others were just part-time or fished just for subsistence. Those who were part-time or subsistence fishers were also farmers, public servants, shopkeepers, workers in the tourism sector, and so on. How do we cut the fishing communities out of that complex web of social relations? Communities were used in Itacar to divide the fishing population in manageable chunks that would result in maximum participation, provide a basis for future action, and at the same time, maintain the number of these chunks as low as possible to maximize the efficiency of PRA meetings. However, like the definition of

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70 ecosystem, there are no clear community boundaries until someone decides what (or who) is in or what is out. Ideally, this decision should be made by community members, that is, by how they identify themselves: there is no community until there is a community identity. However, a community identity may not always exist. In the case of Itacar, the definition of some of the fishing communities was externally done by TG members. When the TG and I planned the PRA exercise in Itacar, we had to decide on how to classify the fishers in communities. In the town, we could either have dealt with one large urban fishing community or with separate sub-communities. Thus we had to make a choice. I suspected that if we decentralized the meetings, we would have greater attendance. TG members had their own classification of the fishers into communities and so we worked with that. TG members classified the fishers of Itacar in eight communities: Banca do Peixe (urban, mostly professional fishers) Forte (urban, mostly professional fishers) Porto de Trs (urban, subsistence and professional fishers) Marimbondo (urban, subsistence and professional fishers) Passagem (urban, subsistence and professional fishers) Taboquinhas (urban and rural, subsistence and professional fishers) Itacarezinho (rural, subsistence fishers) Piracanga (rural, subsistence fishers) Porto de Trs was easy to identify. These fishers lived in the same neighborhood, had their own political organization, were connected by kin, had their own parties and folklore, and were the exclusive users of the Porto de Trs (or Back Port, name that alluded to the location of the port, on a river curve behind the town). There was a clear community identity.

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71 However, other communities were less clearly defined. Forte and Banca do Peixe, for example, were identified not in terms of a region of residence, but in terms of a point of congregation, the respective ports of Forte and of the Banca do Peixe (or simply Banca). Fishers included by the TG in these communities could live anywhere in town as long as they departed from those ports to their fishing trips. This port identity often included an affiliation to one of the organizations located in each port: Itacars Association of Fishers and Shellfish Collectors (ASPERI) in the Forte, and Colnia de Pesca Z-18 (Fishers Guild Fishing Zone 18) in the Banca. In addition, there were fishers who used either port, or even departed from the more distant Hava river beach, who lived in two neighborhoods: Marimbondo and Passagem. Following the advice of a community leader, when we finally carried out PRA in these neighborhoods, the TG and I considered them as one community, but the opposite could have been done: we could have subdivided them by the streets. The decision to join them together was related to our operational needs rather than to the true identity of these communities. Recognizing communities was necessarily an analytical and, sometimes, arbitrary exercise considering operational needs and political implications. From this, it became clear that there were two types of urban fishing communities: Neighborhood communities (continuous, defined by territory), such as Porto de Trs (Marimbondo and Passagem were treated as neighborhood communities even though their identities as fishing communities were weaker than Porto de Trs) Port communities (radial, defined by the connection of fishers to the ports), such as Forte and Banca do Peixe

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72 During PRA, we discovered an additional rural community (Campo Seco), which invited us to carry out PRA there too. Thus, rural fishers were organized for the PRA in the following communities: Piracanga (on the north coast of Itacar, including the fishers of nearby Caubi village) Campo Seco (on the south coast of Itacar) Itacarezinho (on the south coast of Itacar) There were also rural communities by the Contas River, which practiced subsistence fishing in the river, and a group of rural households close to the Tijupe River. Because of time constraints, the TG decided not to include them in the PRA at that time. The TG visited the communities by Rio de Contas after I finished dissertation fieldwork in Itacar. Finally there were the urban and rural communities of Taboquinhas municipal district. The rural fishers of Taboquinhas were first divided in several communities and later grouped again for the practical purposes of the PRA. Later, we tried as much as possible to identify the divisions that community members had. They included the following: P da Pancada Rua de Palha Os Acaris Porto das Farinhas gua Fria. However, this classification was not always so clear; different boundaries seemed to be applied by different people, depending on the context. The definition of each community also seemed to vary over time, as was indicated by stories that some communities were one, then were divided, and then were renamed responding to political needs and population change. The common identity of fishers of Taboquinhas was the

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73 most practical and reliable one to organize the PRA for those fishers. Each of the fishing communities of Itacar had different interests and challenges, as is described later. Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Exercise In each community, the PRA team included me, one or two of the voluntary research assistants, TG members, and occasionally, one to four oceanographic researchers. TG members did not participate equally in all meetings. At the time of the PRA exercise, the TG had about eight people. Only one of them had time to participate in almost all meetings. Three others also went to several meetings (one of them liked the PRA dynamics and was actually recruited during the PRA meetings in his community). The other TG members participated only occasionally in the PRA community meetings, but most were frequent in the TG weekly meetings, which evaluated the results of PRA in different communities. The PRA exercise in Itacar was carried out in two rounds of meetings in eight communities (see schedule of PRA meetings in Appendix 7 ). In urban communities, the first round (for problem diagnosis) took four to six three-hour evening meetings. In rural communities, the first round took one to two one-day meetings. The first-round meetings had the following elements: An explanation about the extractive reserve, and the purpose of the meeting Cooperative games PRA tools Between the first and the second rounds, community representatives participated in a two-day meeting to 7 The communities of Banca do Peixe and Piracanga had PRA meetings prior to this schedule. The follow-up of those meetings was delayed until the dates showed in the schedule due to participation problems in the Task Group.

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74 Create a diagnosis for the whole area proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, including all the communities where PRA was being carried out Create a draft of the resource use rules for the future Reserve (Norms of the Reserve), which were the focus of the second round. In urban communities, the second round (for discussion of the Norms of the Reserve) took two three-hour evening meetings. In rural communities, the second round took one one-day meeting. The second round of meetings included the following elements: Registration of the fishers for the decision-making process An explanation about the extractive reserve and purpose of the meeting A review of the diagnosis made in the first round Cooperative games Reading, discussion, and approval of, or proposal of changes to, the drafted Norms of the Reserve After the second round of meetings, a general two-day meeting, open to all registered participants, was carried out for a final decision on the Norms. Explanation about the extractive reserve and purpose of the meetings (first and second rounds) All meetings started with an explanation about the future Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, and about the purpose of the meetings. The explanation included a presentation by the TG about the purposes of the group and an invitation to all who wanted to participate. I presented the purpose of the meeting and asked for the groups consent to report on the information that they provided and on their participation. Cooperative games (first and second rounds) After this initial explanation, in the first round of PRA meetings (in each one of the communities) participants were invited to play the web of life, a cooperative game that shows the importance of cooperation and interdependence in the relationship between community members, and between them and their environment (Figure 3-2).

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75 Figure 3-2: Web of life game in the community of Banca do Peixe. The web of life starts with the facilitator asking participants to gather around him, forming a circle. Then, he takes a roll of yarn, and start linking different people in the circle with it. Each person represents a different element of the human ecosystem. After all people are linked by the yarn, a pen is placed in the center of the circle and the group is asked to try to hold it with the yarn, just by the pressure of the yarn forming the web. Then, participants are asked to put the pen inside a bottle placed on the ground (in one of the communities we used a green coconut, after drinking the coconut water), still holding the pen with the web. After several attempts, in which the pen would fall and be placed again in the web, the goal of putting the pen in the bottle was accomplished. The importance of cooperation and balance between different parties in cooperation to accomplish a collective goal (the betterment of communities, the extractive reserve, and conservation of natural resources) was then discussed with the

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76 participants. Other games were proposed anytime during the meetings when participants looked tired or not very focused on the discussions. PRA tools A series of PRA tools was proposed and carried out. Participants created participatory natural resource maps on 1 m x 2 m sheets of paper (in communities along the river, the maps reached up to 5 meters long, by 50 cm wide), using markers, sand, sawdust, pebbles, tree and grass leaves, and icons representing different natural resources, fishing practices and other aspects of the fishers reality. Participants were asked to map the area that they used, which varied from community to community (Figure 3-3). Figure 3-3: Participatory mapping exercise in Forte community. In Porto de Trs and Piracanga, natural resource maps were done in separate groups according to gender. Maps were also used to obtain data about the location of

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77 households and infrastructure in two urban communities (Porto de Trs and Marimbondo/Passagem) and three rural communities (Piracanga, Itacarezinho and Campo Seco). Institutional Venn diagrams were carried out in Banca do Peixe, Porto de Trs, Forte, and Taboquinhas. They started with the facilitators asking the participants to list the organizations that were important to the community, either positively or negatively. Then, participants were asked to rank the power of these institutions, by assigning them paper circles with three different sizes. Following that, participants were asked to place the circles on a 0.8 m x 1 m sheet of paper in relation to a paper circle representing their community, which also had to be placed in relation to a larger circle drawn on the sheet representing the fishing community of Itacar. This process often raised heated discussions about the government and nongovernmental organizations that influence the lives of the fishers in Itacar (Figure 3-4). Figure 3-4: Institutional diagram in Banca do Peixe community (a TG member is facilitating the discussion).

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78 Other PRA tools were used. Historical transects were carried out in the PRA course for the Task Group (focusing on sea resources) and in the PRA meetings of Taboquinhas (focusing on river resources, Figure 3-5). A social pyramid, a tool that I adapted to discuss social inequality, was used in Porto de Trs and Forte. Figure 3-5: Historical diagram in small groups in Taboquinhas, facilitated by a volunteer research assistant. In some communities, PRA tools were used in small groups, which later presented the information to the participants that were not in their group. This strategy was used to maximize the information represented in the PRA tools, and to allow greater individual participation by reducing the group size. After the maps and diagrams were completed, participants summarized the information provided by them, with an emphasis on the problems and on how the extractive reserve could help to solve them. During the process, the voluntary research assistants and I took notes on the discussion in order to write the report later on. Some

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79 communities (Porto de Trs, Itacarezinho and Taboquinhas) had UESCs team of oceanographic researchers facilitating the discussion along with TG members, volunteer research assistants and me. In other communities, the volunteers, TG members and I used that experience with the UESC team to guide us in facilitating the maps and other discussion focusing on natural resources. Meeting of community representatives to discuss the diagnosis for the whole area proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar and the Norms of the Reserve During the PRA meetings in the eight communities, representatives were elected by each community to participate in a two-day meeting to create a diagnosis for the entire area and population that was going to benefit from the Reserve, and to create a draft of the natural resource use rules, or Norms of the Reserve. On the first day, the representatives of each community explained to the other community representatives the problems encountered in their communities, referring to the PRA maps and diagrams. They verified problems that they had in common and problems that were created by resource use conflicts between communities. Based on this diagnosis, and on the norms of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Arraial do Cabo (State of Rio de Janeiro), I created a draft of norms that were suggested during the PRA problem diagnosis phase and by the community representatives. On the second day, the norms that I drafted were read to, and discussed by, community representatives, who corrected them and added their own suggestions. Registration of the fishers for the decision making process In the second round of PRA meetings, in each community, TG members and I registered the participants for the decision making process. TG members, in a series of weekly meetings, discussed criteria to make a fisher a legitimate decision-maker in the

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80 Reserve. The problem was that the rules of the Reserve were supposed to be decided by the fishers of Itacar. However, who were the fishers of Itacar? Native fishers believed they had greater right than recent immigrants, and a great number of five to tenyear immigrant fishers also claimed their right to the Reserve. Where was the legitimacy line to be drawn? After much discussion, the TG arrived at a decision. To have the right to vote in the community meetings, a person had to be a fisher who had fished in Itacar in the last two years. In addition, the fisher had to fulfill one of the following: Be native to Itacar Have lived in Itacar for the last five years Have participated in five or more meetings for the creation of the Extractive Reserve To vote on the Norms of the Reserve, each person had to be "registered, that is, to fill out a form, or have one filled out for him/her, on which the basic data about the criteria described above were collected. All data had to be confirmed by witnesses, to avoid the use of standard documents that could not be trusted because many "fishers" with such documents did not actually fish, and many real fishers did not have fishers documents. Such witnesses also had to be acceptable decision-makers themselves, and were susceptible to lose their rights if they helped others misrepresent themselves. A review of the diagnosis made in the first round To review the discussion of the first round in each community, including the reality of all communities in the future Reserve, second-round meetings used the participatory map created by the Banca, which represented the broadest range, so that a general diagnosis of the entire area could be discussed and information given/returned for the decision about the Norms of the Reserve. The map was exhibited in a place visible to all.

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81 Reading, discussion, approval of, or proposal of changes to the drafted Norms of the Reserve In the second round of community meetings, the resource use rules for the future Norms of the Reserve were read, discussed, and voted on. The norms that were approved by all communities were considered approved and not discussed again. If a norm was rejected by one community, or if it was proposed by a community after the other communities had discussed the norms, the decision was left to a final general meeting open to all participants. Finally, in some cases in which there were resource use conflicts between communities, TG decided to hold meetings between the affected communities to decide on the issue by consensus. That is, there would be no voting in such meetings, and all participants had to agree on the final solution. These rules were later reviewed and approved in the final general meeting. This strategy was chosen to guarantee a power balance between the different communities, and avoid manipulation by opportunistic participation in meetings in just one centralized location. Data Collection: Observant Participation and Participant Observation PRA was not my only data collection strategy in Itacar. According to Bernard (1994:138) Fieldwork can involve two quite different rolesthat of participating observer and that of observing participant. By far, most anthropological research is based on the first role, that of participating observer. Hammersley and Atkinson (1995) discuss the classification of Junker (1960) and Gold (1958), who distinguish the following roles of the researcher: complete participant, participant-as-observer, observer-as-participant, and complete observer. Hammersley and Atkinson (1995) suggest that the role of complete participant often involves deception,

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82 and their examples coincide with the examples given by Bernard (1994) in which observing participant researchers take roles that make them similar to the people they are studying. This was not the case of this dissertation. First, it was clear to the community that I was doing research as much as action, and there was no deception related to my role in the community or in the Task Group. That saved me a great deal of ethical concern. Second, my observing participation involved a relatively new role in the fishing community, as new as was the TGs role. Despite the fact that I was not pretending to be a fisherman, I was an observing participant because my role was that of an activist in favor of the Reserve, just like the TG. Nevertheless, there were several differences: The length of my participation was limited, while the TG would continue to be there I did not belong to the community and could choose to leave, while they belonged there and were more limited in their mobility I was paid to be an action researcher and did not have other competing activities, while their participation was completely voluntary and they had to find ways to generate income (however, some of the TG members did receive remuneration or compensation during part of their action) I was their consultant and was supposed to provide them with orientation regarding the Extractive Reserve and the participatory work, while they had limited knowledge of the details of the required process I did not have decision power over the process; I only discussed the options with them, while decisions were made by TG members (but I had significant influence when I was facilitating PRA meetings). Also, I often took notes, moderated the meetings, typed letters and documents for them, and even created a logo for the Reserve (Figure 3-6). As an "impartial" participant observer, the researcher can more easily concentrate on the research, maintain a certain distance from the object of study, and try to be

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83 objective. However, there is no guarantee of impartiality. On the one hand, the participant observer label can mask implicit involvement and contribution, and cause increased suspicion in the participants. On the other hand, the observing participation strategy carries with it other dangers, such as partiality, lack of objectivity, and worse, difficulty to concentrate on the research. However, in many instances, observing participation is a way to obtain insights from the point of view of the researched. In addition these two different types of observation provide access to different aspects of reality. By trying to mobilize the community with the TG, I saw aspects of the fishing community that I would not have seen if I was just a participant observing. Conversely, some other aspects are hidden from the participant observer; there are tradeoffs in any strategy. Figure 3-6: Logo of the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. Every one of us, each TG member and I, was a thermometer of effects of the planned solutions, and provided subjective evaluations of what was achieved. These

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84 subjective evaluations were discussed in the group meetings, trying to create inter-subjective evaluations supported by evidence. By providing and discussing their perceptions with me, TG members were a mix of key-informants, research assistants and clients of the research. They too were doing observing participation of the process, when they attempted strategies to obtain fishers participation, promote the Extractive Reserve and consolidate their leadership. In addition to my observing participation in TG meetings and in the PRA exercise, I learned a great deal about the reality of Itacar just by living there during the ten months (September 2000 to June 2001) of my Ph.D. fieldwork, and in the four visits before, one day in March 1999, a four-day and a ten-day visit in August 1999, and one week in January 2000. I became better acquainted with one of the communities where meetings were harder to mobilize. My following field note illustrates how observant participation and just hanging out were important to understand that community: The Barraca do Seu 8 Osvaldo (Mr. Osvaldos Kiosk) is closed most of the year but is nevertheless, a gathering point for many of the fishers of the Banca do Peixe, the community most associated with the Colnia. The Barraca is a tiny kiosk, built on the center division of the boulevard by the Coroa beach. The lane next to the beach is open to traffic, but the other is closed, creating a protected space where residents would hang out and restaurants would place their tables outside. However, the boulevard close to Seu Osvaldos kiosk belongs to the fishers. Large trees shade the sidewalks where they used to lounge, talk to their friends, gossip, and work on net repairs. It has a nice view of the barra, where river waters battle sea water in their final destination to the ocean; and of the Pontal (a small peninsula on the other side of the river with its beach growing in the direction of Pedra do Xaru, almost threatening to dam the river), and the north coast. It is also a strategic spot to monitor the wind and its changes, and the movement of boats inside and outside the barra. And it is also my strategic spot to just hang out, observe fishers, talk to them, hear the gossip, and learn about the past and present of Itacar. 8 Respectful title applied to older men; mister.

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85 During the day, I use to sit in the shadow of Seu Osvaldos Kiosk and do as everybody else. At sunset or at night, nearby, the boat ramp that gave access from the boulevard to the river is the spot to relax, and listen to stories of fishing trips and other subjects. Apanhar a fresca da noite (enjoying the fresh breeze of the night) attracts many fishers. On nights of good weather, they sit and laze on the ramp by the water with stars above their heads and the gentle breeze blowing. I also enjoy the fresca, and many times go by myself or to walk my dog by the beach and then sit on the ramp. Sometimes I talk to people, other times I just listen. Although I became more acquainted with the Banca, walking on the streets of Itacar it was hard to go anywhere without running into someone who asked about the Extractive Reserve, gave me information and opinions, gossiped about someone else or was just friendly. In this way, I used to run into people of the other urban communities of Itacar, and occasionally into people from rural areas. As my identification with the Task Group grew, I became o rapaz da Reserva (the Reserve guy). I was sought for conflict resolution and demands for action. Normally, I would refer the person to the Task Group for decisions, but would talk and express my opinions anyway. People also tried to influence me, by gossiping or complaining about other people and organizations, trying to get me on their side. Kent (2000), doing anthropological fieldwork in Itacar, describes a similar process: he also felt he was being disputed by different sides of the conflict between locals (nativos) and migrants related to the tourism/environmentalism sector (os de fora, or the newcomers), both sides trying to make him tell their side of the story, particularly the case of the newcomers. In my case, maybe because I was also involved in action, I felt that it was not just a matter of my telling their story, but rather of my acting in a manner that would be advantageous to particular sectors. Unlike Kent (2000), I did not feel that os de fora were trying to influence me more than the nativos, but just as much. Os de fora seemed to see me as a teacher and a source of expertise; in fact I ended up giving a course on

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86 participatory methods to the team of the local Environmental Education Project, mainly composed of newcomers. Some people (locals and newcomers) seemed to believe that I had some strong political influence, an impression that I let them keep, since I believed that it could help the Task Group (more educated people seemed to value most the fact that I was a Ph.D. candidate). I also participated in public meetings, went to parties and to the beach, shopped in the stores, and went to restaurants. All of this gave me a better feeling of the tensions and issues behind the beach town atmosphere of Itacar. For example, excellent pizza was served in Beco das Flores pizzeria. However, wealthier people used to go there and it was viewed with suspicion by locals (this is also commented on by Kent 2000). I noticed this and felt uncomfortable going to the Beco (but sometimes it was hard to resist the pizza was really good!). And it was the same with certain stores, parties and beaches. I felt that where you hung out in Itacar said something about with whom you were allied and about your values. I did not always conform to local prejudices in order to assert my alignment with the TG and locals, but I soon became aware of the costs of doing things in ways that were not approved of by locals. Testing the Explanatory Propositions Testing the explanatory propositions explained in Chapter 1 involved information gathered by PRA, participant observation, observant participation, group and individual interviews, informal conversations with fishers and other actors in Itacar, and literature research. In chapters 7 and 8, research questions 1 and 2, and the respective explanatory propositions action-testing, are discussed; however, in chapters 4 to 6, background information on Itacar and its fishers, the nature of the fishing activities and the origins of the Task Group will also be used to discuss the research questions.

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87 As pointed out in Chapter 2, action research is broadly defined as a paradigm of research in which clients are involved in cycles of reflection-action-reflection-action that result in learning and change. The value of action in action research is often discussed in terms of its practical, local effects: research activity that produces social results locally. However, in this study, action was conceptualized as a means of verification. In AR, we believe that the way to prove a theory is to show how it provides in-depth and thorough understanding of social structures, understanding gained through planned attempts to invoke change in particular directions. The appropriate changes are the proof (Greenwood 1998:19). In this research, action was the main instrument for testing competing explanatory propositions for participation problems encountered in the PRA for the participatory creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. Action during the research process was always based on theory and reflection. The theory (explanatory propositions) was supplied either by me or by locals, who provided their own interpretations of their realities, sometimes during the meetings, other times in informal conversations. Participants (including me), involved in action, discussed the problems and their causes. One or more explanatory propositions were created to explain the problems, and solutions based on such propositions were discussed. Sometimes we had competing interpretations and had to solve the contest argumentatively or by verification, in action. The rationale for using action as a testing procedure was Once the causes for the problems were identified (explanatory propositions), solutions could be planned and carried out When the solutions were correctly implemented and there was no improvement in the problems, then the explanatory proposition was rejected. Improvement in the problems was discussed in the TG and with members of the community, and includes my subjective evaluation If the planned solution worked, then the proposition was corroborated; and proposition and solution became action-based theory

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88 A cycle of theory-action-reflection (Figure 3-7) happened almost every week, when problems were discussed in the weekly TG meetings and planned actions were implemented, and then evaluated again in the next meeting. New cycles of action could persist in the same successful action strategy, resulting in more corroboration to the action-based theory, or in its reformulation. Reformulated action-based theories should account for the past failures and successes of participatory action, and be tested in action again. Competing explanatory propositions Problem definition Action planning Evaluation of action and results Action Figure 3-7: Action as a research testing strategy. However, there are confounding factors that may affect action-tests. In action-testing, it is possible that the following confounding factors affect research conclusions: Biased interpretation. Participants may have biased evaluations of the changes because of their expectations that are either too high or too low, or their interests can be harmed by the findings, so they provide biased or false interpretations. Spurious association. The intended changes may not be a result of the action intended to test the explanatory proposition. First, this may happen because the problem identified may not be persistent. If the problem is temporary, then the action trying to resolve the problem may be wrongly associated with its solution because the problem would not persist anyway. Second, other factors may be influencing the problem at the same time, and improvement in the problem (or lack of it) may be a result of factors other than the new strategy adopted.

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89 Quality of the action. If actions are not effectively implemented according to the explanatory proposition that originated them, results, or lack of them, cannot be considered evidence in favor or against the explanatory proposition. In order to be effective, action testing has to look for disconfirming evidence, examine possible confounds, and consider them in a careful discussion about causality during the AR process. In this dissertation this was done partially in the field and partially afterwards, during the writing process. In my interaction with the Task Group in Itacar, action-testing cycles were not very structured, and were just part of how the TG worked. Although it was clear to them that I was participating as a researcher, I noticed the similarity of such cycles with action research and did not have to interfere in the groups dynamics to obtain data for this research. Action testing, as a research procedure, was a way to take advantage of the natural situation, the commitments and strategies of the TG, its actions and its need for learning, for a research purpose. Finally, the testing of propositions did not change TGs actions; that is, action testing was never used for its own sake, but only to achieve important meaningful results related to the TGs objectives. The evidence of action testing gathered through observing participation in TG and PRA meetings was also compared to the evidence gained through participant observation and a literature search on the history of Itacar (to discuss the social and political context of participation) and on fishing communities in Brazil and abroad (to discuss collective action institutions for natural resource management among fishers). Thus, action testing is not just a mechanical exercise, but also depends on a consideration of other information that corroborates and contextualizes interpretations.

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CHAPTER 4 ITACAR AND ITS FISHERS The purpose of this chapter is to contextualize the dissertation in relation to the general characteristics of the fishers of Itacar and their common history with their region. Some of the explanatory propositions are discussed in light of these general characteristics, but each research question is discussed in more detail in Chapters 7 and 8, where action research procedures were used to test the explanatory propositions described in Chapter 1. The history of Itacar is important for us to understand the origins of its inequality and the formation of vertical alliances and vertical identities that prevented the poor from openly questioning or acting to change local social reality. This chapter describes how the local poor became allied to the local elite, forming vertical identities that opposed outsiders and newcomers. I argue that this conflict between locals and outsiders/newcomers prevented a needed horizontal alliance among the poor, and reduced their confrontation with the rich. At the time of the dissertation fieldwork, tourism was greatly transforming Itacar, the small town that was the seat of the municipality of the same name. The municpio comprised 730 km 2 with a paradisiacal coast of small pocket beaches surrounded by coconut trees and tropical rainforest, and a longer beach with some of the last fragments of natural coastal dune vegetation (restinga) in the region. About five thousand people dwelled in the town, and the rest lived in the rural zone and in the 90

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91 district of Taboquinhas (about four thousand people). According to preliminary data of the 2000 census, the municipality had 18,105 inhabitants, mostly of African descent, 10,163 of them still living in the rural area, despite the crash of the cacao economy in the previous decade, an event that cost the jobs of thousands of people. Census data for the fishing population are not reliable, but based on my experience of 10 months doing fieldwork in Itacar, I estimate that about 400 families in the municipality depended on fishing as an important part of their livelihoods, as a subsistence complement, or for cash income. Indians, Jesuits and Pirates The history of Itacar goes back to the beginning of the 18 th Century, when Brazil was still a Portuguese colony and Jesuit priest Luis de Gr ordered the construction of a chapel on the site that would become Itacar. The construction of this chapel involved legends about the choice of the site, which changed from its original location upriver to where it is now. One legend said that So Miguel (St. Michael) frequently appeared in the new site. Another said that it was the statue of So Miguel that mysteriously moved from one site to another by itself. The Jesuit mission gave rise to the village that became the seat of the municipality of So Miguel da Barra do Rio de Contas in January 27, 1732 (Scio-Estatstica Pesquisa Ltda. 2002), which was renamed Itacar in 1931 (Itacare.com 2002). In Tupy, the language trunk of most Amerindians of the Brazilian coast, Itacar means crooked stone (ita: stone; car: crooked). It adequately describes the geology of the coast, where metamorphic rocks, twisted and broken by tremendous forces in the interior of the Earth, resurface and meet the sea. Although the new name changed the religious name of the town, So Miguel continued to be important as the patron of the town. During my stay in

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92 Itacar, in the month of January, a festival and a series of religious ceremonies honored the saint. The village of So Miguel da Barra do Rio de Contas was often attacked by hostile Indians, as is indicated by the legend of a tunnel between the church and the house of the Jesuits, supposedly for emergency escapes. That the Indians were not happy with the Portuguese presence in Itacar is also corroborated by an earlier description of the coast of Bahia and the Contas River (Tratado Descriptivo do Brazil) written by Gabriel Soares in the 1580-1590 period and republished in a compendium of historical documents of the Province of Bahia (Silva 1919a): There is this rio das Contas [river of the beads], which the Indians call Jussiape, that can be recognized by whoever comes from outside [from the sea] because of some fields covered with bush close to the river mouth, where [on the margin] closer to the sea there is a rock, similar to an island, close to which ships of good size can enter, because the canal is deep enough close to that rock. This river comes from very far away and brings more water than the Tejo River [in Portugal], and is navigable for seven or eight lguas up river from the river mouth, up to the waterfall, and after it the river is navigable again, because it is deep enough. It is rich in fish and other seafood, with plenty of game and good land, and there are many streams that are good for sugar cane mills (which are not installed because of the Aymor Indians; and that is why it is not populated), [river] which is at fourteen degrees and a quarter [of latitude south] (Silva 1919a:230, my translation). In 2001, the same rock that guided sailors in the past (now named Pedra do Xaru) still guided fishers while going back and forth to the sea. Several fishers told me that the river mouth was becoming narrower, due to the effect of sedimentation, but the currents close to the rock were strong, and that part continued to be very deep, maybe the deepest part in the whole river, according to the fishers who participated in the PRA mapping of the river. Nevertheless, as fishers pointed out in the PRA, and I could observe by myself, upriver, sedimentation due to soil erosion was creating sand banks that threatened navigation. Sedimentation of sand over the mud substratum of the mangroves

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93 was blamed for their death in certain parts of the estuary. The forest on the river margins was gone, leaving the river unprotected against the runoff due to heavy rains. Some of the streams that could have sustained sugar cane mills became only temporary, and the river level became much lower most of the time. Two river dams built upstream for electricity generation were blamed for the changes in the river bed. While they retained sediments, locals argued that they did not let enough water flow to wash away sediments accumulating on the river bed. There were no more Indians in Itacar (there were still Amerindian communities in southern Bahia, but not in this municipality), either aggressive or friendly. They were part of the past, together with most of the forest, and species such as peixes-bois (manatees) and jacars (caimans). The testimony of the past Indian societies that inhabited the region remained mainly in the names of places, flora and fauna, including most fish species, and in the racial look of part of the local population. During the 18 th and 19 th centuries, precious stones extracted from the Chapada Diamantina (a mountain chain in the interior of Bahia) were traded or smuggled on the route of Rio de Contas, which linked the town of Rio de Contas (upriver) to the village of So Miguel da Barra do Rio de Contas, either by animals on the roads (actually, trails) that ran by the river banks or by boat on the river itself. Legend says that pirates used to hide in the protection of the river, and steal the shipments of precious stones. The Violent Land Although Itacar had always had some importance as a port for coastal navigation and exports, its importance and population grew in the beginning of the 20 th Century, with the cacao rush, accompanied by struggles for land and massive immigration of drought refugees from the semiarid lands of the interior of Bahia, Sergipe and other

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94 northeastern states. The novels by Jorge Amado The Violent Land (Terras do Sem Fim, (Amado 1942), So Jorge dos Ilhus (Amado 1944), Tocaia Grande (Amado 1984), Gabriela, Cravo e Canela (Amado 1963) among others are considered accurate portraits of those beginnings in Southern Bahia when life was worth little, and pioneers made their own law by the force of guns, violence, and falsification of land titles. In the preface of one of his books, Jorge Amado describes his personal experience growing up in the region: The cacao lands, a region embracing all of the southern part of the state of Bahia in Brazil, were fertilized with blood. They were conquered foot by foot in ferocious struggles of indescribable violence. They were barbarous lands, where banditry and death, implacable hatred and the cruelest revenge flourished Men had set out to conquer the forest, to clear it and transform the landscape and the economy of a vast area. But those who set out were many, and they went armed. As though there were not land enough and to spare for all, they fought one another, disputing each foot of that humid earth, ideal for the planting of cacao. At the very time the seedlings were being planted, crosses were being set up to mark the spots where the brave had fallen, victims of ambushes or of encounters between hired gunmen I witnessed encounters of the cacao colonels, fights to the death, when bullets whistled through the night in both jungle and cities (Amado 1989:vii). These pioneers hard work cutting down the forest and planting cacao trees (Theobroma cacao), and their courage to face violence and tropical diseases were recognized and praised as the explanation for their wealth: It was not the effects of foreign arms, it was not the gold from rich purses, it was not the support of strong governments, but the constancy of modest men, the intrepidity of the national worker, whose only capital was their arms, which made [the cacao crop] triumphant (my translation of the text attributed to Joaquim Arajo Pinho, transcribed in Silva 1919b:289). The cacao economy created fortunes overnight, mainly in Ilhus. Itacar also has the testimony of that wealth, represented by the casares (mansions) in town and in the

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95 old cacao plantations. The owners of large plantations called themselves coronis 9 and they also owned local politics and social life. In the beginning, coronis fought among themselves for the possession of land that was initially not documented. Peasant workers were attracted from the semi-arid region of Bahia and other states, such as Sergipe, with promises of wealth. When they arrived in the cacao estates, the debt-peonage system kept them captives. The dream of most immigrants, of owning some land and becoming rich planting cacao, was rarely fulfilled. Most died poor in the plantations or served as jagunos (gunmen) in the private armies maintained by the coronis in their war for land, fighting Indians and other jagunos, losing their lives for promises of land and wealth created by the golden fruit (cacao). Later, when the land situation became more stable, the coronis consolidated their power, also controlling the state and the services it provided. In the cacao region, debt-peonage kept rural workers attached to the cacao estates and small farmers loyal to a particular coronel. As discussed by Popkin (1979) in Southeast Asia, patrons in the Brazilian cacao region tried to maintain their positions and exploitative relations in relation to peasants. Their resources were invested not only to improve the security and subsistence of the client, but to keep relations dyadic and prevent the client's acquisition of any skills that might lead to different balances of power" (Popkin 1979:27). According to Popkin, patrons try to prevent peasants from acquiring literacy and market skills, from developing other commercial and political relations, and from organizing for collective action. Indeed, in the cacao plantations, education was often denied to the workers and their families; and commercial and 9 Colonels: Coronel (sing.); coronis (pl.)

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96 political relations were monopolized by the coronis. Exploitative relations were maintained and cooperation among the poor was not enough to promote social change. In southern Bahia, the dependence on the coronis may have prevented rural people from openly questioning the unequal distribution of resources and, therefore, from increasing their access to them. In a Marxist sense, class identity unites those who do not have the property of the means of production, against those who have them and use such property to exploit the surplus value produced by the work of those who do not own the means of production. Such an identity could not fully develop among the farm workers in the region. In Itacar and the cacao region, as the coronis also controlled the state, their disempowering influence on the peasants was overwhelming. In such an oppressive situation, resistance is the main political strategy left to peasants (Scott 1989). Popkin and Scott are two authors in academic opposition, but both seem to make sense in Itacar: because peasants could not openly question inequality, they took the alternative strategies pointed out by Scott (1976; 1989): they morally demanded that patrons helped them when they were in dire situations, and they used resistance as their main political strategy. However, the wealth of cacao growers did not last. In addition to market fluctuations, in the 1990s, the witches broom (Crinipelis perniciosa) disease decimated the cacao plantations in the region. Thousands of rural workers were fired and had to find other occupations, which caused urbanization and emigration. Because the tourism economy had not boomed yet, the only alternatives were fishing and public jobs, adding

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97 competition to the urban population of Itacar, part of it already involved in fishing activities. However, the sons and grandsons of the coronis, unchallenged by any rising new economic sector, continued to win their elections based on paternalism and populism among a population of impoverished uneducated peasants, overwhelmed by the speed of the changes. Even though the cacao elite of Itacar did not have economic power, they maintained political power. They controlled the state, and the material flows to the local population derived from it. There was a potential class conflict regarding the control of the state, but the vertical alliances prevented it from emerging. In democracy, the control of the state depends on winning elections. In Itacar, this originated a (sometimes shocking) political economy, in which votes were exchanged for jobs and other small benefits, and chunks of the electorate were controlled by a series of intermediaries, such as patrons, community leaders and directors of associations. These electoral chunks were negotiated in the local political game and were a typical feature of the politics in Northeastern Brazil, known in its more extreme form as the corral system. A way to acquire legitimacy and show possible control over a chunk of the electorate was to provide evidence of political support. The ability to mobilize a community meeting, for example, was such evidence and, in the political economy of Itacar, attendance the meetings acquired value and became a political currency just like other forms or signs of political support. Colnia de Pesca Z-18 The system of colnias de pesca (fishing guilds) was established by the Brazilian government as a framework within which the organization of fishers should take place. The colnias are grouped in state federations and a national confederation, and are the

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98 main interlocutors between fishers and the government. They are responsible for the distribution of a series of social security benefits provided by the government, and for documentation functions. Today, the system seems outdated. Instead of being organizations for political representation of the fishers, the colnias became parastate organizations that did not represent the fishers with legitimacy. The Colnia de Pesca Z-18 (Fishers Guild, Zone 18) of Itacar, or simply Colnia, was founded in the 1960s by local fishers, but was not different from the fishers guilds elsewhere regarding representation. The first buildings, which still serve the fishers, were built by local fishers, such as zio, around 25 years ago. The first presidents were also fishers, and the founders were proud to tell me that they carried stones on their backs to build the initial installations of the Colnia, which changed little over time. Later, fishers lost their leadership position in the Colnia, and the directors started to come from the traditional cacao elite. In the beginning, the emphasis of the Colnia was on supporting the fishers. However, it seems that the Colnia had always been involved in municipal politics, as part of the local political economy. Some of the former presidents who were fishers became municipal councilmen, which provided them with a stable income and other opportunities. Nevertheless, the organization was taken over by people who were not fishers, which were associated with the former cacao elite at about the same time the cacao economy crashed, in the 1990s. The fall of the cacao economy may explain why the fishers lost control of the Colnia. The increasing needs of the urban community of Itacar for social assistance could be fulfilled by the Colnia, which provided cheap social security benefits, such as

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99 unemployment insurance, paid by the government for the periods in which fishing of some species was forbidden (defeso periods). The annual contribution paid to the government through the Colnia was lower than the benefits received for the defeso, and in addition, provided retirement benefits for people in informal occupations. As a result, an increasing number of people who were not fishers became members in order to have access to social benefits. To the new directors, it was not in their political interest to take too seriously the verification of the activity of membership applicants. Another populist way to politically use the Colnia was the emphasis on low fish prices to the consumer, therefore paying less to the fishers. To maintain their control over the local population, the traditional elite (then without their economic power) seemingly tried to control local organizations that could provide paternalistic assistance to a population facing deep economic depression. This change in emphasis, which did not represent the fishers and their needs, caused a decrease in the participation of the fishers, who also started to seek the Colnia just for the social security benefits, if at all. They did not trust the directors. However, in the elections, the directors were the ones to control who could vote because only those who paid their dues had the right to vote, and I heard that some fishers were promised to have their debts forgiven so that they could vote for the elites candidate. I observed the process of the elections for the Colnia in 2000, during my dissertation fieldwork. Prior to the election, several candidates were mentioned. It seemed that Cleandro, a vocal member of the traditional elite, was going to be a candidate. Ulysses, then treasurer, wanted to run for president too. Z Poveira, a fisher with traditional leadership, was also trying to organize a chapa (board of directors) to run with

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100 him. And there was Catu, a Task Group member who was encouraged by the community, other TG members and me, to lead a chapa. Catu and Ulysses were the most popular, but Catu feared that he would be left alone by the fishers, that participation would not increase under his leadership, and that his work would not be recognized. Some fishers thought that Ulysses was a good choice because he was a public servant allocated to work in the Colnia by the mayor, so he would have time. There was a lot of gossip about who the next mayor was going to support. After a lot of debate and political articulation, Ulysses put together a chapa headed by Fernando (the same president), keeping his position as treasurer, and including the owner of the local trawler boat company whose interests were against all other local fishers, and another public servant member of the traditional elite. To my surprise, Catus name was included in the fiscal council of Ulysses chapa. All the other candidates did not register their candidacies and Fernando was elected again, but in practice, the fishers said, Ulysses was the president, because he was the one who did the work to provide the few benefits that the Colnia gave to its members. At the inauguration ceremony of the new board of directors, at the end of 2000, the electoral role of the Colnia became evident. Many of the traditional politicians were present at the ceremony. The master of ceremonies postured and spoke with highfalutin vocabulary and grandiloquence typical of northeastern politicians. Many of the local politicians also spoke with the same tone. As in the novels of Jorge Amado, the more difficult, the more respected was the speech. All the speakers stressed the role of the Colnia in providing cheap fish to the population of Itacar. Strikingly absent in their

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101 speeches was any mention to the organizations role in providing better prices, social services, social security and, mainly, political representation to the fishers. Most fishers were watching through the rooms open windows, standing outside, because the seats were taken by more important people. When I was invited to speak, I talked about the proposal of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar and its role in making the lives of fishers better. I stressed the value of the few fishers who were on the board of directors in minor positions, who were also part of the movement for the Extractive Reserve. Nevertheless, the reality was that Professor Fernando was reelected, and for at least another three years, fishers would have to put up with more of the same thing. There would be no change in representation of the fishers because the Itacar Fishers Association (ASPERI), the other organization that represented fishers, avoided clashes with the Colnia, tried only to represent its members, and was not so ambitious as to try to represent all fishers. I have argued that the representation problems of the Colnia originated with the cacao crisis and the practical possibility of the Colnia providing social benefits to people who were not fishers, which increased its political value. As new members became more important, and the directors started to come from the elite, the fishers ceased to participate, focusing only on those specific points of their interest. These conjectures need more confirmation, but today the emphasis on social assistance and low fish prices for the community of Itacar are some of the factors that discourage participation. On the one hand, the directors of the Colnia often blamed the fishers for the low attendance at the meetings and the weak response to the attempts to mobilize the local fishing sector. For example, Colnias directors were embarrassed before visitors such as

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102 the officers of the Coast Guard (Capitania dos Portos, or Port Authority), but instead of politically defending the fishers against the often unreasonable demands made by the navigation codes and officers, the directors stressed a view that fishers are unreliable and not interested in complying with the law. The elite of Itacar provided the fishers with a discourse that explained their domination; the discourse was that the fishers needed the elite because they were incompetent and uninterested in their organization. However, although they often incorporated such views, fishers said that the Colnias directors were not trustworthy. Participating in the Colnia might sound like endorsing them. The fishers used the same political strategies used by the regions peasants; they used resistance. Lack of participation had been a way to resist and, hopefully, decrease the interest of the elite in the organization. However, because many of the members were not fishers, and because the very idea of what a community association should do became distorted in Itacar, the elite seemed to continue to be able to achieve their political goals using the Colnia. This brief history of the Colnia undermines the explanatory proposition that fishers do not participate because they are individualistic due to the nature of their activities. Fishers were the founders of the Colnia, and collectively built the complex of buildings that comprise its facilities today. Once upon a time, they participated. However, the fact that fishers started to decrease their participation in the Colnia to avoid legitimization of the traditional cacao elite directors gives additional support to the idea that participation was a political currency, and that fishers used it strategically. If this strategy was not going to work to take control of the Colnia, it still made sense in an individualistic sense, so that fishers could enjoy benefits, though limited, without

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103 working for them. In addition, they could negotiate their support for the candidates to the board of directors in exchange for private benefits. The Colnia materialized the vertical alliances of the cacao region; it could not, and would not, engage in a class conflict to reduce inequality in Itacar. Rise of Tourism and Environmentalism The streets of Itacar were narrow, except for the entrance to the town and for the boulevard by the river. Although there were some casares (mansions), mainly by the river, most houses were simple, had no lawn, their doors opened right on the street, and they were built wall-to-wall. However, in the 1990s, tourism increased and some of the houses downtown had been transformed into tourism-related businesses: tourism agencies, restaurants, gift shops, bars and pousadas (hostels and small hotels). The architecture of some houses had also been altered by summer residents and newcomers, with a greater use of natural materials such as timber and palm straw. New buildings, particularly, tried to feature a Polynesian or a rustic look. However, this metamorphosis, from a traditional agricultural town to a tourism destination, although rapid, was still in its initial stage. The type of visitors also changed from the 1980s, when most visitors came from Salvador and nearby cities to spend their vacations in summer houses they owned in Itacar, to the late 1990s and early 2000s, when tourists from Southern Brazil came for shorter periods and stayed in rented houses or pousadas. In July and in the summer (December to February) Itacar was full of tourists. The number of tourists greatly increased with the recent paving of BA-001 state highway, which links Itacar to Ilhus, 65 km to the south. Before that, through two dirt roads, one to Ilhus and the other to Ubaitaba (53 km inland), the access to the town was difficult. During the period of my

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104 fieldwork, the main access road of that time, which links Itacar to highway BR-101 and the town of Ubaitaba, was still unpaved. However, the state governments plan was to build a road linking Itacar to Camamu, which would greatly reduce the distance to the state capital, Salvador, from about six hours to just four. Most tourists in July were surfers who came from the South, from the states of So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They rented houses or stayed in pousadas. Many fishers and other locals rented their houses to tourists, staying with relatives or friends, in this period. However, the movement was short lived. In August, most tourists were gone. The town was calm again and the clubs where parties used to happen any day of the week closed. Parties were rarer and happened mostly on holidays. A great part of the off-peak-season tourists were foreign, who were easily identifiable because they were normally white, contrasting with locals who had darker skin and were mostly of African decent. When I approached or walked by the tourists, I could detect idioms as diverse as English, Italian, French, and Spanish. Sex tourism was increasing, and prostitution seemed to involve mostly foreigners obtaining sexual services from locals. During my stay, both male and female tourists were explicitly or implicitly looking for locals as sexual partners. The capoeira 10 groups seemed to be the setting for hookups between foreign (mostly European) and southern white women and local men of African descent. There was also a house where foreign men used to stay, and where local young women used to hang out. Locals commented that it was a point of prostitution. 10 Capoeira is a form of martial art developed by the African slaves in the 18 th Century, and perfected by their descendents. It is practiced like a dance to the sound of drums and berimbau, a musical instrument made of a steel string tied to a bow.

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105 Criminality was on the rise, along with drug use, and barbarous murders in the rural areas of Itacar became national scandals. However, Itacar was used to receiving celebrities. In a single week, I heard that Brazilian TV host Xuxa, the Marinho family (owners of Globo Brazilian TV network, the largest in Brazil), popular Brazilian singer Elba Ramalho, and Gustavo Krten 11 a Brazilian tennis player who was number-one in the world at the time, were all in Itacar. It was in the summer, however, that Itacar crowded with all kinds of tourists from all over Brazil. Before, at the end of the low season, was also the time when the town was preparing itself to receive summer tourists. Many houses were renovated, new businesses were started, pousadas were painted and repaired. Construction jobs were the first to relieve the hardship of the local population, after several months of low movement of tourists and almost no income. In December, however, the movement of tourists gradually increased and peaked in the New Years holiday. In the 2000-2001 New Years break the narrow streets were jammed with cars and people. Loud music was played everywhere. Most houses that were closed all year were packed with tourists, as were many of the locals houses. The new businesses were full of customers. A singer and musician of an ax 12 band promoted a huge concert that 11 Gustavo Krten, or Guga for short, attracted a lot of attention as he went twice to the same restaurant, the week after he won the tournament of Rolland Garros. The restaurant doors had to be closed to avoid the crowd and, the second time, Guga opted to escape by the back door of the restaurant and walk through a trail in the forest. It happened that the access to the trail was through the land where my house was located, and I even had to hold my dog while Guga jumped the fence on his way out! 12 Ax music came to be the designator term for a wide variety of rhythms from Bahia, normally associated with Carnaval, one of the most popular festivities in Brazil. The rhythms from Bahia, or Ax music (this was also the term in Portuguese), previously popular only in Bahia, became popular all over Brazil in the last two decades, and

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106 attracted hundreds of tourists from Salvador. Almost two dozen buses tried to get into town. Some buses were allowed to disembark their passengers and ordered to return and park outside the city limits. Others were simply ordered to return. There was not a single vacant room in the pousadas. All available houses were rented. Some people rented their backyards to campers. At certain times of the day, walking down the streets required concentration in order not to bump into people or be run over by a car. To complicate the situation, hundreds of tons of water lilies were brought to the sea by a recent flood of the rivers in the region. The plants died in contact with sea water and their remains drifted to the beaches and accumulated in one-meter high mounds along the shoreline, where they started to putrefy, stink, and consequently, acted as repellents to the tourists. The town had no infrastructure to receive all those tourists, not to mention dealing with the water lily problem, although the tourism sector and the recently elected mayor (who had not yet officially taken his post) did their best to manage what seemed to be an emergency situation. I expected that everyone would be as overwhelmed as I was. However, when in the crowd I started to find my fisher friends and other people that were involved with business and tourism related activities, I was surprised! They were all laughs and smiles. It was just a big party! After months dead, the town was resurrecting. The people, impoverished by so many months of drought (the low tourism season), were happy to cash in with the visitors. The restaurants were crowded. And so were the hotels, supermarkets and stores. Employment opportunities opened up. The harnessed by a phonographic industry eager for profits, became bestsellers with millions of CDs sold and creating fortunes for some of the musicians, such as this one, who had an estate by the coast of Itacar.

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107 promise of development seemed fulfilled, with cash flowing in and a recently elected mayor taking his post. The new mayors alliance with the tourism sector was expected to change the retrograde municipal government into a progressive and efficient one. Many people were promised jobs during election time, and that too was pleasing many. Soon, many fishers would be employed as night-guards and as life-guards. The payment was low, just one minimum wage (about 100 dollars per month at the time), but it would be reliable and could be combined with other activities. Thus, almost everyone was optimistic and happy. Power on the Move In Itacar, development, tourism and the environment were the same topic. One of the reasons was that many entrepreneurs in the tourism sector were also involved in environmental projects. On the one hand, this made their participation in the environmental debate suspicious, since some of them, when developing their businesses, ended up harming or threatening the environment, or used the idea of environmental protection to favor their business. On the other hand, it made development plans almost always somehow linked to an environmental proposal. Thus, the most politically active members of the tourism sector were also involved in the environmental projects. After 1993 with the creation of a protected area in the municipality, the rea de Proteo Ambiental Itacar/Serra Grande, which regulated and limited both tourism and agricultural activities in the municipality, and several projects to establish it carried out mainly by an environmental NGO from Ilhus, the environmentalists emerged as a new political elite, together with the tourism entrepreneurs.

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108 The tourism sectors alliance with the environmentalists was apparent, for example, in the two resorts that opened on the coast of Itacar with an ecotourism proposal, and in the proposal, espoused by the environmentalists, that the control of access to the beaches be made by the landowners who had lands surrounding the beaches. To the environmentalists, tourist entrepreneurs and newcomers (the new elite in Itacar), this was the most practical way to limit damages to the beaches with the increase in the number of tourists, and guarantee the quality of the tourist experience and a sustainable development for Itacar. To many of them, private landowners should even be allowed to charge tourists for access to the beach. However, according to Brazilian law, the beaches were public and no private interest should be allowed to regulate access to them. The environmentalists of Itacar were accomplices with the tourism industry in the same philosophy, one that placed the tourism entrepreneur, not the local native population, at the center of development-and-environment-related decisions. Not only this; their ecotourism-based development proposal was elitist. They wanted to limit the access of the poor to the beaches. With all the booming tourism economy in Itacar, power was also on the move. The cacao elite, previously economically powerful, were decadent but still dominated local politics. However, economically, the tourism sector grew in importance. Rumors in the town suggest that the owners of the two resorts recently opened in Itacar contributed to the campaigns of the two main mayor candidates, each on a different side 13 13 One resort was locally owned by former cacao planters while the other was owned by southern Brazilians, which may explain the different alliances.

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109 The environmentalists (who often were also involved with small tourism-related businesses) also became politically (but still not electorally) important with the creation of the Itacar/Serra Grande Environmental Protection Area. Their power consisted in the mobilization of the state and federal government agencies and the justice system to defend the environment, which often conflicted with traditional local politics and angered the local elite and part of the local population. Environmental initiatives tended to use participatory approaches but were not very effective in achieving legitimacy among locals. Instead, participation frustrated many people, particularly the urban population, and created suspicion towards subsequent initiatives such as the promotion of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, and the PRA exercise for its creation. Instituto Ambiental, a Local Environmental NGO Instituto Ambiental was the NGO that pioneered environmentalism in Itacar. I heard several contradictory accounts of how the organization developed, but it seems that it started with significant local participation and then was taken over by newcomers. These newcomers were part of the new elite of Itacar, a community of people who sought the region hoping for a life in a tropical paradise, refugees from big cities, usually from southern Brazil, who opened pousadas, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses in Itacar. At the same time, the NGO started to acquire a professional outlook, and to write projects to remunerate the work of its members, which often excluded the locals who had no professional education, and caused resentment. Rumors about the use of the money that Instituto Ambiental was requesting for projects on behalf of the community of Itacar started to circulate in Itacar (later, similar rumors affected the Task Group). Together with environmental restrictions promoted by

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110 the group on the timber industry in the area (one of the main economic activities in the municipality in the late 1980s and early 1990s), this caused increased rejection of the NGO in the town. The community accused Instituto Ambiental of taking advantage of the community without sharing the benefits (i.e., the money for the payments for development and conservation professionals) or producing meaningful results in the community. In addition, some of its members were perceived with suspicion because their environmental behavior was contradictory (they did not practice what they preached) and their attitude was considered arrogant. One example of their problems with the community was that, according to people in Porto de Trs community, Instituto Ambiental wrote a project that was justified by a description of social problems that, Instituto Ambiental supposed, were present in the community, such as criminality and prostitution. The community was deeply offended by such a description. This and some other gaffes by Instituto Ambiental members made the community break with the organization and resist any project it attempted. During my fieldwork in Itacar, Instituto Ambiental was mostly quiet. Some of its environmentalists became professionals in the Environmental Education Program of the Itacar/Serra Grande Environmental Protection Area, a project carried out by an NGO from Ilhus. Despite some interesting results of this Program, former Instituto Ambiental members brought with them their negative reputation, and naturally made new gaffes. This created a moderate rejection to the Program in Itacar, in general, with greater problems in some neighborhoods (such as Porto de Trs), rival organizations and the local elite.

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111 This rejection of Instituto Ambiental negatively affected the promotion of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar because one of the two local volunteers who agreed to work with the Task Group was a former member of the organization. He also worked for the Environmental Education Program of the APA, which increased his rejection by the community, particularly in Porto de Trs. The participation of other Instituto Ambiental members or former members in the initial Extractive Reserve meetings (prior to my fieldwork) was apparently the cause of much political friction in the movement for the Reserve. When the Task Group was formed, members started to fear that the help of this volunteer was going to create rejection of the community towards the group. This, his political views (which were sometimes considered elitist by TG members), and some mistakes that he made while the TG was promoting the Reserve, made the group reject him, too. Locals vs. Outsiders: A Discursive Fight The environmentalists were mostly newcomers who faced moderate to strong rejection by locals. The rejection seemed to be as much a result of culture shock as of a clash of interests. On the one hand, newcomers apparently had adaptation problems in Itacar due to a frustration of their expectations of living in a paradise (which in day-to-day life was not so appealing), and of developing their businesses (the same laidback spirit that first attracted them would later appear as laziness and slackness). Soon, their views of the natives were not so positive anymore. Natives themselves had their own issues of adapting to such a great number of newcomers, who seemed elitist and greedy to them.

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112 On the other hand, the environmentalist struggle was limiting the ways in which locals could meet their subsistence needs and economic interests. It was not only a clash of interests of uppers and lowers, but also a clash between uppers, both traditional and newcomers. The clash between the traditional elite and the newcomers resulted in a dispute for the support of the lower class population, which included the fishers. Natives to Itacar fought the environmentalists by pointing out the contradictions between their discourse and their practices (Kent 2000). The critique made by the natives of Itacar highlighted the bias of the environmentalists agendas toward their business interests. Another discursive weapon used by the traditional local elite was nativismo, the common (and vertical) identity of the locally born in the discrimination against outsiders. For example, nativismo favored the hiring of locals for technical positions even when there were better outside professionals available in the job market. It also favored some businesses against others. Some newcomers were very competent at overcoming these prejudices and establishing good social ties in the community. This was the case, for example, of Jos of the Senzala Restaurant, who had a friendlier attitude and provided cheap meals for the community. Jos was also from Bahia, from a different municipality, and that seemed to be an asset in his adaptation in Itacar; he could understand locals better, and he would not stand out as an outsider so obviously. However, in agreement with Scotts (1976) moral economy argument, outsiders would always face rejection until they proved that they were morally committed to helping the community, even spending some of their profits in Itacar. Jos did so, as did the owner of a larger pousada, who apparently had a good reputation among fishers.

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113 The nativismo discourse was more or less institutionalized with the Sons of Itacar Association. This discourse was a weapon of the local elite against the newcomers, but was convincing to the local poor. The poor were able to use such a discourse to force newcomers to engage in the same paternalistic moral obligations as the traditional elite did, which was illustrated by the case of Jos, described above: the only good newcomers were generous newcomers. However, it would not originate further social change or empowerment. In addition to the coercion of newcomers to engage in the local moral economy, nativismo had an explanatory value. In the rural areas, with the tourism boom, outsiders were buying large tracts of land by the beach, and pressing the local population to move out. Among the fishers, competition was not only of locals against the new tourism elite, but was also against other fishers, either newcomers or seasonal visitors, and against the industrial fishing sector. Thus, nativismo made great sense, even to the poor. However, it also had drawbacks: when fishers rejected newcomer fishers, such as the members of ASPERI, they also decreased their power as a class or category against industrial fishing, for example, or against the local elite. Nativismo allowed a vertical alliance between the local poor and the local backward elite, which insisted on populist politics and had a narrow view of the development possibilities for Itacar, and prevented the emergence of explicit class conflict. Again, the traditional elite of Itacar provided the poor with discourses that could explain their reality but contributed to their domination. Regarding the fishers, the Colnia de Pescadores was an example. It was created by fishers to represent their interests, but with time, other people of the traditional elite took over, spreading the belief

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114 that fishers did not have the capacity to manage their own organizations. In Itacar, leaders of the Colnia and of the traditional elite, and even some people in the environmental sector, expressed their opinion that fishers were individualist, lazy, backward, and stupid. to justify the lack of participation, local poverty, and the failure of previous community projects. These ideas were incorporated into fishers views, as many expressed the same opinion to me, lowering their self-esteem and motivation to participate in community projects. Thus, the emic explanation expressed by some fishers does not seem so emic in the sense that they are generated by the fishers. It seemed to be the emic explanation of the elite. The new elite also did not provide any hope. Uncountable times I heard that the natives were hopeless, backward, lazy and stupid. The discourses supplied to the poor by either the new or the traditional elite would not contribute to their empowerment. Fishers Association of Itacar The Fishers Association of Itacar (Associao dos Pescadores e Marisqueiras de ItacarASPERI), at first glance, seemed an efficient organization, responsive to the fishers needs. With support from the Government of Bahia, ASPERI's infrastructure included a two-store building with an office, fish store, ice-making machine, and refrigerated chamber. They also had 24 motorboats recently acquired with a loan from Banco do Nordeste (a regional development bank for Northeastern Brazil). Professor Raimundo, who first invited me to develop community organizing work in Itacar, led the process to create the association, getting the fishers together, making contacts, creating ASPERI and obtaining support from the government. However, Raimundo's organization was not as organized as it seemed. According to some of the Association's directors, a couple of months after my first visit to Itacar,

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115 fishers started to complain that something was wrong with the finances of the organization. Under pressure, Raimundo renounced, and alleging health problems, vanished from Itacar, taking with him all the documents that could show the kinds of transactions he was doing with Association's money. For the next 2 years, at least, the organization would struggle to balance its financial situation. The Association's elected secretary, the fisherman called Penguin, assumed the post of president until the next election. During his mandate, I carried out the course in participatory rural appraisal for local technicians and the course in community leadership for the fishers, both with a focus on the Extractive Reserve (more is described on this later in this dissertation). When I came back for fieldwork, Pedro, Penguins brother, was the new president, defeating his own brother in a disputed election which placed the two brothers on opposite sides of ASPERIs politics. However, the outlook was much better in ASPERI than in the Colnia. Pedro was a fisher and as far as I could see, did his best to represent and defend his constituency and manage the Association efficiently. Pedro had a traditional and clever (but conservative) leadership style; he respected all established leaders in his community, valued official ceremonies, and attended religious festivities of the Catholic Church. He was less concerned with empowerment and change than with doing a good job in the Association. Avoiding the isolation that could victimize him for being an immigrant to Itacar, he hung out by the Banca do Peixe, where most native fishers gathered and where the Colnia is located, instead of only by the Forte, where ASPERI is located. He projected an image of stability, maturity, and of a family man. His wife and son were always present with him in meetings and ceremonies.

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116 Because ASPERI did not intend to represent the interests of all fishers in Itacar, and because the Colnia did not do that job either, the fishers had no channels to assert themselves politically. Such a channel could be provided by the Reserve movement, through the Task Group. However, Pedros effective leadership style was different than the main leaders of the Task Group, which included an irreverent single father, a wife who did not have children, single men who were still going after women, and an eccentric peasant who preached care for the environment. It was easier for Pedro to inspire respeito (social respect). Links to a Wider Context Several of the conflicts and changes in Itacar did not have local origins. To begin with, the initial occupation of the region by the cacao plantations was driven by the forces of the international market. Its fall was related to a decline in cacao prices, to the arrival of the witches broom disease at a time when the producers did not have enough capital to fight it, and when the government was cutting support to research organizations due to the neoliberal policies of the 1980s and 1990s. The way out of the crisis in the region was tourism development. Despite the apparent lack of vocation of the local elite to promote tourism, the state government decided to invest in paving the BA-001 highway linking Ilhus to Itacar, and to build a new road between Itacar and Camamu, in the north, which would decrease the driving time from Salvador (the two-million-inhabitant state capital) to Itacar from six hours to four. This would be a major impulse in the tourism activity in southern Bahia, generating revenues for the state government. However, building the new road required a loan from the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), in a new era in

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117 which environmental watchdogs were pressing international donors and financial institutions for environmentally friendly behavior. Regionally, an NGO from Ilhus supported by a large international NGO, was able to capitalize on this new pro-environment atmosphere, and developed a leading role in guiding policies as a partner of the state environmental agency, the Centro de Recursos Ambientais (CRA). In Itacar, the newcomer members of the local environmental NGO were the first to anticipate the changes and the opportunities brought both by tourism and environmental concerns. Some joined the NGO from Ilhus and strengthened their role in the local politics, and others continued to invest in tourism-related businesses. Now, another wider context development was playing a role. The extractive reserve model created in the Amazon by the rubber tappers in the 1980s began to be adapted to marine areas. The environmentalists of Itacar saw the opportunity presented by the model, and brought the discussion to Itacar, and the cause was adopted by ASPERI. I was part of a wider context too, as was PRA. Summary and Conclusions This chapter discusses the history of Itacar and its consequences for fishers participation. In 2001, Itacar was changing dramatically in a transition from a cacao plantation economy to a tourism economy. Previously, the cacao economy maintained strong inequality and vertical dyadic relations between peasants and landlords. Such a situation forced peasants participation to develop in a resistance type: opposition participation was expressed by lack of participation. This characteristic of peasant life during the good old days of the cacao economy, once such an economy started to decay, may have been reinforced as the coronis lost economic power but kept political power. In a way, the crash of the cacao economy

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118 placed peasants in strategic position in which they could negotiate their support to community leaders, who in turn could negotiate it with politicians. Participation, as a demonstration of political support, became a political currency, and acquired political meaning and value. However, alliances and identities in Itacar remained vertical and class conflicts remained suppressed. This chapter also shows how the two elites (the traditional elite of former cacao growers and the new elite of environmentalists and tourism entrepreneurs) competed for the political support of the local population. In spite of that, both groups had negative views of the fishers. However, the local elites nativismo discourse was able to frame the opposition between the two elites and the poor of Itacar in a way that preserved the previous vertical alliances of the cacao era. Nativismo maintained a vertical identity which prevented fishers from openly questioning inequality and politically organizing to improve their situation. Instead, fishers started to blame themselves for their lack of participation, and used nativismo to force newcomers into the paternalistic moral economy of Itacar. Nativismo also increased the suspicions towards environmental projects and worsened the interpretations of their faults by the local community. Communities with such a negative experience would become more suspicions of projects involving participation, more likely to oppose them, and more likely to withdraw their participation as a form of resistance. These conjectures are discussed later in this dissertation. Finally, these changes in Itacar were triggered by events that were not local: lower international cacao prices, a plant disease that arrived from the Amazon, tourism

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119 development promoted by the state government with financial assistance from the IDB, environmental regulations springing from global environmentalism, and the proposal for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. All these factors, acting together, were affecting how power was distributed in Itacar, the political profile of community organizations, and the reactions of locals towards community participation. This chapter suggests that lack of participation in meetings and collective projects in Itacar was historically related to a resistance against the initiative or to a use of participation as a political currency to acquire benefits. On the one hand, resistance was the only political strategy available to peasants over a long period of time. On the other, a complex system of intermediaries tried to control the voters in Itacar, and promoted the exchange of political support for benefits. Participation in meetings and collective action was a sign of such political support, acquired a value, and was often conditionally given. The views that fishers were individualistic and uninterested in improving their situation expressed by these intermediaries were just a way to justify their failure to mobilize participation when there was nothing with which to reward individual participants. In addition, these intermediaries became the established leaders of their communities not because they were likable or charismatic, nor because they were wise and trustworthy, but because they were able to intermediate the exchange of political support for material benefits. In some cases, they were related to people in the elite. In others, they were the only literate people in the community, or the most charming to the elite and external agents. The opinion of the communities about these leaders was rarely very positive. The fact that these were leaders without leadership prevented the emergence of any type of strong and legitimate political representation of the fishers.

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120 This corroborates the political aspects explanatory proposition (EP4), which puts forward the idea that the fishers attend community meetings strategically, and that they often withdraw their participation to show resistance against some proposal with which they disagree. This chapter also points out the importance of the discursive battles, and how identity shaped social conflicts in Itacar. The nativismo discourse, along with negative characterizations of the fishers, was the prevalent explanation available to the fishers for their problems. Nativismo framed the views of local fishers, and their previous experience with participatory projects carried out by the environmentalists reinforced such views. Communities where this experience was stronger, such as Porto de Trs, were the most suspicious about participatory projects. In addition, in the Banca, where the Colnia was hijacked by the local elite, suspicions even about locals were common. This supports the previous experience and credibility proposition (EP7); and the credibility of the PRA team (EP8) should greatly influence participation, particularly in these communities (which is shown in Chapter 7). Moreover, Chapter 7 shows that in the rural areas, away from these discursive battles, and where there was little experience with participatory projects, there was much less resistance to the PRA meetings (urban vs. rural proposition, EP6). Vertical alliances and identities prevented the emergence of vertical conflicts that could lead to the empowerment of the poor. In order to act collectively, fishers needed a horizontal identity, a class consciousness. In chapters 7 and 8, I argue that such identity started to appear in the Extractive Reserve movement and in the communities during the

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121 PRA process. When such an identity started to develop, the motivation to participate in the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar meetings increased.

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CHAPTER 5 COOPERATION AND INDIVIDUALISM IN THE FISHING ACTIVITY This chapter examines participation, cooperation and individualism among fishers by looking at their fishing practices and resource use issues they were facing in Itacar. The main purpose is to examine The argument that fishing activities are solitary and originate an individualistic culture (EP2, culture proposition) The argument that fishers free-ride when they can benefit from a collective good without contributing (EP3). This discussion is mainly based on the literature, my own observation of fishing practices, and the stories that fishers told me. Action testing of these propositions is discussed in Chapter 7. The effects of the modernization of the fisheries in Brazil and the relationship between fishers and the state are discussed as a source of mistrust and the context for resistance and individualistic behavior (EP4, political aspects proposition), despite moral norms (EP5, multidimensional costs and benefits proposition). Finally, I discuss how the extractive reserve model created by the rubber tappers in the Brazilian Amazon can provide a context of reduced competition and increased trust to the fishers of Itacar, and argue that the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar can reduce individualistic behavior. Is the Fishing Activity Solitary? My first fishing trip with the fishers of Itacar gave me insights into their capacity for cooperation. At dawn, just after a rain shower, we set out to sea. Yuri, Pedro's boat, 122

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123 was a typical eight-meter-long boat like others bought by ASPERI. The day before, Lucas, another fisherman whom I had met at the port in front of the Colnia, had introduced me to Pedro, a relative newcomer fisherman from Barra de Carvalho, a town located by the mouth of the Camamu Bay, to the north of Itacar. Later, in 2000, he became ASPERI's new president; his brother, known as Penguin, was acting president at the time, and Pedro was then the associations secretary. I was looking for the opportunity to go on a fishing trip before I started the two courses I would give to the fishing community and local volunteers in 1999, and was glad that Pedro invited me to go in his boat. As we planned, I met with him at Banca do Peixe (the fish stand or fish market managed by the Colnia), at 5 AM. It was still dark when I walked through the stone-paved deserted streets, and arrived at Banca do Peixe. Many fishermen were there with Pedro, telling jokes, making fun of each other, and talking about fishing trips and the national soccer championship. I noticed the difference between their behaviors during the afternoons, when fishermen seemed sleepy and lazy lounging on the sidewalk under the shade of tall trees, and at that time, just before daylight, when they were so alert. It started to rain heavily, but it did not last long. As soon as the rain was gone, Pedro, his crew and I left the other fishermen and walked towards the point on the shoreline closest to Pedros boat. Soon, we were onboard and breaking to the open sea by the barra (the confluence between the river and the sea). The sun was almost rising, everything was dark blue, and the big waves breaking by the barra made me worry a bit. "Do you get seasick?" Pedro asked me. "I never had that problem, I said. "Most people that come with us for the first time do, he said, as his boat started to sail up and down

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124 the waves that were higher and more defined at that point, still close to the shore. Some waves were breaking not very far from us, some 100 meters, as we crossed them. Pedro and his crew were friendly and taught me about the sea and about being a fisherman in Itacar. Pedro told me about the system that they use to locate their nets and fishing spots, triangulating their position using landmarks, such as mountains and trees, as references, which they could sight from the sea, kilometers away. Only people that were able to recognize landmarks and determine their position in the sea in relation to fishing spots could captain a boat 14 Yet, according to Pedro, exposure to sunlight and salty water gradually destroyed eyesight (essential to locate fishing spots). The rainy weather made that fishing trip even more thrilling. Sometimes, because of the rain, we lost sight of land and I wondered how they managed to know directions and the location of the nets used to catch lobsters. Mam pointed out to me the tiny floating flags that marked the net, very far away. It took me a while to see the closest one. While the boat approached the flag, Pedro stayed at the rudder, and Mam and Poca (the crew was composed of three fishermen) went to the front of the boat, and started pulling the net. When the boat was lowered by the wave, they pulled fast, stopping and just holding the net when the boat was raised by the wave, using the force of the wave to lift the net from the sea. Their coordination was impressive; there was no need for talking. When someone needed help, others attended quickly without being asked. Just looking at each other was 14 Kottak (1992) disputes this, what he calls an emic version to explain social inequality in Arembepe, on the north coast of Bahia. He argues that captains were just more hardworking people, and that the eyesight/triangulation explanation was used by the fishermen as an excuse for those who were not as successful and as an explanation for social inequality in the community.

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125 enough. Pedro, who controlled the rudder and the engine, sometimes also went to the front to help his crew, and returned quickly to the back to control the engine and the rudder again, and to drain water from the boat. Everybody was busy on the boat but me. I was confused about what to do, and just tried to understand what they were doing and to stay out of their way. What I saw certainly was nothing like a "difficulty to cooperate" on the part of fishers. It was precise teamwork. The nets were lifted; the catch of lobsters was detangled from the net and thrown on the deck. Together with the catch, lots of spiny shells, useless fish, algae, coral pieces, and trash were brought up and had to be quickly removed from the net. Sometimes a net was stuck in the sea floor, entangled in corals or rocks, and extra effort of men and machine was used to pull it up, breaking the coral, tearing pieces and opening large holes in the net. After harvesting the catch from the nets, which was not very impressive (just a few lobsters), and launching them back in the sea, by 10:30 AM we were heading back to Itacar, and together the crew started to prepare a moqueca, typical seafood dish of Bahia (a small shark in this case), prepared with palm oil, onions, green peppers and tomatoes. Soon we had in front of us the tricky part where, every year, boats shipwrecked: the barra. Waves were breaking to the right, and the rocky shore was on our left. The path of calmer and deeper waters that lead to the river by the farol (lighthouse) was narrow. The boat was slower than the waves and surfed some of them, requiring skill from Mam, who drove the boat at the time and had to compensate with the rudder against the sudden rotation force applied to the boat by the wave. If the right moves were not made at the right time, the wave could roll us over. When we arrived at the port, we ate the

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126 moqueca with farinha (manioc flour), while they joked about the food, the fishing trip and every one of us. If fishers were individualistic regarding participation in collective projects, it was not due to a supposed solitary nature of fishing activities. At least part of EP2 (the link between individualistic culture and the fishing activity) was flawed. Off-shore fishing, as illustrated by Pedro and his crew, was not a solitary activity and required a great deal of cooperation, teamwork and social interaction. The fishing trip described above, one of my first experiences with the fishers of Itacar, made me skeptical of propositions that explained lack of cooperation and participation among fishers as a result of individualism, which were offered later by the fishers themselves. Later trips showed the same sort of cooperation. However, in Itacar there were also fishers involved in other fishing modalities. Could some of these modalities be individualistic and solitary? Urban fishers did not only fish in motorized boats, like Pedro and his crew. Some also practiced inshore fishing from canoes, using line and hook, which could be solitary. Women involved in crab fishing in the mangrove swamps also worked in small teams or alone, but they often lived in crowded neighborhoods, sharing work and cooperating on several occasions. Some other fishers were involved in calo (purse seine net fishing), a fishing technique in which cooperation was a requirement because a large number of fishers used one or more canoes to cast their nets close to shore. One end of the net stayed at the beach with part of the team, while a sub-team used a canoe to cast the net in a semicircle, returning to the beach, where the other fishers pulled the net from the water. In addition

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127 to the team directly involved with the calo, many other people helped in hope of obtaining a share of the smaller fish. Therefore, most fishers of Itacar were involved in activities that required cooperation and a great deal of social interaction. The importance of cooperation for the success of a fisher not only in fishing is illustrated by Table 5-1, which shows the result of a participatory exercise that I facilitated in Itacar, before my dissertation fieldwork, in which a group of fishers discussed their main accomplishments and the personal qualities and skills needed to realize them (Weigand Jr. 2000b). Table 5-1: Accomplishments of the fishers of Itacar and necessary personal qualities and skills to realize them. Accomplis-hments Community work Purchase of a fishing boat Promoting a party Fishing Learning new things Traveling Working in a factory Agriculture Sewing Teaching Handicraft Buying a house/a freezer Total Needed qualities/skills Courage 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 36 Will power 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 36 Knowledge 3 2 3 3 2 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 32 Physical strength 1 1 2 3 1 1 3 3 1 2 1 2 21 Luck 2 3 3 3 1 3 2 3 3 1 3 3 30 Flexibility/ improvisation 3 3 3 3 1 3 2 2 1 3 1 3 28 Agility 1 1 1 3 1 3 2 2 1 3 1 3 22 Resistance 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 33 Quick thinking 2 1 3 2 3 1 1 2 1 3 1 3 23 Planning 3 3 3 2 3 3 1 3 3 3 3 3 33 Unity 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 1 2 1 2 28 Respect 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 1 3 1 2 30 Dealing with people 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 36 Listening carefully 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 34 Responsibility 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 36 (Adapted from Weigand Jr. 2000b). Fishers ranked the qualities and skills from 1 to 3 according to their perceived importance. Unity, respect, dealing with people, listening carefully and responsibility were all qualities related to cooperation. Union (the closest concept to cooperation) is ranked high for fishing and low for activities such as handicraft and sewing; and ranked medium for teaching and promoting a party.

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128 Modernization of the Fisheries Until the 1970s, most of the fishing communities of Bahia had a relative degree of autonomy in managing their resources. Although fishers have always participated in the market, they avoided relying on the state to solve their resource use problems. Even though some fishers were heavily dependent on creditors and middlemen, they were "their own bosses. Fishers said that "a vida aqui difcil, mas liberal" ("life is hard, but free") (Cordell 1989:130). This was true even in serious disputes, when "fishermen feel they have the right to avenge injustice and are not inclined to seek help from police in nearby towns" (Cordell 1989:142). Fishers use of unclaimed mangroves and sea water for subsistence, their refusal to get help from the state, and development of their own rules of resource use seem to agree with the argument of an uncaptured peasantry. Analyzing peasants in Africa, Hyden (1980) describes how peasants, just like Brazilian fishers, resisted state policies by withdrawal and nonparticipation. Tanzanian peasants relied on the subsistence economy and village democracy. However, there are some differences that make the case of fishers not so typical of Hyden's argument. Peasants in Tanzania withdrew not only from state assistance but also from the market. Fishers in Bahia, though, have always been integrated into the market. Moreover, Hydens argument is that autonomy is power when the elite depend on peasants. However, the relationship between fishers and the elites of Bahia is not one of dependence of the latter on the former, but one of marginalization. Fishers are marginalized and then discover some advantages in that position (Cordell 1989). It is not their choice, and it is not because they maintain their identity and self-respect in their relative autonomy (Cordell 1989) that they have much power against Bahian elites. Nevertheless, they can resist and negotiate their political support.

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129 This suggests that, when fishers first did not come to the meetings for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, they were refusing to participate in a state-sponsored initiative; they were resisting (EP4, political aspects proposition). They could not trust in the environmental agency responsible for the Reserve (IBAMA). In fact, the regional IBAMA officers were not friendly towards the fishers, either. I heard several accusations that IBAMA officers were authoritarian and violent against the fishers of Itacar, threatening them with heavy caliber rifles, beating them with the side of machetes, and seizing their nets even when not in use and destroying them without due process. When the Task Group denounced illegal shrimp fishing by the guincho boats in the forbidden period, IBAMA also refused to be accountable about what they would do with the shrimp that was seized during the operation. The fishers pointed out these problems in the PRA exercise, particularly in the Venn institutional diagrams (see Chapter 7). Fishers also had problems with the Brazilian Coast Guard (Capitania dos Portos). Due to international navigation laws, also adopted by Brazil, fishers were subject to penalties for not bearing the right safety equipment in their boats. Such equipment, conceived in the context of developed nations, was too expensive for small scale fishers, and if enforcement was strict, would put most of them out of business. The demands were so unreasonable and enforcement so irregular that fishers did not take them seriously. In addition, the rescue services provided by the Coast Guard were not really useful for the fishers in Itacar, whose most important safety issue was the entrance to the barra, close to shore, where most boats shipwrecked, and where fishers had to rely on each other for rescue because the Coast Guard did not maintain local teams and equipment in Itacar.

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130 Thus, the opinions of the fishers about these two agencies (expressed in the PRA exercise and in my daily conversations with them) were not very positive. The Traditional Populations Sustainable Development Center (Centro Nacional de Desenvolvimento Sustentvel das Populaes TradicionaisCNPT) was the social branch of IBAMA, and slowly started to change the opinions of the fishers about the institution. In general, fishers would trust or have a neutral attitude towards government agencies that did not have an enforcement role. This negative experience with government agencies was most common among off-shore fishermen associated with the Colnia and ASPERI, whereas among the fishers of Taboquinhas, where IBAMA was less present, it still enjoyed local acceptance. This corroborates the previous experience and credibility proposition (EP7). However, additional steps taken by the state, by promoting an increase in the fishing fleet and the adoption of modern equipment, also caused problems for the fishers of Itacar and elsewhere in Bahia. Until the 1970s, the fishers' monopoly over knowledge about where and when to find fish in the inshore waters gave them a defense against encroachment (Cordell 1989). Yet, the introduction of new techniques, population growth, industrial fishing and environmental destruction of the mangroves started to affect the self-governing system of sea tenure that fishers' networks had sustained for decades. Cordell (1989) reports the beginning of this process and does not highlight much of the possible reactions by fishers other than defenseless or selfish behavior. Prior to this process of encroachment, traditional systems were maintained through respeito (or social respect, a form of social prestige) and sanctioned by reprisals (sabotage, damage to equipment, fights, etc.) and gossip, when people failed to comply.

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131 However, there was already competition. Dissimulation was used against equals, for example, when boat captains tried to get other captains too drunk so they would not go fishing, leaving the spot free for others to use (Cordell 1989). It is possible that the fishers in Itacar developed fishing territories such as those described by Cordell (1989) for the nearby region of Valena and Camamu, but I was not able to observe evidence of it, maybe because it was already disrupted by modernization (however, older fishers whom I asked about the existence of territories in the past did not confirm it either). In Itacar, increases in competition were given by the modernization of the fishery, with new motor boats, which allowed a wider fishing range, replacing sailboats, which previously maintained fishers closer to their home towns. This brought new fishers to the seas of Itacar, and let local fishers roam farther to the north and south. In addition, in the 1980s, industrial trawler boats (guinchos) started to come from other municipalities and even from other states to catch the abundant shrimp of Itacar. A small shrimp trawling company was established in Itacar, and during my fieldwork, expanded its fleet from two to four guinchos. According to the fishers, during the season of my fieldwork, there were sometimes one to two dozen guinchos operating by the coast of Itacar. Finally, the crash of the cacao economy in the early 1990s brought an additional contingent of people to the fishing activity. Face-to-face relations were disrupted by a great number of strangers, and the situation was worsened by a second and very short, gold rush: lobster fishing (see below). This situation, where traditional ties were broken, and an increase in the number of fishers and encroachment created increased competition and less control over individual behavior, was apparently the main factor that made free

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132 riding common among the fishers of Itacar, particularly in regard to resource use. Fishers could benefit from the fishing resources without contributing to its conservation; so, they would free-ride, resulting in resource degradation. This corroborates the free-riding proposition (EP3). The Lobster Gold Rush During the 1990s, fishers in Itacar discovered the value and abundance of lobsters in their coastal waters. "The town used to stink, so much lobster we caught! Mountains of lobsters!" a fisherman told me, and his story was repeated many times by others. Even though lobster catches were lower during my fieldwork, observing lobster processing when the catch was brought to land was very impressive. The first time that I saw the processing of lobsters in Itacar I was shocked by the butchery. Walking by the Banca do Peixe, some fishers called me to take a look at the catch, which was good that day. The fish stand, a 20 square-meter kiosk, open on the sides, with ceramic-tile counters on three of its laterals, was filled with lobsters. In the center of the kiosk, a large block of wood was used as support for processing the lobsters. One man cut the heads of the lobsters with an ax. Then two other men separated the tails from the bodies, which were thrown on the floor, still moving for several minutes, blindly crawling and climbing over other lobsters and lobster remains. I was told that the tails were sold to middlemen who later would sell them to exporters. The bodies were either wasted or had their meat picked by the local women (the waste produced during the lobster golden rush reportedly was an environmental problem). As with any butchery, it was not a pretty sight. I could only imagine what it was like when mountains of lobsters were brought to land and processed in Itacar.

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133 The wealth of lobsters attracted fishers from other municipalities too. "There were so many lobster nets in the sea that one could not find a spot to launch his! Even navigation was difficult! a fisher told me, because so many nets were in the sea. That amount of competition, and the greater presence of outside fishers, created an environment of lack of trust and suspicion. Thefts became common among fishers, particularly lobster net thefts. In the beginning, only the catch was stolen, but soon, kilometers of nets disappeared! According to some fishers, stealing nets became an obsession for many. Some tried to be the most daring thieves, while others tried to be the hardest ones to steal from. I was told a story (so unbelievable that it sounds just like a fishermans tale) by the thief himself. It involved a fisherman who, to avoid having his nets stolen, tied them to his boat. At night, however, when he and his crew were sleeping, the thieves came in another boat and, with their engine off, started to pull the net from the sea. The thieves quietly pulled out the net until their boat was side by side with the other. Everyone was still asleep. Then one of the thieves sneaked into the other boat and untied the net, while the others sailed around it. Then they continued to pull the piece of the net on the other side. When he told me this story, the thief laughed with satisfaction at his capacity to sneak into the other fishers boat. Ronaldo, when he woke up, he couldnt believe it! For a long time people in the port commented on that daring net theft! Another time, a thief came back from net stealing and had to pretend his boat had never left the port, locking himself in it so that people would not be able to check the temperature of his engine. And a third time, some fishers knew that a thief had dozens of nets with him, and

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134 denounced him to the police. Some fishers went to the police station to accuse him. When he got there, he said he would admit stealing nets if anyone there could deny that they stole nets too. That was the end of it, he said, because "everybody stole. Nets circulated among fishers; some would complain that "their" nets were stolen when they had stolen those nets in the first place! This story may be too colorful, but according to many fishers, almost everybody used to steal nets (some still do) 15 I witnessed some mutual accusations of net stealing, and indeed, no one seemed to be untouchable. The net stealing practice was evidence of two processes: The increasing lack of trust among fishers, which resulted in lack of respect for each others property Possible resistance practice against overcrowding of the sea with nets. However, these processes could not prevent the tragedy of the commons (Hardin 1968) resulting from the lobster gold rush. Lobster catches crashed. Short lived, probably due to resource depletion, lobster fishing in Itacar began to be replaced by tourism. However, even today, most off-shore fishers employ great dedication to lobster fishing, spending months preparing their nets 16 and giving great priority to this kind of fishing. Moreover, lobster fishing occurs mainly in the low season for tourism (from May to August; the only month in this period with more tourists was July), presenting little conflict with the new economy. 15 Inevitably, this reminded me of Malinowski (1950) and the Kula ring, first, because of the circular character of this exchange; second, because a symbolic motivation seemed to be playing a more important role than a material motivation, that is, prestige (being a smarter or more daring thief) was a greater motivation than the value of the nets. I wonder what other aspects of the net stealing in Itacar could be similar to the Kula ring, but I could not focus on this particular theme during my fieldwork. 16 Some fishers specialize in making nets, and selling them to others.

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135 Lobster fishing also occurs in a period when shrimp fishing used to be forbidden, thus complementing income for some fishers. In 2001, however, IBAMA changed the forbidden period, causing a clash of interests between lobster fishing and industrial shrimp fishing. As a result, many fishers lost their lobster nets because trawler boats run over them. Resource Management According to Cordells account and definition (1989), sea tenure was present in Bahia. Use rules were enforced by the whole community, and social respect played a major role in maintaining the system. Fishers in Bahia developed customary sea tenure rules that contradicted the national fishing codes, which stipulate that Brazilian territorial waters are open-access resources (Cordell 1989). In the southern coast of Bahia, Robben (1989; 1994) detected territoriality among canoe fishers but not among boat fishers, who competed with and disrespected the territories of canoe fishers. Territories were enforced by threats of physical violence, insults or theft of the intruders nets. A limited entry system among canoe fishermen reduced overfishing of the shallow fishing grounds. However, Kottak (1992) studied fishermen in the village of Arembepe, in the north coast of Bahia, and did not describe a system of sea tenure. A restriction on the catch was provided by the secrecy of fishing spots and allowed that some fishers controlled the resource. That is also described by Forman (1966) for the raft fishermen of the coast of nearby Alagoas state, where there was no clear tenure system. In Itacar I also could not identify any form of sea tenure, although there was a sense that the local sea should be for local fishers. Perhaps I could not observe sea tenure because most fishers with whom I became more acquainted were offshore fishers (as in

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136 Kottaks and Formans accounts) and not mangrove fishers (like in Cordells). In offshore fishing, territories were harder to enforce. Maybe that could also be explained by the fact that in Itacar there was high availability of fishing spots and the technology was mobile (e.g., hook and line), conforming to the cases studied by Begossi (1988), where fishing territories did not develop. Begossi (1998) discusses forms of sea tenure in three municipalities of the coast of So Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states (southern Brazil), and water tenure among riverine populations in the state of So Paulo and in the Amazon. She concludes that the development of fishing territories by traditional fishermen depends on density of fishers, density of outsiders, diversity or availability of fishing spots, and mobility of technology. Different types (intensity and scale) of sea tenure evolved in the several communities studied. Fishing territories are not expected where there is high availability of fishing spots and the technology is mobile (e.g., hook and line). In Bzios Island (So Paulo state), territories apply for gillnets but not for hook and line, and work at the individual level. In Sepetiba Bay (Rio de Janeiro state), territorial rights are practiced at the community level, and conflicts are related to the intrusion by industrial shrimp and herring trawler boats. In Puruba Beach, there were no territories (Begossi 1998). Begossi (1998) suggests that where there is little diversity and availability of fishing spots, territoriality tends to be at the individual level. The presence of, and competition with, outsiders (increasingly the case in Itacar) favors the development of community level tenure systems. Nevertheless, denied the organizational and legal means to prevent competition with outsiders, off-shore fishers in Itacar could only resist outside fishers through

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137 gossip, social discrimination, and possibly sabotage (stealing of nets). Fishers badmouthed industrial fishing boats and their crews, accusing them of being thieves and of having no concern for the environment. While some claims may have been true, gossip against outsider fishers seemed to be a resistance tactics. It would not be surprising if fishers were also sabotaging the operations of industrial boats (they claimed that they did not), and indeed I heard threats of that against the guinchos. Resistance seemed also to occur by the differentiation between poaching by community members (which might be considered legitimate) and by outsiders (which was considered a crime). Thus, real territories did not exist, but the presence of outsiders was discouraged by a series of resistance practices. In addition, as in the cases described by Kottak (1992) and Forman (1966), secrecy was common among off-shore fishers of Itacar and was used against both outside and local fishers. Offshore fishing in Itacar required the ability to locate the fishing spots where fish concentrated. This imposed three challenges: Knowing the location of different fishing spots Being able to find them Discovering the fish when they are there Local fishers, because of their experience, deeply knew the sea of Itacar. However, the skill of locating fishing spots was not for everyone. A fisher needed sharp eyesight and skill to locate the marks on land (trees, mountain tops, buildings, etc.) to triangulate his way to the portion of the sea where there were rocks and reefs that served as shelter for fish. Because most of these rocks were too deep underwater to be visually recognized, fishermen had to confirm the right location by throwing a piece of lead tied to a string. When fishers recovered the lead, they checked sea depth (measured in braas,

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138 or the extension of a mans open arms) and examined the scratch marks to identify if the substratum was mud, sand, pebbles, reefs or rocks. The more skillful the fisher in locating the fishing spot, the fewer attempts at throwing the lead he needed. Skillful and knowledgeable fishers were widely recognized. This talent was not always related to age or experience. For example, I knew of a case of two fishers, father and son, who used to fish together, but only the son was renowned for his ability to locate fishing spots well which his father, more experienced, reportedly never had. Each fishing crew had to include a fisher who was skillful in locating fishing spots, who was normally the boat captain. Talented outside fishers who did not know the marks were always trying to learn them by following local fishers, who tried to fool them. A fisherman, immigrant to Itacar, told me stories of how he learned about some fishing spots. In one such story, he approached another boat that was anchored by a fishing spot, and the boat captain tried to avoid revealing its location, moving his boat away. He proudly told me that he was able to find the submerged rock (using the lead) and identify the marks for triangulation on land, taking the other boats place at that time. Local fishers told me opposite stories, of how they hid the location of the fishing spot by anchoring with longer anchor cables. That knowledge was valuable and could be sold. In more than one occasion during my dissertation fieldwork, a local fisher was paid by an outside fisher just to take him to some fishing spots where the outsider was diving for fish using compressed-air equipment. This was badly viewed by the community, first, because divers were unfair competition to line and hook fishers, and second, because the local fisher was giving away the secret of the fishing spots.

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139 The local guincho owner once told me that the extractive reserve of skillful and hardworking fishers was their secret knowledge of fishing spots. However, modernization threatened the monopoly of this knowledge by local fishers. Although no one but the guinchos had it yet, GPS equipment was increasingly inexpensive, and soon capital would probably replace knowledge and skills. The extractive reserve of traditional knowledge and skills was endangered not only in Itacar, but also in many other parts of the Brazilian coast where secrecy and traditional talent helped fishers prevent overexploitation. Competition was also present between local fishers, and was favored by the difference in skills (or luck) of different fishers or fishing crews. When fishing off-shore using line and hook, a fishing crew could have two types of arrangements: linha unida (or united lines) and linha separada (separate lines). In linha unida all fishers divided their catches equally after paying the portion of the boat (50%). In linha separada each fisher had the right to his own catch after paying the boat. Each fisherman had a different characteristic mark done to the fish with a knife. Some tried to steal from their colleagues by choosing marks that were easy to convert from their colleagues marks (e.g., if a fisher used one cut on the tail, the other would use two cuts; then he would surreptitiously try to make the second cut in his colleagues fish). Linha unida was more likely to occur when fishers in the same boat had the same level of ability and effort, a fisherman explained to me. These two arrangements seemed to be a response to both the insecurity of fishing and the free-riding problem (which corroborates EP3, free-riding proposition). Linha unida seems a good system to minimize insecurity due to short term individual bad

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140 luck among fishers that have similar levels of skills and dedication. Yet, when fishers tended to free-ride on the catches of others (which would create disincentives for a more successful fisher) linha separada was adopted (rewarding the successful fishers and forcing slackers to improve their performance). However, when linha separada was adopted, some fishers still tried to free-ride by stealing their colleagues catch. There seems to be a potential for an escalating lack of trust in the linha separada, which is first implemented to deal with free-riding and lack of trust, and then creates incentives for thefts between crew members, and additional suspicion. Finally, different crews could also steal catches or entire nets from each other. In Itacar, competition between different crews was so fierce that fishers even tried to conceal their catches. A fisher told me that they used to lie about at which fishing spot they caught their fish. Because some experienced fishers could guess where the fish were caught (considering the species, the time of the year, the weather, and the time taken during travel), sometimes fishers would hide the catch in the boat until later, for example, not allowing time for other fishers to go to the same fishing spot before the crew could return there. Thus, there was no sea tenure in Itacar, although knowledge, secrecy and resistance played a role in defending local fishers from the competition with outside and other local fishers. However, encroachment was occurring. Motor boats allowed fishers from faraway municipalities to come to Itacar and compete with locals. Increased competition reduced the incentives for conservation or sustainable use because it often meant giving up a fish of a small size, or not fishing during a certain period, or avoiding the use of a predatory fishing method. But if I dont

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141 take the small fish, somebody else will catch it further down, a fisherman explained to me once. Moral values regarding conservation were present but they were useless. Individual fishers were in extreme competition and could not afford to give up catches in favor of the future, although they could see the connections between their behavior and the decreasing abundance of their resources. The situation looked like a prisoners dilemma, where resource appropriators take the least favorable path when they try to maximize their benefit, because the context in which they make decisions (lack of trust) forces them to do so (Ostrom 1990). The fishers context was so disempowering that, in light of their conservation moral, it even caused low self-esteem: instead of considering their context, fishers started to blame each other and finally themselves. Many of the fishers I talked to said that predatory fishers were ignorant and selfish. O pescador assim (the fisherman is just like that), they are hopeless, they said more them once. The elite also contributed to such prejudices, by formulating and disseminating such notions, as did the directors of the Colnia. The explanatory proposition that fishers do not participate because they are individualistic echoes this view. The culture explanatory proposition (EP2) does not explain the phenomenon of individualistic behavior; it helps to create it by reducing trust even more. The discussion presented above suggests that fishers needed a different context in which free-riding would not be rational. Such a context for resource conservation could be provided by community organization and legal/institutional arrangements that could guarantee the exclusion of outsiders and reduced competition, and prevent their tragedy.

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142 The extractive reserve model promised such a context. However, an effective and participatory Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar was itself a collective good, subject to free-rider problems as much as conservation. The Extractive Reserves In Brazil, forest and marine resources, and the people that depend on them, have had surprisingly similar problems. Similar problems have led to similar solutions, such as the creation of extractive reserves, and the experience of traditional populations in the Amazon can be used to shed light on the problems and opportunities of the fishers of the Brazilian coast. The rubber tappers in the Brazilian Amazon began their political organization in the 1970s, as a response to eviction and destruction of the forest from which they sustained their livelihoods (Duarte 1987). By 1990, they achieved the creation of the first extractive reserves, guaranteeing to some of them right to land and resources, and providing an opportunity to create an alternative development model for the Amazon (Allegretti 1994). Despite the remaining challenges for the extractive reserves (such as generating enough income for locals, with a conservation basis), this was a remarkable case of a traditional population that struggled to maintain and improve their livelihoods in multiple ways and, eventually, was able to achieve new institutional arrangements with the State and conquer a new position in society. Rubber tappers have faced several threats related to natural resource conservation. Their history involves conflicts with colonists and large ranchers, who cut forest areas on which tappers depended to establish pastures and agriculture. On the one hand, the political and economic power of ranchers and colonization agencies allowed them to evict tappers from their land (Duarte 1987). On the other, colonists, stimulated by the

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143 government, came to the Amazon in large numbers and started to practice unsustainable systems of agriculture, which led to deforestation, failure of many colonists, and their migration in search of new forest areas. The Amazon rubber tappers had problems that were similar, in their dynamic, to fishers on the Brazilian coast. As did cattle ranching in the Amazon, industrial fishing, such as shrimp and herring trawler boats cause great destruction of the marine ecosystems on which small scale fishers depend (Begossi 1999; Cordell 1989). Bottom trawling boats are estimated to scrape approximately six million square miles a year in the world, an area equivalent to half of the world's continental shelves and 150 times larger than the forest area clearcut every year (Mayell 1998). In the coast of Bahia, Northeastern Brazil, trawler boats came from neighboring states (Cordell 1989), indicating that either the fleet was too large or that resources were already depleted in other states. Moreover, modernization of artisanal fisheries in the Northeast has introduced technology that allows resource overexploitation and favors richer fishers (Cordell 1989). As with cattle ranching development in the Amazon, the expansion of the industrial fishing fleet in Brazil has been subsidized by the government. In the Amazon, unsustainable agricultural practices have led colonists to degrade their soils and migrate to new forest land, causing deforestation and encroaching on rubber tappers. In Bahia state, decreasing catches and deterioration of moral norms that previously restrained fishers from predatory behavior led to the use of explosives and other technologies that increased the damage to some of the fishing resources even more (Cordell 1989). In Itacar, local fishers complained to me about the immigration of small-scale fishers from neighboring municipalities where resources were already degraded due

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144 to the use of explosives and overfishing. To the rubber tappers, defense of their right to land and resources was difficult because They did not have legal recognition of their claims Legal arrangements available in the Brazilian law did not fit their needs, given by the nature of the environment and of the economic activity. The extractive reserves provided the appropriate legal framework for the defense of their livelihoods. As did the rubber tappers in the Amazon, who were pushed by ranchers and colonists, the small-scale fishers in Itacar faced encroachment by industrial trawler boats and other small-scale fishers that came from parts of the coast where fish and other marine resources were depleted. Their territory also did not have legal recognition, but the extractive reserves could provide them with an adequate framework to defend their livelihoods too. As did the rubber tappers, artisanal fishers of Itacar needed institutional and legal arrangements to prevent such encroachment. Not surprisingly, the model of extractive reserves, has been proposed to defend the livelihoods of artisanal and small-scale fishers not only in Itacar but throughout the Brazilian coast (Begossi 1993). The extractive reserve model has the potential to attend to all the principles identified by Ostrom (1990), who provides a comprehensive framework based on game theory. The physical boundaries of the reserves can be demarcated (although in the sea, it is more difficult), and the people who have the right to use resources have to be 17 authorized by the local association of users, which should receive the use concession from the government. Collective choice arrangements are potentially provided by the 17 The italics in this paragraph indicate the ideal situation, seldom completely achieved.

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145 democratic mechanisms required for the approval of the utilization plan. Monitoring in extractive reserves can be accountable because it is done by the users themselves and the utilization plan provides for graduated sanctions. Building resource management institutions takes time and intensive educational effort, and has been overlooked by the government and nongovernmental organizations that work with rubber tappers. Nevertheless, the success of marine extractive reserves depends on such institutions; that is, it depends on the participation of the fishers. Summary and Conclusions This discussion suggests that several factors are involved in making fishers behave more individualistically, or less so. It seems that context plays a more important role than culture in explaining individualistic behavior, and that the presumption that the solitary nature of the fishing activities can explain individualistic behavior is false because fishing activities are not necessarily solitary, and even when they involve less cooperation, in other arenas of their daily lives fishers are still pretty social. Thus, this chapter presents arguments against the individualistic culture proposition (EP2). I argue that, as much as there was a conservationist moral in Itacar (which most fishers could not afford to follow), there was also a participatory moral that affected individual behavior, but not enough to make fishers participate in their organizations. Apparently, lack of trust due to an increase in competition and lack of means to prevent free-riders in resource use was overriding moral incentives toward conservation-oriented, cooperative and participatory behaviors. Other factors, discussed in the previous chapter, explain why fishers did not follow their participatory moral in community and political affairs.

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146 This contradiction between behavior and moral took its toll on the fishers self-esteem, creating acceptance for the elites view that fishers were just inferior and could not organize for their own interests. An extractive reserve could solve such contradiction if it were able to reduce competition. Many fishers confessed that they practiced predatory fishing, but they would change when the Reserve was implemented. I believe that such a perspective (the possibility to do the right thing) was an important incentive for many fishers to join the Reserve movement once other anti-participation factors were reduced. Fishers were suspicious of government agencies and initially refused to participate in proposals that involved greater presence of the state in their lives, such as the Extractive Reserve. This was most common in communities where the presence of the state was strongest, resulting in negative experiences 18 (EP7, previous experience and credibility proposition), as is discussed in Chapter 7. Fishers participated by nonparticipation, by resistance (EP4, political aspects). Participation increased as the TG was able to gain the trust of fishers and make fishers trust CNPT/IBAMA (EP8, credibility of the PRA team). Conversely, the knowledge of individual fishers about natural resources was not well-distributed in the communities. For example, the location of fishing spots was not taught to younger fishers; it had to be picked up by practice, trial and error, during fishing trips. It was not given away for free, and some became more skilled than others. This suggests that local knowledge was treated as an economic good, also subjected to free18 Obviously, the experience with the state did not have to be negative; it just happened to be so in Itacar.

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147 riding, as is shown by the case in which a newcomer fisherman stole the secret from his fellow local fisherman. If PRA meetings could provide participants with valuable knowledge, PRA could attract participation (EP5, multidimensional costs and benefits proposition). Finally, if fishers faced internal contradictions because they were forced by their strategic situation to behave individualistically, contradicting their conservation and participation morals, once they learned more about the Marine Extractive Reserve proposal, this also might increase their self-esteem and attract participation. This discussion of natural resource use by the fishers of Itacar suggests that fishers behaviors related to resource use and conservation, and to participation and collective action, were dependent on individual consideration of benefits and costs in multiple dimensions (EP5), including the material, political, moral, emotional and informational dimensions, and how local institutions structure them.

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CHAPTER 6 ORIGINS OF THE TASK GROUP Before discussing the explanatory propositions in light of the field results, in this section I discuss the origins of the TG, prior to my dissertation fieldwork, which I did not observe directly but which involved my influence. Later, already during dissertation fieldwork, I was able to observe the results of specific strategies to make the TG effective, both in terms of internal participation and of its results in the community, which also served to test the explanatory propositions on which these strategies were based. Before there was a Task Group and a strong movement towards the Extractive Reserve, there were other people trying to promote its creation. Piecing together different contradictory stories, I built my own account, in which the Reserve was an idea of many. To local fishers, something had to be done about the guinchos, whose number increased and the damage caused to local marine resources became noticeable. To the local environmental organization Boto Negro, the idea was to create a conservation area to protect the sea. Grem, a hotel owner, knew of an Extractive Reserve created in Arraial do Cabo, Rio de Janeiro State. He contacted the president of ASPERI at the time, Professor Raimundo, and both started to move towards the Reserve. Grem invited the manager of the Marine Reserve of Arraial do Cabo to give a lecture in Itacar. Boto Negro, Grem, Professor Raimundo and others were the first movement for the Reserve, but that movement did not involve significant participation by the fishers. 148

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149 Courses on PRA and Community Leadership As pointed out in Chapter 1, in March 1999, Professor Raimundo invited me to carry out community organizing work to increase the involvement of the fishers in the process. This work, started with the promotion of two courses, one on community leadership (for fishers), and another on participatory rural appraisal (for people with at least a high school degree), carried out simultaneously in August 1999. My idea was to motivate and capacitate fishers to work for the Extractive Reserve, and supervise a PRA exercise which would be facilitated by technical volunteers trained in PRA. To support and guide these volunteers and local people, I invited three environmental NGOs to participate in the course, but only two NGOs participated, and only one really got involved with the cause of the Reserve: AAE, a regional NGO based in Ilhus. AAE was composed of social activists with a long history of action in the region. For several years, even before the NGOs creation, AAE people had worked with agrarian reform resettlement projects and organic agriculture in the region, and seemed strong capacity builders of community leaders. They also had a strong feminist agenda, which seemed useful in the case of Itacar because some of the poorer fishers were women. AAEs coordinator and two of its extension workers participated in the courses. The courses were organized with local help from ASPERI (then led by Penguin, because Raimundo had left), which was able to mobilize support from the municipality, local pousadas, the Conservation Institute (an NGO from Ilhus which had a project in the Itacar/Serra Grande APA 19 ; see Chapter 4) and community organizations, such as AMPT and the Colnia. The courses were funded by Italian NGO Terra Nuova. 19 APA: rea de Proteo Ambiental or Area of Environmental Protection

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150 About 20 people participated in the course on Participatory Rural Appraisal and the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar. I hoped that, from this pool of people, two or three would be interested in being volunteers for the Extractive Reserve. Implicit in my strategy was the belief that PRA had to be coordinated by technical people, and that fishers needed that kind of help. As the discussion presented in this chapter shows, this belief created a power contest inside the Extractive Reserve movement. Chapter 8 also shows that this belief would later lead to a friction between me and some TG members, and result in participation problems (EP13, outside facilitators vs. insiders proposition). The PRA techniques were not too hard to teach. The hardest part was to change attitudes, because participants, in their interaction with each other or with fishers, could apply PRA techniques but continued with behavior and body language that seemed authoritarian. In addition, the importance of intermediaries, local people who try to place themselves between the poor and the regional elite, discussed in Chapter 1 became evident. In discussing Itacar, I want to expand the concept of intermediaries presented by Forman (1966), and include not only wealthier fishers, but also small entrepreneurs, local politicians, and directors of associations. Intermediaries serve the link between the poor and the regional elite and state powers, and often make their living from this. In the PRA course, and in the movement for the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve, many of the participants were intermediaries who had particular agendas: to be elected mayor; to avoid the banning of guinchos; to maintain political influence over the fishing community; to work in an eventual project to implement the Reserve; or to influence new environmental projects in Itacar. These were relatively evident agendas. I

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151 discovered other hidden agendas only later in the fieldwork. As I discussed before, the community expectation that the first people to be involved in a collective project were self-interested intermediaries was justified. It was exactly the case of the participants in this PRA course; they tried to use the creation of the Extractive Reserve as a way to empower themselves, mediating the influence of external agents (IBAMA, NGOs) in the community. The other course was on Community Leadership and the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, intended for fishers, in order to build their skills and improve their attitudes towards community organization and leadership, and the creation of the Extractive Reserve. This course was given simultaneously with the course for technical volunteers, described above, but at night, in the classroom of the Colnia. The course was advertised by ASPERI and a total of 18 fishers, eight of them women, participated in the whole course. The participants of this course had a greater identity with communities that were going to benefit from the creation of the Extractive Reserve, but some were, nonetheless, a lower class of intermediaries. Ulysses, a public employee allocated to the Colnia, represented the board of directors of that organization. Penguin and his brother Pedro, representing ASPERI, were also present. Bob Marley represented the Porto de Trs Neighborhood Association, and brought with him several members, mostly mangrove crab fisherwomen. There were also two middlemen, who bought the fish in the Banca do Peixe. I was impressed by some of the participants, such as a former school teacher, then owner of a fish store, and who later became one of the most important leaders of the movement for the Reserve and a member of TG. The three AAE people also participated.

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152 This course involved almost no lectures. It was mostly based on games, practical activities and discussion. Several of the games were used in the PRA process a year and a half later, and involved challenges and puzzles that required group cooperation to be solved. Participants of the other course on PRA came to this course to practice PRA tools with the fishers. This was intended to enable fishers to feel their affinity with the possible volunteers, and at the end of the course, they chose a man and a woman from the other course on PRA who agreed to work with them voluntarily. Our activity in Itacar caught the attention of Rafael Pinzn, president of CNPT/IBAMA, who came to Itacar during the last two days of the courses and lectured in the final session of the course on community leadership, in an open talk to the whole community of Itacar. Pinzns presence seemed to give credibility to the courses and the proposal for the Reserve. He met with local authorities and established commitments with the community and with AAE, which I introduced and recommended to him, telling him about the NGOs experience with community organization in southern Bahia. He explained that CNPT had a budget for community activities. All AAE, or the community, had to do was to present a short proposal with a small budget by the 25 th day of the month before the expense was to be incurred. Itacar acquired legitimacy and visibility in CNPT/IBAMA, resulting in the promises of further support. The Movement for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar and the Formation of the Task Group These courses were my first action in Itacar. Such a one-shot intervention was likely to have little impact if not for the design adopted, with local technical volunteers and an experienced NGO supporting the fishers, and the institutional support by IBAMA. Cludio and other volunteers provided local assistance with beginning work, and later

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153 AAE was often present and advising the fishers and volunteers. One volunteer used to E-mail me every other week, tell me how they were doing, and ask for advice. Based on his messages, and on accounts by TG members and AAE staff, I developed a picture of what happened in Itacar during the one-year period between the courses and the start of my dissertation fieldwork. Fishers and volunteers started to meet frequently. Their first task was to develop the questionnaire for the socioeconomic study required by IBAMA, as advised by Rafael Pinzn. Those meetings were pretty popular at first, with about 20-30 participants. For two months, the fishers that were mobilized by the course on community leadership received assistance mainly from local technical volunteers, who were the key players for the discussion of the questionnaires and for the follow up of the participatory process until October 1999, when AAE returned to Itacar. Before, AAEs coordinator came with two male technicians; this time, as AAEs person for gender and women issues was taking the lead, the work was going to receive greater emphasis on gender, strengthening the role of women. As soon as the work of the movement for the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar started, so did the opposition to it. The previous negative experience of some communities of Itacar with the work of the environmentalists of Instituto Ambiental and the Conservation Institute fertilized the ground for gossip. The first rumors came from the neighborhood of Porto de Trs: some people there were saying that the Extractive Reserve was a proposal of Instituto Ambiental because former members of this NGO were involved with it. The previous conflict between the outsiders of Instituto Ambiental and the locals of Porto de Trs, and the resulting prejudices and resentments,

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154 started to influence the participation in the Extractive Reserve movement. This eventually led the marisqueiras of Porto de Trs to stop participating. Later, when the marisqueiras were invited to the course on PRA for the TG, only three came. Their nonparticipation was a form of resistance (EP4, political aspects proposition). In addition to this resistance to the participatory process, the women reported to the TG that they were disappointed by the scant immediate return obtained from so many meetings. When AAE became more closely involved, this NGO and the local volunteers had sometimes complementing, sometimes competing roles. Conflict arose as local volunteers were used to a professionalized model in which technicians were in charge, and AAE came in with a different practice, of strengthening community members. In addition, some of the local volunteers were employed by the Conservation Institute, the organization AAE considered to be its enemy. In Itacar, AAE and technical volunteers competed against each other, replicating a previous competition AAE had against the Conservation Institute, which were assisting the communities bordering a conservation area in the region. AAE also had strong ideological disagreement with the Conservation Institute. The staff of AAE had a historic role in the struggle for land in the region. They assisted the landless in organizing for land invasions, and much of what they did in Itacar was related to this experience. In the agrarian reform resettlements, AAE identified farmers who had the best potential for becoming community organizers. These farmers participated in courses to raise their consciousness, traveled with AAE staff to participate in meetings with other landless farmers and rural workers, and became part of a deliberative council which directed the actions in the communities AAE assisted. On

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155 the one hand, there was a strong proposal to empower the farmers within AAE, involving them in the decisions. On the other, the farmers who participated in AAE were handpicked by the NGOs staff based on their ideological and personal affinity with them. Apparently, the staff of AAE worked together with these selected farmers they trusted, to develop strategies to maintain their political hegemony in the communities. In Itacar, it was not different. AAE identified the fishers with the greatest leadership potential; that is, people who expressed concern for the community, who were vocal at the meetings and expressed opinions that were considered participatory or community-oriented. AAE started working with them, advising them on how to act politically to gain power in the Reserve movement. In November 1999, AAE wrote me a message pointing out that my courses division between technical volunteers and community, initially made by me to facilitate teaching/learning, was backfiring. It seemed that local volunteers presumed that they should have the power to decide because they were capacitados (capacitated) in my PRA course. According to AAE, the volunteers were using their participation in the PRA course as a discursive weapon in the group discussions. AAE also pointed out that my E-mail communications with one volunteer were creating problems because he used my messages to establish credibility or support for his proposals: Ronaldo said this Ronaldo told me that He was probably just trying to do a good job, but as this was done in a way that created a feeling of competition in the movement, some fishers began to associate me with the technical volunteers side of the conflict.

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156 While the original idea was that the assistance of local technical volunteers was going to empower the fishers, volunteers and fishers competed with each other in the process. Volunteers used both discursive maneuvers and their literacy skills in a way that reinforced local social hierarchy and maintained their dominance. Conversely, fishers used their legitimacy, as the intended beneficiaries of the Reserve and as natives of Itacar, and worked hard implementing tasks that technical volunteers mainly helped to plan. As Kent (2000) pointed out for Itacar, in the local political game, many battles were fought discursively; apparently, this discursive battle involved competency vs. participation arguments. However, despite the beginning conflicts and power struggles within the group, and the boycott from Porto de Trs, participation in the meetings was on a rise and reached 40 people in December 1999. During this time, the people involved with the promotion of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar were carrying out the socioeconomic survey of the fishing community. The capacitados started to lose legitimacy in the process when they invested time only in creating the questionnaire, and most of the survey was carried out by the fishers. This reinforced the idea that people who were not fishers would always take advantage of the community. At that time, a consultant from CNPT/IBAMA made his first visit to Itacar when, I presume, AAE presented to him the conflict that was happening there and started to discuss solutions. In January 2000 I visited Itacar for a week and participated in a meeting with fishers, volunteers, and the people of AAE. This was when I proposed my research to the fishers, and I learned more about who were the most important fishers in the local Extractive Reserve movement.

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157 In the meeting when I presented my research proposal, participants planned the trip to the Marine Extractive Reserve of Arraial do Cabo, in Rio de Janeiro state. AAE promised support, and the local group formed by fishers and volunteers was able to obtain additional help from several organizations, including the municipality. However, the municipality did not fulfill its commitment to the group, forcing them to collect the money from the businesses in Itacar, which, as TG members later expressed, raised expectations in the community and created a sense of great responsibility. The trip to Arraial do Cabo, and its preparations, also created a team spirit among the fishers, which excluded people who were not fishers. TG members later told me they noticed what they found were grave faults in the attitudes of some of the technical volunteers who went with them. Among some of the gaffes volunteers made were phrases such as I dont like to work with people, and excess alcohol drinking. They were most impressed by the support given by CNPT/IBAMA to that Reserve, and during my initial stages of fieldwork, often mentioned IBAMAs resident officer in Arraial do Cabo as an example of how powerful, helpful and articulate an outsider could be in the defense of the fishers. Such support reinforced the credibility of CNPT and of the groups objectives favoring participation (EP12, credibility of the group proposition). When they came back from Arraial do Cabo, several of the fishers were leading the group side by side with technical volunteers. AAE backed up the fishers in the meetings and corrected distortions that the volunteers tried to implement. The travel to Arraial do Cabo gave these fishers the practical experience they needed to argue in favor of the Reserve. They became able to say I saw it! In Arraial do Cabo its this way When fishers came back, that leadership was consolidated.

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158 The rise of fishers in Itacar after their visit to Arraial do Cabo may have resulted from a change in the rhetorical support to their discourses: before that, local technical volunteers used their contacts with me and the IBAMAs resident officer in Arraial do Cabo, and their ease with institutional affairs, to forward their positions. In Arraial do Cabo, the fishers of Itacar had better, more practical questions to ask, eyes and ears better suited to see and listen to local fishers than the technical volunteers, and were empowered by bringing that experience with them to the debates in Itacar. The visit to Arraial do Cabo armed the fishers with arguments and information; it built an informational capital which was later used to acquire political capital. Nevertheless, this increased power of the fishers in the Extractive Reserve movement came with moral costs: local people started to gossip that the group went to Arraial do Cabo for tourism and fun at the expense of the community. I believe that the free-rider myth, disseminated among the fishers, framed local views, explained that people only did things for personal gains, and made the gossip acceptable to many. The volunteers who did not go to Arraial do Cabo and were competing with fishers in the Reserve movement, the people who would probably lose with the creation of the Reserve, and other established leaders trying to resist the rising leadership of the fishers involved with the Reserve were the most likely to spread and believe in such gossip. However, it could have been anyone; there was great pessimism and skepticism regarding community leaders. The Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar (TG) was formed in a meeting of the people interested in the Extractive Reserve on February 4,

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159 2000. Before its creation, the Extractive Reserve movement was composed of two groups, which originated from the two courses I gave in 1999: Grupo de Assessores (the Consultants' Group, or the group formed by the technical volunteers), made up of people who had completed secondary school and who had participated in the course on PRA Grupo Resex 20 formed by fishers, most of whom had participated in the other course on community leadership and organization. The creation of the Task Group was suggested by CNPT/IBAMA, and was intended to provide a legitimate interlocutor between government and community. Therefore, it was IBAMAs recognition of the fishers that finally institutionalized them as leaders of the Reserve and allowed them to make independent decisions. The TG initially included six offshore fishers, a rural resident of Piracanga 21 a rural resident of Itacarezinho, and a woman who owned a fish shop, had a college degree and experience teaching in a school, married to a fisherman. She was a newcomer to Itacar, but with time sided with the locals. I believe she became part of the fishing community as a result of her marriage to a fisherman, and that she was able to blend in because of her social skills and African racial features. The technical volunteers continued to support the work, but conflicts continued between them and the TG. AAE conquered the trust of the fishers and influenced the interpretations that the fishers of TG would eventually have of their community and the power disputes they would eventually face. 20 Resex is the Portuguese acronym for reserve extrativista, or extractive reserve. 21 This resident had a peculiar environmental activism: he collected the trash thrown by the tide on Piracanga beach, transferred turtle eggs to a protected location close to his island, and avoided killing of any kind (so he did not fish anymore; he did not even weed his home garden, a task that was left to his family). He was good at doing his personal marketing.

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160 For former school teacher and TG member, who eventually became part of AAE, this was a deep learning experience. AAE opened to her the opportunity to be involved in the rural womens movement, which made her blossom with lively feminism and strong political positions. In March 2000, she and two shellfish collectors selected by AAE went to the nations capital, Braslia, to participate in the National Mobilization of Rural Worker Women, when they camped with the women of the movement, shared their drama, and increased her bond with AAE directors. To the landless rural people of Brazil, camping on the side of the roads, in improvised tents covered with black plastic sheets, was a contingency of their mobilization to occupy land and be settled by the government. However, camping together was also a typical education and identity building strategy of the Movimento dos Sem Terra (MST, or Landless Movement), shared by other Brazilian agrarian reform movements. Camping, the landless shared experiences of their confrontation with the Brazilian rural elite, sang songs praising a peasant revolution and the overthrow of capitalism and bourgeois institutions, and learned the discursive support for their organization. AAE shared such strategies, and in their meetings, even in their headquarters in Ilhus, similar songs were chanted by all participants. A coincidence of residence location may also have contributed to the formation of a core group within the Task Group in Itacar. The volunteer consultant, the most people involved with TG (two fishers and a former school teacher) all lived very close to each other, all their homes located within 50 meters of Pituba Street. Although the technical volunteer was seen by the TG as an opponent in the contest for influence in the Extractive Reserve process, I believe that he was also a source of information to this core group,

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161 who learned to use his help. They probably ran into each other almost every day on the street (by coincidence, I too came to live within those 50 meters of street and ran into them almost everyday), so information sharing was very easy. In addition, the personalities of the four people made it likely that they would be very active. Proximity may have played a major role in creating identity and cohesion among the core group of TG, who often gathered in each others houses to eat fish moqueca and chat. However, the same integration did not include the technical volunteer. Among the several volunteers that took my PRA course, the TG rejected them one by one. Their standards were very high. This volunteer was probably their best shot, but he too was criticized for trying to keep control of the process for himself. However, the TG did not consider that he was learning to do community work just like everybody else, and that he could have improved his practice since he was responsive to criticism. AAE people did have experience in community work and instead of helping him in this process, sided with the TG, and probably helped to increase his rejection. Apparently, the same rejection process happened to other volunteers and, eventually, to me. In May 2000, AAE warned me that the conflict had increased as the Group empowered itself, taking control of the process. The technical volunteer said he was a professional and wanted to be more than a volunteer; he wanted to be paid for his work. Although he was investing his money and time in the Extractive Reserve, his (honestly) declared intentions created suspicions within TG, not only regarding him but also regarding me, because I was his friend and so far implicitly supported him to work with the community. Because at this time I was still in the US preparing for my qualifying exams, I could not see the face of the TG from such a distance. According to AAE, the

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162 TG felt ignored by me in the E-mail interactions between me and the technical volunteer. Indeed I had no idea of their degree of autonomy at that moment 22 and thought that the technical volunteer was their main chance to have a PRA. He was smart, articulate and efficient; he was also good at reporting data (in addition, he expressed spiritual beliefs that made me trust him). Perhaps my view was due to the information I received from him, perhaps it was due to my own framework that placed paid technicians as key players for the PRA process. In any event, later, when I returned to Itacar, lack of technical people proved to be a strong limitation in the process. How can you produce reports 23 without literacy and (nowadays) computer skills? How to reconcile the need for technical expertise with empowerment of the community? Was I also part of a technocracy that avoided allowing the poor to gain real power over community projects? TG members, all volunteers, did not accept paid technicians. To them, it was morally wrong and too expensive to hire a technician. When they accepted that payments should be involved for community work, they wanted themselves to be paid, not technicians who they thought were just self-interested. Later, TG members also pointed out to me that other people involved with the Extractive Reserve were just self-interested. In addition to his intentions to be a paid consultant for the Extractive Reserve, this volunteer also proposed that his political party participate in the Extractive Reserve process. The municipal secretary of tourism at the 22 With orientation of AAE, the TG and some technical volunteers were carrying out a series of activities in several communities of Itacar, such as meetings in Taboquinhas and Piracanga, and environmental enforcement with IBAMA in the ports of Itacar. 23 Reports were needed for the paperwork for the creation of the Extractive Reserve.

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163 time, Tiago, decided to use the theme of the Reserve to promote a sports event; the TG saw this as an attempt to take advantage of their work with the community, and manifested their opposition to the event, which never happened. A businessman, who was one of the pioneers of the Reserve idea in Itacar, was also seen as self-interested when he decided to run for mayor and included the Reserve in his platform. The TG boycotted him and his attempt to include his contribution to the Reserve as part of his campaign (most people in Itacar, including several TG members, were placing their hopes on another candidate, Jarbas, a doctor who belonged to the conservative Partido da Frente Liberal PFL, or Liberal Fronts' Party, and who eventually won the election). TG was trying to monopolize and control the Extractive Reserve idea in Itacar and went so far as to forget the historical importance of initial pioneers in the process. History was being rewritten. Anyhow, the TG was suspicious of other people, too. The local guincho owner was obviously untrustworthy since his economic interests were clearly against the proposal of a Reserve that would forbid his activity. He was seen by many fishers as a person of bad character, self-interested, a gossiper and an exploiter, things that are commonly said about middlemen such as him. Cida, who also took the course on PRA for technical volunteers, did not go to all the meetings and withheld the meeting records (atas) 24 of the Reserve Movement in a way that seemed suspicious to TG members. They said that she wanted to be able to say she was participating even though she was not going to the meetings, and that she compromised the records by altering them by signing 24 Formal meeting practices, such as atas, were derived from the organizational practices of AAE and local technical volunteers.

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164 presence sheets for meetings she was not present. That is, little was left of my PRA class! My lesson was that, due to my lack of knowledge of Itacar, and the resulting selection process for the courses, I contributed to empower people who later became obstacles to the empowerment of the fishers. Black-or-White Views Why was self-interest so evident to TG members? Peoples actions were seen with such negativity that, after I was there for a couple of months, it was sometimes overwhelming. It seemed that good character was also in extinction. Was this really intense or was it just the frame through which people saw things? Did every one of these people deserve to be seen with such suspicion? Could their self-interest have been combined with community interest? For example, why not try to have every mayor candidate committed to the Reserve? Why not do the same with all political parties? Why not work with the technical volunteers to improve their practice and let them work to raise money to pay for their own services and those of the TG? Why not improve Tiagos proposal, and use it, and the municipal support which would come with it, to popularize the Reserve? The TGs answer was a simple no. To them, these people simply did not deserve their trust. I did not disagree (some skepticism is an important political skill), but it is also true that the TG itself was the victim of suspicion created by the same self-interest framework shared by other people in Itacar. Seemingly, this self-isolation was related to both the free-rider myth and the notion of the limited good, widespread in the community (discussed in Chapters 1 and 4), and to the views of AAE, whose influence on the TG was strong. As pointed out above, AAEs practices and views were greatly influenced by their experience in the agrarian reform movement, which is similar to MST, and both are very effective in building new

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165 leadership to mobilize communities. However, AAE saw things in black-or-white terms, which was also said about MST by Navarro (2002). When I became more involved with AAE, in the first months of my fieldwork, I felt the effects of such black-or-white views when I told them that I was considering giving a course on participatory work to the staff of the Conservation Institute in Itacar. The Conservation Institute and AAE had difficult relations, and the Conservation Institutes work in the region was mainly criticized because of problems in the participatory process. They invited me to help them improve their practice. The reaction of AAE was first to warn me about the bad intentions of the Conservation Institute: They want to break the trust between us. You cannot serve God and the Devil at the same time, one AAE militant told me. Later, when I accepted the invitation to give the course, arguing that I had the right to know firsthand if in fact they were the Devil 25 AAE ostracized me thereafter. In Itacar, in addition to creating suspicions in the TG, this tendency to see things in black-or-white terms placed anyone who had reservations about how the TG was working on the other side. Progressively, this isolated the TG in the community. TG members seemed to believe they were above good and evil, that they held the truth, and did not take criticism well, although they were very critical of others. Their views justified them, and even I sometimes felt the same way and sided with them. However, in the beginning of my fieldwork, I avoided being so radical and tried to maintain contacts with the TGs opponents, such as the presidents of the Colnia and 25 The Conservation Institute team I met was not the Devil; I found them to be committed people, with basically the same objectives of conservation and development as AAE, and a similar concern for community participation.

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166 ASPERI, and even the local guincho owner, Cida, and others. TG members questioned my behavior and started suspecting my intentions; they did not agree with my unemotional, and maybe dissimulated, practices, even after I explained that my role as a researcher was different. Later, as my identity with the TG grew, and as everybodys stakes in the Reserve became clearer to all, I gave up this neutral strategy, and recovered the trust of most TG members. Summary and Conclusions The Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar was formed with assistance from AAE from the Extractive Reserve movement created by the two courses I gave in Itacar in 1999. AAE chose fishers and community members they considered to be most interested in the community, and advised them on strategies to gain and maintain power in the Extractive Reserve movement. These fishers competed in the Extractive Reserve movement against local technical volunteers who represented part of the elite of Itacar. Later, CNPT/IBAMAs recognition established the fishers of the Task Group as the legitimate local interlocutors for the Reserve and the intermediaries/technical volunteers lost their position to the TG and AAE. AAE not only advised the TG on strategies to maintain its hegemony in the Extractive Reserve creation process but also provided it with political views that shaped their interactions. On the one hand, these views isolated the TG and contributed to the increase in the multidimensional costs of their leadership. The black-and-white views of the TG increased the opposition with established leaders, and worsened internal participation problems (EP13, outsider facilitators vs. insiders, and EP14, insiders vs. insiders). On the other hand, these views created a strong group identity based on

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167 volunteerism and helped the group establish itself as the legitimate interlocutor for the Reserve.

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168 CHAPTER 7 RESEARCH QUESTION 1: WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCED FISHERS PARTICIPATION IN THE PRA MEETINGS? What factors influenced participation of the fishers of Itacar in the PRA meetings? When PRA meetings were tried in different fishing communities, the difficulty of achieving good attendance 26 varied. Table 7-1 summarizes the results of the attempts to mobilize the communities for PRA meetings. In urban communities, participation was generally harder to mobilize, particularly in the Banca do Peixe community. However, in Itacarezinho, the first attempt to mobilize the fishers also failed, and attendance at the first day of meetings in Taboquinhas was low, too. With repeated attempts and change in strategies, all communities eventually increased their participation and had good attendance at the meetings. What explains the individual results, the changes in the response of individual communities to different strategies, and the differences between them? Table 7-2 presents again the explanatory propositions for Research Question 1. In addition to these explanatory propositions, the reader might ask what other differences these communities had that could explain their different results. Action research is a particularly useful approach in this case because we do not just correlate these findings, but work in cycles of action and reflection taking into consideration those 26 Good attendance was considered to mean the presence of 20-30 people at the meetings in urban communities and more than half of the families at the meetings in rural areas.

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169 differences. In these cycles, accumulating evidence for or against these propositions was considered and analyzed. Table 7-1: Attendance at the PRA meetings. Type Community Results Banca do Peixe The first two attempts to mobilize the community for the PRA meetings failed. Later PRA meetings attracted 20-30 people in each of the five first-round evening meetings and of the two second-round meetings. Porto de Trs When invited to PRA training, only three women from Porto de Trs attended three or four sessions. Later, PRA mobilized 20-30 participants in each of the four consecutive evening meetings (first round) and about 20 people attended each of the two second-round evening meetings. Marimbondo/ Passagem 10-20 participants attended three of the four first-round meetings, but the last evening had to be cancelled. In the second-round, the first attempt failed. In the second attempt, about 20 participants attended the two second-round meetings. Urban Forte 20-30 participants attended all meetings. Urban/ Rural Taboquinhas The first day of the first round of PRA meetings attracted only five people. A second attempt had around 25 people. About 30 participants attended each session of the second round. Piracanga and Caubi About 35 participants (almost all of Piracanga and many from Caubi) attended each session of the first and second rounds. Itacarezinho The first attempt failed. In the second attempt, all families (about 15 people) attended the first round and second-round one-day meetings Rural Campo Seco Most families (about 20 people) attended the first and second-round one-day meetings. The explanatory propositions listed in Table 7-2 were not all conceptualized beforehand. This chapter discusses how they were created and tested in action, and compares the conclusions with the previous discussion on the history of Itacar, and natural resource management by the local fishers. To discuss the action-testing of each proposition, I present the general characteristics of each community, and the results of participation in the PRA exercise in each one, and how such results changed the strategies to attract participation according to different explanatory propositions. If such strategies were effectively implemented, and resulted in increased participation, the explanatory proposition from which they derived was corroborated. If they failed, the

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170 respective explanatory proposition was rejected. In addition to the participation results in each community, I present the results of participation in the PRA training for the TG members, which was the first action that the TG and I implemented together during my fieldwork, and whose attendance problems resulted in the first explanatory propositions and actions. This discussion is more or less chronologically presented, so that the readers understand the flow of the investigative process and the resulting learning from it. Table 7-2: Research Question 1 and explanatory propositions. EP Number Explanatory propositions EP1 Logistics: People participate if meetings are well-advertised and planned for convenient dates, times, and locations EP2 Culture: Fishers are individualistic and do not participate because of the nature of their activities EP3 Free-riding: If fishers can benefit from a collective good without contributing, they will free-ride and not participate EP4 Political aspects: Participation is a political currency and fishers attend meetings strategically EP5 Multidimensional costs and benefits: Attendance at meetings depends on the participants consideration of benefits and costs in multiple dimensions EP6 Urban vs. rural: Attracting participation in urban areas is more difficult than in rural areas EP7 Previous experience and credibility: Previous negative community experience with projects and outside assistance reduces credibility of the participatory process and participation in the PRA meetings EP8 Credibility of the PRA team: The credibility of the PRA team and its members influences participation in the meetings PRA Training for TG Members As the Task Group and I had decided, I gave them a course on PRA so that they would be able to carry out a PRA exercise later, with my orientation. The course was intended to capacitate not only active TG members, but also fishers who had participated in the movement for the Reserve, and others who could be interested in helping. The

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171 course involved the topics listed in Table 7-3, in ten evening sessions, from October 2 to 13. Evenings were chosen because it was agreed in the Task Group that this time would make it more convenient for fishers to attend. The three core TG members were in charge of the organization of the course. They found a classroom available in one of the municipal schools and invited participants. Although the TG faced participation problems before my dissertation fieldwork started, I focus mostly on what I was able to witness, which started in the training course. On the first evening, we had good attendance but missed the marisqueiras 27 of Porto de Trs, who did not come. Why didnt they come? I asked. Lack of interest, someone said. I think it is the gossip that is going on there in Porto de Trs, said someone else. The gossip they were referring to was that Instituto Ambiental was behind the Reserve, that it would not benefit locals. Maybe the marisqueiras forgot, or the message did not get to them I said. Two core TG members agreed. Then, lets invite them again! I proposed. Thus, action research on participation began when we started asking why the marisqueira women did not come to the course. Some explanatory propositions, discussed in the Introduction, were introduced, as follows: Maybe the marisqueiras forgot, or the message did not get to them, i.e., logistics (EP1): people participate if meetings are well-advertised and planned for convenient dates, times, and locations; Lack of interest, i.e., culture (EP2): fishers are individualistic and do not participate because of the nature of their activities; 27 Women that collect crabs, mollusks, and fish in the mangroves; in this case, they lived in Porto de Trs.

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172 I think it is the gossip that is going on there in the Porto de Trs, i.e., political aspects (EP4) (participation is a political currency and fishers attend meetings strategically), or previous experience and credibility (previous negative community experience with projects and outside assistance reduces credibility of the participatory process and participation in the PRA meetings), or credibility of the PRA team (the credibility of the PRA team and its members influences participation in the meetings). Table 7-3: Contents of the course on PRA for the Task Group Day Contents 1 st Day Introductions Objectives and expectations (game) Extractive Reserves History of the extractive reserves in Brazil The participants dreams for the Reserve Community participation 2 nd Day Review of the previous day Participatory methods and participatory rural appraisal Institutional diagram (Venn diagram) 3 rd Day Review of the previous day Types of participation: mobilization vs. empowerment Analysis of the institutional diagram 4 th Day Historical diagram of the natural resources Participatory mapping of the area 5 th Day Analysis of the map and of the historical diagram 6 th Day Interviews Common mistakes in Interviews Practicing interviews Behavior during the interviews Homework: describe your day 7 th Day Review of the previous day Review of the problem trees PRA activity planning 8 th Day Ecological transect of the sea of Itacar 9 th Day Review of the transect Problem tree of the natural resources Practicing self-presentation 10 th Day General review Seasonal calendar (Adapted from Weigand Jr. 2000a) We started by testing the logistics proposition, which was the easiest to test, while the others would take more time. TG members were all too busy during the next day, so Ana, a biologist who was also taking the course, went to Porto de Trs to invite the

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173 marisqueiras. She gathered together in a house at least ten women, who used to participate in the movement for the Reserve, and many promised to come. At night, though, only three came to the course (there were about eight marisqueiras who used to participate in such activities). Therefore, we concluded that it was not lack of invitation; the logistic proposition was not supported and people did not participate even if meetings were well-advertised and planned for convenient dates, times, and locations (although there could be some argument about whether the date, time and location of the course were considered convenient by the marisqueiras, we did not have any indication that they were not). The other two propositions were not tested at the time. However, some political questions emerged. Neither one of the invitations (the one by the TG or the one by Ana) followed the neighborhoods proper channels: they did not involve the Porto de Trs Neighborhood Association (AMPT). Was AMPT boycotting the Reserve and the TG because of inappropriate procedures that challenged their leadership? Were they asserting their territory as the organization through which all community work in Porto de Trs had to happen? The answer to these questions came much later, when the president of AMPT told me he was upset with a cultural group who met in Porto de Trs and insisted in not involving his association in its activities. AMPT would not tolerate competition. Therefore, using the proper channels was important, which seemed to corroborate EP4 (political aspects). By the end of the training, not many of the participants seemed able to use the PRA techniques because most did not endure ten days. Only three participants did, and maybe another two could facilitate PRA if they had a little more training and good

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174 supervision, while others had irregular participation in the course. The same process of inquiry, described above, happened. Why didnt they attend more? Oh, people are busy (EP1, logistics). There were the celebrations of So Francisco (EP1). If they were interested, they would come! (EP2, individualistic culture). That is, again the logistics (EP1) and the culture propositions (EP2) were competing among TG members. After some discussion, we considered that logistics (EP1) probably had an effect, because the course was long, and fishers had other activities in which they had to participate. In addition, the course started to give an idea of how much dedication working for the Reserve could take. It had to include some strategy to build up commitment, which it did not have. The three people who continued to the end of the course were the same who had sustained the process going forward even when most people had deserted. These three people evaluated that the main reason for the low attendance was that other participants did not have the same level of commitment to the process as they did. I did not like this explanation much, because I normally do not like to blame low participation on the participants, but it was clear that there was a subgroup within the TG, who worked much more than others. This is discussed in the next Chapter, where I deal with participation within TG. However, the So Francisco celebrations could account at least for the low participation of Pedro, ASPERIs President. So Francisco was the patron saint of the Colnia, and it was Pedros responsibility as a community leader to attend all celebrations in order to keep good relations of ASPERI with the Colnia and the Church. That was his justification. However, there was a climate of antagonism between TG members, on the one side, and ASPERI and Colnia, on the other, as discussed in

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175 Chapter 6. The fact that the TG did not consider the celebrations in planning the course is at least evidence of their low identity with the Colnia. The Task Group was thus politically isolated from the organizations that usually represented the fishers, and was not considering their influence on the community. TG members had moral arguments against the legitimacy of the other organizations in the process. Granted, ASPERI, Colnia, and even AMPT had participation problems, and their practices were often not very democratic. The rise of the TGs leadership created additional competition for political support. Moreover, the union of the fishers for the Extractive Reserve could represent a weakening of the influence of those organizations which depended on the representation of chunks of the fishing population, not all of it. In my view, as the TG acted too independently from the traditional forms of organization, it was creating resistance and competition for political influence when it was still too weak to face it (EP4). The situation called for a more pragmatic, and less radical, strategy; and I so advised TG members. However, they did not agree with my arguments and viewed the strategy that I suggested as a form of dissimulation and dishonesty, one that they rejected in traditional leaders. If Pedro avoided participating because of political antagonism against the TG, the political aspects proposition would be supported. We did not get much more information from him than his justification, described above, but before the course he told me that he did not come to the first TG meeting because it was carried out at the house of a TG member. He argued that it was not politically appropriate to hold meetings in someones house when there were rooms available in the fishers organizations.

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176 Indeed, the location of the course (in the school, and later changed to a house of a TG member because the school room became unavailable) could have played a role in the participation of some of the traditional leaders. TG members decided to avoid carrying out the course in the Colnia because people from ASPERI might not come (and, I suspected, they wanted to act independently from the Colnias directors). For the same reason, ASPERI was out of the question. Meeting locations had political meaning that influenced participation. As a result, traditional leaders may have boycotted the course as a strategy to resist the influence of TG members (EP4). Let us examine again the third proposition of the TG members for the low participation of the marisqueiras in the PRA course: I think it is the gossip that is going on there. The gossip, as we knew it, was that a core TG member had stolen R$12,000 from a project submitted to CNPT, money which she could not have taken because it was never granted. Different versions appeared in the community, but most of them were concentrated in Porto de Trs. We could not be sure about who had initiated the gossip, but suspected that a local social scientist had spread the rumor because We learned that she had done so in the past with other projects of which she was not a beneficiary She had access to information about a project to support the TG work that would have with the same amount of funding, which was still pending evaluation, that had been submitted to an Italian NGO (she often distorted facts to build gossip based on them) Another possible source of the gossip was the local owner of guinchos, who was going to lose the most with the creation of the Reserve. Still, the gossip could also be the work of the directors of Porto de Trs' Neighborhood Association (AMPT), who were criticized by a TG member because she heard complaints about the use of canoes and

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177 equipment that they received as a donation from CNPT/IBAMA. In a visit to Itacar prior to my arrival, she told me, CNPT wanted to give special attention to the women in that community, and thus held a meeting there to find out what their needs were. Predictably, the community presented a list of needs to CNPT (canoes, fishing equipment, etc). However, to everybodys surprise, the complaint was that, when these items arrived, AMPT did not let the women use them. Her critique was about this. It seemed a typical case of men appropriating the benefits that were directed towards women, since Porto de Trs had received canoes and equipment from IBAMA/CNPT to help the women collectors of crabs and shellfish. However, later we were told by a TG member who lived in Porto de Trs that the Association was just requesting that people pay their dues before using the canoes. Misinformation went both ways. Why was the gossip credible both ways? On the one hand, to the leaders of Porto de Trs (who needed to defend their positions from attacks), gossip that morally affected a TG member who was criticizing them (and competing with them for political support) seemed advantageous. The recent history of the community with the NGO Instituto Ambiental increased local suspicions about community projects (see Chapter 4) and made the gossip credible. The problems with environmental projects carried out in the municipality by Instituto Ambiental and an NGO from Ilhus created an environment favorable to this gossip even outside of Porto de Trs. The history of the region (where the poor have been oppressed and taken advantage of), the notion of limited good, and the free-rider myth, also justified the credibility of such gossip. Different information acquired different value (or credibility) according to whether they fitted the general discourses that were used to explain reality. On the other hand, to the core TG member,

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178 the gossip that men were taking advantage of the women by controlling the canoes donated by CNPT was credible because she expected this to happen, given her new feminist education with AAE. First-Round PRA Meetings Piracanga and Caubi The beach of Piracanga was located on the north coast of Itacar. This portion of the coast, between Itacar and Piracanga, was surprisingly pristine. Coconut plantations replaced most of Bahia's coastal native vegetation, but those six kilometers were an exception with a very typical coastal dune (restinga) ecosystem. The Piracanga River varied in volume according to the tide. Its delta was always changing, as the river meandered the restinga and formed mangroves. Batista's house was located on a former mangrove island at the mouth of the Piracanga River, occupied about 30 years before by another family who planted coconut trees, the first coconut grove to the north of Itacar. From this island, one could see the white-sand beach and the sea on the other side of the river, and enjoy the gentle breeze so typical of the Bahian coast. For four years, Batista had lived there with his family. Batista was a member of the Task Group, and his island was the TGs base for working with the Piracanga community. The TG decided to hold PRA meetings for the participants from the Village of Caubi and from Piracanga together on Batistas island. I have never been to Caubi, but the descriptions by Batista made me imagine a small village, maybe 50 to 70 households, practicing agriculture, wage labor in the rubber plantations, and subsistence fishing. On mangrove islands of Piracanga, four families lived in huts, whose walls and roofs were made of palm straw. These families planted home gardens and cooperated to

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179 fish in the sea in front of Piracanga beach, shariing a raft to get to deeper waters and launch nets. However, they only practiced subsistence fishing. Other dwellers of Piracanga lived in wooden houses on small farms, where they planted coconuts, watermelon, manioc and other crops, or worked as wage laborers for weekend farmers. They fished only for subsistence. Living conditions in Piracanga, in spite of the paradisiacal beach, were harsh. Sanitation was precarious, and most of the water sources were contaminated with parasites and/or with salt water. Parasites, combined with low agricultural productivity and low income, apparently caused undernourishment in some of the children. Most people in Piracanga were illiterate or nearly so. Almost no children went to school. There was no electricity and no telephone. To worsen the situation, there were land conflicts in Piracanga. The mangrove islands were being claimed by a couple of newcomers, who were not fishers but people who pursued a hippie-like lifestyle, farming and selling handicrafts for a living. Later, a second group started to claim property over the islands and try to evict the fishers. A municipal councilman and other people started to pressure the four families to leave the islands. However, the islands could not belong either to them or to the local families because they belonged to the state. They were "reas de Marinha, federal public land adjacent to the sea and estuaries, up to 33 meters from the highest tide. The conflict between the hippies and the families living on the mangrove islands created suspicions, not towards the promoters of PRA (the TG and me), but among the participants. To Batista, the hippies were just pretending to be cooperative. As he

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180 expected, later in the process of ER creation, the hippie couple became opponents of the community, not allies. Other conflicts in Piracanga involved a weekend farmer, who ordered the cutting of a mangrove area and the construction of a boardwalk over the Piracanga River, which restricted navigation on the river, and the use of the sea in front of the beach. The PRA map in Piracanga also revealed a conflict between fishers of Piracanga, who used rafts and nets to fish in the sea in front of the community, against urban fishers of the Forte, who used to trawl for shrimp there, and according to the fishers from Piracanga, ran over their nets with motorized trawling boats. Forte fishers in turn accused the fishers from Piracanga of stealing their nets cast by the beach. In Piracanga, the attendance at the first round of PRA meetings was good, but special effort was needed to invite people to come. Noticing that people were late, Batista proposed that he and I strengthen the invitations, walking through the community and inviting each family again. He told me he had invited people, but maybe they needed a new invitation. They forget, he said. It was the logistics proposition (EP1) again. We could invite the people of Piracanga, but Caubi was too far away. So, Batista and I visited the farms. I explained the purpose of the meeting after Batista introduced me to each family. As a result, soon after we returned to Batistas island, people started to arrive and we had good attendance in the afternoon. On the second day, participants came earlier, and no extra effort was required. Evidence of Piracangas capacity for community cooperation was shown on the second day of the first PRA round. Someone arrived with the news that there was a wildfire threatening a farm in the community. All men were requested to help and they

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181 improvised a fire brigade, but the women could still go on with their meeting. Later, the men returned and we all continued the meeting. This event undermined the individualistic culture proposition (EP2). This first round of PRA meetings in Piracanga did not support the proposition that fishers are individualistic, and that a lack of participation is the result of their culture (EP2). It seemed to support the logistics proposition (EP1), because community members responded to the new invitation, and there was a possibility that Batista was not so effective in getting the word out in his first invitation. However, if Batista was effective in doing the first invitation, it seems that people responded to the second invitation because I was with him. Santo de casa no faz milagre (a saint image kept at home, that is, ones own saint image, cannot make miracles), says a Brazilian proverb. Why not? There were several possible explanations why Batista was perhaps not able to perform his miracle in Piracanga; these explanations were not tested, but can be discussed: The community did not trust that Batista would have enough influence to bring about a meeting to discuss the Extractive Reserve (related to EP8, credibility of the PRA team) Batista was not effective in explaining what the Reserve or the purpose of the meeting was (EP1, logistics) Participants were impressed that an educated outsider, who looked more powerful than they were (me), was participating, and they might have expected some sort of benefits, such as money, information, etc. (EP5, multidimensional costs and benefits proposition) The first conjecture was not likely because there was a meeting about the Reserve in Piracanga before, carried out by the TG, with assistance of AAE and other volunteers, which had good attendance then. I believe that the second conjecture also was not likely

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182 because Batista was indeed good at explaining the idea of the Reserve (I saw him doing it). Thus, I believe that the third conjecture is the one that can better explain why fishers started to attend after my invitation: they were after benefits (information about the Reserve, money, etc.). However, this explanation is only required if Batista had really tried to invite everyone, which he said he did, two days before the meeting. In any event, by the end of the first meeting day, participants noticed that there would be no money or credit being distributed, but they came again on the second day, arriving early. TG members facilitated all the discussions on the first day, so I believe that participants were not so much influenced by my presence in the meeting. On the first day, participants had the opportunity to talk about their problems, and expected that their voice would be represented by TG members in further discussions about the Reserve. They were willing to give their political support to the TG so their voice would be heard (EP4). In addition, everybody had a nice time on the first day, and participants seemed happy to be back on the following morning (EP5), which supports Chambers (Chambers 1994a) reversals. In conclusion, Piracanga provided evidence against the individualistic culture explanatory proposition (EP2). Evidence against (or in favor of) the logistics proposition (EP1) was not so clear because we do not know whether or not it was just a second invitation that mobilized participants or whether it was my presence and the possibilities that participants thought I represented. Participants seemed to value the role of the TG representing the interests of community according to what they said in the meetings, and were willing to politically support the TG (EP4). All the other propositions were left standing, even though the evidence was not conclusive for the free-riding proposition

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183 (EP3). Finally, the isolation of Piracanga seemed to leave it apparently uncontaminated by the gossip going on in town. Piracanga was forgotten even by the traditional leaders of Itacar. In Piracanga, Batista was the one who performed a leadership role, and he was with the TG, not against it. Banca do Peixe Banca do Peixe was the community where it was most difficult to obtain attendance at the PRA meetings. It was a port community (see Chapter 3); the banca do peixe (fish stand or market) was a place around which offshore and inshore native fishermen gathered and was part of the Colnia's infrastructure, which also included a chapel and a classroom, right next to the port of the Banca. The chapel was used on commemorative dates, such as the day of So Francisco (Saint Francis), the patron saint of the Colnia. The classroom was used by the municipality for elementary school classes, and by the Colnia and the TG for meetings and courses. The three buildings were located side by side on the boulevard by Coroa beach. In the central division of the boulevard, there were benches and several kiosk bars. Two of them closer to the Banca were places where fishers and others played cards, gambled and talked about local politics and the lives of others. The benches in front of the Banca were used by the fishers, where they sat and observed the sea on the other side of Pontal, interpreted the weather, talked about fishing, soccer, community politics and, of course, the lives of others. These benches were also used by some merchants and boat owners to chat, gossip, and discuss politics, very similar to what is described in Jorge Amados novel, Gabriela Cravo e Canela (Amado 1963), for the banca do peixe of Ilhus, in the first half of the 20 th Century.

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184 The Banca was located at the end of the Coroa beach closer to the sea, where the river curve created a protected spot to anchor boats and canoes. In front of the Colnia, the sandy beach turned into mud, with some tiny mangrove trees. On the river bank, tall jackfruit trees gave shade to boat repairing activities. At low tide, the retreating water laid most boats anchored in front of the Banca on the exposed sand or mud. The ramp that gave access from the boulevard to the beach and the river, and the kiosk bar of Seu Osvaldo, were located on the left side of the Colnia. His bar was closed much of the year, but nonetheless the space was the preferred spot of many fishermen. There they talked, repaired their nets, observed the weather and the waves in the barra, and napped. At night, the ramp was another popular spot. Many fishermen used to go there to "tomar a fresca, that is, to enjoy the breeze of the night, lie on the ramp, talk or sleep. For many, the Banca and its surroundings were more than a public space; they were an extension of their homes and of their boats. Fishers who had fished all night often had trouble sleeping in their tiny homes during the day, where their families could disturb them. It was quieter by the port. All of that could change soon, because the state government had plans to renovate the whole boulevard and make it more attractive to tourists. The Banca was the community with which I became most familiar. Most people in the TG were from the Banca. I lived in the same part of the town as most fishers of the Banca, and used to run into them in the streets more often than the fishers of other communities. The Colnia was the most conspicuous form of organization of the fishers, and the habit of fishers of hanging out by Osvaldos kiosk or by the benches in front of the fish market made them easily accessible to me. I would just do the same: sit there

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185 under the trees, start a conversation with some of them, or just stare at the sea until someone started talking to me. The extractive reserve, obviously, was our favorite topic of conversation. However, we also talked about changes in nature, the past of community organization, and the customs of the fishers, speculating if there was any chance that fishers could become empowered by community organizations. Most of their evaluations were not very optimistic. This community comprised about 100 fishers; most of them were born in Itacar and were second or third generation fishers in the municipality. In my conversations with them, I noticed that they identified themselves as "nativos, and opposed both outside fishers and the newcomer fishers of the Forte. They were recognized by the rest of the fishers of the municipality as the experts in the sea of Itacar, because they knew all the fishing spots in the sea and all the fishing techniques. Their knowledge of the sea allowed them to practice hook-and-line fishing and I wondered if their greater dedication to this modality, instead of shrimp fishing, was related to its possible better cost/benefit ratio. Outside and newcomer fishers were rarely involved in hook-and-line fishing because they did not know the sea of Itacar well. This was verified in the PRA, comparing the natural resource maps created by the participants in the Banca (mostly natives) and in the Forte (mostly newcomers); the map created in the Banca was very detailed, with greater emphasis on the fishing spots, while the map created by the Forte fishers focused on the mud substratum used for shrimp fishing. The PRA natural resource map created by the fishers of the Colnia (Figure 7-1 shows the drawing that I did based on the map) identified 26 underwater fishing spots in the sea of Itacar. They comprised submerged rocks, reefs, and cliffs. It also showed the

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186 location of the seafloor mud substratum on which boats trawled for shrimp, the location of every beach, and the main resource use problems. Beach Rocky shore Beach Nets Rio de Contas Coral reefs Rafts Divers Trash Mud substractum Trawler boat (guincho) Coastline Fishing spot

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187 Figure 7-1: Natural resource map created by the PRA participants of Banca do Peixe. Banca fishers had resource use conflicts with the guincho boats and with divers that fished using compressed air breathing eq uipment. However, some of its fishers snorkeled in the reefs close to the shore fo r fishing, which became a major issue in the PRA meetings. Most fishers wa nted to create an untoucha ble area where these fishers used to fish, called the nursery or the coral gardens, and rec ognized the destructive effects of divers in the area (reportedly, co ral harvesting by divers had already destroyed a great part of the beautiful coral formations). To them, protection was important not only to restore fish populations but also to increase the underwater tourism value of the sea of Itacar. The fishers of the Banca were primarily commercial. They sell the good fish and eat the bad, as one fisherman put it, that is, they sold the first-class, expensive fish, and consumed the second-class, cheap fish. Most of the Banca fishers lived in the cen tral (and better) part of the town. Some of the fishers had motor boats that, unlik e ASPERIs, were acquired with their own resources, and not financed by the bank. Their wives were involved in their own businesses, worked for the municipality or in stores (because Banca do Peixe was a port community, it was a community of men, mostl y, with women and children linked to the Banca by the participation of men in their daily activities around it). Thus, compared to other fishing communities, these fishers were relatively wealthy. Most of these fishers had lighter skin than the (often poorer) fish ers from Porto de Trs or Passagem, although most also had some African racial features.

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188 Because most of these fishers used the fi sh stand of the Colnia and motor boats (which required registration in the Port Authority for which the Colnia was an intermediary), they tended to be more invol ved in the Colnia. Many paid the monthly contribution to the organization and received so cial security benefits. However, they had a long history of antagonistic interaction w ith government agencies, which made them skeptical of them, skilled at cheating them, and resistant to any change. These fishers, along with other members of the Colnia who were not fishers, were important in electoral terms, both in th e organization and in th e Municipality. Thus, they also had had the experien ce of having the Colnia be targ eted for electoral purposes. In addition, they were involved with the debates about the ch anges in Itacar, discussed the increasing power of the newcomers rela ted to tourism and environmentalism, and accepted nativismo (see Chapter 4) easily. Maybe for these reasons (that is, previous experience, EP7), it was a particularly difficult community to promote community organizing and to sell the Extractive Reserv e idea in the Banca, even though most members of the Task Group bel onged to this community. The institutional diagram of Banca do Peixe (Figure 72) showed that these fishers saw themselves at the center of th e whole fishing community of Itacar. Their main problems were with agencies that had a repressive role, such as CRA, IBAMA, and to a certain extent, the Port Authority.

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189 Comunidade Pesqueira de Itacar Banca do Peixe Col-nia Asperi Mari-nha PMI AMPT Pousadeiros BNB Surf CRA Ibama Ilhus Sindicato patronal Figure 7-2: Institutional diagram of Banca do Peixe. Key: IBAMA Ilhus = Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Office in Ilhus); PMI = Itacar Municipal Government; Pousadeiros = owners of pousadas (small hotels); BNB = Bank of the Brazilian Northeast (a regional development bank); AMPT = Porto de Trs Neighborhood Association; Surf = Itacar Surfers Association; Colnia = Colnia de Pesca Z-18 (the local fishers guild); ASPERI = Itacar Fishers Association; Sindicato Patronal = Rural Landowners Union; Marinha = the Navy, i.e., the Port Authority or Brazilian Coast Guard; CRA = Bahias State Environmental Agency; Banca do Peixe = the community of Banca do Peixe. The Colnia was placed at the margin of the Banca community, revealing their concerns. According to them, even though fishers receive some social security support through the Colnia, they are not well informed of their rights. Directors were not close to the fishers and were not seen as representation channels for their needs. According to PRA participants, the participation of fishers in the Colnia only happened for selfish motives, such as obtaining credit (EP3, free-riding proposition). There was a debate on whether it was better to have a fisher as a president of the Colnia: some people argued

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190 that fishers were not capable, based on th e past experience; others argued that a fisherman could do a good job as long as he had the good advice they were having at that moment. Banca fishers, unlike the fishers of Porto de Trs, did not have a local organization to represent them exclusively. The Colnia was supposed to represent all fishers in Itacar and neighbor ing municipalities, not only the fishers of the Banca. Finally, PRA participants discussed ways in which fishers should trade their fish. At that point, the Colnia maintained an in frastructure that served mainly middlemen, particularly two men who had kin ties with Ulysses, the treasurer of the organization. New installations were proposed with the middlemens needs in mind, and the new directors expressed a vi ew that they should terceirizar, that is, open spaces for private entrepreneurs, as if the Colnia were a government institution that should follow a neoliberal philosophy. This was opposed by th e TG and other fishers, who defended a cooperative, instead, to bypass the middlemen. Such a strategy was followed in the Forte, by ASPERI, and was in course in Porto de Trs, by AMPT, which we re not cooperatives in the formal sense, but associations which tried to act as if they were cooperatives. As pointed out above, the Banca was the community where obtaining attendance at PRA meetings was most difficult. Twice the TG and I failed to attract participation at the PRA meetings, which had to be can celed. Why was it so difficult? The first explanatory proposition, as usual, was logistics (EP1): were the meetings well advertised? Were meeting place, dates and times convenient? One year before, when I gave a course on community leadership to the fishers of Itacar, in the same place and times, and fo r five consecutive evenings, it enjoyed

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191 reasonable participation from the fishers of th e Banca. This time, location and times were the same, thus probably convenient, and ther e was no indication that the dates were not convenient. One of the attempted meetings had a short rain shower before it, but this still was not a reason for such a little response. Th e question was whether or not the meetings had been well advertised. In the second attempt, I got invol ved in advertising to make sure it was done, and in spite of this, just three people came to the meeting. We had a TG meeting to discuss the s ituation. A fisherman complained that Banca do Peixe, his own community, just co mplained about everything. Another agreed, It seems that fishers dont want the Reserv e. Catu theorized: Only a minority does not want the Reserve. You have to understand that fishers in general want the Reserve, but they are waiting, as they always do: the fisher waits for the fi sh to bite the bait, he waits for the right tide, and he waits for the storm to pass. To Catu, waiting was in their culture (EP2); being passive was sometimes an important strategy for survival when utilizing resources, and this was also exte nded to the social and political arena. A fisherman complained about what he saw as hypocrisy of the fishers. They tell you one thing and among themselves they say another! According to him, fishers wait so they can blame others, in this case the Task Group, fo r the failures. Another fisher agreed with Catu, that the fishers want the Reserve but do not work for it. This reasoning is also consistent with the free-rider argument. After some discussion in the meeting, it be came clear to all that there was a group trying to destroy the fishers motivation for the Reserve. Someone quoted Z Filho, a fisherman who supported the Reserve, who sa id the Working Group says one word in favor of the Reserve and they [some fishers interested in creating suspicions] say ten

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192 words against it. Z Filho was just realizi ng that the Reserve was going to benefit him. Catu hypothesized again: the Extractive Rese rve is the best, but it takes power away from ASPERI and Colnia, and that is w hy it bothers them. A fisherman agreed, and mentioned as evidence that when they talk ed about the creation of a cooperative, which would take some of the role ASPERI is playing now, the president of ASPERI was against it. In this discussion, TG members presented several of the propositions to explain fishers participation in It acar discussed in this dissertation. To some, fishers were individualistic, while to ot hers, waiting was in their cu lture (EP2). Many TG members believed that fishers were free-riding in th eir efforts (EP3), and that free-riding was somehow justified because fishers were stil l suspicious of the Reserve (EP4). Such suspicions were justified both in terms of the fishers culture (EP2) and of their past experiences with community organization (EP7 ). In the discussion, the political aspects of participation became apparent (EP4). First, many fishers still believed that they would lose with the Reserve, listening to verbal at tacks by the sectors that could lose from it. These sectors were not just comprised of the industrial fishers but also of traditional leaders in charge of the fishers organizati ons. Because of its potential to change how power was distributed in Itac ar, the Extractive Reserve proposal was facing several forms of opposition from people that were be nefiting from the present power relations, and for whom the Reserve represented a threat. In the case of the Banca, the ones who were most threatened by the Reserve were the Colnias directors, partic ularly a director whose rela tions with TG members were already strained, and who spent his days by th e port, where he could spread his opinions

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193 about the Reserve to other fishers. Neverthe less, his opposition was not necessarily just an attempt to defend his position; in one of the meetings about the Reserve he revealed that he misunderstood who was going to set th e rules for the Reserve. He alleged that, when we said that the community was goi ng to decide, he assumed it was the whole community of Itacar, not just the fishing community 28 If it was the whole community, he said, he feared that the environmentalists would take ove r the process. Thus, he was resisting the Reserve because of the prev ious experience he had had with the environmentalists (EP7). He was advising th e community to boycott the process as a way to resist the creation of the Reserve (EP4). To overcome such opposition, the TG had to clear things up with such opponents, providing information about the Reserve, a nd acting with them, not against them. In addition, it had to make information about the Reserve reach the community, and reduce opposition. In spite of all these propositions discusse d in the TG meeting, I believed that PRA could still attract pa rticipation. On the one hand, I did not believe that fishers were individualistic by nature or culture (EP2). On the other, my experience with PRA suggested to me that participa ting in the meetings could be pleasant and rewarding (EP5). I proposed that we try once more, changi ng the meeting time a nd location to late afternoon, outside the classroom where we ha d tried previous meetings, right on the 28 At the time, the new law regarding the Na tional System of Conservation Units, SNUC, was not implemented yet; with its implemen tation, the rules are not set just by the extractive community and IBAMA anymore; they are decided by a management council in which, when possible, commun ity and government organizations have equal power.

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194 street. This would allow us to attract fi shers by hooking them through their curiosity. My following fieldnote accounts for the experience: On November 16, 2000, I went with M. to the Banca to hold the PRA meeting to create a participatory map of the Reserve. We were disappointed to find out that a course for fishers was being carried out by the Port Authority in the classroom. M. said it was better not to do our meeting until the other one was over, even if ours was going to be outside. When the Port Authority course ended, I ha d lost sight of M., but proposed to F. that we started the map. He did not want to. Fishers are like that, they only care for these things, he said, referring to the card playing that was going on in a kiosk bar. He seemed disappointed with his audience. Our work is fun too, I replied. He resisted and I finally said, If you are not in the mood to do the map, fine, but I am. I took the material to Os valdos kiosk and opened two large sheets of paper on the ground and glued them t ogether, making a working surface of about 1.5 m x 1 m and attracti ng the curiosity of some fi shers that were close by. As they approached me to see what I was doing, I explained, and asked someone to start drawing the coast, but nobody dare d to. I decided to draw the coastline based on a satellite image I had with me and asked for their directions. They started to tell me where the rivers were, and the names of the beaches. There was a discussion on whether there was a ri ver in one of the beaches, causing an argument between fishers. A tense atmosphe re, typical of many meetings with the fishers of the Banca, was established. They yelled at each other, and argued about who had better knowledge of the region I as ked about the rest of the elements we could represent, like fishing spots, r eefs, etc. No one moved to contribute. I placed a pile of pebbles on the paper (t o represent the fishing spots), sand (to represent the beaches) and sawdust (to repr esent the mud), and asked them to use that to build the map. Slowly, Mam and then Jeneca started pl acing the pebbles on the map marking fishing spots. After they reached an agreement over the position of the map elements, they glued them to the paper. Other fishers started to participate and I stepped back and let them do it. More a nd more fishers approached the map. They argued about the location and names of different fishing spots, but now in a much friendlier manner. Always lighthearted, Jeneca brought his joy to the meeting; they joked and laughed. By the end of the exercise, 23 people had participated and some of the most stubborn opponents of the Reserve, such as Seu Cortez, changed their attitude. Seu Cortez was a retired sailor and fisherman, grandfather of a new generation of fishers. He used to argue with me that the Reserve was not going to go anywhere: You dont know these folks! Fishermen are a race for which there is no hope! However, during the meeti ng, he approached the map slowly, even gave us some suggestions, and by the end, smiled and said that this was what he wanted, that the fishers should understand what the Extractive Reserve was. He never again argued with me about the fish ers inability to manage the Reserve.

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195 They worked on the map for more than an hour, discussed some of the resource use problems and only stopped when it got too dark. The action of doing the map tested the e xplanatory propositions about fishers participation in the Banca meetings. There was almost no advertisement for the map, but time and location worked in attracting mo re than 20 people (Figure 7-3 shows the crescent interest generated by the participatory map). The PRA mapping technique made the mee ting enjoyable, attracting and keeping fishers involved for as long as we had e nough light to work. This showed that the problem of low participation was with the st rategies and not with the participants. The logistics (EP1) and the individualis tic culture (EP2) propositions could not account for both the failures and the successes in attracting good attendance in the Banca so far. As fishers participated in the pa rticipatory mapping exercise, they started to understand the Reserve better. Asking them ab out their knowledge and opinions worked to increase their trust in the TG and in the proposal for the Reserve (EP8). Participation attracted more participation, both because of cu riosity and because of trust. All of these reduced the resistance to the Reserve (EP4). Moreover, increased particip ation started to change the minds of older fishers about themselves. The emic genetic or cultu ral explanation for low participation of the fishers in community organization (fish ers are hopeless, EP2) started to lose ground, making free-riding and resistance le ss logical for individual fishers.

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196 Figure 7-3: Participatory mapping in Banca do Peixe.

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197 The follow up of the mapping exercise de scribed above happened three months later, a period in which the Task Group f aced internal participation problems, and interrupted their actions in the community, and then started to reorga nize itself (which is discussed in Chapter 8), and after PRA was ca rried out in Porto de Trs (see below). From the first day, we repeated the same strategy used above. The meetings were held on the street, in front of the Colnia. Th e fishers who were frie ndlier to me and more sympathetic to our work were the first to arrive to the circle of chai rs placed outside, in front of the Colnia's classroom. Putting the chairs outside was very unusual and even I was a bit concerned about the adequacy of bloc king a street lane with the meetings. When I expressed my concerns, a TG member was emph atic: this street is ours! If we cant use the street for a meeting then we might as well give up for good! Normally, the meetings happened inside, a nd shyer fishers did not come or stayed outside looking through the windows. This time, it was different. The chairs were there, outside on the street, as an invitation, maybe as an intr usion, maybe morally compelling people to participate. Some fishers were st ill shy. One said he was going home to get a shirt. I took my shirt off and sa id he did not need one either They were used to people that claimed authority using formality. We di d the opposite. We did not want authority; we wanted participation. I believe that many understood our message and saw the difference. He stayed and, soon, other fishers approached the circle of chairs and took their seats. To reduce political resistance of the leader s of Colnia (EP4), this time we asked a director of the Colnia to open the first meeting (January 29). A TG member and I agreed that if we did not compete with him, we would obtain partic ipation faster, and the

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198 community was going to express their concerns about the mistakes of the Colnia (the TG did not have to do it). The strategy worke d. Instead of receiving criticism from the TG, the directors of the Colnia had to listen to the critiques from their own constituency. The PRA meetings provided the occasion for th e community to present its demands to its leaders (EP4). A TG member coordinated the institutional diagram in the third Banca do Peixe PRA meeting in the second PRA attempt (Figur e 3-2). Circles repres enting organizations started to be placed on the paper, leading to a disputed discussion. The discussion of the Colnia, however, was the most controversia l. Fishers passing by stopped to see what the discussion was all about, and when they iden tified that the Colnia was in question, many stayed and contributed their critique. The group grew larger; everyone wanted to give their contribution. This was certainly a st rong counterevidence to the claims of the Colnia's directors and even members of the Task Group that fishers were not willing to participate (EP2), that they lacked interest and was evidence in fa vor of the political aspects of participation (EP4). At a certain point, I interrupt ed and asked them whether they wanted to continue discussing the Colnia (which would imply an additional meeting), or if they wanted to continue the exercise with other organizations. Enthusiast ically, they decided that discussing the Colnia was more important an d agreed on an extra meeting. Skeptical, I wondered if they would come ag ain, confirming their interest. They did. The additional meeting happened the next week (February 6) with great attendance, after we carried out meetings in Itacarezinho (described below). The participants listened to the reading of th e previous meeting report and discussed the

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199 issues point by point again. This time, the pres ident of the Colnia was present to respond to the criticisms and account for his administration. In the last meeting (February 7), particip ants continued discus sing the role of the Colnia and the fishing community. When they were satisfied with the discussion about the Colnia, they were invited to return to th e institutional diagram, and finish it with the discussion of the remaining listed organi zations. In the institutional diagram, IBAMA/Ilhus was placed far distant from th e community of Banca do Peixe. The fishers complained that the regional office of the Br azilian environmental authority in Ilhus did not treat them with respect, and used unjustified force and violence in the enforcement missions in Itacar. The state environmenta l authority, the Center of Environmental Resources (CRA) was also placed far from the community, because of the conflicts created during the implementation of th e Environmental Protection Area (APA) Itacar/Serra Grande. The two organizations that represented the fishers (Colnia and ASPERI), even with problems, were placed cl osest to the community of Banca do Peixe. AMPT, the association representing the fishers of Porto de Trs, was also considered to be close to the community. The Port Authority (Marinha) was placed close to the community, despite the dissatisfaction the fishers had with the of ten rough treatment they received from enforcement officers. However, they argued that it was for their own good and safety, since the action of enforcement officers was intended to make fishers use the safety equipment required by law. The municipality (PMI) and the hotel owners (pousadeiros) were not so close to the community, but they provided jobs to the community. The Sindicato Patronal (the Landowners Syndicate) sometimes offered support to meetings,

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200 and for this reason, was not considered to be too far from the community. Therefore, while some organizations were closer to the community, the institutional diagram shows an antagonistic relationship between the Banca fishers and the envir onmental authorities. The discussion in the Banca, in spite of the difficulties, was very rewarding for TG members and me. It was pleasant to obser ve fishers express their criticism of the faults of the Colnia, which we all knew, but which could never be expressed publicly because of lack of a specific forum. Ev idence of immediate response by the Colnias directors to the criticism received was that th ey made a first-aid kit available to all the fishers, as it had been in the past. It was a small response, but it was there. From the results of action-testing in th e Banca community, we can conclude the following: Fishers do not automatically participate wh en the appropriate l ogistics are provided Fishers are not individualist ic, but whether they free-ri de or not depends on the context Participation is political; fish ers were not participating beca use they were resisting the creation of the Extractive Rese rve (which is an additiona l motivation to free-ride). They started to participate wh en they realized that the Re serve was beneficial to them, and when PRA meetings became channels for political expression, and not for cooption There were multidimensional costs and benefits of participation: a) the first participants to come to the meetings were the fishers who were emotionally closer to TG members; b) because the meeting wa s promoted outside, it put some moral pressure on people passing by to participat e, and c) the meeting location created curiosity about what was being said in the meeting (informational benefits) Banca do Peixe was more suspicious and resistant to participate in the PRA meetings than Piracanga. This was so a pparently because it had previous negative experience with the participa tory projects promoted by th e environmentalists and with state agencies, such as IBAMA and the Port Authority (see Chapters 4 and 5), which the

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201 community of Piracanga did not have. In a ddition, Piracanga was rural, and the Banca was urban. To the people of Piracanga, information and social interaction (and even political expression) provided by the PRA m eetings were more valuable than to the people of the Banca. Finally, as pointed out before, because Piracanga was rural, its isolation left it uncontamina ted by the gossip and resistance going on in town. Porto de Trs Porto de Trs was an urban neighborhood in the town of Itacar, composed of 114 households. There was only one paved street which gave access to the community. The other "streets" were not really streets, but walkways in th e midst of high grass and open sewage canals, with pieces of lumber as improvised bridges over the stinking watercourses. The infrastructure was very precarious. The main probl em was the lack of a sewage collection system. Most houses did not even have toilets. Water and energy were available but many people did not earn enou gh to pay their bills, and were cut off by the utilities companies. There were a number of clandestine electr icity connections, but there was no telephone line in the community. Most houses were very simple, built wallto-wall, with doors openi ng right on the street. Porto de Trs was described by its people as a village: most residents were African descendants born in the neighborhood; there were few newcomers; and even marriages were normally between commun ity members, not with outsiders. The community maintained its folklore through annua l parties and cultural events such as the bicho caador (hunter beast, or possibly, t he hunter and the beast). The bicho caador was a play performed by three community members, one dressed as the hunter and the other two dre ssed as the beasts, accompanied by a large band playing drums and singing drums. The th ree characters dance d, portraying a fight

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202 between the hunter and the beasts celebrating a lost era when the forest and the beasts were abundant, and hunters were scared of them. The bicho caador paraded all over town. The people of Porto de Trs would take their play to the households of the wealthy, who had the obligation to invite people insi de and contribute mone y to the party (AMPT would also raise money before the party). It was considered prestigious to receive a visit by the bicho caador troupe. After the party had received contributions from all the prestigious people in the community, it headed back to Porto de Trs, where the ending of the play would finally be revealed: either the hunter would kill the beasts (the common ending), or the beasts would kill the hunter (the endi ng that I saw). Then people would stay and dance all night to samba de roda music. Such a party required consid erable cooperation and planning, an evidence against the individualistic culture pr oposition (EP2). Organi zers had to raise money beforehand, make costumes (which involve d natural fibers collected from a forest kilometers away), and set up the decorations The people of Porto de Trs were also recognized for their festa junina (June party, normally in honor of St. John), which attracted people from all over town. Most people, both men and women, in Porto de Trs were fishers. The mangroves, they said, were th eir bank. When they needed money, they would go to the bank, and get some crabs and fish. Fishing for crabs in the mangroves ( mariscar ) was seen as an undignified activity by many, and many hesitated before admitting that they were marisqueiros or marisqueiras This is understandable because fishing for crabs in the mangroves involved walking in the mud, si nking into it to their knees or thighs, cutting their feet and legs on oyster shells attached to mangr ove roots buried in the mud,

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203 reaching with their arms up to their shoulders inside crab holes in the mud, and often rubbing their faces on the mud while crabs were defending themselves in the holes, piercing the capturers hand. Covered up to their necks in mud, fishers tried to avoid getting their clothes all dirt y and often performed these activities naked. Thus, going to the bank was not very prestigious to them; it was a sign of their poverty. During the PRA, participants mentioned 35 common names of fish species, six crustaceans, six mollusks, five snakes, nine birds, and six mammals associated with the mangrove ecosystem. They also cited 15 fishi ng techniques. Most of the fish caught by the community was for subsistence; the surplus was sold in the town by the children. However, as they increased the commercia lization of their catches, the abundance of fish and crabs was decreasing. Trash brought by the river accumulated in parts of the mangroves, which also suffered alteration by human settlements. Certain parts of the mangrove had been cut and converted into coconut plantations. Conflicts involved mangrove areas and river margins that were claimed by farmers along the river. These areas were public ( reas de Marinha, or Navy lands), but some farmers prohibited extractors to collect crabs and other fauna there. With the development of tourism, a growing number of people started to work for the pousadas and restaurants, as cooks, waiters, maids, and night-guards. Others would perform temporary jobs in construction and some of the men recently had been hired by the municipality as night-guards. Duri ng the PRA, a group of young men was very skeptical of the Extractive Rese rve. Tourism is the future, one said, Fishing will never give us anything; it never help ed my dad get out of poverty.

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204 In the PRA institutional diagram (Figure 7-4 shows my drawing based on the diagram created by participants of Porto de Trs), participants cited 17 institutions that affected their lives. The large circle represen ted the whole fishing community of Itacar. They placed the circle representing Porto de Trs on the edge of the large circle, and placed the Colnia circle far from the fishi ng community, showing that they did not feel included in the policies aimed at fishers and that they were not happy with the Colnia. Other institutions were percei ved as more helpful, such as IBAMA (which gave them canoes but also had a nega tive repressive side), Prefeitura (the municipality, which hired many of them recently) and mainly their own Association. Instituto Ambiental was placed on the other side of the diagram due to their past conflicts. People were unhappy with most organizations. During PRA, a social pyramid exercise was proposed to help participants of Porto de Trs analyze their s ituation in society. According to the participants, Porto de Trs was among the poorest neighborhoods in town, socio-economically below boat owners, fish traders, hotel owners, and medi um farmers, who were perceived as below the municipal government, the resorts and the state government. The neighborhood had one kiosk for community use, where meetings were carried out and a television set was available for us e of the community members. According to the president of AMPT, known as Bob Marley, 80% of the families were members of the Association, which had 80 members, although ju st a few paid their dues (R$ 2 per month, or about US$ 1 at the time) regularly. This estimate of the number of members of AMPT was probably an exaggeration because it was easy to find families that were not members

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205 Figure 7-4: Institutional Diagram of Porto de Trs. Key: Igreja = Catholic Church; of the Association. AMPT, among other functions, maintained and managed a set of six canoes that were used for fishing in the mangroves. Porto de Trs Colonia Z-18 Governo Marinha Ibama Banco NE Boto Negro C.D.L. A.P.A. Contur Sementesde JAH AFI P.M.I Surf Igreja Asperi A.M.P.T. Comunidade Pesqueira de Itacar Porto de Trs Colonia Z-18 Governo Marinha Ibama Banco NE Instituto Ambiental C.D.L. A.P.A. Contur Sementes de JAH AFI P.M.I Surf Igreja Asperi A.M.P.T. Comunidade Pesqueira de Itacar ; A = I = orto de he PRA meetings in Porto de Trs showed that they perceived their place in the fishing community to be marginal and that their main form of political representation was their own association, AMPT (although there were conflicts). To them, they were among Marinha = Brazilian Coast Guard; Colnia Z-18 = Itacar Fishers GuildCDL = Itacar Business Bureau; Banco NE = Brazilian Northeast Bank; Governo = State Government; ASPERI = Itacar Fishers Association; APEnvironmental Education Program for the Environmental Protection Area of Itacar/Serra Grande; Surf = Itacar SurfersAssociation; IBAMA = BrazilianInstitute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources; PMI = Itacar Municipal Government; Contur = Municipal Tourism Council; AFSons of Itacar Association; AMPT = Porto de Trs Neighborhood Association; Sementes de Jah = dance and musical group based in PTrs; Porto de Trs = the community of Porto de Trs. T

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206 the least empowered communities in Itacar. As pointed out before, the people in Porto de Trs were negatively influenced by th e gossip about the TG members, with whom there was an underlying conflict. Carrying out PRA meetings th ere without the consent of AMPTs directors would face great problems and opposition (EP4). However, slowly, the position of AMPT started to change once TG was able to account for all the money they received (and did not receive) to devel op community work in Itacar, and as we identified one source of the gossip creating c onflicts between the TG and AMPT (EP8). We identified Arnaldos strategy when Itacar received the visit of CNPTs marine extractive reserve consultant. During th e visit of the CNPT consultant for marine extractive reserves, the consulta nt and I went to Porto de Tr s to investigate the canoe situation (described before). There, we l earned that more gossip was going on. The vice president of the Association, who still did not know me, said Arnaldo said that someone named Ronaldo said that we are making wr ongful use of the canoes Well, I am Ronaldo! And I havent said this, but only that in many projects that I saw where participation is not included, money is wast ed More gossip! However, now we knew the origin: Arnaldo owned a trawler boat comp any and was interested in blocking the creation of the Extractive Reserve. You know Arnaldo doesnt want the Reserve I said. Yes, we have to take care not to be lieve in everything he tells us, the vicepresident said. In Itacar many of the people who had pr ivileged access to information were part of an elite group that had interests in oppositio n to the rest of their community. Arnaldo was intelligent and well informed, thus an important asset for the fishers when they wanted to understand things that needed info rmation from outside. However, he made his

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207 living from exploiting fishers and had an in terest in preventing the creation of the Reserve. Empowerment, in this case, involved the awareness of the interests behind every bit of information received, so that its credib ility could be judged. After that episode, and other conversations in which we clearly identified to the fishers that Arnaldo was unreliable as a source of information about the Reserve or community work, the gossip problem was greatly reduced (EP8). We seem ed to have identifie d one important source of gossip and opposition in Itacar. Another source of suspicion in Porto de Trs was their previous negative experience with the NGO Ins tituto Ambiental (EP7). B ecause a former Instituto Ambiental member was previously working wi th the TG as a volunteer, people in Porto de Trs became suspicious of the TG. When that volunteer stopped working with the TG, the suspicions were lowered. A final event explains the change in attitude by the directors of AMPT. A petition to forbid trawlers in the s ea of Itacar was passed in th e community, and was able to collect 300 signatures in two days, showing a good response. This attracted the interest of the president of Porto de Trs Neighborhood Association, who started to attend TG meetings right after the signed peti tion was sent to the government. I started to suspect that there was a kind of critical mass for participation, that people might start to participate when they saw a lot of other people doing that, too. However, a TG member argued th at AMPTs president began to participate as he realized that AMPT would not obtain the same level of support from CNPT/IBAMA they had before. Indeed, his participation in the TG meetings was always focused just on the interests of his community, and it seems that he hoped that PRA would yield a project

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208 with which he could obtain funding for his comm unity. After his first appearance in a TG meeting, he told me that there was a cultura l group competing with his association in Porto de Trs. He also told me that he w ould oppose any initiative in his community if it did not follow the proper channels, that is, if it did not recognize AMPTs leadership in the neighborhood. When the TG invited the marisqueiras to participate in the PRA course months before, they did not talk to hi m first. To me, that was evidence that the course was boycotted by Porto de Trs beca use the TG had not obtained the consent and support of AMPT (EP4). In the PRA exercise, the situation woul d be different. AMPTs president was present in the TG meeting and agreed to support the meetings. On the evening of the first meeting, the pavilion built by AMPT was ready, allowing a bigger meeting protected from the rain that was common at that time of the year. Attendance was good, even though the meeting started one hour late. T his is how the people are around here, someone reassured me; they only come wh en they can see some movement. The following three consecutive meetings also had good attendance, by both men and women. There was great co rdiality and friendliness towards the TG and me. The last meeting day was my birthday, and a local lady made me a cake to take home. During the meetings, Gilmar, a fisher who also took tourists for trips in the mangrove, became very interested in working with the community for the Reserve. We invited him to the TG meetings and soon he became a motivated TG member. However, some community members who opposed the AMPTs directors did not come to the meetings, including the young men of the cultural group AMPT was trying to control, and some other people who told me th ey were not satisfied with the directors of

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209 AMPT. Again, this was evidence that nonpartic ipation was a form of political action. The same type of power struggle played out betw een leaders in Itacar and the TG was played out within their own communities. Some people were influenced by them, or were willing to give them their political support; others resisted them. The main way to resist was to withdraw participati on (EP4). Conversely, many of the people who went to the meetings were relatives of the directors, whic h suggested that kinshi p ties could also be influencing participation. The evidence from Porto de Trs supporte d some of the same conclusions derived from the PRA meetings in the Banca (the ones that linked participation to political factors, EP4). However, as the Banca PR A meetings did, Porto de Trs meetings provided evidence against the culture explanatio n (EP2): fishers were not individualistic. The previous experience of Porto de Trs with the environmentalists made them more suspicious of participatory processes but this was not a problem during the meetings because AMPT was supporting them. The TG had recovered its credibility in the community. Itacarezinho Itacarezinho was a paradisiacal beach on the south coas t of Itacar, where a new resort was established. The fishing co mmunity was decreasing its population by outmigration, and now consisted of only five peasant households, which sold coconuts and other produce, performed temporary agricu ltural wage labor, or worked for the new resort, and also practiced subsistence fishing using rafts by the reefs close to the shore. Their houses were built of timber or taipa (a wodden structure filled with mud), covered with wooden tiles or palm straw. An intere sting aspect was the property system for coconut trees: the ownership of coconut trees was independent of the ownership of land.

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210 There was a very good school, which incl uded even high school classes through distance education. Locals said that it was th e best school in the municipality, and it was not located very far (just a 15-minute walk). However, there was no treated water or sanitation, and electricity was availabl e only to the richer landlords. In the past, Itacarezinho was a village. The trail that linked Itacar to Ilhus, following the telegraphic wire, known as the Estrada do Telgrafo (Telegraph Road), passed through the village, which was a resti ng post for travelers on foot or horseback. The trail was also known at that point as Rua da Linha (Lines Street), the same name it still had both in Itacar and in Ilhus, at the telegraph lines arriving streets. With the highway, even before it was pave d, Itacarezinho lost importance. Before, the community even had an outpost of the Colnia de Pesca, which later became practically unknown to locals. In the past, there was a socc er field, where people from Itacar came to face locals in dispute tour naments. Today, soccer is still an esteemed tradition in Itacarezinho, but the field was destroyed by new la ndlords, and locals have to play by themselves on the beach, or compete in other locations. Landlords also destroyed the local cemetery. In Itacarezinho, there were two classes of conflicts. On e was related to land. Most people did not have documentation of the land they used, and with the tourism boom in Itacar, the land they had occupied for gene rations was sold by pr evious landlords to newcomers who started to press the local comm unity to move out, using threats and even violence. One of the landowners particip ated in my first PRA course. The other landowners were an environmentalist of Ins tituto Ambiental, the owner of the resort located in Itacarezinho, the owner of a small farm and a famous band leader who was

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211 blamed for the destruction of a jangada 29 port in front of his farm. All of them had seafront properties and wanted the gate lo cked, arguing safety reasons. One way used by the landlords to press the community to accept cheap offers for their removal from the land was building a gate on the entrance to the dirt road, by the highway, some three kilometers away, and locking it. The landowners controlled the ke y to the padlock. The lock seemed to be a strategy to make the lives of the local families more difficult, thus pressing them to leave (this wa s a typical strategy of large landgrabbers in northeastern Brazil). Explicitly, the landowners said it was to protect the beach from rising criminality. However, to the new resort it was useful to maintain the desert beach look of Itacarezinho, which allowed it to profit from high-class tourists. On several occasions before the PRA, the comm unity acted together, vandalizing fences and installations of the landowners, which was ev idence of a capacity to work together and cooperate (evidence against EP2). The second class of conflicts was relate d to the sea. Locals complained that fishers from Itacar used nets that harmed turtles and corals, and competed with local fishing methods (diving and hook-and-line fish ing from rafts). This community did not have prior experience with community organization sponsored by projects, and did not have a reason to be skeptical about it. It was a rural community under pressure, and had great incenti ves to accept any outside help they could obtain. However, if participation was promoted in accordance with the local landowners, th e TG and PRA would face grea t difficulty and resistance when trying to mobilize th e community of Itacarezinho. 29 Traditional raft used by fishers of the Brazilian northeastern coast.

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212 Among TG members, Jos was the on ly one who knew the community of Itacarezinho more closely. Jos used to liv e right by Itacarezinho b each, on the top of a hill facing the ocean. Catu, Ana Cludia and I arri ved early in the day that he told us the community would be ready to meet. We cooked rice and beans for the meeting that was supposed to happen at the house where he lived, the very house owned by one landlord who used to employ Jos on his farm before he became employed by the resort! We cooked and waited, but no one came. Something was wrong, but we did not know about the land problems yet. In the afternoon, Jos came back from his job in the re sort. He introduced me to the fishers that were finishing a soccer game on the beach, and we invited them to come to the meeting the next day. They hardly gave us any atte ntion. I had the feeling that it was going to be difficult to do the PRA there and, on the next day, went with Jos to invite the community door-to-door. This was when I heard of the land conflicts they were having with landowners who had acquired thos e lands in recent years. The landlord on whose farm Jos lived, and used to work until recently, was one of them. We were proposing a meeting on enemy territory (and we were actually sleep ing there)! Meeting locations had political meanings. Dona 30 Maria, an older lady, cried when te lling me about her problems and I told her we could discuss them, too. I aint gonna come there, one of the fishers said, If you want, we can meet here. Later we learne d that Jos also faced low acceptance by the community. Again, low participation was a form of resistance (EP4). Itacarezinho taught us to be careful about meeting places a nd the first contact with people in the 30 Respectful form of treatment for women; Mrs.

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213 communities. Both things were often problematic. The best meeting places were often associated with the wrong people, that is, people who were usi ng their better position (better income, education, etc. ) to control politic al and material resources that could benefit the community but did not because they are intercepted by these intermediaries. Jos was one of the intermediaries. He was modest, and just a little better off than the other members of his community, but he was smart enough to understand how he could use his rural, community-oriented image to obtain personal benefits, and had built an extensive net of contacts with entreprene urs and professionals i nvolved in community development in Itacar. He also had good intent ions, I believe, and wanted to help the community; but people were suspicious of him. Since we were unaware of all of this, he made all the arrangements so the meeting co uld happen. The suspicions against Jos also created difficulties, corroborating EP8, the credibility of the PRA team proposition. We brought the food and met by the home of a local young fishermen and surfer who was leading his community in resisti ng the landowners. Most people in the community came to the meeting and participat ed in mapping their area, telling us about the conflicts, and mapping the marine resources they used. Four professors from UESC came to the meeting and helped to elucidate information related to the local ecosystem. Itacarezinho corroborated the explanator y proposition that participation is a political currency, and that lack of participa tion is a form of political resistance (EP4), and provided evidence against the idea that lack of participat ion in a result of a supposed individualistic culture (EP2), and that logistics is enough to attract partic ipation to a meeting (EP1). Once political problems were resolved, the community participated enthusiastically. Itacarezinho wa s in much need of help to negotiate their land problems.

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214 These were the great motivating factors for th e meeting. Kin ties in the community (they were all relatives) also ma y have helped people to ge t together and cooperate. Participation involves multiple dimensions (EP5). The PRA experience in Itacarezinho supports the proposition that mobilizing participation of ru ral communities and communities with little experience with participatory proj ects is easier. In Itacarezinho, fishers organizations, such as the Col nia and ASPERI, were practically unknown. The community had very little experience with community organizing and projects. Campo Seco Campo Seco was a rural community that practiced fishing only for subsistence and which also had access problems, like those experienced by Itacarezinho, but not to the road. Their access to the traditional trails that led to the beaches and fishing spots on the coast line, used by fishers for generations, was limited by new landowners. The community of Campo Seco was composed of 17 households in small farms (around 0.8 ha each) where families grew cacao, coconut, dend (oil palm), cassava and other crops. Houses were very si mple: the walls were built with taipa and the roofs were made of palm leaves or asbe stos tiles. They had no bathrooms, sanitary equipment or electricity. Subsistence fishing was done from the shore or on rafts. Crabs were collected in the mangroves. In the PRA, participants mapped th eir community, showing the areas of mangroves and the beaches where they fished. In addition to lack of access to the beaches, they complained that their traditional access to Itacar, the Estrada do Telgrafo had been closed by So Jos Resort. The Estrada do Telgrafo allowed only the traffic of animals and pedestrians, and cl osing it doubled the distan ce to Itacar, from six to twelve kilometers, making it more diffi cult to be reached by foot, horse or mule.

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215 A community member, known as Chapu Branco, (or White Hat) ran for the municipal council but was not elected. Chapu Branco was present at the meeting in Itacarezinho, and invited us to Campo Sec o. He said that the organization for the Reserve, such as that we were working to build in Itacarezinho, could present solutions for his community, too. When we arrived at hi s house, he was away in the mangrove, but soon arrived and started to mobilize the community. He sent out a boy to call his neighbors, and soon people started to arrive; we had good attendance. The ease with which the community was mobilized in Campo Seco again undermines the individualistic culture explanatory proposit ion (EP2). It supports the proposition that rural communities and communities with little experience with participatory projects mobilize more easily (E P6). In Campo Seco, fishers organizations were practically unknown. In addition, the community had very little experience with community organizing and projects; the PRA me etings were the first meetings in which many of the people participated (EP7). Finall y, Campo Seco had a specific issue in which the people wanted to be politically repr esented: access to the traditional trails (corroborating EP4). Taboquinhas Taboquinhas was located 30 km from the to wn of Itacar, one hour inland by bus, on the right bank of the Contas River. It sti ll had little influence from the tourism boom in Itacar and the remains of the cacao economy were very visible: large houses and ruined warehouses in the town; and mansions in th e old cacao plantations where trees agonized with witches broom disease. However, prio r to the paving of st ate highway BA-001, the road to Ubaitaba, which passed through Taboquinhas, was the main link between Itacar

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216 and the major roads of Bahia. With the change, transit through Taboquinhas was reduced, and so was its commercial movement. Taboquinhas had a significant urban infrastr ucture, such as a market, schools, a municipal club, and representa tives of the municipal government. However, there was no high school, and students who wanted to attend on e had to travel to Itacar. There were no banks, either. The fishers of Taboquinhas lived both in the town and in rural communities and villages such as P da Pancada, Rua de Palha, Os Acaris, Porto das Farinhas and gua Fria. In several of the rural communities, th ere was a tradition of local cooperation to improve them (evidence against the culture pr oposition, EP2). Some people said there are up to 200 fishers in Taboquinhas and the rural communities combined. The number of fishers in Taboquinhas great ly grew in recent years due to the cacao crisis. However, locals still knew very li ttle about the organizations related to the fishers, such as the Colnia and ASPERI, a lthough there was great in terest in obtaining fishers documents. Previously, some peopl e promoted meetings in the community on behalf of ASPERI, collected money from local s, and promised to send the documents, but no return was given to the community. Becau se of that, the community was a little suspicious about subsequent meetings (t his was the only negative experience with community projects I co uld detect in Taboquinhas, and corroborated EP7). Taboquinhas PRA institutional diagram discussion showed that the fishers organizations did not assist these communitie s well. Locals also did not know what the roles of different institutions were. However, their view of IBAMA was not contaminated with resentment because there was litt le environmental enforcement there.

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217 Taboquinhas fishers cited the names of 42 fi sh or crustaceans that they utilized for subsistence or for sale, 16 types of birds, 20 mammals, 12 reptilians, and three amphibians. They mentioned six fishing methods, used either from the riverbanks, canoes, or when diving. Resource use pr oblems ranged from overexploitation and competition with outsiders, to a decrease in water quality due to the two river dams upstream, and to lack of documentation. The fishers of Taboquinhas also practiced agriculture, worked as wage laborers, or worked for the new tourism company, which promoted rafting trips on the Rio de Contas whitewaters. The PRA meetings there were aimed at both the rural and urban community simultaneously. As in Itacarezinho, the first meeting day failed. Apparently, this was due to logistics (EP1): our contact in the community did not advertise the meeting. We used that time to walk upriver with five fisher s and Alexandre, a researcher from UESC specialized in freshwater crustaceans, and to learn about the fishers reality. The facilitating team was formed by me, Viviane, Ana Cludia, Batista and Catu. We walked by the trail on the riverbank, climbing rocks, walking on the edge of a canyon and talking to fishers on the way, and collected specimens by the Fumo waterfall. Apparently, our walk worked to m obilize the community, corroborating the logistic proposition (EP1), that if the appropriate l ogistics are provided, people participate. The next day, participation wa s surprisingly good, even though the meeting was carried out in a school, which could have intimidated some people. However, participants were suspicious at the beginning because two years previously a similar meeting collected money for fishers doc uments and no result was shown to the community. We explained that this meeting was not collecting money and was not related

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218 to that previous meeting. This past negative experience with a participatory initiative was not enough to discourage participation to the point that a meeting would have to be cancelled. We had good attendance, though I do not know how many people would come if their past experience had been positiv e. Taboquinhas was uncontaminated by the suspicions generated by the environmentalists in Itacar, and it was considerably easier to mobilize meetings there (corr oborating EP7). The conclusion from Taboquinhas was that the individualistic culture proposition (EP2) was not valid here either, because the meeting had good attendance, even on short notice. Forte On one end of the Praia da Coroa, ther e was the port of Banca do Peixe. On the other, there was the port of the Forte. Th e Forte neighborhood, by the river, had a good port, and a number of different fishing relate d businesses were located there. The Fishers Association (ASPERI) congregat ed 24 boats, and about 36 memb ers, and additional crew members, who supplied it with shrimp and fish. Four middlemen were also located in the Forte. Joel, of Marlin fish shop, recently came from Valena, a town located about 100 km north. He was very kind and community -oriented, and revealed himself as a conservationist in the discussions about the Reserve. Janjo was less friendly, but with time also approached the meetings, and seemed in favor of the Reserve. Rui, a small merchant, tended to buy the discarded cat ch of the industrial trawling boats ( guinchos ), but also maintained a bar frequented by fi shermen, close by ASPERI. Arnaldo, the local owner of trawler boats, also bought fish and sh rimp from smaller boats, playing the role of both boss and middleman (Arnaldo also partic ipated in my first course on PRA and the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar). Fina lly, there was one mechanic who fixed all kinds of motors and took care of all the fishing boats' engine problems.

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219 Cida, who participated in my first 1999 PRA course, had a large house in the Forte. Cida was an ally of both Arnaldo and Professor Fernando. In the elections for the Colnia, she was in Fernando's group and, apparently, in permanent dissimulated opposition to the Task Group. Fernando, himself, also lived in the Forte, and so did Arnaldo. Therefore, most of the local elite re lated to the fishing community concentrated there, and from there they articulated their politics. Outside guinchos and smaller boats used the port of the Forte to dock. They came from Ilhus, Valena, Barra de Carvalhos, and even from farther away, from the states of Sergipe and Cear (to the North) or from Es prito Santo (to the S outh). Local fishermen accused some of the outsiders of stealing their nets in the sea, and things from their boats. I had little contact with them, but most s eemed hardworking fishers subject to harsh working conditions. The comments of local fisher s seemed to be part of their resistance against encroachment. The Forte was also a port community, but fishers hung out there less frequently than by the Banca. These would drink in Osvald os bar, sit in front of ASPERI, talk with other fishers on docked boats, or play cards with Janjo. Others just arrived there, supplied their fish or shrimp to ASPERI or another intermediary, and left. Some people, particularly women and children, used to come from other communities to fish around the Forte, but one could not say that they really belonged there. In one of the houses, women used to peel shrimp for sale. Because it was a passage point and the location of ASPERI (which had the only ice machine in town), the Forte was a stra tegic "community" for any community work related to fishing. Maybe that was why elit e figures related to the fishing communities

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220 concentrated or arose in the Forte. The fish ers in the Forte had a different organizational experience from that of the Banca fishers. The association had problems, but it had much greater legitimacy. After Raimundo left, Penguin and, then, Pedro were both fishers and leaders concerned with the community. The a ssociation promoted monthly meetings, and provided visible services to its members. The Fishers of the Forte also had comm unity organizing experiences elsewhere, before coming to Itacar. Most came from th e region between Barra de Carvalhos, Barra de Serinham and Valena, whose history was not related to the cacao economy, and where fishing cooperatives had been attempted be fore. In these fishers places of origins, the fishing community also had organizationa l problems, but such previous experience allowed, in Itacar, the emerging leadership of Pedro and his brothers (Pedro had three brothers who were visibly involved in community organization). Finally, because the Forte congregated some fishers who also worked for the guinchos, there was much less consensus on the issue of whether or not guinchos should be allowed to fish in the Reserve during the PRA discussions. The Forte did not have a covered meeting place like Porto de Trs or Banca. For the PRA meetings, we wanted to be visible, a nd repeat the strategy used in the Banca, so we decided to do the meetings under the sha dow of a tree in a squa re by the river. The view was beautiful, a refreshing breeze blew from the sea, and everybody going to and coming from the port or ASPERI had to pass by there. In the first meeting in the Forte, Pedro was already setting up the meeting pl ace when we arrived. As the audience grew, the meeting started with the introduction of the f acilitators, which now included me, Ana Cludia, Viviane and the Task Group. To answer questions about the concept of

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221 extractive reserve, Catu used the example of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Arraial do Cabo, which he had visited with other TG members. Attendance at the meetings was good in all of the four days of this first round in the Forte. It was as if the participation probl em did not exist. This likely was because we chose a meeting location accepted by the community and Pedro was a legitimate leader with whom we had affinity, which minimized resistance. However, Pedros brother, Penguin, who supported the work for the Reserve in 1999, and some fishermen associated with him, did not participate. He and some other fishers were politically opposing Pedro, and just walked by and sat on the curb close to ASPERI. In achieving participation, the right alliances had to be made, considering tradeoffs between the quality of the allies, their power and influence in their communities, and their opposing parties. However, Penguins refusal to partic ipate in a project he had contributed and supported in the past was evidence of the political aspects proposition (EP4); he was resisting. In the last meeting, participants said that all fishers were starting to believe in the Reserve and in the possibility of its creation. As credibility increase d, the perceived risk of participation decreased, and so did the tendency to free-ride (EP8). I believe that the credibility of the Reserve proposal was a result of the high level of activity of the TG, with PRA having good attendance in severa l communities. This created a sense of reality, a nd good participation in one community helped to attract participation in others, part icularly the ones located in the town of Itacar. Rural communities seemed unaffected by either successes or failures of the Extractive Reserve movement in other communities.

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222 Marimbondo/Passagem Marimbondo and Passagem were the name s of two neighborhoods of Itacar, located near the same long street that started by the Praia da Coroa boulevard. Marimbondo was better structured. Most street s were stone-paved, and there was a nice square around which the residents gathered a nd the children played. Several businesses, such as pousadas stores, and bars, were establishe d on the main Marimbondo street. Yet, Passagem had very precarious infrastructure, and only the main street was paved. Some of the dwellers of this neighborhood used to live downtown, but sold their houses to tourism-related businesses. Growing social problems, such as drug use, were worrying some of the PRA participants. The sanitation conditions in these two neighborhoods were critical. Many households had toilets but they rarely had sewage systems. Water streams that once provided people with water, leisure, and fish ing opportunities, were so polluted that all fish were gone. Before the growth of the neighborhood and the pollution of the streams, one location was used for bathing, and was managed by the community, with different areas allocated for the use of men a nd women, and an area used for laundry. Many of the households in these two ne ighborhoods were fishing families with many different strategies. Some fished in th e mangroves, using canoes, collecting crabs, casting nets or practicing hookand-line fishing. Others went on fishing trips with the fishers of Banca or Forte, in motorize d boats. Still others participated in calo fishing. Some people were also involved with the to urism economy, taking t ourists on their boats or canoes to the waterfalls located on streams upriver, and to trips in the mangroves. As pointed out in Chapter 3, the TG a nd I followed the advice of a community leader who resided in Marimbondo, and consid ered the two neighborhoods as one fishing

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223 community. It was not very good advice. Passagem was considerably far from Marimbondo, and although we alternated pl aces between Passagem and Marimbondo in the first and second rounds of the PRA exer cise, only a few fishers of one neighborhood came to the meetings in the other neighborhood. The first round of PRA meetings in Passagem had good attendance. The community leader helped to mobilize the co mmunity and several people came. However, by the end, there was a discussion about the prop osal that the Reserve include the area of 33 meters next to the riverb anks, which was opposed by some of the participants who owned land by the river. The next day (las t day of the first round), attendance was considerably lower. We never knew if that was a result of resistance to the proposal (EP4) or just that it was Friday night, and not a convenient meeting time, even though participants the night before ha d agreed to meet on Friday (E P1). At the time, the TG and I thought that it was probably the meeting ti me, but we were not sure. Anyway, PRA in the community of Passagem/Marimbondo did not add any contradictory evidence to what was found in the other communities. Second-Round PRA Meetings In the second round of PRA meetings in each community, the strategies that worked in the first round were repeated. Al most all meetings had good attendance, which corroborated the interpretati ons of the action tests of the first round. However, the second-round PRA meetings in Marimbondo/Pa ssagem had problems. The first evening meeting had to be cancelled because it was adve rtised for the wrong date, as the result of a mistake by a TG member. The meeting wa s rescheduled and the location changed, resulting in good attendan ce in the community.

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224 Other than this difficulty, we verified that participation was even more enthusiastic in the second round than in th e first round. There were three factors that apparently caused this increased enthusiasm: Positive participatory experience in the first round. People in different communities reported that PRA meetings were different from anything they had seen before. Meetings were fun and relaxed. The alternation betw een PRA tools, group discussions and cooperative games contribute d to respectful in teractions between among participants. Several TG members reported that PRA made community members feel that their opinions were resp ected, and that they had a voice as never before. Increased credibility of the Extracti ve Reserve and of the TG (EP8). Apparently, there was a synergy between the positive re sponses in different communities. Around town, people started to ask for more meetings, and the level of activity created a sense that the Reserve was on its way. In addition to a decrease in the intensity with which gossip about the TG spread in the community, a sign of cred ibility was that we were never questioned about the honesty or the legitimacy of the decision making process for the Norms of the Reserve. Concern that free-riding would not work. In the second round, the registration process for voting seemingly gave the impre ssion that people had to participate in order to benefit from the Reserve. One of the criteria to be a valid decision maker included participation in more than five extractive reserve meetings (suggesting support for EP3). The second-round PRA meetings also provided evidence in favor of the proposition that promoting participation in rural communities is le ss difficult than in urban communities (EP6). While meeting times in urban communities had to be convenient and avoid interfer ence with other activities, even leisure, the second round in rural communities included meetings on weekdays, and during the daytime, with full community participation both in Campo S eco and in Itacarezinho (in Piracanga the second round was on a weekend). Explanatory Propositions Tested in Action Table 7-4 summarizes the results of th e action tests of the 8 explanatory propositions for Research Question 1 in the first-round PRA meetings in eight

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225 communities, which work here somewhat as r eplications. Due to so many factors that are different in each community, such replicatio ns have to be interp reted in light of the overall context of each community, which was done in the previous discussion. There was strong evidence against the propositions that assert that low participation was caused by an individualistic culture among the fishers (EP2) or by freeriding (EP3), refuted in all the replications and in eight of the nine replications, respectively. Political aspects were important in five of the nine replications. The multidimensional costs and benefits of participation were corr oborated in six of the nine replications. The urban vs. rural difference in the difficulty of mobilizing participation was corroborated in six repli cations and refuted in one. Th e previous experience aspect was corroborated in seven of th e nine replications. The cred ibility of the PRA team was clearly an important factor a ffecting participation in three replications, but probably was important in the other replications, when credibility was already established and was not a problem whose proposition could be tested Below, these results are discussed in more detail. The logistics proposition (EP1) was refute d in the PRA course, in Banca do Peixe and Itacarezinho, where even though the right logistics were present, there were attendance problems that caused cancellation of one or more PRA meetings. The right logistics seemed important in Taboquinhas a nd Forte. The action test of EP1 was not conclusive in the other communities, but in the second-round PRA meetings, and by the end of the first round, when many of the problems related to the other propositions were already solved, just good logist ic seemed to work. The individualistic culture proposition (EP2) was refuted in all communities because all eventually had meetings with good

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226 attendance. The discussion presented in Chap ter 5, on participation, cooperation and the fishing activity, further shows that there is nothing inherently solitary in the fishing activity to justify an individualistic culture. Nevertheless, that discussion also showed that fishers did free -ride in the fishing activity, and believed that others would do it, too. This belief was both their justification and their motivation to free-ride in community affairs, but proved to be false in the PRA process. Table 7-4: Results of the action tests for the explanatory propositions for research question 1. EP Factor PRA course Piracanga Banca do Peixe Porto de Trs Itacarezinho Campo Seco Taboquinhas Forte Marimbondo/ Passagem Total Score 1 Logistics 0 0 0 0 + + 0 0 2 Culture 3 Free-riding 0 4 Political aspects 0 +* + + + + 0 0 0 +5 5 Multidimensional costs and benefits 0 +* + + + 0 0 + + +6 6 Urban vs. rural 0 + + + + + 0 + +5 7 Previous experience 0 + + + + + + 0 + +7 8 Credibility of the PRA team 0 0 + + + 0 0 0 0 +3 Key: plus sign (+) = corroboration, minus sign (-) = refutation, zero (0) = not tested or not conclusive, conclusion thr ough observation, not action test. There was strong evidence against the free-riding proposition (EP3) and the individualistic culture proposition (EP2) dur ing the first-round PRA meetings, since fishers participated in all communities even though they could not be excluded from the future benefits of the Reserve. Howe ver, the second-round PRA meetings, which included a registration process, seemed to attract some people just because of the registration, which some fishers suspected that could later be used to define who would

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227 have the rights to the Extractive Reserve and who would not (some fishers from other municipalities wanted to partic ipate at this point). EP3 was falsified not because fishers would not free-ride when they had the chan ce, but because participation involves costs and benefits that are not material, for which free-ridi ng is more difficult (EP5, multidimensional costs and benefits proposition). This is also shown by the evidence in favor of the political aspects proposition (EP4) corroborated where and when participation was most problematic (Banca do Peixe and Porto de Trs) and in four other commun ities. On the one hand, lack of participation was often a resistance strategy, as in Banca do Peixe, Porto de Trs and Itacarezinho. On the other, political representation for some specific issue, as in Piracanga, Itacarezinho and Campo Seco, seemed to be a strong motiv ation for participation, even greater than the Extractive Reserve itself. In the Forte, the political support from ASPERI for the Reserve and the PRA exercise probably help ed the PRA meetings, while people opposing ASPERI did not participate in the meetings but only observed from a distance, which supports EP4. The test of EP4 was not conclusive in Taboquinhas and Marimbondo/Passagem. Taboquinhas did not have a noticeable political issue, and this shows the limits for the test of this proposition: it was not easily falsifiable. However, in Marimbondo/Passagem the meetings were more difficult to obtain attendance in the second round, when the local leader started to oppose the TG, which suggests support for EP4. The multidimensional costs and benefits of participation proposition (EP5) was supported mainly by the Banca do Peixe and th e Forte meetings, where the fact that meetings were carried out outside, in a vi sible location and in the hours where most

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228 people were coming back from fishing, supports the idea that attendance was obtained by the dynamics of the PRA methods, which peopl e could observe and decide whether they wanted to attend the PRA meeting or not on the spot. The fun nature of the PRA activities seemed to be a strong motivator. In Itacarezinho, kinship alliances seemed to be important, and in Piracanga locals were emphatic a bout their enjoying the PRA techniques. Throughout the PRA meetings, par ticipants seemed surprised by the amount of information they could represent and l earn through the PRA tools, and seemed to enjoy participating. EP5 is also corroborated by the rejection of the individualistic culture and the culture free-riding propositions, when part icipation was mobilized: first, if lack of participation was not related to culture, later success in mobilizing participation was probably not so either; second, without culture to explain th e change, we are left with individual appraisal of costs a nd benefits of participation. Ho wever, if only material costs and benefits were important, the free-r iding proposition (EP3) should have been supported; not only because it was not supported by the action tests but also because EP3 was refuted, EP5 is corroborated. The proposition that attendance is more diffi cult to mobilize in urban than in rural communities (EP6) was corroborat ed in all communities, except in the Forte, which involved little mobilization probl ems (political and credibility aspects were not a problem there; so, this counter-evidence is not very important). Taboquinhas, because it involved both rura l and urban fishers, did not provide conclusive evidence regarding this propositi on. Because this proposition was based on the validity of the multidimensional costs and benefits proposition (EP5), the corroboration of EP6 also gi ves indirect support to EP5.

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229 The previous experience proposition (E P7) was corroborated by all communities (except by the Forte), because participation was easier to mobilize in communities that did not have previous experiences with community projects. However, rural communities did not have such experience, and their gr eater ease to be mobilized for the PRA meetings could have been related to the fact that they were rural (EP6, discussed above). Let us compare, then, the urban communities of the town of Itacar with the ones from the town of Taboquinhas. In Taboquinhas, where there was little previous experience with community participation, development projects and gove rnment agencies, participation in the meetings was much less difficult to be achie ved, and people expressed less suspicious about the participatory process in general th an in the urban fishi ng communities of the town of Itacar. However, it is not possible to control for the inclusion of rural fishers in Taboquinhas when we discuss this difference. Being cautious, we should not jump to any conclusion regarding this proposition, although my observation of Porto de Trs and Banca do Peixe (and my experience elsewhere) suggests that prev ious experience is an impor tant factor affecting the credibility of participatory projects. In a ddition, mobilizing participation in the secondround of PRA meetings was considerably easi er than in the first-round, suggesting that the previous positive experience of the first-round already contributed to change in the community perception of participatory processes. EP7 was also corroborated by the credibility problems faced by the TG and me in different communities. They were stronger in communities that had problems with previous negative experience with outside assi stance or participatory projects (Porto de

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230 Trs and Banca do Peixe). The credibility of the PRA team proposition (EP8) was corroborated in Banca do Peixe, Porto de Tr s, and Itacarezinho, and the results were not conclusive in the other communities because cred ibility was not an issue at the time or in the community, due to the strategies previously adopted. The credibility of the PRA team (E P8) and the political aspects (EP4) propositions were related: political resistance to the PR A was more likely when the credibility of the PRA team was lower. Both propositions were less corroborated when the issues related to them were resolved, but credibility was more difficult to conquer where the previous experience of the commun ity with community leaders and initiatives was negative (EP7). In additi on, the political aspects propos ition (EP4) also includes the idea that people participate in meetings to support a leader or proposal they agree with. The PRA exercise made evident comm on and opposing interests that were sometimes concealed in Itacar, and was able to create the common id entity of local (not necessarily native) small-scale fishers whose in terest was to create the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar and work together with fi shers from other local fishing communities. As PRA progressed, the problems of differe nt communities identified in previous meetings were shared with the other communitie s in the next meetings. The first effect of identifying resource use conflicts was that locals could see how their problems were related to their lack of means to defend th emselves from encroachment. However, the discussion made evident that most communities, in addition to conflicts with outsiders, had important conflicts with th e wealthier sector of Itacar. A rudimentary class identity was created and had the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar as the main instrument for its defense. It was not just natives against newcomers; it was the poor against the rich, the

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231 fishers against the sectors that had always oppressed them. Participatory rural appraisal helped the fishers to identify their enemies: industrial fishing companies, landowners, big tourism businesses. At the same time, fish ers expressed solidarity towards the rural workers employed by the landowners, fisher workers employed by the industrial fishing companies, and employees of the tourism businesses. This opposition was taking the form of cla ss conflict more or less in a Marxist sense; that is, a struggle betw een a class of exploited people (fishers, rural workers, urban workers, small farmers) and capitalists (l andowners and tourism entrepreneurs). It temporarily loosened the typica l structure of vertical allian ces and identities of the cacao region in Itacar, and started to create horizontal alliances and identities in its place. However, this process could not be too radica l; small boat fishers still worked for a boat owner, even if he was a fisher and went on fi shing trips with them. Often, the interests of boat owners and boat captains were in oppositio n with those of their crew, but PRA in Itacar rarely touched on this issue. This conflict of interests could break th e identity necessary for implementing the Reserve and had to be left for a second moment (I noticed the contradiction but, as it did not surface, I did not try to bring it up 31 ). Conversely, the identity created in the PRA process seemed to be an additional incentive to participation, because the Extractive Reserve process was starting to empower the fi shers, particularly in the struggle for land and traditional trails in Itacarezinho, Cam po Seco and Piracanga. The PRA meetings contributed to a strengthened fisher identity, which the community discussions 31 I am not sure about the ethics of this d ecision, but considering the tradeoffs, it seemed the right thing to do at the time.

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232 consolidated with an opposition between the fi shers, on one side, and the traditional and new elites of Itacar, on the other side. This new identity attracted fishers to confront these elites. Confrontation seem ed to create motivation to participate (which supports not only the political aspects proposition, EP4, but also the multidimensional costs and benefits proposition, EP5). More importantly, fishers started to show solidarity towards the communities against which they had resource use conflic ts. In addition to the meetings for each community, the second round included meetings about controversial issues, such as the creation of special protection areas within the Reserve, which in cluded participation by more than one community. The first of these meetings discussed the areas of Itacarezinho and Campo Seco. Only two people representing the urban fishers that could be affected by the new rule came to the meeting, which was on a weekday, in Itacarezinho. The meeting location was chosen because ther e was always an urban bias in most participatory decisions in Itacar, where meeti ngs were usually planned to be in town; as a result, decisions did not bene fit rural people. In this case, the TG wanted to balance such power differences. Without many repr esentatives, even though there had to be consensus to arrive at a decision, the conclu sion in Itacarezinho di d not please those who did not participate. In the next meeting, on a Sunday, in Piracanga, the urban fishers came in great number, and walked six kilometers along the beach to attend the meeting. They arrived at a consensus that pl eased both sectors, urban and rural. Apparently, this was evidence that preventing free-riding was importa nt to increase part icipation (EP3, when urban fishers learned that they could lose if th ey did not participate, they started to come, even to distant locations).

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233 Summary and Conclusions This chapter discussed the factors that affected participation of the fishers of Itacar in the PRA meetings. Several explanat ory propositions were tested in action as PRA progressed and strategies were reformul ated. EP1 (logistics, normally supported by me during the PRA process) and EP2 (culture, normally supported by the fishers) were both refuted by the action tests. EP3 (free-riding, supported by authors such as Popkin 1979) was also refuted; even though material costs and benefits have an influence in community participation, the tendency to freeride, noticed in the fishing activities, was not a determinant factor affecting participation in the PRA meetings. This chapter provides evidence that po litical aspects were among the most important determinants of participation (a nd nonparticipation) in the PRA meetings (EP4). Participation was a political currency, and fishers attended meetings strategically. When they wanted to undermine a process, or a leader (whom they did not support) who was promoting the meeting, they withdrew th eir participation. When they wanted to support the leaders and the process, they attended the meetings. The history of Itacar (Chapter 4) suggests that resi stance was the main strategy us ed by peasants in the region. Within a participatory context, it continues to be so; instead of attending the meetings and actively opposing leaders or proposals, the fish ers of Itacar preferre d to retreat and let the proposals die or weaken for lack of political support. The likelihood of resistance depended on th e credibility of the process and was combined with the free-riding (if fishers can benefit from a collective good without contributing, they free-ride and not participat e). Several people free-rode in the extractive reserve process, but the intensity of it wa s reduced as the credibility of the process increased, as participation star ted to be politically advantageous, and as the meetings

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234 benefited from PRAs informal, fun atmosphere. There were multiple dimensions affecting participation (EP5). Communities that did not have prior e xperience with community projects and rural communities seemed to at tend the meetings more enthusiastically than experienced, urban communities. Finally, as the credibility of the Task Group (and of the process) increased, so did participation in the meetings. Action testing worked well in the conditi ons of the PRA in Itacar to examine Research Question 1. The possibility of replications (eight communities and the PRA course), allowed the repeated action testing of the explanat ory propositions. In Chapter 3, I discussed three types of possible confoundi ng factors in actiontests: 1) biased interpretations; 2) spurious a ssociations; and 3) quality of th e action. I tried to account for this confounds when I discussed the PRA experience in the several communities, and judged as not tested or not conclusive the propositions and observations for which these confounds became important and did not allow reliable conclusions.

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235 CHAPTER 8 RESEARCH QUESTION 2: WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE PARTICIPATION BY LOCAL PEOPLE AS LEADERS IN THE PRA TEAM? When PRA is carried out, locals can be i nvolved as facilitators and become part of the PRA team. Participation in a group of local voluntary PRA team members can vary from a great level of activ ity to almost no participati on and stagnation. A variety of personal motivations may lead community memb ers to become part of the PRA team, but the reactions they receive from their commun ity and the costs and benefits of becoming PRA team members may greatly affect their permanence in the team. This question is relevant not only for PRA, but also to the development of community leadership in general, because the same factors may a ffect the locals willingness to become community leaders to develop sustained activism for some co llective objective such as community organizing and empowerment. This chapter tries to make sense of the sw ings in the participation of local fishers in the PRA team in Itacar, but focus on the more general questions of why altruistic people take a leadership role in their commun ities, why they often give up and let selfinterested people take leadership positions, a nd how PRA affects this. In order to do this, I discuss six explanatory propos itions that either locals or I created during this dissertations fieldwork, or afterwards (Table 8-1). These explanatory propositions started to be created as participation problems appeared in the Task Group. What should we ha ve expected when PRA started in Itacar, if fishers in the TG were the ones carrying it out?

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236 Table 8-1: Research question 2 and explanat ory propositions: What factors influenced participation by local people in the PRA team? EP Number Explanatory propositions EP9 Pace and material opportunity costs: people have to make a living and cannot be exclusively involved in PRA (or leadership) voluntary activities. EP10 Multidimensional costs and benefits: Participation in the local PRA team is inversely related to the material, moral and emotional costs of leadership; The intensity of this relationship depends on individual interpretations. EP11 Cyclical fatigue of the group: after enduring the costs of leadership, the group may need a break before becoming more active again. EP12 Credibility of group: participation in the local PRA team depends on whether the objectives of the group ar e seen as likely or possible. EP13 Outside facilitators vs. insiders: PRA technical needs preserve decisive power in the hands of outsiders; this ma y frustrate local people in search of empowerment, reduce their particip ation or create internal friction EP14 Insiders vs. insiders: internal friction may decrease the participation of people who are less involved, committed or empowered in the group. According to the pace and material oppor tunity costs proposition (EP9), TG members would consider the opportunity costs of carrying out a PRA exercise, that is, the activities forgone when they work for th eir community, and the possible individual material gains or compensation they might receive. This explanatory proposition is in agreement with the basic assumptions sustaining the argument of Popkin (1979). On the one hand, as the level of required dedication to PRA would rise, participation in the local PRA team should decrease. On the other, if material compensation was offered, or if the pace of the PRA exercise was reduced, partic ipation should increase or be maintained. However, costs and benefits are not only material (EP10, multidimensional costs and benefits). As new leaders enter the public sphere and st art to compete for political support, established leaders st art to resist them. This re sistance by established leaders

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237 may be by refusing to cooperate, denying inform ation crucial to the new leaders work, influencing their followers not to particip ate in the PRA activities and by spreading gossip and misinformation about the new leaders. In small communities, gossip may be an effective way to resist the rise of new leaders. When community members believe gossi pers, this can result in social sanctions against new leaders. These sanctions can take subtle forms, such as when other people stop greeting them when walking by each othe r on the street (emotional costs). On the one hand, new leaders try to preserve their moral capital, or reputation, which may be important not only for their leadership but also for their livelihoods. On the other, they try to keep the flow of positive emotional stim uli they receive in their community, either from friends or acquaintances (emotional bene fits). Because of this, when gossip against the local PRA team occurs, participation of local leaders in it is expected to be reduced. Thus, when local community members participate in the PRA team, this increases the competition for political support, and consequently, the resistance of established leaders, with gossip, moral at tacks and other strategies. Su ch strategies decrease the political, moral and emotional capitals of local PRA participants. Ones political capital is th e political support people are willing to give him/her. Ones moral capital is the (good) reputation and personal credibility one enjoys in the community. Ones emotional capital is the positive emotional stimuli other people are willing to give him/her. Individuals are di fferently dependent on these three forms of capital, according to th eir livelihood strategies (which may need more or less the help of other people) or to psychol ogical reasons (some people are more emotionally dependent than others). As these forms of capital are reduced, the new leaders-to-be try to maintain

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238 them, and are less inclined to participate in the PRA team, retreating from the competition for political support (EP10a). If th ese forms of capital were maintained or increased, not only would the chances of stay ing in the PRA team increase, but also community participation and response to th e efforts of the local PRA team would improve, also increasing the individual satisf action, or benefits, of being a local member in the PRA team and, therefore, participati on in the PRA team. Conve rsely, if the attacks on the local PRA team members political, moral, and emotional capital are effective, then the likelihood that the co mmunity gives a favorable resp onse to the work of these leaders decrease. This reduces the new leaders satisfaction and their participation in the PRA team (see below). Nevertheless, the individua l interpretation of the community response to the actions of the local PRA team members may also affect satisfaction with participation in the PRA team (EP10b). Some people may want immediate satisfacti on, while others can delay it. Some people interpret things in a negative light, while others are optimists. These interpretations are not onl y dependent on personal factors but are also related to the views people learn when they become leaders (o ften there is some kind of learning, either from previous leaders or from people and organizations promoting community participation). Thus, participation in the local PRA t eam can reduce the material, political, moral, and emotional capitals of participants. If special strategies are not taken, they may have to reduce temporarily their participation when some form of capital is too low, and work outside the group to recover before they can come back (if they ever do). This can create cycles of participation in the local PR A team if different participants synchronize

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239 their periods of losses and rec overies (cyclical fatigue, EP11). In addition, if participants are investing their capital in the local PRA team, collective and i ndividual objectives must be credible for participation to be maintained (credibility of the group proposition, EP12). Positive responses from the government, the community, and other sectors, may reassert the credibility of the group and improve internal participation. Lack of prompt results may decrease participation. A positiv e effect of PRA in mobilizing community participation (as shown in Chapter 7) and good responses from the government, for example, may increase the internal credibility of the local PRA team, and foster internal participation. This is a cyclic al effect; credibility creates in ternal participation, which in turn makes the group even more credible. Nevertheless, PRA has also limitations. One of the objectives of local PRA team members may be empowerment. However, PRA presents a structural contradiction: on the one hand, its participatory nature promises empowerment of locals; on the other, the sophisticated nature of the PRA tools require knowledge, training and te chnical skills that are often hard for the poor to master, making them dependent on the goodwill and competence of outsiders. Participatory rural a ppraisal may preserve decisive power in the hands of outsiders, which can frustrate loca l hopes for empowerment, create friction and conflicts between locals and outsiders, and reduce participation (EP13). The same empowerment goal can create friction among insiders, with locals trying to control, or to resi st being controlled by, other lo cals within the local PRA team (EP14). This may reduce the participation of people who are less involved, committed or empowered in the group. These propositions, de scribed above, are related to a local PRA

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240 team which is voluntary and works for at l east some months in the community. Shorter term PRA exercises may not have tim e to develop all these effects. Participation in the Task Group In Itacar, the local PRA team was the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar (TG). As de scribed in Chapter 6, the Task Group was formed in the year before my dissertation fiel dwork, and the participa tion of the fishers in it was not constant. Three people, who were the most dedicated to the TG, were the core of this group, and sometimes they did all the work and often ce ntralized decisions. However, there were times when twel ve or more people participated. When I arrived for fieldwork in Itacar, the TG was almost inactive, except for the core group of three people. For months TG members did not know what else they had to do to bring about the cr eation of the Reserve. They had concluded the survey of the fishing community, whose questionnaires ha d been sent to IBAMA six months before to be processed, and they knew there was a need for a biological study of the Reserves proposed area, but could not carry it out on their own. My arrival, in September 2000, was a new development that TG needed to recover some of its enthusiasm; according to one TG member, I brought a new perspective of action and orientat ion on what to do (which the fishers and I had previously agr eed on, see Chapter 6): a PRA exercise to mobilize the community for the Reserve, cr eate a community development plan and the Norms of the Reserve. However, as Figure 8-1 s hows, after an initial rise in participation, the TG subsequently went through a period of low participation, a crisis that lasted almost three months.

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241 Figure 8-1: Participation within the Task Group. Pace and Material Opportunity Costs Proposition The TG had decided that technical people would not be paid to carry out PRA with them, and they would carry out the process on their own, with my orientation. In order to start the PRA in the communities of Itacar, TG members first had to learn about PRA. This is described in Chapter 7, when it was pointed out that the participation of TG members in the PRA course given to them started high and reduced over time. In the second week of the course, less than a third of the people who started the course were still participating, and only the three core TG members had consistent participation throughout. When PRA started and increased dedication from TG members was required, participation in the TG started to decrease. Some TG members told me that the pace at which we were carrying out PRA was too fast because they had to work to make a living (pace and material opportunity costs proposition, EP9). In addition, report writing was hard, and took a long time for them, and the scheduled PRA exercise in the Banca do Peixe started before the report on Piracanga was done. Their complaint implied that PRA was increasing the costs of participation in the TG.

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242 We agreed that these costs had to be co mpensated or reduced, and there were four possible solutions: Reducing the costs by including technical volunteers to or ganize meetings and write reports Reducing the costs by slowing down the PRA exercise Offering individual material compensation to TG members who facilitated the PRA Giving up PRA and returning to the approach offered by IBAMA As said before, in the action testing practi ced in this research, these solutions were also the way to test the proposition. Including technical volunteers would be interesting, but we could not see any acceptable people available locally. Giving up PRA was not yet openly considered; some TG people felt they had committed to me and to my research on the use of PRA in the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve. Slowing down PRA was the immediate solution, but the TG was also in a hurry to ha ve the biological study that PRA would provide sent to IBAMA. Thus, at the time, the core TG members and I talked about this and we agreed that compensati ng the increased indivi dual costs of PRA was the best possible solution to their problem (and was the way to test this proposition in action). An opportunity was to propose a sm all budget to IBAMA to cover the costs. However, the core TG members argued that it was dangerous to be open about payments for the work of the TG members b ecause it could attract the wrong people to the group. I agreed with them, despite the ethi cal problems in this decision, that it was better to wait and to see who would show commitment to the group without payments first, while we prepared a funding propos al to IBAMA to cover this cost. The multidimensional aspects of particip ation (EP10) became evident in this dilemma: should material compensation for the participation of fishers in the TG be offered, or should the TG members individually bear the costs of the collective good they

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243 were building? Should they be told upfront about this possi bility, creating the risk of selfinterested participation, or should this information be a secr et of these three people who were self-elected leaders? 32 The fact that the core TG members, w ho were the only TG members aware of the possibility of payments, were also the only ones who con tinued their dedication, while others did not, is consistent with the propos ition that material costs and benefits were influencing participation in the TG, despite th eir claim that their participation was a result of their commitment to the Extractive Reserve. It also suggests that participation in the TG was a form of investment, and as an i nvestment, it was affected by its credibility (EP12, see below). However, this is just specu lation, because I could not really tell what specific motivations people had behind thei r altruistic discourses (I wonder if they could). When the proposal to IBAMA to pay TG members involved in facilitating the PRA was done, I convinced the core TG memb ers that we should share this information with the rest of the group, despite the danger of selfish participation. They invited the people they thought were still co mmitted to the TG for a mee ting to tell all of them. We expected the money to arrive soon. Some people were surprised by this information, whose secrecy was explained, and justified, again in terms of the indivi dualism and the gossip it could create. I do not know how everyone felt about this (that is, s eemingly not being trusted by the core TG members and me), but it may ha ve created some resentment. 32 Worse than self-elected, maybe these lead ers were elected (or supported) by AAE, the NGO which had advised the TG for the year be fore, and me, who assumed they were the legitimate leaders to be empowered in the cr eation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar.

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244 Whether or not to pay community leader s is a dilemma faced by many community projects. The risk is not only to attract the wrong people, as TG members worried, but also to create a habit that increases the co st of community action and makes it dependent on external monetary resources. Participation can acquire a pri ce, and be sold to projects, just like labor. The increased material opportunity costs of PRA were reducing participation within the TG, but there were other factors, as discussed below. Pace and Opportunity Costs (EP9) vs. Multid imensional Costs and Benefits (EP10) In Itacar, the prospect of payments initi ally seemed to stimulate participation in TG meetings, but it eventually backfired in the PRA activities. Because IBAMA was taking longer than expected to send the mone y, some people (including one of the most active) started to argue that the TG shoul d reduce their activitie s in order to coerce IBAMA to pay them. That is, when IBAMA sh owed an interest in paying TG members for their work, this transferred the ownership of the Extractive Reserv e proposal from the community to IBAMA. It was as if the comm unity and TG were not beneficiaries of the Reserve; the beneficiar y was then IBAMA. Why was this so? I believe th is was because TG members did not feel, at the time, a good response from the community to their work. If the community had recognized their work, it could have rewarded TG with prestige and leadership, and TG members themselves would also benefit as resource use extractors. Howeve r, they were not enjoying these benefits because their wo rk was not yet visible, and gossip was denigrating their image in the communit y. When IBAMA agreed with payments, it created a demand for TG work, which, wit hout similar demand from the community, shifted the ownership of the Reserve proposal.

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245 Thus, the material dimension was not the only one affecting participation within the TG. First, the proposal to reduce the activities of the TG to force IBAMA to send the money sooner was, in fact, a political strategy ; it was resistance. Th is shift in ownership, some TG members thought, opened an opportunity for a resistance strategy; that is, just slowing down, not being activ e about their material needs. Once more, resistance was confirmed as a typical political strategy of the cacao region. Second, as the discussion above shows, information about the material costs and benefits of participation was important. So were the moral values that pr evented people from explicitly acknowledging their needs for material compensation. However, emotional costs and benefits also seemed to be making an affect. Low visibility of the work done by the TG and gossip in the community were reducing the emotional re wards to TG members, and increasing the costs, thus reducing their satisfaction and destroying their motivation. TG members complained that the commun ity did not recognize their work, and that some people were not talking to them anymore. They lacked recent accomplishments in which to take pride, and their self-e steem was bombarded by the gossip about them. This process was worse for them than for some of the established leaders who had explicit private agendas: if your morals do not allow selfish behavior, and if what motivates you is the feeling that you are a good person because you are altruistic, accusations of dishonesty and selfishness are pa rticularly hurtful. The defensive response of the TG was to blame back, a nd go into increased isolation (as described in Chapter 6). However, if the multidimensional costs a nd benefits proposition (EP10) was right, TG members needed to reduce the multidim ensional costs of being in the TG and increase their benefits. That is, on the one hand, they needed to control the gossip about

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246 the TG in the community, and reduce the competition with established leaders. On the other hand, they needed to be effective in mobilizing the community, which would result from reducing the gossip and from other strate gies related to the PRA discussed in the previous chapter. When the TG discussed the gossip problem we did not immediately agree on its causes or solutions. In my view, gossip creato rs were active and had a fertile ground in a community accustomed to being fooled by thei r leaders and politicians in the past, and who thus expected the worst from any comm unity project. I proposed that we have a meeting to demonstrate the use of money received from CNPT by the Task Group. The main goal was to neutralize the gossip that wa s spreading. The TG resisted this idea at first. Showing their tendency to isolation, so me people in the TG said that they did not have to respond to the criticisms and gossips of people who were against the Reserve. My utilitarian justifica tion for the meeting failed to convince them. Then, I tried a moral argument (the TG was doing public work, w ith public money, and the community was entitled to have this money accounted for), and so they accepted the proposal of the meeting. Several of the people who were per ceived as opposing the TG at the time participated in the meeting, along with severa l fishers who were then skeptical about the TG. The money received (R$1,700) was account ed for, and everybody was able to ask questions. Later, the same statement of expenses was published in the Jornal da APA the monthly newsletter of the Environmental Edu cation Program of the Itacar/Serra Grande rea de Proteo Ambiental. This transparency with the group's expenses was something new, and created credibility regarding the use of money by the Group. For the next eight

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247 months (until I left Itacar) at least, we did not hear of this kind of gossip again. This was a relief to most TG members. During the m eeting, the TG was also criticized for being secretive and not sharin g information. This was related to a difficulty in dealing with problematic people (mostly former technical volunteers) in the process of extractive reserve creation. They were competing agains t the fishers for leadership in Itacar. Instead of developing strategies to exclude these problematic people, limit their role, or take advantage of their potential contribution while minimizing their negative influence, TG slowly ostracized them. In so doing, they were exposed to the criticism of being secretive. One technical volunteer, for example, used the word grupinho" to describe the TG, which in the context was a pejorative wo rd meaning "secretive and arrogant little group." Indeed, I think that the TG was secretiv e but would not admit it. They avoided inviting and sharing information with problemat ic people, or people they were in conflict with, both consciously and unconsciously, for ex ample, by forgetting to invite or by not employing the same energy to invite them to the meetings. This was done even to ASPERI's president who was a fisher and a potential ally of the group. To fight for leadership, the group was adopti ng an unsustainable strategy: it was isolating itself. This strategy was typical of the la ndless movement (Navarro 2002), and of AAE, and served well the objectives of these or ganizations in other settings, but were creating difficulties for the TG in Itacar. One week later (October 31, 2000), in an evaluation meeti ng with the CNPT consultant, another technical volunteer who was not presen t in the previous accounting meeting said that the TG was distanced from the community. She criticized the lack of

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248 information flow to the community and to the people who were formerly involved with the Reserve (the technical vol unteers), and the lack of i nvolvement of older fishers. Moreover, privately, she criticized the lack of legitimacy of TG members to be leaders of the fishing population of Itacar. Except for the legitimacy criticism, I ag reed with her comments. At the time, instead of building up support of potential al lies and neutralizing potential opponents, the TG had closed itself in a shell of defensive ethics and intolerance. Other people's faults were very important to them, but they a voided looking at their own faults. The group complained about the gossip but did not have a strategy to inform the community. They complained of lack of participation but never did a good job inviting people to the meetings. There was almost no broadcasting of meeting times and pl aces (the logistics problem, discussed to explain low participation by the community in the PRA meetings). How could they blame their audience? 33 Their black-or-white views did not equip them to consider the response of the community in relativistic terms, but there were some exceptions. In a TG meeting, one TG leader said Temos que ter uma cabea maior que a dos outros (We have to have a broader view than other pe ople), recognition comes late r! However, another TG member was pessimistic: Recognition never comes These opposing attitudes resulted in opposing perceptions of the moral and emoti onal costs and benefits of participation. These two TG members had opposite interpre tations and ways to deal with the emotional rewards and costs offered by th eir community to the work they were 33 I always repeated, in the PRA course that I gave them and during the work afterwards, that "if they don't participate, it's our fault; we are the ones who are not doing a good enough job."

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249 promoting. One, by postponing his need for recognition, by being patient and by finding a higher form of ethical satisfa ction was able to offer a justification for continuing the work. The other, by requiring immediate satisfaction, and by focusing on what people around him said, could not. However, puzzlingly, the optimistic one was the one to vanish from TG meetings for the next two months (he was working inte nsively in the constr uction sector, as an electricity technician) while the pessimist maintained hi s participation, even while resenting the lack of rec ognition. Only two of the core TG members persisted in participating; all others practically disappear ed from the TG meetings until January, when that optimistic member was the first to return with full enthusiasm (his return is discussed below, in the analysis of the cyclical fatigue of the group proposition, EP11). However, before this, some people who participated in the TG more had a superior attitude towards people who participat ed less, and ostracized them when they did not come. This form of social coercion could have worked to maintain participation if people did not have much of a choice and th e TG was a way to access individual benefits, but this was not the case. When punished fo r their lower particip ation, less active TG members simply distanced themselves from th e group and ceased to come. It was just one more incentive to free-ride. The intern al relations among TG members were contaminated by the same black-or-white view s which created the isolation between the TG and other sectors in Itacar (which supported the insiders vs. insiders proposition, EP14). After some meetings with low participat ion, I started to suspect that the more active TG members were not being active enoug h to get the word out to all the others.

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250 This was confirmed when some fishers told me they had not been invited. Core TG members said they were tired of i nviting people and nobody coming. However, as meetings were carried out, th e noninvited people created rese ntment against TG leaders, who resented back. A way to solve this was to set up a weekly meeting, in a place known and open to all. In this way, the task of inviting people to the meetings would not be such a burden, and less active people would not depend on the goodwill of the core TG members to be able to participate in the meetings. The TG liked the idea. Everyone would know the day and time of the meeting (Mondays, 7:30 PM). Also, the appearance of secrecy of the group would be diminished, because the group w ould be able to say We have meetings every Monday; anyone can come! 34 Thus, the TG decided to hold its weekly meetings in ASPERIs office, and have more open meetings in the Colnias classr oom. In this way, also, both organizations would be involved. Holding the meetings in ASPERI was also good because Pedro (the president) would be involved. Although Pedr os participation in the Extractive Reserve creation process was often less than ideal, he was a legitimate leader of ASPERI fishers. It was politically important to involve him in the proce ss. Moreover, as pointed out before, he criticized meetings happening at the homes of TG members when there were institutional spaces for them. 34 However, we all knew that the meetings co uld not be really open. There were delicate topics that we did not want to share with people that were opposing the Reserve, and topics that could be misunde rstood by first-time participants Given the power of gossip in Itacar, the access to the information shared in TG meetings could not be so open. A real danger was that partial information becam e gossip when it reached the ears of people that did not understand the whol e process because they were just casual participants.

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251 Weekly meetings were a successful stra tegy to reduce the appearance of secrecy and create a notion in the community that the TG was active. The meeting place (ASPERI) was on the other side of the town from where the core TG members and I lived. We often ran into fishers on the way there, who asked us where we were going. To the TG meeting! we answered. You are always going to or coming from those meetings! they replied, When is the Reserv e going to be created? they asked. This was positive moral and emotional reinforcement to the TG members. This set of strategies (reducing gossip and vulnerability to moral attacks; the prospect of individual compensation; and increasing community recognition because of the first PRA successful meeting in the Colni a) started to produce results, and some TG members who were distanced started to come back to the meetings. However we all were unpleasantly surprised when a TG member closer to AAE told us she had suspended the project we sent to IBAMA, without consulti ng the TG, or discussing this decision at the meetings. This shocked some of the TG members who were returning, who later complained about it to me and other leader s of the fishers, and no longer came to the meetings (insiders vs. insiders proposition, EP14, see below). When PRA started again, in January, a nd good participation was achieved in all the communities, the gossip about the TG was c ontrolled. We were able to discredit most of the opposition to the Reserve, by making th e TG accountable to the communities, and by exposing the interests of th e gossipers, in the PRA meetings. TG members were not trying to promote PRA only in their communitie s, but went to other fishing communities, where they became reference people for the Re serve. Participatory rural appraisal was a great tool to teach the concept of the Rese rve, particularly the participatory natural

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252 resource map. In addition, the institutional diag rams seemed to strengthen the leadership role of TG members; they were listening to the communities about the problems of other institutions and this seemed to create trus t between them and the PRA participants. The high level of activity dur ing the PRA exercise seemingly created a sense of reality about the Extractive Reserve propos al. At the time, CNPT/IBAMA was going through a severe reform and could not provide a ny response to the fishers, but in Itacar, the PRA kept the fishers believing the Extrac tive Reserve was going to be created. On the streets of Itacar, people started to ask us when the next meeting was. New people became interested in joining the TG. Th is positive response from the community increased the moral, political and emotional capital of active TG members, creating an incentive to intern al participation. However, how to have a high level of activity without increasing the material opportunity costs of the TG members (pace and material opportunity costs proposition, EP9)? When PRA restarted, since we were una ble to pay the TG members to carry out the PRA, we tried to reduce individual costs. Outside volunteers (including me) prepared the meetings, took notes and wrote the repor ts, and raised material support from the municipal government, NGOs and local busines ses. Insiders (TG members) coordinated the meetings whenever possible, planned a nd supervised PRA activities, and made the decisions about the process. The strategy seemed to have worked well. Cyclical Fatigue of the Group (EP11) Was the participation crisis in the TG, before PRA was resumed, just part of a cyclical process, in which these new leaders needed to accumulate the various forms of capital outside the TG from time to time? Above, I discussed the increased material

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253 opportunity costs imposed by PRA and that one solution that the TG and I devised was to pay for the work of TG memb ers carrying out the PRA. However, with the help of the project submitted to CNPT, PRA was going to be carried out during the high tourism seas on, increasing the opportunity costs of participating in the TG with a PRA exer cise in motion. One core TG member was involved in selling acaraj a typical food from Bahia, to tourists. Another was taking tourists on boat trips. And the third core TG member was the busie st, doing construction work as the town was preparing for the peak season. These three were also tired from seve ral months of stress, working for the community for free, while there were few economic opportunities. The time to cash in was coming and the CNPT/IBAMA project was going to compete with these private activities. Waiting until after the peak seas on was materially rationa l to some individual TG members, particularly the core group. Maybe this could explain why the TG member closer to AAE cancelled the proposal for CNPT/IBAMA to pay the TG memb ers. She said it was because people were approaching the TG because of the money, and that the TG was not ready to manage the money. However, the people who were coming to the meetings were basically the same people she had always considered to be part of TG. The purpose of project money was to allow their participation. I believe that she had both material mo tives (discussed above) and political motives (discussed be low) to cancel the project. However, the cyclical fatigue of th e group proposition was the most popular explanation in the TG for this period of crisis. When we discussed why TG members were not participating as much, a common expl anation was that they were tired. Indeed,

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254 after a while, many came back before PRA star ted to produce results, and most were back when the first round of PRA meetings was halfway done. Outside Facilitators vs. Insiders (EP13) However, the cancellation of the project to pay TG members could also have been related to a conflict between AAE and me. I believe it was also a strategy to undermine the possibility that the PRA would go on, and to exclude me from the process. The TG member who cancelled the project was also acting as a member of AAE, which had developed suspicions against me, and my wo rk for the Extractive Reserve (see Chapter 6), and some people in the TG started to be influenced by her. In December 2000, considering the low participation of TG memb ers, a TG meeting w ith four TG members and me cancelled the whole PRA strategy, wh ich was only considered again one month later, when it became the faster (and maybe the only) strategy for the generation of the biological report for the creation of the Reserve. This friction between the TG member clos er to AEE and me reduced participation in the TG even more. One TG member said he was upset with the core TG members because of how they treated me. Such conflicts, in carrying out the PRA process, would not happen if the PRA did not need my technica l expertise, or the t echnical expertise of outsiders. They had to choose PRA with me or no PRA, because they did not know how to do it by themselves. At that point, the TG member who was also a AEE member, for the first time, took advantage of a meeti ng with low attendance and the presence of people she had most influence, and they chose no PRA. Later, in January, when we returned to the PRA approach, the core TG members maintained part of their suspicions about my assistance for some time. The only member with time to participate in all PRA meetings was Catu, who soon would start to trust the

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255 process more. He was designated by the core TG members and AAE as the TGs overseer of the PRA process. His partic ipation did not have significan t material opportunity costs because he was hired by the municipality and allocated to the PRA, and had saved enough money in his previous period of inactiv ity in the TG but of hard work as an electricity technician (cyclical fatigue of the group proposition, EP11). The friction, between the TG member who was also an AEE member and me, persisted. However, the weekly meetings gave the TG good control of the process and my limited time left in Itacar made my presence less threatening to her and AAE. In order to implement the strategy of using volunteers to reduce the opportunity costs of the PRA to the TG members, and to reduce the local susp icions about (and resistance to) technical volunteers, local people, whose interests and alliances in the local power structure were known, were avoided. Through a message on the internet, I requested applications from recent graduates, and selected three. The accep tance of these volunteer research assistants was exceptional, and even the most cynical peop le in the TG immediately trusted them. The research assistants were very social and introduced an emotional aspect to the group, by promoting social gatherings. Often, af ter concluding a series of PRA meetings in a community, TG members, the research assi stants and I went to a bar to celebrate. There was an atmosphere of complicity among us (Catu, Batista, Gil, Pedro, Jeneca, Joo Doido, J, and others) although some were stil l resisting. That is, although there can be conflicts between outsiders and locals due to PRAs need for outsiders, these conflicts do not need to exist, or persist, in the process. However, such frictio ns can be part of the group dynamics and be established also among insiders. The persisting friction existed

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256 between the TG member who was closer to AAE and me, and between different TG members. Insiders vs. Insiders (EP14) The TG members also had conflicts among th emselves. The suspicions of the core TG members were not only directed towards out siders; they also targeted insiders, less harshly, but still so. In siders were suspected of staying in the TG just for the possible payments, to spy on the work of the group, or to try to influence the group towards results that were advantageous to its enemies ( guincho owners) or their own sectors, that is., individual fishing communiti es or fishing practices. Resentment was directed towards group members who did not work as much as the most active members, or those who did not perform the activities according to what was planned. People who behaved in a way th at was considered improper to a community leader were also criticized. In addition, some complaints we re directed towards some of the core TG members, who were accused of centralizing and bei ng secretive about key information, of making decisions without pr oper group participati on, and of trying to influence the TG to keep it dependent on AAE. These resentments and internal conflicts would eventually break the group apart. A fisher told me that, after I left, several TG members left the group because they were upset with the way a core TG member li nked to AAE was behaving in the group. They complained that they were being manipulate d, that information was not being shared and that they were not being tr usted. The long time the government was taking to create the Reserve may also have reduced their satisfac tion with the participation in the TG. This corroborates EP14: internal fr iction may decrease the particip ation of people who are less involved, committed or empowered in the group.

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257 Credibility of the Group (EP12) During the participation crisis in the TG, and with most of the TG members involved in other activities, they maintained the weekly meetings. Their major concern was how to do the biological study for the Rese rve, but the lack of response from CNPT was making the credibility of the Reserve go down, even within the TG. In January 2001, CNPT told me that it could send money fo r the biological study only by the end of February. In March, Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz (the state university located nearby in Ilhus) was going to have its annual school break, when most of the professors and researchers associated with the Ocea nographic Group (responsible for the biological study) would be traveling to ot her states to conduc t research on board research ships, and would be unavailable. Thus, if CNPT kept their promise, the biological study could be carried out only in April (just before my pred icted return to the US). However, there was no guarantee, and CNPT rarely kept their promises. Based on our experience with CNPT so fa r, we could not trust their prediction. The process was at a greater risk than ever, because the TG was small, with no activities planned, and CNPT was unable to give any posit ive response. In one of the TG meetings, a TG member said that nothing should be done before CNPT started to pay them for the work. However, payments would not come because the TG itself (through the AEE member participating in it) had cancelled the request. This transference of ownership of the Rese rve from the TG to CNPT needed to be reverted. I started to articul ate the possibility of UESC doing the biological study with little participation, as the TG had decided, a nd only with local resources. However, the UESC Oceanographic Group insisted they wa nted to do the study only within a PRA exercise because they had little time and resources to obtain enough information using

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258 conventional methods in such a short time. That is, because I was the only person trained in PRA, I would have to carry out the PR A with them, since the TG members were unable to do it on their own. The main problem was that time was s hort, the PRA for the biological study required reports, the TG had li ttle capacity to produce them (it failed before and it was unlikely to work this time), and I would not be able to write all of them alone; I needed to focus more on my research. Moreover, many people in the TG were occupied with summer activities, that is, the opportunity costs of their participation would have been even higher than before. They could particip ate in the PRA meetings but did not have time to spend on their organization. In a TG meeting, with the presence of most people (e xcept the AEE member, who was advised about the topic but decided not to go), I aske d Is the Extractive Reserve ours or is it CNPTs? Ours, they answ ered. So why should we wait for them? I asked again. We discussed the situation a nd the possibility of using the PRA strategy again, and they approved it. Because the TG was small, tired and busy with summer income generating activities, and because our experience had shown in the past that writing reports was very difficult for them ev en when time was available, I proposed a combination of outsiders and insiders in the promotion of the PRA. I requested the Groups permission to raise human and monetary resources for the PRA, and they approved. This plan started to create internal cred ibility in the TG. The collective objectives of the group seemed more plausible again, if they did not have to wait for the government. Their question was probably this: OK, he has a plan, will it work? In the

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259 next week, I told them about some of the support I was already obtaining in Itacar, and the E-mail response of candidates for the pos itions of volunteer re search assistants. Twelve people replied to the internet o ffer of two internship positions in the PRA exercise. I had no money to offer to the volunteers, only meals (donated by Senzala restaurant) and lodging (in my house). They pa id their own trip to Itacar. The UESC oceanographers said they could obtain some re sources in their own organization to come to Itacar, participate in meetings and co llect specimens. The Fishers Association (ASPERI) obtained donated fuel for boat trips from the gas station. Th ese initial support responses increased the trust that this way would work, a nd consequently, the internal credibility of the group. When we started to obtain good results of the PRA activities in the different communities (see Chapter 7), this credibi lity became even stronger. People from communities where PRA had just been carried out came to see it be done in the next communities. We started to invite interesti ng people we met in different communities to go to the weekly TG meetings, and some di d. Some former TG members, and even new people, started to attend the meetings. The discussion of the Norms of the Re serve, in the second round of PRA meetings, gave the TG members an increased sense of their legitimacy as leaders of the fishers. In addition to good attendance in all meetings, the decision making process, the TG and I enjoyed a high level of trust. Duri ng the process of elabor ating the Norms, the TG members faced a series of delicate decisions that would affect their power and the power of their friends and enemies. They c ould have manipulated the process, but the interaction between different members, some of whom were becoming more vocal and

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260 ethically concerned, and some who were alr eady vocal, and me, created a self-vigilance that ensured decisions based on a notion of fairness. To be fair and morally correct was an important and constant worry of the TG Self-enforcement was tight, and discussing these issues became increasingly open. This wa s one of the benefits of the organization style promoted by AAE (typical of the landl ess movement, according to Navarro 2002); however, it created great emotional stress insi de TG because it was hard for these leaders to be watched by each other all the time. Nevertheless, the process of creating the Norms of the Reserve consolidated the leadership of the TG, increasing the group s internal and extern al credibility, and fostering internal partic ipation. The norm prohibiting guinchos was the main objective of urban fishers and the main cause of oppos ition to the Reserve from local industrial fishers. It was approved in all community mee tings, despite a little polemic in the Forte, where industrial trawlers ( guinchos ) docked, and some fishers who worked for the guinchos opposed it at first, but then agreed with it when they realized they could change to small boats. In other communities, the correctness of approving this rule was not even discussed. The rule was acclaimed and applauded and was expected to increase the catches of shrimp and fish, and reduce losses with lobster nets. Other norms involved more discussion, such as the proposal to ban the use of nets 500 meters from the mouth of the rivers. Afte r much discussion, people agreed that only redes de espera should be forbidden, and at only 200 meters from the mouth of the rivers. Scuba dive fishing and dive fishing were sources of great conflict between fishers of Itacar and outsider dive fish ers. Most local fishers condemned them, arguing that it was unfair to the fish. When we fish using lines the fish only dies if it wants to eat the

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261 bait, they said, but divers take them a ll. Diving also represented a clash between younger and more capitalized fishers and older, traditional fishers. Diving equipment was expensive, and the activity required one to be in shape, and to be i nnovative. In fact, dive fishing seemed more unfair to traditional fish ers than to the fish. The many norms about which the TG and I were able to facilitate the discussion will empower the local fishers when the Reserve is created, and we felt the fishers recognition for that work. Due to the tourism development that challenged the customary rights of local fishers to different resources (t rails, land, etc.) in most communities there were fights in which the TG was able to support and repres ent the fishers against landowners, tourism entrepreneurs or industrial fishing companie s. The cause and the moral commitment of the TG, morally supported by the community, a nd the new use of legal instruments by the TG, resulted in political empowerment as the TG started to interact with state agencies, such as the Environmental Resources Center (CRA), other than IBAMA. This political empowerment was evident in the actions to open the access to some beaches, negotiate a problem of road access in the community in Itacarezinho, and the land conflict in Piracanga. All these problem s were being caused by the new tourism economy and the TG was able to reduce them, wh ich increased their in ternal and external credibility. During the PRA process, the Ta sk Group built credibility in the community and consistent internal part icipation. After the tourism season was over, many of the WG members had more time to participate and st arted to act on the demands created by the PRA. In each community, local leaders were id entified and became partners of the TG in the empowerment of the community. Particular ly in the rural comm unities, which the TG did not know well before the PRA, the leadership of the TG became strong.

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262 Action Tests for Research Question 2: Summary and Conclusion In this Chapter, I examined the factors th at affect the particip ation of local people as leaders in a PRA team. The specific case of Itacar may not be too typical of PRA, because, in addition to a PRA team, the TG was a group of local activists for community empowerment. However, I believe this feat ure makes the TG even more interesting. Table 8-2 shows the results for action te sts regarding Research Question 2. The first row present different actions or local developments (A1-8) intended to solve different participation problems and able to test different explanatory propositions. Because there was just one Task Group, these tests are not replica tions (which would be created by the study of more than one group). The pace and opportunity material costs proposition (EP9) was suggested during the PR A in Piracanga and Banca do Peixe (first PRA attempt, A3), and counter-evidence to it was offered when the prospect of payments from CNPT/IBAMA (A1) failed to attract participation. However, it was the corroborated by the increasing participation of TG memb ers in the TG when the PRA was resumed with the help of research assistants (A5), and increased even more at the end of the tourism season (A7). It was co rroborated again when the TG people receiving payments from a project funded by Terra Nuova (A8) incr eased their participation in the TG even more. While paid TG members increased thei r participation, people who did not receive payments withdrew from the group. The first time the prospect of payments for TG members (A1) was offered, described above, it failed to mobilize TG members probably because of other reasons,

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263 such as political resistan ce (included in EP10) and fa tigue of some group members (EP11). However, the action tests could not verify if fatigue was a major factor. Table 8-2: Results of the action tests for the explanatory propositions for Research Question 2. EP Factor A1: Payments proposal (IBAMA) A2: Accountability meeting A3: PRA Piracanga and Banca do Peixe A4: Weekly meetings A5: PRA A6: Research assistants A7: End of the tourism season A8: Payments (Terra Nuova) Total 9 Pace and material opportunity costs 0 + 0 0 + + + +3 10 Multidimensiona l costs and benefits + + + + + + 0 0 +6 11 Cyclical fatigue 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 Credibility of group 0 0 0 + + 0 0 0 +2 13 Outside facilitators vs. insiders 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 14 Insiders vs. insiders + 0 0 + 0 0 0 + +3 Key: plus sign (+) = corroboration, minus sign (-) = refusal, zero (0) = not tested or not conclusive. The multidimensional costs and benefits proposition (EP10) was corroborated when people (re)approached the TG after It neutralized gossip in the community A successful PRA meeting was carried out in the Banca do Peixe The TG appeared more active because of the weekly TG meetings PRA was resumed in the communities and the TG started to be recognized as legitimate and credible leader s of the fishers of Itacar The research assistants suggested and organized social gatherings. The cyclical fatigue of the group pr oposition, although it was the most cited explanation for the internal pa rticipation crisis faced by the TG, could not be tested in action. However, I believe it makes great sens e from what I observed, as discussed above,

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264 and is consistent with the two propositions discussed above. The credibility of the group proposition was corroborated mainly by the w eekly TG meetings (A 4), which created a sense of activity in the group and were able to attract some members back, and by the PRA (A5), which involved a high level of act ivity, great local support, and the explicit interest of outsiders, such as the volunteer research assistants a nd the regional university. All these strategies increase d the internal credibility of the group, and consequently, attracted some participation of new and former TG members. The outsider facilitator vs. insiders pr oposition was not corroborated by the action tests. The conflicts were real. However, the pr esence of outsiders need not be a source of conflict in the PRA, as was shown in the case of the research assistants. Itacar presented complex problems in the relationship betw een outsiders and locals. Many of these problems were inherited from previous proj ects, and derived from prejudice. However, the choice of strategies I used in promoti ng the Marine Extractiv e Reserve of Itacar increased the potential for conflict. Nevertheless, insiders also had probl ems among themselves. The weekly TG meetings, by reducing the need to advertis e whenever the TG met, also reduced misunderstandings and conflict inside th e group. However, when payments were introduced, with the Terra Nuova project, many other conflicts appeared, and participation started to decrease.

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265 CHAPTER 9 CONCLUSION This dissertation is concerned with PRA for collective action and PRA as collective action Participatory rural appr aisal requires community participation, which (if it is voluntary) is a form of collective acti on as any other, facing the same obstacles. In this way, when this dissertation discusses PRA collective action, it presents insights for other forms of collective action. However, by examining the explanatory propositions regarding participation in the PRA meetings and in the local PRA team, this dissertation studies not only what motivates participati on, but also why local social change is so difficult. Among other causes, change is difficu lt because sincere leadership is essential to promote it, and as this study shows, a series of mechanisms react against the commitment of such leaders. In addition, this dissertation shows how some of these mechanisms can be neutralized to promote the empowerment of new leaders. Why Participation? What is the purpose of participation? Is it to make communities more palatable to governments or to make governments more palatable to communities, or both? Or to really make governments respond to communities? In Itacar, participation was intended to give fishers the opportunity to organize, decide and fight for the creation of an in stitutional and legal framework that could improve their lives. The extractive reserve pr oposal could provide such a framework, and it was open enough so that local fishers could decide on most of its aspects. However,

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266 only participation, that is, good quality participation, could provide fishers with the power they needed. Thus, in this case participation was not intended to make local communities more palatable to governments; in fact, local co mmunities became increasingly unpalatable as their demands increased. Nor was it to make governments more palatable to communities; instead, communities became more aware of governmental faults. The purpose of participation was not only to make the government respond to the communities, and provide them needed assistance and power in decision making processes, but also to make the communities, themselves, internally less conflictive, and more productive and cooperative. Participation of the Fishers of Itacar in the PRA Meetings Both the local explanation (individualistic culture) and my explanation (logistics) failed to explain completely why fishers did no t participate in the first PRA meetings. On the one hand, attendance at the PRA meetings for the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar was not an automatic resu lt of good logistics (that is, fishers did not automatically participate when the opport unity was opened). On the other hand, the supposedly solitary nature of fi shing activities did not make th e fishers of Itacar behave individualistically. On the othe r, participation in the PRA me etings for the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar was not an automatic result of good logistics (that is, fishers did not automatically participat e when the opportunity was opened). First, fishing activities of most types of fishers in Itacar were not solitary, and when they involved less group work, the lives of the fishers still involved a great deal of cooperation. Second, even though there were pa rticipation problems, eventually fishers participated in the PRA meetings without any perspective of individu al gain. This finding

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267 provides evidence against descriptions such as of Poggie (1980) and Kottak (1992), which argue that fishers are more individualis tic than other sectors, and against Pollnac and Carmo (1980), who said that both fishers and farmers were not inclined to cooperation. This dissertation further suggests that individualism as a value has little to do with individualism as behavior. Individualis tic values may be more or less present in different cultures, and tend to be persistent within them, but individualistic behavior is dependent on the context, and can quickly change into cooperative behavior, and viceversa. The free-riding explanatory proposition says that individualistic behavior occurs in a context in which it is possible to access benefits of a collective good without contributing to it. Testing the free-riding proposition depended on whether participation was ever achieved without strategies to limit the access of noncontributors to the collective good (the Extractive Reserve). If it did, the proposition would have been falsified. Evidence in favor of the propositi on would have been provided if, in the presence of such mechanisms, participation increased. Against this proposition, the evidence was that, once political and credibility problems were solved, the PRA meetings had go od attendance in spit e of the absence of mechanisms preventing free-riding. In favor of this proposition, some participants seemed to be motivated by such mechanisms when it appeared that these mechanisms were starting to develop (when people had to register to vote in the Norms of the Reserve). Therefore, although PRA particip ation benefited when mechanisms that appeared to be excluding free-riders were introduced, they were not needed once other problems, discussed below, were solved.

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268 Nevertheless, the difficulty in organizi ng peasants (or fishers) to provide a collective good may be due not only to freeriding, as argued by Popkin (1979), but also (and more importantly) to the other dimensions of participation. In this study, political resistance was a more important factor causing fishers not to particip ate than free-riding. Often, fishers expressed their disagreeme nt with a proposal and its promoters by withdrawing their participation and politic al support. In Brazil, a proverb says quem cala, consente (the silence consents); however, in Itacar, silence (nonparticipation) was a sign of protest. When people did not pa rticipate, they meant something, and often it was not consent. They were not just free-ridi ng; they were saying that they disagreed, or were suspicious of something. However, they would not come to the meetings and say it. This silent resistance, in stead of active opposition, was developed as a political strategy over decades of oppression by the cacao elite of southern Bahia, when the poor were denied education and freedom. And it wa s maintained in a political environment where political support became a currency, exch anged for private benefits. People knew the dependence of the local inte rmediaries on their display of political support, and used this in their strategies to obtain benefits or to shape the course of local politics. In addition, there were two types of comp eting intermediaries in Itacar: The declining cacao elite Environmentalists and people re lated to the tourism sector This dispute of elites fostered the already existing vertical alliances originating from the cacao economy, and was expressed in the nativismo discourses that framed the development debate in Itacar in terms of a conflict between locals and newcomers. Many of the poor (including the fishers) of Itacar previous ly had negative experiences with the newcomers in the environmental proj ects. Such negative experiences seemed to

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269 be partly the result of mistakes (or authorit arianism) by the environmentalists, and partly created by other discourses already framing the views of the poor (notion of the limited good and free-rider myth), which apparently made the interpretation of such experiences even more negative (most of what I observed su ggested that the negative interpretation of the environmental projects in Itacar was exaggerated, and motivated by an opposition by the traditional elite to the newcomers and their environmental agenda). Moreover, the experiences with government agencies, such as the Port Authority and IBAMA, were also negatively viewed by many of the fishers. Much difficulty mobilizing community participation in development and conservation projects may be related to such previous negative e xperiences with them and/or the agencies that promote them. In addition, sometimes the goals of a project are not clear to the community, and the credibility of the project regardi ng these goals is low. The proposal for the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar sometimes was affected by these factors, which created oppos ition, and as expresse d above, resistance nonparticipation was the main form of politic al opposition in Itacar. This research corroborated the explanatory proposition that in communities with a previous negative experience with collective action, commun ity projects and government agencies, mobilizing participation in the PRA meetings is more difficult. This may be an important factor affecting PRA in other settings where communities have previous negative experience with participati on in development projects. As pointed out before, the tr aditional elite organized the nativismo discourse to explain the underdevelopment of Itacar, blaming newcomers and outsiders for the local poverty and inequality issues. This suggests that, when local knowledge is organized, it is

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270 often organized by the elite in a way that is not in the be st interests of the poor. In consequence, fishers of different communities could not see the common issues they all faced, and were trapped into ve rtical alliances with the re trograde traditional political elite. However, during the PRA, a class disc ourse started to be de veloped, which started to challenge the alliance with the elite, forg e horizontal alliances, and make evident the vertical conflicts be tween the poor and the rich in Itacar. The participatory rural a ppraisal exercise provided new discourses, and the prospect of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar provided common interests, to create a new identity uniting all small-scale fi shers of Itacar: a provi sory class identity. This new identity needed representation, and the Task Group was the natural candidate to represent the fishers. Apparent ly, when participation increased in the PRA meetings, this was also a form of political endorsement and support to the TG. Moreover, this new class conflict discourse and the prospect of the Ma rine Extractive Reserve of Itacar framed action in a way that it made the possibility of empowerment credib le to the poor, which seemed to encourage participation. On the one hand, the legitimacy of the actors promoting PRA influences how participati on is mobilized. On the other, PRA can contribute to frame issues a nd legitimize its promoters. However, other sorts of factors influen ced participation in the PRA meetings. Material and political considerations were very important, but the fishers also seemed to respond to the moral, emotional and informa tional dimensions of participation. These dimensions of participation become im portant to understand why, once political resistance nonparticipation stops, fishers did no t just free-ride: in the other dimensions, free-riding was more difficult.

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271 My observation suggests that sometimes fishers participated with curiosity (information dimension), as when PRA meetings were carried out in visible places, right on the streets close to their por ts. Other times, they seemed compelled to participate by a sense of moral obligation (moral dimension) And often, the first to come to the PRA meetings were the friends of the TG members, and the fishers who became my friends (emotional dimension). These are just some examples of the multidimensional costs and benefits of participation in th e PRA meetings that fishers ex perienced in Itacar. In this way, if participants feel that the informa tion shared in the PRA meetings is really important, and if the material costs are re duced by good logistics, then free-riding (by asking what went on in the meetings) is possi ble but less advantageous In addition, if the meetings are pleasant social occasions, one can only enjoy this aspect by participating. Finally, moral aspects can create costs for nonparticipation. When we consider participation in PRA meetings with multidimensional costs and benefits, the value of the PRA techni ques (which are fun, personal and informal) becomes more evident. However, it also ex plains why attendance at the PRA meetings was more easily mobilized in rural than in urban communities. In rural communities, the value of the information provided by the meetings is even higher, as are the benefits of social interaction, and the moral costs of free-riding. In Itacar, rural communities accepted meeting times and days that were less convenient than those acceptable to urban communities, and attended the meetings mo re enthusiastically than their urban counterparts. Another factor is that outs ide people willing to support rural communities politically may be more rare, and thus make meetings politically more important in rural areas than in urban communities.

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272 This dissertation suggests the theoretical that moral, emotional, and informational dimensions of participation explain the attendance of the fishers at the meetings, but methods focusing more specifically on their study (such as in-dep th interviews with participants about these topics ) are needed in future resear ch to better identify how the multidimensional aspects of participation a ffect participatory behavior. In summary, although other dimensions seemed important participation in the PRA was mostly influenced by the political dimension. Resist ance nonparticipation could explain much of the difficulty mobilizing attendance at the PR A meetings, particularly when the local PRA team was not very effectively managing its image in the community, and where the past experience with community participation was negative. Communitarian or Individualistic? In the Introduction, I presented the deba te between the communitarian and the individualistic schools in peasant studies. Authors such as Redfield (1930) and Scott (1976; 1989) were presented as examples of the communitarian school, while Foster (1961), Lewis (1951; 1960-1961), and Popkin (1 979) represented the individualistic school. The communitarian school emphasizes cultural values and socialization, and presents a view of peasant communities oriented by internal harmony, threatened by external forces. This aspect has exposed the communitarian school to criticism of holding a romantic view of peasants. The individualistic school emphasizes individual decision-making and rationality, and presents a view of peasant communities including a great deal of conflict and competition resulting from internal and exte rnal forces. The individualistic school has been criticized for its little emphasis on the cultural context of peasant choices and behavior, and has been accused of oversimplifying human behavior.

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273 My research leads me to agree that interpersonal relations in peasant and fishing communities are neither harmonious nor coopera tive, but full of conflict, gossip and difficulty to act together towards collectiv e goals. These aspects are caused by the power structure of fishing communities and, at the sa me time, prevent social change. Because of their difficulty to organize towards a collectiv e goal, peasants and fishers have difficulty changing the power structure that causes their marginalization and allows their exploitation by the local elites. The main form of collective action th at is available to peasants is resistance, both because of the often oppressive social and political conditions of their present and past, and due to it s passive, individua listic character. As Guijt and Sha (1998a) have pointed out, a romantic, idealistic view of communities permeates much participator y work. Nevertheless, it was as a PRA practitioner that I was able to experience the obstacles to community action (which I would not have experienced as an impartial obs erver), and it was in that role that I was able to solve some of these obstacles, too. On the one hand, the individualistic view of peasant communities is often seen as one that disempowers communities and collective action. On the other, the obstacles to collective action can be best explained by the individualistic school, which can also provide the strategies to solve them. Conflict and Consensus in PRA Participatory rural appraisal has been criticized for its emphasis on consensus, and the possibility that this aspect can silence the voices of the disempowered in the community, such as women and minority groups (Guijt and Sha 1998a; Kapoor 2002). Given the presence of conflict within fishing communities (explained above) this danger is real, but strategies can be adopted to avoid it.

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274 In Itacar, carrying out separate PRA exercises for each fishing community allowed communities, which historically had been disempowered in participatory processes, to express their needs and to participate in decision making processes. In neighborhood communities, where women had strong participation, working in small groups divided by gender allowed women to express their views and have them considered in the discussions. To negotiate conflicting issues between communities, an emphasis on consensual decisions (rather than looking for majority decisions) empowered minority groups, who would have lost in voting processes. Finally, the participatory diagnosis did not have to be consensual, and disagreements were also expressed in the final PRA report. Local Participation in the PRA Team and Leadership New Leaders vs. Intermediaries In community-based development and conservation, intermediaries try to maintain their positions and roles. In local communities, there often are people who are better educated and wealthier, and who try to intermediate benefits and political support between the poor and the elite. When development and conservation organizations become willing to support a community initiative, these intermediaries try to place themselves in a position that allows them to continue to intermediate external help, and control the resources that are directed to support the commun ity. This often allows them to appropriate part of these resources to th emselves, which reinforces their position. Little social change comes from this. Avoiding these intermediaries is important to reduce inequality, increase credibility, reduce community resistance, and promote community participation and empowerment. An alternative to the inte rmediaries in a local PRA team is the

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275 involvement of people with a sincere wish to be nefit others, be they established leaders or new people who take a leadersh ip role in the PRA. Nevert heless, there are ethical and methodological issues with identifying and empowering the right people. In Itacar, there was a natura l selection process influenced by external agents (me, AAE and CNPT/IBAMA). For some time, the ab sence of individual be nefits to the TG members made the emotional benefits of altr uistic action the main motivator for those who endured months of hard work and no material gain. Ho wever, even this natural selection was not infallible, and certainly it did not have any political legitimacy, since these new leaders of the TG were not elec ted by the community. They were supported by the external agents, and their leadership re flected this external power influence, the external agents preferences, biases, and personal and ideological affinities. Although I consider the results of the selec tion in Itacar very positive in terms of selecting motivated and altruistic people with a great concern for soci al justice, I believe that this selection process is vulnerable to et hical criticism. A better model to select new leaders in other locations should be attempted. The local PRA team should be legitimated by some type of election process, but the ch ances of intermediaries being elected would be high. Maybe a democratic choice after so me period of experience volunteering could solve the issue. Factors Affecting Participation in the Local PRA Team One interesting possibility that we tried to explore in Itacar was to have locals facilitating the PRA. We tried twice: first with more educated locals, a strategy that failed because most of them were intermediaries who were rejected by the fishers disputing with them the leadership position in the pr ocess; and second, with the TG members, a strategy that also failed, main ly because of the technical needs of PRA. In addition, when

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276 we tried to have the TG carry ing out the PRA exercise, the participation of TG members decreased. The causes of such decrease were complex, but this research suggests that the increased opportunity costs of participating in the TG in troduced by PRA caused people to participate less. In addition, there were multidimensional costs and benefits of being a TG member. Altruistic leaders are the ones most likely to suffer with the gossip about them, because instead of the rewards and gratitude they expected, they were targeted by nasty comments affecting their honor and reputati on. Thus, PRA has to be accompanied by a social management strategy to empower altrui stic leaders, reduce the effects of gossip and rumors, and avoid early confrontation wi th established leaders (but also avoid alliances that could undermine credibility of the PRA; there are tradeoffs). Again, democratic principles should be adopted. Itacar showed that the local PRA team has to be accountable to the co mmunity, show what it is doing and how individual members are benefiting from th e PRA. This greatly reduced the gossip denigrating TG members and was the communitys right In addition, a legitimate local PRA team must expose the actions and interests of the people who oppose it, and educate their audi ence in terms of value of the information that is spread in the community, particular ly by the intermediaries This strategy proved to be effective in Itacar, furthe r reducing the gossip about the TG. However, the credibility of gossip and rumors is based on espoused discourses that organize perception. The notion of limited good and the free-rider myth were discourses that generated credibility for go ssip and rumors about leaders and successful people in the community. Elsewhere, gossip wa s considered an equalizing force in the

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277 community (e.g., Kottak 1992; Scott 1976), but in Itacar it also was making it more difficult to empower new and more legitimate leaders. Social change may be difficult exactly because of this equaliz ing effect, that is, because it depends on the emergence of new leaders, whose leadership is undermined by gossip and rumors. Thus, not only the material costs, but the multidimensional costs of participation in the TG, reducing the political, moral and emotional capitals of TG members, could lead to cycles of fatigue, when many of its members would reduce their participation until they rebuilt such capitals. In this study, the eviden ce for this was not conclusive, although it reflects the most popular proposition, among TG members, to explain a participation crisis in the group. However, other factors, such as the in ternal credibility of the group to achieve both gr oup and individual goals seemed to be more important. Problems of participation within the local PRA team can be created by the conflict between insiders and outsiders. First, the dependence of PRA on the knowledge and skills of outsiders can crea te friction and internal conflict in the PRA team. In Itacar, this conflict was observed, first, when the TG rejected the local te chnical volunteers, who were not outsiders, but who were newcomers to Itacar. It was a power conflict, and the TGs account is that these volunteers tried to centralize information and take control of the Extractive Reserve creation pr ocess for their own benefit. Then, I faced conflict with some members of the TG. They were also suspicious of my intentions and seemed to resist my help, even though they would not verbalize it to me at first. It seemed that one TG me mber, who was better e ducated and received orientation from a NGO that was opposing my influence in Itacar, was the main articulator of such resistance. In any case, even though we could blame the conflict on the

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278 influence of the NGO, if I had not been need ed due to the PRA, this friction would not have been necessary. However, there were conflicts among local s, too. Exactly this TG member who resisted my influenced became controlling, and started to create internal friction with other fishers in the TG. From the beginning of my fieldwork, this TG member advocated that not all information should be shared with the other TG members, which appeared to be for the protection of the group, by avoiding th at selfish motivations interfered with the important leadership role the TG was taking. However, this continued, and this member ended up taking advantage of several situations to manipulate decisions and try to control the TG. This upset some of the other TG me mbers, who eventually left the group after I left Itacar. These two sorts of conflicts (outsiders vs. insiders and insiders vs. insiders) indicate that the local PRA team becomes a power arena, and that facilitating and participating are both political activities On the one hand, PRA practitioners hold a great deal of power in a PRA exercise. Partic ipatory rural appraisal is a political activity and the practitioners values, ideology and et hical commitments are as important as those of a politician or community leader. This de pendence makes PRA susceptible to political manipulation. Kapoor (2002) argues that rules are needed to increase the communitys trust in the PRA process, and make it more tran sparent. I agree. Internal rules to limit the power of PRA practitioners should be develope d to increase trust in the PRA process, reduce conflicts and reduce the quality problems with the proliferation of PRA exercises. On the other hand, power manipulation can be a problem among insiders, too. In Itacar, some TG members who were better educated obtained the trust of government

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279 and nongovernmental organizations, and supported by them, seemed to have the legitimacy to speak on behalf of the commun ity. However, at least before the PRA, no one in the community gave these people th e right to speak on their behalf; their legitimacy was created by the very extern al recognition, not local recognition. Thus, some insiders can try to control the pro cess (and even be the agents of outside organizations, as in Itacar). They even may use an empowerment discourse and speak for the community, although they were never given such authority. Sometimes locals have leadership without legitimacy; that is, they have the political support of others but there was no legitimate process giving them authority to speak in the name of the community. A minimum level of legitimacy (not only leadership) of the new leaders may be esta blished by a process of choice that is considered legitimate. Finally, the local PRA team needs rules that guarantee internal transparency and democracy. A radical commitme nt to democratic values may avoid that initial well-intentioned paternalistic be havior becomes authoritarianism and manipulation, as sometimes it did in the TG. In spite of these problems, inherent in any participatory process, the local PRA teams leadership and organization capacity greatly increased dur ing the process that started in 1999 with my first course on community leadership, and c ontinued after I left in 2001. From 1999 to 2000, TG members were advised and supported by AAE. They learned about organizational procedures and the implications of their leadership role in the community. When I arrived for disserta tion fieldwork in 2000, they learned about participatory techniques, the procedures to cr eate an extractive reserv e, and mostly, about the other fishing communities of Itacar, with which they were not familiar. PRA was a

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280 great tool to promote the gr oups leadership where they kne w little about the community. Naturally charismatic, initially, the main lead ership problem of the TG was its lack of understanding of the conditions that generate community participation. The group used to resent when people did not respond to their leadership, and such resentment created additional resistance to the TG. After this action research pr ocess, the factors affecting participation by the community became clearer not only to me but also to the TG. The group became less judgmental and moralis t, and more understanding of their constituency. This new view of particip ation became a great asset to motivate participation by the community, and to maintain internal participation in the TG when attempts to mobilize the comm unity failed for some reason. Multidimensional Model In order to represent the inte raction of all the factors affecting participation in the PRA meetings and in the local PRA team, I presented a model of human behavior in which behavior results from the peoples res ponses to a series of multidimensional costs and benefits. I also argue that discourses lim it the choices of beha vior, and affect how these costs and benefits are perceived and inte rpreted. This is a simplification; it is used only for the purpose of expanding other views th at focus on just one of the dimensions and disregard others. The multidimensional model was supported by my observations; however, a problem with it is that we do not know how im portant different dimensions were, relative to each other. This dissertation did not use me thods that could assess all five dimensions. Also, the model does not deal with behavior that is the result of habit and conventions (scripted responses to scripted situations), but only with behavior that is related to a situation where people assess the costs and benefits, and make a choice based on such

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281 assessment. Anthropologists such as Pierre B ourdieu have pointed out that much social behavior is not the result of external incentives and calcula tion, but results from implicit and unconscious assumptions and rules, and there is little or no choice (Wilk 1996). However, Bourdieu points out that when pe ople are aware that there is more than one possible course of action, they may assess the situation and its conse quences individually, and choose the interpretation and course of act ion that best fits their interests (Wilk 1996). When PRA is carried out in a communit y, there is often such a possibility of choice. Thus, the multidimensional model can be appropriate to such a situation. The usefulness of the multidimensional model is that it allows one to deal with the free-rider problem and explain how colle ctive action is possible, even when the assumption is that individuals try to take care of themselves (maximize benefits or reduce discomfort), which they often do. In addition, the multidimensional model can also account for when people fail to develop collec tive action. The model is also useful to make individualistic and communitarian vi ews compatible. If we apply the same assumptions we have about material costs and benefits to the other dimensions of participation, we notice that the obstacles to participation are not always as important as the benefits. We further see th at PRA provides participants w ith benefits for participation in the other dimensions where free-riding is more difficult. The multidimensional model provides a basis for the design of successful PRA action. When free-riding is possible in the ma terial dimension (a common situation when voluntary collective action is attempted), the design should, on the one hand, reduce the material costs of participation, which can be done by good logistics and well-organized meetings. The costs in the other dimens ions also need to be considered.

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282 Often, policymakers and scholars who focus on material benefits arrive at the conclusion that participation is motivated by such benefits. However, unless they condition the benefits to individual participation, they do not deal with the free-riding problem. Despite the importance of material benefits resulting from collective action, particularly to people in mate rial poverty, the benefits in the nonmaterial dimensions where free-riding is more difficult are the ones that can not only motivate participation but also deal with the free-riding problem. To become more useful to explain and improve participatory processes in particul ar, and social processes in general, the multidimensional model demands greater conceptual and methodological operationalization. How can we assess the moral, political, emotional and informational dimensions of participation? Will we ever be able to quantify them? Is this useful? Competing Extractive Reserve Models In Itacar, two approaches of extrac tive reserve creation were competing: a conventional approach proposed by CNPT/I BAMA and a PRA approach proposed by me. In the creation of extractive reserves, CNPT/IBAMA has used the following general sequence (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovveis 1995): Make initial contact with local populations and receive community requests for extractive reserves (as a result of prelimin ary visits to the communities and motivating the extractive populations to collect signatures for the requests) Conduct studies and surveys to justify the requests (socioeconomic survey, land tenure survey, biological report). These documents are usually elaborated with minimal community participation; at most, some community members participate carrying out the questionnaire surveys pre-elaborated and analyzed by IBAMA (though sometimes discussed in a community meeting) Create the extractive reserv e by a presidential decree

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283 Implement first improvements (through pl anning involving communities or only the directors of a local association that represen ts the users, without a deeper participatory diagnosis) Elaborate the utilization plan 35 using a preliminary versi on of resource use rules discussed with some community leaders. The utilization plans resulting from this process often involves complex language. It has not been clear whether or not they reflect pressing conservation problems for the most important resources of the communities. Generally, the plan has been elaborated through household visits and community meetings paying more attenti on to the rules than to the specific conservation problems faced by the different communities Elaborate the development plan, which defines guidelines (or strategies) for extractive reserve development, based on community discussions and a diagnosis, often with little community participation With the new National System of Cons ervation Areas (SNUC) law, utilization and development plans were replaced by a m anagement plan, which have not been applied yet, and CNPT/IBAMA was still fi guring out what the law means for marine areas. According to CNPTs consultant Alexandre Z. Cordeiro (personal communication), in the marine extractive re serves, CNPT plans to have management plans phase 1, equivalent to the utilization plans, and later have a more detailed management plan for the area. At the time of this dissertation fieldwork, although the SNUC law existed, it was not implemented yet, and the utilization and the development plans were still used. It was my belief that this process could be made more effective and participatory if the participatory elaboration of the de velopment plan were used to organize the community and generate the documents needed to create the Extractive Reserve. My argument was that, in addition to the first socioeconomic and biological studies, by the 35 Utilization plans constitute the norms of the extractive reserve, including resource use rules.

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284 use of PRA, we could mobilize the community and generate resource use rules (which would give fishers the main instrument of re serve management earlier in the process) and development strategies (whi ch would guide community action and government policies). This had never been done before. Thus I proposed that the development plan should be one of the first things to be done, because it provides an opportunity for a much more participatory process of extractive reserve creation. The elaboration of the development plan could provide all of these documents: Socioeconomic survey. With PRA the socioeconomi c study can be much more participatory, involving the community in information gathering and analysis, and in the identification and ranking of problems. La ter, in the phase of planning and DP elaboration, the community would use the same diagnosis, which reflects its view of the problems, and also "participatory tools" to analyze and identify its priorities in the sectors of income generation, hea lth, education, environmental defense, and community organization. Biological report. Normally, the biological report is elaborated by biologists with little community participati on. Participatory rural apprai sal provides research tools adequate to the participatory st udy of natural resources of an area to be transformed in an ER. Natural resource maps, historical diag rams, calendars, role-plays and other tools allow community identification and ranking of natural resource problems. These tools, combined with specific skills and expertise of biological scientists, could provide a richer and more representative biol ogical report. In Itacar, the Universidade Estadual Santa Cruz was involved in the pro cess, and a preparatory phase was the adaptation of PRA

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285 tools to answer the questions oceanographers had to answer in th e biological report, combined with conventional biol ogical research techniques. Thus, following this proposal, using PRA, all the documents needed to create the ER were produced in a faster, more partic ipatory way. The most important aspect was that the community was involved since the be ginning in a process of capacity building, community organization and creation of local institutions for management of natural resources. The work in Itacar represente d an important pilot experience for other reserves to be implemented in the future. In order to carry out PRA, different strategies were tried, some conceived beforehand by me, and some evolving in th e field and conceived by locals and the organizations assisting them. Thus, the Itacar model of ex tractive reserve creation was the result of our collect ive thought and work. The PRA exercise in Itacar did not finish when I left. The TG was going to continue the process, carry out appraisal in some riverside communities that could not be include d in the first two rounds of PRA, verify their use of the natural resources that will be included in the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar, and facilita te a detailed development plan for the fishers of Itacar, with the help of a regional NGO. So far, the TG and I had achieved a general set of guidelines and development priorities established by different fishing community representatives. More was needed, including the creation of the Rese rve, which was still pending, one year and half after this disserta tion fieldwork finished. This was a problem with the PRA approach to the creation of extractive reserves: by raising the expectations a bout the Reserve, it presents the danger of frustration because bureaucratic processes in the government are slow. In the case of Itacar, in the

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286 Brazilian government there has been resistance against the creation of marine extractive reserves in open sea, particularly from th e Navy of Brazil. In addition, just after my dissertation fieldwork ended, th e Brazilian National Petroleum Agency sold the rights to prospect and drill oil in the sea of Itacar without consulting CNPT /IBAMA or the local community, disregarding years of participat ory work. The challenges to the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar ar e great, but in January 2003 a new president committed to social issues took his office, and the hope is that the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacar will be finally created. Action as Research and Research as Action This action research process generated as many lessons about research as about participation in PRA. To better be able to generalize from one pe rsons experience with action, and produce research and scientific resu lts, action researchers mu st take care with their involvement in the action. There we re two main problems during this action research process: Threats to objectivity. I believe that the problems re lated to objectivity in action research are similar to those of common et hnographic research, but are more intense. I dealt with the objectivity problem created by my personal involvement in action research, in different stages during and after fieldwork. Wh en I was immersed in the research process, often stressed by abundant gossip and puzzling behavior, it was often hard to maintain my coolness, and be objective. When I had research assistants helping me, just talking with them was very useful to put things in perspective and become more objective. This experience suggest s that it would be useful to work with have a second researcher, who would not be involved in the action, to talk about the process. After I returned from fieldwork, I went through a stressful process of report writing, trying to make my involvement, ideas and observations clearer. This writing process also was important as a way to distance myself. Work overload. When one becomes too involved in the action, there may be little time left for the research part of action research. This may make it difficult to write diaries and notes, causing loss of the resear ch results. Objectivity problems that could be solved by writing a personal diary can pers ist when there is little time for reflection and examining oneself. Carrying out action research should not be a solitary activity, and other people should be involved to help in the action part, as well as in writing

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287 reports, while the researcher can be i nvolved in methods to complement the information. Often, research assistants wr ote the preliminary PRA reports while I wrote my research notes and theoretical insights, which had co inciding aspects but differed in focus. If I had had more time to carry out the research, both action and research could have been carried out in a slower pace, which would have been beneficial both to the community and to the research process. This dissertation research adapted an ac tion testing procedure for action research that worked well in the study and promotion of local participation in the PRA meetings and in the local PRA team. In addition, by providing experiences contradicting selfdeprecating views held by the fishers, in whic h fishers participated and started to obtain results, action research and PRA changed the views of fishers about themselves. Increasingly, they started to see their cap acity for cooperation and their willingness to participate as dependent on the context, partic ularly, on the credibility of the initiative, including its leaders and goals. They were not defective, self ish or individualists. Selfdeprecating views that fishers were individualistic lost gr ounds, and their self-esteem seemed to improve, particularly in the TG. This confirms the value of action research compared to other forms of research in prom oting social change, as the research process was also a learning process for the communities and their new leaders. Thus, I believe that action research was ab le to perform all of its goals: research, action, and local learning. The in tervention associated with th is research was not always effective in empowering the fishers, but action research was an important learning strategy so that empowerment could be achieved, although I cannot comment on its persistence. New studies are necessary to know how the social reality in Itacar is evolving as a result of the PRA, the Mari ne Extractive Reserve, and the strategies associated with establishing the leadership of the Task Group. Finally, it is important to study how the action-testing procedure done in th is dissertation can be used to answer

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288 other types of research questi ons, and how it works to answer the same questions in other sites.

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294 Ostrom, Elinor 1990 Governing the Commons: The Evolu tion of Institutions for Collective Action. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Poggie, John J. 1980 Small-Scale Fishermen's Psychocultu ral Characteristics and Cooperative Formation. Anthropological Quaterly 53(1):20-28. Pollnac, Richard B., and Francisco Carmo 1980 Attitudes Toward Cooperation Among Small-Scale Fishermen and Farmers in the Azores. Anthropol ogical Quaterly 53(1):12-19. Popkin, Samuel L. 1979 The Rational Peasant: The political economy of rural society in Vietnam. Berkeley: University of California Press. Razakamarina, Ndranto, Richard Ford, Genese Marie Sodikoff, Stephanie Wood, Etiene Toto, and Paul Laris 1996 Negotiating Conservation: Reflex ions on Linking Conservation and Development in Madagascar. Wor cester, USA: Clark University. Reason, Peter, and Hillary Bradbury 2001 Introduction: Inquiry and Participat ion in Search of a World Worthy of Human Aspiration. In Handbook of Action Research: Participative Inquiry and Practice. P. Reason and H. Bradbury, eds. Pp. 1-14. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Redfield, Robert 1930 Tepoztln: A mexican Village. Chica go: University of Chicago Press. Rhoades, Robert E. 1990 The Coming Revolution in Methods for Rural Development Research. Upward: Asian Training of Trainers on Farm Household Diagnostic Skills, Laguna, Philippines, 1990, pp. 112-126. In stitute of Forest Conservation, University of the Philippines at Los Baos College. Robben, Antonius C. G. M. 1989 Sons of the Sea Goddess: Economic practice and discursisve conflict in Brazil. New York: Columbia University Press. 1994 Conflicting Discourses of Economy and Society in Coastal Brazil. Man 29(4):875-900. Rocheleau, D. E. 1994 Participatory Research and the Race to Save the Planet: Questions, Critique, and Lessons from the Field. Agriculture and Human values 11(293).

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295 Sabella, James C. 1980 Jos Olaya: Analysis of a Peruvian Fishing Cooperative that Failed. Anthropological Quarterly 53(1):56-63. Sarch, Marie-Thrse, S. P. Madakan, and B. L. Ladu 1997 Investigating Systems of Fisher ies Access along the River Benue in Nigeria. PLA Notes (30):40-44. Schwartzman, Stephan 1992 Land Distribution and the Social Cost s of Frontier development in Brazil: social and historical context of extrac tive reserves. Advances in Economic Botany 9:51-66. Scott, James C. 1976 The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and resistance in Southeast Asia. New Haven: Yale University Press. 1989 Everyday Forms of Resistance. In Everyday forms of Peasant Resistance. F.D. Colburn, ed. Pp. 3-33. New York/ London: M. E. Sharpe. Secretaria da Cultura e Turismo 1998 rea de Proteo Ambiental Itacar Serra Grande: plano de manejo, zoneamento ecolgico-econmico e plano de gesto (sntese). Salvador: Governo do Estado da Bahia/ Secretaria da Cultu ra e Turismo (SCT)/ Coordenao de Desenvolvimento do Turismo (Codetur)/ Empresa de Turismo da Bahia (Bahiatursa). Silva, Ignacio Accioli de Cerqueira e 1919a Memrias Histricas e Polticas da Provncia da Bahia do Coronel Ignacio Accioli de Cerqueira e Silva (Annotador: Dr. Braz do Amaral). VI vols. Volume I. Salvador, Bahia: Imprensa Official do Estado da Bahia. 1919b Memrias Histricas e Polticas da Provncia da Bahia do Coronel Ignacio Accioli de Cerqueira e Silva (Annotador: Dr. Braz do Amaral). 6 vols. Volume VI. Salvador, Bahia: Imprensa Official do Estado da Bahia. Scio-Estatstica Pesquisa Ltda. 2002 EcoBahia: O seu Municpio na Internet! Electronic document http://www.ecobahia.com.br/m-ios-itb-itacare.htm accessed February 4, 2002. Tillmann, H. J., and M. A. Salas 1997 Nuestro Congresso: Manual de Diag nstico Rural Participativo para la Extensin campesina. Santiago de Puriscal, Costa Rica: Prodaf GTZ. Townsley, Philip, James Anderson, and Chris Mees 1997 Custumary Marine Tenure in the So uth Pacific: The Uses and Challenges of Mapping. PLA Notes (30):36-39.

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296 Weigand Jr., Ronaldo 2000a Curso para Pescadores e Marisqueir as de Itacar: "Como fazer o Plano de Desenvolvimento da Reserva Extrativista Marinha". Itacar: AS PERI and Colnia Z-18. 2000b Formao de Lideranas e Tcn icos Locais para a Elaborao e Implantao Participativas da Primeira Verso do Plano de Desenvolvimento da Futura Reserva Extrativista Marinha de Itacar, Bahia, Brasil. Itacar: Terra Nuova and ASPERI. Weigand Jr., Ronaldo, and Daniela Jorge de Paula 1998 Reservas Extrativistas: Dando Poder s Comunidades atravs da Elaborao e Implantao Participativas dos Planos de Desenvolvimento. Porto Velho, Brazil: Seplan/ Planafloro/ UNDP/ BRA/94/007. Wilk, Richard R. 1996 Economies and Cultures. Oxford: Westview Press.

PAGE 307

APPENDIX SCHEDULE OF PRA MEETINGS

PAGE 308

298 Moay y y Saturday Sunday nd Tuesda Wednesda Thur sd ay Friday 22 Porto de Trs PRA appraisal meeting 23 Porto de Trs PRA appraisal meeting 24 Porto de Trs PRA appraisal meeting 25 Porto de Trs PRA appraisal meeting 26 Report writing 27 Visit to Piracanga, to verify land conflicts 28 J anuary 29 Working Group meeting (UESC Data collection on fish catches, mangroves and algae and corals) 30 Banca do Peixe PRA appraisal meeting 31 Banca do Peixe PRA appraisal meeting (UESC Data collection on beach organisms) 1 Banca do Peixe PRA appraisal meeting (UESC data collection on fish catches) 2 Report writing 3 Itacarezinho, meeting preparations 4 Itacarezinho PRA appraisal meeting 5 Working Group meeting (UESC Data collection on beaches and mangroves) 6 Banca do Peixe PRA appraisal meeting 7 Banca do Peixe PRA appraisal meeting 8 Report writing 9 Report writing 10 Taboquinhas PRA appraisal meeting 11 Taboquinhas PRA appraisal meeting 12 Working Group meeting 13 Forte PRA appraisal meeting 14 Forte PRA appraisal meeting 15 Forte PRA appraisal meeting 16 Forte PRA appraisal meeting 17 Campo Seco PRA appraisal meeting 18 19 Working Group meeting 20 Report writing 21 Riverine communities 22 Report writing 23 24 Carnaval 25 Carnaval Fuar ebry 1 2 3 4 26 Carnaval 27 Carnaval 28 Ash Wednesday Figure A-1: Schedule of PRA meetings.

PAGE 309

299 Moay y y Saturday Sunday nd Tuesda Wednesda Thur sd ay Friday 5 Working Group meeting 6 Passagem/ Marimbondo PRA appraisal meeting 7 Passagem/ Marimbondo PRA appraisal meeting 8 Passagem/ Marimbondo PRA appraisal meeting 9 Report writing 10 11 Piracanga 12 Working Group meeting 13 General meeting of representatives preparation 14 General meeting of representatives preparation 15 General meeting of representatives preparation 16 General meeting of representatives preparation 17 General meeting of representatives 18 General meeting of representatives 19 Working Group meeting 20 21 22 Banca do Peixe PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 23 Banca do Peixe PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 24 Piracanga PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 25 Piracanga PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting Mch ar 26 Working Group meeting 27 Porto de Trs PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 28 Porto de Trs PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 29 Forte PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 30 Forte PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 31 Taboquinhas PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 1 Taboquinhas PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 2 Working Group meeting 3 Itacarezinho PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 4 Campo seco PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 5 Passagem/ Marimbondo PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 6 Passagem/ Marimbondo PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 7 General Meeting Objectives and strategies for development 8 General Meeting PRA Norms of the Reserve meeting 9 Working Group meeting 10 11 12 Holy Week 13 Holy Week 14 Holy Week 15 Holy Week A pril 20 21 22 16 Working Group meeting 17 18 19 Reportsentto Ibama Figure A-1: Schedule of PRA meetings. Continued

PAGE 310

300 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Ronaldo Weigand Jr. was born on January 24, 1967, in So Paulo, Brazil. In 1990, he received his bachelors degree in agronomic engineering from the Escola Superior de Agricultura Lui z de Queiroz, Universidade de So Paulo (USP). From 1989 to 1990, he produced and presented the environmental education radio program Nave Terra. In 1992, he became an ecology pr ofessor at the Universidade Federal do Acre, in the western Brazilian Amazon, where his main activities included teaching and coordination of a research and extension ag roforestry project. From 1994 to 1996, he was supported by a fellowship from the Ford Foundation to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Latin American Studies, with a Tropical Cons ervation and Development concentration, at the University of Florida. In 1996, he join ed the team of consultants of the United Nations Development Programs Technical C ooperation Project to assist the state government of Rondnia (southwest Brazilian Am azon) to implement extractive reserves. In 1998, he returned to the Univ ersity of Florida, this time to work toward his doctoral degree in Anthropology. Upon graduation, he plans to return to Brazil, to join a nongovernmental, governmental or an academic institution, and to develop activities assisting coastal, rural and forest communities to improve their sustainable use of natural resources, nature conservation, participation, and empowerment.


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THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF PARTICIPATION: PARTICIPATORY RURAL
APPRAISAL (PRA) AND THE CREATION OF A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN
BAHIA, BRAZIL


















RONALDO WEIGAND JR.













A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2003










































To my grandparents Carlos and Rosa,
my parents Vera and Ronaldo,
and the fishers of Itacare












ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I first want to thank my advisor Dr. Marianne Schmink for her support to this

dissertation and in my academic life at the University of Florida. I also appreciate the

support of the other members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Gerald Murray, Dr. Peter

Hildebrand, Dr. Marshall Breeze and Dr. Anthony Oliver-Smith during my graduate

studies. I want to thank Dr. Marcos Sorrentino, at the Universidade de Sao Paulo, for his

advice and support in critical moments during the research process.

I want to thank Claudio L6po of Itacare, who was the first to tell me about the

proposal of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare. He and his family, received me in

his house during the first contacts with the fishing community, and he was a good friend

throughout the process of research. I also want to thank the following people: Angelica

and Amos, from Pousada L'Arcobaleno; Kikiu, from Taboquinhas; Salvador, Valeria

Cyrillo, Ana Paranhos, Rui Rocha, and other people from Instituto de Estudos

Socioambientais do Sul da Bahia (IESB) and the Programa de Educacgo Ambiental da

APA de Itacare Serra Grande; Luiz Souto, from NGO Jupara; Jane Voisin, from UESC;

and Roberto Setubal, from the Municipal Government. Essential support was given by

Rita Romano from Terra Nuova. I also thank Viviane Hermida, Ana Claudia Mendes

Malhado and Daniela Martins, who volunteered in the PRA in Itacare and were great

research assistants. Particularly, the talks I had with Viviane illuminated my research.

I further want to thank the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive

Reserve of Itacare, particularly Catu, Breno, Batista, Gilmar, Celinha, Izio, Barbara and

Vinha, for letting me research with them. I am grateful for the invitation from ASPERI











and for the support of its presidents, Raimundo, Pinguiin and Pedro. I was also pleased

with the support from the Col6nia de Pesca Z-18, the Municipality, Restaurante Senzala

and small businesses and local groups that supported the creation of the Extractive

Reserve.

Special thanks go to Rubens Lopes and his oceanographic team at Universidade

Estadual de Santa Cruz (UESC), particularly Silvia, Lucio, Gessely, M6nica, Cintia and

Alexandre. I also thank Rafael Pinz6n and Alexandre Z. Cordeiro, of CNPT/IBAMA; and

Marcio Torres, of the Ministerio Publico Federal in Ilheus.

I am very grateful for the support from and friendship of Valeria Rodrigues,

Francisco R. Cartaxo Nobre, Carla and Robert Miller, Ana Maria Arg6lo, Norman Breuer

and his family, Kathleen Ragsdale, Sandra Baptista, Viviane Hermida, Valerio Gomes,

Marta Hager Strambi, Richard Wallace, Ilka Araujo, Christine Archer, John Engels, Amy

Cox, and Maria Thereza Pedroso, who all made my time in Gainesville endurable and

more enjoyable. I also want to thank my mother, Vera; my father, Ronaldo; his wife

Genes; my aunt Denise; my brothers and all my family for their support.

This research and my doctoral studies were funded by a fellowship from the

Fundagdo Coordenagdo de Aperfeigoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES) of

the Brazilian Ministry of Education. I especially thank my country, Brazil; my

government and my people for supporting my education, both in Brazil (at the University

of Sdo Paulo) and in the United States (through CAPES).
















TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................ iii
L IST O F T A B L E S ..... .................................................................... .. .. ............ vii
LIST OF FIGURES ......... ........................ ............ ........ ........... viii
A B STR A C T ......... ...... ............................................................................................. ix
CHAPTER
1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ....................... .. 1
Origins and Concept of Participatory Rural Appraisal................. .................... 5
D definition of PRA ............... ........ .......... .................. ........ ............ .. 11
Collective Action and PRA Experiences .............................................. 12
Research Questions and Explanatory Propositions............... ................ 14
Theoretical, Methodological and Practical Significance of this Research .......... 45
O organization of the D issertation .................................... .................................... 46
2 METHODOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES: AN INTRODUCTION TO ACTION
R E SE A R C H ................................... ........................................ 4 8
Main Characteristics of Action Research ........................ ......................... 49
Epistemology for an "Investigative" Action Research: Discovery and Learning 50
Politics of A action R esearch.............. .................................... .......................... 53
Diverse Voices, Emic Explanations and CoewII i (eizi,. t.i. .............. ................ 55
Objectivity and A action Research ............................................................ ........ ... 56
Comparing Action Research and Research-Only Strategies ............................. 57
3 RE SEAR CH M ETH OD S .................................................. ............................ 60
R research Site and P opulation...................................................... .... .. .............. 60
R research D design .......................... .. .......... ....... ..... ..... .... ........... ... 6 1
Data Collection: Observant Participation and Participant Observation.............. 81
Testing the Explanatory Propositions .............. ............................................ 86
4 ITA C A R A N D ITS FISH ER S ........................... ............................................... 90
Indians, Jesuits and Pirates .............. ............................................ .............. 91
"The V violent Land". ..................................... .......... .................... 93
C ol6nia de P esca Z -18 .......... .... ................ ........................... .. 97
Rise of Tourism and Environmentalism ..................................................... 103
Fishers' A association of Itacar ............................................ ............ .............. 114

v











L inks to a W ider C ontext........................................................................... ... 116
Sum m ary and C conclusions .......................................... ........................... 117
5 COOPERATION AND INDIVIDUALISM IN THE FISHING ACTIVITY........ 122
Is the F fishing A activity Solitary? ......................................................................... 122
Modernization of the Fisheries .............................. 128
T he L obster G old R ush ................................................................................ ..... 132
Resource Management....................................... 135
The Extractive Reserves .................................. .............. 142
Sum m ary and C conclusions ........................................... .......................... 145
6 ORIGINS OF THE TASK GROUP ........................................................... 148
Courses on PRA and Community Leadership .............................................. 149
The Movement for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare and the Formation of
the Task Group ...... ..... .................................... ............... 152
Black-or-W hite V iew s .......................................................... .............. 164
Sum m ary and C conclusions ........................................... .......................... 166
7 RESEARCH QUESTION 1: WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCED FISHERS'
PARTICIPATION IN THE PRA MEETINGS? ............................................ 168
PRA Training for TG M embers................................................... ............... 170
First-R found PRA M meetings ........................................ .......................... 178
Second-Round PRA M meetings ................................................... ........ ...... 223
Explanatory Propositions Tested in Action ............................................. .. 224
Sum m ary and C conclusions ........................................... .......................... 233
8 RESEARCH QUESTION 2: WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE PARTICIPATION
BY LOCAL PEOPLE AS LEADERS IN THE PRA TEAM? ............. ............. 235
Participation in the Task G roup ...................................................... ................. 240
Action Tests for Research Question 2: Summary and Conclusion................... 262
9 C O N C L U SIO N ............................. ................................................ ... .............. .. 265
W hy Participation?....... ................................................................ .............. 265
Participation of the Fishers of Itacare in the PRA Meetings ............................ 266
Com m unitarian or Individualistic? ........................................... .. ............ 272
Conflict and Consensus in PRA...................... ..................... 273
Local Participation in the PRA Team and Leadership.................. .............. 274
M ultidim ensional M odel.................................. .............. 280
Competing Extractive Reserve M odels .................................... .............. 282
Action as Research and Research as Action......... ....................................... 286
REFERENCES ................... .......................... .. 289
APPENDIX: SCHEDULE OF PRA MEETINGS .............. ................................... 297
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ............................................................. .............. 300
vi















LIST OF TABLES


Table pae

1-1: Research question 1 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced fishers'
participation in the PRA m eetings?.................................................. .............. 15

1-2: Research question 2 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced
participation by local people in the PRA team? .................................................. 16

1-3: Comparison of peasants and fishers. ............. ......... ........... ..... ............. .. 21

2-1: Comparing action research and conventional research.................................... 58

5-1: Accomplishments of the fishers of Itacare and necessary personal qualities and
skills to realize them ....... ............................... .. ...... .. ............ ............ .. 127

7-1: Attendance at the PRA meetings ........................... ........... ... 169

7-2: Research Question 1 and explanatory propositions........................... 170

7-3: Contents of the course on PRA for the Task Group......................................... 172

7-4: Results of the action tests for the explanatory propositions for research question 1
................................. .......................... .............. 226

8-1: Research question 2 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced
participation by local people in the PRA team? ................................ .............. 236

8-2: Results of the action tests for the explanatory propositions for Research Question 2
................................. .......................... .............. 263














LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

3-1: Location of Itacare and the area proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve........ 61

3-2: Web of life game in the community of Banca do Peixe................ .......... .... 75

3-3: Participatory mapping exercise in Forte community.............................................. 76

3-4: Institutional diagram in Banca do Peixe community (a TG member is facilitating the
discussion)............... ............................................... ....... ........ 77

3-5: Historical diagram in small groups in Taboquinhas, facilitated by a volunteer
research assistant. ....................................................... .............. 78

3-6: Logo of the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of
Itacare. ................................................. .......... 83

3-7: Action as a research testing strategy. ............. ...... ........................... .......... 88

7-1: Natural resource map created by the PRA participants of Banca do Peixe............ 187

7-2: Institutional Diagram of Banca do Peixe............................ 189

7-3: Participatory mapping in Banca do Peixe. ............. ......................................... 196

7-4: Institutional diagram of Porto de Tras............................... .............. 205

8-1: Participation within the Task Group...................... .. ................. 241

A -0-1: Schedule of PRA m meetings ....................................................... ........... ... 298














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in
Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy


THE SOCIAL CONTEXT OF PARTICIPATION: PARTICIPATORY RURAL
APPRAISAL (PRA) AND THE CREATION OF A MARINE PROTECTED AREA IN
BAHIA, BRAZIL

By

Ronaldo Weigand Jr.

August 2003

Chair: Marianne Schmink
Major Department: Department of Anthropology

This dissertation is a study of a participatory rural appraisal (PRA) process for the

creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare, in the state of Bahia, Brazil, and

examined two main research questions:

* What factors influenced fishers' participation in the PRA meetings?
* What factors influenced participation by local people as leaders in the PRA team?

To test 14 explanatory propositions, I adapted action research, a participatory

research paradigm concerned both with action to improve local conditions faced by the

participants, and with research about the processes that cause these conditions. The most

important factor affecting participation in the PRA meetings was politics. Often, fishers

did not participate because they were resisting the Extractive Reserve proposal, the local

PRA team, or because they opposed some other aspect. My research provides evidence

against the proposition that fishers do not participate because they have an individualistic

culture, and against the proposition that fishers do not attend PRA meetings if they can
ix











free-ride on the PRA exercise. In Itacare, all communities eventually attended PRA

meetings in good numbers, actively participated in the discussions, and ended up

supporting the Extractive Reserve. Attendance at meetings was also influenced by the

credibility of the PRA team and by multidimensional costs and benefits related to the

PRA methodology (moral, emotional, and informational).

The factors influencing participation within the local PRA team included the pace

of the PRA and individual opportunity costs involved in facilitating it. Multidimensional

costs and benefits also affected participation; individuals would stay in the PRA team

while they felt that their material, political, moral, and emotional capitals were above a

certain critical level. The dissertation further shows the importance of internal conflicts in

the local PRA team, and shows how PRA, because of its technical need for outside

facilitators, can increase such conflicts. Conflicts among insiders may be equally

important. The dissertation concludes with a discussion of recommendations for research,

PRA practice, action research, and the creation of extractive reserves.
















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Everybody is talking about participation. Why participation? To some,

participation is an end in itself; a human right. In conservation and development

initiatives, community supporters and activists defend that local people have the right to

participate in any decision process that could influence their lives. Donors, governments,

universities, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community organizations are so

interested in participation because it gives legitimacy to development and conservation

initiatives, and because it is believed that participation makes these initiatives more

efficient and effective.

The word participation may mean different things: How do people participate?

Who participates? Why do they participate? How much power do participants have? How

do outsiders and locals see participation? How much do they gain or lose by participating

(or not)? The answers to these questions (if they are ever asked) influence the legitimacy,

the efficiency and the efficacy of conservation and development initiatives.

Participation can take different forms. For example, in the research process,

Rocheleau (1994) points out that there are extractive and interactive approaches, and that

land users can take different roles, from providing labor, to acting as hosts, informants,

evaluators, collaborators, partners, advisors or board members. As in Rocheleau's

description, the types of participation can be classified in a one-dimensional scale, such

as a "ladder", implying that some forms of classification are better (more legitimate) than






2


others and "that it is possible, desirable and necessary to move across this continuum to

the most intense form of participation, a kind of participation nirvana" (Guijt and Sha

1998b:10); Guijt and Sha (1998) discuss other problems with participation typologies.

To promote participation, a series of methods have been developed, such as

participatory rural appraisal (PRA). Participatory rural appraisal is "a growing family of

approaches and methods to enable local (rural and urban) people to express, enhance,

share, and analyze their knowledge of life and conditions, to plan and to act" (Chambers

1994b:1253). In the 1990s, as participation of local people became an important element

towards a more effective, efficient and socially just way to promote development and

manage protected areas, PRA became increasingly popular among development and

conservation organizations and professionals for use in different contexts (protected

areas, indigenous communities, rural resettlements, poor urban neighborhoods, etc.).

However, as PRA scales up, the concern about the quality of participation has

increased (Blackburn and Holland 1998). Criticism of PRA is growing, both for its lack

of a theoretical basis and its lack of consideration for the complexity of rural

communities (Goebel 1998; Guijt and Sha 1998a). To some authors, problems with PRA

may stem from its massive use, and from scaling up without proper care, training and

understanding of the methodology (Blackburn and Holland 1998). To other authors, the

problems with PRA emerge from the methodology itself. For example, Guijt and Sha

(1998b) and Goebel (1998) argue that PRA, by emphasizing public expression of

knowledge and consensus, may obscure power differences and disagreeing interests in

the community (particularly gender-related differences), therefore contributing to the

disempowerment of already disempowered groups.









PRA also seems to be applied without consciousness of a theory that explains its

success or failure. Chambers (1994b) points out that one aspect of PRA is that it lacks a

theoretical basis and is oriented more by "what works" than by "why it works." He argues

that the advantage of this approach is that it is practical and related to the field, as

opposed to an academic approach. However, if PRA is to evolve in quality, not only

quantity, and if we want to avoid a blind search for improvements, "why it works" (and

why it does not) should become important, and social scientists should contribute to

answer this question. The first question a critical academician would ask is perhaps "what

does PRA work for?" What is the goal of PRA? I devote further discussion to the goal of

PRA later in this introduction, but for now, I accept Chambers' definition (the goal is to

enable local people "to express, enhance, share, and analyze their knowledge of life and

conditions, to plan and to act," Chambers 1994b: 1253) with an emphasis on planning and

action. Participatory rural appraisal's goal is to involve local people in well-guided

(legitimate and effective) collective action.

A research opportunity to explore how PRA contributes to participatory practice

and collective action opened up to me in March 1999, when I visited the town of Itacare,

located on the south coast of the State of Bahia, Brazil. Itacare is located in a gorgeous

region, with many reminiscent fragments of Brazil's Atlantic rainforest, one of the richest

and most endangered ecosystems in the world, and with many paradise beaches that

attract thousands of Brazilian and foreign tourists. Tall waves, coconut groves, a tiny but

lively night life, action sports opportunities and warm welcoming people acted as

magnets for surfers and tourists, whose sometimes overwhelming presence started to

change the social and natural landscapes.









Raimundo, the president of the Associacdo dos Pescadores e Marisqueiras de

Itacare (ASPERI, or Itacare's Association of Fishers and Shellfish Harvesters), was very

friendly to me. We were talking at a bar table in Itacare when he told me that the main

problem of the local fishers was the sea-bottom trawling done by guinchos (industrial

shrimp trawler boats). These boats were equipped with a winch (in Portuguese,

"guincho") that enables them to trawl large nets. In most cases, they also had two

tangones, small cranes from which the nets were pulled. "They destroy everything, kill

all fish, even the very small ones," he said. In my later visits, the fishers of Itacare

consistently repeated that same story. Each of these boats trawled two large nets and a

smaller sampling net that scraped the sea floor. Shrimp, crabs, fish, stones, corals, algae,

and trash were all lifted into the boat. Small fish and other sea life were discarded dead,

leaving behind a floating trail of waste and death that revolted local fishers.

In response to that problem, some people in Itacare were requesting that the

Brazilian Federal Government create a Marine Extractive Reserve. An extractive reserve

is a government-owned area in which a particular population of extractors is allowed to

use natural resources according to the rules proposed by the community and approved by

a management council composed of government and nongovernment organizations,

which should ensure resource sustainability (Allegretti 1994; Instituto Brasileiro do Meio

Ambiente e dos Recursos Naturais Renovaveis 1995; Murrieta and Rueda 1995; Nepstad

et al. 1992; Schwartzman 1992). Extractive reserves have been widely created in the

Brazilian Amazon and along the Brazilian coast, protecting forest, estuarine and marine

resources.









Raimundo invited me to promote the development of local community

organizational, or institutional, foundations for the creation of the future Marine

Extractive Reserve in the fishing community of Itacare. Based on my previous experience

with PRA in the extractive reserves of Rond6nia state (Weigand Jr. and Paula 1998),

southwestern Brazilian Amazon, I chose to develop that work using a participatory rural

appraisal (PRA) approach.

As does much of the PRA literature, I assumed that participation would be more

or less a natural phenomenon and that people were willing to participate if just given the

chance. Chambers (1994a) relates the success of PRA to a series of "reversals," as

follows: 1) of frames (from etic to emic, that is, from the point of view of outsiders to the

one of insiders); 2) of modes (from individual to groups, from verbal to visual, from

measuring to comparing); 3) of relations (from reserve to rapport, from frustration to

fun); and 4) of power (from extracting to empowering). However, in the case of some

fishing communities in Itacare, at first these reversals did not matter because people were

not coming to the meetings to experience them. Itacare teaches us that participation in

PRA has a social context, and that promoting PRA is not restricted to its meetings, but is

related to the "management" of a complex social reality.

Realizing that PRA does not happen in a social vacuum, this research tries to

answer the following questions:

* What factors influenced fishers' participation in the PRA meetings?
* What factors influenced participation by local people as leaders in the PRA team?

Origins and Concept of Participatory Rural Appraisal

Villagers gather around an outsider who invites them to draw a map of their

community. They use anything to represent different aspects of their reality; stones, sand,









wood, leaves or any material they are used to. Some people go to the ground, start

drawing the contours of the village, the river that passes by, the main roads. Other people

start placing trees and houses. Someone draws the church. They argue and ask each other

for information. "Where does that guy live?" one asks. "By the river curve," another

participant answers. Slowly, the map takes shape. After a while, the outsider asks what

the participants see in the map (what are the community problems, what should be done,

etc). This is participatory mapping, one of the "PRA tools."

Participatory rural appraisal has been loosely defined, and the label has been used

to designate a broad range of research and development work. According to Chambers

(1994a:953), PRA "has evolved from, draws on, and resonates with, several traditions."

PRA evolved mainly from RRA, or rapid rural appraisal, but is also related to activist

participatory research, agroecosystem analysis, applied anthropology and field research

on farming systems. Rapid rural appraisal (RRA) is a relaxed form of survey in which

questionnaires are avoided; it gained recognition as a way to obtain valid information

from a community because it is more cost effective, more personal and faster than formal

surveys (Chambers 1994a). The difference between PRA and RRA is that RRA is

intended for learning by outsiders, while PRA is intended to enable local people to

analyze and, often, to plan and to act together. Both "methodologies" share several

"methods" such as the use of secondary sources, semi-structured interviews, key

informants, participatory mapping and modeling, transect walks, seasonal calendars, and

others (Chambers 1994a). According to Kabutha et al. (1991), PRA was first applied in

Mbusyani, Kenya, in 1988.









However, there is still confusion about the concept of PRA. Although the name

stands only for "appraisal," the original PRA process, as described by Kabutha et al.

(1991), was an adaptation of rapid rural appraisal (RRA) intended to promote action

through the creation of a community development plan or community action plan. As

explained by Dr. Richard Ford (personal communication to pra@listserv.uoguelph.ca),

When we put together the concept and the structure of PRA in the mid-1980s,
it had two structural elements and three conceptual elements that differed
from its parent, RRA. The two structural elements were

1. That the participatory research must lead to an action plan that reflects
the community's ranked priorities and how they intended to implement
them. In our original handbook we call them VRMPs-- Village Resource
Management Plans. Over the years, they have come to be known as CAPs
(Community Action Plans).

2. That the community's data, collected primarily through visual instruments,
should be organized and recorded in ways that could be left with the
community so that local organizations and village institutions could use
them for monitoring, tracking, or holding groups accountable for what
they had promised to contribute. The data have also served in many
communities as useful management tools for community institutions.

The three conceptual elements were

1. That community be the primary initiative taker in solving their own
problems

2. That community institutions serve as the primary building blocks for
initiating development action

3. That the community institutions be the primary architects in crafting
partnerships with NGOS, CBOs, government, international agencies, and
private sector organizations

If the methodology contains these five elements, I don't think it makes any
difference what one calls it. The main point is that it provides tools for
community institutions to play a substantially larger role in planning and
managing their own development than under previous methods.

In spite of this, many papers describe only the use of the "PRA tools" (maps,

calendars, diagrams), isolated from a process intended to generate community action. In









the PLA Notes, perhaps the main periodical about PRA, published by the International

Institute for Environment and Development, there are several papers on a "PRA" that

does not include community planning or action (Binns et al. 1997; Dirorimwe 1998;

Sarch et al. 1997; Townsley et al. 1997).

According to Garett Pratt (personal communication to pra@listserv.uoguelph.ca),

After having all this time to reflect on what PRA is, I find it most useful to think
of the diversity of practices that people label PRA. For example, some people
focus on the diagrams, and so would use that to define whether others are 'really'
doing PRA or not, i.e., if there is no mapping, it isn't PRA. But other
practitioners who say that they are doing PRA argue that diagrams are often or
always inappropriate in their work with communities, so they work by simply
talking to people, often in groups. But they call it PRA. You also find people
saying, 'We did a PRA-first a questionnaire survey and then focus group
discussions'.

Some say that PRA is 'a way of life' or a set of vaguely defined 'attitudes and
behaviors'. So in that case, they could see someone using diagrams like maps but
failing to display the 'correct' attitudes and behaviors, and say, 'that person is not
doing real PRA'. But they might count the way a person interacts with their
family as PRA if they displayed the 'right' PRA attitudes and behaviors during
that interaction. Given the muddle of things that people label PRA, it is very
difficult to set boundaries around PRA by naming specific practices that are
somehow the 'essence' of PRA.

The other route might be to define it somehow by the purpose it is used for. For
example, does the facilitator intend that the use of PRA should lead to an action
plan or not? You find people saying that if there is no 'development project'
coming out the end of the process, then it is not PRA... Focusing on the purpose
of the facilitator as the defining factor for PRA may tend to overplay their
determination of the outcomes, as of course the participants actively shape what
happens. But it seems that a lot of times PRA is a hit and run data collection
technique to serve the project management needs of development organizations,
so there isn't much chance for participants to shape the process. Nor is it likely
that such a 'purpose' will become the 'official' definition of PRA! ... I have
learned not to assume anything when someone tells me they 'use PRA.'

These points summarize the varied impressions of PRA practitioners who

participated in an international retreat evaluating the experience of PRA in Kenya

(Institute of Development Studies 1999). The imprecise definition of PRA has generated









confusion and has endangered the practices labeled PRA. Any action labeled "PRA" that

does not yield positive results in terms of quality of life and community mobilization will

create frustration, because:

* The original PRA involved a process in which communities mobilized to improve
their situation
* The prestige of PRA derives from the claim that it improves communities.

Confusion about the PRA concept may stem from the origins of PRA. Robert

Rhoades' 1990 paper on the oncoming revolution in methods for rural development

research suggests that, by the late 1980s, Rapid Rural Appraisal was changing, starting to

utilize research methods that were more visual (Rhoades 1990). However, at that time,

the same visual "tools" started to be used in Africa by Richard Ford and others to

generate community action plans (Ford et al. 1994; Ford and Lelo 1991; Ford et al. 1992;

Ford et al. 1993; Kabutha et al. 1991). When their first results appeared to be very

positive, participatory rural appraisal gained popularity. Because it was a direct evolution

of rapid rural appraisal (a methodology that was not intended to generate community

action, but to yield valid, fast and inexpensive information), much PRA is in fact

participatory RRA with a new label.

In the early 1990s, PRA was described as a process of diagnosis and planning to

generate a community action plan (Instituto de Los Recursos Mundiales and Grupo de

Estudios Ambientales 1993; National Environment Secretariat et al. 1991; Odour-Noah et

al. 1992). However, by 1994, PRA was already described as "a growing family of

approaches and methods" (Chambers 1994b:1253), with several different uses. Thus,

there are two concepts of PRA: one that emphasizes theprocess and the objective of









community appraisal, planning and action; and another that emphasizes the participatory

use of diagrams in data gathering and raising community awareness.

This second concept of PRA seems to be an appropriation of the PRA label by the

RRA practitioners, among them Robert Chambers. To Chambers (1994a), the main

differences between RRA and PRA are that RRA is extractive and verbal, while PRA is

"empowering" and visual. To him, planning and action are "often" a result; they are not a

necessary part of the methodology. Those differences can be disputed because

* RRA had already started to use more visual techniques and include local participation
even before the PRA label was created and first used in Kenya
* PRA involved, originally, the generation of a community action plan

After RRA established itself as a valid research strategy, it has been criticized and

described as extractive and not very participatory (Chambers 1994a). To escape criticism

of RRA, concerned RRA practitioners had to differentiate their work. It can be argued

that PRA, as a data gathering method, is just a perfected use of RRA, in terms of local

participation. This perfected form of RRA, apparently, is today labeled as PRA as a way

to enjoy the prestige of this new approach and to escape criticism directed toward old and

because "participatory" sounds a lot better than "rapid"! In fact, RRA still exists and is

surprisingly common.

However, a PRA research strategy faced some of the same problems of validity

that RRA faced. The RRA debates in the early 1980s were mainly related to its capacity

to yield valid data. When the concern is to generate valid data and conclusions, PRA data

gathering techniques also had to be defended because they started to involve more visual

elements and nonstandardized ways of representing data; and because locals started to

analyze data. As a research strategy, PRA depended on the knowledge and skills of the









local people. Proponents of PRA research such as Robert Chambers then had to defend

the assumptions related to the locals' capacity to know and analyze their reality.

Often, the objective of PRA is described in terms of empowerment. The poor in a

community setting are normally empowered by collective action, because the poor are

individually weak but can be collectively powerful. However, while the validity of PRA

for research has been extensively defended, PRA for community action has had little

theoretical discussion.

Definition of PRA

Now, we must choose between the two views of PRA. While the generation of

community action does include participatory research, it should involve more than this. In

this dissertation, PRA means a method to involve a group or community in a process of

participatory diagnosis, planning and action, intended to build local capacity for

collective action and improve local conditions of life. That is, PRA is a collective

planning and implementation process with an empowerment goal.

Is the name "participatory rural appraisal" still appropriate? Because PRA has

been used in urban areas, "rural" does not seem appropriate anymore. Because planning

and action are often part of PRA processes, "appraisal" is not able to express what PRA

is in practice. According to Blackburn and Holland (1998), to reflect this expansion in

PRA practices, some practitioners have maintained the acronym PRA, but changed what

it stands for: instead of "participatory rural appraisal", they talk about "participatory

reflection and action." However, apparently this change in terminology is still not

complete. To facilitate the dialogue of this dissertation with other papers discussing

participatory methods, rather than inventing new terminology, I use the more popular

terms "participatory rural appraisal" and "PRA."









A number of manuals and papers that follow this definition describe how to

conduct a participatory rural appraisal exercise (Instituto de Los Recursos Mundiales and

Grupo de Estudios Ambientales 1993; National Environment Secretariat et al. 1991;

Odour-Noah et al. 1992; Tillmann and Salas 1997). Most publications stress the diagnosis

and planning part, while neglecting to address the implementation process. However,

there are still several cases of PRA intended to promote collective action.

Collective Action and PRA Experiences

PRA intended to mobilize community collective action was used first in

Mbusyani, Kenya, in 1988 (Kabutha et al. 1991). There, self-help achieved several

improvements in the production and natural resource conservation. Although the villagers

were responsible for most tasks, close collaboration with extension officers and NGOs

played a major role in implementation.

Ford et al. (1992) describe a PRA process in Pwani, another village in Kenya

where the community organized itself through PRA, good practical results. Razakamarina

et al. (1996) describe the use of PRA to establish partnerships between parks and people

in Madagascar. By using PRA, communities improved their health, education,

production, storage and transportation. A major strategy in the implementation phase was

the use of small projects and the advice of outsiders for rapid results. Small projects

created visibility for the park and its resources, changed local people's attitudes, and

strengthened local capabilities and self-confidence.

Weigand and Paula (1998) describe the use of PRA to generate community

development plans for two extractive reserves in the Brazilian Amazon. Participatory

rural appraisal helped extractive communities to diagnose their problems, set priorities,

plan solutions and implement improvements, helping them to build self-confidence and









change their attitudes toward community organization. More people became involved in

community activities. Women, in particular, increased their role and influence in the

reserves. As a result, economic alternatives helped to increase male and female income,

education and health services were implemented, and the community became more

organized toward environmental protection.

Among PRA accounts, Ford et al.(1994) describes the use of PRA to generate a

community action plan for a village of pastoralists in Somalia; Bronson et al. (1995)

describes a PRA assessment and planning exercise in a community in Vanuatu Islands,

South Pacific; and Ford et al. (1993) describes a PRA exercise in a village in Botswana.

All these case studies were part of training workshops for local professionals and do not

discuss the results of the implementation phase.

Ford and Lelo (1991) evaluating the Mbusyani experience, point out weaknesses

and strengths of PRA. Participatory rural appraisal strengths include

* The provision of a community forum for dialogue among community, government,
NGOs and other parties
* PRA focus on locally sustainable solutions
* Participatory data gathering and analysis
* Systematized participation

Moreover, PRA builds self-confidence by giving villagers significant

accomplishments, and stimulates self-reliance by the awareness that communities need

not wait for outside help. However Ford and Lelo (1991) point out that PRA requires

strong institutions to mobilize communities; and that local leaders may lack needed

management skills. In addition, participation does not eliminate self-interest, and

enthusiasm eventually declines. Regarding planning, more precision is needed in the









village plans. In the implementation phase, more guidance and support are required. Care

must be taken to avoid perpetuating dependence on outsiders (Ford and Lelo 1991).

Although few case studies describe PRA implementation, the studies just

mentioned describe relatively successful processes of community mobilization for action.

They share some important characteristics. Implementation starts with small projects that

require low external assistance, which helps to build community self-confidence and a

sense of self-reliance. These projects take advantage of initial enthusiasm. First successes

serve to prolong the enthusiasm. However, outsider support (advice or resources) for

implementation increased the chances of success. The process also includes establishing

alliances with external organizations. In this way, the empowerment provided by PRA is

the result of successful community experiences with implementation of planned changes.

The PRA cases cited above suggest that PRA works in building local capacity for

collective action through systematizing local knowledge, creation of consensus,

increasing self-confidence and cooperation, and forging effective alliances with outside

organizations. If so, PRA implies the following assumptions:

* Communities have difficulty in acting collectively for a given goal
* Their knowledge is fragmented, disorganized, and perhaps not well distributed
* There is little consensus as to the most important problems and the best solutions
* Self-confidence is generally low
* Communities are not inclined to cooperate
* Outsiders may be required to catalyze changes

Research Questions and Explanatory Propositions

My research questions emerged from the literature and from the practical

problems of creating the community organizational basis for the Marine Extractive









Reserve of Itacare. A series of explanatory propositions for the research questions

(Tables 1-1 and 1-2) were tested through action research In this study, I used action

research as the main instrument for testing competing explanations for problems

encountered in the participatory creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare (see

Chapter 2).

Table 1-1: Research question 1 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced
fishers' participation in the PRA meetings?
EP Explanatory propositions
Number
EP1 Logistics: People participate if meetings are well-advertised and planned for
convenient dates, times, and locations
EP2 Culture: Fishers are individualistic and do not participate because of the
nature of their activities
EP3 Free-riding: If fishers can benefit from a collective good without
contributing, they will free-ride and not participate
EP4 Political aspects: Participation is a political currency and fishers attend
meetings strategically
EP5 Multidimensional costs and benefits: Attendance at meetings depends on
the participant's consideration of benefits and costs in multiple dimensions
EP6 Urban vs. rural: Attracting participation in urban areas is more difficult than
in rural areas
EP7 Previous experience and credibility: Previous negative community
experience with projects and outside assistance reduces credibility of the
participatory process and participation in the PRA meetings
EP8 Credibility of the PRA team: The credibility of the PRA team and its
members influences participation in the meetings

These propositions were generated in a process of dialogue between me and

community members. Some propositions are mainly emic, that is, they were proposed by


1 Instead of "hypotheses," which refer to the conventional research paradigm, I use the
term "explanatory propositions." Participants (including TG and me), involved in action,
discussed one or more explanatory propositions to explain the problems, their causes, and
possible solutions.
2 The methodological basis for action research is explained in Chapter 2, and the use of
action research in this dissertation is described in Chapter 3.









community members, but often find support in the literature, as is indicated later in the

text. Others are mainly etic, as they derive from social theory. This research shows that

the dialogue between the two can produce interesting and useful local learning.

Table 1-2: Research question 2 and explanatory propositions: What factors influenced
participation by local people in the PRA team?
EP Explanatory propositions
Number
EP9 Pace and material opportunity costs: people have to make a living and
cannot be exclusively involved in PRA (or leadership) voluntary activities.
EP10 Multidimensional costs and benefits:
Participation in the local PRA team is inversely related to the material,
moral and emotional costs of leadership
The intensity of this relationship depends on individual interpretations

EP11 Cyclical fatigue of the group: after enduring the costs of leadership, the
group may need a break before becoming more active again.

EP12 Credibility of group: participation in the local PRA team depends on
whether the objectives of the group are seen as likely or possible.
EP13 Outside facilitators vs. insiders: PRA technical needs preserve decisive
power in the hands of outsiders; this may frustrate local people in search of
empowerment, reduce their participation or create internal friction.

EP14 Insiders vs. insiders: internal friction may decrease the participation of
people who are less involved, committed or empowered in the group.


Research Question 1: What Factors Influenced Fishers' Participation in the PRA
Meetings?

PRA is highly adaptable, and its use may vary from location to location, from

practitioner to practitioner. If there is a typical PRA process, the literature suggests that it

involves an outside team that visits a (rural) community and promotes a series of

activities aimed at identifying community problems. Some community members may join

the outside team in promoting household and group interviews where the PRA tools

(mapping, calendars, transects, etc.) are used to systematize local knowledge and create









hypotheses about the community problems. The group interviews take the form of

meetings where participation is voluntary.

After problems are identified, PRA meetings are carried out to rank priorities and

plan solutions. A community action plan is created, with specific tasks assigned to

participants, who start to implement them.

Participation in PRA, takes different forms. The most elementary form is

attendance at the PRA meetings. Once participants come to a PRA meeting, they may

participate by speaking, carrying out tasks to complete the PRA tools (mapping,

diagrams, etc.), analyzing information, or voting in decision making processes. They may

also facilitate or coordinate the meetings, and take charge for different tasks planned by

the participants. Before a PRA meeting, locals may participate in the PRA team, and

decide on meeting topics, dates, places, times and advertising strategies. They may also

carry out the necessary steps to organize the PRA meeting, such as preparing a meeting

location, and advertising it.

In 1999, I gave a course on community leadership to fishers from Itacare fishing

communities and a course on PRA to a group of local people with secondary education

who showed an interest in promoting the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare. The

interaction between these two groups, the government agency responsible for the

extractive reserves in Brazil, and a regional NGO, resulted in the formation of a group of

four to ten fishers (the number varied during the process) involved in the promotion of

the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare. This group was named Grupo de Trabalhopela

Criag o da Reserva Extrativista Marinha de Itacare, or Task Group for the Creation of

the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare (TG). In 2000, I returned to Itacare, and began









fieldwork with a PRA course for TG members. Then, the TG and I organized the PRA

meetings, jointly planned meeting locations, dates, times; and invited the people.

However, community participation in the PRA meetings proved difficult in

Itacare. Sometimes meetings had to be cancelled because of lack of attendance. What

explains attendance at PRA meetings? Trying to solve the problem, TG members and I

identified a series of explanatory propositions, explained below.

Logistics (EP1): People participate if meetings are well-advertised and planned for
convenient dates, times, and locations

When a meeting failed, the thought that immediately came to my mind was

"why?" and the first explanation was often related to logistics: "did we get the word out

effectively? Was the meeting at a convenient time and location?" PRA manuals usually

present guidelines for approaching the community and for setting up community

meetings where the PRA tools are applied. Participation increases when meetings are

well-advertised and carried out at convenient dates, times, and locations. If participation

is low it may be because the logistics of the meetings were bad. However, attracting

participation may be more complicated than just providing good logistics. This

dissertation explores the logistical proposition by examining different attempts to

promote participation in Itacare (action testing, see Chapters 2 and 3).

Culture (EP2): Fishers are individualistic and do not participate because of the
nature of their activities

When I started fieldwork in Itacare, the fishers had their own explanations when

the first meetings had low or no participation. The most common was a self-deprecating

view that fishers "are just like that"; to them, fishers were just selfish and self-interested

or, worse, they lacked interest at all. "Fishers are hopeless," said a retired fisherman.









Many TG members also agreed with that at their moments of disappointment with the

participation of their communities.

In the literature, too, some scholars say that fishers are individualistic because of

the nature of their activity, which is described as solitary. Poggie (1980) compares the

fishers' perceptions of themselves and of their cooperative managers, and shows that

fishers perceive themselves to be more individualistic than they perceive the managers.

He argues that fishers, because of the nature of their activity, are very individualistic, and

that this individualism is a constraint to the development of cooperatives. Individualism

is also reported by Kottak (1992), who conducted studies of social change in a fishing

community in northern Bahia, Brazil.

However, there is little consensus in the literature on whether fishers are

individualistic or cooperative. Pollnac and Carmo (1980) verify that fishers and farmers

in the Azores had similar attitudes: both were not very inclined to cooperation.

Nonetheless, McCay (1980) demonstrates that fishers in the New York Bight Region of

the American Mid-Atlantic Coast were able to achieve cooperative organization and

resource management that is very effective and not individualistic. In addition, Orbach

(1980) argues that cooperative action does not necessarily mean a formal cooperative,

and that fishers in the Chesapeake Bay are cooperative, despite the failures of local

cooperatives. To him, fishers take advantage of multiple forms of organizational

arrangements of cooperation that best suit their needs. Moreover, cases in which fishers'

cooperatives fail normally involve top-down processes of cooperative creation, with

strong governmental influence and paternalistic assistance, such as the cases described by

Sabella (1980) in Peru, Poggie (1980) in Costa Rica, and Kottak (1992) in Bahia, Brazil.









Finally, the nature of the fishing activity is not always solitary, nor is it the only

solitary rural activity. Farmers often work by themselves in crop fields, rubber tappers

work alone in the forest, and herders are often alone taking care of cattle. On the other

hand, several fishing modalities demand team work, and longer overnight fishing trips

with a fishing crew demand high social skills to avoid fights in the confinement of little

boats. Moreover, fishers often share a port and a trading place. Therefore, fishing is not

necessarily solitary and should not always determine an "individualistic culture." This

research expected to falsify this proposition by trying to involve fishers in the PRA

meetings in Itacare. The results of such an attempt and a discussion of fishing cooperative

arrangements found in Itacare are used to examine this explanatory proposition (action

testing). In addition, cooperation and individualism in the fishing activity are discussed in

Chapter 5.

Free-riding (EP3): If fishers can benefit from a collective good without contributing,
they will free-ride

According to Guijt and Sha (1998b:1), in community development,

The assumption is that participatory approaches empower local people with the
skills and confidence to analyze their situation, reach consensus, make decisions
and take action, so as to improve their circumstances... Yet, in many cases where
participation has been pursued something is going wrong... Looking back, it is
apparent that 'community' has often been viewed naively, or in practice dealt
with, as a harmonious and internally equitable collective... This mythical notion
of community cohesion continues to permeate much participatory work.

If communities are not harmonious, internally equitable collectives, what are

they? Communitarian and individualistic scholars have discussed the nature of peasant

communities for centuries and perhaps their debate can help us understand fishing

communities too. Nonetheless, some might argue that fishers are radically different from

peasants. In using theories and interpretations developed for peasants to look at fishers









one has to be careful to consider the degree of differences and similarities between these

groups. How similar are they?

Table 1-3 shows different aspects of the two groups. Both groups have a high

dependence on natural resources for their livelihoods, but resource management, that is,

intentional interference over nature's productivity, is more intense in the case of peasants,

and very weak or nonexistent in the case of fishers. Agricultural production requires from

peasants that they transform nature, suppressing natural production of the local biota to

replace it as much as possible with domesticated plants and animals.

Table 1-3: Comparison of peasants and fishers.
Aspect Peasant Communities Fishing Communities
Dependence on natural High High
resources
Management of natural High Low
resources
Resource tenure systems Individual/household areas Communal area/ open
and communal areas access
Predictability of production Medium Low
Knowledge of resources High High
Isolation Varies (from village Village or town dwelling
dwelling to isolated
households)
Wealth Marginal Marginal
Risk High High


In Brazil, though, different resource management conditions apply according to

the environment and the population pressure. Where land is still abundant, peasants are

less intensive about their resource management, practicing slash-and-bum agriculture

and, in the case of open frontiers, they can be very destructive about resource use,

migrating and establishing new farms when land becomes depleted.









This is similar to what fishermen in Itacare reported. They told me that fishermen

from other municipalities, after their fishing grounds became depleted due to predatory

fishing, came to Itacare, where fish were still abundant. Most of the fishers associated to

one of the local fishers' organizations came from another municipality where fish,

reportedly, have become scarce due to practices such as fishing with explosives.

Although it is argued that, because of the nature of marine resources, fishers are less

likely to perceive the link between their own practice and resource depletion, this does

not appear to be the case in Itacare, where the local population tends to reject newcomers

and blame them for the destruction of fisheries in other municipalities.

The difference between peasants and fishers is that peasants often can exclude

outsiders from using their resources. For Brazilian fishers, however, resources are legally

open access, and encroachment of fishing grounds through destruction of mangroves and

by industrial fishing fleets have challenged the traditional rules that regulate access to

marine resources (Cordell 1989). That is, tappers and peasants can, by modifying their

behavior, influence resource conservation, but fishers can not. The creation of marine

extractive reserves responds to this issue by "closing" the fisheries and excluding

outsiders from the area.

Table 1-3 shows other important differences. One is the predictability of

production. Peasants have a medium level of predictability, but fishers face greater

uncertainty. Irregularity of production is common among fishers and they have fewer

indicators of future production than do peasants. Considering their similar levels of

poverty, if peasants present social institutions that act as a safety net (Scott 1976), these









institutions should be even more evident among fishers. Indeed, Cordell (1989) reports

exactly that in his research with the fishers ofBahia.

However, still regarding predictability, Cordell (1989:133) points out that,

because fishers have to conform with tidal cycles to take advantage of specific fishing

spots in the mangroves,

It enables those adept at net casting, the mestres (canoe bosses), to monitor
closely the behavior, migratory routes and the cycles offish. Because fish
predictably concentrate in certain areas depending on the tide, weather and other
natural cycles, seines operations are specialized.

From the discussion presented above, I argue that the categories "peasants" and

"fishers" are no more different from each other than the groups that compose each are

different from other groups in the same category. That is, different peasant groups may be

more different from one another than a peasant group is different from a fishing group.

Therefore, if the literature on peasants have any general value across different peasant

groups, it should also be useful to understand fishers. There is no reason why peasant

theories cannot be applied to fishers, and I use them to discuss participation and

collective action among fishers as did Forman (1966), for example, in his study of raft

fishermen in Northeastern Brazil.

The timelessness of the debate on the nature of peasant communities in social

sciences is illustrated by the response of Russian anarchist philosopher Peter Kropotkin to

the social Darwinists at the end of the 19th century. Kropotkin counter-argued the ideas of

social Darwinist Thomas Huxley, one the most famous of the Darwin's followers, who

published "The Struggle for Existence and its Bearing upon Man" in the journal

Nineteenth Century. Kropotkin's response, a series of three articles in the same journal,

was later published in a book (Mutual Aid: A Factor of Human Evolution, 1972, orig.









1914) where he argued that cooperation, or mutual aid, was a force as strong as, or even

stronger than, competition in shaping the course of biological and human evolution.

Kropotkin also anticipated the words of James Scott (see below) that the rational

individualistic peasant is a product of the state:

Only the wholesale massacres by the thousands could put a stop to this widely
spread popular movement [of mutual aid], and it was by the sword, the fire, and
the rack that the young States secured their first and decisive victory over the
masses of people... The absorption of all social functions by the State necessarily
favored the development of an unbridled, narrow-minded individualism
(Kropotkin 1972: 195-197).

And writing about the battles fought by communities resisting the state, Kropotkin

says that

In short, to speak of the natural death of the village communities in virtue of
economic laws is as grim a joke as to speak of the natural death of soldiers
slaughtered on a battle field (Kropotkin 1972: 203).

Kropotkin emphasized the harmonious side of communities as a way to oppose

the extremely individualistic social sciences of his age, that is, the "teachings of a war of

each against all, which are offered to them [the people] under the title of science, but are

no science at all" (Kropotkin 1972:222). Another example is the disagreement between

Robert Redfield (Redfield 1930) and Oscar Lewis (Lewis 1951). Both authors described

the village community of Tepoztlan, in Mexico, but emphasized different aspects of

village life. Redfield's Tepoztlan was harmonious and community-oriented, while Lewis'

Tepoztlan was individualistic and full of conflict. After reading the two accounts, one is

left wondering if the difference was due to the time lapse between the two studies, to

accuracy of the methods or to the theoretical lenses used by the two researchers.

In southeast Asia, Scott (1976) makes a point similar to Kropotkin's when he

reports on peasant cooperative social arrangements based on a subsistence ethic that









worked not as a product of altruism, but of necessity. These arrangements were enforced

by gossip and other redistributive mechanisms that forced patrons to provide peasants

with food security. However, the increasing presence of the state reduced the influence of

the moral economy on peasant behavior. Scott (1976) agrees with Kropotkin:

paternalism, lower dependence on village institutions, repression of local institutions, and

expropriation of communal land, all contributed to create a rational peasant, an individual

increasingly involved in profit maximizing behavior.

Conversely, Popkin (1979) writes in response to Scott's Moral Economy (1976).

As Scott did, Popkin (1979) focused on Southeast Asia (Vietnam), but instead of

explaining lack of cooperation as a result of the influence of the state, the approach

offered by Popkin focuses on factors that make mutually beneficial coordinated action

among peasants difficult. To Popkin, whenever collective work can produce collective

goods, "individuals may calculate that they are better off not contributing" because an

individual can benefit from many collective projects whether or not he or she contributes

(1979:24).

These free riders may appear whenever they cannot be excluded from the

collective good. To Popkin, peasants were rational self-interested maximizers long before

the state. According to Popkin (1979:25) it "is difficult under the best circumstances to

organize peasants to provide collective goods." Each individual calculates that it is better

not to contribute to the collective project and hopes that others will behave differently.

However, contrarily to what Popkin believed he did, Scott also argued that a

particular rationality explained peasant behavior: it was extreme poverty that made

peasants risk-averse and made them use and accept the subsistence ethics. The problem









with Scott's argument is not a lack of peasant rationality (to Scott, it is rational for

peasants to prioritize food security and enforce the subsistence ethics), but that

* He fails to deal with the free-rider problem

* He sees paternalistic "protective" institutions in peasant villages as the product of
peasant choice and not of domination (there could be other institutions that could be as
effective in protecting peasants with equality instead of domination, but Scott's
peasants seem to have failed to develop them)

Democratic, egalitarian institutions and forms of action are a goal of participatory

practice, but face the problem of collective action described by Popkin. From an

economic viewpoint, there are three problems with participation, as follows:

* Its opportunity costs
* Future benefits are discounted
* Risk of failure.

First, participation in PRA meetings often carries with it material costs (e.g.,

missed economic opportunities, such as a work-day in their crop field or fishing). This

opportunity cost aspect includes part of the logistic proposition (i.e., the opportunity costs

of PRA meetings are higher if they are at inconvenient dates, times and locations).

Second, the benefits from participation (such as an Extractive Reserve) may take

time to be produced, and participants may discount their future value in favor of present

needs. Thus, the opportunity costs of participation feel even higher, compared to its

benefits, than they are, and if peasants can obtain benefits from a PRA meeting without

contributing, they will.

Conversely, participation can be mobilized by the offer of present benefits, such

as food and transportation to the meeting place (logistics, again), in the case of poor

populations, which one cannot enjoy without participating, and whose value is not









discounted. Such benefits could at least compensate the opportunity costs of

participation.

However, offering present benefits was not always justified or viable in Itacare.

Food was offered only in rural areas, where meetings took the whole day, so as not to

create a custom that would increase the cost of participatory activities in the future. Food,

transportation and lodging were offered to a few representatives of each community later

in the PRA process, when they interacted to produce a joint view of the problems faced

by the fishers of Itacare.

Despite the discounting problem, future benefits can still attract participation if

participants cannot free-ride. Any development practitioner knows that the offer of credit

or money almost always mobilizes participation, even when it will come in the future, if

peasants cannot free-ride (i.e., if receiving the benefit depends on their presence in the

meetings). In Itacare, some fishers also pointed that out: "tell the people that the meeting

is for credit to buy boats to see if they will not come! It's going to be a crowd!" But that

was not the case; we were working towards an extractive reserve, a collective good that

fishers could enjoy without individual participation in those first meetings, even though

collective participation was still important. Only if resource use rights to the Reserve

depended on individual fishers' participation in the meetings (to avoid free-riding), would

an additional material incentive be created for participation.

Still, participation would be dependent on the perceived risk of the action. The

risk factor predicts that fishers participate more if they believe that the initiative will be

successful (credibility). In the case of an extractive reserve, risk perception depends on

the fishers' trust in government agencies, NGOs and community leaders involved in the









process. The higher the risk, the greater is the tendency to free-ride. Opportunity costs,

discounting, risk and, therefore, free-riding could indeed be playing a part in the

difficulty to mobilize the fishers of Itacare. I discuss this proposition based on the results

of TG's actions, and on the views expressed by fishers in informal conversations and

meetings discussing participation problems in Itacare. In Chapter 5, I also discuss the

fishers' arrangements cooperating in the fishing activity, and how these arrangements

could influence perspective on participation.

Political aspects (EP4): Participation is a political currency and fishers attend
meetings strategically

It is often forgotten that when PRA is initiated it is not in a social vacuum. In

order to understand why participation is sometimes difficult to mobilize, I propose that

we look at it as a multidimensional behavior. Let us accept the previous proposition, that

if people can free-ride on the benefits of a collective project and avoid the costs of

participating, they probably will. Still, in addition to material costs and benefits,

participation has extensions in the political, moral, emotional and informational

dimensions, where free-riding is often more difficult (the present explanatory proposition

deals with the political dimension, while the next one deals with the last three dimensions

of participation).

Participation can be a way to show political support to an initiative, or to

influence it in a certain direction, and lack of participation can be a way to show

resistance. According to Scott (1989), peasants' resistance is a form of political action

that is typically nonconfrontational and anonymous, and can be either material or

ideological. Examples of "everyday forms of resistance" are poaching, foot dragging,

evading written records, refusal to pay taxes, supplying lower quality products, desertion,









sabotage, dissimulation, and gossip. In Itacare, when some of the meetings for Extractive

Reserve failed, the fishers involved in promoting the meetings said that the community

was telling them that it did not want the Reserve by not participating. Ironically, this

implies that even when peasants choose not to participate, they may indeed be

participating...

Why was the community resisting the Extractive Reserve and the PRA process?

Several alternative political explanations are possible, such as3

Fishers predicted losses with the Reserve and did not want to legitimize it
Fishers did not trust the PRA team and did not want to legitimize it in a leadership
position
Fishers were allied with people opposed to the Reserve or to the PRA team.

In Itacare, the PRA process and the Extractive Reserve proposal were inevitably

linked, because the same people promoting the PRA (the Task Group and I) were also

promoting the PRA, and PRA was a strategy to promote the Extractive Reserve among

the fishers. Resistance through withdrawal of participation (or of attendance) at the PRA

meetings could have been either against the Extractive Reserve or the PRA process itself.

However, although PRA had the predetermined goal of creating the Extractive Reserve in

Itacare, there was great room for decision making by the participants in the Reserve

proposal. The Extractive Reserve provided a legal framework that allowed exclusion of

outsiders and decision making by locals, but the resource use rules and almost every

other aspect of the Reserve were defined by the fishers of Itacare. There was little chance

that local fishers would loose with the Reserve, but there were misunderstandings.




3 Task Group members and I gathered these explanations in our interactions with the
fishing communities of Itacare, where some fishers expressed their concerns and
opposition to the creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve.









If, on the one hand, nonparticipation of some people may mean resistance, on the

other hand, some people may participate to acquire or maintain political influence and

leadership. The president of a community association, for example, is likely to lose face

and be criticized if s/he does not attend meetings supported by the community. By the

same token, someone who aspires to political leadership may come to a meeting to

increase his/her political capital, that is, the willingness of other people to support

him/her in the local political game. Still further, information about the meetings may be

important later, as a way to resist the meetings by gossip or planning of strategic

behavior.

Trust in the PRA team may be important to avoid resistance. When PRA

facilitators approach the community, to avoid the opposition or even legal problems, they

often try to obtain explicit or implicit permission from authorities and leaders. If the

relationship between the community and its leaders is not harmonious, and is permeated

by resistance and discredit, the outside team may face great difficulty to balance between

a strategy of avoiding conflicts with community leaders and local authorities, and one

that strives to gain community trust and promote community empowerment. Even the

term "community" becomes problematic because communities are often made up of

factions with opposite interests, and initial alliances established between outsiders and

locals may shape the relationship between the community and the PRA team for the rest

of the work.

Another aspect is that meeting locations have political meaning and affect

participation. For example, some community sectors may not come to meetings in certain

places, just because locations may represent their opponents in local politics. Often,









meetings are planned in places that are convenient to facilitators or local leaders, but are

politically compromised. For example, the association's leaders planned my first PRA

meeting in an extractive reserve in Rond6nia, Brazil, in the largest house in the

community because it could accommodate more than 30 people and it was close to the

unpaved road that gave access to the reserve, so that we and association leaders could get

there easily. It was a nice meeting place, but later we learned that it belonged to a

middleman who was perceived as an exploiter of the community. Local people came, but

were careful with their words. The middleman became involved in the PRA meetings and

affected the rest of the process with his dominance. Only later was the community able to

neutralize and overcome his influence.

In addition, participants come to the meetings with their reputations, alliances,

antagonisms and resentments. Power relations influence their participation, which can be

particularly influential in the case of gender (Goebel 1998; Guijt and Sha 1998b), but

extend also to patron-client and racial relations, among others. Participants are not blank

sheets over which PRA can write a new participatory history, and dealing with such

problems is part of a long-term participatory process.

Multidimensional costs and benefits (EP5): Attendance at meetings depends on the
participant's consideration of benefits and costs in multiple dimensions

In addition to the material and political dimensions, discussed above, participation

also has moral, emotional and informational dimensions. In the moral dimension,

participation may be "wrong" or "right" and it may be prescribed in a particular way, all

of which will influence how much people participate. People may feel compelled to

participate by their moral values, or simply by peer pressure; or they may feel that

participating in a way that challenges authority is "wrong." These rules need not be









inflexible. Some people say that rules are made to be broken; that is, there are

justifications for disobedience.

In the context of participation and collective action, a series of beliefs can develop

to explain why the community often fails, and to justify one's lack of participation. The

free-rider myth, for example, is the belief that if one participates, one will be taken

advantage of, either by the leader of the collective effort or by those who did not

participate, but who will benefit anyway. According to this myth almost everyone (but

one's self) is self-interested, and leaders are out there to take advantage of their

communities. In addition, community views may be that when people participate, they

are actually losing, because they are giving for free what they could have exchanged for

other benefits from leaders and people who do not participate. The perception that

community resources are limited and that any progress of one individual results in loss

for other villagers (which is also reinforced by increased competition over natural

resources) was described by George Foster (1961) and became known as the notion of the

"limited good." In the participation context, since someone gains without contributing,

and resources are limited in the community, one who is contributing is probably losing.

This can be an important justification for not participating.

In the emotional dimension, different people find different forms of emotional

satisfaction from participation. Often peasants go to community meetings to see their

compadres or friends, and sometimes they go in search of romance or of a soccer game,

as I witnessed several times in different communities. In addition, they are more likely to

attend meetings facilitated by people that they like. Some people (but not all) enjoy

speaking in a meeting, expressing their opinions, or learning new things. Participatory









rural appraisal meetings try to be fun (although sometimes they involve hard analytical

work), and give opportunities for self-expression and learning. In this dissertation, I

discuss how different emotionally rewarding elements in PRA created additional

elements for participation, and how traditional meetings lacked them and often created

emotional disincentives.

This is also true in the informational dimension. For example, it is very common

that peasants go to meetings seeking information. For people with limited access to

information, meetings may be worthwhile just for the sake of the information that is

exchanged there. First, information often is not well-distributed in the community. There

are people that know more about the past, about fishing spots, about hunting, about the

situation of the community association. Community meetings, and particularly PRA

meetings, are important occasions to obtain such information.

In addition, information is interpreted through frameworks or discourses, which

organize perception. Producing discourses demands considerable intellectual effort and

resources and peasants are often dependent on the elite for their discourses, and often use

discourses that contribute to their domination.

Participatory rural appraisal meetings can be occasions when alternative

discourses are developed, as information about peasant reality is organized in light of

both locals' and outsiders' experiences and viewpoints. The empowerment feeling that

such discourses may bring to participants can create incentives for further participation.

Conversely, if people want to undermine the PRA process, participating may be

important to obtain crucial information to do that. All these aspects were observed as

PRA meetings were carried out in Itacare.









Urban vs. rural (EP6): Attracting participation in urban areas is more difficult than
in rural areas

As pointed out above, not all the benefits of participation can be obtained by free-

riding. This proposition derives from the validity of the last three propositions described

above.

For example, emotional benefits of the meetings can only be obtained through

participation, and resistance (nonparticipation) in the political dimension has to be

compared to the lost opportunity to enjoy emotional benefits. If one does not participate,

informational benefits of a community meeting can only partially be obtained, as second-

hand information from people that did attend the meeting.

In addition, peasant morals usually prescribe participation and mutual help,

although the way in which it should happen varies. Therefore, for a rural community,

with limited social and information opportunities, and a pro-participation moral, resistant

nonparticipation is more costly than in urban areas.

In urban areas, resistance is more viable, because people have other social and

informational opportunities, and because their participation (or lack of it) is less visible

and they are less dependent on each other (making moral coercion less likely). Moreover,

in order to happen, participation in urban areas has to present lower material costs.

Therefore, attracting participation in urban areas should be more difficult than in rural

areas.

This dissertation compares the difficulty and problems of promoting participation

in four urban and three rural fishing communities of Itacare, and in one district where

rural residents came to town to participate with urban residents.









Previous experience and credibility (EP7): Previous negative community experience
with projects and outside assistance reduces credibility of the participatory process
and participation in the PRA meetings

As pointed out above, the multidimensional view of participation suggests that

rural communities participate more readily than urban communities. However, an

additional aspect makes this difference even stronger: urban communities are often more

experienced with community projects and government assistance than are rural

communities. One explanatory proposition derived from this is that the more experienced

the community with projects and outside assistance, the lower the credibility of the

participatory process; participation in the PRA meetings becomes more difficult.

The experience of peasants and fishers with collective action, community projects

and political organization is often negative. More often than not, collective action and

community projects have failed, and political leaders have been shown to be corrupt,

selfish or simply ineffective. The experience with government help is commonly even

worse. If the previous experience was negative, the more experienced in community

projects, political organization and government assistance, the more suspicious of them

the community becomes.

Other factors, such as the paternalistic influence of the state and lower

dependence on village institutions, the erosion of institutions for natural resource

management and greater pressure on limited resources (Kropotkin 1972; Scott 1976), also

contribute to free-rider behavior.

This explanatory proposition was tested in the promotion of PRA in urban

communities with and without previous project experience, and a comparison of those

with the rural communities where projects were not carried out, and where government

assistance was incipient.









Credibility of the PRA team (EP8): The credibility of the PRA team and its
members influences participation in the meetings

In PRA, the outside team is supposed to be the catalyst of community action, but

locals can take part, too. The credibility of the team and its members may affect

participation. Several factors may influence the credibility of the outside members of the

PRA team, from the organizations to which they declare affiliation, to their race, gender,

class, or behavior. In the case of insiders, in addition to these aspects, the people involved

in the PRA team may have popularity problems or suspicious interests. Conversely, they

may help the team gain acceptance if they know and are trusted by their community.

However, even when locals are trusted by the community, they may cease to be so, as

their very involvement in a project may make them suspicious. Other members of the

community might wonder why some locals become part of the PRA team.

The free-rider myth combined with the notion of limited good generate

antagonism towards local politicians, community leaders, local people involved in the

PRA and anyone who seems to be improving their situation. However, a PRA team

composed exclusively of outsiders also faces similar obstacles: often, in more

experienced communities, outsiders have (or appeared to have) been shown to take

advantage of locals. Community experience with outsiders is consistent with its

experience with insiders, or worse. Again, we can predict that PRA finds it most difficult

to attract participation in communities that are more experienced with "bad"

development, failed projects and political manipulation.

In addition, although PRA outside facilitators may try to maintain neutrality over

local issues and problems, they may experience further trust problems. In the beginning,

community members may try to pull PRA facilitators to their side of issues. However,









when outsiders spend more time in the community, as influence attempts fail because

outsiders continue to demonstrate neutrality, local people may create their own

interpretation about the outsiders' position. By trying to be neutral, outsiders may face

rejection from all the conflicting parties, which may be negative to the PRA process,

reducing participation. What happens when PRA practitioners spend more time (longer

than the usual one to two weeks) in the community? What are the attitudes of the

community towards the outsider facilitators? Can they really mediate conflicts? How

neutral can they be? At some point, PRA outside facilitators may have to take sides.

The free-rider myth and the notion of limited good are discussed in light of

people's behavior and expressed interpretation of the behaviors of others in Itacare. Even

though these myths can reduce the credibility of the PRA team, its image can be

improved if special strategies are adopted. In Itacare, the credibility of the PRA team

proposition is action-tested by an active public image management strategy adopted by

the TG to neutralize gossip against it. The neutrality aspect is discussed from my personal

experience in Itacare.

Research Question 2: What Factors Influence Participation by Local People as
Leaders in the PRA Team?

Leadership is essential to community collective action and empowerment.

However, established leaders do not always work in the best interest of their

communities. Forman (1966; 1970) describes how better educated and wealthier

fishermen in a fishing village in Northeastern Brazil tried to place themselves as

intermediaries between peasant fishermen and the agricultural elite in a fishing

community in Northeastern Brazil. Acting as intermediaries, they were able to obtain

political favors from the ruling political parties and used those favors to maintain and









compensate the ties that they had with relatives, who enjoyed positions and benefits from

their relationship with the intermediaries (nepotism). These ties allow that intermediaries

occupy a leadership position, even though they are often socially rejected or ostracized by

the community, and even by the elite they serve.

Intermediaries, such as those described by Forman, are likely to exist in all fishing

communities. If they do not oppose the PRA process, the types of intermediaries

described by Forman are the most likely people to join the process, to continue their role,

this time mediating the relationship between the outsiders who are members of the PRA

team, and their community. Other community members know and expect this, and

become suspicious not only of the intentions of the intermediaries, but also of the

intentions of anyone who tries to play a leadership role in the community.

To be effective in promoting change in the community, and not reinforce the

current power structure, a PRA process needs to include strategies to select and empower

people who are sincerely interested in their community and avoid traditional

intermediaries. Avoiding intermediaries not only contributes to social change but also

reduces suspicions towards the PRA process, even though new leaders may look

suspicious just because they are trying to occupy a similar position as that of

intermediaries.

However, we have to be careful not to be naive about the notion of "people who

are sincerely interested in their communities"; it is not exactly that purely altruistic,

honest individuals are empowered against selfish and corrupt people. Reality is not black-

or-white, and grey is much more common. In this dissertation, altruistic or sincere leaders

are people that, despite their own agendas, are bound by internalized moral norms and









have emotional reward preferences (values) that lead them to avoid using their leadership

position primarily for their personal benefit, but instead, make them use the leadership

position to benefit the majority of their community, or the poorest, and so on. In addition,

altruistic leaders can even be considered those for whom community rewards (honors,

etc.) for altruistic behavior are important, and provide them higher status. Their personal

interests may sometimes bias their evaluation of the community interest but, once aware

of this, altruistic leaders are able to correct themselves.

However, there are some problems with the strategy to promote social change by

empowering sincere, altruistic leaders. It is practically difficult (and ethically

questionable) to recognize and choose who are the sincere leaders. Democratic election

of local PRA team members by the community may or may not solve the problem of

finding sincere leaders in the community, but the election process itself may have to be

an external intervention whose rules influence the likelihood of who gets elected.

Anyway, PRA facilitators interfere in the power relations within the community, with

ethical implications. In addition, intermediaries or established leaders may oppose the

PRA once they recognize that it represents empowerment of new competitors in the local

political game. However, agents trying to promote community development, community

organizing or community-based conservation may have to make these tough decisions.

Participatory rural appraisal is always a political activity, and hesitation to make choices

may lead the practitioner to benefit the already powerful.

When PRA is carried out, often a team of outsiders visits a community, and

facilitates meetings and "participatory research tools." However, locals can be involved









as facilitators and become part of the PRA team, which also can be a strategy to promote

their empowerment and leadership.

Local groups of leaders may participate more or less, develop enthusiasm or

skepticism, persist or desist. What factors influence participation by local people as

leaders in a PRA team?4 The participation of local volunteers in the Task Group for the

Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare varied throughout the PRA process,

sometimes exceeding ten people, and other times reduced to two to three people. What

factors explained such variation? Trying to solve the problem, remaining TG members

and I identified a series of explanatory propositions:

Pace and material opportunity costs (EP9): people have to make a living and cannot
be exclusively involved in PRA (or leadership) voluntary activities.

Community members have to make a living and cannot be exclusively involved in

PRA for too long. Participatory rural appraisal activities compete in time and resources

with other activities (such as farming, fishing, working for a job, etc.). If locals become

part of the PRA team, the demand on their time is even greater: in addition to the PRA

activities that involve everybody else, they may need to participate in PRA training,

preparation of PRA meetings (finding a location, providing food and lodging, advertising,

buying materials, obtaining support, contacting local leaders, etc.), and systematization of

the information (mainly writing reports). In addition, PRA raises community demands,

and the local people in the PRA team may become the main reference for supporting the

community in the efforts to satisfy such demands.




4 The same factors may affect the locals' willingness to become community leaders, and
develop activism for some collective objective such as community organizing and
empowerment









If the pace at which PRA is carried out is too fast, the opportunity costs may be

too high for local PRA team members to afford. If they have to do all the PRA

preparations and systematization activities, the costs can be even higher. As the costs

increase, the participation of those local team members who cannot afford them

decreases. This proposition suggests three possible solutions, which also serve to test it:

* To reduce the pace of PRA
* To compensate locals for the time they spend in PRA
* To have outsiders doing part of the preparation and systematization activities

This proposition was forwarded by two people in the TG, those who first tried

facilitating PRA, to explain why other people were not participating so much, and why

they themselves were not very enthusiastic about facilitating PRA.

Multidimensional costs and benefits (EP10): a) participation in the local PRA team
is inversely related to material, political, moral and emotional costs of leadership;
and b) the intensity of this relationship depends on individual interpretations.

However, becoming a local leader in the PRA team involves not only material

costs and benefits, but also political, moral, emotional, and informational costs and

benefits. When outside PRA practitioners choose strategies that favor equality in the

community, with the empowerment of new, altruistic leaders in opposition to traditional

intermediaries, these intermediaries are likely to actively oppose or, if they do not have

authority, resist.

Although Scott (1989) defined resistance as a political strategy of lowers against

uppers, uppers can use the same strategy, often more effectively than lowers, by refusing

to cooperate and by gossiping. In fishing communities, uppers can more effectively use

gossip because they are often the source of information for lowers; they are supposed to

know more, and use this to manipulate the community in the direction they want.

Entering a community with a PRA process may require a balanced strategy to avoid too









much opposition from intermediaries but this, again, has ethical implications. I describe

and discuss the effects of such a strategy in Itacare.

If local people who are sincerely interested in their communities join the PRA

team, it may be difficult for them to maintain their participation because, as new people

acquire political leadership, intermediaries start to fear their competition for political

support and resist them, as pointed out above, by spreading gossip, by sabotaging the

participatory process, or by active opposition. Because of the free-rider myth and the

notion of limited good, the gossip denigrating volunteers that become involved in PRA

becomes credible, even if not true, resulting in political, moral and emotional costs to the

local PRA team members. That is, even if PRA costs are reduced by the strategies

described in EP9, the problems with participation of local leaders in the PRA team

persist. If the volunteers are not after personal material gain, they are likely to lose

enthusiasm as they face an increase in personal attacks to their reputation or as they seem

to lose friends. In order to maintain their motivation, they have to control their own

image or interpret the situation in a favorable light. As pointed out above, the effects of

this control are discussed in this dissertation.

Cyclical fatigue of the group (EP11): after enduring the costs of leadership, the
group may need a break before becoming more active again.

If the multidimensional costs of PRA activities are too high, a possible

consequence is that local PRA team members participate in cycles of enthusiasm and

fatigue: they dedicate themselves to PRA or leadership activities up to the point they can

afford, and then reduce their activities to recover from the costs of leadership. During

their break from leadership activities, these leaders become less visible and not so much a









target of gossip and resistance by traditional leaders. They try to rebuild their moral and

emotional capital, and often their political capital.

In Itacare, TG members presented this proposition with the phrase "opessoal ta

cansado" (the folks are tired). After many months of hard work previous to the PRA, the

additional costs presented by this new activity were too high. Some people said they

needed a break before resuming their participation in the TG.

Credibility of the group (EP12): participation in the local PRA team depends on
whether the objectives of the group are seen as likely or possible.

The internal credibility of the group, that is, whether the group's objectives are

seen as likely or possible, may also affect participation. This proposition implies that

participation in the local PRA team is directly related to responses from the government

and NGOs that increase the credibility of the local PRA team. The likelihood that

individual goals can also be attained by the participation in the PRA team may also affect

how much locals participate. Participation is not only a matter of balancing

multidimensional costs and benefits in the present, but also of investing in the present,

expecting benefits in the future.

If people are investing in the local PRA team considering its risks, a different

logic is established. When risks are considered low, people who have invested more

material, political, moral, emotional and informational resources become more committed

to the group, and people who have invested less are more likely to leave the group when

its credibility goes down or internal problems happen. If risks are still considered high

(credibility is low) when some benefits are attained, people may leave the group while

they are winning, just like a gambler might leave a game when he starts to win after a

period of losses, to guarantee that he will at least break even at the end. This could









explain puzzling situations when participation goes down just when some victory is

achieved.

Finally, in addition to the internal credibility of the local PRA team to achieve

collective goals, participation may be affected by the group's credibility to attend

individual interests. Group and individual interests are not always in agreement;

sometimes they are in opposition, as when a leader trying to maintain his/her leadership

ends up creating internal conflict and reducing participation. The same thing can happen

between group interests and community interests; for example, while the PRA team tries

to monopolize the new role of community facilitators, they may limit the community's

opportunities for development and political organization following other ways.

Outsider facilitators vs. insiders (EP13): PRA technical needs preserve decisive
power in the hands of outsiders; this may frustrate local people in search of
empowerment, reduce their participation or create internal friction

In some cases, as local people involved in PRA rise as community leaders, they

may feel limited by the PRA approach. The use of the PRA tools requires knowledge,

skills and training that community members may have difficulty mastering. This

preserves decisive power in the hands of outsiders and empowers some local people for

whom mastering this new language is easier.

Participatory rural appraisal carries with it a potential for stratification that is in

contradiction with its participatory rhetoric. For this reason, some local people may stop

participating in the local PRA team or, in the case of Itacare, in the Task Group. This

potential for conflict may also create internal friction in the PRA team and even

resistance against the PRA approach.









Insiders vs. insiders (EP14): internal friction may decrease the participation of
people who are less involved, committed or empowered in the group.

Power struggles may create conflicts among insiders. Some locals may be more

able (or less scrupulous) about manipulating the rest of the group, or may control trust of

outside sources of support, and use these advantages to maintain control over the group.

This can frustrate some members with similar aspirations, particularly if the internal

group discourse is one of equality. Disappointed members who are less involved,

committed or empowered may just leave the group (to them, the credibility of the group

goes down).

Theoretical, Methodological and Practical Significance of this Research

Traditional anthropology looks at cultural systems, first asking a descriptive

"what" question and-in some theoretical schools-probing an additional "why" question.

In addition to these, I also asked "how to" questions, which are implicit in the research

questions described above: how to promote participation and collective action? How to

promote the creation of extractive reserves n i/h greater community participation and

empowerment? How to make PRA more effective? Asking "how to" questions involves

some methodological changes in the research process because we do not know how to

until we try to and succeed (failure just teaches us that we were wrong, that is, how not to

do thing that is, we learn by making mistakes, but we learn even more when we get it

right). Because of this, I adopted action research, a research methodology that allows for

successive attempts and their participatory evaluation. Furthermore, action research

allows not only generation of knowledge by the researcher but also learning by the

participants, which was necessary to achieve the empowerment of the fishers of Itacare.









Anthropological research, through action research methodology, participatory

design of strategies, and participatory rural appraisal (PRA) were used to achieve desired

participation and empowerment results. I argue that the new, PRA-based approach for

extractive reserve creation emerging from this research process is more effective and

efficient in promoting community empowerment and generating the required documents

for the creation of a reserve than the conventional approach normally used by the

Brazilian government.

Therefore, the significance of this research involves practical, theoretical and

methodological aspects. The research

* Supported the creation process of the Marine Extractive Reserve in Itacare, which will
benefit an estimated population of 400 fishing families
* Provides an evaluation of an approach to extractive reserve creation that is more
participatory than the one practiced until now in Brazil, and that can be used in other
development and conservation contexts where participation and empowerment is a
main concern
* Provides theoretical insights to explain the effects of PRA
* Makes an innovative use of action research and action science concepts, with a strong
empirical focus, which enabled its engagement with the resolution of practical
problems in the studied communities and the generation of valid, "actionable"
knowledge
* Documents a process of extractive reserve creation, how it worked in the field, how
community support for it was built, its effects in the political organization of an
extractive community and the reactions of other sectors. Despite much writing on the
extractive reserves and the great number of reserves created in the last 12 years, this
has been underdocumented.

Organization of the Dissertation

This dissertation started with the present Introduction, where I discussed the

importance of studying PRA, and the factors that influence community participation,

defining research questions and explanatory propositions. In Chapter 2, the foundations

of action research, the general methodological approach taken in this research, are

discussed. Chapter 3 discusses research design, how PRA was applied, and the methods









used in the research, including data collection and the testing of explanatory propositions,

through participatory action.

Chapter 4 presents and discusses the history of Itacare and its fishers, providing

the social and historic context for the research. Chapter 5 discusses individualism in the

fishing activity, that is, whether fishers are individualistic and if their activities really lead

them to be so. Chapter 6 discusses the origins of the Task Group in Itacare and how

fishers came to be empowered in the local movement for the creation of the Extractive

Reserve. Chapter 7 deals with Research Question 1; what factors influencedfishers'

participation in the PRA meetings? I discuss the problems the TG and I faced trying to

mobilize participation of the fishers in the meetings, the explanatory propositions for the

problems, and the actions trying to solve the problems, which tested the explanatory

propositions. Chapter 8 discusses Research Question 2; what factors influenced

participation by local people as leaders in the PRA team? The TG had problems

maintaining participation of its own members. The attempts to solve these problems

served to test the explanatory propositions. Finally, Chapter 9 summarizes the findings

and concludes the dissertation. In order to avoid identification of people and

organizations when controversial information is presented and discussed, I often avoided

giving their names or used pseudonyms.















CHAPTER 2
METHODOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES:
AN INTRODUCTION TO ACTION RESEARCH

In this dissertation research, I have been committed not only to its scientific

results but also to the empowerment of the fishers of Itacare and the creation of their

Marine Extractive Reserve. I needed a methodology that could generate both reliable

research results and local action, and found it in "action research." Action research (AR)

comprises a broad range of approaches and methods. It is not just a methodology. It is

also an ideology of research. Among many modalities of AR, participatory rural appraisal

(PRA) has received great recognition in recent years and is one of the focuses of this

dissertation. Nevertheless, in this dissertation, while the PRA diagnosis process provided

data about the community, AR was used to research PRA itself

Most times, action researchers express their commitment to social change,

participation and empowerment. Action research's emphasis on action or on research

varies from one extreme, where action is the most important aspect and knowledge

generation is secondary, to another, where knowledge is the main aspect and action is

secondary (Dick 1993). Participatory learning may be counted as "action" or "research,"

depending on the emphasis of the researcher. In this dissertation, action research was

intended to allow generation of knowledge while action was takingplace, and to guide

action to successful results.









Main Characteristics of Action Research

Although there are great variations among the several schools of action research

and their specific applications, the main characteristics of action research are the

following:

Participatory and collaborative. Action research is normally participatory and

collaborative, that is, a group of people, the beneficiaries of the research, participate in

the definition of the problem and methods, in data gathering and analysis, and in

elaborating conclusions. To Friedman (2001) action research involves the creation of

"communities of inquiry" within "communities of practice," that is, the involvement of

practitioners in the enquiry about their practices and resolution of practical problems.

Action as testing. Although sometimes the label "action research" incorporates

research that is participatory but does not produce action, action is often the means of

verification of interpretations generated with local groups (see discussion below). In fact,

action can be a testing strategy for explanatory propositions even when the research is not

participatory. That is, although it would probably not be labeled "action research," one

can do action-based research by him/herself Still, group processes are richer and more

interesting.

Emancipatory. Action research is frequently viewed as a method to produce

emancipatoryy knowledge" (Reason and Bradbury 2001). This is done by the recognition

of local views, by the empowering of local voices, by making participants realize their

potential, by "conscientizacgo" (or consciousness raising, Freire 1970). This feature of

action research reflects the political stand taken by many practitioners, but researchers

must be careful that it does not interfere with the production of valid knowledge.









Learning. From the above discussion, we see that action research is a research

strategy with action-based verification procedures. Bridging the gap between research

and practice and creating communities of enquiry, action research allows participants to

learn about their realities. This learning may (and should) lead to emancipation.

However, we must consider the difference between a participatory learning process

intended for research (to know the unknown), and a process intended to teach (to explain

the known to people who do not know). Many cases of "action research" may fall in the

latter type, while this dissertation is concerned with the former type.

Action. Producing collective action to transform social realities is part of the

political agenda of most action researchers. However, the same distinction made above

for learning should be made here for acting. There is a difference between action carried

out to change social reality (mobilization, empowerment) and action carried out to verify

interpretations of reality (research). Action in many action research interventions is the

former type. However, although that is not always the case, an action can be of both types

at the same time (as in this dissertation). Thus, we must distinguish between a pedagogic

action research (learning the known; mobilizing action) and investigative action research

(learning the unknown; using action to test interpretations of reality).

Epistemology for an "Investigative" Action Research: Discovery and Learning

Action should be the core of action research. However, much "action research"

does not integrate action as a research strategy, instead using just participatory discussion

and sharing of people's current knowledge to investigate reality. Theories created in such

discussions have not been subjected to test until they are put into practice. According to

Friedman (2001), testing in action research relates to Popper's (1959) idea of

falsifiabilityy" (Argyris, 1993: 284, cited by Friedman 2001) in which it is assumed that









all knowledge of reality is partial and indeterminate. "Theories of practice can never be

'proven', but they can be maintained as long as they withstand disconfirmation"

(Friedman 2001:162). Participants have to formulate their claims in ways that they are

open to be proven wrong. In action research, discovering one's errors is more important

than winning a debate (Friedman 2001).

Thus action research is concerned with uncovering reality because it is concerned

with changing it. Although there are idealist action researchers, social change objectives

of action researchers imply a material world "out there" (an objective reality) that is

being changed. However, while no one can claim an ultimate unmediated knowledge of

reality, "when people disagree about their interpretations of a situation, they can engage

in the process of jointly testing their reality images" (Friedman 2001:162). And testing is

done through action.

To Greenwood (1998), the proof that a theory is correct or valuable is if the action

planned based on such a theory achieves appropriate results or changes. To Bill Torbet

(quoted in Reason and Bradbury 2001:1)

knowledge is always gained through action and for action. From this starting
point, to question the validity of social knowledge is to question, not how to
develop a reflective science about action, but how to develop genuinely well-
informed action-how to conduct an action science.

Friedman (2001) criticizes both mainstream positivist social science and

phenomenological and interpretive research. On the one hand, he argues that positivist

science often produces knowledge of limited use to practitioners because it requires

completeness and precision, observation of causal relations under controlled conditions,

and maintenance of distance as safeguard for objectivity. It focuses on means rather than

on ends. "Thus, the rules that produce valid positivist explanations of social problems









cannot produce the knowledge needed to do something about them. Applied science fails

to bridge this gap because it functions according to the same positivist rules and standards

as basic science" (Friedman 2001:160).

First, while positivist mainstream social research often has robust testing

procedures, many times those tests are limited to the verification of association between

variables. Because social research (including anthropological research, and maybe with

the exception of some psychological research) seldom involves action and manipulation

of independent variables to verify their effect on dependent variables, evidence of causal

relationships is often given just by the association and the theory that the tests are

supposed to be verifying. Second, once causal relationships are verified, anthropological

research rarely tests solutions for the problems found.

On the other hand, Friedman (2001, citing Argyris et al., 1985: 26-8) criticizes

phenomenological and interpretive research, pointing out that it has no technical or

rational way of coming to agreement over the validity of different interpretations.

"Action requires that people make choices among different interpretations of the same

particular situation" (Friedman 2001:160). To solve the problems present in both

positivist and phenomenological/interpretive approaches, "action science" (a type of

action research) builds "theories which explain social phenomena, inform practice, and

adhere to the fundamental criteria of a science" (Friedman 2001:160).

Most social research is not involved in promoting change, although explaining it

is at the heart of social theory. In fact, the most basic anthropological research technique,

participant observation, promotes noninterference as the way to know reality as it is.

Interference is often seen as negative. However, some sort of change is likely to reveal









aspects of social reality that would otherwise be hidden from the eyes of the participant

observer5. Social reality reacts when we shake it so that we can harvest the fruits of

research. When we intervene is when the social structure and power relations show

themselves. Changing (or co-creating) and knowing the social reality come together.

The most robust tests of validity are those that can be used to predict about
universes that do not, as yet, exist. It is such tests that Lewin focused upon when
he advised that, if social scientists truly wish to understand certain phenomena,
they should try to change them... Creating, not predicting, is the most robust test
of validity-actionability. (Argyris 1997)

Argyris (1997) also argues that causality should be central to action research, and

makes a critique of the field:

In examining the literature... it is clear that there exists agreement that action
research is intended to explain problems and, in many cases, attempt to solve
them, through the use of collaboration and participation. [It seems that] the
majority of the contributors do not focus explicitly on causality and how it is to be
established. Indeed, there is a significant proportion who claims that it is not
possible or necessary to make causal claims. Many of those typically decry
positivism as being out of date and irrelevant. The same group substitutes a more
humanistic approach, subjective, postmodern perspective... Moreover, taking the
position that causality is not relevant or testable is itself a causal claim. How can
those who decry causality make arguments about more relevant ways to explain
phenomena that are, themselves, based on causal reasoning? (Argyris 1997)

Politics of Action Research

The purpose of action research is not to produce academic theories based on
action; nor is it to produce theories about action; nor is it to produce theoretical or
empirical knowledge that can be applied in action; it is to liberate the human
body, mind and spirit in the search for a better, freer world (Reason and Bradbury
2001).

It is common to regard the main distinction of action research from other research

paradigms as its politically-oriented character, aimed at freeing the poor and the



5 When I was a kid, growing up on a farm in Brazil, my way to assess the pitanga berries
that were ripe and ready to be harvested was to shake the tree; the ones that fell were ripe
and sweet (I also looked at their color). I always think of that when promoting change
and "harvesting the fruits" of action research.









oppressed. Action researchers often express their commitment to social change and the

liberation of "oppressed groups," to creating a better world. I share the same

commitment, but in this section, discuss the dangers of political engagement and how this

should be addressed in action research.

Science and academic work have had positive and negative impacts on different

groups; thus, what we say in our research reports, what topics we investigate, the

methods we choose and the results we obtain are unavoidably political. Foucault (1978)

has pointed out that knowledge is power; therefore, any knowledge-generating activity is

a political activity, or has political consequences. What we know shapes our behavior,

and our research may result in policy and public opinion changes that may affect

innumerable people. Knowledge, in the form of technology, may represent new

production alternatives that allocate wealth in a different way, empowering some groups

and disempowering others. Knowledge that is empowering to a particular group may

provide an interpretation of reality that gives incentives for collective action, or that

substantiates arguments for favorable policies, for example.

However, if research results are "wrong," that is, if they misrepresent the real

potential for empowerment of that particular group, paradoxically the results may be

disempowering for the group. The group, "liberated" by action research, may fail,

sometimes incurring in terrible losses. This is why I defend the idea that, although

researchers should be clear about their political and ethical commitments, politics should

not blur the sharp lenses potentially offered by action research, in particular, and science

in general.









Action research can and should be used to know what reality is, or better said, to

create explanatory models of reality to effectively guide action that results in the desired

objectives of the groups involved. Moreover, although I think that some research

methodologies (such as action research) are better suited to promote liberation of the

oppressed and generate emancipatory knowledge, other research paradigms, even

positivism, can also be used to empower and liberate. That is not a monopoly of action

research.

Finally, the effectiveness of the method is not restricted to the poor. In spite of the

claims of emancipation, more powerful people (such as men, the wealthier in a

community, etc.) are more likely to participate and to take greater advantage of the

participatory process. These are not extreme examples but show that action research can

also be explicitly or accidentally used to empower the already powerful.

Thus, we realize that action research is a research and action methodology, not a

politicalprogram to change the world. If we are committed to social change in benefit of

the poor, of the disempowered, then specific strategies have to be adopted to achieve this,

and action research can be a great tool.

Diverse Voices, Emic Explanations and Conscientizagdo

One important aspect of action research is the recognition of emic explanations

and of the diverse voices in the research process. However, emic explanations should not

just be accepted, but should be tested in action. The emic can change with local learning,

and this is something that makes action research of great value: learning is not the

imposition of outside views but is built locally, and tested in action. In addition, if action

requires the choice of a particular interpretation, then in action research we have









competing voices or interpretations. These interpretations compete first in the dialogue

between different actors, and then in action testing.

Often, however, as pointed out before, action testing is not carried out, and action

research takes the form of discussion and dialogues, raising people's consciousness about

their problems. Yet, if no testing is done, c Inu ie'nli:za, it'i can also be false.

Concientizagdo implies an object, a reality of which one can be conscious, knowing that

reality, creating a theory about it, a theory that can be the basis for action. Being critical

about reality does not always do this. The critical may simply recognize that reality

violates their moral values. Deep c ,u1c1 ie'lizi:u tl,' examines one's own values and how

that affects one's perception of the world, creates theories about how the world functions

and what the strategies are for change. These strategies are the starting point of conscious

action, and only with the results of action can one know the value of the new

consciousness, that is, of the new theory to explain past and present life experiences (a

theory that also produces future life experiences).

Objectivity and Action Research

I argued that action researchers should strive to avoid that their politics (and that

of the participants) distort their findings. On the one hand, researcher and participants

must try to be critical of their own interpretations and explanatory propositions. On the

other, their explanatory propositions should be testable in action, and disconfirming

information should be sought. That is, even though there is no objective knowledge, I

believe that there is objective reality, and I do not think that we should just give up

objectivity.

As pointed out before, when I discussed the politics of action research, a problem

with giving up the ideal of objectivity and value-neutral research is that sometimes









"engaged" research creates illusions about the power and potential a person or a group

(which the researcher is willing to favor) actually has. That illusion can help the favorite

party to gain power, but can also make it weak and expose it to danger.

Self-indulgence can create weakness. Explanations that make someone feel good

and empowered may not work or be useful in practice, and may even lead to dangerous

or destructive actions. The researcher and participants should be aware of their intentions

and strive for useful, empowering knowledge. However, they should watch out for

illusions they may be creating just to justify themselves, their own failures, or to

dehumanize other groups. Attribution distortions should be avoided. Because the creation

of pleasant illusions may be self-defeating in the long run, taking care with the problem

of attribution distortions is what I call "empowering objectivity" in the context of action

research.

Objectivity and lack of involvement (or distance) are different things. Action

researchers are involved with the realities that they study and try to change. Yet, they

should strive to maintain objectivity, that is, to obtain knowledge that can give the basis

for effective action.

Comparing Action Research and Research-Only Strategies

Several differences between action research and research-only strategies are

shown in Table 2-1. Research-only strategies are more extractivee" and, although their

research results may benefit the communities involved in the research, these benefits

usually take longer to reach the community and may be just indirect. Action research is

more interactive. Participants in AR usually define research topics and analyze data, and

this local learning, and the results of action can provide immediate benefits to the

communities involved.









Table 2-1: Comparing action research and conventional research.
Research Only Action Research
Extractive: Immediate benefits to the Interactive: Immediate benefits to the
researcher community and to the researcher
Distance Involvement
Less emotional stress More emotional stress
Commitment to data collection and Commitment to community needs and
research design action
All time is dedicated to research Time has to be dedicated to research
and action (less time to explore
questions, and to write and analyze
results)
Pre-defined research design Adaptive research design
Emphasis on externally valid results Emphasis on locally useful results
Informants' responses biased by the Informants' responses biased by the
expectation of how the information expectation of how the information
will be used or received by the will affect the researcher's actions in
researcher the community
Little influence on the local power Greater influence on the local power
structure structure
Little confusion about the researcher's Activist and research roles are often
role confused
The biases introduced by the The biases introduced by the
researcher's perspectives and local researcher's perspectives and local
involvements are often hidden behind involvements are often more explicit
a facade of objectivity and distance

In research-only strategies, it is easier for the researcher to maintain distance from

local issues, and focus on a commitment to data collection and research design; the

researcher can be exclusively dedicated to research activities. In AR, the researcher's

time has to be dedicated both to research and action, resulting in less time to explore

emerging questions of little relevance for action, and less time to write and analyze

results. The greater involvement of action researchers may result in greater emotional

stress, which may introduce biases.

Research-only strategies usually have predefined research designs and seek to

obtain results that are externally valid. Conversely, AR is adaptive and flexible, and

focuses on locally useful results (which may have limited usefulness beyond the research









site). The greater focus on research in research-only strategies potentially provides more

robust and comprehensive research results.

However, each approach introduces its own type of bias in the participants'

answers. In research-only strategies, the informants' responses are often biased by the

expectation of how the information will be used or received by the researcher. In AR,

responses are also biased by the expectation of how the information will affect the

researchers' actions in the community. Action research may intentionally and

unintentionally influence and change the local power structure, while in research-only

strategies, such influence is normally unintended. There is little confusion about the

researcher's role in research-only strategies, but in action research, activist and researcher

roles are often mixed.

However, many of the features of research-only strategies described above are

idealized. Threats to objectivity are present in both types of research. Often, researchers'

involvement and influence is underreported in research-only strategies. Anthropologists,

particularly ethnographers, who often choose to live in a community for a considerable

time (several months or years) can hardly claim that after such time they continue to be

neutral or objective observers, with no influence in the community. They are participant

observers, but are not invisible. After some time, they must develop alliances and

relationships, and often develop some type of action. In research-only strategies, the

biases introduced by the researcher's perspectives and local involvements are often

hidden behind a facade of objectivity and distance. In AR research, generally such biases

are more explicit and easier to assess by the scientific audience.















CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODS

Research Site and Population

Itacare is located in a tropical, rainy region with annual precipitation between

1,750 and 2,000 mm, well distributed throughout the year, and the annual mean

temperature is between 21 C and 25 C (Secretaria da Cultura e Turismo 1998), in the

southern coast of the state of Bahia, northeastern Brazil (Figure 3-1). The tropical and

humid climate created the conditions for a lush tropical rainforest that was in great part

destroyed to implement cacao plantations, and later for timber extraction, cattle ranching

and small farming. At the time of the fieldwork for this dissertation, the forest still

remained in certain areas.

Itacare was a "beach town" that was not located on the beach, but by the river,

close to the river mouth, testifying to its past as a "port town." Only recently, with

tourism development, were some houses built on areas of the municipality closer to the

beaches. In Itacare, the traditional cacao economy was destroyed by years of low prices

and witches' broom (Crinipelisperniciosa), a tree disease that made most cacao farms

economically unviable. However, tourism was booming.

The municipality had 18,105 inhabitants, according to the preliminary 2000

census data. About six thousand people lived in the town of Itacare and four thousand

lived in the urban district of Taboquinhas. The remaining population lived in the rural

areas, in small communities, or in the old cacao plantations.



















Proposed Area for the
Marine Extractive Reserve
of itacare


Figure 3-1: Location of Itacare and the area proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve.

The fishing population comprised about 400 families, both in the rural and in the

urban area. About half of them were families of professional fishers, people that had their

main source of income from fishing. The other half, mainly rural, were subsistence

fishers. Professional fishers focused on shrimp, fish, crab and lobster fishing. Subsistence

fishers caught almost anything. While offshore fishing on motorized boats was mainly a

male activity, inshore fishing was practiced by men, women and children.

Research Design

This dissertation's research design evolved in response to local needs, such as the

need to create local community organizational capacity for the implementation of the

Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare, and unexpected factors, such as the difficulty for

the Task Group to maintain constant participation in the process, and my increasing

involvement with the action of promoting the reserve. Action research, PRA, observant

participation and participant observation were the main research strategies.









In order to allow the reader to understand the research design, a description of the

research methods has to include some of the action that was promoted in Itacare, which

laid down the research opportunities that I explored. The research design included the

following elements:

* An action researcher, PRA practitioner, and observing participant in the promotion of
the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare
* Three volunteer research assistants
* Oceanographic researchers
* The Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare
* Participatory rural appraisal (PRA) exercises in eight fishing communities: four urban,
three rural, and one that included both urban and rural fishers

Action Researcher, PRA Practitioner, and Observing Participant in the Promotion
of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare

From my first contacts with the fishers of Itacare, some methodological trends

started to be established. First, I did not start as a neutral figure studying an object

detached from me. I was a participant trying to help the fishers of Itacare create their

Extractive Reserve, but I was also forwarding a particular approach to extractive reserve

creation. My study depended on that particular approach because it focused on PRA,

mainly, and its effects in the community. Second, although I planned to build local

capacity for PRA and then stand back and evaluate the effects of the work done by the

Task Group with some distance, I started my interaction as a participant in the process.

Third, my presence influenced how the Task Group organized and performed their

activities. I was their consultant for the Extractive Reserve. Later, I coordinated the PRA

process and facilitated the PRA meetings with the help of volunteers and TG members.

Thus, from the beginning, I was an observing participant of the process, not just a neutral

participant observer. I was a researcher who interfered in the local reality and tried to

transform it in collaboration with locals, while observing reactions and results.









As an observing participant I had to strive, first, to be an impartial consultant (that

is, to avoid influencing the work for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare in a less

beneficial direction just to make the process fit my research needs), and second, to be an

impartial observer (that is, avoiding that my stakes in the process and my engagement

with the Reserve influenced my observation of the facts).

During the process, this was often difficult. I experienced "evaluation swings,"

that is, confusing changes of my view of the process, as different information about other

people's (and my own) behavior became available to me. Immersed in the process, it was

often hard to maintain clarity about what was going on. However, in reporting and

discussing the data, I tried to be self-critical, evaluate my stakes, the limitations of my

observations, and be honest about them. Moreover,while some aspects of reality were

hidden from me as an observing participant, I also was able to see some aspects of reality

that would have been hidden from a researcher using just a participant observation

strategy.

Another factor that has to be considered is my background. I am Brazilian and did

not have significant language problems with the fishers, because we all spoke Portuguese,

although there were some regional vocabulary differences. Yet, I grew up in Sao Paulo

state, a region culturally different from Bahia. Stereotypes of Paulistas (the people of Sao

Paulo) and Bahianos (the people of Bahia) reveal some of potential conflicts involved in

the interaction between the community and me. Paulistas are known as work-focused,

not very friendly but serious (or uptight) people, while Bahianos (particularly on the

coast) are famous for their laidback, fun-loving (often lazy) life style, and their

friendliness. However untrue these stereotypes may be, they sometimes shaped









interactions, and sometimes local people seemed to find me too much focused on work,

while I found some local people slow and not very committed. For example, it took me a

while to slow down and start to arrive at the meetings as late as everybody else. The

adaptation was mutual: local TG members gradually started to come to the meetings on

time. Other factors also influenced my interaction with the community, such as race (I am

considered white in Brazil, while most fishers were of African descent), gender (being a

man opened some research opportunities and closed others), and social class (which often

created very different viewpoints).

Another aspect is my formal education and professional experience. I have a

bachelor's degree in agronomic engineering from the University of Sao Paulo. This

degree provided me a broad range of knowledge. Agronomic engineering students in

Brazil study a great variety of subjects, from crops to animal husbandry, from food

science to agricultural machinery, from sociology and economics to forestry.

By the end of the five-year course, students are expected to have directed their

education towards a specialization. My specialization area was informal environmental

education. For two years after graduation I coordinated an environmental education radio

program in my college town (Piracicaba, Sao Paulo state), but also helped in my family's

dairy farm, and worked on a short-term consultancy for the state environmental agency

and on a food education consultancy for Piracicaba's municipal government.

Then, in 1992, I became an ecology professor at the University of Acre, a state

located in the western Brazilian Amazon, where I first had contact with the extractive

reserves. Part of my work in the university involved rural communities of small farmers

and rubber tappers, with training and support for the implementation of agroforestry









systems. In 1994, I started my masters in Latin American Studies at the University of

Florida, and my research focused on the factors that made rubber tappers more

conservation-oriented. In the masters' research I used some of the "PRA techniques" for

the first time.

When I finished my masters' degree, in 1996, I started work in Rond6nia,

southwest Brazilian Amazon, as a United Nations Development Program consultant for

the extractive reserve component of PLANAFLORO, Rond6nia Natural Resource

Management Project. My main activity was to develop a participatory procedure for the

creation of community development plans, and my previous learning and experience with

PRA led me to believe that it could provide a good basis for participatory planning in the

extractive reserves of Rondonia.

The experience in Rond6nia was particularly rich in insights and questions about

PRA. When I started my Ph.D. at the University of Florida, I started exploring these

questions in my classes. Due to my background and my fascination with science, I tended

to explore materialistic approaches, which are also common in the classes at UF. My

background in ecology and ecological economics also created further interest in systemic

approaches to explain the behavior of social systems, or in my area of interest,

participation in small communities. The discussion presented in the Introduction reflects

this interest. It was with this background that I first looked into the reality of participation

in Itacare.

Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare (TG)

During dissertation fieldwork, the Task Group was the main agent promoting the

Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare. In 2000, I initiated a collaborative relationship with

this group, which was formed of fishers, former fishers now employed in the tourism









industry and a fisherman's wife (she was the only one with a college degree; the rest of

the group did not finish high school, and despite some formal education, had trouble

reading and writing). They had been involved in the promotion of the Extractive Reserve

for about a year, during which they received advice from local technical volunteers and

from two staff members of Assessoria Agroecol6gica (AAE), a nongovernment

organization based in Ilheus, a city located 65 km to the south of Itacare. These people

also interacted with me (via E-mail) during that year and we exchanged information and

ideas on how the work should be done.

TG members had a good knowledge of the fishers of Itacare, and the

municipality, but they knew the seat of the municipality better than they knew the district

of Taboquinhas and the rural communities. During their first year working for the

creation of the Reserve, they carried out meetings in two fishing communities located in

the district of Taboquinhas and by the beach of Piracanga, started to interview fishers for

a socioeconomic survey to be sent to the government for the creation of the Reserve, and

mobilized two enforcement missions by the regional officers of the Brazilian Institute for

the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).

The initial design of the PRA process was that the TG was going to have the

assistance of two local technical volunteers, whom I previously had trained in PRA.

However, this did not work out. In my first meeting with the TG members, about eight

people came and we talked about the challenges ahead. They were unhappy with the two

local technical volunteers who had been working with them for the last year. We

discussed PRA and its technical needs. They decided that they would carry out the









participatory rural appraisal process by themselves, with my help. TG members would

need training in PRA, and they and I decided that I would give a course to them.

The PRA course started with about 18 people, but by the end of the two-week

course load, there were about seven, and I was only confident that three people out of that

total were prepared to carry out PRA meetings, and only with my assistance. In order to

have an effective PRA process in Itacare, I would have to take a more active role than I

had predicted and wanted.

All actions carried out in Itacare were discussed with this group (or some of its

members, when a meeting was not possible). Their decisions greatly affected the course

of this research, from my timetable to the methods that were used. They were co-

researchers in the participatory process, trying to understand why things that we did were

successful or not, gathering data in their own normal life in the community or in the

(more structured) PRA meetings. The TG and I discussed together several of the

explanatory propositions presented in the Introduction, and this discussion is reported

later in the dissertation.

Scientific learning (by me) and local practical learning (by TG members)

originated from the same process, but we did not need to agree. While their learning had

to stand the test of practicability and perform several functions (from understanding their

successes and failures, to justifying their participation; from creating group cohesion to

defending them from moral attacks), my learning had also to stand scientific peer

scrutiny. As a doctoral candidate, although I had local collaboration, this dissertation is

not a collective product. I am the author, and the conclusions expressed here are my own.









Oceanographic researchers

In the PRA process, the TG and I had the collaboration of the Oceanographic

Group at the Universidade Estadual Santa Cruz UESC6. The researchers who

participated in the PRA exercise are listed below:

* Dr. Rubens Lopes Plankton/ UESC
* M.Sc. Lucio Figueiredo de Rezende Physic Oceanography/ UESC
* Sylvia M. M. Susini Ribeiro Plankton/ UESC
* Dr. Gecely R. A. Rocha Nekton (fish)/ UESC
* Dr. M6nica Y. Tsuzuki Aquaculture/ UESC
* M.Sc. Cintia S. Coimbra- Algae/ UESC
* Alexandre Oliveira de Almeida Freshwater crustaceans/ UESC
* Erminda C. G. Couto Benthic animals/ UESC
* M.Sc. Luiz Alberto Mattos Silva Botany/UESC
* M.SC. Ana Amelia Lavenere-Wanderley Geologic Oceanography/UESC

Some of these researchers participated in PRA meetings, but all interacted with

the communities during field trips to collect samples in Itacare. Each wrote a report that

was later incorporated in the PRA report.

Three voluntary research assistants

Later in the PRA process, it was realized that the TG members would not have the

necessary time to dedicate to the PRA, and voluntary research assistants were selected to

help us. They were selected among 12 candidates who submitted a letter of application

and curriculum vitae in response to an E-mail message that I sent to colleagues in

community development and conservation. Three people were selected, as follows:

* Ana Claudia Mendes Malhado: a recent ecology graduate from Sao Paulo state, with
experience in environmental education (first four weeks of PRA);

* Viviane Menezes Hermida: a recent psychology graduate from Salvador (Bahia state),
with experience in community work in a fishing community on the northern Bahian
coast (third and fourth weeks of PRA);


6 Saint Cross State University, a small regional University located in Ilheus, which has
received investment from the State Government.









* Daniela Maria Barreto Martins: with the same background as Ms. Hermida (sixth and
seventh weeks of PRA)

These assistants helped me in the preparation of PRA meetings, note taking and

report writing. They also discussed with me the results and provided insights on my

relationship with TG. In addition to these three assistants, a number of local and outside

people helped in the organization of the meetings, but did not collect data for the PRA.

An exception was botanist Ana Maria Arg6lo, who, in addition to helping in some of the

meetings, wrote a report on the coastal vegetation.

Eight Fishing Communities

Locating (and circumscribing) the fishing communities of Itacare was not very

straightforward. Fishers lived all over town and also in rural communities and in the

urban district of Taboquinhas. They were clearly not just one community. There seemed

to be several fishing communities overlapping in Itacare or maybe the fishers were not

really a community but only a sector of the larger community of Itacare. Fishers were

linked not only among themselves, but to neighbors that were not fishers, to shopkeepers,

to politicians, to traders, to people and businesses of the tourism sector.

Some fishers were fulltime; others were just part-time or fished just for

subsistence. Those who were part-time or subsistence fishers were also farmers, public

servants, shopkeepers, workers in the tourism sector, and so on. How do we cut the

fishing communities out of that complex web of social relations?

"Communities" were used in Itacare to divide the fishing population in

manageable chunks that would result in maximum participation, provide a basis for

future action, and at the same time, maintain the number of these chunks as low as

possible to maximize the efficiency of PRA meetings. However, like the definition of









ecosystem, there are no clear community boundaries until someone decides what (or

who) is in or what is out. Ideally, this decision should be made by community members,

that is, by how they identify themselves: there is no community until there is a

community identity. However, a community identity may not always exist. In the case of

Itacare, the definition of some of the "fishing communities" was externally done by TG

members.

When the TG and I planned the PRA exercise in Itacare, we had to decide on how

to classify the fishers in communities. In the town, we could either have dealt with one

large urban fishing community or with separate sub-communities. Thus we had to make a

choice. I suspected that if we decentralized the meetings, we would have greater

attendance. TG members had their own classification of the fishers into "communities"

and so we worked with that. TG members classified the fishers of Itacare in eight

communities:

* Banca do Peixe (urban, mostly professional fishers)
* Forte (urban, mostly professional fishers)
* Porto de Tras (urban, subsistence and professional fishers)
* Marimbondo (urban, subsistence and professional fishers)
* Passagem (urban, subsistence and professional fishers)
* Taboquinhas (urban and rural, subsistence and professional fishers)
* Itacarezinho (rural, subsistence fishers)
* Piracanga (rural, subsistence fishers)

Porto de Tras was easy to identify. These fishers lived in the same neighborhood,

had their own political organization, were connected by kin, had their own parties and

folklore, and were the exclusive users of the Porto de Tras (or Back Port, name that

alluded to the location of the port, on a river curve behind the town). There was a clear

community identity.









However, other "communities" were less clearly defined. Forte and Banca do

Peixe, for example, were identified not in terms of a region of residence, but in terms of a

point of congregation, the respective ports of Forte and of the Banca do Peixe (or simply

Banca). Fishers included by the TG in these communities could live anywhere in town as

long as they departed from those ports to their fishing trips. This port identity often

included an affiliation to one of the organizations located in each port: Itacare's

Association of Fishers and Shellfish Collectors (ASPERI) in the Forte, and Col6nia de

Pesca Z-18 (Fishers' Guild Fishing Zone 18) in the Banca.

In addition, there were fishers who used either port, or even departed from the

more distant Havai river beach, who lived in two neighborhoods: Marimbondo and

Passagem. Following the advice of a community leader, when we finally carried out PRA

in these neighborhoods, the TG and I considered them as one community, but the

opposite could have been done: we could have subdivided them by the streets. The

decision to join them together was related to our operational needs rather than to the

"true" identity of these communities. Recognizing "communities" was necessarily an

analytical and, sometimes, arbitrary exercise considering operational needs and political

implications.

From this, it became clear that there were two types of urban fishing

communities:

* Neighborhood communities (continuous, defined by territory), such as Porto de Tras
(Marimbondo and Passagem were treated as neighborhood communities even though
their identities as fishing communities were weaker than Porto de Tras)

* Port communities (radial, defined by the connection of fishers to the ports), such as
Forte and Banca do Peixe









During PRA, we discovered an additional rural community (Campo Seco), which

invited us to carry out PRA there too. Thus, rural fishers were organized for the PRA in

the following communities:

* Piracanga (on the north coast of Itacare, including the fishers of nearby Caubi village)
* Campo Seco (on the south coast of Itacare)
* Itacarezinho (on the south coast of Itacare)

There were also rural communities by the Contas River, which practiced

subsistence fishing in the river, and a group of rural households close to the Tijuipe

River. Because of time constraints, the TG decided not to include them in the PRA at that

time. The TG visited the communities by Rio de Contas after I finished dissertation

fieldwork in Itacare.

Finally there were the urban and rural communities of Taboquinhas municipal

district. The rural fishers of Taboquinhas were first divided in several communities and

later grouped again for the practical purposes of the PRA. Later, we tried as much as

possible to identify the divisions that "community members" had. They included the

following:

* Pe da Pancada
* Rua de Palha
* Os Acaris
* Porto das Farinhas
* Agua Fria.

However, this classification was not always so clear; different boundaries seemed

to be applied by different people, depending on the context. The definition of each

community also seemed to vary over time, as was indicated by stories that some

communities were one, then were divided, and then were renamed responding to political

needs and population change. The common identity of "fishers of Taboquinhas" was the









most practical and reliable one to organize the PRA for those fishers. Each of the fishing

communities of Itacare had different interests and challenges, as is described later.

Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Exercise

In each community, the PRA team included me, one or two of the voluntary

research assistants, TG members, and occasionally, one to four oceanographic

researchers. TG members did not participate equally in all meetings. At the time of the

PRA exercise, the TG had about eight people. Only one of them had time to participate in

almost all meetings. Three others also went to several meetings (one of them liked the

PRA dynamics and was actually recruited during the PRA meetings in his community).

The other TG members participated only occasionally in the PRA community meetings,

but most were frequent in the TG weekly meetings, which evaluated the results of PRA in

different communities.

The PRA exercise in Itacare was carried out in two rounds of meetings in eight

communities (see schedule of PRA meetings in Appendix7). In urban communities, the

first round (for problem diagnosis) took four to six three-hour evening meetings. In rural

communities, the first round took one to two one-day meetings. The first-round meetings

had the following elements:

* An explanation about the extractive reserve, and the purpose of the meeting
* Cooperative games
* PRA tools

Between the first and the second rounds, community representatives participated

in a two-day meeting to



7 The communities of Banca do Peixe and Piracanga had PRA meetings prior to this
schedule. The follow-up of those meetings was delayed until the dates showed in the
schedule due to participation problems in the Task Group.









* Create a diagnosis for the whole area proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve of
Itacare, including all the communities where PRA was being carried out

* Create a draft of the resource use rules for the future Reserve ("Norms of the Reserve),
which were the focus of the second round.

In urban communities, the second round (for discussion of the Norms of the

Reserve) took two three-hour evening meetings. In rural communities, the second round

took one one-day meeting. The second round of meetings included the following

elements:

* Registration of the fishers for the decision-making process
* An explanation about the extractive reserve and purpose of the meeting
* A review of the diagnosis made in the first round
* Cooperative games
* Reading, discussion, and approval of, or proposal of changes to, the drafted Norms of
the Reserve

After the second round of meetings, a general two-day meeting, open to all

registered participants, was carried out for a final decision on the Norms.

Explanation about the extractive reserve and purpose of the meetings (first and
second rounds)

All meetings started with an explanation about the future Marine Extractive

Reserve of Itacare, and about the purpose of the meetings. The explanation included a

presentation by the TG about the purposes of the group and an invitation to all who

wanted to participate. I presented the purpose of the meeting and asked for the group's

consent to report on the information that they provided and on their participation.

Cooperative games (first and second rounds)

After this initial explanation, in the first round of PRA meetings (in each one of

the communities) participants were invited to play the "web of life," a cooperative game

that shows the importance of cooperation and interdependence in the relationship

between community members, and between them and their environment (Figure 3-2).










; 1 I %


Figure 3-2: Web of life game in the community of Banca do Peixe.

The web of life starts with the facilitator asking participants to gather around him,

forming a circle. Then, he takes a roll of yam, and start linking different people in the

circle with it. Each person represents a different element of the human ecosystem. After

all people are linked by the yam, a pen is placed in the center of the circle and the group

is asked to try to hold it with the yam, just by the pressure of the yarn forming the web.

Then, participants are asked to put the pen inside a bottle placed on the ground (in one of

the communities we used a green coconut, after drinking the coconut water), still holding

the pen with the web. After several attempts, in which the pen would fall and be placed

again in the web, the goal of putting the pen in the bottle was accomplished.

The importance of cooperation and balance between different parties in

cooperation to accomplish a collective goal (the betterment of communities, the

extractive reserve, and conservation of natural resources) was then discussed with the









participants. Other games were proposed anytime during the meetings when participants

looked tired or not very focused on the discussions.

PRA tools

A series of PRA tools was proposed and carried out. Participants created

participatory natural resource maps on 1 m x 2 m sheets of paper (in communities along

the river, the maps reached up to 5 meters long, by 50 cm wide), using markers, sand,

sawdust, pebbles, tree and grass leaves, and icons representing different natural

resources, fishing practices and other aspects of the fishers' reality. Participants were

asked to map the area that they used, which varied from community to community

(Figure 3-3).






~~A -


Figure 3-3: Participatory mapping exercise in Forte community.

In Porto de Tras and Piracanga, natural resource maps were done in separate

groups according to gender. Maps were also used to obtain data about the location of









households and infrastructure in two urban communities (Porto de Tras and

Marimbondo/Passagem) and three rural communities (Piracanga, Itacarezinho and

Campo Seco).

Institutional Venn diagrams were carried out in Banca do Peixe, Porto de Tras,

Forte, and Taboquinhas. They started with the facilitators asking the participants to list

the organizations that were important to the community, either positively or negatively.

Then, participants were asked to rank the power of these institutions, by assigning them

paper circles with three different sizes. Following that, participants were asked to place

the circles on a 0.8 m x 1 m sheet of paper in relation to a paper circle representing their

community, which also had to be placed in relation to a larger circle drawn on the sheet

representing the fishing community of Itacare. This process often raised heated

discussions about the government and nongovernmental organizations that influence the

lives of the fishers in Itacare (Figure 3-4).

SW> ~iR


Figure 3-4: Institutional diagram in Banca do Peixe community (a TG member is
facilitating the discussion).









Other PRA tools were used. Historical transects were carried out in the PRA

course for the Task Group (focusing on sea resources) and in the PRA meetings of

Taboquinhas (focusing on river resources, Figure 3-5). A social pyramid, a tool that I

adapted to discuss social inequality, was used in Porto de Tras and Forte.






.j














Figure 3-5: Historical diagram in small groups in Taboquinhas, facilitated by a volunteer
research assistant.

In some communities, PRA tools were used in small groups, which later presented

the information to the participants that were not in their group. This strategy was used to

maximize the information represented in the PRA tools, and to allow greater individual

participation by reducing the group size.

After the maps and diagrams were completed, participants summarized the

information provided by them, with an emphasis on the problems and on how the

extractive reserve could help to solve them. During the process, the voluntary research

assistants and I took notes on the discussion in order to write the report later on. Some









communities (Porto de Tras, Itacarezinho and Taboquinhas) had UESC's team of

oceanographic researchers facilitating the discussion along with TG members, volunteer

research assistants and me. In other communities, the volunteers, TG members and I used

that experience with the UESC team to guide us in facilitating the maps and other

discussion focusing on natural resources.

Meeting of community representatives to discuss the diagnosis for the whole area
proposed for the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare and the Norms of the
Reserve

During the PRA meetings in the eight communities, representatives were elected

by each community to participate in a two-day meeting to create a diagnosis for the entire

area and population that was going to benefit from the Reserve, and to create a draft of

the natural resource use rules, or "Norms of the Reserve." On the first day, the

representatives of each community explained to the other community representatives the

problems encountered in their communities, referring to the PRA maps and diagrams.

They verified problems that they had in common and problems that were created by

resource use conflicts between communities.

Based on this diagnosis, and on the norms of the Marine Extractive Reserve of

Arraial do Cabo (State of Rio de Janeiro), I created a draft of norms that were suggested

during the PRA problem diagnosis phase and by the community representatives. On the

second day, the norms that I drafted were read to, and discussed by, community

representatives, who corrected them and added their own suggestions.

Registration of the fishers for the decision making process

In the second round of PRA meetings, in each community, TG members and I

registered the participants for the decision making process. TG members, in a series of

weekly meetings, discussed criteria to make a fisher a legitimate decision-maker in the









Reserve. The problem was that the rules of the Reserve were supposed to be decided by

the fishers of Itacare. However, who were the "fishers of Itacare"? Native fishers

believed they had greater right than recent immigrants, and a great number of five to ten-

year immigrant fishers also claimed their right to the Reserve. Where was the legitimacy

line to be drawn?

After much discussion, the TG arrived at a decision. To have the right to vote in

the community meetings, a person had to be a fisher who had fished in Itacare in the last

two years. In addition, the fisher had to fulfill one of the following:

* Be native to Itacare
* Have lived in Itacare for the last five years
* Have participated in five or more meetings for the creation of the Extractive Reserve

To vote on the Norms of the Reserve, each person had to be "registered," that is,

to fill out a form, or have one filled out for him/her, on which the basic data about the

criteria described above were collected. All data had to be confirmed by witnesses, to

avoid the use of standard documents that could not be trusted because many "fishers"

with such documents did not actually fish, and many real fishers did not have fishers'

documents. Such witnesses also had to be acceptable decision-makers themselves, and

were susceptible to lose their rights if they helped others misrepresent themselves.

A review of the diagnosis made in the first round

To review the discussion of the first round in each community, including the

reality of all communities in the future Reserve, second-round meetings used the

participatory map created by the Banca, which represented the broadest range, so that a

general diagnosis of the entire area could be discussed and information given/returned for

the decision about the Norms of the Reserve. The map was exhibited in a place visible to

all.









Reading, discussion, approval of, or proposal of changes to the drafted Norms of the
Reserve

In the second round of community meetings, the resource use rules for the future

Norms of the Reserve were read, discussed, and voted on. The norms that were approved

by all communities were considered approved and not discussed again. If a norm was

rejected by one community, or if it was proposed by a community after the other

communities had discussed the norms, the decision was left to a final general meeting

open to all participants.

Finally, in some cases in which there were resource use conflicts between

communities, TG decided to hold meetings between the affected communities to decide

on the issue by consensus. That is, there would be no voting in such meetings, and all

participants had to agree on the final solution. These rules were later reviewed and

approved in the final general meeting. This strategy was chosen to guarantee a power

balance between the different communities, and avoid manipulation by opportunistic

participation in meetings in just one centralized location.

Data Collection: Observant Participation and Participant Observation

PRA was not my only data collection strategy in Itacare. According to Bernard

(1994:138)

Fieldwork can involve two quite different roles-that of participating observer and
that of observing participant. By far, most anthropological research is based on the
first role, that of participating observer.

Hammersley and Atkinson (1995) discuss the classification of Junker (1960) and

Gold (1958), who distinguish the following roles of the researcher: complete participant,

participant-as-observer, observer-as-participant, and complete observer. Hammersley and

Atkinson (1995) suggest that the role of complete participant often involves deception,









and their examples coincide with the examples given by Bernard (1994) in which

observing participant researchers take roles that make them similar to the people they are

studying.

This was not the case of this dissertation. First, it was clear to the community that

I was doing research as much as action, and there was no deception related to my role in

the community or in the Task Group. That saved me a great deal of ethical concern.

Second, my observing participation involved a relatively new role in the fishing

community, as new as was the TG's role. Despite the fact that I was not pretending to be

a fisherman, I was an observing participant because my role was that of an activist in

favor of the Reserve, just like the TG.

Nevertheless, there were several differences:

* The length of my participation was limited, while the TG would continue to be there

* I did not belong to the community and could choose to leave, while they belonged
there and were more limited in their mobility

* I was paid to be an action researcher and did not have other competing activities,
while their participation was completely voluntary and they had to find ways to
generate income (however, some of the TG members did receive remuneration or
compensation during part of their action)

* I was their consultant and was supposed to provide them with orientation regarding the
Extractive Reserve and the participatory work, while they had limited knowledge of
the details of the required process

* I did not have decision power over the process; I only discussed the options with them,
while decisions were made by TG members (but I had significant influence when I
was facilitating PRA meetings). Also, I often took notes, moderated the meetings,
typed letters and documents for them, and even created a logo for the Reserve (Figure
3-6).

As an "impartial" participant observer, the researcher can more easily concentrate

on the research, maintain a certain distance from the object of study, and try to be








objective. However, there is no guarantee of impartiality. On the one hand, the participant

observer label can mask implicit involvement and contribution, and cause increased

suspicion in the participants. On the other hand, the observing participation strategy

carries with it other dangers, such as partiality, lack of objectivity, and worse, difficulty

to concentrate on the research. However, in many instances, observing participation is a

way to obtain insights from the point of view of the researched. In addition these two

different types of observation provide access to different aspects of reality. By trying to

mobilize the community with the TG, I saw aspects of the fishing community that I

would not have seen if I was just a participant observing. Conversely, some other aspects

are hidden from the participant observer; there are tradeoffs in any strategy.


Reserva Extrativista Marinha








'ITACAR BAHIA







Figure 3-6: Logo of the Task Group for the Creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of
Itacare.

Every one of us, each TG member and I, was a "thermometer" of effects of the

planned solutions, and provided subjective evaluations of what was achieved. These
planned solutions, and provided subj ective evaluations of what was achieved. These









subjective evaluations were discussed in the group meetings, trying to create inter-

subjective evaluations supported by evidence. By providing and discussing their

perceptions with me, TG members were a mix of key-informants, research assistants and

clients of the research. They too were doing observing participation of the process, when

they attempted strategies to obtain fishers' participation, promote the Extractive Reserve

and consolidate their leadership.

In addition to my observing participation in TG meetings and in the PRA

exercise, I learned a great deal about the reality of Itacare just by living there during the

ten months (September 2000 to June 2001) of my Ph.D. fieldwork, and in the four visits

before, one day in March 1999, a four-day and a ten-day visit in August 1999, and one

week in January 2000. I became better acquainted with one of the communities where

meetings were harder to mobilize. My following field note illustrates how observant

participation and just hanging out were important to understand that community:

The Barraca do Seu8 Osvaldo (Mr. Osvaldo's Kiosk) is closed most of the year
but is nevertheless, a gathering point for many of the fishers of the Banca do
Peixe, the community most associated with the Col6nia. The Barraca is a tiny
kiosk, built on the center division of the boulevard by the Coroa beach. The lane
next to the beach is open to traffic, but the other is closed, creating a protected
space where residents would hang out and restaurants would place their tables
outside.

However, the boulevard close to Seu Osvaldo's kiosk belongs to the fishers.
Large trees shade the sidewalks where they used to lounge, talk to their friends,
gossip, and work on net repairs. It has a nice view of the barra, where river waters
battle sea water in their final destination to the ocean; and of the Pontal (a small
peninsula on the other side of the river with its beach growing in the direction of
Pedra do Xareu, almost threatening to dam the river), and the north coast. It is also
a strategic spot to monitor the wind and its changes, and the movement of boats
inside and outside the barra. And it is also my strategic spot to just hang out,
observe fishers, talk to them, hear the gossip, and learn about the past and present
of Itacare.


8 Respectful title applied to older men; "mister."









During the day, I use to sit in the shadow of Seu Osvaldo's Kiosk and do as
everybody else. At sunset or at night, nearby, the boat ramp that gave access from
the boulevard to the river is the spot to relax, and listen to stories of fishing trips
and other subjects. "Apanhar afresca da noite (enjoying the fresh breeze of the
night) attracts many fishers. On nights of good weather, they sit and laze on the
ramp by the water with stars above their heads and the gentle breeze blowing. I
also enjoy thefresca, and many times go by myself or to walk my dog by the
beach and then sit on the ramp. Sometimes I talk to people, other times I just
listen.

Although I became more acquainted with the Banca, walking on the streets of

Itacare it was hard to go anywhere without running into someone who asked about the

Extractive Reserve, gave me information and opinions, gossiped about someone else or

was just friendly. In this way, I used to run into people of the other urban communities of

Itacare, and occasionally into people from rural areas. As my identification with the Task

Group grew, I became "o rapaz da Reserva" (the Reserve guy). I was sought for conflict

resolution and demands for action. Normally, I would refer the person to the Task Group

for decisions, but would talk and express my opinions anyway.

People also tried to influence me, by gossiping or complaining about other people

and organizations, trying to get me on their side. Kent (2000), doing anthropological

fieldwork in Itacare, describes a similar process: he also felt he was being disputed by

different sides of the conflict between locals ("ii/un', ") and migrants related to the

tourism/environmentalism sector ("os defora," or the newcomers), both sides trying to

make him tell their side of the story, particularly the case of the newcomers.

In my case, maybe because I was also involved in action, I felt that it was not just

a matter of my telling their story, but rather of my acting in a manner that would be

advantageous to particular sectors. Unlike Kent (2000), I did not feel that os defora were

trying to influence me more than the nativos, but just as much. Os defora seemed to see

me as a teacher and a source of expertise; in fact I ended up giving a course on









participatory methods to the team of the local Environmental Education Project, mainly

composed of newcomers. Some people (locals and newcomers) seemed to believe that I

had some strong political influence, an impression that I let them keep, since I believed

that it could help the Task Group (more educated people seemed to value most the fact

that I was a Ph.D. candidate).

I also participated in public meetings, went to parties and to the beach, shopped in

the stores, and went to restaurants. All of this gave me a better feeling of the tensions and

issues behind the beach town atmosphere of Itacare. For example, excellent pizza was

served in Beco das Flores pizzeria. However, wealthier people used to go there and it

was viewed with suspicion by locals (this is also commented on by Kent 2000). I noticed

this and felt uncomfortable going to the Beco (but sometimes it was hard to resist... the

pizza was really good!). And it was the same with certain stores, parties and beaches. I

felt that where you hung out in Itacare said something about with whom you were allied

and about your values. I did not always conform to local prejudices in order to assert my

alignment with the TG and locals, but I soon became aware of the costs of doing things in

ways that were not approved of by locals.

Testing the Explanatory Propositions

Testing the explanatory propositions explained in Chapter 1 involved information

gathered by PRA, participant observation, observant participation, group and individual

interviews, informal conversations with fishers and other actors in Itacare, and literature

research. In chapters 7 and 8, research questions 1 and 2, and the respective explanatory

propositions' action-testing, are discussed; however, in chapters 4 to 6, background

information on Itacare and its fishers, the nature of the fishing activities and the origins of

the Task Group will also be used to discuss the research questions.









As pointed out in Chapter 2, action research is broadly defined as a paradigm of

research in which clients are involved in cycles of reflection-action-reflection-action that

result in learning and change. The value of action in action research is often discussed in

terms of its practical, local effects: research activity that produces social results locally.

However, in this study, action was conceptualized as a means of verification.

In AR, we believe that the way to 'prove' a theory is to show how it provides in-
depth and thorough understanding of social structures, understanding gained
through planned attempts to invoke change in particular directions. The
appropriate changes are the proof (Greenwood 1998:19).

In this research, action was the main instrument for testing competing explanatory

propositions for participation problems encountered in the PRA for the participatory

creation of the Marine Extractive Reserve of Itacare. Action during the research process

was always based on theory and reflection. The theory (explanatory propositions) was

supplied either by me or by locals, who provided their own interpretations of their

realities, sometimes during the meetings, other times in informal conversations.

Participants (including me), involved in action, discussed the problems and their causes.

One or more explanatory propositions were created to explain the problems, and

solutions based on such propositions were discussed. Sometimes we had competing

interpretations and had to solve the contest argumentatively or by verification, in action.

The rationale for using action as a testing procedure was

* Once the causes for the problems were identified (explanatory propositions), solutions
could be planned and carried out

* When the solutions were correctly implemented and there was no improvement in the
problems, then the explanatory proposition was rejected. "Improvement in the
problems" was discussed in the TG and with members of the community, and includes
my subjective evaluation

* If the planned solution worked, then the proposition was corroborated; and proposition
and solution became action-based theory











A cycle of theory-action-reflection (Figure 3-7) happened almost every week,

when problems were discussed in the weekly TG meetings and planned actions were

implemented, and then evaluated again in the next meeting. New cycles of action could

persist in the same successful action strategy, resulting in more corroboration to the

action-based theory, or in its reformulation. Reformulated action-based theories should

account for the past failures and successes of participatory action, and be tested in action

again.


Problem Competing Ato _]ang
definition I explanatory Action planning
propositions







Evaluation of
action and Action
results

Figure 3-7: Action as a research testing strategy.

However, there are confounding factors that may affect action-tests. In action-

testing, it is possible that the following confounding factors affect research conclusions:

* Biased interpretation. Participants may have biased evaluations of the changes
because of their expectations that are either too high or too low, or their interests can
be harmed by the findings, so they provide biased or false interpretations.

* Spurious association. The intended changes may not be a result of the action intended
to test the explanatory proposition. First, this may happen because the problem
identified may not be persistent. If the problem is temporary, then the action trying to
resolve the problem may be wrongly associated with its solution because the problem
would not persist anyway. Second, other factors may be influencing the problem at the
same time, and improvement in the problem (or lack of it) may be a result of factors
other than the new strategy adopted.









* Quality of the action. If actions are not effectively implemented according to the
explanatory proposition that originated them, results, or lack of them, cannot be
considered evidence in favor or against the explanatory proposition.

In order to be effective, action testing has to look for disconfirming evidence,

examine possible confounds, and consider them in a careful discussion about causality

during the AR process. In this dissertation this was done partially in the field and partially

afterwards, during the writing process.

In my interaction with the Task Group in Itacare, action-testing cycles were not

very structured, and were just part of how the TG worked. Although it was clear to them

that I was participating as a researcher, I noticed the similarity of such cycles with action

research and did not have to interfere in the group's dynamics to obtain data for this

research. Action testing, as a research procedure, was a way to take advantage of the

natural situation, the commitments and strategies of the TG, its actions and its need for

learning, for a research purpose. Finally, the testing of propositions did not change TG's

actions; that is, action testing was never used for its own sake, but only to achieve

important meaningful results related to the TG's objectives.

The evidence of action testing gathered through observing participation in TG and

PRA meetings was also compared to the evidence gained through participant observation

and a literature search on the history of Itacare (to discuss the social and political context

of participation) and on fishing communities in Brazil and abroad (to discuss collective

action institutions for natural resource management among fishers). Thus, action testing

is not just a mechanical exercise, but also depends on a consideration of other

information that corroborates and contextualizes interpretations.















CHAPTER 4
ITACARE AND ITS FISHERS

The purpose of this chapter is to contextualize the dissertation in relation to the

general characteristics of the fishers of Itacare and their common history with their

region. Some of the explanatory propositions are discussed in light of these general

characteristics, but each research question is discussed in more detail in Chapters 7 and 8,

where action research procedures were used to test the explanatory propositions

described in Chapter 1.

The history of Itacare is important for us to understand the origins of its inequality

and the formation of vertical alliances and vertical identities that prevented the poor from

openly questioning or acting to change local social reality. This chapter describes how the

local poor became allied to the local elite, forming vertical identities that opposed

outsiders and newcomers. I argue that this conflict between locals and

outsiders/newcomers prevented a needed horizontal alliance among the poor, and reduced

their confrontation with the rich.

At the time of the dissertation fieldwork, tourism was greatly transforming

Itacare, the small town that was the seat of the municipality of the same name. The

municipio comprised 730 km2 with a paradisiacal coast of small pocket beaches

surrounded by coconut trees and tropical rainforest, and a longer beach with some of the

last fragments of natural coastal dune vegetation restingg) in the region. About five

thousand people dwelled in the town, and the rest lived in the rural zone and in the