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EFFECTIVENESS OF EXTRACTIVE RESERVES, AGRO-EXTRACTIVE
RESERVES AND COLONIST SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTHWESTERN AMAZONIA:
AN ECONOMIC AND LAND COVER COMPARISON OF THREE LAND TENURE
TYPES IN ACRE, BRAZIL
FRANCISCO KENNEDY ARAUjJO DE SOUZA
A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Francisco Kennedy Arauj o de Souza
To: my Apurinan indigenous people, my deceased grandmother Nadira Valuah, my
mother Mada, and my daughter Yara.
This thesis was the result of many supporters, co-workers, friends, and community
partnerships. First, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the rubber tapper and
colonist families with whom I have collaboratively worked over the past eight years in
the State of Acre, Brazil. Drivers, researchers, and friends at the Federal University of
Acre, Centro dos Trabalhadores da Amaz8nia (CTA), Group for Agroforestry System
Research (PESACRE), and Acre government were fundamental to generate the results
presented in this thesis. Especially I thank my research assistants, Tatiana, Marcio,
Emilton, Luciano, and Dermerson.
I am also grateful for the financial support provided by many organizations. First, I
thank the Ford Foundation International Fellowship Program for its funding my graduate
studies at University of Florida. In Brazil Maria Luiza and Marcia, at the Fundagio
Carlos Chagas, were fundamental in supporting my first steps in the USA. I thank
Gregory Marino for his institutional support at the Institute of Intemnational Education in
New York. I sincerely express my appreciation to the Federal University of Acre for
permitting me to pursue my graduate study. I sincerely thank the Tropical Conservation
Development Program for its financial support during my last semester at the University
of Florida. I also extend special thanks to the Woods Hole Research Center for
supporting my fieldwork in Acre in 2004. Two government agencies in Acre, SEPROAF
and IMAC, contributed with transport and Landsat images.
My supervisory committee was fundamental in my effort to complete this graduate
course. First, I sincerely express my gratitude to my chair, Dr. Stephen Perz, for his
constant support, encouragement, patience, and friendship. I thank Dr. Charles Wood for
understanding my English limitation during my first semester at UF. Moreover Dr. Wood
was essential in advancing my statistical data analyses. I sincerely thank Dr. Marianne
Schmink for her friendship, patience, encouragement, and commitment in collaborating
with the Amazonian people. I am especially indebted to Dr. Schmink for her support in
one of the most critical moments of my life.
Innumerable friends and co-workers supported me before and during my studies,
fieldwork, and the writing process of my thesis. Valerio has been a unique friend who
since my first steps in Gainesville has supported me with friendship, encouragement,
ideas, and professional experience. Geraldo, like Marianne, became my kariuk~~~~kkkkk~~~~kkkk brother and
sister after their important support during my critical phase in Gainesville. I thank Foster
Brown, Daniel Nepstad, and Eduardo Brondizio for their letters supporting my
application to the Ford Foundation. I am grateful to Richard Wallace, Christiane
Ehringhaus, Christie Klimas, Joanna Tucker, Valerio, and Jeff for their support in
reading, editing, and suggesting ideas in my thesis. I express my thanks to Wendy Lin for
her support with my papers. I thank many other friends: Diogo, Rodrigo, Charle
Crisostomo, Silvia Brilhante, Nivia, Pedrio, Magna, Roger, Savio Maia, Edson Carvalho,
Lira, Hulk, Marilene, Sumaia, Fadel, Ronei, Elaine, Andrea, and Leonardo.
Finally, I express my gratitude to my parents and my brother and sisters for their
examples of vigor and humanity. I am indebted to Yara, my daughter, for putting up with
my long time far away from her.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGMENT S .............. .................... iv
LI ST OF T ABLE S ........._._.. ........ ............... ix...
LIST OF FIGURES .............. ...............x.....
AB STRAC T ................ .............. xi
1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............1.......... ......
Research Objectives............... ...............
Overview of the Research Sites ................. ...............3............ ...
Theoretical Framework............... ...............7
M ethodology Summary .............. ......... .. ...... .. .......1
Study Significance: Local Research Needs on Land Tenure Analyses ................... ...11
Structure of the Thesis............... ...............12.
2 LAND USE MANAGEMENT AND LAND TENURE DIVERSITIES:
ECONOMIC BOOMS, State POLICIES, AND LAND RIGHTS INT ACRE............15
Introducti on ............... .. ... ..._. .... ...............15
Land Tenure Regimes in the Amazon Region ........___......... .. .. ..... .........._._....16
The State of Acre: History, Social Movements, and Land Tenure Diversity ............19
Geographic Context............... ...............19
Acre: Before the Ranchers................... ..... .................2
Agriculture Modernization: Large Cattle Ranchers, Rubber Tappers, and
C olonists ................ ........... .. ......... ... .......2
After the 1990s: No Economic Boom, but a Rubber Tapper Victory .................23
Acre: Social Movements, Community Land Tenures, and Forest-Based
Development Policies .............. .. .. ......... .. ... .......2
Neoextrativismo: A Long-Term and Systemic Approach ................ ...............27
Florestania: Citizenship Based on Regional Integration, Short-Term
Economic Growth, and Conservation .......__............ ._. ... ......_.._.. .....29
Community Land Tenure: An Emergent Issue for Assessment in Acre ....................31
Colonization Settlements (PC) .............. ...............33....
Extractive Reserves (Re sex) ................. .......... ......... ....... .....
Agro-extractive Settlements (PAE) ................. ...............36........... ....
The Study Sites ............... .. ..... .... ...... ........... .....................3
Peixoto Colonization Settlement: The Agrosilvopastoral Model ................... .....37
Porto Dias Agro-extractive Settlement: The Timber Forest Management
M odel ............... .. .......... .. ..... .. ... .......4
Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve: The Non-timber Forest Management
M odel .............. ...............42....
Conclusion ................ ...............45.................
3 METHODS AND TECHNIQUES FOR ECONOMIC AND REMOTE SENSING
ANALY SE S .............. ...............47....
Introducti on ............ ..... ._ ...............47....
The Socioeconomic Survey .............. ...............49....
Household Sampling .............. ...............50....
The Questionnaire .............. ...............51....
The Household Fieldwork ............ ......_ ...............52..
The Price Survey .............. .... .. ....... .. ... .. ....................5
Participatory Findings Assessment: Attempts for Calibration and Validation ...53
Land Cover Data Collection and Fieldwork ......____ ..... ... .__ ........._.......5
The Post-Survey: Data Processing and analysis............... ...............55
Household Economic Approach .....__.....___ ..........._ ............5
Economic Analysis ............ ..... ._ ...............58....
Land Cover Data Processing .............. ...............59....
Economic and Land Cover Integration............... ..............6
Conclusion ............ ..... ._ ...............62...
4 ECONOMIC AND LAND USE COMPARISON OF SMALLHOLDER LAND
TENURE MODELS INT THE STATE OF ACRE ................. .......... ...............64
Introducti on .................. ... ......... ...............64.......
Revising the Research Questions............... ...............6
Land Cover Distribution among Land Tenures ................ ................ ......... .67
Accuracy Assessment of Land Cover. ................ ............ ...................67
Comparing Land Cover among Land Tenures .............. ...............68....
Economic Analysis for Land Tenures in the State of Acre .............. ....................74
Gross Income ...._ ................. ...............74.......
General Cost Analysis ................ .......... ...............78......
Cost Analysis at Community Level ................. ...............82........... ...
Profitability Analysis............... .. ... .... .... ...............8
Integrating Land Cover and Economic Analyses for Understanding Land Tenure ...89
Conclusion ................ ...............96.................
5 CONCLUSIONS: DILEMMAS, IMPLICATIONS, AND FUTURE RESEARCH..99
Summarizing Key Findings ............ ....._ ............... 100.
Policy Implications ............_..........__ .. .. ..._ ... ..........10
Emergent Questions for Community Land Tenure in Acre............... ..................0
A QUESTIONNAIRE USED INT THE CHICO MENDES EXTRACTIVE
RE SERVE ................. ...............107.............
B QUESTIONNAIRE USED INT THE PORTO DIAS AGRO-EXTRACTIVE
SETTLEMENT ............ ..... ._ ...............122...
C QUESTIONNAIRE USED INT THE PEIXOTO COLONIZATION
SETTLEMENT ................. ...............137................
D CIPEC TRAININ\G SAMPLE PROTOCOL ................. ............... ......... ...151
LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............155................
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................. ...............162......... ......
LIST OF TABLES
4-1. Accuracy assessment for 2004 supervised classification for the study sites in
Acre, Brazil. ............. ...............68.....
4-2: Land cover categories at household level, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil. ..................70
4-3. Descriptive statistics for land cover categories, by land tenure type, Acre, Brazil,
4-4. Descriptive statistics for annual income, by land tenure type, Acre, Brazil, 2004.....75
4-5. Descriptive statistics for annual cost categories, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil,
4-6. Annual mean for cost categories, by land tenure type, Acre, Brazil. 2004 ................83
4-7. Annual mean for profit for economic categories, by land tenure type, Acre, Brazil,
4-8. Site model at land cover types, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil, 2004. .........................91
4-9. Life cycle model at land cover types, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil, 2004. ...............92
4-10. Market integration model at land cover types, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil,
4-11. Investment model at land cover types, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil, 2004.............94
4-12. Assets model at land cover types, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil, 2004. ...................96
LIST OF FIGURES
1-1. State of Acre Brazil, identifying colonizazation, agro-extractive and conservation
areas. ............. ...............4.....
1-2. Deforestation in the study sites, Acre, Brazil. ............. ...............6.....
3-1. Diagram of land cover processing in the study area, Acre, Brazil. ............................60
Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
EFFECTIVENESS OF EXTRACTIVE RESERVES, AGRO-EXTRACTIVE
RESERVES AND COLONIST SETTLEMENTS IN SOUTHWESTERN AMAZONIA:
AN ECONOMIC AND LAND COVER COMPARISON OF THREE LAND TENURE
TYPES IN ACRE, BRAZIL
Francisco Kennedy Arauj o de Souza
Chair: Stephen G. Perz
Major Department: Latin American Studies
Linking economic and remote sensing techniques, a comparison of an extractive
reserve (Resex), an agro-extractive settlement (PAE), and a colonist settlement (PC) were
conducted in the state of Acre, Brazil. These land tenure categories were represented by
Chico Mendes Resex, Porto Dias PAE, and Peixoto PC respectively. The datasets used in
this research were constituted of three components. First, socioeconomic data were
gathered from 88 households in the three sites in 2004. Second, 442 GPS land cover
samples were collected in 2004 and 2005. Third, I used ancillary data and Landsat TM 5,
bands 1 through 5, scenes 67-001 and 67-002 for performing a supervised classification
at community and household level within the three land tenures.
Economic findings indicated that while forest management was the more important
activity among rubber tappers in the Resex and PAE, in Peixoto agrosilvopastoral
strategies had little economic importance. However, high costs were related to all
economic activities, especially timber forest management. Moreover, non-timber forest
products were more effective than timber forest management.
The land cover analysis indicated that extractive reserves and agro-extractive
settlements are most effective to address conservation. In comparison to PC lots that
showed a mean of 36% of deforestation in 2004, selected colocapies in the Resex and
PAE had a mean of 5% and 12% of deforestation respectively. However, while pasture
was the category that most contributed to deforestation in Peixoto and Porto Dias, crops
were the most prominent cause of forest clearing in the Chico Mendes Resex.
An integrated analysis of economic and land cover data produced two main results.
First, the multivariate models indicated that the establishment of extractive reserves and
agro-extractive reserves may be an efficient strategy to achieve conservation goals.
However, this policy should be followed by state enforcement initiatives because the life
cycle model addressed in this study suggested that more recent inhabitants tend to have a
high propensity to deforest. This tendency may be increased if investment in roads is
While this study is an initial step in linking economic and land cover analysis at the
household level, it may provide insights for the formulation of conservation policies in
Acre where a comprehensive and innovative policy has been implemented since 1999.
Core components of that policy include community forest management and sustainable
land uses based on forest management and agrosilvopastoral production. Findings from
this thesis will hopefully help establish new strategies for consolidating extractive
reserves, agro-extractive reserves, and colonist settlements based on a new development
model in Amazon.
Community land tenures and their land uses in Amazonia have been the obj ect of
intensive debate, with supporters (e.g., Schwartzman 1989, Allegretti 1990, Anderson
1990) and opponents (e.g., Homma 1989, Browder 1990). While public policies in this
region have focused on regional development models based on private control of large
tracts of land (e.g., ranchers, miners, and loggers), community land regimes have been
considered economically unattractive. By the same token, forest and sustainable land uses
have been criticized as an impediment to economic growth (Hecht 1985). In contrast with
these perspectives, over the past seven years, the government in the Brazilian state of
Acre has made efforts to consolidate a policy based on community based land tenure and
sustainable land use strategies.
In this context, it has been crucial to understand and empirically assess the role that
timber-forest management, non-timber forest management, and agrosilvopastoral systems
have in providing subsistence revenue and income accumulation, within extractivist,
agro-extractivist, and colonist communities. The potential effects of these land use
strategies for household livelihood systems and their implications for land cover change
are not well-understood. Kaimowitz and Angelsen (1998) argue that trained surveyors
and time-consuming data collection are a main constraint for farm-level analyses.
However, focusing on this type of study, some scholars (Carpentier et al. 2000, Tomich
et al. 1998) have observed that rising cash-incomes among small landholders in
Amazonia has generated changes in their behavior.
The economic efficiency of sustainable initiatives, then, is expected to promote
changes in natural resource use. Among smallholders in Acre I have observed that
increased income has contributed to the substitution of subsistence production by
manufactured products. Families have focused their interests on higher priced products to
meet their new needs. As a result, this commonly increases pressure on the forest to meet
Although a broad range of issues are related to community land use and land cover
change in Amazonia, a question that emerged as central issue of this thesis is: which
community land tenure is most effective in balancing economic and forest conservation
goals? Almost 30 years after the most intense and violent phase of land conflicts in
Amazonia, this region has an opportunity to merge national and state policies into a
common agenda for addressing economic growth guided by environmental conservation.
This provides a rare opportunity to determine whether areas managed by communities,
such as extractive reserves, agro-extractive settlements and colonization settlements, can
be a potential development model for the Amazon region.
The goal of this thesis is to respond to the need for an empirical assessment of
community land tenures as economic and environmental conservation strategies in the
Brazilian Amazon. This study responds to the emergent demand to understand the effects
non-timber and timber forest management as well as agrosilvopastoral strategies in
extractive reserves, agro-extractive settlements, and colonist settlements in the state of
Acre, Brazil. To address this issue, I used data sets from three community land tenure
categories located in this state. The research obj ectives were threefold: 1) to compare
economic and environmental conservation in three distinct land tenure categories
designed to achieve different policy obj ectives; 2) to economically evaluate non-timber
and timber forest products in terms of their cost and benefits; and 3) to identify factors
most important for forest clearing in three distinct land tenure types.
Overview of the Research Sites
The state of Acre is located in southwestern Amazonia and its 153,000 km2 Of area
was occupied by over 550,000 people in 1999 (Govemno do Estado do Acre 2000a). It
borders the Brazilian states of Rond8nia and Amazonas and the tri-national frontier
known since 1999 as the MAP region, which also includes the Bolivian State of Pando
and the Peruvian state of Madre de Dios (Figure 1-1). Its territory still has almost 90%
intact rainforest which contains diverse human and ecological mosaics with complex
interactions at local and regional levels (Governo do Estado do Acre 2000a, Silveira et al.
1997). However, there is the possibility that this landscape will be drastically altered over
the next few years. A coalition of Brazilian, Peruvian, and international organizations
such as Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is in the process of constructing and
paying the Pacific Highway which would be one of the most important roads for
transportation of commodities such as soybeans in South America. It may also increase
the probability of environmental degradation as a result of logging, soybean expansion,
and migratory movements (Carvalho et al. 2002).
The state of Acre, located between a degraded area (arc of deforestation) and a
region with less deforestation (Andean mountains), exhibits important community land
tenure diversity. Rubber tappers, indigenous people, and colonists, who have been the
priority social groups for governance policies implemented since 1999, control almost
44% of the territory (Figure 1-1) (Govemno do Estado do Acre 2000a). The future amount
of deforestation as well as potential negative effects of the Pacific Highway will be
strongly determined by land use decisions taking place in these communities.
Three study areas located in Acre's eastern region were selected for this research
based on three conditions: 1) they represented a community land tenure category:
extractive reserve, agro-extractive settlements, and colonist settlements; 2) their
inhabitants are addressing sustainable land uses based on timber management, non-timber
forest management, or agrosilpastoral initiatives; and 3) they reflect public policies
initiatives for sustainable land use. As a result of these criteria three land tenure types
The Chico Mendes Reserve, with almost one million hectares, was the largest
extractive reserve in Brazil until 2004. It is sub-divided into 45 rubber estates (seringais)
N Mad eE d~eUDios
I~ Pacific Highway
AgPR) a ro-exrctv stleet
100 0 100 Miles \(BOLIVIA) I Conservation areas
Figure 1-1. State of Acre Brazil, identifying colonizazation, agro-extractive and
and each has individual rubber tapper landholdings (colocapi~es). Three seringais, Sho
Pedro, Palmari, and Floresta (Figure 1-2, A), were selected. In this area, a coalition of
organizations led by state government agencies have sought to amplify the range of non-
timber forest products explored by local residents over the past 7 years. The National
Center for the Sustainable Development of Traditional Populations (CNPT), a bureau
under supervision of the Brazilian Institute for Environmental and Renewable Natural
Resources (IBAMA), is the governmental agency responsible for Resex' administration
in collaboration with rubber tapper associations.
Although the Porto Dias Agro-extractive Settlement' s 22,000 hectares are occupied
predominantly by rubber tapper families, it is administrated by the Brazilian Agency for
Agrarian Reform (INTCRA). There is no evident geographic division of seringais in this
area. Rubber tapper landholdings are grouped into three associations. The Porto Dias
Rubber Tapper Association area (Figure 1-2, B) was selected for sampling. This area is
one of the most important initiatives for timber management in Acre and has been
supported by a pool of organizations led by the Center for Amazonian Workers (CTA) to
consolidate this activity as an economic alternative for rubber tappers.
The third area is the Peixoto Colonization Settlement, the largest and oldest human
settlement area established by INTCRA at the end of the 1970s (Figure 1-2, C). As with
other colonist areas in the Amazonia, agriculture and cattle are the main land use
strategies in Peixoto. However, innovative experiments emerged at the end of the 1990s
to address environmental degradation and economic inefficiency. Since 1994, the Group
for Agroforestry System Research (PESACRE), a local NGO, has collaborated with
members of the Grupo Novo Ideal rural association, a community organization located in
r d i-'
* ~' a
Peixoto, to combine agriculture, livestock, agroforestry, and forest management into an
integrated agrosilvopastoral system. This community is the colonist sample for this
Land tenure limited
Chico Mendes Resex
Porto Dias PAE
Figure 1-2. Deforestation in the study sites, Acre, Brazil.
The theoretical foundation of this work is guided by three bodies of literature. I
draw on political ecology as a framework to integrate land reform in the Amazonia region
and community land uses strategies as a dynamic process taking place at multiple scales.
This study seeks to understand local land use practices in the Amazon region as a result
of events established in larger, extra-local political and economic settings (Peet and Watts
1996, Bryant and Bailey 1997). Linking political, economic, and cultural perspectives,
this framework attempts to address a range of factors affecting use of natural resources as
related to local, national, and global political economies and ecosystems (Blaikie and
Brookfield 1987, Schmink and Wood 1987). Economic booms in Amazonia were a key
aspect to take into consideration in this perspective. As a result of international demand,
national and regional policies encouraged human migration, landownership regimes, and
environmental depletion. These processes are examples of how underlying factors and
political economies at multiple levels may affect socioeconomic and political dynamics at
the community level in Amazonian region.
Political ecology also constitutes a powerful framework for integrating natural and
social dynamics (Peterson 2000). This context is fundamental for understanding how
community land tenure regimes in Amazonia were a result of underlying social, cultural,
environmental, economic, and political factors from a local to global scale. In the case of
Acre under the Forest Government, political processes yielded land tenure categories
specially designed to produce more favorable economic as well as environmental
outcomes via more sustainable land use practices. Consequently, political ecology
provides a basis for understanding the historical context and political foundations for the
land tenure categories on which I focus in this thesis.
However, to empirically assess economic and conservation effectiveness of land
use strategies in different communities, I decided to add two other bodies of literature:
household economic analysis of land use management via a livelihoods approach; and
explanations at various scales for land cover change.
Economic growth based on sustainable land use has commonly been held up as a
blueprint for both conservation and human wellbeing. However, this research accepts
Wollenberg et al. (2001)' s view that those income-generating activities may alter the
social context, conservation behavior, and livelihood of local communities. This study
attempts to comprehend rural smallholders as a complex of diverse livelihood activities
(Ellis 2000). To explore this perspective for the land tenure categories selected in this
work, two levels of analysis were conducted. First, the sustainable land uses practiced in
the selected communities, have been under debate for over 30 years. Researchers of land
use and forest economics in the 1980s and 1990s (Godoy et al. 1993, Peters et al. 1989,
Pinedo-Vasquez et al. 1990, Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992, Padoch and Jong 1989)
identified potential challenges and opportunities for these strategies. Second, in addition
to their institutional, socio-cultural, and economic diversities, inhabitants of extractive
reserves, agro-extractive settlements, and colonist settlements are typified by the diversity
of their livelihood systems. To achieve an economic and land use analysis, understanding
the livelihood of each land tenure category emerged as a key component to evaluate the
effectiveness of community-based development in Amazonia.
Although household farming, as argued by Ellis (2000), attempts to diversify the
range of family activities as a strategy for maintaining their wellbeing, in the Amazon
this decision may be also influenced by cultural behavior (Rego 1999). Household
diversity, in this context, is problematic for empirical economic and social analysis.
Hildebrand and Schmink (2004) argue that economic, social, and institutional factors in
each livelihood system affect household economics, which have multiples consequences
for land use allocation.
This study uses livelihood analysis to understand how land cover and economic
dynamics are affected by different land use regimes. Based on differences in livelihood
strategies among land tenure types, the instruments utilized during the fieldwork
(questionnaire, participatory mapping, participant observation etc) were adapted to each
community. The economic findings discussed in this thesis were summarized in terms of
inputs and outputs; however, for visualizing the household diversity in their livelihood
systems, those findings were aggregated by categories of land use (agriculture, livestock,
forest management) that represent spatial land allocation (agriculture area, pasture, and
forest), and are the result of allocation of available resources (labor, resources, and
The third body of literature on which I draw is that addressing the causes and
consequences of land use and land cover changes at multiple scales. Theories focusing on
Amazonian deforestation have been dominated by neoclassical economics and political
ecology analyses; other studies have pointed to a combination of proximate causes and
underlying drivers in a geographical and historical context (Geist and Lambin 2002).
Yet, at the local level, individual and social responses to land cover dynamics are
affected by economic change led by institutional factors, in which new land use strategies
are created by market and policies increasingly affected by regional and global factors
(Lambin et al. 2001). Land cover and land use change, while affected by global and
regional drivers, is particularly influenced by individual micro-economic decision taking
place at community level (Anselin 2001). Mertens et al. (2000) argued that integration of
household survey and remote sensing information are an appropriate strategy to
empirically understand the linkages and feedbacks occurring at micro and regional levels.
This research involved multidisciplinary inquiry at the three sites and multiple data
collection methodologies including ground truthing for classification of land cover
classes, and quantitative analyses linking economic outcomes and forest cover dynamics
at household level. Principal research methods included semi-structured interviews,
participant observation, vegetation sampling, and remote sensing analysis.
The economic survey at household level was carried out in 2004. I conducted
interviews with 88 households in three land tenures located in Acre's southeast region. In
order to evaluate the economic and land cover effects of sustainable land use strategies
implemented by families, such as forest management and agroforestry systems, the
sample was distributed as follows. In the Chico Mendes Resex I selected 34 families
involved in management of various non-timber forest products. In the Porto Dias agro-
extractive settlement the sample was 27 households. Peixoto colonization settlement was
the third area, and had 27 small farmers selected. The set of interviews with those
families was conducted from May through August of 2004 in collaboration with CTA,
PESACRE, and governmental agencies.
The land cover sampling took place during two time periods. In 2004 when I
carried out the household surveys, I also collected 345 land cover GPS points in the
selected household areas with four research assistants. Inaccuracy and confusion of the
classification results in bamboo areas required additional ground-truthing in the summer
of 2005 during which 97 additional land cover samples were gathered. These data were
then utilized to perform a supervised classification using Landsat images scenes 67-001
and 67-002 of 2004.
Study Significance: Local Research Needs on Land Tenure Analyses
This research is important for four main reasons. First, it provides a comparison of
economic and land cover outcomes across multiple land tenure categories. Second, it will
be crucial for implementation of policies in Amazonia, specifically in Acre where
community land regimes are a foundation for alternative development based on
sustainable land uses. Third, although land use and land cover change literature in the
1980-1990s focused on Amazonia, there is a lack of comparisons assessing the economic
and conservation effectiveness of community initiatives based on timber and non-timber
forest management, and agrosilvopastoral systems. Fourth, this study will contribute to
the land use and land cover change literature by linking socioeconomic and satellite data
analysis at household level.
The first implication may be the most important for local stakeholders in Acre.
Although the state government has been guided by efforts to promote forest based
development since 1999, it has altered its policy approach over time. Policymakers have
concentrated their efforts on establishing economic alternatives for community areas of
the Rio Acre watershed, a region with social, cultural, and ecological specificities, in
which this study was conducted. In this territory, the governmental initiatives have
addressed a combination of timber and non-timber forest management, agroforestry
systems, as well as agriculture and cattle ranching zones as a strategy to increase the local
welfare while emphasizing environmental conservation. Over the next years, these
community models will likely be replicated in other areas of the state (i.e. the Jurua and
Purus regions) which accounted for over 65% of the intact forests in the State in 1999.
However, there is a lack of empirical studies addressing community land use.
During various moments in Acre, policymakers and social movements have called for
research programs assessing these emergent issues. Cross comparison among community
land use strategies should show whether the forest-based initiatives addressed are
effectively balancing economic growth and conservation goals. Specifically this type of
research will demonstrate the land cover and economic effects of state policy planning
within extractive reserves, agro-extractive settlements, and colonist settlements.
Structure of the Thesis
This thesis is organized in five chapters. Chapter 2 gives an overview of the
history, context, and status of community-based development in Amazonia and
specifically in the state of Acre. It introduces how economic booms, human migration,
economic processes, and policy drivers affected land ownership and resource use at a
regional scale. The chapter attempts to demonstrate that while community land tenure
regimes were a result of regional and national drivers, they were also produced by
political and economic events conducted at global scale. Based on a political ecology
perspective, this chapter argues that natural resource appropriation in Amazonia,
including land, has been determined by social confrontations and alliances at multiple
levels. While the 1970s included the most crucial rupture in the Amazonian economic
system, during which a jump from forest-based development to an agricultural economy
took place, this period was also notable for the establishment of innovative land reform
led by rubber tapper movements. In the 1980s and 1990s new land tenure categories
emerged as a result of social conflicts, economic changes, and policy implementation.
They were also characterized by their institutional and social differences, as well as the
remarkable cultural distinction of their inhabitants.
Chapter 2 also focuses on the study area and discusses why the State of Acre may
be considered a space of rare opportunity to assess the effectiveness of community land
tenure strategies based on sustainable land use initiatives. The forest government efforts
to build up an innovative regional model of public policy are also discussed in this
chapter. The maj or obj ective of this chapter is to clarify the multiple land use strategies
conducted by rural communities in this region and how their land rights were established
over time. The historical, cultural, and socioeconomic difference among these
populations is addressed via a comparative analysis. A brief background of the study
areas, which include the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve, the Porto Dias Agro-
extractive Reserve, and the Peixoto Colonization Settlement, is provided.
Chapter 3 concentrates on the research design, field surveys, and remote sensing
techniques as well as the economic framework utilized to perform the data analysis. This
discussion addresses three key aspects. First, it shows how remote sensing and household
surveys are combined for economic analysis of resource management, particularly land
cover change. Second, it describes the research design used in this study, in terms of
economic and land cover comparisons between the three land tenure categories. Last but
not least, it emphasizes the research innovation achieved in this study by using satellite
and socioeconomic data at a household level to compare multiple land tenure types in
terms of their land uses.
Additionally, Chapter 3 discusses how the economic and land cover fieldwork was
carried out. This chapter a) summarizes how the communities and households were
selected; b) discusses the spatial and socioeconomic techniques undertaken through the
survey; and c) reviews the methodological approach for the economic and land cover data
analyses. This is followed by a discussion of the participatory tools used, prior to
economic analysis, to define indicators, field techniques, and sampling.
Chapters 4 and 5 detail the results of this study and compare the three community-
based strategies. The economic outcomes at a household level are linked to their
associated costs, and I evaluate their environmental performance for addressing forest-
conservation. The analysis is divided into three parts. The first discusses the land cover
distribution across the three land tenure categories. The second focuses on economic
analysis of costs and revenue to identify the most profitable land tenure and livelihood
activity. Finally, the third part presents five multivariate regression models to evaluate the
effects of economic and non-economic variables on deforestation among smallholders of
the study sites.
LAND USE MANAGEMENT AND LAND TENURE DIVERSITIES: ECONOMIC
BOOMS, STATE POLICIES, AND LAND RIGHTS IN ACRE
The purpose of this chapter is to summarize different land-tenure types in the State
of Acre and differentiate the land use strategies associated with each type. This
discussion starts by examining the larger context in which land tenure regimes developed
in the Amazon region, in particular, how the economic booms affected human migratory
movement, livelihoods of rubber tapper populations, and by extension, land rights.
Additionally, it introduces a few details of the policy-land tenure regime interface that
took place during three maj or landmark periods in Acre's history: the rubber booms
(1870-1950), the era of cattle expansion (1970-1980s), and the post-victory of the rubber
tappers' movement (1990s to today). This discussion introduces the main categories of
land tenure in Acre and points out central differences in their attempts to address
economic and conservation goals. An overview of the study sites and description of their
significance will also be provided.
In contrast with many other studies in which an economic-environmental tradeoff
analysis is undertaken, this chapter emphasizes why public policies are a key driver for
land cover and land use change in Amazonia via a comparison of distinct land tenure
types. This chapter concentrates on forest policy approaches implemented in Acre since
1999 in which rubber tappers and rural communities have been a key social actor. In
addition, this chapter introduces the overall discussion of the circumstances in which
different land tenure categories and resource management strategies were established.
Pointing out diverse contexts on how land tenure types emerged in Acre and their
remarkable dissimilarities, I argue that extractive reserves, agro-extractive settlement, and
colonist settlement proj ects played an important role in achieving an alternative
To begin the comparative analysis of different land tenure regimes in this state, this
chapter offers an overview of the historical and regional context in which land tenure
regimes are situated. The discussion is organized as follows. First, a summary of the
economic boom periods that took place in Amaz8nia will be provided. Second, the
historical and geographical context in which community tenures emerged in the state of
Acre will be identified. This discussion focuses on two issues: 1) the struggle for land
reform from the late 1970s to early 1990s; and 2) the government policies implemented
in Acre since 1999 related to land tenure communities. Third, differences among
extractive reserves, agro-extractive settlements, and colonist settlements will be
discussed. This section will also include a description of the three study sites, each
representing one of these land tenure types.
Land Tenure Regimes in the Amazon Region
Land rights and land tenure in the Amazon have historically been influenced by
complex connections among agents at global, national, and local scales. Simmons (2004)
emphasizes that while these dynamics have been defined by multiple agents, such as
indigenous people, miners, loggers, ranchers, and small farmers, a political-economic
framework for land-tenure in the Amazon requires an understanding of past processes. As
a part of this discussion, this section offers an historical review of development policies
of Amazonia and their implications for land distribution and land tenure implementation.
Specifically it focuses on the cycles of economic booms that took place in this region
from the 19th century to the late 1980s. Three historical moments illustrate the interface
between economic events and land tenure regimes.
The first phase, from 1870s though the 1950s, was the rubber boomer period which
took place in Amazonia in the middle 19th century and again in the 1940s and early
1950s. Demand from pneumatic tire factories in Europe and the U.S. motivated the
Brazilian government to move thousands of rural workers from the northeast region to
the north of Brazil to meet labor demand. The arrival of northeastern people in Acre was
an important starting point for establishment of the local society. Rubber tappers emerged
in this period as a social group forced to depend on forest resources for their subsistence.
The rubber booms, however, also fostered crucial socioeconomic changes in this
region. Thousands of indigenous people died or were expelled from their land by large
rubber estate owners (seringalista~s), the new landowners in the Amazon region (Melatti
1993). While during the first rubber boom (1870-1910) the economy was based on the
semi-slavery aviamnento system (Weinstein 1983), during the second boom (1940-1950)
the state assumed economic and social control of the rubber-based economy (Martinello
During a brief rubber boom in the Second World War when Malaysian areas were
controlled by the Japanese military, blocking America' s access to rubber, the category of
autonomous rubber tappers2 became more evident (Oliveira 1985, Bakx 1988). In spite its
i The semi-slavery aviamento system was a coalition of seringalistas, Brazilian state, and national and
international companies to implement the rubber economy in the 19th century in the Amazon region.
2 Autonomous rubber tappers refer to circumstance of relative freedom of rubber tappers in managing their
colocapaes. This situation was launched in the late 1910s, when external interference over the resources in
the colocagaes from state or seringalista became reduced. As a result, agriculture and livestock emerged as
new activities worked by rubber tappers for their subsistence.
shortness, the four years (1942-1945) of rubber demand stimulated some economic
recovery. A new migratory movement was then stimulated by the Brazilian government
to Amazonia, particularly to its Western region, the area with the largest population of
The second phase, from the 1960s through 1970s came with the decline of
international demand for Amazonian rubber. The forest economy, which had been
represented by the rubber tree, was substituted by a new development model based on
cattle and crops. This economic change was followed by large-scale state investments in
infrastructure such as roads, dams, and mines, and subsidy programs to modernize the
Amazonian economy (Cardoso and Miidler 1977). On the other hand, at a micro-scale, the
land tenure regimes were also transformed from seringais to large cattle ranches. At the
same time, rubber tappers engaged in defending their landholdings (colocapi~es), even as
some rubber tappers migrated to urban areas.
The fall in the price of rubber resulted in the bankruptcy of many seringalista~s and
contributed to important changes in the rubber tapper' s livelihood system. As a result of
more flexible social control, hundreds of rubber tappers became more independent and
were able to introduce new economic activities into their land use strategies such as slash
and burn agriculture, livestock, hunting, and harvesting of forest products. It is notable,
then, that the rubber tappers' relative freedom fundamentally altered their level of
3 This strategy was addressed by Brazilian government to face the lack of a labor force to exploit rubber
trees. State advertising was carried out to stimulate a new migratory movement of people from the
Northwest, this time called rubber soldiers (soldados da borracha), to the Amazon. Oliveira (1985) noted
that over 50,000 migrants from that poor Brazilian region were engaged on the rubber economy in Acre's
jungle. Yet, as pointed out by Sobrinho (1992), different from previous cycles, the rubber economic system
was controlled by the state which monopolized the commercialization process and the control of rubber
tappers in the seringais.
subsistence, even as they continued to focus on rubber as their main cash income activity
These changes prompted rubber tappers to mobilize to defend their land rights
Consciousness-rai sing, facilitated by worker unions, was a key element influencing the
land struggle that took place through an economic transition from forest-based land use to
cattle ranching launched in the 1960s. In this context, the struggle for land of during this
period was characterized by social coalitions between workers and regional organizations
in order to pressure the State for land reform in the region.
Land tenure policies implemented during this period were complicated by the
governmental plan to integrate the Amazon by roads to other Brazilian territories. Human
migration was encouraged though colonization settlements which were established in
areas surrounding regional highways, such as Transamaz8nica, Cuiaba-Santarem, Belem-
Brasilia, and Rio Branco-Brasilia. As a result, land conflicts between rubber tappers,
colonists, and large cattle ranchers became more visible in Amazonia. However, intensity
of land conflicts varied among the Amazonian states as a consequence of local policies,
social coalitions, and the influence of national policies. In the following section I will
focus on the case of Acre. In particular, I will concentrate on the importance of social
movement, led by rubber tappers, to foster land reforms.
The State of Acre: History, Social Movements, and Land Tenure Diversity
Acre's 153,000 km2 is occupied by over 550,000 people (Governo do Estado do
Acre 2000a) and is bordered by the Brazilian states of Rond8nia and Amazonas and by a
trans-national frontier constituted by the Bolivian state of Pando, and the Peruvian state
of Madre de Dios (Figure 1-1). Its territory is still constituted by almost 90% intact
rainforest with diverse human and ecological mosaics with complex interactions at local
and regional levels. Although this state has been cited as a rich region of palms (Daly and
Silveira 2001) and important diversity of other species of plants, habitats, and soil
(Governo do Estado do Acre 2000b), due to the enormous lack of scientific knowledge of
its ecology, the degree of its biodiversity is likely underestimated (MMA 2001a, Silveira
et. al 1997).
Besides its biological diversity, approximately 44% of its territory is occupied by
smallholders such as extractivist inhabitants, indigenous people, and colonists (Governo
do Estado do Acre 2000a, Figure 1-2) who have implemented a range of land use
strategies such as timber and non-timber forest management, annual and perennial crops,
and cattle and other livestock. In 1996, less than 30% of Acre's total deforestation was
located within community areas.4 Therefore, Acre's future conservation will be affected
by land use decisions of these communities.
Community land tenure regimes in Acre were the result of intensive social conflicts
that took place in the past. Social movements and rubber tapper strategies, such as the
"empate movements" were fundamental to influence land reforms in this State. These
rural workers assisted by various organizations from local to international level
contributed to making this region renowned worldwide in the 1980s. In order to provide
SThis assessment was performed using data available through the MacapB Seminar, a meeting organized by
the Brazilian government in 1999, in which Brazilian hotspots for conservation and sustainable uses were
identified. I utilized ArcView to process raster and rector files and Erdas Imagine to merge raster and
rector files. I then calculated deforestation within each land tenure type (see MMA 2001 for details about
5 The enyate movements were a form of collective resistance conducted by rubber tappers against
deforestation. The name was conceived based on the Portuguese word "enyatar" (to prevent). These
actions were usually carried out in the summer season, the moment in which large cattle ranchers cut the
forest. During these initiatives rubber tapper leaders firstly tried to convince farm laborers to desist cutting
down the forest. If they were not successful to stop the deforestation, then they organized themselves in line
(children, women, and men) to protect the forest.
an overall context in which those community land tenures were created, in the following
section I move to Acre's history. Specifically I will focus on how social movements
emerged and demanded land reform and the establishment of new categories of land
tenure types such as extractive reserves (Resex) and agro-extractive settlements (PAE).
This discussion will be divided into three parts. First, I summarize the period prior to
cattle raising in the 1970s. Second, I discuss the period of large-scale cattle ranching and
land conflicts from the 1970s to the 1980s. Third, I focus on the rubber tapper victory in
the 1990s when extractive reserves and agro-extractives settlements were created.
Acre: Before the Ranchers
The end of the rubber boom in 1945 contributed to the collapse of the Acrean
economy, and also resulted in the emergence of new and important social actors. Oliveira
(1985) and ELI (1994) point out that the crisis of rubber had two related consequences
for land property regimes in Acre. On the one hand, some of the seringalista~s went
bankrupt and abandoned their rubber estates. On the other hand, rubber tappers reacted
differently to this collapse, though in diverse ways.
One group of rubber tappers, like some seringalista~s, grew discouraged with rubber
tapping and migrated to urban areas in Acre or to other Brazilian states. Another large
number of rubber tappers remained under the seringalista~s' oppressive control that used
jagngos (mercenaries) to prohibit agriculture and other subsistence activities in the
colocapies (landholdings). Within these areas, then, no change was observed in terms of
social control, landownership, and rubber tappers' livelihood. And third, a more
significant transformation, which has also been noted by Bakx (1988), took place among
rubber tappers, who, as a consequence of the abandonment of rubber estates by
seringalista~s, were able to manage their land and their resources according to their
These socioeconomic changes took place among the third group of rubber tappers
contributed to the establishment of new land use strategies within seringais while also
providing the social context for the emergence of a new category of rubber tapper.
Conscious of their land rights, for the first time since their arrival in this territory, they
organized themselves against ranchers, the state, and the judicial system to demand rights
to their lands. This period was an important landmark in Acre's history in which an
economic rupture emerged while also bringing intensive land conflicts.
Agriculture Modernization: Large Cattle Ranchers, Rubber Tappers, and Colonists
The period from the 1970s through the 1990s was the most crucial phase of Acre' s
history in terms of social conflicts, land tenure regimes, policies, and economic strategies.
These striking social and political changes and their implications for development and
land use have been noted by various scholars (e.g., Oliveira 1985, Esteves 1999, and
Paula 2003) as the moment of substitution of forestry harvesting by agriculture and
pasture economies. This time period was marked by the polarization between forest
resource use by rubber tapper communities and traditional models based on crops and
The crops and cattle economic model implemented in Acre in the early 1970s was
led by the Wanderley Dantas. At that moment the governmental slogan was to "produce
in Acre, invest in Acre, and export via the Pacific" (Silva 1990) which meant to integrate
this state into the emergent Brazilian agribusiness economy. Based on cattle, a ranching
coalition constituted by local and national politicians, the board of judges, state police,
and large ranchers emerged to establish a new land tenure policy to benefit large
In terms of the ownership configuration of Acre' s territory, this period represented
a transition from seringais to large scale cattle farms. In addition, this phase was
characterized by social polarization between traditional populations (rubber tappers and
indigenous people) and large cattle ranchers. The str-uggle became more intense when the
"paulista~s", which included ranchers from the South, Central and Southwest of Brazil,
arrived in Acrean territory and encountered a large resident population of posseiros, or
autonomous seringueiros, that acquired their rights over the rubber estates when they
were abandoned by seringalistas. The "empate movement" was the main strategy utilized
by rubber tappers to prevent deforestation as well as to demand their land rights.
After the 1990s: No Economic Boom, but a Rubber Tapper Victory
The transition from forest-based production to a cattle ranching and land
speculation economy was followed by a violent str-uggle within Acre. Sobrinho (1992)
points out that from 1975 through 1988 in Brasileia and Xapuri7 400 rubber tappers were
imprisoned and 40 others killed or tortured. Both rubber tappers and ranchers organized
themselves as social movements. In mid-1985, large cattle ranchers created the 'Rural
Democratic Union (UDR)' with two main goals: 1) to influence national policies in the
interests of agri-business, for instance, by strengthening subsidies, credit, and road
6 MCSquita (1977) estimated that from 1971 through 1975 over five million hectares, that is, almost one
third of Acre's territory, were transferred to new owners. Commonly, emphasizes this author, the land was
occupied by rubber tappers who were forced to migrate to urban poor areas.
SXapuri and Brasil~ia are two municipalities located in South Acre region. Since the economic transition to
cattle ranching in the 1970s they became one the most important areas of both land conflicts and rubber-
tappers movement against roads and deforestation (see FASE 1989 and Allegretti 1989).
building; 2) to lead legal and many times violent efforts against smallholders, untitled
occupants, and indigenous people in Amazonia.
As a response, at the end of 1985, rubber-tappers organized their first national
meeting in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil. This event was supported by the National
Institute for Socioeconomic Studies (INTESC), the Brazilian Department of Culture, and
Oxfam, an international organization. At that moment, they created the National Rubber
Tappers' Council (CNS). With national and international supporters they also advocated
the creation of Extractive Reserves (Resex) as a pioneering land-reform measure within
Amazonia intended to maintain its natural resources and also providing rubber tappers
with long-term rights to land. Further strengthening this movement, by late 1988,
indigenous people, rubber tappers, and ribeirinhos j oined their voices in one of the
strongest collective actions in the Amazon. In Acre they built a coalition under the name
of the 'Forest Peoples Alliance'.
The large ranchers reaction, however, was extremely violent with the shooting of
Chico Mendes, one the most prominent rubber tapper leaders in Amazonia, in the late
1988. Although the 1980s period was one the most violent periods of Acre' s history, it
also created an opportunity for new leaders who argued for a new development plan
based on forest use and smallholders' land rights.
As a consequence, land tenure policies took their first steps toward land reforms. In
1989 the Brazilian government created four agro-extractive reserves in areas with
intensive land-conflicts in the State of Acre: Sho Luiz do Remanso, Santa Quiteria,
Macaui, and Cachoeira. In 1990, the Alto Jurua Extractive Reserve was established, the
first one in Amazonia, with more than 506,000 hectares. The same year, the Chico
Mendes Reserve, the largest Brazilian extractive reserve until 2004 with almost 1
million hectares, was formed.
Chico Mendes' murder led to the creation of seven other extractive reserves in five
Brazilian states by 1992. Chico Mendes' legacy was revitalized in 1998, when the
Workers Party won Acre's gubernatorial election, establishing a bridge among policy,
social movements, and agents managing diverse land tenures. In the following section I
discuss the innovative public policies implemented in the State of Acre since 1999.
Specifically I focus on the effects of governmental initiatives for community land
Acre: Social Movements, Community Land Tenures, and Forest-Based
In this section I will summarize recent public policies implemented in Acre, which
have attempted to establish a forest-based development model, and their implication for
land tenure regimes. Particularly, I will concentrate on the efforts of the Acre government
to foster alternative policies in community land tenures areas since 1999.
The triumph of the forest-based development led by Jorge Viana, a forester who
worked as a technical adviser for rural communities in the 1980s, led to the establishment
of a development model based on sustainable use of natural resources. The "forest
government" slogan became a key concept which suggests the Acre territory could be
developed based on land tenure rights and land uses strategies of extractivists, colonists,
and indigenous people.
In addition to the fact that many of these policymakers worked closely with local
communities over the past 10 years, two factors help explain why the forest government
SThe largest Brazilian extractive reserve is the Verde para Sempre with 1.3 million hectare. It was created
in 2004 and is located in the State of Para.
concentrated much of its attention on the spatial distribution of land tenure regimes. First,
although the legal status of a large portion of land was not precisely known, the type of
landowners and their location and land use practices were recognized in Acre's territory.
Second, different from the previous governor, Viana attempted to implement a policy
taking into consideration the economic vocation of the population of each land tenure
category. Thus, economic and ecological zoning (ZEE)9 emerged as a strategic
instrument for state planning, territorial management, and policy implementation.
Based on the ZEE' s results, four maj or categories of land tenures types were
identified in the state territory (Figure 1-2). The first one, covering almost 3 5% of the
territory, is characterized by colonization settlements, agro-extractive settlements,
extractive reserves, and indigenous reserves. The second accounts for approximately 15%
of Acre' s area and is comprised of national and state parks, and other conservation areas.
Third, areas under INTCRA' s control, which should be utilized for human settlements,
correspond to approximately 7% of the state' s area. Lastly, the largest area of the state is
in the hands of private landowners (mainly large cattle ranchers) who control almost four
million hectares or 26% of Acre' s territory. There is, however, a large extent of land
without any immediate land tenure discrimination, covering over 22% of the territory.
Although these community land tenures have been a key to the forest government,
its policies have been altered from Viana' s first term of office (1999-2002) to the second
(2003-2006). Based on my personal experiences speaking with diverse local stakeholders,
I have identified four maj or differences between the first and the second of Viana' s terms
of office which could affect economic and land cover dynamics within land tenure
9 The ZEE is an important policy instrument for territorial management in which the state integrates
economic, social, and environmental studies as elements for subsidizing society's decisions.
regimes in Acre. First, while the first term of office emphasized non-timber forest
strategies, during the second mandate, timber management has been a priority. Second,
through 1999-2002 the government attempted to establish a forest model based on a
diversity of land use strategies addressed by forest inhabitants (rubber tappers, indigenous
and colonist). Third, the relationship between state and federal government was altered
when Luis Inacio Lula da Silva was elected president of Brazil in 2003. Since this period
considerable infra-structure investments have been carried out in Acre to integrate it to
the Peruvian region. These initiatives may have unknown effects for forest conservation
and community land tenures.
Lastly, as policymakers have implemented a model oriented by market demands
(e.g., timber and cattle) since 2003, strategies for increasing the competitiveness of forest
strategies have become a key economic priority in the second term. During this period,
macro-investments (e.g., road building, energy, and logging company incentives) were
more encouraged than community-based initiatives (e.g., cooperatives and rural
association subsidies). Overall, while the first mandate was based on the neoextrativismo
approach, the current term of office has been called florestania. In the following section I
will summarize each of these approaches.
Neoextrativismo: A Long-Term and Systemic Approach
Neoextrativismo was conceived by Rego (1999), an agricultural economist at the
Department of Economics at the Federal University of Acre, almost four years prior to
the election of the Acre forest government. This concept emerged primarily as a response
to critics of community extractivism implemented in Amazonia. Homma (1993), who
was one of the most ardent critics, argued that extractivism was not feasible as a regional
development model. After the Workers Party (PT) victory, Rego became the Secretary of
Production and one of the most important policymakers in the forest government from
1999 through 2002. Thus, neoextrativismo, during this period, was consolidated as an
element for integrating economic, social, and environmental sustainability in land tenure
policies in Acre.
Neoextrativismo incorporated five inseparable aspects into community land tenure
development. First, neoextrativismo took into consideration the cultural behavior of local
residents. Second, it was conceived to consider community livelihood systems and their
implications for land use and land cover change. Third, it addressed community as a
means of balancing economic and ecological goals for policy. Fourth, it argued that any
technology for sustainable land use should be adapted to local inhabitants. Finally, the
neoextrativist approach emphasizes that policies addressing sustainability will only be
successful when smallholders are able to diversify their systems, for instance, combining
agroforestry, forest management, agriculture, and livestock.
Despite its original and systemic overview of the socio-ecological diversities and
its suggestions for establishing innovative public policies in the Amazonia, few studies
have assessed this approach. Kainer et. al (2003) point out that for the first time in the
Amazonia, an integrated policy framework regarding the local ecological, cultural,
economic, and social diversities was articulated via neoextrativismo. Maciel (2003), an
economist at the Federal University of Acre, assessing the Islands of High Productivity
(IAPs)lo as a component in the neoextrativist strategy, estimated that it should increase
"' Islands of High Produtividade (IAPs) were conceived by Kageyama (2002) as a strategy to increase
rubber production in the rubber tappers livelihood system in Amazonia. This experiment was implemented
in Acre, through which rubber tappers were stimulated to plant rubber trees within deforested areas and
bordered by neighbour forestry diversity. In some ways, IAPs were very similar to agroforestry systems.
The IAPs, while conceived as a neoextrativist model incorporated three dimensions: economic (economic
growth with rubber productivity): social (rubber tappers usually worked collectively to implant those
experiments); cultural (rubber threes have been the main activity for rubber tappers over the past 30 years);
rubber tappers gross income by 400% as a consequence of a reduction in labor
requirements. These results indicate that the neoextrativismo approach attempts to
incorporate livelihoods into a public policy agenda, while also pointing to the fact that the
transition from traditional development to forest based development could require a long-
term process. However, while alternative land uses suggested by this approach such as
the implementation of agroforestry systems with brazil-nuts require almost 30 years to
yield, the government mandate in Brazil is limited to four years. This fact contributed to a
new public policy approach after 2002 in Acre which I will discuss in the next section.
Florestania: Citizenship Based on Regional Integration, Short-Term Economic
Growth, and Conservation
In 2002 Viana again won Acre's election in a new national context. When Lula da
Silva, a close friend of Chico Mendes in the 1980s, took power as president of Brazil,
Marina Silva, who was a rubber tapper in Acre during her childhood, was selected by
Lula to take the position of Secretary of the Ministry of the Environment. Moreover, after
almost three years of negotiations, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) financed
the Acre Sustainable Development Program through which the state received US$ 250
million in loans for supporting its forest-based initiatives.
These new macro factors were fundamental in changing state planning in Acre.
While during its first phase, the forest government was characterized by attempting to
consolidate a development model based on community land tenures and land uses,
Viana's second term has attempted to establish Acre as a regional model for the Amazon.
Neoextrativismo, which focused on micro-scale and long-term socioeconomic outcomes,
was substituted by florestania as a new agenda for the state policies. The florestania
enviromnental (it should to contribute for forest regeneration); and political (Acre's govermnent in 1999
incorporated this initiative into the local public policies).
approach moved to publicize Acre as an economically efficient Amazonian development
model that has attempted to integrate both urban and rural populations as beneficiaries of
sustainable forest use.
Florestania has incorporated two perspectives into forest-based development
implemented in Acre over the past six years. First, this concept was founded on the
principle of universal human rights, including the citizenship rights of forest peoples.
Second, Viana's policymakers also included an environmental component within
citizenship. In this perspective, forest-based development could produce economic
growth to overcome social inequalities via environmental conservation.
The context of these efforts is manifested in the IDB Proj ect, the largest program
implemented by the government during its second mandate. The IDB proj ect' s short-term
goals are the promotion of economic growth, environmental sustainability, and local
economic diversification (IDB 2002). To implement its actions, this program was divided
into three sub-programs: a) sustainable forest management, conservation, and state
enforcement; b) employment, technology dissemination, and community-based subsidies;
and c) infra-structure investments in roads, rivers, and energy generation (BID Proj ect
2002). The IDB program inaugurates a new phase in Acre in which forest based
initiatives were incorporated into a context of regional integration.
A range of complementary endowments has been mobilized by the forest
government in order to implement its macro-planning. Besides IDB, Acre has also been
supported by the Brazilian government and the Corporacion Andina de Fomento
(Andean Corporation for Development) with approximately US$ 640 million for
implementing investments in infra-structure, public services, economic subsidies, and
other economic initiatives by 2006 (SEPLANDS 2005).
While addressing regional integration, the Acre government has also continued to
encourage land use strategies employed in community land tenure regimes. In this new
phase, however, emergent demand for forest products and the need to show the success of
this development model have forced policymakers, along with national and international
organizations, to place greater focus on economic rather than conservation goals within
communities. Although the long-term implications of this policy approach for
socioeconomic development and land cover is still not clear, some economic growth-
deforestation tradeoffs such as in cattle raising and logging have been observed.
Initiatives for regional integration implemented during the florestania period have
generated new concerns about the continued viability of community land tenures models
designed in the early 1990s to achieve economic, social, and environmental goals.
I will now move toward the third part of this chapter, which focuses on three land
tenure types present in the state of Acre: extractive reserves, agro-extractive settlements,
and colonist settlements. It will be divided into two parts. First, an overall description of
those land tenures types will be provided with an emphasis on differences in their
economic and environmental outcomes. Second, three specific study sites focused on this
thesis are described.
Community Land Tenure: An Emergent Issue for Assessment in Acre
The largest portion of the Acre government' s actions has been concentrated in the
Rio Acre watershed region. Both economic integration through the Pacific, and
community-initiatives such as within the Chico Mendes Reserve, colonist settlements,
and agro-extractive settlements are located in this area. In addition, this region holds
approximately 71% of Acre's total population and almost 56% of the total rural
population (Governo do Estado do Acre 2000a). The Rio Acre region also accounts for
83% of the total deforestation in the State (FUNTAC 1999). Although only 37% of this
region remained as forested area as of 1996, the largest percent of these forest areas
(87%)" was located within community land tenures of extractive reserves, agro-
extractive settlements, indigenous land, and colonization settlements. Almost 70% of all
colonist and rubber tapper families of the state of Acre are living in the Rio Acre
watershed region. These characteristics make the Rio Acre watershed in eastern Acre a
crucial area to assess the effectiveness of community land tenures models.
While agricultural smallholders have been pointed out as key agents for forest
clearance (Angelsen 1995, Godoy, Jacobson, and Wilkie 1998), in Acre, they are
regarded as agents for promoting conservation. On the one hand, extractive reserves and
agro-extractives reserves have been advocated as an ideal model to address human needs
through the harvesting of forest products (Allegretti 1990, Murrieta and Rueda 1995).
New land use strategies, such as agroforestry and forest management, have also been
argued as strategies for colonist settlements to reduce deforestation and bring economic
gains (Menezes 2004). On the other hand, while the long-term effectiveness of
extractivist models has been questioned (Homma 1993), recent studies have identified the
tendency for increasing deforestation within these land categories (Sassagawa 1999,
Gomes 2001, Lorena 2003).
Although community land tenures and their associated land use strategies have had
diverse evaluations, they became key components in Acre's policies. Understanding land
11 This estimation was performed through vector files processing with ArcView. The datasets were
available by ecological and economic zoning of the Secretary of Environment of the State of Acre.
ownership in this state as well as key factors associated with resource use management
activities are fundamental steps to evaluate the effectiveness of community managed
areas to bring economic growth with environmental conservation. I will therefore
summarize the main differences among three major categories of community land tenures
existent in the state of Acre.
Colonization Settlements (PC)
Estimates regarding the number of colonist farmers in the State of Acre range from
15,000 to 23,000 families (Governo do Acre 2000a, IBGE 1998) and their territories
cover between 1.4 and 1.6 millions hectares (INCRA 1999). The creation of these
settlements had three maj or goals: 1) to stimulate human occupation of Acre' s territory;
2) to establish agriculture and cattle as a hegemonic model for economic growth; and 3)
to reduce social demand through agrarian reform from small farmers of south, central and
southwestern Brazilian regions (Cavalcanti 1994). The largest number of colonists,
known as sulista~s, settled in Acre beginning in the late 1970s, and had extensive
experience working with annual and perennial crops as well as livestock. These economic
strategies contributed to their relatively good socioeconomic conditions (e.g., Cavalcanti
1994, Menezes 2004), but this has been counterbalanced by the large amount of
deforestation, landowner turnover, and soil degradation associated with colonization
Colonists were stimulated by INCRA to deforest their lands to implement
agriculture and cattle pasture areas. In fact, this was facilitated by the livelihood
background of these families, largely based on shifting cultivation systems. Although
accelerated urbanization created a local market for crops there has also been
landownership turnover among households of colonization areas (Cronkleton 1998).
As pointed out by Rego (2003), cattle are the main economic activity for colonist
farmers located in the Acre River watershed. His analyses show that in 1997, 63% of the
households in colonist areas commercialized cattle contributing over 30% of total
income. Cattle expansion has been a common characteristic among colonist families
(Menezes 2004) and may stimulate landowners to obtain new land for pasture
establishment. Land concentration and migratory movements have been related to this
process. Moreover, negative social consequences (such as migration and land conflicts)
and negative environmental outcomes (such as continuing deforestation) are anticipated.
Among community land tenure regimes, colonist farmers are key actors
contributing to deforestation in Acre. Using data available from the Brazilian Ministry of
Environment, I estimated that by 1996, approximately 30% of the total deforested area in
Acre was located within colonization settlements, while extractive reserves, state, and
national parks contributed less than 5%12. Based on the same dataset, I estimated that
37% of colonization areas were deforested by 1996, which was superior to the 20% of
deforestation permitted by Brazilian law to all rural properties in Amazonial3. Taking
into consideration that cattle and crops has been the main economies for colonists in
Acre, deforestation could still be increased in this areas.
12 See footnote 4 for details of how this amount was estimated.
13 The Federal Decree No. 2166/01 that altered the Law No. 4771/1965 (Forestry Law) establishes that
small and large farmers in Amazon region are permitted to cut down until 20% of forest within their land
Extractive Reserves (Resex)
Currently, there are two Resex in Acre covering almost 10% of the state' s
territoryl4 (Governo do Acre 2000a). Rueda (1995) argues that the demand for Resex in
Acre emerged as ecological, economic, and socio-cultural dimensions of land rights. The
ecological perspective is explained by the importance of the forest in the rubber tapper
livelihood, without which there could be no extractivism. Under that circumstance the
possession of land would not be important for rubber tappers. The economic dimension
of the Resex model implies that land concession was a mechanism for guaranteeing long-
term survival of rubber tappers and their families. Lastly, the Resex' s socio-cultural
dimension argued for the rubber tappers' right to be extractivists.
The incorporation of these dimensions into the Resex proposal was a result of an
intensive struggle led by the rubber tapper movement to consolidate a model of land
reform in the Amazon based on the livelihood system of local inhabitants. Rubber tappers
developed a forest-based livelihood system, including consumption from the gathering of
wild foods, hunting, medicinal plants, and cash income from non-timber forest products.
As a land tenure regime, Resex are characterized by being occupied by families who
combine indigenous agriculture, livestock, and forest activities in their land use
Since their creation in the early 1990s, Resex resource management has
concentrated on non-timber forest products. Although rubber has not had an attractive
market, rubber tappers have continued to harvest this product. Over the past seven years,
14 The state government may create three additional extractive reserves which may increase the total area to
over 2,000,000 ha or approximate 15% of the territory (Governo do Acre 2000b). These new planned
Resexs would be located in the JuruB River watershed.
however, stimulated by local policies, many other non-timber forest products were added
to the range of commercial products explored by rubber tappers families, such as copaiba
oil (Copaifera ssp), murmur-u nuts (Astrocaryum murmumur), unha de gator (Uncaria
tomentosa), and agai (Enterpe oleraceal).
Agro-extractive Settlements (PAE)
Agro-extractive Settlements (PAE)lS comprise approximately 194,000 hectares and
have an estimated population of 1,050 families in Acre (Governo do Acre 2000a). This
category of land tenure was also a response of the Brazilian government to reduce land
conflicts, as well as deforestation, in Amazonia. The agro-extractive settlement (PAE) is
an intermediate category of land tenure between Resex and colonization settlements.
PAEs were initially conceived in 1987 as an alternative solution for Resex demands and
also as an immediate response from the Brazilian state for reducing land conflicts in the
Amazon region. Different from the extractive reserves, PAEs, like colonization
settlements, are regulated by INCRA. However, their population is largely constituted by
rubber tappers who have implemented a land use system very similar to Resex' families.
Indeed, as a consequence of their institutional flexibility and proximity of their
population to colonist practices, the timber management proj ects, which had strong
opposition from rubber tappers, were more easily launched in PAEs.
Even though the PAEs are administered by INCRA, their regulations and
inhabitants differ from those of colonist areas, such as Peixoto. Decree No. 268/1996
legislates that PAEs may be used for forest management through sustainable practices
(INCRA 1999). Kageyama et. al (2004) point out important differences between colonist
'5 Earlier the INCRA'S Decree 627/1987 called this form of land-tenure extractive settlement projects.
However, later in 1996, it was altered to agro-extractive settlement. Surely this change characterizes the
PAE itself as a combination of colonist and extractive land-use practices (see Kageyama et. al 2004).
and agroextrativist settlements: a) PAEs' settlers are more sensitive to resource
conservation; b) the plot sizes allocated to PAE families have been around 300 ha, while
in colonist areas this amount varied between 25 ha and 100 ha; c) the size of agricultural
and pasture areas among PAE families are less than those found among colonist farmers,
and cleared areas have often returned to secondary forest. Moreover, similar to extractive
reserves, PAEs have been defined as possessions of the federal government. Based on the
same regulation, PAEs are characterized as community land concessions that must be
managed by an association, cooperative or other variety of collective organization.
Currently in Acre there are eight PAEs, but INCRA and the State government are
planning to create 30 others over the next few years, which may raise the PAEs' land area
to approximately 1,900,000 hectares, or, 12.3% of the Acrean territory (Governo do Acre
2000b). As pointed out by Rego (2003), PAE settlers prior to 1997 relied upon a
combination of agriculture, livestock, and non-timber forest product-based land use
systems. However, after 1999, stimulated by forest-policies initiatives, timber forest
management came up as a new opportunity for rubber-tappers of these types of
In the following section I will discuss the study sites in this thesis. I focus on how
the three areas of this research were selected as a sampling of extractive reserve, agro-
extractive reserves, and colonist areas located in the Rio Acre watershed region.
The Study Sites
Peixoto Colonization Settlement: The Agrosilvopastoral Model
The Grupo Novo Ideal (GPNI) rural association, which is located in the Peixoto
settlement, was selected as a colonization sample in the Rio Acre watershed. The
Colonization Settlement, in which this community is located, has around 318,000
hectares, and was created in 1977 by INCRA. This settlement, facilitated by the presence
of the BR-364 highway, emerged in the 1980s as the most important area in the Rio Acre
watershed region for food production (Menezes 2004). Situated around 150 kilometers
from the city of Rio Branco, Acre' s capital, GNPI is currently comprised of 27
As colonists, their land use strategies include a range of slash and burn agriculture
as well as livestock activities, but as a result of policy incentives since 1999, cattle- and
coffee have emerged as their main economic activities. In 1994, however, they had
launched experiments with agroforestry as an alternative to deforestation and means to
diversify their cash income. However, the agrosilvopastoral strategies of those families
have been strongly influenced by dynamics of land use that took place in the land tenure
regime in which they are located.
The land use history within this community, as in other colonist areas located in
Acre, has been characterized by a drastic transformation, from forest uses (e.g., logging,
rubber, and Brazil nuts) to agriculture and cattle production. Over the past few years,
however, soil degradation has been a constraint for colonists in maintaining their
agriculture and pasture areas. Arauj o and Silva (2000) show that soil fertility in this
settlement is not appropriated for agricultural activities. Yet, despite the area' s limited
shifting cultivation potential, Lorena (2003) observed that in Peixoto's lots, the annual
and perennial crops area as well as pasture increased from ~17% in 1990 to ~3 5% of the
total area in 1999. These expanding activities explain why the forest cover within this
settlement declined from almost 90% in 1984 to 54% in 199816. Both ecological and
16 I USed Landsat TM imageries of 1984 and 1998 to perform a forest-non forest unsupervised classification
to estimate the amount of deforestation within this settlement.
socioeconomic factors stimulate small farmers to clear more forest in order to
compensate for pasture degradation (Valentim et al. 2000), as well as to implement
alternative land uses to avoid deforestation.
To address the problem of pasture degradation, some initiatives have been launched
in Peixoto and other colonization areas. Over the past few years a coalition of
governmental and non-governmental organizations has attempted to introduce alternative
land use practices such as agroforestry systems (Menezes 2004). The GPNI community
was among the first areas in which these initiatives have been implemented. While until
the early 1990s the families in GNPI concentrated their land use strategies on slash and
burn crops and livestock activities with emphasis on cattle, in 1994 they were stimulated
to introduce agroforestry systems.
In collaboration with the Research Group for Agroforestry Systems and Extension
(PESACRE), a local NGO in Acre, three new components were incorporated into
livelihood systems of GNPI households. First, for reducing environmental degradation,
PESACRE encouraged community members to introduce agroforestry systems into their
land use practices. Second, for enhancing the competitiveness of their products as well as
decreasing the risk of health problems as a consequence of pesticide use, organic
agriculture initiatives were also established among GPNI' members. The last proposal
attempted to address the need to focus on long-term market sustainability through
leadership training and commercialization of agroforestry products.
Although the GPNI community may be characterized as a colonization proj ect, its
members have adopted innovative strategies for changing the conventional land use
practices within this category of land tenure. These families have combined traditional
agriculture, agroforestry, cattle, livestock, coffee, and fruit processing. Further, the forest
government, in its spatial economic zoning of 2003, established the area in which the
GPNI is located- as having potential for coffee, pupunha, and dairy cattle. As a result,
governmental planning may stimulate community members to shift their production
systems from agrosilvopastoral strategies to these activities. Additionally, other drivers
commonly affecting land cover change in Amazonia have also been observed, such as
timber extraction and the presence of unofficial dirt roads. In this dynamic context, it
becomes important to assess economic and land cover outcomes in a changing
colonization proj ect such as GNPI.
Porto Dias Agro-extractive Settlement: The Timber Forest Management Model
In the late 1980s, guided by Decree No. 627/87 that introduced the agro-extractive
settlement (PAE) as a new category of land tenure, INCRA initiated the discussion to
create the PAE Porto Dias. In 1989 this area was established with approximately 22,000
hectares, and in 2002, Porto Dias had a population of almost 90 families (Governo do
Estado do Acre 2000a). While PAEs are supervised by INCRA, an agency created for
implementing colonization settlement in Amazonia, Porto Dias was planned to settle
rubber tapper families. It is also characterized by having a combination of agricultural
colonists and forest extractivists. This combination has been present since its initial
moments of discussion for launching its creation in the early 1980s (Stone 2003).
Moreover, when the Brazilian government launched colonization settlements in the early
1970s and 1980s, some colonist producers established their lots within Porto Dias
Porto Dias is divided into three geographic zones. Zone 1 is comprised of 27
members who are represented by the Porto Dias Rubber Tappers Association. Zone 2 is
managed by Sho Jose Association, called Mossor6, represented by 11 of the PAE's
residents. Zone 3 is under the control of the ASPOMACRE, an association that has its
headquarters located in the state of Rond8nia and has 103 members of which only 11 are
inhabitants of PAE Porto Dias.
The households of zones 2 and 3 do not consider themselves as rubber tappers and
prefer to be categorized as colonists. When interviews were conducted in these areas
these inhabitants declared that they had a preference of having their landholdings
(colocapies) outside of PAE territory, but INTCRA did not approve their proposal. The
range of economic activities addressed by these families reflects their self-categorization
as colonists. Cattle and logging combined with agriculture and small-scale livestock
production are their major economic activities. Forest products, such as rubber,
medicinal plants, and Brazil nuts have no importance for their subsistence or
In this study I have selected zone 1 to assess community timber forest management
in the Porto Dias PAE. This is the area where rubber tappers have implemented initiatives
combining forest management, as well as other land use for agriculture, cattle, and other
livestock. The Porto Dias Association was created in 1988 and its number of members
has varied over time. For the purpose of this study, all of the 27 households in Porto Dias
PAE Zone I were selected.
Timber management was implemented by the Porto Dias Association in 1994 with
the support of the Centro dos Trabalhadores da Amazdnia (CTA) (Center for Amazonian
Workers). The first timber harvesting, however, took place two years later in 1996.
Besides timber products, through support from the Federal Ministry of the Environment
(MMA), the forest management plan included also rubber, Brazil nuts and medicinal oils
such as copaiba (Copaifera spp). Since that time period, however, association members
have predominantly oriented their efforts toward timber production (Rodrigues 2004).
In 2003 the PDA became the second community-managed project to achieve Forest
Stewardship Council (FSC) certification in Amazonia. This process is considered a
difficult task for any organization, given the bureaucratic demands and costs which are
particularly onerous for communities facing challenges in organization and physical
infrastructure. Technical support from outside organizations, such as CTA, was
fundamental for PDA Porto Dias to be successful in gaining certification status.
Although FSC certification was conceded to the association, the number of rubber
tappers engaged in timber management has varied from 7 to 10 families. Political
disagreements, lack of financial transparency, and limited financial and technical support
for community leaders, as well as absence of economic returns, have been the main
impediments to the timber management initiative.
Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve: The Non-timber Forest Management Model
The Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve is one of the premier communities in which
forest diversification has been pursued over the past years in eastern Acre. It is bordered
by large cattle ranchers that were the main group antagonistic to its creation. With almost
1 million hectares and an estimated current population of 3,000 families, the Chico
Mendes Reserve was the second extractive reserve created in the state of Acre in 1990,
established by Federal Decree 99, 144/90. Its inhabitants have concentrated their efforts
on non-timber forest products, small plots of agriculture, and livestock as their activities
for subsistence and cash income generation. Until 2004, it was the largest Brazilian
extractive reserve, stretching across parts of five Acre municipalities: Rio Branco,
Xapuri, Brasileia, Sena Madureira, and Assis Brasil. In the late 1970s and 1980s these
municipalities were where the land conflicts became most intense in Acre.
The first landmark for the creation of Chico Mendes occurred in 1980 when Wilson
Pinheiro, president of the rural workers union of Brasileia, was killed by large-scale cattle
ranchers. Almost ten years later in 1988, the assassination of Chico Mendes, the rubber
tappers' most high-profile leader, was the final step for the creation of this reserve.
Despite its importance as a land tenure category that has attempted to balance
economic, cultural, and environmental goals, some studies have identified the tendency
for accelerating forest loss in the Chico Mendes Reserve. Wallace (2004) noted that
rubber tappers have invested in livestock, including cattle, as a strategy for increasing
their total on-farm income. Sassagawa (1999) estimated that the percentage of deforested
area in this Resex increased from 0.72% in 1986 to 2.9% in 1998. However, it has been
an important barrier for forest clearing in this region. In 2001, monitoring using Satellite
GOES indicated that fire occurrence has been most intensive outside of this reserve
Indeed, although the long-term viability of the Resex as a land tenure strategy has
been a concern among scholars, various initiatives conducted in collaboration with local
inhabitants have indicated its long-term economic and environmental sustainability (see
Maciel 2003 and Kageyama 2002). Over the past ten years, a coalition of governmental
and non-govemnmental organizations and universities has collaborated with Resex
communities to amplify their range of non-timber forest products as an alternative to
deforestation and intensive land use. For instance, since 1999 the forest government has
supported market-based initiatives though credit, subsidies, community training, and the
encouragement of 15 non-timber forest products (Kainer et al, 2003). In addition, the
Federal University of Acre (UFAC), supported by Brazilian and international
organizations, has been a key institutions collaborating with rubber tappers and their
A few months after Jorge Viana won the 1998 election, a multi-institutional
partnership was established for implementing and monitoring the forest management
within three rubber tapper estates (seringal): Sho Pedro, Floresta, and Palmari. A group
of 34 rubber tapper landholdings (colocapi~es) were selected from those three seringais in
which the non-timber forest program has been implemented since 1999. These families
were selected in my study as cases of a non-timber forest model taking place within
Resexe in Acre.
The three seringais selected cover an area of almost 37,000 hectares and they are
located in the municipality of Xapuri. Some studies such as Esteves (1999) emphasize
that these three areas are among the places in the Chico Mendes Resex where, over the
past 10 years, intensive investments in Brazil-nut production has taken place, as well as
community organization activities. Esteves shows that economic and social benefits, such
as dirt roads, credit, and subsidies as well as education and health programs were
distributed based on kinship ties. These facts suggest that the socioeconomic benefits
were not distributed equally among rubber tappers of the Chico Mendes Resex. However,
since the forest government took power in 1999, the strategy employed by families of
these three seringais has been a reference point for establishing a common development
plan throughout the Chico Mendes Resex. These characteristics offer us a unique
opportunity to assess the community forest management model in terms of its economic
performance and capacity for forest conservation.
Land use strategies in the Chico Mendes Resex have been implemented in
accordance with its Utilization Plans (Planzos de Utilizagdo), which are defined by
common agreement between rubber tappers through their associations and IBAMA and
CNPT. Although many of those economic initiatives have been focused on non-timber
forest products, timber extraction has been discussed as an economic opportunity. Even
though timber management is not permitted within Resex areas, the Acre government
supported by Marina Silva, the current Brazilian Minister of the Environment, has
attempted to change the Resex law (Federal Decree No. 98,897) to incorporate timber
extraction for commercialization into the rubber tapper economy. Yet, the question of
timber versus non-timber models of forest management remains an important topic of
discussion among communities, their organizations, and policymakers.
While economic booms were historically a key driver for stimulating human
settlement in the Amazon region, policy instruments have more recently been utilized
there to facilitate economic development. In addition, local, national, and international
forces were arranged based on social coalitions among actors at various levels. For
instance, the social movement led by rubber tappers in the 1970s and 1980s with support
of organizations was successful to influence changes in the land tenure policies for
creating extractive reserves and agro-extractive settlements.
Although the policies of the forest government have been one of the most important
factors influencing land tenure after the rubber tapper movement of the late 1980s,
remarkable differences are visible in development policy since the forest government
entered in 1999. While neoextrativismo emphasized a policy based on sociocultural use
of natural resources, florestania has called for polices based on products with
comparative economic advantage at the regional level. The effectiveness of these policies
in terms of land cover and economic results will be evaluated through empirical data for
This study concentrates on three community land tenure systems for assessing the
economic and forest cover effects of these polices. The Chico Mendes Extractive
Reserve, Porto Dias Agro-extractive Settlement, and the Peixoto Colonization settlement
were selected as areas for achieving this analysis. These land tenure systems are a
representation of community land tenures located in the Rio Acre Watershed Region,
where both neoextrativista and florestania initiatives have been implemented.
Remarkable differences, such as socio-cultural, institutional, and livelihood system, are
evident among these land tenure types.
In the following chapter, I address methodological issues arising from the distinct
requirements for conducting economic and environmental research in each of these three
land tenure categories I divide the discussion into three maj or sections. The first will
concentrate on how the fieldwork was conducted. Secondly, I will explain how the land
cover and economic data were processed, as well as the key dependent and independent
variables in this study. And finally, I will discuss how economic and land cover were
linked in order to conduct the analysis.
METHODS AND TECHNIQUES FOR ECONOMIC AND REMOTE SENSING
This chapter explains how I used economic and remote sensing approaches to
evaluate three land tenure types located in the state of Acre, Brazil. To identify the land
use and economic dynamics in the study areas, I combined survey fieldwork with remote
sensing data from an extractive reserve, an agro-extractive settlement, and a colonist
settlement. I compared land tenure categories in order to understand the linkages between
land use strategies and land cover in each community area selected.
Various studies have concentrated efforts on linking socioeconomic and land cover
factors at multiple scales. While some analyses have focused on the macro-scale (e.g.,
Cattaneo 2001, Carvalho et al. 2002), other studies have evaluated the dynamics and
drivers at the micro-scale, particularly at the household level. For example, Vosti et al.
(2003) elaborated a farm-level bioeconomic linear programming model to simulate
consequences of product and technology choices for deforestation. Walker (2003),
seeking an economic explanation of forest cover change at the household level in the
Amazon region, provided a smallholder model for colonist settlements based on
Chayanov household theory in which demographic and market variable are linked. Perz
(2001) also focused on economic and land use analysis at household level in colonist
areas of Amazon region using multivariate regression.
While these and other studies evaluate deforestation at the family level in the
Brazilian Amazon, I have identified virtually no work that compares multiple land tenure
types. A notable exception is Mertens et al. (2002), who focus on cattle economy and
deforestation in the state of Para, Brazil, and published a remarkable study in which
socioeconomic and satellite data were linked to understand land cover change over a
three year period. While these authors compared three land tenure types, the comparison
is made at the municipal level, which leaves out many important explanations found only
at a household level.
I focus on land use processes at the household level within three land tenure
categories in southwestern Amazonia: extractive reserve, agro-extractive settlement, and
colonist settlement. Consequently, the methodology involves both economic and land
cover analyses and was performed using three methods. First, I conducted Hieldwork,
which was divided into two parts: 1) a household economic survey in 2004; and 2) the
land cover GPS data collection during the summers of 2004 and 2005. Second, I
processed the data from the economic survey and GPS and satellite images. Households
were analyzed in terms of their economic results, that is, income and cost values
aggregated by economic activities (crops, timber and non-timber products, as well as
livestock). I utilized the GPS points and Landsat data to perform a supervised
classification for each community area. In order to correlate these results to the economic
outcomes, my classification distinguished four land cover types: crops, forest, pasture,
and forest regrowth. Third, I linked economic and land cover data for the three study
sites, in order to conduct a multivariate analysis to test my hypotheses about land tenure,
the economics of land use, and land cover outcomes.
In the next sections I discuss these three phases in more detail. I begin by
describing how the socioeconomic survey was carried out. In this part I discuss the
questionnaire, planning for fieldwork, a price survey, and the fieldwork itself. Second, I
focus on how the land cover GPS points were collected. The third part provides details of
how a calibration and validation of satellite data were carried out. The fourth section I
explains how economic and land cover data were analyzed.
The Socioeconomic Survey
In this section, I discuss how the socioeconomic data were collected. It is important
to note at the outset that this study resulted from multi-institutional collaborations with
various organizations in Acre, so I recognize my collaborators as co-authors of the
database on which I will draw. The 2004 survey resulted from collaborative efforts
among PESACRE, CTA, UFAC, and the State Government.
Besides research assistants, community members were also directly involved in the
field data collection. At the Porto Dias Agro-extractive Settlement, the residents
association selected five community members to take part in the research group. In the
Peixoto colonization site, the Novo Ideal Association's board director designated three
resident members to help us during our fieldwork. In the Chico Mendes Resex, the
Association of the Residents in Xapuri (AMOREX) mobilized five rubber tappers to
guide the group within the forest. They also helped applying the semi-structured
questionnaire. The Chico Mendes' fieldwork also counted on the participation of one
board director from the Rural Workers Union of Xapuri who had past experience with
Prior to the fieldwork, additional planning was required given the distinct
characteristics of the study sites. First, helped by local stakeholders, I selected my study
sites within each land tenure category. Second, in order to grasp the land use specificity
of each land tenure type, I used meetings with community and institutions as an
opportunity to elaborate my questionnaire. After these two stages I carried out two
surveys. The first one was the household fieldwork in the three selected sites. The second
one was a price survey to make possible the estimation of income and costs. When I
concluded my two surveys, I organized the data in a spreadsheet program and calibrated
and validated the land cover classifications during the summer of 2005.
The household sampling was carried out following three sequential phases. First,
helped by IBAMA, CNPT, CNS, and community organizations, I identified in the Rio
Acre watershed region community land tenures representing extractivist, agro-
extractivist, and colonist areas. For each community land-tenure types present in this
region, I distinguished communities by degree of socioeconomic development, taking
into consideration access (roads), presence of public services (school, hospital, etc),
community organization (association and cooperative), technical assistance, and level of
production. As a result, the Chico Mendes Resex, Porto Dias PAE, and Peixoto PC were
selected. Second, within these areas, I distinguished families working with
agrosilvopastoral and timber as well as non-timber forest management. This criterion was
adopted in order to evaluate the interface with public polices taking place in Acre since
1999, which have emphasized those land use strategies. Third, I also considered areas
with prior governmental investments, such as road construction, subsidies, governmental
support for commercialization, and certification. Consequently, one rubber tapper
association area, one rural association area, and three rubber estates were identified for
conducting this study. In the Chico Mendes Resex, the sample size was constituted by 34
families from the Floresta, Palmari, and Sho Pedro rubber estates. In Porto Dias, 27
households located in the area under the control of the Porto Dias Rubber Tapper
Association were selected. Lastly, within the Peixoto Settlement, the household sample
included 27 families organized under the Novo Ideal Rural Associationl6
The questionnaire was derived from participatory efforts with various stakeholders
and community members. This strategy was implemented to ensure that the livelihood
system of each land tenure type was captured by the survey. Overall, the questionnaire
focused on land cover, socioeconomic aspects, and resource management practices
targeted by forest government policies in Acre. As the livelihood and land use strategies
across land tenure are not similar, I elaborated one questionnaire for each study site (see
Appendix A, B, and C). For instance, in the Chico Mendes Resex communities, timber
forest management was not included in the questionnaire, because this activity is not
permitted in that tenure type.
The questionnaire was divided into eight sections. The first included
socioeconomic topics, such as household composition, migration, accessibility, and land
use distribution. Section two focused on crop production, livestock, and machines and
equipment. The third section quantifies costs and yield per type of activity conducted by
households, such as crops, livestock, and forest management. This section also included
family expenses on purchased goods and services (such as rice, beans, oil, salt, clothes,
health etc), as well as family and outside labor force. The fourth part evaluated the
amount of goods cultivated and/or harvested that were used for family consumption, such
SThe number of families does not correspond to the current number of members in this association. That is
because the sample included families that were not affiliated with the organizations.
as annual and perennial crops, livestock, herbs, forest products, among others. The fifth
section of the questionnaire considered cash income from commercialized production.
The sixth included off-farm income (e.g., bolsa escolar, salaries, retirement income). To
assess institutional support for land use strategies, the seventh section included questions
on rural technical assistance from governmental or non-governmental organizations.
Finally, the last section had open questions about public policies implemented in the
The Household Fieldwork
The field survey was carried out from May to August 2004. I selected five research
assistants with prior experience in socioeconomic surveys in rural communities in Acre,
each with different backgrounds (economics, geography, history, agronomic engineering,
and forestry engineering). On average, we spent one day with each household, in order to
conduct a semi-structured interview, participatory land use mapping, and GPS training
Prior to the fieldwork, the assistants attended a one-week training course focusing
on the livelihood systems of smallholders, semi-structured questionnaires, and the use of
remote sensing and GIS techniques in the field. In the last two days of training, they
practiced these techniques in the the Humaita Colonization Settlement, located
approximately 30 kilometers from Rio Branco, in the municipality of Porto Acre.
Moreover, community members were included as part of the research team.
The Price Survey
To estimate values for all household costs (expenses) and income sources
(revenues), I conducted a price survey in the municipalities where families
commercialized their products and bought goods: Xapuri, Brasileia, Rio Branco,
Acrelindia, Epitaciolindia, and Placido de Castro. Moreover, cooperatives and
associations of producers were contacted, as well as the government offices to determine
the prices for timber and non-timber forest products. To correct for inflation, I used the
IGP (General Price Index), the most common index in Brazil for that purpose, to correct
all prices to February 2005. I used a mean price for each product or service to estimate
the income and costs of each family, which were corrected by IGP. These values were
converted to the mean U.S. dollar Brazilian real (R$) exchange for February 20052
Participatory Findings Assessment: Attempts for Calibration and Validation
Household analysis, especially when focused on economic analysis, has often been
an obstacle for socioeconomic researchers. Ellis (2000) emphasized the complexity of
empirical appraisal at the household level as a result of livelihood diversity as well as
inter-temporal social processes continuously taking place. Schmink (1984) argued that
household economics are determined by social processes which are historically defined.
In this context, I have understood that rural policies, as in Acre, have incessantly
failed as a consequence of lack of knowledge about smallholder livelihoods and
alternative strategies. In order to address these challenges, Hildebrand and Schmink
(2004) suggest a framework combining participatory methods and ethnographic linear
programming fostered by a constant participative process of simulation, calibration, and
validation of household models.
The survey methodology used in this study employ this approach. I involved local
residents and decision makers of local, regional, and national organizations during the
sampling, fieldwork planning, and the fieldwork itself. Calibration and validation of data
2 This study utilized the mean US$ to R$ exchange for February 2005 of US$ 1.00 to R$ 2.597.
were carried out in May 2005 when several stakeholders attended seminars in order to
evaluate the datasets.
These seminars were conducted in four phases. First, after the household and price
surveys, the data underwent processing and preliminary analyses. Results were then
discussed with researchers, policymakers, NGOs, and community organizations in Rio
Branco. Next, the data related to the amount of production and prices for timber and non-
timber forest products were corrected. Third, findings were submitted to community
members for evaluation of in each study site via participatory dialogue we discussed the
forest and agrosilvopastoral seasonal calendar, as well as the range of main products
extracted and their prices, and income and costs distribution. After these meetings, I
identified discrepancies, and the data were adjusted and re-processed.
Land Cover Data Collection and Fieldwork
In this study, I used Landsat 5 TM+ images from the scenes 67/001 and 67/002 of
about the same time of the year. The 2004 images were taken between July 29 and
August 26. For the two scenes, I used bands 1 through 5. In addition, I utilized ancillary
data including polygon shape files containing land tenure types applied for the study
sites. Polygons delimiting the Chico Mendes Resex, Porto Dias Agro-extractive
Settlement, and Peixoto Colonization Settlement were selected for this analysis.
While doing household interviews, the research team collected training samples of
land cover types (crops, pasture, forest regrowth, and forest) at the three study sites.
Additionally, a printed sub-set image of 2004 Landsat image3 was provided to each team
member for each area to identify likely land cover types in the household area. All GPS
3 The Landsat images were adjusted for RGB= 5, 4, 3 and georefereced for UTM, datum SAD 69, zone 19
were adjusted to UTM, datum SAD 69, and zone number 19 South. To increase accuracy
of these data, each land cover point was collected at least three times. Training samples
collection was carried out using a modified version of the CIPEC training sample
protocol (Appendix D), which includes details such as soil, vegetation type, and presence
of human disturbance.
In this study, we collected 442 training samples and 366 CIPEC forms. This
fieldwork was carried out in two phases. First, during the fieldwork in 2004, we collected
345 training samples and completed approximately 300 land cover forms. Although the
field team was intensively trained for the land cover GPS point collections, I encountered
some difficulties in performing a supervised classification for the study areas during the
fall 2004. As Daly and Silveira (2001) pointed out, over 50% of Acre' s territory is
covered by bamboo forest. On the first supervised classification performed at the end of
2004, this vegetation dominance created confusion between forest regrowth, crops, and
bamboo-dominated vegetation. Consequently (second), from May to June 2005, I visited
all three community areas to collect new land cover samples (principally within bamboo
and secondary forest areas). During this period, I gathered 97 samples and 66 land cover
protocols. In the summer of 2005, I was able to complete a new supervised classification
and verify its accuracy at each study site.
The Post-Survey: Data Processing and analysis
Household Economic Approach
The economic analysis performed here was based initially on-Brazilian literature on
micro-economics and agricultural economics (e.g., Gastal 1980, Mafra 1988, Barros and
Estacio 1972, Guerreiro 1994, and Martin 1995) that elaborated economic parameters for
assessing input and outputs among smallholders. In addition, I drew on studies focusing
on the Amazonian smallholders (Vosti et al. 2003, Walker 2003) which have evaluated
households as economically rational decision makers who pursue profit maximization,
that is, they continuously plan their cost-income balances. This traditional model of
analysis ignores the aspects highlighted in peasant economy theory (Thorner et al. 1986).
This theory establishes that household economics (e.g., extractivists, agro-extractivists,
and small farmer colonists) aim to balance both market (sold yield) and consumption
(subsistence yield) goals. In this context, family labor as a cost component and
subsistence as an income element represented two important factors in the analysis.
For identifying the land tenure differences, an ex-post4 eCOnomic analysis was
performed in which inputs (factors of production) and outputs (production or economic
results) were estimated. Three aspects advocated by Gastal (1980), Mafra (1988), and
Barros and Estacio (1972) were utilized as guidelines for my economic assessment: 1) the
community land tenures as a system constituted by social, economic, and ecological
components; 2) an understanding of the extractive reserves, agro-extractive settlements,
and colonist settlements as systems of production defined by biophysical and social
dimensions; and 3) a view of the household as an economic unit within each land tenure
system and constituted by production and management goals. These considerations
required that inputs and outputs should be measured to capture the uniqueness of each
household within each community and land tenure type. The first step of the economic
analysis was based on income, cost, and profitability by type of product at the household
level. In the following section, I discuss these economic measures.
4 By ex post economic analysis I mean to say that household economic assessment was performed based on
household economic activities carried out prior to the survey. The 2004 household survey covered
economic activities carried out from June 2003 through July 2004.
Gross Income (GI) is defined here as the result of selling a product in the market,
and acts as an indicator of the scale of production. It also includes family consumption
from crops, livestock, and forest products. In addition, it reflects the land use strategy of
each family. Crops and cattle are expected to represent the maj or components for income
of colonist residents (Peixoto community), while timber and non-timber products are
expected to be most important for Porto Dias and Chico Mendes respectively. Gross
Income is calculated as follows:
GI= Qm. pp, (..
Qm = qv + qe + q, (3.2.)
Qm=quantity of the product destined for the market
qv= quantity of the product sold
qe=quantity produced in previous years and not sold
qc=quantity produced or harvested consumed by family
qp=unit price of the product
Total Cost (Te) is defined here as the total monetary value spent by the household
to produce or harvest specific products. It is derived by summing two components: the
variable costs (Ve) and the Eixed costs (F,). In the household analysis addressed by this
study, labor is the main element in V,. The total Eixed cost is distributed between values
that correspond to the determined product i, and is made up of the specific Eixed cost for a
determined product i (EFe) and the common cost of i products, called the fixed common
To = (Ye), + (e,) c 7F (3.3.)
T, = Total Production Cost
V, = Variable Production Cost of product i
e,, = Specific Fixed Cost of product i
Ce = COmmon Fixed Cost of product i.
To evaluate the economic viability of the household production system, this study
also measured the profitability of rubber tappers and colonists economies categorized by
products. I therefore generated a profit (P) analysis to compare categories of products and
to correlate their profitability with deforestation.
Profitability also allows verification of the possibility of a financial gain, and
consequently accumulation at the family level. In contrast to some other studies which
used a type of analysis based only on gross income and total cost (Vosti et al. 2003), this
work included family subsistence into the gross income. The calculated formula for
R = GI Tc (3.4)
According to the results, I may observe three specific situations:
R > 0, where there is a gain
R < 1, where there is a loss
R= 1, break-even
The economic analysis of the study was based on primary data from 2004 and
focused on economic outcomes of land use strategies utilized by families in each land-
tenure type. For comparative purposes, I divided the data analysis into three parts. First, I
performed an economic analysis at the community level. During this phase I divided the
data into income and cost outcomes aggregated by products. In order to evaluate these
results I utilized mean, standard deviation, and skew. Second, I carried out a similar
analysis by land tenure types aggregated by crops, livestock, non-timber, and timber
activities. During this phase I used F-tests results to evaluate whether differences of
means among sites were significant. And third, I also performed a profitability analysis
by land tenure types.
Land Cover Data Processing
In addition to the socioeconomic survey, remote sensing techniques were utilized in
order to evaluate the land cover distribution within each study site. The land cover
processing performed in this study is presented in Figure 3-1. Using georeferenced land
cover samples collected in 2004 and 2005, I produced a land cover signature based on
2004 images for four classes: forest, crops, pasture, and regrowth. I then utilized this
signature to perform a supervised classification on a mosaic of 67-001 and 67-002 scenes.
Two hundred and twenty-one training samples of 442 collected in 2004 and 2005 were
selected through stratified random sampling for image classification. The remaining 221
training samples were used to evaluate the accuracy of my classification. All analyses
were performed using Erdas Imagine software version 8.4, ArcView GIS version 3.2, and
SPSS version 11.0.
Landsat images processing was carried out following various steps (Figure 3-1).
The first procedure to assess land cover was to calibrate the images (Green, 1999). I also
performed band-by-band atmospheric correction of the 2004 images as discussed in
Jensen (2005). I used a layer-stack to merge the five bands for analysis of each scene in
separate .img (Erdas) files. Next, I performed pre-processing tasks, and image-to-image
geo-referencing was done based on a 1995 image as a reference (Jensen, 2005). Once I
obtained the georeferenced, calibrated, atmospherically-corrected, and merged images for
67-001 and 67-002 scenes, I performed a supervised classification of the 2004 image.
| ~1996 Image Image Training
Individu I Merged Georeferenced cairto albr td etm sape
2004 Lan sat LI0 ea fLa 0
2004 Image Classified
land cover subset Accuracy 2004
Figure 3-1. Diagram of land cover processing in the study area, Acre, Brazil.
The classification for 2004 was submitted to two types of assessment. The accuracy
assessment was conducted based on 221 training samples collected during 2004 and
2005. Furthermore, a field appraisal of this classification was carried out in June 2005.
Over two weeks I visited each of the three study sites and assessed the accuracy of the
2004 classification, comparing on-the-ground observations with a printed map of the land
cover results in each community areas. With a GPS and via conversations with local
residents, I was able to validate the accuracy of each land cover class within each
community area. After the accuracy assessment and field appraisal of the classification
results, I identified the amount of area covered by each class at the household level.
These results were incorporated in the SPSS economic database.
Since this study addresses a socioeconomic and land cover analysis at household
level, I created a border for each family's landholding and analyzed it separately. In
Peixoto, I utilized the georeferenced plot boundaries collected by INCRA for each local
resident. Based on these digitalized lots I identified the GPNI community boundaries as
well as the properties selected in this study on the classified Landsat image (Figure 3-1).
Land cover analyses were performed on those selected residents.
In the Chico Mendes and Porto Dias communities, the limits of each household's
landholdings were not as easy to identify. Commonly, rubber tappers utilize rubber-trails
(estrada~s de seringa) as their natural boundaries. CNPT/IBAMA and INCRA, the
institutions responsible for those land tenure types, have had difficulty establishing
boundaries among smallholders of extractive and agro-extractive reserves. After an
intensive literature search for studies with similar problems in delineating household
property boundaries, I decided to utilize the Thiessen polygon algorithms based on fuzzy
set theory to produce boundaries for each colocagdo on these rubber estates.
Using the algorithm discussed above, I was able to define the boundaries among
each household property following three procedures. First, I used the location of the
household's home within their colocagdo, available from CNPT/IBAMA and INCRA, to
identify each family area. In the Chico Mendes Resex, I only selected colocapies within
the Sho Pedro, Palmari, and Floresta seringais. In the Porto Dias case, there were no
borders among seringais, and I made use of all georeferenced colocagdo points. Second, I
5 This is a remote sensing technique in which an individual area of influence around each set of points is
defined. Based on fuzzy theory, the polygons' boundaries are the area that is closest to each point relative
to all other points. They are mathematically calculated through two sequential steps. First, the entire area is
divided into polygons in which one polygon per point is established. Second, the distance among points
indicating colocagaes area is minimized. However, in the broad sense, the fuzzy logic utilized in this
approach to estimate boundaries of colocagaes, is a process of inferring imprecise conclusions from
imprecise premises. As pointed out by Dragi~evid (2005) this deduction is approximate rather than exact
because data described and generated under the circumstance of lack of information and accuracy
assessment implies a high cost. Since my summer time in Acre was not sufficient to assess the accuracy of
this technique within each family area, I was only able to evaluate the boundaries of two smallholders
within of each land tenure type.
produced colocagdo polygons using the Thiessen algorithm in ArcView based on fuzzy
set theory. Third, I selected polygons of sampled colocapies, which were georeferenced
during the 2004 fieldwork, in both Chico Mendes and Porto Dias totaling 61 family areas.
Economic and Land Cover Integration
Economic data from the household surveys were integrated spatially in a GIS with
satellite data for the land cover classes for each corresponding property polygon in the
three study sites. To identify the main factors related to deforestation in the study sites, a
multivariate regression analysis was carried out. Taking into consideration the limited
sample size in this research, this analysis was performed for all sites (88 households).
During this part of my analysis, I constructed five regression models based on
different theoretical foundations. The first model evaluated the effect of land tenure
category for deforestation. The second was a life cycle model in which I assessed the
effects of family dynamics on deforestation in the study sites. The third was a market
integration model in which I evaluated the influence of market access and family cash
purchases on land cover dynamics. The fourth model assessed the effects of cost
composition for deforestation among extractivist, agro-extractivist, and colonist areas.
Finally, in the last model I estimated the importance of assets for land cover dynamics in
the study sites.
This thesis seeks to establish linkages between economic and forest cover datasets
of three community land tenures types in southwestern Amazonia. I utilized a
combination of methods to link socioeconomic and satellite data. First, to generate an
understanding of distinct land tenure categories, a questionnaire was generated via a
collaborative participatory process. Second, I conducted the economic field survey of
households in the three study sites, recognizing the differences in the rules of each land
tenure type concerning resource management. Third, the classification of satellite images
for each study site was based on the four basic land cover types existent within of the
communities: forest, forest regrowth, pasture, and crops. Fourth, the data integration was
carried out by defining a common unit of analysis for both economic and remote sensing
approaches, in order to unify the data spatially to allow for a multivariate regression
analy si s.
ECONOMIC AND LAND USE COMPARISON OF SMALLHOLDER LAND
TENURE MODELS IN THE STATE OF ACRE
This chapter responds to the need for an empirical assessment of how community
land tenure models in Acre differ in terms of their economic and land cover outcomes.
Specifically, the chapter concentrates on how economic variables affect land cover
change among households within Resex, agro-extractive settlements, and colonist
In order to address these issues, this chapter has three obj ectives. The first is to
examine crop, pasture, regrowth, and forest areas at the household level and to determine
the extent to which timber and non-timber forest management as well as
agrosilvopastoral strategies lead to different amounts of deforestation. The second
obj ective is to estimate the economic efficiency of each land use strategy implemented by
inhabitants of each study area. Finally, the third objective is to evaluate how micro-
economic factors are related to land cover distribution. Other non-economic factors, such
as family composition, age, distance to market, and length of residence are also
considered to explain land cover at the community level.
This chapter is organized into three parts. Part one offers an overview of land cover
distributions in each study site, in terms of forest, crops, pasture, and forest regrowth.
Part two introduces the economic analysis by evaluating household income, costs, and
profitability among tenure types and income sources, particularly pointing out the
differences between timber and non-timber forest management. Finally, part three
presents a multivariate statistical analysis of the effects of land tenure, economic
variables, and non-economic factors on land cover change. The chapter concludes with a
discussion of the main findings.
Revising the Research Questions
The first research question posed by this study is: how do economic and land cover
outcomes compare among the three types of land tenures? The land cover change
literature includes studies of land tenure, but studies comparing land cover outcomes
among various land tenure types in a given region remain very rare. The importance of
designing land tenure institutions as an influence on economic and environmental
outcomes therefore remains poorly understood. This limitation in the land cover change
literature is all the more significant because the design of land tenure institutions is
something that governments can control, and the diversity of land tenures in Acre, Brazil,
reflects many policy experiments to yield better economic and environmental outcomes
from land use. For precisely this reason, there is great interest in Acre, in Brazil and
elsewhere, and this interest motivates my first research question in this thesis.
The second question addresses an economic assessment of non-timber and timber
forest products among small producers. Since the creation of Resex and agro-extractive
settlements, their inhabitants and a series of development programs have concentrated on
the economic use of a range of non-timber forest products. More recently, timber forest
management proj ects have been introduced in several of these areas. The shift from
neoextrativismo to florestania is significant not only for the potential consequences on
land and forest resource use in different tenure types in Acre, but also for the profitability
of timber and non-timber forest products. That said, over the past years an intensive
debate has emerged focusing on potential economic risks associated with timber and non-
timber resource use within community areas in Acre. Furthermore, economic outcomes
from the recent emphasis on timber extraction are a key factor influencing smallholder
land use decisions. Therefore, my second research question focuses on the profitability of
timber and non-timber resource use.
The third question focuses on the factors best explain forest clearing among
households in Resex, agro-extrative settlements, and colonization settlements. Although
economic goals have been considered a key component in influencing land use strategies
within community land tenure areas, various income-deforestation tradeoffs can emerge.
For instance, smallholders can use profits to invest in pasture for cattle, which is a labor-
saving strategy utilized by families, but ranching results in more forest clearing.
However, by the same token, if forest management is economically viable (profitable), it
can also stimulate local inhabitants to use the net income to invest in activities that imply
to increase deforestation.
In working with each of these three questions I have developed one or more
specific expectations (hypotheses):
* H1: Extractive reserves such as the Chico Mendes Resex will have the most favorable
environmental outcome (lowest proportion of land deforested per household).
Colonization will have the best economic outcome (highest gross household income).
Agro-extractive settlement will have the best overall outcome (deforestation nearly as
low as Resex, and income almost as high as colonization settlement).
* H2: Non-timber forest products will be more profitable, because of their lower costs,
than timber extraction.
*H3: Higher profitability leads to greater deforestation, though land tenure categories
will also be important.
Land Cover Distribution among Land Tenures
This section presents a land cover assessment of household landholdings in the
three study sites. These results are particularly important to evaluate the policy
experiments concerning these different land tenure models in terms of land cover
outcomes. This study thereby provides a comparative understanding of how land cover
varies among the Resex, PAE and PC I visited. In this section I provide the results for my
supervised classification of the three land tenure types. First, I discuss the accuracy
assessment. Second, I compare three study sites in terms of their land cover distribution.
Accuracy Assessment of Land Cover
The accuracy assessment evaluates the precision of the supervised classification in
identifying land cover categories among the study sites. Table 4-1 presents the results in
the error matrix for the classes of forest, cropland, pasture, and forest regrowth from the
supervised classification. The matrix illustrates both errors of exclusion (omission errors,
i.e. degree of Producer' s accuracy), which measures how much of the land in each
category was classified correctly, as well as errors of inclusion (commission errors, i.e.
degree of User' s accuracy) that measures the percentage of correctly classified pixels in
each land cover category of the images (Jensen 2005). The overall accuracy is expressed
as a combined percentage of the test-pixels successfully assigned to the correct classes.
The results indicate that the classification had a high degree of accuracy for the
land cover classes 'crops', 'regrowth', and 'pasture,' with 89-96% producer's accuracy.
However, the accuracy for correctly identifying forest areas was lower, with a 74%
producer' s accuracy, which likely resulted from the difficulty in classifying bamboo-
dominated forested areas in the study region, which can easily be confused with
regrowth. Nevertheless, the user' s accuracy results for pasture and crops indicate that my
2004 classification was conservative, implying a potential bias toward classifying these
land cover categories as forest, resulting in an underestimation of the extent of
deforestation. On the whole, one might conclude that because the overall accuracy of the
entire classification was quite high (87%) and the producer' s accuracy varied from 90 to
96%, this classification is adequate for analyzing forest cover in the study areas.
Table 4-1. Accuracy assessment for 2004 supervised classification for the study sites in
Reference Classified Number Producer' s User' s
totals totals correct accuracy accuracy
Unclassified 9 7 0
Forest 39 33 29 74.4% 87.9%
Pasture 36 42 32 88.9% 76.2%
Crops 49 58 47 95.9% 81.0%
Forest regrowth 88 81 80 90.9% 98.8%
Totals 221 221 193
Overall Classification Accuracy = 87.3%
Comparing Land Cover among Land Tenures
Land cover analysis was performed for the households sampled in the three study
sites, each corresponding to a different category of community land tenure. To perform
the analysis, it was necessary to identify or estimate the boundaries of land claimed by
the sampled households. While boundary data regarding the division among household
lots in the Peixoto colonization proj ect were available from INCRA, the geographic
limits of the colocagdes in both the Chico Mendes Resex and the Porto Dias PAE had to
be estimated using the Thiessen polygon algorithm based on fuzzy set theory.
Before applying this estimation method to the whole data set, the methodology was
tested in 5 colocagdes in the Porto Dias community. During that test, rubber tappers of
the Porto Dias indicated that their areas had between 3-5 rubber trails This results in
overall estimates of 300-500 hectares per household landholding. Using a GPS unit and
guided by rubber tapper household members and their neighbors, I measured colocagdo
boundaries and on the basis of these measurements estimated the total colocagdo areas to
be between 230-560 hectares, indicating a wider range of area than conventional
estimates. The colocagdes' shapes resulting from using the Thiessen polygons based on
fuzzy set theory were compared to the Hield data and indicated that they were similar to
the limits identified with the GPS tracking points.
An important implication that can be derived from these results is that deforestation
levels for each rubber tapper area in the Chico Mendes and Porto Dias, if based on the
conventional 100 hectare/trail assumption, are likely to be underestimated for some
families and overestimated for others. Hence, most previous deforestation estimates and
deforestation controls at household levels have likely not been very accurate. This study
therefore presents a first attempt to overcome this problem.
Using land cover classifications and areal estimation Eigures for all three study
sites, I obtained the results presented in Table 4-2, which shows descriptive statistics for
each land cover category. In order to identify the most appropriate metrics to evaluate
land cover distributions, I present results for: raw values, percentages, and natural log
values. Land cover was categorized in terms of crops, pasture, and regrowth. In addition,
I calculated deforestation category summing crops, pasture, and regrowth.
SRubber trails have been conventionally estimated as covering roughly 100 ha each
Table 4-2: Land cover categories at household level, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil.
Land cover category Hectares Percentage Log value
Mean 29.94 16.59 3.11
Standard Deviation 22.45 14.46 .82
Skew 1.55 .68 -.49
Mean 8.46 4.55 1.92
Standard Deviation 6.31 3.87 .69
Skew 2.35 1.22 -.23
Mean 20.20 11.39 2.48
Standard Deviation 17.32 11.21 1.21
Skew 1.00 .79 -.704
Mean 1.28 .65 -.38
Standard Deviation 1.68 .87 1.27
Skew 2.62 2.24 -.07
While no land cover types presented a high standard deviation value for all types of
measurements, the skewness indicated some deviation from normal-di stributions. Skew
values close to "O" suggest a normal distribution. On the one hand, the skew for mean
raw and percentage values was positive, which means that their distributions tend to have
extreme high-values. On the other hand, skew values for logged values were all negative,
which indicates that this distribution tends to have extreme low-values. Based on the
findings in Table 4-2, for the remainder of the analysis I focus on the percentages. This is
because they have low standard deviations and skew values, something lacking in the raw
values. Moreover percentages are easier to understand and compare than raw or logged
Crops and pasture are the most important land cover categories deforestation in the
three study sites. Deforestation overall exhibits a mean of around 30 hectares (~ 17% of
total area) per household. This result might indicate a total level of deforestation above
the 10% authorized by IBAMA and INCRA within Resex and agro-extractive
settlements. However, this interpretation ignores potential differences in the extent of
deforestation among land tenure types.
The lowest values are for the regrowth class, with a mean of less than 1% of the
total area. This result can be explained by the importance of crops and pasture to
smallholders. Commonly smallholders temporarily abandon productive areas to regrowth
for 2-5 years, called the pousio period, then they clear, burn, and reuse the regrowth for
crops or pasture (Amaral 1998).
The most important results in Table 4-2 are twofold. First, percentages are the most
appropriate measure to evaluate the distribution of land cover in the study sites. Besides
the low standard deviations and skew values, percentages allow for direct comparisons
among the land tenure categories and are easier to interpret. Second, the results show that
pasture is the main land use category that contributes to overall deforestation. However,
the importance of crop cultivation and cattle ranching may vary among land tenure
categories. To assess this possibility, the next step in this analysis compares the
percentage of land covers among the three land tenure types.
Table 4-3 provides a comparison of land covers among land tenure types in the
three study sites. I present F-tests for the significance of differences among the three
tenure types. Deforestation percentages are significantly different across land tenure
types (p<.01). Although colonist families in Peixoto PC have made efforts to establish
Deforestation (%) 4.99 12.27 35.52 181.543**
Crops (%) 2.32 3.13 8.75 48.555**
Pasture (%) 1.99 8.87 25.76 169.111**
Regrowth (%) .68 .25 1.00 5.560*
In addition, the percentage areas under crops and pasture are also significantly
different among the three tenure types represented in the study sites (p<.01). On the one
hand, pasture is the land cover that contributes most to deforestation in both the Porto
Dias and Peixoto sites. In the Chico Mendes Resex, on the other hand, most forest
clearing was for crop production. This indicates that while rubber tappers of Chico
Mendes are focusing their efforts on agriculture, possibly for their subsistence and
production of cassava sale, cattle raising emerges in Porto Dias and Peixoto as the most
important activity contributing to deforestation.
The F-Tests result indicated that the differences among mean percentage for
regrowth across land tenures are significant (p < .05), the differences are not as
pronounced as for the other land cover categories. Porto Dias PAE seems to be the
sustainable agrosilvopastoral systems, this area exhibited the highest level of
deforestation (~ 36%). In contrast to Peixoto, the three rubber estates of the Chico
Mendes Resex selected in this study exhibited the lowest level deforestation percentage
(~5%). And in the Porto Dias PAE, the households sampled had deforestation
percentages in between the other two land tenures (~12%), but closer to the percentage in
the Resex than the PC.
Table 4-3. Descriptive statistics for land cover categories, by land tenure type, Acre,
Chico Mendes Porto Dias
Land cover Peixoto PC
Re sex PAE F -te sts
variables (N3 N2)(N=27)
community with the lowest level of this land cover category (0.25%). In the Chico
Mendes Resex, this mean percent value is 0.68%. As regrowth is an area of reserve for
potential future use, its extent can be interpreted as an indicator that other areas within
landholdings might be been utilized for crops or pasture purposes. In her research in
Acre, Ehringhaus (2005) observed that the overall percent of regrowth area is decreasing
due to two parallel processes: 1) as residents invest more in ranching, they are converting
young regrowth into pastures, and 2) they are converting agricultural fields directly into
pasture and not letting them lay fallow for the development of new regrowth. Moreover,
she noted that residents are also increasingly establishing new fields in primary forests
and less in regrowth areas.
These results provide important insights to evaluate the effectiveness of policies
underlying each land tenure category with regard to its environmental conservation goals.
While the Chico Mendes Resex and the Porto Dias PAE were created to establish land
concessions for sustainable forest use, the Peixoto PC emerged as an area for agricultural
land use, and not forest conservation. The policy goals of colonization proj ects, agro-
extractive settlements, and extractive reserves are thus very evident in the higher
percentage of deforestation in Peixoto than in Porto Dias and Chico Mendes. This
suggests that the land use regulations institutionalized in agro-extractive settlements and
extractive reserves, at least as practiced in Porto Dias and Chico Mendes, are effective in
reducing deforestation relative to that seen in colonization areas such as Peixoto.
This section evaluated land cover in the Chico Mendes Resex, Porto Dias PAE, and
Peixoto PC. Findings from remote sensing indicated differences between the three sites,
especially with respect to deforestation for pasture and agriculture. The different land
cover profiles of the three tenure categories raise questions about the conservation value
of these areas and the household economic decisions being made in the context of
different land tenure regulations concerning resource management. In the next section, I
therefore address such questions with an analysis of income, costs, and the profitability of
different economic activities in the three study sites.
Economic Analysis for Land Tenures in the State of Acre
This section offers insights into smallholder land use strategies based on three
economic criteria: income, cost, and profitability. First, I will describe the data regarding
cash income generation across the three land tenure types. Second, I will compare costs
of production for different products. Third, I will concentrate on a profitability analysis
for all product types by category of land tenure. These results will allow a comparison
across land tenure types as well as categories of products. As forest policies and
institutional goals within these land tenure models have sought to enhance economic
welfare among households, this analysis can provide an evaluation of the effectiveness of
the strategies behind policies constituting different land tenure types. In particular, this
section will compare the three types of alternative land use strategies implemented in the
three land tenure models: timber, non-timber, and agrosilvopastoral production. I will
evaluate these strategies economically in terms of their gross income generation,
production costs, and profitability, may be quite dissimilar. In addition, I will address the
issue of whether these economic outcomes may vary so as to reveal tradeoffs with respect
to land cover outcomes.
Table 4-4 compares gross household income among the three land tenure type.
Standard deviations were low in most land tenure types. In addition, except for gross
income from livestock within the Chico Mendes Resex and the total income for Porto
Dias PAE, all skew values were larger than 1.0, which suggests a few "outliers" with
high values. Logging is not authorized within the Chico Mendes Resex by IBAMA and
CNPT; therefore I report no income data from logging in this area.
Table 4-4. Descriptive statistics for annual income, by land tenure type, Acre, Brazil,
Chico Mendes Resex Porto Dias PAE Peixoto PC
Ecnoicacivty(n=34) (n=27) (n=27)
Mean 181.00 311.00 1,763.00
Standard Deviation 140.00 150.00 1,433.00
Skew .33 1.78 .77
Mean 268.00 979.00 1,931.00
Standard Deviation 176.00 723.00 1,879.00
Skew -. 11 1.84 1.19
Mean 681.00 805.00 28.00
Standard Deviation 427.00 467.00 61.00
Skew .63 .32 3.00
Mean -- 1,385.00 153.00
Standard Deviation -- 1,840.00 736.00
Skew -- .57 5.15
Mean 1,130.00 3,567.00 4,109.00
Standard Deviation 495.00 1,497.00 2,759.00
Skew .32 -.12 .71
Three noteworthy differences emerge in Table 4-4. First, as expected, Peixoto had
the highest mean total gross income (~ US$ 4,100.00 per year). Livestock as well as
crops are the most important products to the households of this area. Given the high
deforestation percentage in Peixoto, this result indicates an economic-environmental
tradeoff, which also casts doubt on the commitment to sustainability on which
agrosilvopastoral systems were based. In fact, during the Hieldwork in 2004, no small
farmers reported any income from agroforestry or from a combined crops-forestry
system. Second, households in the Chico Mendes Resex had the lowest mean total gross
revenue (US$ 1,130.00 per year). Given the low deforestation percentage in the Resex,
this finding also implies an economic-environmental tradeoff. But third, Porto Dias
stands out, because residents of this area generated a mean gross income of US$ 3,570.00
per year. This is a key finding, because resource use in Porto Dias reflects a combined
forestry and agrosilvopastoral model, which yields a mean gross household income
nearly as high as in the Peixoto colonization proj ect, with a deforestation percentage
nearly as low as in Chico Mendes Resex, via a diversified production system.
I suggest two possible explanations for differences in cash income generation
across land tenure types. First, a household's ability to mix multiple income generation
strategies contributes considerably to the access to various market niches. Second, a
combination of prices incentives, distance to market, and local demand may also be key
factors affecting these communities. These two interpretations were confirmed during the
Hieldwork. Rubber tappers of the Chico Mendes Resex concentrated their efforts on the
extraction of rubber, a product with lower prices, and on harvesting Brazil nuts that bring
high prices. In Porto Dias PAE, families did not explore rubber and preferred to devote
their efforts to products with high prices, such as Brazil nuts, copaiba oil, forest seeds,
and medicinal plants. Peixoto is an area with higher crop and cattle demands from large
ranchers and urban areas, which may have contributed to a higher gross income from
crops and livestock activities.
With the exception of Peixoto, the results confirmed the economic importance of
land use strategies based on non-timber and timber production. In the Chico Mendes
Resex, non-timber forest management was the land use that provided the largest share of
mean gross income (~ US$ 690.00 per year). Timber (~ US$ 1,385.00 per year), on the
other hand, was the product with the largest share of mean income among rubber tappers
of Porto Dias. Further, the mean income obtained from non-timber forest products (~
US$ 800.00 per year) among residents of Porto Dias was higher than income obtained by
families in Chico Mendes.
Although sustainable forest uses were confirmed as the most important activity for
rubber tapper communities in Chico Mendes and Porto Dias, the results also indicated
livestock as an important activity for all areas. Among residents of Chico Mendes and
Porto Dias, this was the second most important activity, with approximately US$ 270.00
and US$ 980.00 of mean gross income per year, respectively. In Peixoto, however,
livestock was the most important source of income.
These results indicate that the residents of 'sustainable' land tenure models such as
Resex and agro-extractive settlements rely to a higher extent on forest products for their
income. While the average income of these families is lower than those living in the
colonization proj ects, the importance of forest-based production is clear. Another
important conclusion from these results is that although colonist households of Peixoto
have implemented an agrosilvopastoral model in their areas, livestock production remains
the most important source of income. At the same time, cattle ranching is also gaining
importance among rubber tapper households, raising new questions regarding the long-
term ecological sustainability of Resex and agro-extractive land tenure.
General Cost Analysis
While gross income is an important indicator of economic success of a particular
land use, the cost involved among the production types is also a key economic variable
driving affecting land use decisions in the different land tenure models. However,
economic analyses of land cover change have rarely considered production costs as well
as gross incomes generated by land use at the household level. In the following section I
will first focus on cost composition, by providing first an overall cost assessment for
households in my sample to identify the overall cost patterns. Second, I will concentrate
on a comparative cost assessment among the land tenure types. This discussion will also
compare production costs among types of activities carried out by households. This
information is important for identifying the level of economic viability for each type of
product, in the context of specific land tenure types. For instance, it may be useful to
assess the viability of implementing agroforestry system in the Chico Mendes Resex as
well as in the Porto Dias PAE.
Table 4-5 summarizes the composition of annual mean costs by economic activity
for all three communities taken together. Three types of costs are presented in this table.
The first column in the table refers to the total cost for each economic activity. The
variable costs are expenses that vary according to the volume and intensity of each type
of input, such as quantity of labor time, salt for cattle, seeds for pasture or crops, oil for
vehicles, etc. Fixed costs, on the other hand, are costs that arise with or without
production such as the depreciation of machines and equipment, and other investments in
the property. Table 4-5 presents total, Eixed, and variable costs for different economic
activities, namely crops, livestock, non-timber forest products, timber, and all of these
Table 4-5. Descriptive statistics for annual cost categories, all sites (n=88), Acre, Brazil,
Economic activity Total Fixed Variable
Mean 497.00 122.50 359.00
Standard Deviation 373.00 166.00 248.00
Skew 1.83 2.90 1.00
Mean 593.00 137.50 455.00
Standard Deviation 622.00 194.00 533.00
Skew 1.86 4.23 2.00
Mean 453.00 65.00 388.00
Standard Deviation 442.00 78.00 396.00
Skew .78 2.54 .86
Mean 731.00 106.00 626.00
Standard Deviation 2,047.00 293.00 1,755.00
Skew 2.49 2.50 2.50
Mean 2,316.00 437.00 1,878.00
Standard Deviation 2,099.00 374.00 1,859.00
Skew 1.86 2.51 1.87
As can be seen in Table 4-5, all economic activities had costs with relatively small
standard deviations, except the total and variable costs for timber. The result for timber
was strongly influenced by timber production costs in Porto Dias. The skew value for the
fixed costs for livestock were the highest among all categories (4.23), which suggests that
the cost values for this category tend to be higher rather than lower. The non-timber' s
skew value for total costs, on the contrary, was the lowest value (0.78). Overall, skew
values indicate that the results for all categories of products across all cost types tend to
be high, indicating "outlier" households that spend considerably more on certain
All cost types for timber showed high standard deviations, which reflect the high
costs of timber management. Certification, transport, road repairs, depreciation of
equipment, and a skilled labor force are the expenses that have contributed most to higher
costs for timber extraction.
Three main insights can be drawn from Table 4-5. First, variable costs are the main
category of costs for all productive activities. Among smallholders in Acre, family labor
is the main component of variable costs, a reflection of the importance of household labor
inputs and the labor-intensity of many of the activities in Table 4-5. Families in the three
study sites reported that all family members, including children, adults, and the elderly
are engaged in all production activities.
Second, timber extraction is very costly and not as economically attractive as its
high gross incomes seen earlier might suggest. The mean total cost (~ US$ 730.00 per
year) for timber extraction was higher than for livestock (~ US$590 per year), or any
other activity. As a result, when rubber tappers compare timber with other economic
activities, they are more likely to invest in non-timber forest products or cattle raising
instead of timber harvesting. Nevertheless, this may depend on the price incentive from
each economic activity. For instance, while the mean farm gate price for cattle in these
areas was US$ 143.00/head, during the same period the price for timber was US$
115.00/m3. Later in this chapter I will undertake a profitability analysis, which will
further explore this issue.
Third, although timber exhibited the highest total and variable costs, crops and
livestock were the activities with highest fixed costs. Two reasons account for this
finding. In recent years many households, especially in Peixoto, have invested in
equipment and assets for cattle and agriculture such as fences and equipment, supported
by BASA's (the Amazonian Bank) credit program. This contributed to high depreciation
costs for Peixoto households. Rubber tappers participating in the timber forest
management, on the other hand, rented skidders and other machines from third party
companies, thus reducing the costs of depreciation.
Three other conclusions may be drawn from the costs analysis in light of household
financial well-being as well as the earlier analysis of land cover. First, during the survey
the families pointed out that their systems are highly dependent and limited by family
labor availability. Second, approximately 80% of the total cost was constituted by
variable costs (US$ 1,878.00), which reveals the weak capacity of families to make
investments in technologies such as machines and other apparatus for reducing labor
costs. This situation has been partially overcome with funds and subsidies from
organizations such as BASA or the Acre government. However, this assistance is also
likely to increase the fixed costs as well as increasing the demands on family labor that
might have to be allocated to generate sufficient income to repay the credit. The forest
government has established programs to donate equipment for rubbers tappers and
colonist families to avoid this cycle of smallholder debts. The third conclusion relates to
the implications of costs for household land use decisions and land cover changes. Both
rubber tappers and colonists consider total costs and labor requirements in their land use
activities. In the absence of a family labor reserve and in the presence of high production
costs, many households may move toward activities that are less labor-intensive, such as
cattle raising. As result, this situation may contribute to increase the number of families
in debt with Einancial organizations.
The issues that emerged from the cost analysis are key aspects for any evaluation of
the effect of subsidy policies on household economic welfare as well as land use and land
cover change in the state of Acre. Economic and conservation strategies, then, should
take into consideration total costs and especially labor costs as key constraints for local
producers. However, it is important to take into consideration the variability of costs
among land tenure types designed to encourage different land use strategies.
Cost Analysis at Community Level
In this part I provide the second part of my cost analysis, examining costs
differences across land tenure types. It compares costs for different economic strategies
across households in extrativist, agro-extractivist, and colonist areas. Special attention
will be given to the costs of timber and non-timber forest production. In addition, this
section aims to briefly discuss why the cost categories for each productive activity differ
among land tenure types. These results will provide insight on how costs for each group
of products affect household land use decisions and land cover change.
Table 4-6 provides mean Eixed, variable, and total costs by land tenure type and
type of product. As anticipated, there are noticeable differences in the production costs
among the three land tenure types. F-tests results indicate that differences of costs for all
groups of activities are significant across sites. While Porto Dias was the community with
the largest mean total cost (~ US$ 3,900.00 per year), total costs in Peixoto were nearly
as high, whereas the families of Chico Mendes Resex had the lowest relative costs.
Although the mean total value for fixed cost was comparable for Peixoto and Porto Dias,
there are differences in the cost composition among their productive activities, especially
for timber. Moreover, it is apparent that the variable costs comprise the greatest portion
of total costs of all economic activities in all three areas. These results again confirm the
importance of family labor for all land uses.
Table 4-6. Annual mean for cost categories, by land tenure type, Acre, Brazil. 2004
Chico Mendes Porto Dias
Economic activity Resex PAE F-tests
(N= 34) (N= 27)
Total Cost 401.00 303.00 812.00 21.054**
Fixed Cost 86.00 36.00 255.00 18.089**
Variable Cost 315.00 267.00 505.00 8.290*
Total Cost 140.00 689.00 1,066.00 27.676**
Fixed Cost 64.00 104.00 263.00 10.226**
Variable Cost 76.00 585.00 803.00 22.795**
Total Cost 714.00 549.00 29.00 32.706**
Fixed Cost 117.00 54.00 9.00 22.325**
Variable Cost 594.00 495.00 21.00 27.633**
Total Cost .00 2,371.00 12.00 32.706**
Fixed Cost .00 339.00 5.00 22.325**
Variable Cost .00 2,033.00 7.00 27.633**
Total Cost 1,252.00 3,914.00 2,057.00 16.929**
Fixed Cost 268.00 534.00 554.00 6.423*
Variable Cost 985.00 3,380.00 1,503.00 18.674**
*p< .05; **p< .01
Table 4-6 indicates that livestock production costs varied considerably across sites.
While the lowest total cost for livestock production was in the Chico Mendes Resex (US$
140.00 per year), the costs were higher in the Porto Dias PAE (US$ 689.00 per year) and
especially in the Peixoto PC (US$ 1,066.00 per year). These increasing costs can be
explained by the relative importance of this category of production for each community.
Notably, pasture degradation has contributed to an increase in the annual cost of livestock
production for families in Peixoto PC.
Table 4-6 also shows that variable costs are the highest costs for all products across
all sites. However, soil degradation has been related by colonist families as a key
ecological factor negatively affecting the costs of livestock production within the Peixoto
PC. This is an important as it may indicate the potential long-term economic inefficiency
of cattle ranching among small farmers in this region.
There are two significant differences between the Chico Mendes Resex and the
Porto Dias PAE. Although crop production was the second highest cost category among
households of the Chico Mendes after non-timber forest products, for the Porto Dias
families the livestock production costs were the second highest after timber production.
There are two likely explanations for these results. During the period of this research
(2004), the maj ority of families of Porto Dias were clearing regrowth for pasture, and this
task was carried out with family labor, which explains the relatively high mean variable
cost for livestock. In contrast to this, many colocagdes of the Chico Mendes Resex
cleared forest for the production of annual crops, which required intensive use of family
labor as well.
For the rubber tapper families, the highest production costs were associated with
forest products. In the Porto Dias PAE, the highest production costs stemmed from
timber production and to a lesser extent from livestock production. The forest
management proj ect implemented by the NGO CTA in this area since 1994 has
introduced an entrepreneurial management plan that has involved high economic costs.
Although over the past two years, rubber tappers participating in the timber initiative in
Porto Dias have attempted to reduce costs, expenses related to transport, depreciation,
and hired employees remain high, and represent a great part of the total costs. This
suggests the long-term economic challenged faced by households participating in timber
extraction. Non-timber forest products were the products with the highest costs in the
Chico Mendes Resex. Rubber remains a key activity for many families in this area, but
the low concentration of rubber trees per hectare as well as intensive labor inputs required
contributed to high variable costs.
Although cost may be a key variable affecting household decisions, economic
viability is the primary goal of all families. Thus, in the following section, as a third
component in the economic assessment I analyze the profitability of the different
productive activities in different tenure areas.
After analyzing both gross income and costs of different land use strategies within
the three land tenure models, here I compare both income and costs in a profitability
analysis for all categories of products across land tenure types. This represents the most
important step of the economic analysis because it measures the economic effectiveness
of each production strategy implemented by rural households in the study sites. The
following analysis not only compares the economic viability of different types of
activities, it also identifies which land tenure type is most effective in yielding economic
welfare. The results of the profit analysis will also allow us to link profitability to land
cover dynamics among land tenure categories.
Table 4-7 compares the profitability of crops, livestock, and timber and non-timber
forest products among the three tenure types. I calculated profit as gross income minus
total costs for a given activity for each tenure type. Profit thus indicates the monetary
gain or loss to households as a result of their economic decision-making in the context of
their land tenure category. Negative values indicate lost revenue in 2004, whereas
positive values constitute profits accumulated by households. F-tests indicate that
differences across sites were significant.
Table 4-7. Annual mean for profit for economic categories, by land tenure type, Acre,
All Chico Mendes Porto Dias Peixoto PC
Economic activity F-tests
(n=88) Resex (N=34) PAE (N=27) (N=27)
Crops (US$) -125.14 -219.87 -17.26 -102.17 12.383**
Livestock (US$) -96.45 -132.48 289.96 -213.31 3.597*
Non-timber (US$) -10.22 -33.36 255.64 -41.70 4.355*
Timber (US$) -870.51 --917.21 140.56 4.250+
Total (US$) -86.71 -122.54 56.52 71.83 12.729**
+p <.10; p<.05; ** p<.01
The results indicate negative incomes for all economic activities when considering
the three study sites as a whole. The total mean profit value was US$ 86.71, which
suggests that overall the households sampled incurred an economic loss in 2004. While
crops were the category of product with the weakest economic efficiency (-US$ 125.14),
non-timber forest products almost covered the costs of production (-US$ 10.22). Timber,
however, was the product with largest economic loss. These results indicate that
agricultural crops and timber emerge as the products with the lowest economic viability,
while non-timber forest products, although also showing a loss, nearly covered the costs
Nevertheless, when we consider profitability among the three study sites, the
Endings are more mixed. In examining the results by study area, the Peixoto PC and
Porto Dias exhibit net economic gains overall. Their total mean profit value suggests
some economic viability (US$ 71.83 and US$ 56.52 respectively). That said, the
activities that proved profitable varied among land tenure categories. While in Peixoto,
timber was the only profitable product, in Porto Dias, livestock and non-timber forest
products were the profitable activities. Crops and livestock were the categories with the
poorest economic performance among colonists, and livestock production was the second
least effective production within all the sites. Soil degradation may be a main factor
contributing to increased costs of these activities in this area. The excellent profitability
for timber extraction (US$ 140.56) in Peixoto in comparison to other activities is
explained by its low expenses, in which the costs are reduced via the frequent
involvement of local logging companies that pay for a certain amount of timber and
provide their skidder to harvest and transport the timber.
In contrast, the Chico Mendes Resex has the lowest economic viability in terms of
profitability. In great part, this poor economic performance is due to agricultural crop
production, which yielded considerable financial losses (-US$ 219.87). This might be
explained by the very high costs for forest clearing to establish swidden agriculture.
Rubber tappers still utilize very simple technologies in the form of machetes for clearing
forests, resulting in very high labor costs. Second, the costs of transport are an important
component of the total costs among rubber tappers, who on average reside in colocagdes
around 30 km from the city of Xapuri.
Production activities in Porto Dias PAE were also profitable overall. Although its
mean profit was inferior to that of the Peixoto PC, livestock and non-timber forest
products demonstrated their economic viability for rubber tappers in this area. However,
the total costs of timber management, as presented earlier, are so high that they greatly
exceed the total gross income from timber. Therefore timber management in this study
site compromises the overall economic success of these families.
Three groups of factors help explain this performance for Porto Dias. First,
although the average price per head of cattle (US$ 150.00) in this area was similar to the
price offered to colonist farmers of Peixoto, the rubber tappers of Porto Dias have not had
the problems with soil degradation found in Peixoto, thus reducing total costs. Second,
for non-timber forest products, rubber tappers in Porto Dias concentrated their efforts on
Brazil nuts, copaiba, and forest seeds, which are products with relatively high prices and
significantly lower production costs than rubber. Third, as pointed out earlier, the type of
timber forest management implemented in Porto Dias, which follows an entrepreneurial
management model, has resulted in high operational and implementation costs.
This section concludes my economic analysis in which I first compared gross
income across land tenure types and land uses. I also estimated how fixed, variable, and
total costs were distributed among products and across communities. Finally, I integrated
cost and income data into a profit analysis to evaluate the economic viability of each
productive activity across sites. While public polices favoring extrativist, agro-
extractivist, and colonist households have focused on intervention strategies to generate
cash income, the results of this study indicate that the high costs associated with many
activities severely limit their economic viability. Not only has the timber forest
management proj ect in Porto Dias shown inferior results due to high costs, but the
proj ect-driven agrosilvopastoral system in Peixoto has not yielded favorable economic
outcomes for colonists. In this context, non-timber forest products do marginally better,
almost reaching break-even, however, these activities are also unprofitable.