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REDD+ Opens Up New Opportunities for Forest Product Management in the Amazon

by Portal Web Editor last modified Jan 10, 2013 11:48 AM
Contributors: Amy Duchelle
Center for International Forestry Research
The emergence of subnational REDD+ projects in southwestern Amazonia is showing potential for multiple-use management of non-timber forest products, particularly Brazil nuts, and forest carbon. Multiple-use forestry, which includes NTFPs, timber and environmental services, has gained momentum among researchers, practitioners and policy-makers as a way to promote forest conservation and livelihood development in the tropics.

Original Source

While there have been a multitude of initiatives towards integrated management of NTFPs and timber, there has been less of a focus on environmental services in these multiple use systems. Recent strategies (REDD+) to reduce carbon emissions through avoided deforestation and forest degradation and enhancement of carbon stocks have opened up new opportunities for integrated management of NTFPs and environmental services.

As a Kleinhans Fellow from 2005 to 2007, I conducted research on the conservation and livelihood outcomes of Brazil nut management by rural communities in the MAP trinational frontier region of southwestern Amazonia. The approximately 300 000 km2 MAP region is comprised of the states of Madre de Dios, Peru; Acre, Brazil; and Pando, Bolivia.

I focused my comparison on Brazil nut production in these three adjacent areas, because while resident communities have a similar natural resource base, the forest management regimes, property rights systems and specific livelihood strategies in the three countries are different. Many communities in the MAP region collect Brazil nuts, and the combined ecological and economic characteristics of this species give it the potential to promote forest conservation while contributing to rural livelihoods.

My research results highlighted minimal deforestation and high forest income dependence in regional Brazil nut producing communities. Also, I observed a much greater incidence of reported nut thefts in Pando, which likely resulted from the Bolivian producers’ insecure property rights and extremely high income dependence on Brazil nuts. Finally, organic and Fair Trade nut certification schemes were associated with post-harvest management and financial benefits, while Forest Stewardship Council certification promoted pre-harvest and tree health practices, despite its lack of market benefits.

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