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Community-based forest management plans in the Brazilian Amazon: Current barriers and necessary reforms

Drigo I., Piketty M.G., Pena W., Sist P.. 2010. In : Conference on Taking stock of smallholder and community Forestry: Where do we go from here?, Montpellier, France, 24-26 March 2010. s.l. : s.n., 27 p.. Conference on Taking stock of Smallholder and Community Forestry, 2010-03-24/2010-03-26, Montpellier (France).

Community-based forest management (CBFM) projects are often seen as an alternative to protect forest and at the same time to provide incomes for small landholders. Since the mid-1990s, the number of CBFM projects has increased in the Brazilian Amazon although most of them face several difficulties despite significant public support. Four CBFM plans were analyzed between 2005 and 2009 to assess the main barriers threatening their long term viability. Two plans are located in the State of Acre (Porto Dias Association and APRUMA) and two in the State of Para (Virola Jatoba Association and CANOR Cooperative). The first important barrier to successfully implementation of CBFM is the complex legal framework: it currently takes at least 2 to 3 years to get a plan approved. Public regulations and institutions have to become more efficient. Moreover management plan elaboration process is costly. None of the CBFM plan could have been successfully implemented without external national and international financial supports, as well as technical assistance. Finally, in the current Amazonian market context, timber harvest only represents a limited complementary income for small farmers, even if forest covers 80 % of their landholding. Market access is very uncertain and small holders communities do not systematically succeed in selling their timber at remunerative prices. Minimum remunerative public prices should be guaranteed for timber from such CBFM plans to make them a truly economic alternative for the Amazon smallholders.

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