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Annual cash income from community forest management in the Brazilian Amazon: Challenges for the future

Piketty M.G., Drigo I., Sablayrolles P., Araujo de Aquino E., Pena D., Sist P.. 2015. Forests, 6 (11) : p. 4228-4244.

DOI: 10.3390/f6114228

Community forest management (CFM) is considered an alternative way to protect forests while providing income for smallholders. Since the mid-1990s, the number of CFM projects has rapidly increased in the Brazilian Amazon, although most of them still face several difficulties. In this paper, we discuss the obstacles to the financial viability of CFM in this region and propose some ways to overcome them. Based on evidence from five case studies, we assess the extent to which sustainable forest management for commercial timber production contributes to smallholder income. We show that harvesting timber only provides a limited cash income to smallholders, even though forest covers 80% of their landholding. Market access to timber is very uncertain and smallholder communities often fail to make a profit from their timber. Minimum remunerative public prices and support for timber marketing are thus needed. Simpler and more flexible procedures are required to reduce the high transaction costs of obtaining a permit and increase smallholder involvement in legal forest management for commercial purposes. Finally, a better assessment of timber potential in smallholder forest reserves through systematic inventories would be useful to avoid arousing false expectations. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : forêt tropicale; aménagement forestier; communauté rurale; petite exploitation agricole; abattage d'arbres; développement durable; protection de la forêt; participation communautaire; gestion des ressources naturelles; législation; réglementation forestière; certification; marché; bois; revenu forestier; brésil

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