Course:FRST270/Wiki Projects/Non-Timber Forest Products as a Local Enterprise A Case Study of Work with Brazil Nut Producer Associations in Madre de Dios Peru

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Non-Timber Forest Products as a Local Enterprise: A Case Study of Work with Brazil Nut Producer Associations in Madre de Dios, Peru

Concession meeting in Madre de Dios

[1]

Located in the Peruvian Amazon in the province of Madre de Dios, the Federation of Brazil nut producers of Madre de Dios (FEPROCAMD) has partnered with the for-profit, conservation NGO, Bosques Amazónicos (BAM) in order improve the livelihood strategies of Brazil nut producers and provide monetary incentives to sustainably manage the forest on which the community depends. In 2009, BAM purchased the carbon rights to just over 400 Brazil nut concessions to be sold as carbon offsets in exchange for offering participating producers technical and financial support as well as a share of the profits from carbon offset sales. The preservation of this area is critical to the producers’ livelihoods as Brazil nuts only grow on trees in native forests with intact canopy. In addition to the carbon-offset program, BAM is building a Brazil nut processing plant that will be managed by staff overseen by the shareholders’ board, which is composed of both producer and BAM representatives.[2]

Boy peeling Brazil nuts

[3]

Description

Map of Madre de Dios

[4]

Located in the Peruvian Amazon, in the Southeast region of Madre de Dios that straddles the provinces of Tahuamanu and Tambopata. The Madre de Dios forest is rich in valuable timber species, much of which is subject to both legal and illegal harvesting. In addition to wood, the forest produces myriad NFTPs, including the Brazil nut. Brazil nuts are collected between the months of January through March and help to bolster the income of months outside of the harvest season. Natural resource extraction has historically dominated the local economy, which tends to experience cycles of boom and bust resource industries.[5]

In the early 1960’s, Peru underwent a set of structural reforms aimed at reallocating the concentrated power of the traditional elite to create a more cooperative and equitable society. In Madre de Dios, large forest estates, known as latifundios, were dismantled and the land was redistributed to workers.[6] Prior to the mid 1980’s, Madre de Dios was largely ignored by the central government until the first administration of Alan Garcia from 1985–1990. The Garcia administration was responsible for implementing two especially notable policies: a system of credit, which later gave way to the Agrarian Bank, and cattle expansion policies.[7] However, Garcia’s progressive policies led Peru into a period of hyperinflation. With the election of Fujimori in 1990, a wave of neoliberal reforms were enacted and the Peruvian government closed the Agrarian Bank, putting an end to agricultural credit and subsidies. Vast areas of land, especially land along the Interoceanic Highway, which cuts through the Madre de Dios region, were abandoned and forest clearing subsequently declined in Madre de Dios.[8]

Tenure arrangements

There are 405 Brazil nut concessionaires in the area[9], who have usufructuary land rights and each hold a concession contract with the State.[10] Brazil nut concessionaires are legally allowed to use 1–2 ha for farming, and are not permitted to cut primary growth, only secondary growth.[11] BAM agreed to invest at least 1 million USD in nut commercialization activities, largely through construction of the Brazil nut processing plant and revenue distribution from the sale of carbon credits (70% to BAM, 30% to the signed concessionaires) in exchange for concessionaires’ rights to sell environmental services and carbon from concessions.[12]

Administrative arrangements

After BAM received the bid from the National Institute for Natural Resources for Brazil nut concessions, BAM conducted meetings between 2009 and 2010 in Puerto Maldonado and adjacent communities along the Interoceanic Highway to ensure free, prior and informed consent and clarify specific concerns expressed by concessionaires.[13] Concessionaires also receive access to benefits of the Brazil nut processing plant, capital to cover initial costs during the nut harvesting season, assistance with submission of documents required and process to maintain control over their concessions, and income from the sale of carbon offsets. Participation is open to any Brazil nut concessionaires in the area. Meetings are held between BAM and association leaders of the Brazil nut concessionaires, who are chosen through local elections.[14]

Affected Stakeholders

Stakeholder Relative Objective Relative Power
Brazil nut concessionaires -Brazil nuts and selective logging used to provide income

-Prevent deforestation or unapproved logging on land

Low-medium
Land owners that overlap with Brazil nut concessionaires -To maintain ownership and rights to use or gain sole ownership Low-medium

[15][16]

Interested Outside Stakeholders

Stakeholder Relative Objective Relative Power
Bosques Amazónicos (BAM) -Provide concessionaires technical and financial support in exchange for carbon rights

-Responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the project activities as well as maintaining factory

-Responsible for the technical process to certify carbon credits, including validation and verification of the project.

-Responsible for selling carbon credits.

Medium-high, Large private company dedicated to conservation, protection, restoration and sustainable management of tropical forests
Federation of Brazil nut producers of Madre de Dios

(FEPROCAMD)

-Represent nut collectors and greater associations in region

-Acts as intermediary between BAM and concessionaires

-Protect and support Brazil nut producer rights as well

-Protect and conserve forests to promote Brazil nut growth

-Help concessionaires fight against illegal logging

Medium-high, Brazil nut associations are seen as the most important decision-making body by the community
Brazil nut association councils -Represent nut harvesters in region

-Oversee forest(s) management

-Protect and support Brazil nut producer

Medium-high
Madre de Dios regional government -Uphold contract with concessionaires, revoke concessionary rights if terms are not met

-Occasional interests in growing cash crops, such as watermelon, oranges, pineapple and copoazu

High
Peruvian government -To grow economy

-To seek re-election

High
Other governments and NGO’s -Reforestation assistance

-Financial assistance

Low
Factory shareholder board -Manage and oversee factory

-Disseminate appropriate information to BAM and Brazil nut associations

Low-medium, oversee factory which generates revenue

[17][18]

Discussion

Like all REDD+ initiatives, the aim of the project is to reduce deforestation and degradation and to promote forest conservation and management for a given area. In addition to this, the project seeks to disseminate revenue shares from the carbon commercialization with concessionaire partners, strengthen land tenure rights, increase value of timber and NFTPs through international certification and to empower Brazil nut concessionaires to protect their land and improve their livelihoods.[19] BAM is partnering with local concessionaires to protect and conserve regional forests in order to promote Brazil nut growth and increase subsistence.

Most concessionaires have overlapping boundaries, a major source of multiple issues. Overlap disputes do occasionally end in violence, but they also serve to undermine the confidence in the concession structure. Unclaimed gaps in boundaries also exist and have allowed third parties to solicit these land titles. With the unwillingness from both federal and regional governments to clear up overlapping tenure conflicts, virtually no involvement at a lower level of government, and apathetic authorities to concessionaires’ concerns, in practice, concessionaires are virtually free to do with their lands as they wish.[20] Many concession owners use selective logging to supplement their income after the nut harvest ends, many are forced to do so if they do not make enough during the harvesting season. The area is rife with theft and illegal logging.[21] Concessionaires often log their own land past the annual allowable cut as timber is much more lucrative than Brazil nuts.[22] More wood is harvested from within concessions set aside for Brazil nuts than concessions set aside for logging.[23]

In addition to endemic selective logging, land clearances are extremely common in the area and greatly affect neighbouring concessions, specifically by reducing pollinator populations. Felicitas Ramirez, a Brazil nut harvester working on a 330-hectare area of primary forest, just three kilometers outside her village of Alegria, in the Madre de Dios region, where she has exclusive rights to all Brazil nuts grown in her concession. The man that owns the plot neighbouring her plot has burned down the forest within his boundaries in order to use his land for agriculture. This affects the ability of the plot’s outer regions to produce Brazil nuts, and therefore, to produce adequate income to provide for her and her family.[24] Aside from issues with concession boundaries and land use, women are not sufficiently represented on association councils and the bulk of their influence is through their husband.[25] Although BAM initially conducted training sessions and workshops in addition to legal and financial assistance, such as small loans, more than half of the participants of this study did not know about the REDD+ initiative.[26]

Assessment

Like many community forestry case studies, such as Nicholas Menzies' studies of the Naidu people in Tibet, Zanzibar in Tanzania, Mazagão in Brazil, and Kangra in northern India, Madre de Dios follows a common narrative: Forest communities lose access to and control over forest or resource, frequently, and in this case, to the state. Exploitation, forest looting, and extractive use increase causing and accelerating the degradation of the forest to the detriment of locals. Communities then organize themselves to reclaim their right and be involved in the decision-making surrounding the forest. A partnership is negotiated and agreed upon, in this case, with the help of BAM. Different expectations of what "community management" come to light, often leading to a management implementation dispute.[27]

While concessionaires have usufruct rights within their plot and de facto rights to land use, the state holds de jure rights to major land decisions outside the scope of concession. Locals do not have any ability to determine or enact punitive measures on illegal logging offenders nor are they able to effectively litigate overlap disputes. Arbitration is left up the state with little impetus of urgency. The state has by far the most control but is fairly apathetic to locals' concerns and is rife with corruption at many levels of government. The power of the concessionaires has been fortified by partnering with BAM, as this provides a larger level of economic incentive to the state. REDD+, a project first introduced by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), provides an international interest and engagement that can help to regulate projects of this nature.

Recommendations

-BAM to require a fourth of association board members to be women as to foster female participation.

-BAM and FEPROCAMD should implement a monitoring and surveillance system or establish guard positions with a paid salary from factory revenue. This would help apprehend criminals as well as deter illegal logging and improve the livelihoods of locals.

-BAM could provide financial incentive for those that abide by logging rules.

-Locals, BAM, partnering NGOs and the local government should continue to push government for resolutions to land tenure overlap disputes and to increase authority presence in the area.

References

  1. http://wiki.ubc.ca/File:Madre_de_Dios_Concession_Meeting.jpg
  2. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  3. http://wiki.ubc.ca/File:Boy_peeling_Brazil_nuts.jpg
  4. http://wiki.ubc.ca/File:Map_of_Madre_de_Dios.jpg
  5. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  6. Mar JM and Mejia JM. 1980. La reforma agraria en el Perú. Lima, Peru: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos ediciones.
  7. Chávez A. 2009. Public policy and spatial variation in land use and cover in the southeastern Peruvian Amazon [PhD thesis]. Gainesville, FL, US: University of Florida.
  8. Alvarez NL and Naughton-Treves L. 2003. Linking national agrarian policy to deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon: A case study of Tambopata 1986–1997. Ambio 32:269–74.
  9. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  10. REDD. (2017). REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre De Dios - project outline. Retrieved from http://redd-database.iges.or.jp/redd/download/project?id=99
  11. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  12. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  13. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  14. REDD. (2017). REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre De Dios - project outline. Retrieved from http://redd-database.iges.or.jp/redd/download/project?id=99
  15. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  16. REDD. (2017). REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre De Dios - project outline. Retrieved from http://redd-database.iges.or.jp/redd/download/project?id=99
  17. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  18. REDD. (2017). REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre De Dios - project outline. Retrieved from http://redd-database.iges.or.jp/redd/download/project?id=99
  19. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  20. BAM. 2012a. In a nutshell: Effective community based conservation on Brazil nut concessions. In Private Capital for a Sustainable World: Project Summary. Lima, Peru: BAM. 11–14. http://issuu.com/bam01/docs/bam_project_summary
  21. BAM. 2012a. In a nutshell: Effective community based conservation on Brazil nut concessions. In Private Capital for a Sustainable World: Project Summary. Lima, Peru: BAM. 11–14. http://issuu.com/bam01/docs/bam_project_summary
  22. Evans, K. (2017). Harvesting both timber and Brazil nuts in Peru’s Amazon forests: Can they coexist?. CIFOR Forests News. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://forestsnews.cifor.org/16623/harvesting-both-timber-and-brazil-nuts-in-perus-amazon-forests-can-they-coexist?fnl=en
  23. BAM. 2012a. In a nutshell: Effective community based conservation on Brazil nut concessions. In Private Capital for a Sustainable World: Project Summary. Lima, Peru: BAM. 11–14. http://issuu.com/bam01/docs/bam_project_summary
  24. BAM. 2012a. In a nutshell: Effective community based conservation on Brazil nut concessions. In Private Capital for a Sustainable World: Project Summary. Lima, Peru: BAM. 11–14. http://issuu.com/bam01/docs/bam_project_summary
  25. Garrish, V., Perales, E., Duchelle, A., & Cronkleton, P. (2017). The REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios, Peru. REDD+ on the ground. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://www.cifor.org/redd-case-book/case-reports/peru/redd-project-brazil-nut-concessions-madre-de-dios-peru/
  26. BOSQUES AMAZÓNICOS SAC. (2013). REDD project in Brazil nut concessions in Madre de Dios - monitoring report. Lima, Peru.
  27. Menzies, N. (2012). Our Forest, Your Ecosystem, Their Timber (pp. 87-99). New York: Columbia University Press.


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This conservation resource was created by Course:FRST270.