Effects of Socioeconomic Conditions on Multiple Uses of Swamp Forests in Central Brazil
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Local communities in central Brazil harvest buriti palm (Mauritia flexuosa) fruit from swamp forests as well as using them for agriculture and cattle and pig farming. This study describes the intensity of forest use by buriti fruit harvesters and identifies how their socioeconomic conditions influence resource use. We visited 75 swamp forests where buriti fruits are harvested and interviewed the head of the nearest household. Agriculture was practiced in 72 % of forests and cattle farming in 52 %. For almost half (48 %) of households agriculture and buriti fruit harvest were the main sources income. Forests resources were equally important to all socioeconomic classes, even richer farmers. The intensity of fruit harvest did not differ between collective and private use regimes of forests. Market access was a limitation to fruit harvest intensity. The high intensity of swamp forest use suggests that their conservation will require change to current management practices.
KeywordsNon-timber forest products Buriti palm fruit Cerrado Forest conservation Swamp forests Brazil
We thank our field assistants I.M. Medri and A.P. Lopes; A. Scariot, I.B. Schmidt and A.B. Sampaio for helpful suggestions; I.B. Figueiredo who provided information about the study regions; all swamp forest owners and field guides for kindly sharing their knowledge and experience; CNPq (Proc. num. 472127/2008-0, M. B. Sampaio’fellowship num. 140813/2009-8, F. A. M. Santos’ fellowship num. 140813/2009-8, C. S. Seixas’ fellowship num. 308480/2009-0), FAPESP (Proc. num. 2008/08737-4), CAPES (M. B. Sampaio’fellowship), PPP-ECOS ISPN/GEF/PNUD (project BRA/04/21); and Idea Wild.
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