Working Toward Cooperative Non-timber Forest Product Management
As part of the Rainforest Alliance’s Kleinhans Fellowship, researchers with Indiana University and Universidade Federal do Acre (UFAC) in Brazil examined the importance of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for supporting family income and promoting forest conservation in the western Amazon. The project compared seven sites representing one extractive reserve, three agro-extractive settlements, and three colonization settlements.
This analysis of more than 15 years of retrospective socioeconomic data and frequent visits to three different community types in the Amazon examines whether putting resource management decision-making in the hands of indigenous and community groups improves livelihoods and biodiversity outcomes. Among the paper’s primary conclusions: communities that manage their forests collectively are more effective in preventing deforestation on their land and improving economic returns of forest products than private landowners.