The Political Ecology of Ntfp and Global Cosmetic Industry: The Contribution of Ntfp Derived Income to Rural Livelihoods in the Brazilian Amazon (An Econometric Exploration)

Authors: Aghane De Carvalho Antunes*, University of Florida
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Coupled Human and Natural Systems, Quantitative Methods
Keywords: NTFP; income; smallholders; cosmetic companies; Brazilian Amazon;Spatial Models; Econometric
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: President's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This study explores the engagement of small farmers in commercial non-timber forest products (NTFPs) production and company-community partnerships with multinational cosmetic industry. The goal is to assess how income from market-oriented production of NTFPs and membership in cooperatives linked to the corporation-community agreements plays out in the peasant farmer’s livelihoods. Commercialization of NTFPs has been advocated as a compatible strategy to mitigate climate change and poverty by maintaining forest biodiversity and ecosystem services, reducing deforestation in Amazonia, while also generating income for small farmers. I use household-level data in a spatial econometric based case study assessing if the engagement in the commercialization of NTFPs and business partnerships bring about statistically significant changes in the household income level. To estimate this relationship, I implement a host of conventional and spatial regression models, including OLS, SAR, SEM, and SDM, beyond alternative Bayesian models. Data is drawn from a household survey in rural, remote communities of the municipalities of Anajas, Breves (Furo do Gil), Igarape-Miri, and Tome-Acu, in the Northeast of Para state, in the Brazilian Amazon. The results show that the commercialization of NTFPs does not have done any bearing effect on the total income of the households. The outcome also indicates that membership in cooperatives tied to company-community agreements is positive and significant, and results in increases in total income at the household level. The findings suggest that participation in partnerships is the most robust factor influencing total income with consistent results across the various estimation methods implemented in the study.

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