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Property rights and the environment at the local and global levels: Brazilian Amazonia and the extractive reserve Chico Mendes.

Araya Santos Cardoso, Catarina (1999) Property rights and the environment at the local and global levels: Brazilian Amazonia and the extractive reserve Chico Mendes. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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There has been a tendency in research on common property to neglect the influence that national and international developments might have in resource conservation. The environmental literature, on the other hand, suggests that the creation of extractive reserves in Brazilian Amazonia in 1990 and thus the recognition of the rubber tappers' common property rights to their forests have been influenced by such developments. Extractive reserves have also been considered one of the most important initiatives of the Brazilian government to address the problem of deforestation in Amazonia. Attempts at examining their capacity to ensure resource conservation through the theory on common property have been, however, relatively scarce. This thesis thus examines extractive reserves using the theory of common property as a theoretical framework and includes in the analysis a wider range of factors than those usually considered in the existing literature on common property regimes. The thesis reviews the evolution of national and international developments in relation to Amazonia during the 1980s and, against this background, it examines the process that led to the establishment of extractive reserves. The thesis then proceeds to explore the property rights institutions of the Chico Mendes drawing on the evidence collected through semi-structured interviews with the reserve inhabitants. The research conducted identifies local, national and international factors which have influenced the capacity of the rubber tappers to ensure the sustainable use of their resources before and after the creation of extractive reserves. The evidence and analysis presented suggests that the capacity of the Chico Mendes Reserve to promote the sustainable use of the forest is limited. There are indications, however, that the reserve inhabitants could develop mechanisms to conserve their resources if external support continues but, at the same time, does not hinder their autonomy and interest in managing the forest. The thesis concludes by suggesting that developments in the national and international arenas can play a crucial role in relation to common property institutions.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental Management, Environmental Law
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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