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Changes in natural resource use and associated practices by populations inhabiting Amazonian and Atlantic tropical forests: Impacts of conditional cash transfers through the Bolsa Família Program

Grant number: 16/12803-9
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: November 01, 2016 - August 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Ecology - Applied Ecology
Principal researcher:Carla Morsello
Grantee:Carla Morsello
Home Institution: Instituto de Energia e Ambiente (IEE). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Poverty reduction, observed both in the world and Brazil in the last fifteen years, had important contribution of conditional cash transfers, such as the Bolsa Família Program (BFP) in Brazil. Yet, poverty persists, with its highest incidence in remote rural areas, as those isolated forested regions of the Amazon and Atlantic Forests. At these locations, despite heavy reliance on natural resources for livelihoods (hunting, fishing, gathering and subsistence farming), little is known about the effects of BFP on people's practices and use of natural resources. Thus, this project aims to evaluate whether there is an association between monetary income from the BFP and differences across households in the diversity of activities pursued (subsistence and cash oriented) and the use of natural resources by two semi-autarchic populations. If so, what is the nature of the motivations behind these differences. To this end, we will gather information through a household census of four Kisêdjê communities from the Amazon, and a structured sample of rural households in seven municipalities of the Vale do Ribeira in São Paulo. The study will adopt a mixed observational design, which combines qualitative (e.g., focus groups, seasonal calendars) and quantitative methods applied to households and individuals, specifically an interview-based survey and three systematic techniques of direct observation. Quantitative data will be pre-processed (ex-post matching) and then statistically analysed with tools appropriate to hierarchical data. Results might contribute the market integration theory with novel information on cash fluxes that are independent of direct effort, as well as the nature of people's predominant decision models (rational / non rational). In terms of public policies, the findings might help to better understand poverty and its determinants in remote rural locations. (AU)

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