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Acta Amazonica

versão impressa ISSN 0044-5967versão On-line ISSN 1809-4392


MEDINA, Gabriel. Caboclo occupation and timber extractivism at upper capim river: a peasant reproduction strategy. Acta Amaz. [online]. 2004, vol.34, n.2, pp.309-318. ISSN 1809-4392.

As the timber industry advances throughout the Amazon basin, communities located along logging frontiers are increasingly approached to sell the rights to their timber. Such communities consider several aspects to assess the value of forest products. Locally perceived value and behaviors towards tropical forest resources contrast sharply with globally constructed views of tropical forest value. This locally perceived value is based on representations regarding the importance of forest products and on the context in which these representations are formed. To explore this theme, the paper begins with a historical reconstruction of a caboclo community focusing on forest resource use and dynamics during the last hundred years. For the households within the study communities, timber always represented a natural heritage that could be spent over time. It was the principal product with market value and, during initial timber sales, extraction did not significantly reduce access to other forest products. Therefore, timber resources represented an inheritance with exchange value and little conflicting use. Four socioeconomic factors were identified which influenced communities to sell timber despite the losses in non-timber forest products that they began to experience over time: 1) paternalistic relationships among buyers and caboclos; 2) difficulties in common property resource management; 3) quick cash gained from timber sales guaranteed access to market products and; 4) expanding market involvement required increased cash to meet increasing needs.

Palavras-chave : extractivism; non-timber forest products (NTFP); native; deforestation; Amazonia.

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