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An assessment of the forest allowance programme in the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Brazil/Une evaluation du programme de permission forestiere dans la reserve de developpement durable de Juma, au Bresil/Evaluacion del Programa de Pagos Forestales en la Reserva de Desarrollo Sostenible Juma en Brasil.


Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) has figured high in recent climate negotiations. It is seen as one of the most cost-efficient GHG mitigation strategies (Stern 2006). One possible way to achieve the goals of REDD+ is through paying for reduced deforestation.

Brazil has encountered high levels of deforestation and several initiatives have recently been taken to decrease it. One strategy has been to establish forest reserves, payments is another. At the moment, Brazil is an experimental arena for the design of payment systems of which the Forest Allowance Programme (O Programa Bolsa Floresta--BFP) is the first payments for environmental services (PES) based REDD+ scheme. The BFP is run by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (Fundagao Amazonas Sustentavel--FAS) and operates (as of July 2012) in a total of 15 reserves located in the State of Amazonas. (1) Among these is the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve (Juma RDS), where the study to be presented in this paper is located. The BFP in the Juma RDS was implemented in September 2007. This happened well a year after the reserve was established on July 3rd 2006. It is a validated REDD+ project hoping to save up to 190 million tons of C[O.sub.2e] by 2050 (2) compared with a business as usual scenario (FAS 2008). As the deforestation rate has historically been low, the project in Juma is mainly focused on avoiding future deforestation, expected largely to be undertaken by outsiders.

The aim of the present paper is to analyse the introduction of the BFP in Juma. More specifically it aims to:

--analyse how the introduction of the BFP has affected people's livelihoods, use of forest resources and attitudes to these resources as stated by local people themselves;

--investigate how the programme is perceived by the residents of the Juma reserve and which role local people/communities have played in forming the programme; and

--understand how the rules for the Juma reserve and the BFP interact and influence motivations and behaviour.

Regarding the first sub-goal, our analysis on deforestation is substantiated by including information on changes in trends based on monitoring data.

Data collection was undertaken two years after the BFP was introduced in the Juma RDS. While this is a strength regarding the study of the introduction process, it puts limitations on the opportunity to evaluate impacts.

The paper is organised as follows. First, a short overview of the establishment of the BFP is presented. Next follows a discussion of core concepts and the theoretical focus of the study. Thereafter, the methods used for the study are introduced. The main section covers key results from the undertaken evaluation including discussions of the findings. The paper also offers a short conclusion.


The Bolsa Floresta Programme is the first internationally certified programme in Brazil to reward traditional and indigenous people for the maintenance of ecosystem services provided by tropical forests (FAS 2010a). The BFP was conceived by the State of Amazonas. The process of establishment included discussions among representatives of the State, various socio-economic movements, including indigenous associations, and members of the Alliance of the Forest People (Allianga dos Povos da Floresta). The validation of the programme was realised through the creation of new state laws (3), seeking to consolidate the legal framework of the State of Amazonas regarding the use of forest-based products and services, and promote social justice and environmental conservation (Pinto pers. comm. 2009, Viana pers. comm. 2009).

As emphasized by FAS, a core aspect of the programme is paying forest dwellers for ecosystem services (PES). The idea is that by rewarding and improving the quality of life of traditional people, the programme should result in reduced deforestation, protection of biodiversity, and promote sustainable development and environmental awareness. The aim is further to involve the local communities in activities to combat, monitor and reduce deforestation in the region (Neto pers. comm. 2009).

The BFP is funded by three main donors: the State of Amazonas, Bradesco Bank (4) and the Coca-Cola Corporation. Each of them has made a one-time contribution of BRL 20 million (roughly USD 10 million) (5), which are allocated to an endowment fund. FAS is the main decision-maker concerning the allocations of resources between the different elements of the programme. In the case of Juma, FAS has made a contract with Marriott International as a key contributor to financing the programme. However, at the time of our study, the funding from Marriott had not yet been realised (Pinto pers. comm. 2009, Viana pers. comm. 2009).


Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)

Forests deliver both private and public goods/services. Timber and hunting is an example of the former, while carbon sequestration is an example of the latter. While payments (PES) may be directed at both types (e.g., Engel et al. 2008), it is especially challenging to ensure that delivery of public services is ensured when people make choices over the use of e.g., forest areas. Hence, there is special emphasis in the PES-literature on paying land owners for an additional production of public goods. To the extent private and public goods compete in production, it is assumed that producers will shift to delivering more of the latter if that becomes more profitable--i.e., cover opportunity costs (Corbera et al. 2009, Engel et al. 2008, Hall 2008, Kosoy et al. 2007, Wunder et al. 2008).

Even though PES programmes are not designed to produce poverty reduction and economic development, they are expected to have the potential to contribute to this by conserving the natural ecosystems on which rural poor depend, and by providing additional income through payments (Engel et al. 2008, Kosoy et al. 2007, Pagiola et al. 2005). Such outcomes are, however, not at all certain. Transaction cost considerations may make buyers of environmental services focus only on the larger land owners (Pagiola et al. 2010, Wunder and Alban 2008). If payments only cover opportunity costs, people may just be as well or bad off as before. Moreover, if payments are not introduced and used with caution, some may also lose. Competition over land may increase, land grabbing processes may be stimulated, and food prices may rise--see Vatn et al. (2009) and Vatn (2010) for a discussion. Hence, without a cautious design, the poor may not benefit from PES programmes (Wunder 2005).

Payments and norms

The theory underlying PES assumes that relative prices drive choice. According to e.g., institutional theory, choice is not only founded on such accounts. Norms about appropriate behaviour are also important (March and Olsen 1995). Hence, communities typically develop norms about what is proper resource use (Ostrom 2005). These rules are 'solutions' to collective choice problems in situations where what is individually rational may be collectively detrimental. The case with forests and climate change illustrates such a situation. While local communities will not have developed norms about carbon sequestration, they may have norms about forest protection based on other rationales, like protecting certain species or areas for sustained delivery of forest products.

In cases where protection norms are prevalent, introducing payments may cause 'unexpected' responses. To pay somebody for something considered a 'proper thing to do', may actually reduce delivery. This effect is called crowding-out and is observed in a series of cases (see e.g., Frey and Jegen 2001, Frey and Oberholzer-Gee 1997, Gneezy and Rustichini 2000). Crowding out is relevant for this study as low rates of deforestation have been observed in Juma. This may be the result of strong conservationist norms which payments may weaken. Low deforestation may, however, also be the effect of low capacity to deforest. In such a situation, there is nothing to crowd out.

The dilemmas of external intervention

While PES is typically seen as a transaction between buyers and sellers--in this case of sequestered carbon--it normally involves intermediaries. They are moreover often the dominant actor as they typically both create the funding and develop the payment system (Vatn 2010). This may even imply 'constructing' the sellers, in the meaning that they may have to be both organised and motivated to participate. Hence it is more appropriate to talk about a client relationship than trade.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the fact that the intermediary has a strong position. It raises, however, issues concerning its accountability and the role and involvement of local communities. Hence, there is a fundamental dilemma regarding legitimacy and participation in cases where programmes are externally created.

Referring to participation, Inoue (1998) distinguishes between three levels--the top-down approach, a professional-guided participatory approach and the endogenous bottom-up approach. In the top-down approach, local people are consulted about decisions post factum to the decision making process. Within the professional-guided participatory approach, drafts and plans are elaborated by external professionals. People may be consulted, but only after core decisions have been made by outsiders. The bottom-up approach is locally initiated and characterised as a continuous learning process, where external professionals take actions according to local needs; they act as facilitators.

Programmes like the BFP cannot be bottom-up. They can at best be professionally guided, while over time the active involvement of local communities may increase. Following Vedeld (2009) participation is, however, seen as a prerequisite for effective and legitimate outcomes. Vedeld notes that many governments and organisations working with development issues have a very strategic view of the concept of participation. It is often used in an instrumental way, where central actors design instruments aiming at changing local dynamics following predetermined (external) goals and objectives.


The paper is based on field work in the Juma reserve in the autumn of 2009. FAS was also visited in this period. Household questionnaire surveys, participatory observations and key informant interviews were used. Information was also acquired from satellite data and maps showing actual deforestation and changes in forest cover. The latter was obtained from FAS and the Ministry of Science and Technology in Brazil.

The household questionnaire had sections about the structure of the household, production and income (both before the BFP was established and presently), access to land/property issues, attitudes towards the BFP, the use of payments from the programme, non-monetary benefits, and expectations regarding the BFP. (6) The aim was to interview female heads of households, as these are the direct receivers of the individual payments. However, the female head was often joined by the male head of the household. This was helpful as the latter knew more about crop and forest production and sale. In some cases men were also best informed about the BFP as they more often attended information meetings held by FAS.

Families living together as one household, often two or three generations of the same family, were encountered during the fieldwork. In such situations, not all members receiving payments from the BFP were interviewed, as the other data concerning production and income would be identical. Altogether 96 households--25%--were interviewed. More information on selection procedures and the characteristics of households are given in the Analysis chapter.

While the questionnaire gave structure to the interviews, the conversations were allowed to develop into open conversations, giving more depth to the obtained data. Informal group discussions were also conducted during the field data collection. As some issues were sensitive, it was useful to supplement survey methods with observations of everyday community interactions under the participant observation framework. While some of the data took a quantitative form, the emphasis was on qualitative aspects. This reflects the nature of the research objectives where understanding opinions, meaning and behavioural patterns, as well as creating insights about the context in which these arise, were core.

Analyses in control sites were also planned. In the end this could not be realised, mainly due to constraints regarding natural conditions (low water levels in the rivers, making travelling by boat impossible), but also logistics and safety reasons. Approaching areas around the reserve without support from people familiar with the areas was not advisable. This was due to the political and economic situation in the area, and it was not possible to recruit this kind of help (see Agustsson et al. 2010). The household analyses have been complemented with data from INPE (O Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais--National Institute for Space Research) on deforestation trends going back before the establishment of the BFP at this site. Data from Bonier et al. (2013) has also been used. They have made an analysis of deforestation trends in some BFP areas--including Juma--and compared them to developments in areas outside these sites. This analysis extends through 2011.

In order to acquire a comprehensive picture of the design and implementation of the BFP, representatives of FAS were interviewed. In addition, conversations with community leaders were conducted. These interviews took the form of open, semi-structured discussions related to the focus of the study.


Description of the Study Area

The Juma Sustainable Development Reserve covers 5896 [km.sup.2] in the municipality of Novo Aripuana, in the south-eastern region of the State of Amazonas, located 230 km south of the city of Manaus. The town of Novo Aripuana is located about 10 km north-east of the Reserve--see Figure 1. As the map shows, some of the villages included in the BFP lie outside the reserve. People live along three main rivers--Rio Aripuana, Rio Arauana and Rio Mariepaua. According to a survey carried out in July 2008 by the Amazonas State, there were 385 families residing in 44 villages located within the BFP area (7).

The SimAmazonia I scenarios of Soares-Filho et al. (2006) indicate that the municipalities are located in a high deforestation risk area--i.e., a 62% reduction in forest cover by 2050 under a 'business as usual scenario'. This is due to the AM-174 highway which cuts through the eastern part of the reserve--see Figure 1. Paving this road implies that access to forest resources will be made much easier. Later studies by Yanai et al. (2012) using the same model, but with parameters reflecting the lowered deforestation trend after 2005, project a much lower loss of forest cover, though--i.e., 19% per 2050. (8)

The inhabitants of the reserve live in small communities. The population is quite homogeneous both in lifestyle, education, culture and religion. The spoken language is Portuguese. Very few people have a job in the city or travel to finish their education. The inhabitants are descendants of indigenous tribes and former workers of rubber plantations--which existed in the region during the post-colonial era. This resulted in loss of environmental and indigenous knowledge, as well as indigenous lifestyles. For example, only a few of our interviewees reported hunting as a common activity. The residents mostly utilise what is immediately available on the fringe of the forest, rarely going deep inside, and merely a fraction of wild forest fruits broadly known to indigenous dwellers in the other parts of the Amazon are present in the everyday diet of the Juma residents. Their daily activities are concentrated on a small territory cleared between the river and the forest (Schwade pers. comm. 2009).

The communities are characterised by poor educational opportunities and general isolation. It is common for girls to get married and become pregnant at very early age. Alcoholism is a serious issue, as well as health/sanitation problems. The majority of the families residing in the reserve do not have land titles, and some lack personal identification (FAS 2008, Viana pers. comm. 2009).

Delivering the BFP in Juma

Participating in the BFP is voluntary and based on a contract with households--see below. However, there are some prerequisites to be eligible for participation, including proof of residence in the reserve for at least two years, a taxpayer number and a personal identification number.

As already mentioned, the BFP programme was introduced into an already established reserve (RDS). To understand what is distinct about the programme, a clarification of the rules for the reserve is needed. Establishing the RDS implies prohibiting clearing of primary forest for agricultural use, delimiting the size of cultivation areas to 4 quadras and restricting use of the slash and burn method. Only the capoeiras (9), or secondary-forest areas, may be used for agricultural purposes. An exception regards newly formed families (above 18 years of age). They are allowed to clear primary forest for agriculture up to a size equalling the community average. There are also regulations on harvesting and consumption of forest products such as plants, timber and fish that are necessary for the livelihoods of the reserve dwellers. In general, the sale of forest products is restricted to forest dwellers only, and all commercial logging is strictly forbidden, unless provisioned by a sustainable forest management scheme (10). Moreover, fishing and hunting for commercial purposes are not allowed (FAS 2010b).

The introduction of the BFP has reinforced the reserve rules, and has also brought into effect additional ones. Hence, households agreeing to engage in the programme in Juma had to sign an agreement of non-deforestation in primary forests for agricultural purposes. This agreement states moreover that agricultural areas cannot be expanded beyond the size they held in the year the programme was initiated. In addition to this, all participants must attend a general information meeting, which provides an introduction to the programme. They must also commit to sending their children to school. Finally, participating in the BFP demands membership in the association of the reserve (FAS 2008, Neto pers. comm. 2009). Note that the BFP rules do not have the same status as the reserve rules as they are not legal prescriptions. In addition, FAS do not monitor if the residents are following the programme rules. In that respect they depend on residents reporting behaviour that contradicts the BFP's terms. Being reported may lead to sanctioning of payments to the offender, but the other components will still be available in the community.

The BFP consists of four components--Family, Association, Social and Income. By the end of 2009, only the Family component was fully implemented in the Juma RDS. The remaining three components were still in the phase of being realised and activities were concentrated near the FAS base in Boa Frente. Further plans to extend the BFP to the entire reserve were outlined.

The family component

This component includes a monthly payment to the female head of each family of BRL 50 (equivalent to roughly USD 25). This is intended to strengthen women's role and ensure focus on immediate family needs like food, clothing and necessities for children (Neto pers. comm. 2009). To be eligible for payments, the receiver has to sign an agreement of non-deforestation in primary forests. FAS has chosen to deliver the money through a Bradesco Bank debit card. At the time the fieldwork was conducted (December 2009), the closest location where the money could be withdrawn was in the town of Nova Aripuana. People do not go there often. On the other hand, it is mainly when they go there that they need cash. There is no requirement to withdraw the payment regularly. The payment level seems fixed--i.e., there were no plans to increase the payment level when funding from Marriott arrived.

The income component

This component supports the development of sustainable income-generation. Agriculture is exempted since it may promote deforestation. Communities may make their own proposals, and if they lack expertise, receive technical and educational support from FAS. The money backing this activity is channelled in the form of investments made by FAS into equipment or relevant educational activities (Neto pers. comm. 2009, Pinto pers. comm. 2009).

FAS aims at supporting diversification of livelihoods through sustainable harvesting of forest products According to Pinto (pers. comm. 2009), agro-forestry and non-agricultural production based on resources available in the area may become a major source of income for the forest communities. At the moment of our research, the only activity in place under this component was a course concerning improving Brazil nut seed collection and storage to achieve better prices through improved quality.

The association component

This component is aimed at strengthening local organisation and participation. It facilitated the creation of the Association of Dwellers of Juma in 2009. FAS also donated resources to enable the functioning of this body, such as office equipment, a generator, fuel, and a large boat which is used to gather people along the rivers for meetings in Novo Aripuana and to transport various materials for the communities within the reserve. The organisation is supposed to facilitate the decision-making process when implementing the programme within the reserve, as well as disseminating information about the reserve management plan (FAS 2008, Pinto pers. comm. 2009).

The social component

The social component focuses on four aspects: education, health, transport and communication. Support concerning these issues is largely the responsibility of the state; for this reason FAS implements this component in cooperation with various state organisations. The most visible outcomes of the component as of the fall of 2009 were one school, dormitories for students, and a teachers' house in the community of Boa Frente. Three fast boats for transportation to the nearest hospital in medical emergency situations, as well as for regular transportation of FAS personnel, school teachers and reserve residents between the communities and the town of Novo Aripuana, were also made available (Pinto pers. comm. 2009, Viggiani pers. comm. 2009). A radio communication base had been established in the community of Boa Frente. Other projects under the Social component mentioned in Table 1 were still in their establishment phase in late 2009. The level of costs reported in Table 1 is far above expected yearly costs for this component due to high levels of investments.

The number of families benefitting from the BFP in Juma as of the fall of 2009 was 321. There were 378 families registered as qualified for receiving the payments, but 57 lacked the required documentation to complete the transaction (Neto pers. comm. 2009). Among the residents questioned, nine people had not yet received the payment. Six of these were waiting for the card to be delivered, two had ID problems which meant they could not yet receive the bank card, and the last person did not disclose any reason for the situation. It was not possible to confirm if these issues were resolved at the end of our study.

By December 2009 only about BRL 2.5 million out of BRL 3.7 million available in total for the entire period since April 2008 had been spent, the remaining BRL 1.2 million was to cover the additional construction costs associated with the plan for the social component. Table 1 summarises the distribution of resources among the four components of the programme in Juma.

Deforestation trends

As mentioned before, Juma is an area with low deforestation, but expected to face increased pressure in the future. Based on the calculations made by INPE--using the official Brazilian deforestation monitoring system PRODES--a total of 47.7 [km.sup.2] of forest had disappeared in Juma in the years leading up to and including 1997. This equals about 1% of the total reserve area. By the end of 2009 the deforested areas in Juma totalled 68.3 [km.sup.2], still a low figure (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais 2013).

Deforestation rates seem to have varied if one looks at the years after 2000. In 2000 about 8.3 [km.sup.2] of forest was cut. The level of deforestation then dropped to an average of 1.5 [km.sup.2], rising to 3.8 [km.sup.2] in 2004. The level in 2005 was 1.9 [km.sup.2]. In 2006, the deforestation in the reserve dropped again--now to 0.6 [km.sup.2]. (11) The level of deforestation has continued to be low since 2006--0.4 [km.sup.2] in 2007, 0.7 [km.sup.2] in 2008, and then 0. 2 [km.sup.2] in 2009. The latest figures available show 1.0 [km.sup.2] in 2010, and 0.5 [km.sup.2] in 2011 (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais 2013). The BFP was introduced in Juma in 2007. From these data it is not possible to say if it has had any effect/separate effect on the deforestation trend. Borner et al. (2013) present analyses that shed further light on these issues. Two observations are of importance to us. First, the authors compare deforestation estimates from PRODES with a set based on Landsat images classified by CLASlite--a semiautomatic deforestation monitoring system where it is possible to detect smaller-scale deforestation (less than 5 ha). This analysis shows that data from PRODES underestimated the overall level of deforestation in JUMA. It also seems it underestimated the reductions after 2007.

To further enquire into the potential effects of introducing the BFP, the authors next compare deforestation trends in all BFP sites and in other reserves in the State of Amazonas--i.e., other areas under protection--using PRODES data. They study the development in both types of areas for the period 2000-2007 with that of 2008-2011 assuming all BFP areas being established in 2008. They find an average reduction in deforestation rates in the BFP sites at 76%, while the figure for the 'control areas' is 63%. Evaluating various uncertainties involved they conclude that "We may, nonetheless, be able to say with some confidence that the additional deforestation-curbing effect of the BFP vis-a-vis non-BFP reserves in Amazonas probably lies in a range of 10-25%" (Borner et al. 2013: 46).

Livelihoods, changes in forest use and attitudes

What has then the BFP implied for people's livelihoods and their attitudes to the use of forests? A further enquiry of that is based on assessments by household heads.

Characteristics of the sample

As already mentioned, people involved in the BFP in Juma live along three rivers, the main river is Rio Aripuana. At the time of year the fieldwork was conducted, weather conditions did not permit travel up the rivers Rio Araua and Rio Mariepaua. In the Rio Aripuana it was possible to cover 14 villages, and all households where the female household head was available were visited. The visited villages were sectioned at the upper half of the River Aripuana, as they are closer together--an important factor as travelling in these areas is very demanding. Towards the end of the fieldwork, the opportunity to interview households from the other two rivers emerged, as the residents from these rivers travelled to Novo Aripuana (12) to participate in a governmental programme. In Novo Aripuana it was also possible to include families which were not present during the visits to the villages along the River Aripuana. The 96 households interviewed represented 25% of the households living in the area in the fall of 2009. The interviewees were mainly female--62 versus 34 males. 58% were below 39 years of age (see Figure 2).

The education level of the respondents was low. Of the sample, 21% were illiterate, 61% had completed or were at the moment studying the first four years of basic primary education, 17% had taken the second level of basic primary education (grades 5-8), and just one of the interviewees had studied at least one year of secondary education (beyond grade 8). Before 2008 there were no schools in Juma that provided education beyond 4th grade (Viggiani pers. comm. 2009).


Agriculture represented the main livelihood. The most important crops for own consumption were manioc, bananas, rice, beans, sweet corn, pineapples, watermelons, coffee and Brazil nuts--the latter collected from the forest. Fish was also an important resource for subsistence, although commercial fishing is prohibited by the reserve rules. A few families kept chickens, ducks, pigs or sheep for own consumption. Concerning products for sale, manioc flour (farinha) dominated. Other common forest products for sale were Brazil nuts and copaiba oil, and the forest also offered areas for cultivation and timber for construction of houses. It is notable that people used gas, not fire wood, for cooking.

Based on the data collected, an average monthly income per household of about BRL 750 was estimated. This figure includes calculated cash income from sale of three main products (farinha, brazil nuts and copaiba oil), the value of goods produced for own consumption, and 'other cash income'. As shown in Table 2, a large fraction of the production was not intended for sale.

The figures in the table should be treated as a rough estimate as people did not keep records on production and sale. The most accurate data is for farinha, Brazil nuts and copaiba oil, as well as for bananas, which nonetheless were rarely sold. It was not possible to gather accurate prices or volumes of sale or consumption for other products, as many were intended for household use only, harvested sporadically or were sold inconsistently in insignificant volumes. It adds to the uncertainty that it could not be confirmed whether the sale volumes of the main products were unevenly distributed throughout the year. The estimate of volumes of fish caught for own consumption was based on the data from the reserve management plan (13). The value of consumed fish is estimated at 25% of the average market price due to the fact that fish is a perishable good and could not be transported to Novo Aripuana for sale as other goods, e.g., farinha. It should finally be noted that a recent change in natural conditions resulted in an almost threefold increase in the price for products like farinha, expanding cash income substantially compared to earlier years, while at the same time reducing the relative value of the BFP payments.

When estimating 'other cash income', only the government support payment Bolsa Familia was included (14). As very few older respondents mentioned they were receiving a pension and steady employment in Juma is virtually non-existent, additional revenues related to retirement benefits and salaries were not considered important.

Estimated distribution of cash income across households is presented in Figure 3. Fifty-eight per cent of the households had a monthly income from sale at BRL 400 or less. One third of this group consists of households earning less than BRL 100. Twenty-five per cent earned between BRL 401 and BRL 600, almost 9% received between BRL 601 and BRL 900, and 8% of the households earned above BRL 901. The highest income from sale observed was BRL 1650.

Given all of the above, our rather rough calculations show that the Family component of BRL 50 may represent a 6-7% increase in the average family income of BRL 750. It represents an increase in cash income of about 10%.

While fairly marginal, most of our respondents nevertheless acknowledged that the payment represented a helpful addition. When asked what households were purchasing with the money from the Family payment, 127 answers were received. Most families said they used the money to buy extra food (45%), clothes/shoes (20%), gasoline (11%), gas for cooking (9%) and other items such as school supplies, home items and cosmetics (13%). Two per cent did not provide any answer.

In relation to the effect of non-monetary benefits on livelihoods, the survey revealed that 80% of respondents did not recognise receiving any benefits aside from the monthly payment. This can partly be explained by the fact that these components of the programme were still in the process of implementation. Out of the remaining 20%, sixteen out of 24 answers mentioned the FAS school, while only four answers related to the improvements in health services. In addition to these answers, five more respondents who did not associate the school with one of the benefits from the BFP acknowledged its positive effect on livelihoods when answering another survey question about the general effect of the programme.

The Income component did not seem to have any major impact on livelihood security at the moment of field research was conducted, as 65 of our respondents were completely unaware of any courses or other activities offered by FAS under this component. The only well-established activity known to some was a course on proper harvesting and drying of Brazil nuts.

Changes in use of forest resources

Concerning the use of the forest and its resources, it became clear that the residents' traditional lifestyle is not strongly in conflict with the rules of the reserve or of the BFP. Due to this, income loss following from abiding by the BFP rules seemed to be modest. It is also important to note that the payment level was not based on any opportunity cost calculation. It was rather based on the availability of funds at the moment of the programme creation, and on the future budget expectations. It represents more of a 'support' or a 'reward' for 'good stewardship' than a payment covering measured opportunity costs (Neto pers. comm. 2009, Pinto pers. comm. 2009, Viana pers. comm. 2009).

The low level of deforestation reflects the kind of life the Juma residents live. Some deforestation has previously occurred to clear small agricultural plots and to construct houses; however, the residents are not in the position to log timber on any large scale. The main culprits behind such activities were outside actors, who occasionally hired local labour to assist them.

Nonetheless, the data obtained reveal that some changes in agricultural practices seem to have taken place. For example, 21 out of 96 respondents (giving a total of 27 answers) reported changes in these practices with implication for the forests. Figure 4 offers information about the reasons for these changes.

Six answers (22%) pertained to stopping deforestation. Six people claimed to have reduced their cultivation plots, three mentioned they had new sustainable uses of their cultivation areas, and four people answered they had ceased the slash and burn method. This points towards a positive yet rather marginal effect from the BFP. Certainly, distinguishing the effect of the BFP from the effect of the creation of the reserve is really not possible on the basis of these data. It should, however, be noted that most of those stating that they had made changes expressed that the payment in combination with the environmental information they were receiving from the BFP helped them reduce deforestation.

During the surveying it became apparent that some households had in fact been involved in commercial logging. Hence, systematic data on this issue was collected quite late in the study and only 28 respondents received this question. 12 of these confirmed having participated in commercial logging. One family said they still continued to be involved in logging as they needed the money to survive. Out of the eleven who stopped logging, seven cited the creation of the reserve as the reason for doing so, i.e., they felt they had to obey the new rules. Only one person named new knowledge about the environment as a reason to stop participating in commercial logging. We note that these issues are sensitive, and that people may find it difficult to admit that they still continue the practice. At the same time we notice that the pressure on forests has been substantially reduced in the area over the last years (Borner et al. 2013).

Changes in attitudes and motivations

Concerning the norms of the Juma residents towards the forest and its resources, observations lead to the conclusion that the historically low rate of deforestation is mainly caused by the low capacity of local people to cut forests and the limited gains of doing so. They typically take what they need for sustaining their form of living. Hence, the low deforestation rates are likely an effect of the kind of technology they possess and difficult access to markets, rather than based on a conservationist ethos. No crowding out of local norms as a consequence of the introduction of the BFP was therefore observed. (15)

However, it was found that the Juma dwellers did not like outsiders arriving to log or take any other resources from the forest, as this not only represented a loss in income for them, but also disturbed their living environment. Indeed, when the respondents were asked what they would do when seeing someone logging illegally, six percent of the respondents said they would do nothing, while 47% said they would try to talk to the violators and ask them to stop. Another 47% said they would instead report to authorities. These people who expressed their willingness to act explained their choice by the influence of the environmental knowledge that the programme has provided and by the desire to protect the resource for future generations, as well as by the need to reinforce the law. It is notable that none of the respondents have explicitly named the individual payment as the driving force behind their choice. While these data can only project potential behaviour, they indicate that the establishment of the reserve/BFP may have induced vigilance and reporting by residents regarding pressure on the forest from outsiders, thus aiding in reducing such deforestation in the future.

When residents were asked about the importance of forest resources--both before and after the introduction of the BFP--fish was ranked as the most important resource with harvesting of non-timber forest products in second place. Timber ranked third and mentioned only in relation to residents' needs for material to build or improve their houses (16). The fourth most important forest resource was hunting. In addition, 13 respondents stated that overall it was important for them to keep the forest standing, since they depend on it entirely. Only one person mentioned that the forest was important because of spirituality. In addition, few of the forest resources were important for sale, and in terms of timber use there was little clearing of primary forest for agriculture as it took place in secondary forest areas (17).

Comparing the above ranking with their ranking of importance prior to the implementation of the BFP, no significant differences were observed. This may imply that besides the limitations on agricultural practices, the programme does not alter the use of these resources much for local inhabitants. Certainly, it may also be that it takes time for such changes to materialize, while some inconsistencies in responses regarding the reduced involvement in logging are noted.

Based on the answers in relation to general attitudes towards the forest, some slight changes can be detected. For example, some respondents reported that they earlier could clear plots in primary forest, while now doing so only in secondary forest, as per the rules of the reserve and the BFP. In addition, 78% of the interviewees stated that they were not familiar with the concept of forest conservation before the introduction of the BFP. This can indicate that the BFP has introduced new information about the environment and forest protection. However, these answers may just be the result of using new terminology, thereby making it possible to express what the residents already knew in a different way. Many of the respondents said, however, that they did not know about the importance of forest for the global environment, and that now they are more conscious of it. Overall this may suggest that the BFP has had a positive effect on attitudes towards forest conservation among Juma residents.

Level of satisfaction and the role of local communities

How satisfied were residents with the BFP?

At the time of conducting the interviews, 87 out of 96 respondents were receiving the Family payment. The remaining respondents were mostly waiting for the debit card. Concerning the other components, the programme was less developed--see the section 'Delivering the BFP in Juma'.

When asked whether they were satisfied with the BFP in general, 49% and 8% of the respondents answered that they were satisfied and very satisfied, respectively. 35% reported being more or less satisfied. Only 6% said they were not satisfied with the programme and 2% did not answer.

Many emphasised that the implementation of the Social and Income components was slow. Despite this, results did not suggest that those further away from Boa Frente--the FAS base--were less satisfied than those living close to where most developments had so far taken place. In a regression analysis with satisfaction as dependent variable, only the level of income from sales came out as highly significant. Those with low cash incomes were less satisfied than other residents (p=0.00005). Also younger people seemed to be less satisfied than the older, while the significance level here is just barely passing the 10% threshold (p=0.096). Size of household and level of education were not significant. This may indicate that dissatisfaction comes mainly from failed expectations to improve financial wellbeing through monthly payments.

While the poorer households tended to be less satisfied, there were no indications that they were treated unfairly. Examples of internal processes of exclusion were not detected either. Partly this reflects the way the programme is set up and resources are distributed. The money is paid to every household based on rules that do not create any competition over resources such as land. This is so as payments are not linked to the size of land. As FAS representatives (Viana pers. comm. 2009) emphasised, there will be no expansion of the Family component. Hence, increased levels of satisfaction demands that the other components deliver in a way that poor people find rewarding.

The relationship between FAS and the local communities

As emphasised, establishing a programme like the BFP faces a dilemma concerning participation. To raise the resources for the programme, its main content had to be developed before 'going into the field'. The action had to be mainly with the intermediary--with FAS--and not with 'sellers' and 'buyers'.

So, how has FAS handled the dilemma of 'top-down-participation'? Representatives from the organisation emphasised that many interested parties were included 'in the best way possible'. Representatives of the State and socio-environmental organisations were included in the preparatory process. Yet the Juma communities were not consulted prior to defining the payment amount, the argument being that it was demanding both physically and financially to visit all villages and include them in a decision on this (Neto pers. comm. 2009).

Nevertheless, before registering members and families for the BFP, FAS approached all communities to inform them about the organisation and the programme; what the programme entailed and why it was created. They also informed about the process of climate change and the role of forests. These meetings were meant to offer knowledge for them to form an opinion about the project (Pinto pers. comm. 2009, Viana pers. comm. 2009). The communities were not included in the design of the BFP, and could only form an opinion based on what was presented to them.

In spite of this fact, when talking with the residents of Juma and some of the presidents of the local communities, there was a general impression that people felt involved and that they had a positive attitude towards the programme. Moreover, after the implementation of the programme, it was observed that the BFP provides a link for the local people to communicate with the societies beyond the reserve borders. Residents of Juma informed that they would like to have more communication and dialogue with FAS.

However, a few of them expressed that they did not like that people from outside entered their territories to impose rules. Even though the participation in the BFP is voluntary, no one can stop, alter or oppose the programme's implementation in their communities. The BFP is a state-supported programme and local people cannot change the overall course of action. However, it is worth mentioning that at the time the fieldwork was carried out, all of the interviewees welcomed the programme in their communities.

FAS were heavily involved in strategic considerations and logistics of the non-payment components--such as the location of schools, which communities get fast boats and communication bases, and the availability of courses. While the communities were consulted prior to implementation, it was not clear if they could refuse any measures, or if anyone had ever opposed them. In the case of the Income component, a higher level of participation was noted. Here residents were usually consulted by FAS regarding the potential costs and benefits of a given project. Opinions were voiced and the locals themselves could decide on the type of project they would like to see in their community. Community members could also propose projects under this component, while projects which FAS found contradictory to the BFP agenda would not be supported. In practice participants could choose only from a few available options (Neto pers. comm. 2009, Pinto pers. comm. 2009). Based on this, one may conclude that the role regarding decisions was somewhat restricted, and we conclude that the BFP seems best classified as professionally-guided participation. (18)

It should at the same time be noted that FAS--as far as we could observe--has managed to gain trust from the local residents. This was not a straightforward issue as the area had a history of being neglected by authorities. One FAS worker clearly expressed that since these communities are so difficult to reach and do not represent an important group during elections, they are easily ignored. This also came up when the interviews were conducted, both with FAS employees and the residents of the reserve. Residents did not feel that they received enough help from their government to improve their quality of life. FAS emphasised that the payments imply that the role of residents in forest protection is acknowledged by involving them and valuing their services (Schwade pers. comm. 2009).

It is important to remember that receiving the payment is voluntary; yet discontinued membership in the BFP does not imply that activities contradictory to the reserve regulations will be allowed. Non-members will still be reported to the authorities by FAS if residents inform about incidents they have observed. As one of the FAS representatives put it, living within the reserve limits deforestation regardless of if the BFP exists or not (Pinto pers. comm. 2009). Based on our knowledge of the BFP at the time, it seems like the programme encourages certain behaviours, but Brazilian law/reserve rules requires many of the changes that the BFP promotes in any case.

The relationship between the reserve and the BFP

This leads to the last issue--the role of the Juma Sustainable Development reserve and its effects on the functioning of the BFP. It was noted that the reserve has secured user rights for the communities. The State of Amazonas owns the land and it is protected by law, while local communities have the right to occupy it. The reserve provided the residents with a possibility to protect their resources, livelihoods and the forest against outsiders, since the entire reserve territory is protected by law against any land speculation. The existence of the reserve has also resolved the issue of targeting for the BFP, as the programme operates within the same areas. As already mentioned, by removing the possibility to compete for influence based on land titles, residents were equal in terms of who can qualify for benefits.

While it is not possible to be conclusive, our data from inhabitants' self-assessments supports the finding in the Borner et al. (2013) study that the BFP has an added effect to that of establishing the reserve. At the same time it is noted that the locals put most emphasis on the effect of creating the reserve, while elements from the BFP--especially issues concerning information on environmental issues, the payment and better communication--were also mentioned.

The responsibility for monitoring is logically with the authorities of the reserve; hence FAS is not required to take on any responsibility for monitoring and controlling that reserve rules are followed. This not only saves FAS high costs--compared to a hypothetical situation where the BFP had been instituted outside a reserve, but with the same de facto demands on the locals. It also simplifies the relationship with the dwellers. As the BFP pays for what is largely demanded already by the law, the positive image of the programme is reinforced and makes it probably more accepted among participants.

From this it was noticed that the relationship between the programme and the reserve is one of mutual reinforcement. (19) The BFP strengthens the reserve's protective function as much as the reserve facilitates the operation of the programme. If the reserve existed alone, the information flow between the authorities and the reserve dwellers would most probably not be as 'smooth' as it currently is. The BFP also encourages 'participatory' monitoring by emphasising that those who are best positioned to monitor resources and the forest are the residents themselves. The programme has this way strengthened the weak link between the authorities and the reserve residents. If this link is reinforced properly and the reserve dwellers are empowered to play an active role in the monitoring of illegal activities, this may in the long run bring more benefits for the forest than the restrictions imposed on the local dwellers. At the same time this demands that the communities keep up their strength. To the extent that education increases mobility, we here spot a potential dilemma inherent in the BFP strategy.


The analyses confirm that the introduction of the BFP in the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve has not yet had any large impacts on people's livelihoods. The main changes in livelihoods as stated by the respondents, concern agricultural practices--e.g., less land clearings and less slash and burn. This seems to have resulted in some reductions in the already low deforestation trends, a finding confirmed by other sources (Borner et al. 2013).

While the population of Juma has a low standard of living, the direct payments from the BFP--the Family component--imply an increase of income in the order of 6-7%. The gains for the communities seem to lie as much in the other components of the programme which are gradually coming into function. It is notable that payments are not related to the opportunity costs, but to the financial situation of the programme. While the BFP is 'coached' in the terminology of payments for ecosystem services, payments are rather 'rewards' for following the rules and not trades based on changes in deforestation/carbon storage. While we note that the individual payment is conditional on rule following, the programme comes forward very much as a development initiative with strong emphasis on forest protection. The programme is inclusive and seems to be built with caution to avoid potential perversions. The egalitarian characteristics of the communities and the existing system of use rights seem to help in this regard. At the same time it was observed that crowding-out of potential conservation norms in the area was not an issue. Low historic deforestation rates are a result of low capacity to deforest, not a conservationist ethos. We note also that deforestation rates are low and the population is rather homogeneous in social, ethnical and economic terms. Taken together, many of the challenges facing PES programmes do not seem to be apparent in Juma.

We note, however, that for the Juma residents, the BFP appears as a given package. They had no influence on its basic form and content. Linking again to the general PES debate, the action is very much with the intermediary. It did not only develop the programme, but it also creates 'the buyer's willingness to buy' and organises the 'sellers'. We note that in developing the programme in Juma--investment decisions mainly etc.--FAS plays a core role. We observe, nevertheless, also a substantial degree of communication with representatives of the communities.

So, despite the 'fixedness' of the elements of the BFP and the rather strong influence of FAS on investments, the Juma residents were fairly satisfied with the programme. High expectations about further increased delivery may become a problem for the future local support, though. At the same time, the educational component and the support for local organising may help increase satisfaction, local participation and initiatives in the longer run.

The BFP in Juma seems to be another case of 'paying for what is anyway (largely) demanded by law'. Looking at the dynamics between the Juma reserve and the BFP, two important aspects were detected where the BFP nevertheless adds to the law. Firstly, the informational aspect of the programme helps build a stronger understanding of the reasons behind protecting forests. Secondly, the BFP should increase the chance of strengthening the communities--both through investments and the association component--hence enhancing the chance for long run success of the strategy to protect the forest by protecting forest communities.

The latter is, however, characterised by several dilemmas. The gain of the BFP in climate terms lies mainly quite far into the future. Hence, one may ask if the educational aspect of BFP, while increasing local income opportunities, may at the same time 'pave the way' for people to leave Juma. The question is whether the standing forest will be able to deliver expected incomes in the longer run, or if present support actually weakens the long run capacity to avoid deforestation?


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Personal communication

Interviews were made by Kerry Maria Agustsson, Elizabeth

Rojas and Anna Garibjana in October and November 2009

NETO, J.T. pers. comm. (2009). Personal Interview with Joao Tezza Netto; Scientific and Technical Director of FAS; Manus, State of Amazonas, Brazil.

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SCHWADE, M.A. pers. comm. (2009). Personal Interview with Mauricio Adu Schwade; Technical Analysist at FAS; Manus, State of Amazonas, Brazil.

VIANA, V. pers. comm. (2009). Personal Interview with Virgilio Viana; General Director of FAS; Manaus, State of Amazonas, Brazil.

VIGGIANI, R.L. pers. comm. (2009). Personal Interview with Raquel Luna Viggiani; FAS Coordinator for Project Juma; Manus, State of Amazonas, Brazil.

(1) To our knowledge the BFP is run in the same manner in all the reserves.

(2) The project crediting does not include territories affected by traditional land use practices by the communities in the reserve, as well as some titled land areas located within the reserve. The measurement of saved emissions is based on an audit carried out by the international certification organisation TUV SUD for Climate Community& Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA) (Viana et al. 2009).

(3) Law no.3.135 on Climate Change, Environmental Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Sate of Amazonas (Lei 3.135, sobre Mudancas Climaticas, Conservacao Ambiental e Desenvolvimento Sustentavel do Amazonas) and Complementary Law no.53 on the State System of Conservation Units (Lei Complementar 53, sobre o SEUC--O Sistema Estadual de Unidades de Conservacao do Amazonas/The State System for Conservation Units in the Amazon) (FAS 2010a).

(4) The Bradesco Bank is one of Brazil's largest private banks.

(5) Approximate exchange rate of USD 1 = BRL 2 (during time of fieldwork in late 2009).

(6) The full questionnaire is available in Agustsson et al. (2010).

(7) Some communities along the river Aripuana that are not physically located within the reserve are nonetheless included in the BFP, as well as being included in the management plan of the reserve. FAS justify this by arguing that excluding these people, who are closely linked to the communities within the reserve boundaries, would only harm the aim of the programme of life quality improvement and reduced deforestation. By keeping these communities involved, the project's aims are more attainable, and leakage becomes less of an issue for the reserve (FAS 2008). Besides these communities, there are few others in the vicinity of the reserve.

(8) We are thankful to Borner et al. (2013) for pointing us to this reference.

(9) Capoeiras are secondary forest areas that local forest dwellers use for cultivation. These areas are mainly remains from former plantations in the region.

(10) Sustainable small-scale forest management schemes are licensed by the Institute of Environmental Protection of the State of Amazonas (Instituto de Protecao Ambiental do Estado do Amazonas, IPAAM) and are considered exclusively for the reserve residents (FAS 2010b).

(11) The higher level in 2004 could be interpreted as 'strategic land clearing'- -a reaction to the fact that the establishment of a reserve is under way. While such a tendency is generally documented--Bauch and Angelsen (unpubl.), the fact that 2000 was a year with much higher deforestation and that the 2005 level was rather low, does, however, not support such a conclusion.

(12) Travel time to Novo Aripuana ranges from two hours to two days, depending on the location of the village in the reserve.

(13) The study was conducted between 2008 and 2010 and aimed to provide socioeconomic and environmental information of each Conservation Unit (CU). To assess fishing activities, in October 2009, 112 standard questionnaires were administered to the residents of 22 communities located in and around the Juma reserve. The family size ranged from 4 to 7 people, and generally, one or two members of each family participate in fishing activities. The information concerned volumes only, prices were supplied by FAS staff (FAS 2010b).

(14) This national programme consists of several components to low-income families (earning between BRL 70 and 140 per month per person), and grants support for family expenses provided that the children attend school. The payments can vary between BRL 22 to 200 depending on the number of children in the family and their ages (Ministry for Social Development and Fight against Hunger 2010).

(15) This does not imply that the communities had no understanding of the value of the forest. When discussing deforestation with the residents, many were apprehensive about it. They were very conscious of the effects it had on the air and water quality, and they realised how beneficial the trees were for shade and protection.

(16) It is important to note that the only circumstance where residents can use timber from primary forests is if they need it for building a new house. Otherwise, all timber harvesting is forbidden without an approved forest management plan. Clearing of land is only permitted in secondary growth forest areas as the rules of the reserve and the BFP dictate.

(17) The area of secondary forests is unknown. FAS personnel explained that the residents move their agricultural activities around, letting the soil rest for a few years. This implies that there are quite a lot of secondary forest areas available for the residents to use. The areas are re-cleared by a slash and burn method.

(18) There may seem to be some development regarding this. At least the data presented in Vatn et al. (2013) seem to support a larger level of autonomy of communities w.r.t. deciding over the Income and Social components.

(19) Our finding here is similar to an observation made for a similar program in Costa Rica--see Pagiola (2008).


Department of International Development and Environment Studies Norwegian University of Life Sciences, P.O. Box 5033, 1432 Aas, Norway


TABLE 1 Distribution of funds for Family, Association, Social and
Income components in Juma (April 2008-December 2009)

Component:              Family                  Income

Method of calculation   Direct payment:
                        (Number of qualified    (Direct investment
                        families) x             of BRL 350.00 per
                        (monthly amount) x 12   qualified family

Estimated annual        378 qualified           378 qualified
expenditure for Juma    families x              families x
                        BRL 50.00 x 12 = BRL    BRL 350.00 =
                        226 8378                BRL 132 300.00

Actual expenditure      BRL 25 600.00 + BRL     BRL 27 759.00 +
for Juma from April     168 900.00 = BRL        BRL 73 475.00 =
2008 to December        194 500.00              BRL 101 234.00

Delivered outputs and   Individual monthly      Brazil nut workshops,
projects in progress    payments                nut drying
                                                facilities, boat,

Available funds         From Marriott International:
from April 2008 to      * Received between April 7 and
December 2008             December 3, 2008: BRL 1 090 683.46
                        * Additional income from cash investment:
                          BRL 10 533.78

                        Total available from Marriott
                        International: BRL 1 101 217.24
                        Additional contributions from FAS:
                        BRL 1 109 474.38
                        Grand Total: BRL 2 210 691.62 *

Available funds for     From Marriott International:
2009                    * Rolled over from 2008: BRL 752 646.00
                        * Received in 2009: BRL 882 445.00
                        * Additional income from cash investment:
                          BRL 14 145.00

                        Total available from Marriott International:
                        BRL 1 649 236.00
                        Additional contributions from FAS:
                        BRL 551 837.00
                        Grand Total: BRL 2 201 073.00 **

Component:              Association              Social

Method of calculation   Direct investment        Direct investment
                        of 10% of total annual   of BRL 4 000.00
                        amount paid under the    per community
                        Family component in

Estimated annual        10% of                   BRL 4 000.00 x
expenditure for Juma    BRL 226 800.00 =         41 communities =
                        BRL 22 680.00            BRL 164 000.00

Actual expenditure      BRL 9 426.00 +           BRL 800 043.33 +
for Juma from April     BRL 41 334.00 =          BRL 1 341 825.00
2008 to December        BRL 50 760.00            = BRL 2 141
2009                                             868.33

Delivered outputs and   Head office,             Schools, supplies
projects in progress    office supplies and      and equipment,
                        equipment, boat,         health station,
                        fuel                     rainwater collection
                                                 system, ambulance
                                                 boats, fuel, radio
                                                 communication bases,

* Exchange rate used by FAS in 2008: USD 1 = BRL 2.0389

** Exchange rate used by FAS in 2009: USD 1 = BRL 2.1815

TABLE 2 Estimated total monthly income per household

Cash income from sale

Item               Average Price        Average monthly volume

Farinha            BRL 105/sack (50L)   3.37 sacks
Brazil nuts        BRL 8/tin (20L)      2.93 tins
Copaiba oil        BRL 6/L              0.6 L

Average revenue:   BRL 380
Total revenue      BRL 748

Cash value of self-consumption products

Item                Average Price        Average monthly volume

Farinha             BRL 105/sack (50L)   0.87 sacks
Brazil nuts         BRL 8/tin (20L)      0.2 tins
Bananas             BRL 4/head           4.5 heads
Fish                BRL 1.33/kg          90 kg

Beans, sweet        unknown              unknown
corn, pineapples,
rice, pumpkins,
coffee, etc

Average revenue:    BRL 231

Total revenue
average estimate:

                    Other cash income
Item                Government welfare
                    payment BolsaFamilia


Brazil nuts

Copaiba oil

Average revenue:    BRL 137

Total revenue
average estimate:

FIGURE 4  Changes in agricultural practices after the
implementation of the BFP (N=27)

If you have changed your agricultural practices,
what are you doing differently?

No information                               4%
Work less due to BFP                         4%
Stopped deforestation                       22%
Decreased plantation size                   22%
Work less due to health condition           22%
Stopped slash-and-burn                      15%
Introduced sustainable uses of plantation   11%
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Author:Agustsson, K.; Garibjana, A.; Rojas, E.; Vatn, A.
Publication:International Forestry Review
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:3BRAZ
Date:Mar 1, 2014
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