Amazonian peasants, rain forest use, and income generation: The role of wealth and geographical factors

  • Takasaki Y
  • Barham B
  • Coomes O
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Abstract

This article explores the role of wealth and geographical factors in shaping liveli- hood strategies among forest peasant households in the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve area of the Peruvian Amazon. Using household survey data (n H 251), the article shows signi cant livelihood heterogeneity, differential specialization in resource use, and variations in wealth portfolios across and within villages. Analyses of relationships among household wealth-resource use-income reveal: (1) a positive relationship between productive capital holding and  shing activity in land-poor villages; (2) a positive relationship between land holdings and agricultural activity in land-rich villages; and (3) higher incomes and reliance on resource extraction in land-middle villages where extractive activity is found to be negatively related to land holdings. Results suggest the role of geographical factors and nonphys- ical assets such as extractive skills in resource extraction. The potential value of wealth-based assessment instruments for rain forest conservation–development initiatives is discussed.

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Authors

  • Yoshito Takasaki

  • Bradford L. Barham

  • Oliver T. Coomes

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