2006 Associate Award Winner
Patricia Pinho Brazil Wetland and Freshwater
Integrative and Dynamic Natural Resources Management, Brazil

Integrative and Dynamic Natural Resources Management: Local based community management from fishery to forest, Brazil

The upland forests of the Silves area of the Brazilian Amazon have an important rosewood population, but the species is threatened following 50 years of over-extraction. Rosewood is highly prized for the essential oil ‘linalool’ used widely in perfumery and most famously in Chanel no.5. Though it is known that rosewood can still be found in remote parts of upland forest, no systematic research on the abundance and status of the population has been carried out to date.

Patricia Pinho, a Brazilian post-doctoral researcher, leads this broad project to increase understanding of the current status of the rosewood and develop a forest management plan in the context of government failure to control natural resource exploitation. Previous work has shown that communal ownership can be an efficient tool for conservation in tropical ecosystems, and Patricia is engaging local people to encourage them to protect their own natural resources.

The aim of the project is to develop participatory management and protection of the upland forests, directly involving local people in conservation. In addition to education work in schools and workshops, there is a community-based fishery program to combine floodplain and forest conservation. Local Brazilian fishermen are being trained in how to assess populations of fish species in protected lakes, complete inventory of upland forest, and census of the rosewood. Through encouraging sustainable use of natural resources, the project aims to show local people how good conservation practice can also benefit their welfare and long-term livelihoods