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Title: A state-sponsored socio-environmental development programme in action : the ProAmbiente, Amazonia, Brazil
Author: Vasconcellos, Ana Maria de Albuquerque
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2008
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The thesis seeks to demonstrate the space of interaction that has emerged between federal government and rural communities during the implementation of a state- sponsored socio-environmental development programme at community level in Brazilian Amazonia. This thesis seeks to show how demands from the grass-roots has scaled up to public policy, incorporated changes and has scaled down to local communities during the implementation process. Secondly, it investigates how a state-sponsored development programme - using a popular participation approach, carried out by federal government and intermediated by NGOs - interacts with, and impacts on, local communities. The research deals with: (1) the socio-political context that influenced the creation of a socio-environmental development programme for rural communities in Brazilian Amazonia; (2) the route of identification, incorporation and changes of rural communities' priorities within the programme; and (3) the impacts of the programme actions on rural communities. The ProAmbiente (a socio-environmental development programme for rural family-based production) was chosen for examination as a case study because it seeks to implement a new logic of production in rural Amazonia conceptualised by federal government as productive conservation. This concept seeks to provide a link between the growth of production in the rural economy and the conservation of the environment. Through a methodology involving three levels of qualitative analysis (macro-, intermediary- and local-level), the study reconstitutes the socio-political context that influenced the creation of the ProAmbiente, describes the mechanisms of interaction between the federal government and the rural communities, points to the factors that have facilitated and/or hampered the implementation of the ProAmbiente, reveals contradictions within the ProAmbiente implementation and shows the impacts of the programme on the rural communities. Using material from communities, the NGOs and the governmental sources, research was conducted in Brasilia (capital of Brazil), Belem (capital of Para state) and six rural communities (three communities located in the munidpio of Soure and three located in the municipio of Concordia do Para), within Para state. The research shows that the interaction between social movements, NGOs and political parties is an important mechanism to press federal government for the construction of a development programme. From this interaction it was possible to incorporate local people's voices and scale up rural communities' demands for the creation of a public space for interaction between local people and the federal government. However, the research reveals that once the state encompasses local people's demands and creates a development programme, the development model absorbs multi-actor interests that change local people's proposals. In the case of the ProAmbiente, the external pressure for conservation of the environment resulted in the creation of the concept of productive conservation to develop livelihoods that should be mediated by local people's culture and knowledge. However, the research shows that, although the ProAmbiente recognises local people's culture and knowledge, in practice these issues are not viewed as a priority in the programme's actions. The research concludes that the ProAmbiente and similar programmes that pay individual families for environmental protection should not be conducted in isolation but in conjunction with the complementary programmes that address local people's needs for educational, health and land titling services.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available