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Tenure regimes and remoteness: When does forest income reduce poverty and inequality? A case study from the Peruvian Amazon

Karin Begazo Curie, Kewan Mertens and Liesbet Vranken

Forest Policy and Economics, 2021, vol. 128, issue C

Abstract: Common property in Latin America is mostly managed by indigenous populations, which are in most of the cases located in remote settlements. Tenure regimes and remoteness are considered to influence the amount of income and type of products extracted from forests. Most of the previous studies could not assess to what extent the contribution of forests to livelihoods is mediated by either tenure regimes or remoteness. Current research attempts to fill this gap in the literature by focusing on the economic contribution of forest products to rural livelihoods under different tenure regimes, common and individual property, and levels of remoteness. We collected data from four hundred households located in fifty villages in lowland forest areas in the Loreto Region, in Peru. We used the Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) index of poverty and the Gini coefficient to assess rural poverty and income inequality. The contribution of forest resources to total income and (in)equality is compared across different tenure regimes and different levels of remoteness. We provide evidence that forests are an important income source for the poorest households and this contribution is more pronounced among households living in villages under communal tenure regimes and remote areas. Forest income is significantly and negatively correlated with inequality under communal tenure regimes, but such a trend is not found in regions under private tenure. Game meat and non-timber forest products are the most important subsistence income sources for households living in remote villages and villages under common property regimes. This study illustrates that forests under common tenure are not only important from a conservation point of view, but also from a livelihood point of view, and this should be considered in both poverty policies and forest conservation and utilization policies.

Keywords: Forest resources; Tenure regimes; Remoteness; Poverty; Inequality; Tropical forest; Peru; South America (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2021.102478

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