Poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation in rural Brazil: a case study of the Cananeia Oyster Producers' Cooperative

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Medeiros, Dean
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The designation and enforcement of protected areas in southeast Brazil severely restricted livelihoods of rural inhabitants, who had limited options to adapt to new settings. Serious challenges emerged from deficiency in local capacity for the organization, management, and application of mitigation interventions. However, the Cananéia Oyster Producers’ Cooperative managed to overcome numerous challenges and was a finalist for the United Nations Development Programme’s 2002 Equator Prize for simultaneous poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation. Qualitative research methods, including Rapid Rural Appraisal tools, were employed to examine the cooperative’s self-organization, cross-scale institutional linkages, and livelihood and conservation impact. Through various coordinated endevours such as the adoption of oyster rearing beds, depuration station, education, and designation of an extractive reserve, cooperative members have been able to improve their livelihoods while minimizing environmental impact. Lessons learned from the cooperative on simultaneous poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation are presented in the final chapter of this thesis.
conservation, poverty, livelihoods, mangrove, oyster, cooperative, cross-scale linkage, capacity building, Cananeia, Brazil