Making place-based sustainability initiatives visible in the Brazilian Amazon
From state-based developmentalism to community-based initiatives to market-based conservation, the Brazilian Amazon has been a laboratory of development interventions for over 50 years. The region is now confronting a devastating COVID-19 pandemic amid renewed environmental pressures and increasing social inequities. While these forces are shaping the present and future of the region, the Amazon has also become an incubator of local innovations and efforts confronting these pressures. Often overlooked, place-based initiatives involving individual and collective-action have growing roles in promoting regional sustainability.
We review the history of development interventions influencing the emergence of place-based initiatives and their potential to promoting changes in productive systems, value-aggregation and market-access, and governance arrangements improving living-standards and environmental sustainability. We provide examples of initiatives documented by the AGENTS project, contextualizing them within the literature. We reflect on challenges and opportunities affecting their trajectories at this critical juncture for the future of the region.
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