How access, values, and history shape the sustainability of a social-ecological system : the case of the Kandozi indigenous group of Peru

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Title: How access, values, and history shape the sustainability of a social-ecological system : the case of the Kandozi indigenous group of Peru
Author: Montoya, Mariana
Abstract: This research examines how the Kandozi indigenous group governs access to fish and timber , how access contributes to their well -being , and if the Kandozi’s natural resource use and socio -ecological system are sustainable . The Kandozi occupy a biodiverse tropical forest in the northern Peruvian Amazon with lakes and seasonally flooded areas . This indigenous group has livelihoods that are dependent upon securing access to natural resources that contribute to their well -being ; hence it represents a good case study to investigate access and its relation with social -ecological sustainability . Access is defined here as the ability to derive benefits from natural resources . The analysis of sustainability was done by integrating research on both access and well -being . Multiple methods and a comparative examination of access to fish and timber were used to explore historical processes that shape access . The analysis of qualitative data on well -being and quantitative data based on income from fishing activities in 2009 , helped evaluate if the Kandozi benefited from the use of resources and clarified the evolution of their quality of life . Hypotheses regarding how spatiality shapes access and how sustainability depends upon access to natural resources were tested . Results indicate that factors such as heterogeneity , kinship , land tenure , the legal framework and knowledge all shape access to natural resources . Spatial and temporal heterogeneity in particular is a critical factor because it determines resource availability . Furthermore , this study shows how benefits from the use of resources contribute to the Kandozi’s perception of well -being , defined by them as living without worries , which includes meeting economic , social and cultural needs . Results from this study indicate that perceptions of well -being depend on human values and change over time , consequently the sustainability of the social -ecological system fluctuates . This research concludes that sustainability of this and similar systems are dependent upon the moment at which the analysis is done , because of the changing needs of people over time . This study demonstrates that the range of relations and interactions among different processes that shape access , and the historically contingent characteristic of access and its evolution over time , help better understand complex social ecological systems .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2166
Date: 2011-02-07

Citation

How access, values, and history shape the sustainability of a social-ecological system : the case of the Kandozi indigenous group of Peru. Doctoral dissertation, University of Texas at Austin. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 /ETD -UT -2010 -12 -2166 .

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