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Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems

Climate Change, Social Changes, Technological Development

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Scoping Adaptation Needs for Smallholders in the Brazilian Amazon: A Municipal Level Case Study

Vanesa Rodríguez Osuna
  • Corresponding author
  • Center for Development Research (ZEF), Dept. of Economic and Technological Change, University of Bonn
  • Email:
/ Jan Börner
  • ZEF / Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)
/ Marcelo Cunha
  • World Agroforestry Centre – ICRAF (CGIAR)/ Freie Universitat Berlin
Published Online: 2014-05-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/cass-2014-0002


Over the past decade, several climate extreme events have caused considerable economic damage and hardship in the Brazilian Amazon region, especially for small-scale producers. Based on household surveys and focus group interviews in the Municipality of Alenquer as well as secondary data analyses and a literature review at the regional level, this study seeks to assess rural small-scale producers’ vulnerability to climate and non-climate related shocks and identify entry points for government action to support adaptation at the local level. In our case study area, small-scale producers with similar wealth, self-sufficiency, and resource use specialisation levels exhibited stark variation in levels of sensitivity and adaptive capacity to climate and nonclimate related shocks. Our findings indicate that this variation is partly driven by cultural, historical, and environmental resource use specialisation strategies and partly by differences in local governance capacity and the level of social organisation. Emerging governmentled initiatives to promote climate change adaptation in the region would benefit from taking these factors into account when designing local implementation strategies and priorities.

Keywords : climate change; risk; shocks; vulnerability; climate extremes


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About the article

Received: 2013-10-15

Accepted: 2014-03-05

Published Online: 2014-05-08

Citation Information: Change and Adaptation in Socio-Ecological Systems, ISSN (Online) 2300-3669, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/cass-2014-0002. Export Citation

© 2014 Vanesa Rodríguez Osuna et al. . This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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