SP 08: Socio-Economic Drivers: A socio-economic analysis of actors and conflicts over land use decisions - Regional impacts and feasible implementations of adapted land management

For several decades Amazonia has been one of the main issues within the international discussion on tropical forest degradation, loss of biodiversity and the respective impacts on global (and regional) climate change. From a social sciences point of view, to analyse and to understand the social, economic and political driving forces behind the observable ecological changes is most important. SP08 aims towards a better understanding of driving forces for frontier expansion as well as regional structural and economic impacts of modernised agriculture. Within this context, special attention will be given to the identification of regional actor constellations and driving forces, by analysing the relations between persistent structures (e.g. determined by political and/or economic conditions of influence and power) on the one side and shifting social-political forms of negotiation at the local/regional level on the other side. Focussing on the multi-level political-ecological framework, changes in regional actor constellations, power relations and "logics of action" in the course of expansion of soybean, cattle pasture and timber extraction will be identified as well as resulting conflicts and socio-economic and regional transformations. The combination with the governance perspective forms on the one hand the framework for investigation of the implementation terms of regional and environmental policies as well as conditions for participatory conception. On the other hand it will demonstrate the latitudes for alternative action strategies as well as the barriers and potentials to integrate climate protection goals in public policies for sustainable regional development in the study area.
The main goal of SP08 is to identify a common way for a socially compatible, economically feasible and ecologically sensible regional development. With regards to the current climate change debate certain "win-win" solutions will provide benefits by implementing approaches for emission reduction and governance scenarios while meeting sustainable socio-economic development objectives.

Please see also the Poster of SP 08 presented at the Kick-Off Workshop in Cuiabá, Brazil, 6-9 July 2011

Project Members
Prof. Dr. Martin Coy
Michael Klingler
Institute for Geography, Workgroup Development Studies and Sustainability Science, University of Innsbruck