The Social-Economic Ecological Zoning Multi-Stakeholder Forum: Mato Grosso, Brazil

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Key messages

  • The multi-stakeholder forum (MSF) emerged from external (national and international) demands. As such, it faced opposition from influential subnational actors in Mato Grosso's production sector, who feared it would restrict their activities. This limited its success in promoting equity and changing the status quo.
  • This MSF challenged contextual power asymmetries, as the participation of a wide range of actors prevented domination by the agribusiness sector. Nevertheless, indigenous and traditional populations were not adequately represented and had limited technical knowledge and resources to participate effectively.
  • By framing the Social-Economic Ecological Zoning (ZSEE) process as mainly technical, the diverging interests of multiple actors remained largely unaddressed.
  • In Mato Grosso’s highly polarized context, other mechanisms beyond the MSF were used by both agribusiness (e.g. public hearings, Legislative Assembly) and social-environmental actors (e.g. social action, federal institutions) to influence the ZSEE process towards their own interests.


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