Is the formalization of collective tenure rights in the Peruvian Amazon supporting sustainable Indigenous livelihoods? Findings from comparative research in San Martín and Ucayali regions

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Key findings

  • The titling of Comunidades Nativas (Native Communities) alone is not enough to ensure Indigenous Peoples’ access to sustainable livelihoods in the Peruvian Amazon.
  • Lack of income options, combined with restrictive legal frameworks for resource use under the Comunidad model, led to unsustainable land and resource use.
  • In seeking to access cash incomes, Comunidades often entered into exploitative relationships with smallholder migrant farmers and timber companies.
  • Regulations for resource use and the Comunidad’s governance framework do not reflect local livelihoods and leadership practices; interviewees highlighted that this created challenges related to livelihoods, conflicts, participation and representation in communal governance.
  • A transition from a punitive to an enabling role for government agencies – including investing to develop both the institutional and technical capacities of Comunidades – is essential to support more sustainable livelihoods.


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