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Consequences of Environmental Projects on Development : Pilot Case Study of a Company-Community Partnership in Espírito Santo - Brazil

Gondar, Anelise F. P.

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This work aims to analyze partnerships between communities and businesses in the forestry sector in Brazil. The question to be answered is whether business-community partnerships can be considered a governance mode in the forestry sector in Brazil. Conclusions shall be drawn on the case of the “Forestry Partners” program of the firm Aracruz Cellulose, in the state of Espírito Santo. The methodology is theoretically based on studies of governance in general and environmental governance in particular within the analytical framework of the neo-institutional rational choice approach. Using these theoretical and analytical glasses, I attempt to analyze the development of governance and interaction between state and non-state actors at national level and at local/case study level. While the theoretical framework for the present analysis relies on recent political science literature on governance and policy implementation, the analytical framework is based on a neo-institutional approach to the interaction between the partners. The model of analysis, drawing on rational choice and game theory literature, identifies the main actors in the partnership, aims to analyze the fulfillment of socio-economic demands by looking into the contractual agreement between these parties and examining the partners' perception of the agreement itself, touching the role of the state and its agencies as mediators and issues such as culture and identity. The puzzle to be solved is whether, given the economic benefits out of the contractual agreement between partners in this specific partnership program and the actors´ opinion about the partnership, such partnerships can be considered a durable win-win situation. The hypotheses raised are: The partnership can be a win-win situation for both partners (1) if the economic demands of both partners are sufficiently met in their own view; and (2) if other social needs that should be equally important for participants are met as well. The first hypothesis aims at identifying overall governance patterns. The second aims at identifying durable governance patterns. According to the findings systematized under the aggregate variables analyzed, the relationship between the company and the indigenous communities show the potential conflicts between actors when these do not share the same rationality. Different preferences influence channels of communication between actors. Further, though the institutional framework (in this case forestry policies and the contractual agreement) allows a number of actions, different rationalities based on different preferences will lead to different handling options. Unless those are negotiated in a sufficient manner by partners, mechanisms of social regulation tend to of limited durability. I suggest that the weight of important social, political, cultural, and identitarian rights linked to environmental issues should influence the ultimate choice of communities to cooperate with companies or not. Generalizations based on the results of this thesis are therefore possible at theoretical level and point to reflections on further interdisciplinary research regarding the durability and quality of relationships between forestry sector’s stakeholders with different interests. Rationalities´ conflicts, which are strategic and political in their nature, go beyond the borders of Brazilian reality.

Translation of abstract (German)

Ziel dieser Magisterarbeit ist es, die Möglichkeiten und die Grenzen von Partnerschaften zwischen großen Unternehmen und kleinen sozialen Gruppierungen im forstwirtschaftlichen Bereich anhand einer Erfahrung im brasilianischen Bundesstaat Espírito Santo näher zu untersuchen. Die Erforschung von „company-community partnerships“, wie solche Zusammenschlüsse im Entwicklungshilfebereich und in der Fachliteratur genannt werden, ist eingebettet in Studien über neue Möglichkeiten der Regulierung der Interaktion zwischen staatlichen und nicht-staatlichen Akteuren – auch Governance Studien genannt. In der vorliegenden Magisterarbeit wird ein eigener Governance-Ansatz herausgearbeitet, der auf Studien von Mitra (2006), Risse (2007) und Lewy/Newell (2005) basiert. Der analytische Rahmen der Magisterarbeit wird vom Neoinstitutionalismus vorgegeben. Die Interaktion zwischen sozialen Akteuren im Rahmen des Programms "Forestry Partners" steht im Zentrum der Untersuchung dieser Magisterarbeit.Die Fragestellung, die beantwortet werden muss, ist folgende: können Partnerschaften zwischen Unternehmen und kleineren lokalen sozialen Gruppierungen eine Art der Governance im Forstwirtschaftssektor hervorbringen? Um diese Frage zu bejahen, bedarf es zweier Grundvoraussetzungen: der ökonomische Nutzen, der Akteure dazu bringt, eine solche Partnerschaft einzugehen, müssen erkennbar sein. Des Weiteren, sollte die Partnerschaft beidseits in der Perzeption, also in der subjektiven Wahrnehmung der Akteure, als vorteilhaft (als eine win-win Situation) angesehen werden. Ergebnis der Magisterarbeit ist, dass Partnerschaften im forstwirtschaftlichen Bereich in Brasilien anhand des Beispiels in Espírito Santo durchaus positive Auswirkungen auf die ökonomischen Grundlagen von Kleinbauern haben, für die indigene Bevölkerung jedoch bedeuten sie noch keine nachhaltige Möglichkeit der gemeinsamen Nutzung von natürlichen Ressourcen.

Item Type: Master's thesis
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2009 07:11
Date: 2008
Faculties / Institutes: The Faculty of Economics and Social Studies > Institute of Political Science
Subjects: 320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords: forestry management , forestry policies , indigenous people , Brazil , sustainability
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