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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 990; doi:10.3390/su9060990

Agroecological and Social Transformations for Coexistence with Semi-Aridity in Brazil

1
Instituto Nacional do Semiárido (INSA), Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciência do Solo da Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Av. Francisco Lopes de Almeida, s/n, Serrotão, Campina Grande, Paraíba CEP 58429-970, Brazil
2
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM), University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3
Instituto Nacional do Semiárido (INSA), Project INSA-ASA, Av. Francisco Lopes de Almeida, s/n, Serrotão, Campina Grande, Paraíba CEP 58429-970, Brazil
4
Articulação do Semiarido Brasileiro (ASA), Assessoria a Projeto em Agricultura Alternativa (ASPTA), Rua Nicarágua, 111, Espinheiro, Recife, Pernambuco CEP 52020-190, Brazil
5
Laboratory of Agroecology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vincenzo Torretta
Received: 24 March 2017 / Revised: 26 May 2017 / Accepted: 3 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources)
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Abstract

This article explores whether a shift in development paradigm resulted in coexistence with semi-aridity for residents of the Semi-Arid region of Brazil (SAB). If so, which strategies contributed and which conditions facilitated it? We conducted a comparative analysis of the transformations that occurred in 10 territories of the SAB during two time periods: PI (1973–2001) when “development” policies almost exclusively aimed to “combat drought and its effects”; and PII (2002–2016) when a concept of coexistence with semi-aridity informed policy making. Our study from the 10 territories of the SAB show significant changes between PI and PII. On average, there was a substantial improvement in Access to Water Infrastructure (+33%∆), Diversification of Production Systems (Animals +36%∆; Crops +61%∆), Management of Common Pool Resources (+45%∆), Involvement in Spaces of Political Organizing (+24%∆), and Access to Public Programs (+29%∆). As such, “coexistence” went from concept to action as a consequence of structural, agroecological, social, and management transformations in combination with a strengthening of mechanisms for community reciprocity. These were characterized by (a) the creation of resource reserves for use during times of drought; (b) the efficient use of available natural resources; and (c) enhanced articulation between diverse actors. View Full-Text
Keywords: agroecology; social change; public policy; semi-arid regions; Brazil agroecology; social change; public policy; semi-arid regions; Brazil
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pérez-Marin, A.M.; Rogé, P.; Altieri, M.A.; Forer, L.F.U.; Silveira, L.; Oliveira, V.M.; Domingues-Leiva, B.E. Agroecological and Social Transformations for Coexistence with Semi-Aridity in Brazil. Sustainability 2017, 9, 990.

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