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Tropentag 2023, September 20 - 22, Berlin, Germany

"Competing pathways for equitable food systems transformation: trade-offs and synergies."

Institutional development and land-use dynamics at the agricultural frontier in the Peruvian Amazon

Miguel Angel La Rosa Salazar

Humboldt-Universit├Ąt zu Berlin, Agricultural and Food Policy Group, Germany


The doctoral research aims to comprehensively understand the institutional landscape shaping the agricultural frontier in the Peruvian Amazon (AFPA). The Amazon region is subjected to an extractivist policy framework that oversimplifies its complexity, and a more holistic policy-making approach is required. Therefore, untangling the diverse institutions involved in shaping land-use dynamics is crucial. To look at the AFPA is an essential part of such an effort.
The research seeks to answer the following question: How do multiple institutions shape land-use dynamics in the AFPA? The study goes beyond identifying correlations and variables and aims to depict stories that explain how the AFPA develops, considering differences across various areas.
The research focuses on the institutionalisation of discourses and their connection to the AFPA's institutional landscapes, including the various institutions that influence the dynamics of agricultural frontiers in Amazon lands in Peru. The study covers diverse scales of agriculture and does not limit its reach to the agriculture sector only. It also presents different levels of analysis, from local to international trade (legal or illegal) and policies. Furthermore, the AFPA is approached as a social-ecological system, allowing for the consideration of its complexity.
The study comprises three parts. The first part is a systematic literature review of the role of institutions in agricultural frontiers, focusing on research traditions and methods applied to this topic. The second and third parts address the different levels of influence on the AFPA. Part two considers national and international levels, covering markets and political endeavours. As the Peruvian Amazon is not homogeneous, the third part will consist of three case studies. Both parts include documentary reviews and semi-structured interviews, with diverse literature and statistics providing additional context.
The research will support efforts to conserve the Amazon region and promote sustainable food provision. It will hopefully inspire conservation measures for other social-ecological systems. Also, this study intends to display the necessity of coordinated efforts to understand and deal with the various ecological problems in Peru and other regions.

Keywords: Agricultural frontier, Amazon, discourses, institutions, social-ecological systems

Contact Address: Miguel Angel La Rosa Salazar, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Agricultural and Food Policy Group, Philippstraße 13 - haus 12 A, 10115 Berlin, Germany, e-mail: lamiguel@hu-berlin.de

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