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Risk Coping Strategies in Tropical Forests: Flood, Health, Asset Poverty, and Natural Resource Extraction

By Yoshito Takasaki A, Bradford L. Barham B and Oliver T. Coomes C


make verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial purposes by any means, provided that this copyright notice This paper examines the vulnerability and responses to covariate flood shock and idiosyncratic health shock among riverine peasant households in the Amazonian tropical forests. Using interview data on shock experience, four types of coping strategies are identified: alternative activities (basically gathering, fishing, and upland cropping), precautionary savings (food stock and asset disposition), labor adjustment, and informal insurance mechanisms (e.g., mutual insurance). Asset disposition especially transaction of small livestock is the dominant coping response to the health shock across diverse ecological settings. Contrarily, alternative activities are the most important coping strategy for the flood shock but to very different degrees across locales and households. Econometric analysis (a two-step probit) reveals that natural resource extraction as a coping strategy is shaped by local environmental endowments and household asset holdings in such a way that in environments without upland or rich fish stocks nearby a strong positive link exists between asset poverty, in terms of fishing capital

Year: 2002
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