Extractive reserves are territories dedicated to environmental protection and the sustainable use of nature resources by traditional populations. Reserves follow a traditional land tenure model based on individual family and communal property rights to common areas, such as forest trails used to extract or harvest nontimber forest products. Although the extractive reserve concept originates in the tropical forests of the Brazilian Amazon, reserves have also been created in aquatic, floodplain, and savanna landscapes throughout Brazil. There are now 50 extractive reserves covering more than 10 million hectares, an area larger than Portugal, and more continue to be created. Despite their growing areal extent, the success of these areas for reconciling conservation and development is still being debated. However, the reserves remain popular with policymakers in part because they address both the land tenure concerns of the local people and the environmental concerns of conservationists. This entry focuses on the forested extractive reserves of Amazonia.

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