This study examines the impacts of the development of the
principal extractive products of the Amazon and identifies the main factors
affecting sustainable welfare benefits for extractive groups. These include
tenure instability, policies favouring alternative land uses, aviamento,
commercialization systems, commercial pressures resulting in resource depletion
where the extraction method is destructive, and the boom-bust nature of export
markets that inevitably lead to substitution by a synthetic or planted product.
The future of extractivism depends on better remuneration for extractors,
whether through the market or not, tenure and institutional reforms (i.e.
extractive reserves), and successful diversification through integrated natural
forest management. The cultivation of formerly wild plants in agroforestry
systems should also be given high priority. Extractivism on its own, and under
present market conditions, has major limitations as a response to deforestation
pressures, but there are important strategic and humanitarian reasons for its
support while longer term solutions are being