Urban Forest and Rural Cities: Multi-sited Households, Consumption Patterns, and Forest Resources in Amazonia

"In much of the Amazon Basin, approximately 70% of the population lives in urban areas and urbanward migration continues. Based on data collected over more than a decade in two long-settled regions of Amazonia, we find that rural-urban migration in the region is an extended and complex process. Like recent rural-urban migrants worldwide, Amazonian migrants, although they may be counted as urban residents, are often not absent from rural areas but remain members of multi-sited households and continue to participate in rural-urban networks and in rural land-use decisions. Our research indicates that, despite their general poverty, these migrants have affected urban markets for both food and construction materials. We present two cases: that of acai palm fruit in the estuary of the Amazon and of cheap construction timbers in the Peruvian Amazon. We find that many new Amazonian rural-urban migrants have maintained some important rural patterns of both consumption and knowledge. Through their consumer behavior, they are affecting the areal extent of forests; in the two floodplain regions discussed, tree cover is increasing. We also find changes in forest composition, reflecting the persistence of rural consumption patterns in cities resulting in increased demand for and production of acai and cheap timber species."
afforestation, Amazon River region, deforestation, migration, rural affairs, urbanization