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Searching for Novel Sustainability Initiatives in Amazonia

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Gabriel Medina
  • Cassio Pereira
  • Joice Ferreira
  • Erika Berenguer
  • Jos Barlow
Article numbere10299
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>18/08/2022
Issue number16
Number of pages13
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Amazonia is facing growing environmental pressures and deep social injustices that prompt questions about how sustainable development may emerge. This study sought novel sustainability initiatives in the Brazilian Amazon based on interviews conducted with diverse practitioners in 2021 using a horizon-scanning approach and snowball sampling for selecting interviewees, who then described the initiative most familiar to them. The interviews resulted in 50 described initiatives and 101 similar initiatives that were listed but not described. The results reveal the emergence of a range of sustainability initiatives, which we classify into seven types of new seeds of change ranging from eco-business opportunities, territorial protection by grassroots movements, and novel coalitions promoting sustainability. However, most of these new seeds are still being established and have a limited or uncertain potential for replication, and most offer only incremental rather than transformative development. Therefore, although these initiatives provide weak yet real signals for alternative futures, they also suggest that much more needs to be done to support the needed transformation toward sustainable and equitable development.