Charles will be discussing his paper: Participatory policy approaches and cooperation in forest commons: Experimental evidence from Program Bolsa Floresta in Brazil.


Policy interventions with a strong participatory element, which aim to protect natural resources and reduce poverty, have become increasingly popular in developing countries. A setting akin to a natural experiment is exploited to evaluate the extent to which the participatory aspects of Brazil’s Program Bolsa Floresta (PBF) influenced the willingness of community members to cooperate in forest commons. We carried out a common-pool resource game and household survey in Amazonas State to test the hypothesis that increased participation in workshops, which aim to create alternative livelihoods, is associated with higher levels of cooperation. Using data collected from 160 households in seven communities, preliminary results suggest tentative support for the hypothesis, namely that PBF has led to the ‘crowding in’ of cooperative behaviour in forest commons.

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