Cristiana Simão Seixas


Cristiana Simão Seixas Researcher CCRNCristiana Simão Seixas coordinates the Commons Conservation and Management Group (CGCommons) and holds a researcher position at the Environmental Studies and Research Centre (NEPAM), the State University at Campinas (UNICAMP). She is Adjunct Professor at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI), University of Manitoba, Canada, and a member of the Fisheries and Food Institute, Campinas, Brazil. Dr. Seixas holds a PhD degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management from University of Manitoba, Canada (2002). Her research interests include Commons Theory, community-based conservation and development, traditional ecological knowledge, co-management and adaptive co-management, social-ecological resilience, human ecology and fisheries.


The southern coast of Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, in particular, Paraty region. The area is under a rapid economic development (notably due to off-shore oil and gas), historic and nature-based tourism, and enforcement of protected areas – all impacting the livelihoods of mixed-heritage Caiçara people. Research will examine how to reconcile protected areas (marine & terrestrial) with livelihood needs through co-management, and how ‘learning communities’ might trigger stewardship and contribute to integrated conservation and development.


Nowadays, I coordinate a network of graduate programs involving four universities in Brazil linked to the project “Integrated and participatory management of coastal-marine territories: implications for artisanal fisheries and biodiversity conservation” funded by CAPES Ocean Sciences, Brazil. This network is carrying out research and outreach work in several regions of the Brazil coast. Members of the Commons Conservation and Management group from the State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) are carrying out research linked to fisheries governance, fisheries monitoring, protected areas, livelihoods, resilience of social-ecological systems, global environmental changes and vulnerability of coastal communities, and fishers´ knowledge. In addition, with the funding support of UNICAMP, we are carrying out an outreach project regarding the establishment of learning groups in integrated conservation and development initiatives in two communities: Trindade, a caiçara community in Paraty (RJ) coast and Catuçaba, a caipira community in São Luiz do Paraitinga (SP) rural area. Many members of our group also collaborate with the project “Community-based resource management and food security in coastal Brazil” (2009-2013), coordinated by Alpina Begossi/UNICAMP and Fikret Berkes/University of Manitoba and funded by IDRC, Canadá. Finally, since 2005, we have promoted several workshops, network projects and co-authored papers/book chapters to encourage dialogue among researchers, government staff and community leaders in order to advance knowledge on Collaborative Coastal Management in Brazil.

Key Publications

  • Hanazaki, N.; Berkes, F.; Seixas, C. S.; Peroni, N. Livelihood Diversity, Food Security and Resilience among the Caiçara of Coastal Brazil. Human Ecology, v. 41 (1), p 153-164, 2013.
  • Seixas, C.S. and F. Berkes. 2010. “Community-based enterprises: The significance of partnership and institutional linkages”. International Journal of the Commons v. 4, p. 183-212, 2010.
  • Seixas, C.S., Minte-Vera, C.V., Ferreira, R.G., Moura, R.L., Curado, I.B., Pezzuti, J., Thé, A.P.G. and Francini-Filho, R.B. 2009. “Co-managing commons: Advancing Aquatic Resources Management in Brazil”. In: Lopes, P. F. and Begossi, A. (eds.) Current Trends in Human Ecology. Newcasttle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 156-182
  • Seixas, C.S. and B Davy 2008. Self-organization in integrated conservation and development initiatives. International Journal of the Commons 2 (1): 99-125