Lugar: Santa Cruz
Año de publicación: 2009
Autores: Barsimantov, James
What makes community forestry work? A comparative case study in Michoacan and Oaxaca, Mexico
Community forestry, the management of commonly-owned forests for sustainable timber extraction, has become an important development model for rural communities in Mexico’s high elevation pine-oak forests, promising socioeconomic benefits for local people as well as an alternative to land use change. However, it is increasingly clear that not all community forestry programs provide these benefits. I use an interdisciplinary, mixed methods approach to understand how these benefits vary and why some communities are able to achieve them while others aren’t. I begin with an econometric analysis of land use change at the municipality level in eight Mexican states to show that both common property tenure and community forestry are in general related to lower deforestation. The bulk of my research is based on a comparative case study of eleven forest communities in states of Michoacan and Oaxaca with varying level of involvement in timber extraction and processing. I begin by analyzing how social, economic and environmental outcomes vary in these communities using a remote sensing analysis of land cover change and household survey and interview data. I then examine how non-government actors play a critical and often overlooked role in the success or stagnation of community forestry programs. I also find that rapid deforestation for export avocado production in Michoacan was catalyzed by the 1992 Forestry Law, which deregulated timber transport, and the 1992 Reform of Article 27, which allowed the privatization of common land under certain circumstances. These results show how influences external to the community can define the range of outcomes in forestry programs.
Author: Barsimantov, James