Environmental Management

, Volume 59, Issue 3, pp 490–504

Factors Limiting Formation of Community Forestry Enterprises in the Southern Mixteca Region of Oaxaca, Mexico

  • José Antonio Hernández-Aguilar
  • Héctor Sergio Cortina-Villar
  • Luis Enrique García-Barrios
  • Miguel Ángel Castillo-Santiago
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00267-017-0821-8

Cite this article as:
Hernández-Aguilar, J.A., Cortina-Villar, H.S., García-Barrios, L.E. et al. Environmental Management (2017) 59: 490. doi:10.1007/s00267-017-0821-8
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Abstract

Many studies have considered community-based forestry enterprises to be the best option for development of rural Mexican communities with forests. While some of Mexico’s rural communities with forests receive significant economic and social benefits from having a community forestry enterprise, the majority have not formed such enterprises. The purpose of this article is to identify and describe factors limiting the formation of community forestry enterprise in rural communities with temperate forests in the Southern Mixteca region of Oaxaca, Mexico. The study involved fieldwork, surveys applied to Community Board members, and maps developed from satellite images in order to calculate the forested surface area. It was found that the majority of Southern Mixteca communities lack the natural and social conditions necessary for developing community forestry enterprise; in this region, commercial forestry is limited due to insufficient precipitation, scarcity of land or timber species, community members’ wariness of commercial timber extraction projects, ineffective local governance, lack of capital, and certain cultural beliefs. Only three of the 25 communities surveyed have a community forestry enterprise; however, several communities have developed other ways of profiting from their forests, including pine resin extraction, payment for environmental services (PES), sale of spring water, and ecotourism. We conclude that community forestry enterprise are not the only option for rural communities to generate income from their forests; in recent years a variety of forest-related economic opportunities have arisen which are less demanding of communities’ physical and social resources.

Keywords

Community forestry managementLocal governanceNon-timber forest useTypologyConservation

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Antonio Hernández-Aguilar
    • 1
  • Héctor Sergio Cortina-Villar
    • 1
  • Luis Enrique García-Barrios
    • 1
  • Miguel Ángel Castillo-Santiago
    • 1
  1. 1.El Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR)Carretera Panamericana y Periférico Sur s/n, San Cristóbal de Las CasasChiapasMexico