Small-scale Forestry

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 57–69 | Cite as

Is the Use of a Non-timber Forest Resource Compatible with Environmental Conservation? The Case of Handicraft Production at the Cofre de Perote National Park, Mexico

Research Paper
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Abstract

In Mexico, a good number of national parks are home to local communities. It is therefore necessary to make forest conservation compatible with productive activities. Here we have evaluated the productive process of a group of women crafters and its ecological impact at the Cofre de Perote National Park (Veracruz, Mexico) where handicrafts are made with Pinus montezumae needles. The questions explored are: (1) What is the population structure of P. montezumae? (2) Is the production of handicrafts sustainable in terms of the natural productivity of needles? (3) Is the sale of handicrafts a competitive economic option compared to other productive activities in the region? (4) How much carbon is stored in the handicrafts, and to what extent is the intensity of forest fires reduced by the reduction of fuel? The height of P. montezumae individuals and their diameter at breast height were measured in randomly distributed plots of 10 × 10 m, and the production of needles recorded monthly for one year. The carbon content in the needles and trees was calculated through equations corresponding to the genus Pinus. It was concluded that the production of handicrafts is sustained by the natural production of pine needles (13,570.73 kg ha−1 per year), and that the economic income compares favorably to the one obtained from other economic activities in the region. On the other hand, the use of needles for handicrafts represented a reduction of 0.15% of the total fuel production in one year and contributed to the storage of 10.91 kg of C per year. The expansion of this productive activity through the participation of more women would significantly increase fuel reduction and contribute to more carbon storage, while generating more income for more families in the community.

Keywords

Carbon sequestration Handicrafts Non-timber forest products Pine needles Pinus montezumae 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the craftswomen of Ejido El Conejo for allowing us to participate in the handicrafts production process, and for their hospitality at each visit. We extend our thanks to Rogelio Lara-González for his help throughout fieldwork. We also thank the government’s National Researchers System (SNI) for the scholarship (level 2) with which part of this project was financed. Also, thanks to two anonymous reviewers for their comments and observations. Finally, our thanks to the Veracruzana University’s Institute of Biotechnology and Applied Ecology (INBIOTECA) for having accepted and for supporting this as a thesis project to Yitzendi.

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Copyright information

© Steve Harrison, John Herbohn 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yitzendi López-Serrano
    • 1
  • María del Rosario Pineda-López
    • 1
  • Lázaro Rafael Sánchez-Velásquez
    • 1
  1. 1.Instituto de Biotecnología y Ecología AplicadaUniversidad VeracruzanaVeracruzMexico

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