The dominant viewpoint on forest change is that people in much of the world are destroying their forests due to diverse external and internal forces that create obstacles to sustainable forest management. Inadequate attention has been given to cases that do not conform to the deforestation scenario. Chapter 1 introduces La Campa, a municipio in western Honduras that expelled the Honduran Forestry Development Corporation and subsequently became known for forest conservation. La Campa has preserved forest cover more than most places, but local realities and processes of change pose challenges for sustainable forest management. The discussion explores some of the challenges of understanding deforestation and why that focus is inadequate to study complex systems such as La Campa. Theories of collective action, political ecology and common property are introduced as complementary approaches to examine La Campa’s experiences with forest transformations. The chapter concludes by presenting an overview of the book.

Key Terms

collective action common property Lenca indigenous peoples political ecology western Honduras 


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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

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