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Forest community organization in a changing market environment: the case of Mexican ejidos

Summary

Organizational features are central for the community forestry concept. It is through institutions and organizations that resource management agreements are conceived, controlled and enforced among usufruct holders. Many determinants for the development of organizations lie in the communities themselves, but important external factors exist, too: for example external regulations and the dynamics of markets. Markets have traditionally had an important, often negative impact on resource utilization. While a positive impact of markets on community organization and resource management has often been proclaimed, little is known about the specific institutional/ organizational mechanisms that drive this relation and about the distinct impact of different degrees of market insertion. The objective of the study is understanding the relation of markets and community organization and evaluating the social and environmental impact of different organization forms. With its long history of community forest product marketing and its large amount of community forests, Mexico is a country well suited to analyze these issues.  In a first step, the study aims at establishing a conceptual frame that integrates central notions of marketing, organizational change and community forestry. It then proceeds at highlighting the relation of markets to community organization and its social and environmental impact through three methods: (1) Census: all 70 community organizations in southern Quintana Roo will be visited and its leaders interviewed concerning general ejido characteristics, land use, forest products marketing, and organizational features. This information will be evaluated quantitatively; (2) Historic account: through the contrasting description of market/ non-market factors and organizational/ land use dynamics over a period of approximately 70 years, a picture of the relative importance of markets with respect to community organization will emerge; and (3) case studies: case studies will be carried out in four selected communities with differing market insertion. The relevance of this study lies in its implications for market access policies and for organizational development in forest communities.

Supervisors:

Prof. Dr. Benno Pokorny,  Peter Wilshusen (University of Michigan)

Researcher: Rene Foerster
Funding: PROMEP/ SEP Mexico
Duration: since 2008
Partner: Sociedad de Productores Forestales Ejidales de Quintana Roo, Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

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