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Forestry to enhance livelihoods and sustain forests in Mesoamerica: How institutional arrangements and value chains affect benefits and resources

Project Leader
Freyer Bernhard, Project Leader
Type of Research
Applied Research
BOKU Research Units
Institute of Organic Farming
Funded by
Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Zelinkagasse , 1010 Wien, Austria
Community forestry has the potential to yield win/win outcomes for both conservation and development, but realizing that potential requires a wide range of enabling conditions and support processes. This project will break new ground by bringing together for the first time a multidisciplinary team of social and natural scientists to rigorously analyze and compare community forestry experiences in the Petén, Guatemala and the Autonomous North Atlantic Region of Nicaragua (RAAN), some of which have been under way for as long as 25 years. The strong team of scientists from the CGIAR (Bioversity), Austria (BOKU), and the region (CATIE) will collaborate closely with local universities, the local government authority responsible for the Maya Biosphere Reserve (CONAP), the forestry communities and the organizations that work with them to finalize research design, implement the research, and translate results into recommendations. The team will apply a systems perspective to determine how policy and regulations, value chains, internal organization, management practices and characteristics of the resource base affect livelihood benefits and the conservation of the forest resource base.
The project will address several of the thematic priorities of the ADC in Nicaragua and Guatemala: 1) conservation of biodiversity and sustainable natural resource management, with a focus on conservation of genetic resources of important timber species and of forests; 2) the development of sustainable production and marketing systems/value chains for timber from community forests, integrating systems perspectives; and 3) strengthening institutions and fostering policy development favourable to community forestry.
Gender; Community Forestry; Cooperation; transformation processes;
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