Community forestry, common property and deforestation in eight Mexican States

Barsimantov, James; Kendall, Jake (23-May-12)

Community management of forests for timber extraction has been widely implemented in Mexico. In this article, we investigate the relationship between property rights, community forestry, and deforestation over time. We conduct an econometric analysis of land use change at the municipality level in eight Mexican states that incorporates several variables commonly used in deforestation models plus variables on common property and community forestry. Our results show that both key explanatory variables, common property and community forestry, are related to lower deforestation. Coniferous forests, which have more marketable timber, show a stronger association, indicating that common property management may work by increasing the market value of the standing forest, thus building local consensus for timber management by distributing returns. The measured effects of common property and community forestry on deforestation rates are both statistically significant and large enough to confirm community forestry’s usefulness as an environmental policy tool.

Community management of forests for timber extraction has been widely implemented in Mexico. In this article, we investigate the relationship between property rights, community forestry, and deforestation over time. We conduct an econometric analysis of land use change at the municipality level in eight Mexican states that incorporates several variables commonly used in deforestation models plus variables on common property and community forestry. Our results show that both key explanatory variables, common property and community forestry, are related to lower deforestation. Coniferous forests, which have more marketable timber, show a stronger association, indicating that common property management may work by increasing the market value of the standing forest, thus building local consensus for timber management by distributing returns. The measured effects of common property and community forestry on deforestation rates are both statistically significant and large enough to confirm community forestry’s usefulness as an environmental policy tool.

Journal Article

Collections: