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From: "Dana Aldea" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Subject: Universal,Community forestry boosts quality of life, hopes for peace,May 19 Date: Sat, 19 May 2007 13:45:12 +0200 Community forestry boosts quality of life, hopes for peace BY TALLI NAUMAN El Universal Sa'bado 19 de mayo de 2007 The World Bank's release this month of a report entitled "New Evidence that Mexico's Community Forests Protect Environment, Reduce Poverty and Promote Social Peace" helps dispel myths about the logging industry, creating a good starting point for policy making in the new administration. Most everybody has heard how Mexico's woodlands and rural lifestyles are devastated by illegal tree cutting, monoculture plantations, foreign companies, slash-and-burn agriculture, drought-induced wildfire, and drug plantations. At the same time, it's no secret that the woods and jungles are responsible for air and water supplies important not only here but in the global climate equation. The wildlife and genetic resources harbored in forest habitat are known to be of infinite economic and cultural importance. Trees' role in protecting coastal, mountain and riparian settings from erosion has become ever more appreciated over generations. The new publication contributes to this growing common knowledge by describing upbeat scientific findings about the success of communitymanaged forests in halting deforestation; saving land, water and fresh air; generating wealth in poverty stricken areas, and preventing violence. The report is the result of a five-year study based on the previously distributed "Community Forests of Mexico: Achievements and Challenges," which was published in English by University of Texas Press and in Spanish by Sierra Madre with the National Ecology Institute. This 30-page background briefing provides a short course primer that qualifies as required reading for everyone from tree-huggers to bean counters. The two documents provide an indispensable distillation of the most salient features of the national silviculture scene in our times. They are illustrated richly with photos from Patricio Robles Gil, Claudio Contreras, Sergio Madrid and David Barton Bray. They reflect the contributions of at least 10 researchers at more than a half-dozen institutes, including Bray, Juan Manuel Torres Rojo, Camille Antinori, Richard Tardanico, Leticia Merino, Elvira Dura'n, Octavio Maga~a, Jean Francois Mas, Alejandro Vela'zquez, and Vi'ctor Hugo Ramos. If that isn't enough reason for stakeholders to read the materials, here's another. They are a joint effort realized by the Ford Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Tinker Foundation, Environment and Natural Resources Secretariat (Semarnat), National Forestry Commission (Conafor), Florida National University, Mexican Civil Council for Sustainable Silviculture (CCMSS), the international non-profit Forest Trends, National Autonomous University of Mexico's Social Research Institute (UNAM-IIS), the Mexican public Economic Research and Teaching Center (CIDE), U.S. AID and World Bank. So, take note. Community- based forestry in Mexico is comprised of timbering and related businesses carried out on commonly administered woodlots by ejidos (trust land collectives) or indigenous communal land holders. The study represents the first inventory of those with commercial wood products licenses, calculating some 2,300 nationwide. About 75 percent of them are in the states of Me'xico, Durango, Michoaca'n, Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Puebla, Jalisco, Chiapas, Guerrero and Quintana Roo. Their licenses cover 2.8 million hectares, providing 85 percent of the nation's annual legal production. The report concludes that: These lands are equally or better managed for forest conservation than natural protected areas. Especially in communities with sawmills and other wood processing facilities, the industry contributes to increased income. Communities organized around their own lumber operations are more peaceful than others that suffer tenure and resource competition. Government assistance is a common denominator in successful community forestry operations. It points out that the World Bank, among others, considers Mexico to be an international beacon of community forestry, with a higher percentage of community-managed operations than any other country except Papua New Guinea, making it a shining light to guide other countries, including China and India. The report contains sound advice for communities as well as policy makers. It suggests they: Strengthen programs attending community foresters; develop support systems keyed to individual communities' development levels; provide compensation to communities for resource conservation; articulate public policy to favor communal forestry; promote certification of sustainable forestry practices; build market demand for community- managed forest and non-forest products; facilitate further national study and information sharing on community forestry. In an administration plagued by lack of legitimization, ushered into office by allegations of fraudulent elections, dogged by months of rioting in the forest state of Oaxaca, criticized for privatizing natural resources, and ravaged by drug lords, the research presented shows Mexico is at least doing something right. It makes clear one alternative path to improved conservation, governance and social stability is simply continued support for the community forestry. My own advice: Read the studies, follow the recommendations, and seize the moment. [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://www.mexiconews.com.mx/24667.html -- To unsubscribe from this list send a message containing the words unsubscribe chiapas95 (or chiapas95-lite, or chiapas95-english, or chiapas95-espanol) to [EMAIL PROTECTED] Previous messages are available from http://www.eco.utexas.edu/faculty/Cleaver/chiapas95.html or gopher to Texas, University of Texas at Austin, Department of Economics, Mailing Lists.