Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
07-07: Community Rights for Environmental Benefit
Wednesday, 21/Mar/2018:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Alda Salomao, CENTRO TERRA VIVA, Mozambique
Location: MC 7-100


Successful Community Stewardship of Tropical Forests: Evidence from Community Forest Concessions in Petén, Guatemala

Dietmar Stoian1, Aldo Rodas2

1Bioversity International, France; 2Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Guatemala

In the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) in Petén, Guatemala 25-year forest concessions have been granted to local communities since the 1990s. Previous studies have demonstrated that the concessions effectively halt deforestation. This study sheds light on the socio-economic benefits derived from the concessions. We carried out context analysis, community forest enterprise assessments (n=12) and household surveys (n=350) across all 12 concessions. Our findings show that forest income can lift people out of poverty while conserving the forest. These findings substantiate the claim of the communities for concession renewal due over the next few years. This evidence is particularly important as the communities are faced with powerful groups interested in oil exploration and tourism development in the MBR, as well as deforestation linked with cattle ranching, cash crop production and forest fires. We conclude with opportunities for increasing the viability of community stewardship of tropical forests in Guatemala and beyond.


Common Benefits: How Community Tenure Is Facilitating investment in the Commons for Inclusive Growth

Steven Lawry1, Sophia Gnych1, Iliana Monterroso1, Anukram Adhikary2

1Center for International Forestry Research; 2ForestAction, Nepal

Questions of barriers and solutions to investment in the commons have taken on increasing relevance due to the success in recent years of communities in many parts of the world in gaining stronger, legally recognized rights over collective resources. This is particularly the case with respect to forest ownership. With success in achieving stronger rights, important questions now arise over how communities can increase economic productivity and social benefits from their newly achieved control over important resources and assets, including by increasing levels of internal investment and attracting external investment. Normative economic theory and private investors posit conceptual and practical barriers to investment in commons-based enterprises. This paper considers evidence of potential pathways to overcoming perceived barriers to investment in the commons by drawing on lessons of efforts underway in four countries—Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal and Namibia—to foster investment through solutions that recognize the social character of commons ownership.


Land Rights, Inclusive Development and Benefit Sharing To Achieve CO2 Emissions Reductions

Christopher Tanner1, Alda Salamao2

1MOKORO, United Kingdom; 2Centro Terra Viva, Maputo, Mozambique

This paper looks at how customary land rights intersect with REDD+ projects to reduce CO2 emissions from forests areas with local populations. It then looks at how the emissions reductions can be guaranteed far into the future. Without this, they cannot become a vehicle for long-term investment by international institutions. The paper uses a new REDD+ emissions reduction programme (ERP) in Mozambique as a reference case. It examines how the progressive Mozambican policy and legal framework supports the design of a successful ERP seen as an integrated rural development programme, including the distribution of ER revenues to local people whose collaboration in the programme is essential. To discuss the long-term guarantee issue, the paper looks at a little used feature of the Mozambican constitution and suggests that States must embrace a more radical, devolved form of local partnership to generate ERs now, and guarantee their long-term permanence and marketability.


Foreign Investments to Support Forestry In Mexico as a Means of Increasing Resiliency

Lauren Cooper, Emily Huff

Michigan State University, United States of America

Community resilience measures the sustained ability of a community to utilize available resources while responding to stress, as well as withstanding and recovering from adverse situations. It takes into account social vulnerability, environmental hazards, and economic conditions. As climate change inserts increased risk and unpredictability into management and planning, resilience considerations become more crucial. With a focus on the country of Mexico, this work explores international investments in the forestry sector as a tool to increase resilience.

Mexico has 138 million hectares of forest and a history of deforestation and degradation. This research uses interviews, surveys, and existing data to explore the impact on increasing community resiliency through the World Bank’s Forest Investment Program, which aids both rural development and reduced deforestation and degradation in rural and indigenous Mexican communities.