"Growing a Forest and Harvesting Jobs"

nov 26, 2010

Even as international climate change negotiations are about to start, experts acknowledge the need for (and efficacy of) local solutions too.

Excerpts from a New York Times article by Elizabeth Malkin, Nov 22, 2010:

"Three decades ago the Zapotec Indians here in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico fought for and won the right to communally manage the forest. Before that, state-owned companies had exploited it as they pleased under federal government concessions.

"They slowly built their own lumber business and, at the same time, began studying how to protect the forest. Now, the town’s enterprises employ 300 people who harvest timber, produce wooden furniture and care for the woodlands, and Ixtlán has grown to become the gold standard of community forest ownership and management, international forestry experts say.

"....In developing countries, where the rule of law is weak and enforcement spotty, simply declaring a forest off-limits does little to prevent illegal logging or clearing land for agriculture or development.

"....A recent Cifor study reported that more than a quarter of the forests in developing countries are now being managed by local communities. The trend is worldwide — from China to Brazil..."

For more info, go to the article here or the video here.