Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification on the Southern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

TitleSustainable Forest Management and Forest Certification on the Southern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsBryant, Autumn
Academic DepartmentNatural Resources
Thesis AdvisorJensen, Edward
DegreeBA, International Studies in Natural Resources
Number of Pages51
Date Published05/2000
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordscomparative, ejidos, Forest Stewardship Council certification, forestry, sustainable forest management, Yucatan Peninsual

The objective of this project is to assess whether or not forest certification, as proposed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a promising alternative for promoting sustainable forest management on the Southern Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. FSC certification has been used in this region to address the socio-economic issues limiting the development of sustainable forestry in many Latin American countries.
This qualitative study compares the forest management practices of four FSC certified ejidos (communally owned land) in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo with those of four non-certified ejidos in the bordering state of Campeche in order to assess the role of FSC certification in sustainable forest management and the prospects for FSC certification in this region. Verbal interviews, direct observations, and supporting documentation were used to collect data. All interviews were conducted in Spanish, with the exception of one interview that was translated between Chol, a Mayan language, and Spanish.
Knowledge of FSC certification in the ejidos of Campeche is low. In addition, forest management in these ejidos meets only the minimal regulations posed by Mexican government. However, ejidatarios (rural landowners) show an interest in conservation, and their management goals are based on sustainable principles.
By supporting the development of small scale forest enterprises, expanding or diversifying forest products that can be marketed, teaching sustainable and multiple-use practices of forest management to safeguard long-term economic and environmental stability, and ensuring access and equal opportunities to forest dwellers, FSC certification is capable of improving the environmental impacts of forestry activity and overcoming the socio-economic issues limiting sustainable forest management in this region.