4. Opportunities and constraints for sustainable tropical forestry: lessons from the plan piloto forestal, quintana roo, Mexico.
In: Proceedings of the Humid Tropical Lowlands Conference, Panama, 1991, pp. 65-83
The Plan Piloto Forestal (PPF) of Quintana Roo, an 8-year-old community forestry project on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, has been heralded as a model for sustainable tropical forestry. In order to extract useful lessons from this experience, it is important both to evaluate its current and future potential as a sustainable system, and to understand the opportunities and constraints that have defined its development.
Such an analysis should yield insights applicable not only to the continuing evolution of the PPF, but to the design of sustainable forestry projects elsewhere.
The first premise of this article is that the achievements of the PPF in community forestry are a product of both circumstances and the approach followed by the development team. The ecological characteristics of the forestand, the history of land and forest tenure and use in Quintana Roo created a favorable setting for community forestry based on timber harvesting. Nonetheless much of the success of the project can be attributed to the development philosophy, political connections, and long-term-commitment of the international team which initiated and has fostered the Plan Piloto Forestal (PPF).
The second premise is that while favorable ecological and institutional circumstances are necessary predictions for the establishment of successful tropical forestry projects, the long-term sustainability of forest activities depends on the design and application of appropriate silvicultural practices. This in turn, requires the capacity to define and acquire the necessary information on forest and species ecology and the impacts of forestry, and to develop and modify forestry practices accordingly.
During its first eight years the PPF has capitalized on existing opportunities and overcome a series of obstacles to accomplish its primary objectives of reorganizing forestry in Quintana Roo and contributing to socioeconomic development.
The benefits obtained from forestry activities by local people with secure tenure to their forest lands and decisionmaking power provide an incentive for managing forests with a long-term perspective.
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Africa, Ghana, study, taungya system, forest types, timber production, farmer attitudes, commercialisation
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