Community Forests

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Marjorie Kelly:

"I studied the community forests of Mexico, where the rights to govern and profit from the forest have often been granted to local communities, many of them indigenous tribal peoples – like the Zapotec Indians of Ixtlan de Juarez in southern Mexico. At Ixtlan, the problems that bedeviled other forests in Mexico, like deforestation and illegal logging, have become relatively unknown. The reason is community members have incentive to be stewards, because forest enterprises employ 300 people harvesting timber, making furniture, and caring for the forest. These are living forests, communities of trees and humans, where the purpose is to live well together. Worldwide, more than a quarter of forests in developing nations are managed by local communities. In Mexico, community forests represent more than 60 percent of all forests. Yet they remain virtually unknown, even in Mexico." (