Panel Paper: Assessing the effectiveness of Community Forest Management and Protected Forest Areas in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve

Saturday, November 10, 2012 : 10:55 AM
Adams (Sheraton Baltimore City Center Hotel)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Lea Fortmann, Ohio State University

Over the past decade about 13 million hectares per year of forestland have been lost worldwide due to illegal logging, agricultural expansion, or natural causes. As a result, various policies for reducing deforestation have been implemented, particularly in tropical forests in developing countries. Of these policies, strict protection has been the most widespread approach through the creation of national parks and protected areas. However, community-based forest management (CFM) has gained increasing popularity and as a result, comparisons of the effectiveness of CFM compared to protected areas have been the focus of many studies. This analysis applies matching methods to compare the effectiveness of community forest concessions with protected areas in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. The results indicate that the community forest concessions of the MBR were effective in limiting deforestation compared to the unprotected areas, and the concessions had lower deforestation rates overall. However, comparisons of the effectiveness of the concessions with the protected areas varied depending on the matching approach used.