Daniela Miteva, Ohio State University
Time & Location
About the Event
Natural resource conservation and development programs across the developing world have recently emphasized the devolution of natural resource management to local communities. While this can benefit communities and natural resources, only a few studies test why only some community management systems achieve these outcomes. Focusing on community forest enterprises (CFEs), which manage forests communally for timber that is sold on the market, we test the hypothesis that greater vertical integration (processing timber to provide value-added products) is more protective of forests. We use detailed spatially explicit panel data from southern Mexico to test this hypothesis, while distinguishing between various drivers of forest cover loss. We find evidence that higher vertical integration reduces forest cover loss due to small-scale agriculture and fires. Thus, our results have important implications for policy design, given the recent trend towards the recognition of customary communal rights and the devolution of natural resource management to communities.