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Implications of Democracy in Forest Management of the Sierra Norte, Mexico

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Mitchell, Ross E.
Conference: The Commons in an Age of Global Transition: Challenges, Risks and Opportunities, the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Oaxaca, Mexico
Conf. Date: August 9-13
Date: 2004
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1072
Sector: Forestry
Region: Central America & Caribbean
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
community forestry--case studies
decision making--case studies
forest management
indigenous institutions
governance and politics
Abstract: "This study examines democratic parameters within the framework of common property systems. While common property institutional rules and norms have been discussed at length in the relevant literature, democracy has not been rigorously applied to communal forest decisionmaking. Two forest-based communities of the Sierra Norte in southern Mexico were selected for comparison on key democratic features, including governance, leadership, inclusiveness, and trust. Both communities have taken different forest use paths, resulting in both positive and negative consequences. Their respective forest land-use decisions have been regulated by usos y costumbres, local practices of governance based on indigenous systems of community service. Democratic governance of community forest resources is not yet consolidated, but is well on its way for both communities. These findings bring new insight into the meaning of democracy and common property systems."

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