Image Database Export Citations


Opening Common-Property Forests To Timber Production: Bolivia's Community Forestry Policies, Indigenous Timber User Groups Performance and Local Perceptions of Forests Livelihoods

Show full item record

Type: Conference Paper
Author: Pacheco, Diego
Conference: Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities, the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Bali, Indonesia
Conf. Date: June 19-23, 2006
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/730
Sector: Forestry
Region: South America
Subject(s): IASC
indigenous institutions
forest policy
Abstract: "This paper contributes to the discussion about the influence that a number of reforms launched in Bolivia since the mid-1990s better known under the label of "decentralization reforms" and aimed to improve natural resources governance are having in forests owned by indigenous people. The principal interest of this research is related to the evaluation of the extent that forest governance reforms are motivating indigenous people to participate in timber harvesting, the assessment of timber harvesting performance in timber user groups from Bolivia as a result of community forestry policies implementation, and the evaluation of timber user groups' perception of the forests as a key asset in the local livelihoods of future people's generations. "In Bolivia, most of timber user groups recognized with formal property rights over common property forests, as a consequence of the decentralization reforms and indigenous people's struggles with central governments, have initiated timber harvesting activities. To date, almost 70 indigenous timber user groups have developed Forest Management Plans encompassing roughly 800,000 hectares of forests. My conjectures are that: (1) Bolivia's forestry regulations are moving indigenous people toward a timber use of the forest, (2) the performance of timber user groups varies according ecological, economic and social factors, and (3) groups that have a higher timber income have a strong timber commercial perception of the forest for their local livelihoods. This research takes place in six communities located in tropical areas of Bolivia, in which intensive fieldwork was developed by the author through the 2005 carrying out interviews with key informants and focal groups, as well as revision of secondary information generated by timber user groups and by the Bolivian Forestry Superintendence. "Main findings of this research are that timber user groups are increasingly motivated by the forestry regulations to become engaged in timber harvesting. In this context, timber user groups must face economic, ecological and social challenges. Ecological issues have an influence in the generation of timber incomes but this is not automatic. In order to mediate the potentially negative impacts of the expectation of a lower yield from the biophysical world, indigenous forest user groups holding lower timber potential forests invest in a more substantial institutional development for timber management. It is observed that indigenous timber user groups having strong rules for timber management will achieve higher timber incomes in comparison to their counterparts having weaker rules or not rules at all. In addition, some indigenous timber user groups can increase their incomes if they are placed in higher steps in the value-added chain of production, while a condition of higher economic performance seems to be the articulation of timber user groups with permanent timber markets. Finally, local people's perceptions of the forests as a source of livelihoods are slightly determined by the place that timber user groups occupy in the timber harvesting performance, though primarily forests are considered to fulfill a multipurpose role for provision of food, medicine, and construction materials. As expected, local people's having higher timber performance put more value in the role of forests as a source of cash income, but they have a contradictory feeling with respect to the role of forests as a key asset for the livelihoods of future people's generations. Conversely, local people having lower timber performance put less value in the role of the forests as a source of cash income but have a stronger feeling with respect to the major role of forests in the livelihoods of people's future people's generations."

Files in this item

Files Size Format View
Pacheco_Diego.pdf 90.63Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following document type(s)

Show full item record