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  • Mexican forest communities reduce illegal logging, forest fires and carbon emissions

Mexican forest communities reduce illegal logging, forest fires and carbon emissions

Community management systems generate incentives for communities to sustainably manage the forests (© Ivan Zuñiga/CCMSS)
Community management systems generate incentives for communities to sustainably manage the forests
© Ivan Zuñiga/CCMSS

Forest communities in Mexico have been able to capture carbon more effectively than any other public or private group, according to a new study by the Consejo Civil Mexicano de Silvicultura Sostenible (CCMSS) and the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). The authors state that negotiators at the UN climate change conference in Cancún should therefore look to Mexico for a solution as they attempt to draw up an agreement to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation.

"Community forest management has become a powerful instrument for achieving forest conservation while reducing poverty in some of our poorest communities," explains Sergio Madrid, CCMSS president and co-author of the report. "The findings suggest that community-based forestry, when supported by clear and legal rights to timber and other forest resources, is the best strategy for reducing carbon emissions, conserving biodiversity, and lifting earning power."

Looking at ten years of community forest management, the study concludes that community management systems generate incentives for communities to sustainably manage the forests: carefully harvesting some trees while leaving the young ones to grow, providing permanent control of pests and forest fires, and capturing carbon by storing it in timber products. "This combines all the right components for protecting biodiversity and promoting economic health," says Madrid.

Date published: December 2010

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