What can community forestry in Oaxaca, Mexico teach us about environmental conservation, economic development and natural resource rights? Reem Hajjar, Assistant Professor in Integrated Human and Ecological Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University, will share results from a study that looked at those connections during her SEFS Seminar this week.

Hajjar will present, “Community-based management for forests and livelihoods: Global trends and local perspectives” at 3:30 p.m. PST on Wednesday, April 21 via Zoom: https://washington.zoom.us/s/91222833965.

Here’s an abstract for her presentation: “Over the past 40 years, community forest management has been promoted as way to merge environmental conservation with economic development and natural resource rights agendas. The rationale underpinning the decentralization of forest management rights to local communities rests on the assumption that such communities can make better use of place and time-specific information than more centralized forms of natural resource governance, and that their vested interests in maintaining natural ecosystems, on which their livelihoods depend, can lead to more sustainable practices. Yet, while there are many examples showing that community forest management can promote positive outcomes for forests and people, many initiatives have also failed to achieve all of their intended objectives, leading to substantial socioeconomic and environmental tradeoffs. In this talk, I will present results of two recent studies that help shed light on some of these tradeoffs. The first is a recently published systematic review of community forestry literature, which describes global trends in community forest outcomes, and points to which contextual factors lead to more positive outcomes. The second is an in-depth case study of community forestry in Oaxaca, Mexico, that seeks to better understand how communities make decisions to advance certain objectives, such as profits from a community forest business, at the expense of others, such as participation, transparency and trust in local forest governance. Both studies reveal how theoretical ‘win-wins’ belie social challenges that face community forests.”

You can also view the full SEFS Seminar lineup here. The SEFS Seminar Series is made possible with support from the Corkery Family Environmental and Forest Sciences Director’s Endowed Chair fund.

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