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Symposium and Workshop “Forest Certification in Developing and Transitioning Societies: Social, Economic and Ecological Effects” June 10-14, 2004; Yale University, New Haven, CT. Forest Certification in Guatemala: Progress, Achievements, and Challenges. Fernando Carrera, Dietmar Stoian,

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forest certification in guatemala progress achievements and challenges

Symposium and Workshop “Forest Certification in Developing

and Transitioning Societies: Social, Economic and Ecological Effects”June 10-14, 2004; Yale University, New Haven, CT

Forest Certification in Guatemala: Progress, Achievements, and Challenges

Fernando Carrera, Dietmar Stoian,

José Joaquín Campos, Julio Morales

& Gustavo Pinelo

guauhtemallan land of trees
Guauhtemallan = "Land of Trees"

Particularities of the Guatemalan case:

  • Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR): 95% of the area certified  forest concessions (usufruct rights)
  • Mandatory forest certification (FSC) for concessions in multiple use zone of MBR
  • 99% of total area certified: tropical broadleaved forest mahogany
  • 74% of total area certified: community forests
  • Timber certification (no NTFP)
slide4

Maya Biosphere Reserve

ZONE

AREA

(ha)

SHARE

(%)

Core area

767,000

36

Multiple use

848,000

40

Buffer zone

467,500

24

TOTAL

2,113,000

100

Guatemalan System of Protected Areas

the forest concession process
The Forest Concession Process
  • 1960-1988: Largely uncontrolled timber exploitation in Petén
  • 1989: Creation of the National Council for Protected Areas (CONAP)
  • 1990: Creation of Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR)
  • 1994: First concession awarded (San Miguel)
  • 1996: Forest certification workshop (SmartWood)
  • 1998: three more concessions awarded
  • 1999: Mandatory forest certification
initial situation in the mbr 1990 1995
Initial Situation in the MBR, 1990-1995

Low degree of governance

Illicit exploitation of natural resources

Deforestation (advance of the agricul-tural frontier) and forest degradation (indiscriminate timber exploitation)

Looting of archeological monuments

current situation
Current situation
  •  500,000 ha tropical broadleaved forest certified
  • MBR: 11 concessions certified: 9 community and 2 industrial concessions in multiple use zone
  • Outside MBR: 4 cooperatives / municipal ejidos
  • More than 7,000 direct beneficiaries
power game
Power Game

The State

Initially indifference of CONAP, now support

Industrial concessions

Initially skepticism, now commitment

Community concessions

Initially obligation, now obligation or commitment

Certified cooperatives / municipal ejidos

Indifference  certification induced by NGOs

NGOs

ENGOs: first skepticism, now support

Certification bodies

SmartWood Monopoly

certified wood production 1
Certified Wood Production (1)

Source: Unpublished data provided by Chemonics

certified wood production 2
Certified Wood Production (2)

Source: Unpublished data provided by Chemonics

Note: n.a. = not available

positive impacts of certification
Positive impacts of certification
  • Prestige and security in the process of concession granting
  • Improved organization and administration of forest resources by community groups and private owners
  • Improved safety of forest workers
  • Better conservation of forest resources
  • Better understanding of sound forest management
  • Access to certified product markets for some enterprises
negative impacts of certification
Negative impacts of certification
  • Increased indirect costs of certification  at times excessively demanding standards
  • High costs but low (monetary) benefits
  • Disappointment among some community groups frustrated expectation of price premiums
  • Sense of abandonment by community groups once NGOs suspend certification subsidies
  • Lacking sense of ownership among community members
  • "Injustice" due to variation in the application of assessment criteria between different teams
conclusions 1
Conclusions (1)
  • Certification inserted in already existing process towards sustainable forest management (SFM)
  • Mandatory forest certification further boosts SFM in multiple use zone of MBR
  • Community operations: subsidized certification
  • High certification costs pose a challenge to community operations
  • Mahogany "subsidizes" forest certification
  • Little expansion of certification anticipated  small-scale forest management units and absence of mahogany outside Petén; few plantations
conclusions 2
Conclusions (2)
  • Governance impact of certification: CONAP strengthened (concessions), third party control
  • Management impact: relatively little  control of forest fires largely due to concession process
  • Social impact: increased self-esteem among some communities, stimulus for organization, lacking sense of ownership
  • Economic impact: Achilles\' heel of certification  commercialization largely via traditional distribution channels, no price premiums (but higher prices!)

Need for integrated supply chain management

research needs 1
Research needs (1)
  • Processes of community-based forest enterprise development
  • Thorough cost-benefit analyses of certification
  • Tendencies in national and international markets for certified forest products
  • Role of certified forest management in livelihood strategies
  • Mechanisms for adapting certification to small-scale producers
  • Analysis of alternative certification schemes for NTFPs
  • Supply chain analyses community-enterprise links, transaction costs, value adding, distribution of benefits

Need for establishing learning alliances

between key actors of the certification process

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