Community Forestry and Tree Theft in Mexico: Resistance or Complicity in Conservation?
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2002
Institute of Social Studies 2000
Development and Change
Volume 31, Issue 1, pages 281–305, January 2000
How to Cite
Klooster, D. (2000), Community Forestry and Tree Theft in Mexico: Resistance or Complicity in Conservation?. Development and Change, 31: 281–305. doi: 10.1111/1467-7660.00155
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2002
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2002
- Cited By
Community forestry is thought to diffuse the kind of tensions over access to resources that frequently make centralized forest management systems based on the principles of scientific forestry ineffective and conflictive. Centralized systems often create resistance, as communities whose vegetation management practices have been declared illegal by forest bureaucracies anonymously contest the restrictions imposed on them by ‘stealing’ trees and committing ‘arson’. These restrictions are intimately related to the requirements of scientific forestry, however, so co-management strategies relying on scientific forestry might also engender various forms of internal resistance, such as tree theft. Local interpretations of justice in access to resources, together with community social structures and the distribution of resources can result in internalized resistance, rendering community-based resource management ineffective. In a Mexican community case-study, scientific forestry and tree theft co-evolved during a period of concessions and continue under co-management. This system creates an arena where anonymous individual resistance like tree theft can give way to forms of protest more likely to result in legitimate and effective forest management systems.