Table 3. Decision making concerning the use of wood products for commercialization and subsistence use


Community Strategic planning Medium-term tactical planning for commercialization Short-term tactical planning for commercialization Tactical planning for subsistence use
Mexico
Caobas The community decides what it wants to do with land and forests, within the limits of some environmental legislation on specific forest types and areas. Follow legal requirements of timber management, including management plans elaborated by engineers (community-chosen), annual allowable cut (AAC) (although the maximum does not have to be reached), minimum harvestable diameter, proper permitting (also for polewood). Day-to-day decisions made by work groups, work group leaders and General Assembly. Communally-run sawmill; choose own buyers. No legal authorization required. Community members inform comisariado of intentions. Polewood and less precious woods for construction internally regulated. For firewood, do not need authorization, but should follow legal norms. Unclear whether these are followed.
Yaxcabá The community decides what it wants to do with land and forests, within the limits of some legislation on specific forest types and areas. Residents and community assembly decide on all aspects of forest management, but conduct some aspects illegally (including charcoal commercialization and selling of masks made from chacá (Bursera simaruba) without proper permits). Law enforcement weak in this area. Day-to-day decisions made by individuals and General Assembly. Ask permission from their ejido’s comisariado for harvesting chacá, but harvesting seems unsustainable. No legal authorization required. Community members inform comisariado of intentions. Polewood and less precious woods for construction internally regulated. For firewood, do not need authorization, but should follow legal norms. Unclear whether these are followed.
Naranjal Poniente The community decides what it wants to do with land and forests, within the limits of some legislation on specific forest types and areas. Follow legal requirements of timber management, including management plans elaborated by engineers (community-chosen), AAC (although the maximum does not have to be reached), minimum harverstable diameter, proper permitting (also for polewood). Day-to-day decisions made by forest management group and General Assembly. Communally-run sawmill; choose own buyers. No legal authorization required. Community members inform comisariado of intentions. Polewood and less precious woods for construction internally regulated. For firewood, do not need authorization, but should follow legal norms. Unclear whether these are followed.
Brazil
Mazagão Smallholders decide what to do with forest, within legal limits for deforestation (20%). Remaining 80% is legal reserve, smallholders can protect it or manage for timber (with proper authorization) or other products and services. Legally required to have management plan, 100% inventory, elaborated by engineer. Currently do not follow this, thus smallholders decide on all aspects of forest management, but conduct this illegally. Informal limit of commercializable sawnwood set by local officials limits their decision making. Restrictions actively enforced by environmental police. Day-to-day decisions made by smallholders. Decide which species to use and amounts, up to a legal limit for firewood and construction/tools. Limits not enforced.
OCT Communities fought for the right to designate the area an extractive reserve (RESEX). The government recognized that right, but still imposes restrictions on activities. RESEX-wide management plan, yet to be approved by federal government, provides strategic vision and legal practices within RESEX. RESEX-wide committee supersedes individual community governance. Management plan required for commercialization from community forest, but wood products can be sold from family plots (except logs or sawnwood) to other members of the RESEX without permits. They follow legal requirements for timber management. At the time of fieldwork, they were still waiting for management plan to be approved, pending approval of RESEX-wide plan. Activities continue regardless. Day-to-day decisions made by cooperative or community members. No legal restrictions stipulated in RESEX management plan (awaiting approval). Community members inform community leader of intention to use wood products.
MAFLOPS Colonists decide what to do with forest, within legal limits for deforestation (20%). Decide whether to enter into partnership with logging company to manage legal reserve. Company makes all decisions and acquires all necessary documentation. Colonists effectively sign away their decision-making rights when signing partnership contract. Day-to-day decisions made by company. Decide which species to use and amounts, up to a legal limit for firewood and construction/tools. Some colonists confused about their rights to use timber on their land post-harvest.