Publication: Community Forestry Enterprises in Mexico: Sustainability and Competitiveness

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Cubbage, Frederick W.
Davis, Robert R.
Rodriguez Paredes, Diana
Mollenhauer, Ramon
Kraus Elsin, Yoanna
Frey, Gregory E.
Gonzalez Hernandez, Ignacio A.
Albarran Hurtado, Humberto
Salazar Cruz, Anita Mercedes
Chemor Salas, Diana Nacibe
Community-based forest management, such as Community Forest Enterprises (CFEs), has the potential to generate positive socioenvironmental and economic outcomes. We performed a detailed survey of financial and production parameters for 30 of the approximately 992 CFEs in Mexico in order to estimate costs, income, profits, and sustainability of harvest levels for forest management, harvest, and sawmilling. Fourteen of the 30 CFEs harvested more timber than they grew in 2011, suggesting issues with sustainability, but only two of these had harvest far above annual growth, and five of those were only a fraction more than annual growth. All of the 30 CFEs except one made profits in forest management and timber growing. For timber harvesting, 22 of 30 CFEs made profits, but the losses were small for the other CFEs. For the 23 CFEs with sawmills, 18 made profits and five had losses; the greatest returns for the CFEs accrued to those with sawmills for lumber production. On average, the CFEs surveyed had high costs of production relative to other countries, but the CFEs were still profitable in national lumber markets. If Mexico were to begin importing large amounts of lumber from lower cost countries, this could pose a threat to CFE profitability.
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