Forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala: a decade later

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In the Multiple-Use Zone of Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve, the usufruct rights to timber and non-timber forest resources were granted through concession agreements to 12 community organizations and two private timber companies in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After more than a decade, some concessions are successfully managing forests for multiple uses while others have had limited success or failed completely. This paper provides a management unit-based analysis and evaluation of the evolution of these forest concessions. First, we present a critical assessment of the current state of ecological integrity, socio-economic development, governance, and financing within each of the 14 forest concessions, using a series of quantitative and qualitative indicators. Next, we categorize the different trajectories that the concessions have experienced, and describe the key biophysical, socio-economic, and market events and drivers that may have influenced their outcomes. Lastly, we provide suggestions for the continued consolidation of multiple-use forest management practices in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, and draw out lessons for multiple-use forest management elsewhere in the tropics.

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