Víctor López (Ford Foundation), “Achievements, Challenges, and Perspectives of Community-Based Forestry in Central America” (Yale Forest Forum)

Event time: 
Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 11:30am to 12:15pm
https://yale.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ijnMakcTTYujyhQxl8Pi8g See map
Event description: 

The Yale Forest Forum is excited to announce the next speaker series for the spring 2021 semester, jointly hosted by The Forests Dialogue

(link is external) and the Urban Resources Initiative(link is external)Click here to register for the series.(link is external)

The Promise and Practice of Community-Based Forestry

Community-based forestry intends to create pathways for local people to have decision-making control of forest management. The key strategy of community-based forestry is to equitably empower all local stakeholders through a long-term, landscape-based, and inclusive approach to supporting local communities to secure their land and resource rights, stop deforestation, find alternative livelihoods, and foster gender equity. Key community stakeholders include historically marginalized groups such as Indigenous people and ethnic minorities, as well as those who have geographic, economic, social, and cultural relationships with their local forests. Small holders and family forest owners are important parts of community forestry models as well. The Community Based Natural Resource Management paradigm places natural resource protection and management responsibility with the local people in exchange for a sharing of the benefits derived from that protection and sustainable management.

Speakers will describe their personal and organizational experience with community forestry, the benefits of this inclusive approach, and address challenges to ensure equitable participation and sustainable forest management.

Speaker Information: Víctor hails from Guatemala. He is the Program Officer for Natural Resources and Climate Change at the Ford Foundation regional office for Mexico and Central America. He is an honorary member and former executive director of the Community Forestry Association of Guatemala Utz Che’, a network of indigenous, peasant, fisherfolk, and other rural communities organized for protection and sustainable management of forests and communal lands in their territories. Víctor  has devoted his lifetime to promoting and defending human rights, dignity, self determination, and community organization in Central America. He led the Youth and Leadership Initiative (Escuela Mesoamericana) of the Mesoamerican Alliance of Peoples and Forests (AMPB). Víctor  is a member of Global Witness’ Advisory Council and The Forests Dialogue Steering Committee.

Abstract: In a region whose high rates of social inequality, socio-environmental conflict and vulnerability to climate change, the very existence of a number of successful cases of CBF, as well as the evident relationship between biodiversity conservation and territorial rights of indigenous peoples and multi-cultural local communities, is remarkable to say the least. Which are the factors that enable or hinder CBF? What are the future prospects for CBF in the region of Mexico and Central America? What potential does the region have to be a learning source regarding public policy and best practices of CBF? On those ideas and questions, Victor will build the conversation.