A Comparative Analysis of Community-Based Enterprise Governance in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

Megan Butler, Dean Current

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This study focused upon the governance characteristics of Community Forest Enterprises (CFEs) in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR). The MBR is an excellent location for studying CFE governance due to the diversity of CFEs operating within the reserve. For example, CFEs vary based upon their legal entity (nonprofit, for-profit, or cooperative) and whether members live within the MBR or outside of the MBR. This research occurred between 2017 and 2019 and involved over 100 interviews with key informants in the reserve, document review, and direct observations of CFE operations. The study describes differences between the governance structures of CFEs in the reserve and investigates factors that enable or constrain equitable and effective CFE governance. The study highlights insights related to CFE membership, decision-making, investments in social and economic goals, and policy enforcement that can be helpful in improving the governance of CFEs in Guatemala and abroad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1449-1471
Number of pages23
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 30 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was completed with the financial support of the University of Minnesota?s Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change and the Rainforest Alliance. This research would not have been possible without the support of partners in Guatemala who provided logistical support and guidance. We would like to thank the Rainforest Alliance staff in the Pet?n and the Association of Forest Communities in the Pet?n (ACOFOP) for their guidance. We would also like to thank the members of the following Community Forest Enterprises that participated in this study: Sociedad Civil Custodios de la Selva (CUSTOSEL), Sociedad Civil para el Desarrollo ?rbol Verde, Sociedad Civil Organizaci?n Manejo y Conservaci?n Comunidad Uaxact?n (OMYC), Cooperativa Integral de Comercializaci?n Carmelita R.L., and Asociaci?n Integral Forestal de San Andr?s (AFISAP).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Community Forest Enterprise
  • Maya biosphere reserve
  • community forestry
  • governance


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