NON-TIMBER FOREST PRODUCT VALUE CHAIN DEVELOPMENT: Lessons from a university’s 20-year partnership in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

Megan Butler, David Wilsey, Dean Current, José Román Carrera, Deanna Newsom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve is often hailed as a model for community forestry. Community enterprises operating in the Reserve harvest timber and non-timber forest products and engage in tourism, resulting in positive conservation and livelihood outcomes. These outcomes can be attributed to the perseverance and vision of the men and women living within the Reserve, the oversight of Guatemalan natural resource agencies, and the support of local and international conservation organisations and research institutes. We highlight the approach taken by the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management to develop and nurture the supply chain for xate palm fronds (Chamaedorea oblongata). While the income derived from the sale of xate in the Reserve is small compared to that from timber harvesting, it has led to new job opportunities and serves as an important source of supply chain diversification. We emphasize that the critical factors in the success of the xate value chain were the strong relationships developed among key market actors, the development of creative solutions to problems that would likely have destabilised a more transactional supply chain, and adapting strategies to accommodate the changing needs of local partners. We hope this experience will inform the approach of organisations working to develop long-lasting, profitable value chains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Community Forestry
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages49-64
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781000594621
ISBN (Print)9780367488697
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor and Francis.

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