Reconnecting conservation & livelihood objectives through non-timber forest product certification

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Can NTFP certification provide a mechanism to integrate forest conservation and livelihood development in a particular location? My research will consider its potential role in the future viability of palm (Chamaedorea spp) harvest in the community forest concessions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, where NTFP extraction generates income and, ostensibly, provides communities with an incentive to protect the forest. The current transition from extractivism to cultivated production harbingers a loss of forest product income for forest communities and a disruption of the livelihood systems that are the foundation for conservation. The issue is not whether Chamaedorea will remain an economically important commodity globally, as production practices shift, but whether extraction will remain a viable income-generating strategy for community forest concessions. The palm production system will be analyzed at three scales: the global commodity chain, the forest management unit, and the household. A productionto-consumption system analysis will be used to identify opportunities and constraints of the extractive production system. Ethnographic linear programming will be used to assess community and household level adaptability to a dynamic production environment. Certification as a mechanism for the integration of conservation and development objectives will depend on the viability of extractivism at all three scales, and on the identification of policy and market levers that can retain the system's comparative advantage. This multi-scale analysis represents a first step toward identifying the requisite standards of such a certification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChanging European Farming Systems for A Better Future
Subtitle of host publicationNew Visions for Rural Areas
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9789086860029
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Extractivism
  • Green marketing
  • Supply chains


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