Productive Landscapes Community-Based Forestry Enterprises Mexico Field Verification Report



ProLand is undertaking a series of field trips to validate the draft Sourcebook for USAID field Missions on designing and implementing programs and activities incorporating community-based forestry enterprises (CBFEs) that emphasize timber production as an integral part of sustainable landscapes. These field visits provide information from in-country USAID officers and local practitioners as well as other knowledgeable sources.

The draft Sourcebook is based upon ProLand’s “An assessment of critical enabling conditions for community-based forestry enterprises1.” The assessment identified four categories of critical enabling conditions required for successful CBFEs:

  1. Secure rights to develop, exclude others, and sell a forest product or service and enable long-term CBFE investment. While these rights are the most basic policy requirement, other policies contribute to a robust enabling environment.
  2. Governance, organization, and management that provides effective leadership and technical knowledge to the CBFE, accountability to the community, and ensures the CBFE’s financial integrity.
  3. A viable social enterprise model2 that produces financial benefits sufficient to reinvest in forest and business management and growth, and provides economic benefits (though not necessarily cash) to the community as a whole.
  4. Partnerships with value chain actors to access external funding and technical support, help aggregate timber from several communities or individual producers, market timber to buyers, and build/maintain infrastructure. These partners include national and local government, donors, civil society organizations, and private sector entities.

The assessment included input from 18 key informants, including several from USAID field missions. ProLand asked the latter if their Missions welcomed, and were suitable for, Sourcebook validation. Mexico’s Director, Office of Sustainable Development, expressed strong interest in participating on behalf of the Mission; thus, Mexico became the site of the first validation visit.

This report documents observations during field visits to CBFEs in Peru, intended to validate and refine guidance about CBFEs. Deeper background assessment, results of other field visits, and the guidance have been published as separate documents. The Mexico field trip took place from December 5–14, 2018. The ProLand team comprised Chief of Party Mark Donahue, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Specialist and CBFE lead Ian Deshmukh; and locally based CBFE consultant Ben Hodgdon. The team visited key informants in Mexico City, Tlaxcala, Quintana Roo, and Oaxaca, following the schedule and locational map in Annex 1. Interviews followed a question guide exploring the CBFE-enabling conditions, found in Annex 2, and the ProLand team addressed other relevant issues as they arose. We wish to thank USAID/Mexico for hosting the team, and all the informants, who gave freely of their time with enthusiasm.