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Growing a Forest, and Harvesting Jobs (Oaxaca, Mx)

A NYTimes story about how Zapotec Indians Grow Trees, and Jobs, in Oaxaca, Mexico. Perhaps in any troubled country it is important to look also into the positive local stories.

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Quote from the article:
' In Ixtlán, under Zapotec traditions, all decisions about the forest and its related businesses are made by a (mostly male) general assembly of 390 townspeople. These “comuneros” are required to contribute their labor as needed to the forest and its enterprises.
“You can see the harmony,” said Francisco Luna, the secretary of the committee in charge of the forest and its businesses. “For us to live in peace, we have to respect all the rules.”

Many of the problems that beset other forests in Mexico, like illegal logging and deforestation, rate barely a shrug here. Pedro Vidal García, a longtime forester in Ixtlán who now works for the Rainforest Alliance, laughed when he was asked about illegal logging in the 48,000 acres of forest the community owns.

“Anybody who tries their own illegal business is harshly judged,” he said. “The assembly is very tough.” A comunero who dares to work as a guide to illegal loggers or hunters is branded a traitor and could lose all property rights.'

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This is a trend that in México is taking force: MFC = Manejo Forestal Comunitario (Community Forest Management). We need to understand that 80% of forests in México belongs to communities or ejidos. Key thing is that they can link a forest to their own life quality. We still need lots of laws to facilitate this transition from National Parks to Community Parks with sustainable management.