New Kleinhans Fellow Will Study Community Forest Enterprises in Guatemala

The Rainforest Alliance is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2017 Kleinhans Fellowship competition is Megan Butler, a PhD student in Natural Resources Science and Management at the University of Minnesota.

Her dissertation research, entitled “Improving Governance of Community Forest Enterprises in the Maya Biosphere Reserve,” focuses on why some community forest enterprises (CFEs) follow “good governance” practices–such as equitable distribution of benefits and inclusive decision making – while others struggle.

Kleinhans Fellow Megan Butler with rattan growers in Vietnam

Megan Butler (second from left) working with rattan growers in Vietnam.

Her comparative study will focus on twelve community forest concessions in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve, nine of which are currently active and three of which have been canceled. Megan recognizes that each CFE working within the Maya Biosphere Reserve has a unique history, differing level of resources, and diverse external challenges; her research will illuminate factors that impact CFE success, providing lessons not only for the participating CFEs but also for CFEs elsewhere that face similar opportunities or threats.

Megan has previously worked with community forest enterprises from Nepal, the Brazilian Amazon, and Vietnam, and spent three years working for the U.S. Peace Corps in El Salvador. Her tenure as Kleinhans Fellow begins September 2017.

Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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