2017-2019 Kleinhans Fellow: Megan Butler

Improving Community Forest Enterprise Governance in the Maya Biosphere Reserve

This project focuses upon the social organization and governance of community forest enterprises (CFEs) in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) of Northern Guatemala. CFEs operating in the MBR face intense land-conversion pressure and challenges related to organizational governance. The goal is to improve the organizational capacity of CFEs in the MBR by investigating the factors that enable or constrain equitable and effective CFE governance and using this information to design tailored interventions. This will be done by assessing resources available to CFEs in the MBR and identifying stakeholder knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to CFE governance. Ultimately, this work will result in interventions aimed at improving CFE organizational governance and contribute guidelines for organizations working to help communities establish and manage CFEs throughout the global south.

Project Objectives

  • Assess the resources (community capitals) that exist within each community that has operated a CFE in the Maya Biosphere Reserve over the past 25 years.
  • Identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of key stakeholders within the Maya Biosphere Reserve related to CFE governance and the factors that enable, or constrain community member participation in CFE operations and governance.
  • Design interventions aimed at improving organizational capacity and community engagement in the nine existing CFEs within the Maya Biosphere Reserve.
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