The Potential of the Forest Extractive Economy for Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Land Use in Colonization Areas: A Regional Household Study of the SANREM CRSP Micro-Region, Ecuador
FLASCO; University of Georgia
Jorge Recharte; Susan Poats
The community self-diagnosis during the PLLA process in the SANREM CRSP microregion underlined the importance of forest resources for farm family livelihoods. “The forest extractive economy” refers to the current recognition of the potential of non-timber products as an economically viable, socially equitable, and ecologically sound alternative to the exploitation of forested tropical areas. The range of products that have been documented as extracted from tropical forests is staggering. In most cases, these products have both exchange and use value for the extracting households. Colonizers-such as those near the Nanegal microregion-engage in processes which lead to quick degradation of the landscape. Although agriculture is the base of the economy, forest extraction typically subsidizes farm expansion which, more often than not, leads to household economic decline. Understanding the regional and household perspectives is essential and, in conjunction with, the study of the forest extractive economy will provide key background knowledge to support practical experimentation and community organization.
1. To obtain a diagnostic or a panoramic view of the use of forest resources by the area's inhabitants. 2. To gather the historical context of the mountain by means of statistical analyses and the oral memory of the population, taking into account gender and generational categories. 3.To gain an understanding of the economic and social contexts of mountain use, especially in relation to the circulation of products (wood, fire wood, fence poles, rattan for handicrafts) and in relation to the forest zone and agropastoral production. To understand these relationships, it is necessary to take into account the interrelationships between families, the forest products exchange networks, resource access and control, gender relationships, and peasant representations of the mountain and its products. 4. To train groups of youth from the four communities in participatory research techniques to bring them into the investigation of the relationships between the inhabitants and the mountain. 5.Analyze the policies (laws and regulations) pertaining to mountain areas and/or bordering on ecological reserves.