Sustainable Development and Participatory Practices in Community Forestry: The Case of FUNDECOR in Costa Rica
Between 1950 and 1994, the pace of deforestation in Costa Rica was one of the most rapid in the western hemisphere. This is a case study of FUNDECOR (Fundacion para el Desarrollo de la Cordillera Volcanica Central/Foundation for the Development of the Central Volcanic Range), an NGO created to stop deforestation and to promote alternatives for sustainable forest development. FUNDECOR emerged when Costa Rica was undergoing a process of structural economic adjustment as a result of the 1980s debt crisis. The Costa Rican state was reducing its intervention in many policy areas, especially in agricultural production, and re-assessing its natural resource management policies. Such a volatile context explains FUNDECOR's decision to challenge the conventional wisdom regarding NGO participatory practices in community forestry. It decided not to "organise first" its constituency as a prerequisite for stopping deforestation. Rigid organising would have jeopardised the take-off and development of the anti-deforestation initiative. The results have been positive since FUNDECOR has contributed to stopping deforestation.
community forestry, Costa Rica, deforestation, FUNDECOR, NGOs, participatory practices, sustainable development
Central American Studies | Development Studies | Forest Management | International and Area Studies | Nature and Society Relations | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Borges-Méndez, Ramón, "Sustainable Development and Participatory Practices in Community Forestry: The Case of FUNDECOR in Costa Rica" (2008). International Development, Community, and Environment. 46.