International Development, Community, and Environment

Title

Sustainable Development and Participatory Practices in Community Forestry: The Case of FUNDECOR in Costa Rica

Document Type

Article

Abstract

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.

Publication Title

Local Environment

Publication Date

6-1-2008

Volume

13

Issue

4

First Page

367

Last Page

383

ISSN

1354-9839

DOI

10.1080/13549830701803349

Keywords

community forestry, Costa Rica, deforestation, FUNDECOR, NGOs, participatory practices, sustainable development

Disciplines

Central American Studies | Development Studies | Forest Management | International and Area Studies | Nature and Society Relations | Social and Behavioral Sciences

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