Towards sustainable governance of tropical Andean forest landscapes

Authors: Aaron Groth*, University of Texas - Austin
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Mountain Environments, Latin America
Keywords: forest users, governance, community property, Andean forests, conservation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Buchanan, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This paper centers upon the conservation practices of forest users, communities, grassroots organizations, and government institutions in tropical Andean forest landscapes (TAFL) in Peru. While much research has centered upon land tenure and conservation outcomes in the Amazon, this research evaluates different land tenure regimes and conservation outcomes in TAFL. Conceptualizing TAFL as social-ecological systems, I describe and analyze Andean people (forest users), communities, grassroots organizations, and government institutions’ practices of forest conservation, land management, and governance, increasing understanding of the processes and institutional arrangements used to manage TAFL. Research remains fragmented on TAFL’s specific governance features (e.g., formal property rights; tenure structures; informal use rights; public, private, and common-pool resource management organizations and their interactions; and structures of and rationales for incentives and sanctions). This research seeks to fill a research gap concerning property rights, land tenure, and Andean forest conservation, drawing upon collective action and common property literature. Applying a mixed-methods approach (e.g., semi-structured interviews, focus groups, participatory mapping, participant observation, and transect walks), I generate new data to further understanding of forest use, conservation practices, governance, and management within tropical montane forest landscapes of high conservation value. Furthermore, through participatory mapping, this project advances humanistic understanding of local peoples’ relationship to forests, their resources, and territory. The expected significant scientific findings of this study will be relevant for further assessment of montane forests globally that are managed under community property regimes as well as complex, mixed/overlapping land tenure.

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