Competitiveness, certification, and support of timber harvest by community forest enterprises in Mexico
Local communities own approximately 45% of Mexico's forests and have relative autonomy to manage them.Some of these communities have established community forest enterprises (CFEs) in order to generate benefits, such as jobs. However, if CFEs focus mainly on community benefits, and lose sight of financial competitiveness and ecological sustainability, they may fail in the long run. Government support programs and forest certification mechanisms have been established to address these concerns, but little is known about improvements in financial competitiveness. A detailed 2011 survey of the financial inputs and outputs of 27 CFEs in the predominately pine (Pinus spp.) and fir (Abies spp.) forests of Mexico was used to create statistical timber harvest production functions. The production functions showed that the CFEs generally fit the model of competitive firms, indicating that they have not lost sight of the importance of financial viability; however, there is also some evidence that CFEs may balance this with the objective of providing community income (employment and other community payments). Participation in capacity development support programs and forest certification jointly have a positive impact on productivity, but the individual impact of each was not possible to parse.