New and Notable on Building Bridges for Sustainable Forestry in the Selva Maya, Mexico

Managing NGO, country: New York Botanical Garden, United States

Project director: Charles Peters

Summary: Community owned forests called ejidos cover more than 50% of the Selva Maya, the most extensive tract of moist tropical forest in Central America. Many of the ejidos have been awarded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificates in recognition of their responsible management and conservation. Researchers with the New York Botanical Garden are leading a collaborative effort to provide scientific and technical forestry expertise to ejidos so they can continue to manage and conserve their forests and maintain or qualify for FSC certification through training, workshops, network building, and sharing data. This project aims to create strong collaboration between the ejidos and the local scientific and conservation communities and will extend the conservation and sustainable management of the Selva Maya both temporally and geographically.

Annual budget and donors: $80,000 from the regional Center for International Forestry Research and the Overbrook Foundation in the United States.

Principal accomplishments: Three training workshops on how to measure tree growth; a comparative growth study of 21 timber species in 11 forestry ejidos; written commitments to band 4,900 trees to monitor their growth; a database to compile and analyze growth data; a five-minute instructional video showing the step-by-step process of making dendrometer bands.

Anticipated accomplishments: Begin silvicultural research in selected communities about regeneration of mahogany in skid trails and landings; ecological impact of palisada (polewood) harvest; and ecological studies on lesser known timber species.

Contact: Charles Peters, the New York Botanical Garden; Bronx, NY 10458 USA. Tel: +718/817-8727, fax: +718/220-1095,,

More About This Project


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