Interrogating Development in Carbon Forestry Activities: A Case Study from Mexico. Doctoral dissertation

TitleInterrogating Development in Carbon Forestry Activities: A Case Study from Mexico. Doctoral dissertation
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsCorbera, E
Number of Pages303
PublisherSchool of International Development, University of East Anglia.

Markets for ecosystem services are being promoted by global institutions, trans-national NGOs and some governments in industrialised and developing countries. Markets for carbon dioxide fixation by forests have received substantial attention due to their relationship with international climate change policy. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol have encouraged international investors to finance tree planting in the developing world with the objective to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to promote sustainable development. This thesis interrogates the potential of carbon forestry activities to contribute to rural development in Mexico and looks specifically at the implementation of the Fondo Bioclimático forestry project in the state of Chiapas. At the national level, findings reveal how the institutional complexity of emerging carbon markets, the lack of inclusive participation in decision-making and a poor level of expertise among NGOs and rural organisations appear as critical factors for an effective and widespread implementation of carbon forestry activities. At the project level, findings demonstrate the difficulty of establishing fair and inclusive decision-making processes and promoting forest plantations that suit a diversity of local interests. An analysis of two participating communities shows how access to the project is influenced by organisational affiliation, land endowment, gender identity and local property rights, factors which, in turn, determine who has access to and benefits from carbon forestry activities. The Mexican experience casts doubt over the possibility that carbon forestry activities alone can promote rural development in the developing world.