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Community forestry and its mitigation potential in the Anthropocene: The importance of land tenure governance and the threat of privatization

Gabay, Mónica, Alam, Mahbubul
Forest policy and economics 2017 v.79 pp. 26-35
Anthropocene epoch, climate change, commodity prices, community forestry, forest ecosystems, forests, governance, indigenous peoples, land tenure, peasantry, privatization, rural communities, Argentina, Latin America
This paper highlights the key role of community forestry in enhancing the sustainability of forest ecosystems and their provision of environmental goods and services, while also analyzing the tensions facing land tenure governance in the Anthropocene. While rural communities and indigenous peoples make a significant contribution to the preservation of the Earth System along the mitigation pathway proposed by Steffen et al. (2007), their access rights to community and ancestral forestland are contested. Climate change, technological innovation, rising commodity prices and neoliberal deregulation have paved the way for an acceleration of the processes of land-grabbing and accumulation by dispossession (Harvey, 2003, 2004). The struggle of three Argentine wichí indigenous communities in the Salta province of Argentina illuminates the situation of many peasant and indigenous peoples in Latin America, confronting powerful transnational businesses that dispute access to their land and possession of natural resources. Fragile institutions fail to enforce communities' rights that have been recognized by international and national regulations, thus perpetuating inequities and exclusion.