From: Gerard Wynn, Reuters, NOH-BEC, Mexico
Published December 4, 2010 09:12 AM

Smart logging in Mexico, the Jaguars approve

Community leaders managing a fragment of ancient Mexican jungle say their approach to logging precious hardwoods protects rare jaguar and may guide nearby U.N. climate talks seeking a forest blueprint.


Community forest management means giving land ownership to local villagers, so that they harvest timber with an eye on the future and damage the forest less than industrial logging concessions which typically last 20 or 30 years.

Negotiators from nearly 200 countries are gathered in Mexico's Cancun beach resort, 155 miles north of the Noh-Bec forest community, where they are trying to design an extra incentive to reward careful foresters.

They are considering tradable carbon offsets which would represent the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide locked in the trunks of their trees. But that proposed scheme, called reduced emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD), is bogged down like the wider, November 29-December 10 U.N. climate talks.

"We've got 50 million hectares (123 million acres) of community forests in Mexico and Central America which potentially could qualify for REDD," said Salvador Anta, community forests manager with Mexico's forestry body, Comision Nacional Forestal (CONAFOR).

The Noh-Bec forest community, or ejido, was founded in 1936 and is regarded as one of the best examples of sustainable forestry in Mexico. It harvests four mahogany trees per 2.3 acres (1 hectare) per year and leave a portion of their 59,000 acres untouched.

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