Volume 1 Issue 2 August 2003 Applied Research Note 3

Selling timber or nature? Reconciling forestry and tourism in Mexico

by Ross E. Mitchell (Department of Rural Economy, University of Alberta)

This research is based on a comparative case study of two communities in southern Mexico: Santa Catarina Ixtepeji and Santa Maria Yavesia in the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca. The purpose of this article is to reconcile forest practices with tourism management on an inclusive, sustainable basis. Although both communities studied have won kudos for their sustainable management efforts, they differ in their respective approaches taken. While forestry and tourism can co-exist, this combined option may not always work. It is recommended that community preferences and progressive land tenure arrangements be carefully considered when planning for forestry, tourism, or both.

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