Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Executive summary
 Farming communities in the Cuzco...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Community forestry case study series
Title: Peasant participation in community reforestation
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089945/00001
 Material Information
Title: Peasant participation in community reforestation four communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru
Series Title: Community forestry case study series
Physical Description: vi, 58 p. : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Donor: Marianne Schmink ( endowment )
Publisher: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Place of Publication: Rome
Publication Date: 1993
Copyright Date: 1993
Subject: Reforestation -- Citizen participation -- Case studies -- Peru -- Cuzco (Dept.)   ( lcsh )
Community forests -- Management -- Citizen participation -- Peru -- Cuzco (Dept.)   ( lcsh )
Forêts communales -- Gestion -- Participation des citoyens -- Pérou -- Cuzco (Département)   ( rvm )
Foresterie sociale -- Pérou -- Cuzco (Département)   ( rvm )
Projets de développement rural -- Pérou -- Cuzco (Département)   ( rvm )
Reboisement -- Pérou -- Participation des citoyens -- Cas, Études de -- Cuzco (Département)   ( rvm )
Genre: international intergovernmental publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Peru
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089945
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 39193387
issn - 1020-4466 ;

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
    Executive summary
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Farming communities in the Cuzco uplands: Socio-economic and organizational characterisitcs
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    Back Cover
        Page 59
Full Text


in Community
Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Case Study


F4 0a

P- KK~G~Ce

Case Study

Peasant Participation
in Community
Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do
not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any
country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of
its frontiers or boundaries.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without
the prior permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with a statement of
the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the Director, Publications
Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Via delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100
Rome, Italy.

Layout by MAXTUDIO Rome Cover illustration Studio Dickerson

Community Forestry Case Study 7


The Community Forestry Unit of the Forest Policy and Planning Division, Forestry Department,
FAO explores the factors that affect community participation in reforestation efforts. It does so
in an attempt to learn how to better involve local people in the management of their natural
resources and ensure that they receive the fruits of their labour.

This case study examines the history of government-sponsored communal afforestation efforts
in four communities of the Cuzco Region of Peru. The monograph conveys the village perspec-
tive on three decades of afforestation, analyzing the differential impact of tree planting efforts
on various sub-groups within the village. In this manner the study examines the incentives and
disincentives to tree planting for distinct groups of community members. The study also assess-
es the constraints to reforestation and the costs and benefits distribution problems these commu-
nities have faced. Finally, the book provides some general guidance as to factors that encourage
or discourage participation in tree planting activities.

The work was first produced and published in Spanish. The research and writing of the original
version was done by Luisa Vizarreta, a social scientist from the Cuzco Region. This publication
is an adaptation of the original text. It is hoped that through this series of studies the constraints
and problems to community forestry can be better understood and that, as a result, more effec-
tive support can be provided to local people in their efforts to improve their well-being via tree
and woodland management.

Both the research and production in Spanish and English were partially funded by a multi-donor
trust fund, Forests, Trees and People, which is dedicated to increasing the sustainability of
women and men's livelihoods in developing countries, especially the rural poor, through self-
help management of tree and forest resources. Within FAO the Programme is coordinated by
Marilyn W. Hoskins, Senior Forestry Officer for Community Forestry.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru iii

Table of Contents






Farming Communities in the Cuzco Uplands:
Socio-economic and Organizational Characteristics
Work practices
Land use
Land tenure
Agrarian reform
Community organizations

General characteristics
The history of land use and tenure
Community organization
Ongoing tension in communal land management
Forest resources
Communal reforestation

Forest resources: Supply and demand
Distribution of benefits
Women and the forest

CHAPTER 3: Ccorao
General characteristics
The history of land use and tenure
Community organization
Forest resources
Communal reforestation
Forest resources: Supply and demand
Distribution of benefits

General characteristics
The history of land use and tenure
Community organization
Forest resources
Communal reforestation
Forest resources: Supply and demand
Distribution of benefits

General characteristics
The history of land use and tenure
Community organization
Availability and supply of forest resources before reforestation
The process of communal reforestation
Use of the village forests
Distribution of benefits

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru v






Community Forestry Case Study 7

Availability of land
Availability of labour
Contract conditions
Availability of alternative forest resources
Income and emerging class differences
Conflicting gender-based interests
Geographic divisions
Community leadership
External agents

Executive Summary

This publication presents a set of case studies that relate individual communities' experiences
with the Communal Reforestation Programme. The communities are roughly similar in setting,
land tenure profile and years of experience with communal reforestation. The studies describe
the communities and the ways their reforestation ventures developed, demonstrating the way
local community requirements, social structures and institutions can affect the development of
participatory reforestation efforts.

Recognizing the need for careful land management, the Peruvian government initiated the
"Communal Reforestation Programme" in the 1960s. While seeking to arrest land degradation,
the Programme intended to involve communities in a way that would allow them to be the prin-
cipal participants and beneficiaries of reforestation efforts. The original goals were to: maximize
community participation in tree planting; increase community influence in all reforestation deci-
sion-making, and; distribute the costs and benefits of the programme equitably. The degree of
community participation achieved by the Programme was highly variable. Despite similar eco-
logical and socio-economic characteristics, communities differed greatly in their response to
reforestation proposals.

Four of the communities that were involved in the Government reforestation programme are
discussed: Ccollana-Chequerec, Ccorao, Equecco-Chacin and Compone. They vary in the level
of internal community cohesion, independence from neighboring estates, natural resource
endowments and economic status. The analysis highlights the factors that seem to have affected
the success of reforestation efforts.

One of the dominant factors that influenced the development of communal woodlots was land
availability. All of the case study villages had a history of land scarcity. While the communities
also had a tradition of communal farming, population growth and attempts by nearby estates to
monopolize land resources pressured villagers to secure their land holdings by subdividing most
communal property. In a few cases, land scarcity and the need to protect an area from encroach-
ment by outsiders encouraged villagers to emphasize their property claims by starting communi-
ty woodlots in disputed areas.

The impact of land availability on support for communal reforestation was highlighted when
Agrarian Reform made more land available. Opposition to tree plantations on village property
softened; the availability of farmland made conversion to forest seem a smaller sacrifice. Active
participation in tree planting and woodlot management was, however, often linked to the belief
that the Agrarian Reform land would eventually be subdivided. Participation in communal
reforestation was seen as one way to ensure the household's eventual entitlement to some of this

Labour availability also affected enthusiasm for communal tree farming. Many outsiders
assumed that labour would be easily available thanks to the tradition of villager collaboration
and cooperation. In reality, farming households did not have large amounts of free time. House-
hold members needed to weigh the demands of community work against individual work
requirements and farmers often found themselves with little time to contribute to the communi-
ty. The poor and those with little or no land faced particular constraints in allocating labour to
community projects, because the need to make a living through wage labour limited the time
available to contribute to communal efforts.

Recruiting labour for reforestation appeared to be easier when wages were offered. When
salaries were paid, the community saw the project as a source of income rather than a drain on

Factors that affected
the success of tree
planting efforts
Land availability

Labour availability

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Contract provisions

Fuelwood shortages

Socio-economic variation

Gender-based differences

In all four villages the stipulations in the reforestation contracts between the villages and the
Forestry Department negatively affected communal reforestation efforts and the distribution of
its benefits. The contracts sought to ensure that harvesting would be compensated for by new
planting efforts; which often provided the major impetus for new plantations. Villagers however
saw it as an imposition placed upon them by outsiders. Considerable resentment and opposition
were sparked when villagers found themselves losing more arable land to reforestation in order
to realise benefits from the original site.

The obligation that 30% of the harvested woodlot's market value be paid to the government also
often made it difficult for the communities to benefit. The debt made villagers feel obligated to
sell timber at higher prices to middlemen rather than at lower prices to community members.
Further, the prices paid by middlemen frequently proved unsatisfactory and made villagers
reluctant to agree to further reforestation.

Foresters assumed that the constant shortage of fuelwood would encourage village-wide refor-
estation. Indeed, the need for fuelwood and building materials sometimes mobilized support for
woodlots. In many cases, however, despite apparent local shortages of fuelwood, poles and
other building timber, farming households met a good part of their needs through alternative
sources. Although families were concerned about fuelwood and building material shortages, it
was not necessarily leir primary concern.

The socio-economic and political structure of the community seemed to greatly affect both the
process of communal reforestation and the distribution of its costs and benefits. Significant
socio-economic differences within the community tended to translate into different priorities
related to the management of village resources. Reforestation on community lands often meant
greater costs for poorer community members than for their better-off neighbours who were less
dependent on access to village property. At the same time, it was often community members
with larger individual plots who could take greatest advantage of eucalyptus seedling availabili-
ty to plant trees on their own land.

Given differences in perspective, it is not surprising that, when the time came to decide whether to
establish new plantations or harvest existing ones, disagreements often arose. Agreement was often
reached only when Village Assemblies were poorly attended. In these cases, many community
members became disgruntled and felt alienated, increasing the likelihood that projects would be
passively resisted or sabotaged. Reforestation seemed to be more easily accepted in communities
where middle income families predominated and resources were more evenly distributed.

Communal reforestation caused conflicts of interest between male and female community mem-
bers. In most of the study villages, women tended to be shut out of formal Assemblies. In some
communities, the land women used for grazing or to gather fuel was appropriated for reforesta-
tion. Yet the conflict of interest became evident only when project implementation began;
women often continued to allow livestock to graze in plantation areas, damaging young trees.
Where women were more organized and had a greater voice in the Village Assembly, they also
enjoyed greater power to shape the process of community reforestation. Consequently, a greater
degree of approval for reforestation was secured, lessening the risk of resistance.

The case studies reveal a complex set of factors at play in the process of village reforestation.
While communal work was traditional in the communities of the Cuzco uplands, changing pat-
terns of ownership and power, as well as a changing relationship to the outside world, made the
possibility of long-term communal arrangements more difficult. Some factors, such as constant
shortages of local fuelwood, the promises of tangible benefits and familiarity with communal
work, appear to have encouraged community-based forest management. Other factors, however,
posed severe obstacles to and caused great dissatisfaction with communal reforestation. Some
factors may even have facilitated reforestation at one time and discouraged it at others.

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Introduction 0..

In the region around the city of Cuzco in the Peruvian highlands, arable land has long been a
critically scarce means of livelihood for the area's many impoverished peasants. Recognizing
the need for careful management of this vulnerable resource, the Peruvian government initiated
the "Communal Reforestation Programme". While seeking to arrest land degradation, the Pro-
gramme aimed to involve communities in a way that would allow them to be both the principal
participants and beneficiaries of reforestation efforts. The original goals were to: maximize
community participation in tree planting; increase community influence in all reforestation deci-
sion-making, and; distribute the costs and benefits of the programme equitably.

As the Programme developed it met with sporadic success, however, in many ways it fell short
of its stated aims. Early on planners saw communal reforestation as a means of generating
income for community development projects. Supported by favourable market conditions for
eucalyptus, focus on the commercial use of reforested areas made eucalyptus virtually the only
tree species option available to communities in the reforestation programme. Despite the Pro-
gramme's stated commitment to avoiding the use of arable land, the technical requirements for
planting eucalyptus on a commercial scale meant that suitable plantation sites and sizes often
conflicted with existing land use patterns. Community members found themselves under con-
siderable pressure to accept the plantation size and site options deemed most appropriate by the
Programme's forestry staff.

The Programme was often unable to realise either greater equity or greater decision-making
power for the communities. Many communities ended-up simply agreeing or refusing to partici-
pate in the Programme, with little input into other aspects of implementation. The requirements
of commercial eucalyptus cultivation took precedence over the arable land and pasture needs of
poor households and those with little or no land.

The degree of community participation achieved by the Programme was highly variable.
Despite similar ecological and socio-economic characteristics, communities differed greatly in
their response to reforestation proposals. Some were quick to participate in the Programme, oth-
ers refused outright; some could not decide whether or not to participate and then mobilized a
surprising degree of active, if short-lived support later; still others eagerly participated in the
Programme initially, but eventually abandoned or resisted as it continued. Community partici-
pation was intended to be one of the Programme's highest priorities, however, in the end it
appeared to become only an incidental characteristic of the general attempt to reforest the
region around Cuzco.

In recent years it has been recognized that programme success is often determined by the degree
to which the affected communities participate in project planning, decision-making and imple-
mentation. Yet, as the history of the Communal Reforestation Programme around Cuzco shows,
realising this kind of participation is no easy task, even when it is a stated project goal. Part of
the problem often lies in conflicting project aims or the use of project design's that are incom-
patible with participation. Less immediately clear are the factors within the communities them-
selves that discourage participation. Standard project reports and evaluations rarely provide
more than a superficial description of the internal characteristics of a community. These charac-
teristics, if better described, might facilitate greater project participation. A closer look at the
history of the Communal Reforestation Programme within individual communities is needed to
understand why their members decided to participate in, ignore, or actively resist proposals to
plant more trees near their villages.

It is important to note that individual household estimates of costs and benefits often differed
from those of the foresters and project planners administering the Programme, who tended to
base their projections on what they perceived to be the majority community perspective. Hence,

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

foresters and planners may have been caught by surprise when their reforestation proposals
spurred active community resistance, even where the need for fuelwood and construction mate-
rial seemed obvious.

This publication presents a set of case studies that relate individual communities' experiences
with the Communal Reforestation Programme. The communities are roughly similar in setting,
land tenure profile and years of experience in communal reforestation. The studies describe the
communities and the ways their reforestation ventures developed. They demonstrate the way
local community requirements, social structures and institutions can affect the development of
participatory reforestation efforts.

Data were collected through interviews of village households, official and informal community
leaders, and forestry sector employees. Information on four main aspects of community life that
seemed to have greatest bearing on participation in community forestry was collected. This
included: patterns of land tenure; availability of construction materials and fuelwood; communi-
ty composition and social structure; community organizations and institutions that structure
decision-making; and resource use and resource allocation.

The case studies highlight the degree to which these different factors affected efforts to achieve
participation and equity through communal reforestation. The case studies attempt to present the
villagers' perspectives. Detailed descriptions of specific developments in the villages' history
are included in numerous boxes throughout the text to give the reader a familiarity with the way
the process of reforestation unfolded in each community.

The studies show that the organization and strength of community decision-making bodies has
an important influence on how much community participation is mobilized and how successful-
ly trees are cultured. In addition, the studies highlight factors that may even more directly affect
the level of participation that is achieved. Possibly more than any other factor, the way personal
costs and benefits are perceived by different households appears to have an enormous influence.
Community support for or resistance to a tree planting project often seems to come from
specific sectors of a given community that see their interests either favoured or threatened.

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Chapter 1

Farming Communities

in the Cuzco Uplands:

Socio-Economic and

Organizational Characteristics

In the uplands around Cuzco, 3,300 to 4,000 meters above sea level lie the villages
of Ccorao, Ccollana-Chequerec and Equecco-Chacan. At various times during the
1960s these communities began communal eucalyptus plantations as part of the
Peruvian government's Communal Reforestation Programme. The plantations that
started during this time continue to be important for these communities. To under-
stand the significance of the Programme to the communities in question, a broad
overview of the socio-economic structures, land use, tenure patterns, work prac-
tices and communal governing bodies is required.

The communities of Ccorao, Ccollana-Chequerec and Equecco-Chacin occupy a
middle-level economic status relative to other communities in the area. House-
holds that own between 1 and 2.5 ha of land comprise a large proportion of the
population. Differences in households' economic status have always existed, how-
ever, they appear to have increased recently and have influenced the course of
development in these villages.

Variations in family resources have led to diverse household survival strategies.
"Rich" families (those owning more than 2.5 ha of land) produce for their own
consumption and diversify their income-generating activities toward trade. "Mid-
dle-level" families show similar patterns, though to a lesser extent. Poor families
who own less than 1 ha of land, supplement their incomes largely through wage

It is against this socio-economic profile that traditional work practices have been Work practices
maintained and new practices have emerged. Reciprocal provision of labour and
communal work have a strong tradition in the area. Ayni, or reciprocal work,
consists of favours that families do for each other. They are approximately

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru 5

equivalent in terms of time and kind of activity. Faena is the name for free
labour that community members give their communities when needed for pro-
jects like the cultivation of communal lands and cleaning of irrigation ditches.
Minka refers to free work done by community members primarily for the benefit
of widows and invalids.

Fig. 1&2
Even though there are paid
labourers in the peasant
communities of Compone,
Ccorao, Ccollana-Chequerec
and Equecco Chacan the
ayni is still the dominant
working arrangement.

With the concentration of land and other resources in the hands of large land own-
ers, other "group work" patterns of labour management have emerged. Often, poor
community members work in groups on their own lands on a reciprocal basis or
the lands of hacienda owners in exchange for various forms of assistance such as
fertilizer, seed or access to more land. Some workers receive a pre-set share of the
crops according to how much work they contribute. Recently, "salaried" or "wage
labour" has become a common work practice.

Despite the emergence of new labour patterns, traditional work practices remain
important. In some communities, especially where there is a high proportion of
households of middle-level economic standing with privately owned land, recipro-
cal work relationships (ayni) are still more common than wage labour. As these
middle-level households secure enough land to sustain themselves, most use fami-
ly members as their source of labour. Where individual households cannot fill their
labour needs on their own, they work with other families on a reciprocal basis.
Thus, both the availability and the opportunity for wage labour become limited.
Only poorer occupants of a village are attracted to wage labour.

Faenas continue to be important as economic development and improvements in
living conditions create demands that cannot be satisfied on an individual or family
basis. Community labour is required to build irrigation canals, bridges, roads and
other public works. It is important to note that community members participate in

6 Community Forestry Case Study 7

the faena system largely because of the perceived benefits, and not because it is
"obligatory". For example, a household with school age children would perceive
there to be direct benefits from building a village school; that family would be
likely to help with construction.

Other benefits that may derive from participation in the faena system include; the
right to help determine how communal lands or other community resources are
distributed; and, the right to share in the proceeds of a community project. Such
benefits are weighed against the costs any given activity will incur for a house-
hold. Among poor households in particular, where a community development pro-
ject reduces the amount of public lands that they have access to, costs may well
outweigh benefits.

Perhaps more than any other factor, scarcity of land for small farmers in the upland Land use
communities around Cuzco has shaped the development of local land use patterns.
Much of the land in the area is unsuitable for farming. Additionally a long history
of unequal distribution of arable land has left hacienda owners and larger farms
with an expansive resource base on which to produce profitable cash crops for the
market while small farmers have depended for their survival on scarce and increas-
ingly over-worked plots of arable land. These poorer farmers have had little
opportunity to experiment with cash crops. The land available to them has been
planted predominately with essential food crops. Progressively, more marginal
upland areas and land traditionally set aside for alternative uses, such as grazing,
has been converted to farmland. This threatens to exacerbate the problems of land
degradation and household impoverishment.

As might be expected, the scarcity of land has profoundly influenced patterns of
land tenure. Communal land ownership has had a long traditional in the region. In
the past each village reserved significant tracts of public land for the benefit of all
community members. Arable public land was usually tilled using labour provided


Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru 7
Fig. 2 ~i k-

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru 7

Land tenure

Agrarian reform


through the faena system. Communal pasture was open to all villagers with live-
stock. A community-managed fallow system called entrada existed whereby fal-
low land was continually rotated to regenerate the soil and allow for the collection
of cattle dung and native shrubbery for fuel material. Entrada plots, when tem-
porarily released from fallow, were assigned to individual households for agricul-
tural use according to collective community agreement.

In recent decades traditional patterns of land use have undergone some marked
changes. As local farmers have lost competing land claims with large land own-
ers, access to arable land has become extremely critical. It has become increasing-
ly difficult to keep large tracts of public land set aside for general use. By 1987,
only Ccorao had small pieces of farmland that were still tilled communally
through the faena system. Entrada fallow systems have continued to be common
in all communities.

An important feature of the subdivision of community farmland, was that once
assigned to individual families, the land was regarded as private property that could be
passed down from generation to generation within a family. This ownership allowed
families to sell land parcels to buyers offering cash payment. In many cases, these
buyers were people from outside the community who became absentee land owners.

In 1969, the Peruvian government undertook national Agrarian Reform. It was
intended to distribute farmland more equitably throughout the country and
resulted in the break-up of the haciendas' exclusive control over much of the
region's land resources. As a kind of antidote to large land ownership of previ-
ous years, and to strengthen old traditions of communal land use, the Peruvian
government tried to require communal ownership and management as a condi-
tion for the distribution of Reform lands to individual farming communities. Ini-
tially at least, beneficiary communities had to agree to cultivate the Reform
lands they received on a communal basis, adding to the stock of public land
available to the farming communities.

The Reform was often seen by local inhabitants as the top-down imposition of
communal management schemes. Despite the government's intentions, the long
history of acute land scarcity in the region led to pressure from within the commu-
nities to subdivide the new public lands. Resistance to communal management
often doomed communal efforts to failure from the start. This failure, in turn, rein-
forced a general community preference for individual ownership.

Communities have of course been the key participants in development of local
land use and tenure patterns. Decision-making authority over affairs affecting
the community has traditionally rested with indigenous village governing bod-
ies and community general assemblies. These organizations have comprised

Community Forestry Case Study 7

the forum where proposals about how to use public resources have been con-
sidered, adjusted, adopted, or rejected.

Local governments have been essentially democratic with all households that are
"active" members of the community enjoying an equal right to representation and
participation in decision-making. Community membership is generally recognized
for all those who have been born in or have married into the village, are registered
with the village office, and are generally accepted by the community as full mem-
bers. A distinction is made however, between "active" participants in community
life and those who are simply "registered" citizens.

"Active" citizens are those who fulfil all community services, i.e., by providing
faena labour when called upon. These citizens have a full voice in the village
assembly, are eligible to be elected to local government, and have full access to all
community resources like land and water as well as any profits that may be
derived from these resources. Community members who are simply registered but
not "active" have none of these rights until they start participating more actively.
There are also those who live in the area but are not officially registered in the vil-
lage office. They are generally not recognized as community members and have no
say in how village affairs are run.

Fig. 3

Community members are
More likely to participate in
activities when they think
they will directly or indirectly
benefit from them.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Fig. 4 .
Participation in community '.h. 3
activities is particularly
encouraged when
community land is involved.

It is usually the male heads of an "active" household who are registered as com-
munity members. When married couples are still living in the parent household,
the male partner represents the couple in the village records. Widows whose
households are "active" community participants may be registered, together with
those "active" women whose husbands migrate from the village to obtain work.

All registered and "active" male community members are eligible to be members
of the village General Assembly, which in turn elects leaders and makes decisions
on village business. As a rule, women cannot be elected community leaders and
they have little official say in the village government. They can and do however,
express their opinions to the male heads of their households, pressuring them to
represent their views in the General Assemblies.

Community organizations like the General Assembly generally serve several func-
tions: to negotiate community interests against external claims (i.e., by neighbour-
ing haciendas or communities over water, land and other resources); to decide how
community resources will be managed and how the costs and benefits will be dis-
tributed throughout the community; and, to obtain necessary technical and finan-
cial assistance from external sources for the community as a whole.

The strongest community organizations are those that are best able to fulfil these
various functions. A variety of factors determine the organizational strength within
a community. Active participation by as many community members as possible is
often thought to be a key factor. Yet, paradoxically, fieldwork for the following
case-studies showed that participation was not necessarily synonymous with strong
village organizations.

10 Community Forestry Case Study 7

In many communities, for a variety of reasons, not all members always participate
in Village Assemblies. This can affect a community in a variety of ways. Some-
times, when certain community members choose not to participate in a particular
decision-making process, Village Assemblies are better able to avoid the arduous
process of conflict resolution and can quickly ratify agreements on community
resource use. In other cases, however, de facto non-representation in decision-mak-
ing leads to problems. While projects may be approved by a decisive assembly,
their design may serve the interests of only a few within the community. Such pro-
jects face stiff opposition from those who were not involved in initial decision-
making, often leading the village to abandon the project.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru 11

Chapter 2

Ccollana Chequerec

Department of Cuzco
Maras District, Province of Urubamba
3,400 3,900 metres above sea level

Population: 1,425 residents
280 households
Distributed over three sectors: Ccollana, Chequerec
and Cruzpata

Land resources: 1,625 ha
82 % largely rain-fed farmland

Forest resources: 56 ha forest land
Eucalyptus and other species

Sources of income: Farming and livestock

Like other farming communities in the Cuzco uplands, Ccollana-Chequerec has a
long history of communal property and collective farming. Yet, over the past sev-
eral decades, population pressure and the interests of powerful land-owning neigh-
bours have worked to change this pattern. Although no large haciendas have ever
been present in the area, a number of small and medium-sized estates near the vil-
lage have consistently attempted to monopolize the area's water, land and forest
resources. The constant threat to their means of livelihood provided an early incen-
tive for Ccollana-Chequerec villagers to underline property boundaries by subdi-
viding most of the community's arable land. Placing community property under
official ownership of individual families allowed the village to fortify its members'
claims to the arable land and pasture.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


The history of land
use and tenure


Agrarian reform

Grazing pasture

Pressures from
estate owners

The community of Ccollana-Chequerec has faced the problem of a growing popu-
lation. With less land available for each household and without the opportunity to
expand their resource base, the people of Ccollana-Chequerec have become
increasingly dependent on neighboring estate owners for work. Population pres-
sure has been another incentive to subdivide traditional common property; subdivi-
sion secures more villagers greater control over their own livelihood. By the 1960s,
only 6 entradas were left in the village. They continue to be very important
because they are the sole source of pasture land for village livestock during rotat-
ing fallow phases.

Ccollana-Chequerec villagers gained a reprieve from increasing land shortage
with the enactment of Agrarian Reform in 1973. The distribution of land from
larger estate holdings added 242 ha to the village's communal land. More arable
land made possible future forestry plantations. Income distribution became much
more equitable, and the incidence of poverty declined drastically from 50% to just
10% for local families. By the late 1970s, however, much of the land obtained
through Agrarian Reform had been parcelled out to individual families as private
land holdings.

Political Autonomy, Economic Dependence

In the early 1960s !he village of Ccollana-Chequerec was already an independent community
With their own government and firm control over some land, the community was not subordinate
to any of the nearby estates. Yet, despite Ihis relative autonomy for the community as a whole.
many households within the village were dependent on work win the small and medium-sized
estates located in the area. Over the years, these estates grew and developed, largely at the expense
ot the Ccollana-Chequerec community taking over portions of the village's common property,
claiming a disproportionate share of scarce water resources, and controlling much ol the local for-
est resources Land reform in the 1970s provided Ccoilana-Chequerec with the means to iesist
growing equityt.

Despite Agrarian Reform, there was little increase in the area of communally
owned faena or entrada lands, and therefore the area of communal fallow land
available for pasture remained essentially the same. An increasing population
meant a total increase in the amount of livestock in the village. While villagers had
more land for crops, the growing livestock population had to survive on a fixed
amount of pasture land.

Another area of continuing vulnerability for local villagers was their relationship to
estate owners. Ownership of tractors and other equipment gave local estate owners
a way to secure cheap labour from neighboring villagers. In exchange for access
to equipment, land owners would request group work on estate lands. As land
holdings increased, the need for equipment rose. Consequently, villager depen-
dence on income earning wage labour seemed to increase after Agrarian Reform.

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Pressures to Subdivide

Beginning in the 1970s, the downturn in the Peruvian economy caused a wave of returning
migrants who had left the uplands to seek work in various urban centres. This increase in the local
population placed additional pressure on existing farm plots. At the same time, an increase in the
price of manufactured consumer goods made earning supplemental cash a critical survival strategy
for village households While working on neighboring estates or earning additional income
through non-agricultural activities, nousehold members found themselves unable to sacrifice their
time for non-paying work in faenas.

As new laena land went unused in times of economic hardship, the pressure to subdivide
mounted. Land-hungry estate owners saw the unused fields as a means to justify regaining control
over some of the land they had lost to land reform. On one occasion, a handful of estate owners
even attempted to invade the untended laena lands. In response, the Ccollana-Chequerec villagers
quickly moved to protect their claim by orovisionally subdividing the disputed lands, assigning plots
to individual households for cultivation of their own food and cash crops. By 1978, only 20 ha of the
original reform land remained officially classified as communal property and more than half of this
20 ha was farmed for the benefit of individual families rather than the community as a whole.

The strength and cohesiveness of the traditional community organization that con-
trols community resources have varied in Ccollana-Chequerec's recent history.
Over the past several decades, most community mobilization has been catalysed
by developments in land tenure and influenced by interests outside the village
proper. Before 1969, the village decision-making system appeared particularly
weak; a large proportion of the community questioned whether their views were
represented and felt that many resource use decisions did not take their interests
into account. Households in the Chequerec hamlet and landless wage labourers felt
particularly discriminated against by the Village Council's decisions. As a result,
rather than participate in the existing council, these groups formed a parallel Chris-
tian organization to both protect their interests and facilitate greater activism in
support of their specific concerns, i.e. working conditions and daily wages.

Two things occurred in the early 1970s to reawaken more widespread interest in
the traditional village organization. Agrarian Reform introduced the possibility of
greater access to land through community membership and, in 1972, a national
peasant advocacy group, "Sinamos" encouraged poor farmers to represent their
interests more actively. Disadvantaged groups began to see participation as a
means to ensure that land reform would benefit them too. Greater participation did
increase the potential for fairer distribution of community resources, however, it
also made more apparent some basic conflicts within the village.

Increased participation in the Village Council was accompanied by community
member readiness to participate in the new villagefaenas and community develop-
ment projects. Thus, as new village lands were acquired in the 1970s, at least ini-
tially, these lands were worked communally as farmland or tree plantations. Vil-

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Faenas and community

Ongoing tension in
communal land

Forest resources

lagers helped construct roads on the newly acquired land, school rooms, and a
meeting house.

A major motivation for the initial willingness to cultivate the new property collec-
tively, was the farmers' belief that, like most previous faena land, this new land
might eventually be subdivided and assigned to individual households for cultivation.
If only those who participated in faenas were eligible to receive land when it was
divided, farmers wanted to ensure that they would be able to claim their fair share.

Dissatisfaction with the faena system grew as the economy worsened over the
course of the 1970s. Families became acutely aware that their household income
was not increasing despite land reform. Calls for subdivision of faena lands
mounted, and many people began to resist the existing system by refusing to par-
ticipate in further communal cultivation activities. The poorer members of the
community were among the first to drop out as it became necessary to devote
more time to wage labour. One sector of the community even began to parcel out
faena lands in its area directly, defying Village Council resolutions. The risk of
allowing the remaining, untended faena lands to fall prey to land grabbing by
outsiders further fueled the demands for subdivision. Eventually, the communal
system succumbed to these pressures, and subdivision of the Reform lands offi-
cially started in 1978.

The disbanding of Sinamos in 1977 provided neighboring estate owners with an
opportunity to meddle in village affairs. Offers of low cost tractor rental or log sale
services increased estate owner influence with the community leadership. Estate
owners regained official control over some Agrarian Reform land. Corruption and
unrepresentative resource management decisions by community leaders led once
again to widespread reluctance to maintain the communal system of land manage-
ment. The early 1980s saw renewed disillusionment.

Population pressure in the Ccollana-Chequerec area has resulted in a steadily
dwindling supply of forest resources. There is a constant shortage of fuelwood and
building materials.

In the past the community was able to cope with this problem by carefully manag-
ing alternative sources of fuel such as native shrubs growing on fallow lands and
on untilled hilly areas around the village. A few families planted cape gooseberry,
elders or willows on their own holdings.

Building materials from mature trees growing on household lots were shared among
families in return for later payment in kind. Eucalyptus was not a component of
either village fallow or household farms, and to obtain it villagers would barter with
estate owners in the Urubamba region 15 km away in exchange for work.

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Use of tractors has
... accelerated the
i disappearanceof
--.- A*- s native shrubs.
S. ... Photo: Miguel Ramon

Fig. 6
Community unwillingness to
forfeit arable land led to
attempts to reforest former
estate land. The importance
of that land as pasture,
however, spurred resistance
to planting.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

In the mid-1960s the community tried to deal with the wood scarcity problem
through family reforestation and a few small community plantations. More tree
plantations were developed between 1974 and 1978. A net increase in local fuel
and building material availability was never, however, realized. The further break-
down of communal land management systems after Agrarian Reform weakened
traditional controls over the harvesting of native shrubs from community property
and the use of tractors became more commonplace. Thus, harvesting rates
increased and the native shrubs that had bordered individual plots were often
destroyed by tractors.

The history of organized reforestation in the village may be divided into three broad
phases, reflecting the changes in community support for communal reforestation.

This phase of reforestation was marked by strong community opposition to most
tree planting activities. However, two points should be noted about the attitude of
community members at the time. Community members did not oppose tree plant-
ing per se. Rather, they felt that trees were not the most important priority. Land
was already in short supply and proposals to establish tree groves only meant fur-
ther loss of the resource. The problem was compounded by the technical require-
ments of commercial eucalyptus plantations which made it necessary to locate new
plantations on precious arable land. Many villagers (especially those with little or
no land) stood to lose from reforestation.


1. 1963 1972:
Community opposition
to reforestation

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

._-Pi~llE ~r ,.i"l

2. 1973 1978: New
interests, old concerns

3. 1979-1987:
Renewed opposition

Second, incentives played a large role in persuading some villagers to support refor-
estation. In one instance, when promised 30% of the harvest and seedlings for their
own use, a handful of the relatively well-off households in the community offered 9
ha of land that they had been tending for reforestation. The fact that incentives
could be taken advantage of by some and not other members of the community,
contributed to differences in opinion regarding future reforestation proposals. Ulti-
mately, because some could benefit, a new reforestation proposal was approved by
community leaders in 1969 despite the strong objections of many villagers.

The acquisition of Agrarian Reform land softened opposition to reforestation
somewhat, enabling community leaders to secure approval for new village planta-
tions. By 1978, almost 89 ha of new community land had been planted with the
assistance of a loan from the Agrarian Bank. In accordance with national govern-
ment policy at the time, foresters urged the villagers to manage these plantations
communally. The idea was to share the cost of reforestation equally among com-
munity members through participation in planting. Repayment on the loan was to
be drawn from the proceeds of tree sales. Interest in reforestation was fueled by
fears that neighboring estate owners would soon try to take over community
lands. Support for reforestation was, however, far from universal. Many commu-
nity members who remained desperately short of farmland, felt strongly that as
much land as possible should be divided among needy village households.
Progress on proposed projects was slow if it occurred at all.

Since the late 1970s, farm and grazing land shortages have continued to be of
overriding concern to villagers. They have been unwilling to sacrifice more land

Tenuous Consensus

In anticipation of pending Reform. sizeable portions of nearby estate lands were already being
cultivated by Ccollana-Chequerec villagers well before new land policies went inlo eltec in 1973.
and formal legal awards were made to the village. Opposition from families already using old estate
fields led community leaders to decide to reforest only a part of the property being turned over to
the village through Agrarian Reform. In 1973, a Village Assembly attended by only 180' of the vil-
lage residents approved a contract to reforest 30 ha of former estate land with a loan from the
Agrarian Bank. Much of this land was being used as grazing pasture, and subsequent moves to
convert the area into forest galvanized opposition to the project. Despite efforts to plant, many con-
tinued to graze their livestock in the area. damaging the young seedlings.

A subsequent proposal to reforest another 50 ha was approved by a partial Village Assembly in
1975 but suffered a similar fate. Although the plantation was planned, in part. to resist efforts by
neighboring estate owners to re-take the land, many within the community disagreed with the strate-
gy. Groups opposing reforestation proposed instead that the untitled arable land be worked by groups
of village farmers, and eventually subdivided. Reforestation was resisted particularly by the young and
poorest community members, many of whom had returned to the village after trying to find work
elsewhere, only to discover that most of the Agrarian Reform lands had already been parcelled out

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Fig. 7
Don Inocencio Mancco, one
d of the first supporters of the
community reforestation of
Ccollana-Chequerec, agrees
with many other community
sa1e members, that there is no
more land available for new
community forests.
SPhoto: Miguel Ramon

for new plantations. Only one new site was approved by the community in 1983,
largely to gain government approval to fell an existing plantation.

As villagers emphasize, there is simply no more free land left. A survey completed
for this case study in 1985 showed that 90% of the community opposed more com-
munal forestry. This is not to say that the value of trees was unappreciated. The
same survey showed that 71% of the village families would be very interested in
planting trees on an individual basis, in hedges or on eroded plots that belong to
individual households. In short, it seems more important to better integrate trees
into their existing farming systems than to establish new plantations.

Ongoing Resistance

While the community prepared to harvest its earliest plantation, the terms of ime contract that
won government funding for planting obligated the villagers to find a new reforestation site before
logging could begin In 1983, community leaders won Village Assembly approval for one new 25 ha
site. Once again, however, only 20'0. ol the community was represented in Ine vote; many had
already become too dissatisfied witn Ihe decision-making process to continue io participate. The
new site was opposed by many, especially about 70 families of Ccollana Baia hamlet who lived near
the chosen land and who used the area for grazing pasture Angered by the Assembly's decision,
community members organized themselves into a vocal interest group to pressure the Assembly to
reverse its decision and parcel out the land to individual households. The group cited the heavy
burden women would have to bear if the grazing land was taken, forcing them to make longer trips
afield to feed their livestock. In the end, only a little over 4 ha were ever relorested in the area.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Forest resources:
Supply and demand
tree planting

Closed communal

Commercial use of
communal plantations

The households of Ccollana-Chequerec region continue to need wood for housing
and fuel. One recent development that may be linked to past reforestation efforts,
is the increase in eucalyptus trees found on family plots. Almost 65% of the popu-
lation now boasts ownership of eucalyptus trees. Villagers have found the trunks
well-suited for construction and women have developed a preference for eucalyp-
tus as fuelwood, due to its slow and even burn.

Typically it is the wealthier families who have eucalyptus trees. The remainder of
the population is often without enough land to support even a few trees next to
their food crops. To meet their wood needs they still depend on a dwindling supply
of native shrubs, barter with wealthier families or wood merchants on estates and
in distant towns. These alternative sources are often unreliable and/or costly, and
poor families often use only eucalyptus branches for fuelwood.

Despite the continuing scarcity of fuelwood for the poor, communal plantations are
closed to the community. The Community Assembly feared that harvesting by commu-
nity members would seriously decrease the commercial value of the forest. Conse-
quently, village leaders have prohibited gathering of fuelwood. In some cases, commu-
nal forests have already been paid for, and thus they are "owned", by commercial log-
gers. Villagers have been able to use them only sporadically and on a clandestine basis.

The community forest plantations established since the mid-1960s have been reserved
exclusively for commercial logging in the hope of generating revenue. Plans to pay
for village electrification led the village to sell its earliest communal plantation. The
results were not, however, very good. The community felt pressured to sell their
woodlot under highly unfavourable terms. They lost money and, to a large degree, all
of the benefits they might have derived from the forest. The experience has contribut-
ed to the community's reluctance to begin new communal reforestation projects.

Fig. 8
The chance to use revenues
from harvesting to fund
electrification encouraged
community members to
rush the sale and accept a
l. ow price for trees.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

Community Forestry Case Study 7

The Middleman's Share

In 1978, the community's electrification committee informed tne Village Assembly that the
community had most of the resources necessary to install its own electricity system. All that was
needed was a small capital investment, community labour, and the eucalyptus trunks from the
community's Queracmocco plantation. This was the only time use of the village plantation for the
community had ever been proposed.

Four years later community leaders changed the terms of the initial proposal, arguing that it
was more cost-etfective for the village simply to sell its woodlots and use the funds from the sale to
pay for all the necessary materials and labour. This new plan. as it turned out, was much more eas-
ily said than done. Only after approval for a new plantation site was gained in late 1982 could the
assembly chairman continue with the logging plans. Forestry technicians from the forestry depart-
ment were needed to make an inventory of the plantation and determine the appropriate prices and
the State's share of the proceeds. A long delay in their arrival and disagreement about the planta-
tion's actual worth left the village with prices that were only 5-2000 of that which individual families
were receiving for eucalyptus growing on their own fields. A last emergency Assembly to reconsid-
er an acceptable price was inconclusive. A forestry employee opposed any change in the quoted
timber prices Only forestry experts, he argued, were able to calculate a plantation's value, setting
timber prices was not the responsibility of the community. I

Community members decided to accept the price and agreed to proceed with the sale of the 9 I
ha forest the village had planted 20 years earlier. As the village leaders approached the forestry
department for the license, the requirements of the formal application process caused another long
delay. It was not unlil June 1984 that a license to harvest 5.000 (778,000 m3i of the Oueracmocco
forest's 8,000 tree trunks was issued to Ccollana-Chequerec village. Almost a whole year had
passed since the plantation's gross value had been assessed. No new assessment was made.

The problems the community experienced in selling its woodlots reflected prob- Distribution of
lems in the Assembly decision-making process. As became clear in later surveys, benefits
70% of the village households would have preferred to buy the plantation trees
themselves; yet they had been unable to have any effect on the final decision to
sell the timber.

Despite all initial promises, the distribution of benefits from Ccollana-Chequerec's
community plantations has not been equitable. Businessmen have managed to secure
a cheap price for the trees and have sold wood back to the village at the prevailing
rates. The village paid only 5% of it's total electrification bill with proceeds from the
sale of plantation trees. Many community members were as likely as before to have
to search for sources of fuel and construction wood outside the village.

There have been significant differences in the distribution of costs and benefits
within the village as well. Some community members lost more than others when
plantations were established. Those with no tree resources on their own plots could
benefit only through illegal harvesting from community plots. Wealthier families,
with greater amounts of land at their disposal, could use the new seedlings intro-
duced by the plantations to plant eucalyptus on their own plots. These families

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

The State's Third

Given the already low returns expected from the forest's harvest, community members who
had given up pasture and potential farmland to the project were persuaded to renounce their right
to a portion of the crop. The same flexibility was not possible when it came to the Governmenl's
share of the proceeds. According to the contract signed by village leaders, when the Queracmocco
plantation was originally planned, the government's claim to 30%0 of the harvest's proceeds
remained binding After the middleman lelled the trees he had purchased over a year earlier a bill
for 8,100 intis was presented to the new village governing board. The bill represented a full 301,, of
the new value of the forest rather than of the pnce negotiated by the middleman. When, in 1986, it
looked as if the community would be hard-pressed to provide the full sum, foresters urged the
community to meet their obligation by selling additional trees The net revenue generated Irom this
second sale was again very small.

even benefited indirectly by the prohibition on local use of the community planta-
tions; prohibition kept the local prices of eucalyptus quite high and families selling
private trees could still profit.

Women and the forest Women could potentially have benefited enormously through community refor-
estation. As gatherers of fuelwood, they had a vested interest in seeing new
sources of suitable materials established closer to home. As tenders of family live-
stock, they had particular interest in any project that provided an additional source
of fodder. Yet, in Ccollana-Chequerec, women have been among the most disad-
vantaged through community reforestation. They have sacrificed crucial grazing
land to plantation sites with little in return. The prohibitions placed on community
use of the plantations have denied them the possibility of any direct benefits. At
the same time, their indirect access to the Village Assembly via male household
heads has narrowed their opportunity to influence decisions. Thus, the decisions
that are made often poorly address women's needs.

Fig. 9 .
Women have suffered I ... .
most from the restrictions .. -
on access to the -
community woodlots. ..
Photo: Miguel Ramon -..

Community Forestry Case Study 7

The loss of grazing area, with little prospect for any benefit in return, inspired
strong opposition to communal reforestation among the women of Ccollana-
Chequerec. Alternatively, for men in the village, the interest in subdivision of
land for personal use was the key reason for opposition to communal tree plant-
ing. For virtually all women in the village, communal forestry has meant greater
travel in search of fuelwood. Poor women, whose households are especially
dependent on community property for fodder, fuel and building materials, have
been particularly affected. The biggest issue facing women in the village today is
not whether to plant more community forest sites, but how to gain access to the
ones that already exist.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Chapter 3


Department of Cuzco, Province of Cuzco
3,380-4,000 metres above sea level
15 km from Cuzco

Population: 575 residents
132 households

Land Resources: 1,862 ha
60% rainfed farmland and pasture (rotated)

Main Crops: Potatoes, broad beans, barley, wheat
oca, olluco, lettuce, onions

Forest Resources: 50 ha eucalyptus
Some native shrubs on hilltops

Farming, produce sales, small animal breeding
casual wage labour

Ccorao has also struggled to sustain a growing population on a very limited
resource base. The presence of haciendas in the area has further decreased land
availability. Although Ccorao has been able to maintain relative political autonomy
since the late 1950s, there has been very little improvement in the availability of
farmland for poor community members. The Agrarian Reform of the 1970s made
little difference. While large landowners were obliged to give up sizeable portions
of their property, these were sold individually to approximately 40 of Ccorao's
wealthiest families, i.e. 30% of the village's households. Most of the remaining
inhabitants saw little change in their situation; they remained highly dependent on

The history of land
use and tenure

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru 25




Sources Of Income:

neighboring estates for permission to farm hacienda fields in return for labour.
The increase in arable land promised by the construction of a new aqueduct system
had yet to be realized by the mid-1980s.

Access to Land Through Group Work

Despite some improvement in village land holdings over the tears, many poor residents of Cco-
rao have persistently been dependent on nearby estates for their means of livelihood Any gains in
access to land have been due mainly to the evolution of new work practices Poor farmers have
been able to farm hacienda land lor their own purposes in exchange for their collective labour. The
conversion of sizeable portions of village property to community tree plantations in the late 1960s
and early 1970s closed off other alternatives for gaining usulruct land rights. The vulnerable posi-
tion of many poor villagers in Ccorao has not changed

Decline in communal

Fallow plot rotation

A .? '



E at,7
V --;

In Ccorao as elsewhere, land scarcity has reinforced a strong preference for indi-
vidual rather than communal farming. Only 3 ha of irrigated land around Ccorao
have been farmed communally since the 1950s. This communal land has survived
for two reasons. Public and private organizations have encouraged the village to
maintain traditional farming systems, and the nearby Bandorani hacienda has per-
sistently threatened to annex the land (wider community assistance in maintaining
the area has helped protect it from expropriation by this powerful neighbour).

Although communal farming has declined sharply over the years, commonly
owned village property continues to exist in the village, largely in the form of
entrada plots. These tracts of land are rotated periodically from fallow to different
crops under the supervision of the village governing body. Although collectively
owned, entrada plots have been assigned to specific individual families.

- . . . .* ^ .

Fig. 10
The main obstacles to
acceptance of reforestation
proposals in the 60s and 70s
were the fragmented
ownership and scarcity of
cutivatable land.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

Community Forestry Case Study 7

The rotation schedule is organized to permit the community to raise cattle and
sheep and collect dried cattle dung and native shrubs. The system has allowed
Ccorao to incorporate even very poor lands into its stock of farmland.

Migration and access to hacienda land through group work has helped ease the
pressure on Ccorao's limited resources. This is why the community has not been
forced to subdivide entrada lands or to shorten traditional fallow periods. In the
past thirty years, the only change in entrada management has been the use of part
of one entrada plot for communal reforestation.

One of Ccorao's most distinctive characteristics has been the consistent strength of
its community organization. Thanks to a history of relatively equitable distribution
of resources within the community, a predominance of families of middle-level
economic status, ongoing relationships of reciprocity and long-standing traditions
of struggle against outside forces, Ccorao's Community Assembly has been a par-
ticularly cohesive and effective decision-making body. This has allowed Ccorao to
defend itself successfully against recurring attempts by the Bandorani estate and
neighboring communities to annex Ccorao community territory. It has also
allowed Ccorao to win itself freedom to organize and control its own resources.

The Ccorao community has had a history of active community participation in it's
Community Assemblies and faena projects. This has ensured that elected village
leaders are held accountable for the use of community funds, distribution of pro-
ject costs and benefits, implementation of Assembly agreements, and management
of Assembly sessions. Dissent among community members and their leaders does,
however, continue to be considerable. Final authority over issues like land tenure
rests with village leaders who have made some unpopular decisions.

With tremendous pressure on the Ccorao community to use every possible piece of
land for farming, very little forest cover remained in the area by the 1960s. The

Standing Up to Outsiders

As a result ol its strong organization, Ccorao secured independence from its parent community,
Ayamarmaca-Pumamarka. in 1965. With its own village government. Ccorao was better able to
defend its village borders. When a communiy-planted eucalyptus grove was partially destroyed by
the national government's construction of a highway in 1978, the community succeeded in collect-
ing an indemnity for the loss.

Another indication of the strength of the Ccorao community organization has been the success
it has had in obtaining economic and technical assistance from external state and private agencies.
The community has sought this assistance mainly to make village improvements that help Ihe com-
munity use its resources more productively. Among the most notable successes have been the
construction and subsequent enlargement of a small irngation canal, installation of a potable water
system and the import of new farming equipment and tools.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Forest resources


lack of trees was offset by the fairly abundant presence of native shrubs, especially
on nearby hilltops and fallow and grazing fields. A careful rationing system and
the use of dried cattle and sheep dung, branches of native trees, straw, stubble and
shrubs (collected mainly by women), made it possible for families to satisfy their
cooking fuel needs. The need for more fuelwood and building materials did, how-
ever, lead to new reforestation efforts.

The recent history of reforestation in Ccorao has involved both community and
family-based ventures. Well before any official community reforestation pro-
gramme was initiated, families often planted native tree species such as Quenua,
Buddleia sp., and Quishuar Polylepis sp., on their farm plots and near their
homes. Eucalyptus seedlings had been introduced to the area when made available
to a neighboring community. Although village households appeared to like using
the exotic tree species, they were not widely planted at the time, mainly because of
the shortage of healthy seedlings and technical knowledge.

Planting eucalyptus trees on family plots became more common with the estab-
lishment of forestry nurseries in the nearby towns of Cuzco and Calca, and the
later initiation of a communal reforestation programme within Ccorao itself.
Small- scale family-based eucalyptus cultivation never developed into large fami-


,. Ci ,7._.i7.- .-" Fig. 11
: -. Don Ruperto Choque
.1 helped promote the
first plantation.
S. -" Photo: Miguel Ramon

28 Community Forestry Case Study 7

f .~c Vre ~**~* ~f-2-

k it 3a-C-r

Fig. 12
Until the 60s most houses
were small one room
structures because the
native trees used for
building were very small .
and scarce.
Photo: Miguel Ramon i .

ly-owned plantations due largely to the prohibitive technical requirements of
maintaining this species on a larger scale. Nevertheless, many of the family-
owned eucalyptus trees that exist today are the same age as those found in the
communal plantations, indicating that family reforestation developed as an indi-
rect result of communal reforestation.

Like the Ccollana-Chequerec case study, the history of organized community
reforestation in Ccorao may be divided into three distinct phases based on the
amount of community support.

Ccorao's community reforestation ventures began in 1966 when staff from the
government's "Forestry and Hunting Service" proposed a project with assis-
tance from the government and a trust fund loan. The initial proposal was well-
received. It suggested planting eucalyptus trees (already a valued species in the
community) and implied that no land under cultivation would be used for the

The initial proposal's apparent promise not to conflict with existing land practices
was however, never made a formal part of the final agreement. When the contract
for the reforestation of 50 ha of land was signed, it specified a planting site on vil-
lage entrada land that was currently being used for grazing livestock and which
had already been assigned to individual families for eventual cultivation. Almost
immediately after ratification, the project was criticized by those who stood to lose
access to the land. Because part of the funding had already been invested in
seedlings, however, attempts to annul the contract were unsuccessful. Dissatisfied
members of the community were able to obtain a promise for compensation in the


1. 1967- 69:
Qualified support

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru 29

2. 1970 79: Opposition

3. 1980 1987: Renewed

Fuelwood Demand and Land Use Conflict

Most of the families givingg near the Ccasa forest lost some of their arable land to Ihe
reforestation site. The poorest families, however, who used the community fallow system for
subsistence farming were particularly hurt Middle-income and wealthier families, by con-
trast, could fall back on their own plots of land which were usually located in the flattest and
most productive area of the village

While, at first, the promise of the coppice re-growth persuaded households with cus-
tomary claims to the site to accept the project, families renewed their objections when they
learned that part of the proposed site had previously been slated for irrigation. Women in
particular continued to oppose the project because it decreased the amount of available
grazing land. Tneir workload would only increase it they had to travel further to feed their

Though planting was started in a small area in the 1967-68 planting season the custom-
ary users of the site prevented relorestalion targets from being achieved. Several years later,
faced with the prospect of a considerable loss from the sale of the grove al harvest time. one
group of community members persuaded the Community Assembly not to honour promises
to grant the coppice re-growth to the households that had ceded land. Although the need for
forest resources has oeen a persistent concern, deciding who would bear Ine largest propor-
tion of the burden has remained among the biggest obstacles to reforestalion.

form of coppice re-growth after the first felling. The plantation was subsequently
named the "Ccasa" forest.

Following the disillusionment caused by the project's initial implementation in the
late 1960s, the 1970s was typified by almost total opposition to any new reforesta-
tion efforts. Only 5 ha were planted with trees during this period despite numerous
proposals from forestry officials. Leaders were generally reluctant to stir up more
conflict by advocating new projects.

Interest in planting new sites grew among village leaders only as initial reforesta-
tion sites approached maturity and the promise of community income became
more tangible. The terms of the original contract required that any harvesting of
the original plantation be accompanied by the planting of a new woodlot. Further-
more, the opportunity to install a potable water system arose. In 1980, the Com-
munity Assembly agreed to apply for a logging license for their original planta-
tion, to sell one lot to an interested middleman and establish a new plantation
with further government assistance. In 1981, the Community Assembly accepted
a contract with the International Development Bank to plant trees on 50 ha of
community land.

Three factors appear to have catalysed the change in attitude. First, a neighboring
community had attempted to take possession of some of Ccorao's grazing land.
Villagers saw planting trees in the disputed area as one means of protecting their

Community Forestry Case Study 7

property rights. Second, forestry technicians began to show a greater flexibility in
site selection requirements. This helped community members overcome their fear
that reforestation projects would reduce the size of their farmland and alter their
land tenure arrangements. Finally, the potential to earn daily wages from reforesta-
tion work proved a significant incentive, especially for the community's poor. As
the community agreed to accept a new plantation, logging permits for the original
Ccasa plantation were granted.

At the time of this case study, approximately 67% of the community's families,
mostly from the poorest strata, supported the establishment of new communal
forestry plantations on non-arable land and border zones. Furthermore, interest in
family reforestation had not diminished. More than 90% of Ccorao's households
wanted to plant eucalyptus trees on their own plots.

Forest resources continue to be an important for cooking and house construction
in Ccorao. Thanks to the reforestation efforts of the past two decades, the com-
munity now has communal eucalyptus plantations and private eucalyptus groves
to supplement the native shrubs growing on entrada plots. Eucalyptus has largely
replaced native trees as the community's main source of lumber. Although the
plantations have made the collection of native species and cattle dung somewhat

Fig. 13
Women opposed the first
plantation because it forced
them to take their animals
to more distant pastures
for grazing.
Photo: Miguel Ramon _

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Forest resources:
Supply and demand

I ft 0 .1 k,;-5~P.
"; i : :.I---~ FSnsit~

Fig. 14
Cattle and sheep dung and
native tree branches are
still collected for fuel
today in Ccorao.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

more difficult, their proximity and careful management have helped reduce the
work involved in fuel gathering.

Local levels of eucalyptus consumption remain relatively low. Higher-income fam-
ilies consume three to five trunks (approximately 20 to 50 cm in diameter) per
year. Medium income families use about two trunks while poor families consume
less than one. The average consumption is one thick trunk or two thin trunks per
year. Eucalyptus promises to continue to be an important community resource.

As in Ccollana-Chequerec, distributing the costs and benefits of reforestation
efforts has been hindered by conflicting priorities and divergent interests. The
first villagers to benefit from the Ccasa forest were women, who started to gather
eucalyptus branches and dried leaves for fuel a few years after planting. In 1984,
however, community leaders prohibited all such activities in the plantation sites,
citing the technical problems that this kind of gathering caused. They maintained
that prohibiting branch collection would help preserve the bark on the trees and
help control illegal felling. Additionally they felt that the tree branches that were
being collected for fuelwood could be profitably sold as fuel to brick and tile

Wood merchants became interested in premature exploitation of the Ccasa forest
because of its proximity to a highway leading to Cuzco. Community leaders saw
logging as a way to obtain funds for development projects and responded
favourably to the merchants' purchase offers. One leader even arranged the sale of
100 trunks as early as 1974. Some community members were not enthusiastic
about the early tree sale. There was concern that felling the original forest would

32 Community Forestry Case Study 7

*. i
-,:.. -- , - ...

Distribution of
Conflicting interests

require new plantation sites decreasing the availability of arable farming land.
Community members also opposed the sale because the necessary logging license
was not yet available and the young forest would command a low price. When
community leaders attempted to begin selling the trees in 1977, other community
members would not authorize the sale. Only when the opportunity to install a
potable water system arose did the community agree to sell approximately 3,350
trees despite the low price that was offered.


While selling the Ccasa plantation trees allowed the villagers of Ccorao to complete their water
project, the terms of the sale were disadvantageous. On the basis of a forestry official's unfavourable
assessment of the plantation, the price for the trees was very low, only 4 intis per tree (as of May
1987 the exchange rate was 21.80 intis to 1 US Dollar). Furthermore, maintaining that Ihe contract
did not specify the exact time when logging should occur, the buyer did not fell the trees he had pur-
chased for many months and in the end chose only those trees with the largest diameter.

The unfair terms of the felling contract for the Ccasa plantation fueled opposition Community trees for
to the sale of forest resources to merchants. As a result, in 1983, the Village community use
Assembly agreed that members would be given preferential status in subsequent
sales. For community members, prices would be lower than market value. To safe-
guard the tree supply and to avoid over-felling, restrictions were placed on the
quantities of trees that could be sold to lumber merchants.

Questionable Deals

The resolutions adopted by the Ccorao community regarding its common property forests were
unfortunately, not always carried out. A permit for felling 3,055 trees was eventually secured in
1985 and again merchants benefited most. One merchant obtained over 2,000 trees at 1980 prices;
the sale had been arranged by former leaders, contrary to all community agreements and the expe-
rience increased community member opposition to dealing with merchants. It also confirmed the
need for greater community control over sales.

Despite the problems the community has encountered with its reforestation pro-
gramme, most Ccorao households say they have benefited from the Ccasa forest.
Among the benefits most often cited are: new employment opportunities (due to
the construction of a health centre, a community centre and an irrigation canal);
improved tree availability for building and to a lesser degree, for fuelwood; the
opportunity to gather eucalyptus branches for fuelwood (although this practice was
later banned by village leaders); and, a new source of funds for the purchase of
communal goods and for community projects.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Location: Department of Cuzco, province and district of Anta
3,300-4,000 metres above sea level
34 km from Cuzco

Population: 652 households distributed over
6 sectors and 3 annexes

Land Resources: 2,285 ha
57% rain-fed farmland
20% irrigated farmland
1.7% permanent pasture

Forest Resources: 388 ha, mainly eucalyptus groves;
some native shrubs on hilltops

Sources of Income: Farming, wage and unpaid labour
on neighboring estates

By the 1950s land was in extremely short supply in the upland village of Equecco-
Chacan near Cuzco city. The village boundaries included only 600 ha of rainfed
farmland, few pastures, and virtually no forest, cultivated or otherwise. All avail-
able arable land was farmed by individual households. During the 1960s, the com-
munity increased its land holdings through a successful lawsuit against a neigh-
bouring hacienda. This land was eventually parcelled out to individual families.

As in the villages of Ccollana-Chequerec and Ccorao, the goals of Agrarian
Reform in the early 1970s ran in opposition to the Equecco-Chacin community
preference for individually farmed plots. Reform land was made available to the

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Chapter 4



The history of land use
and tenure


Women's organizations

Fig. 15
Temporary migration for
work has affected
participation in
community activities.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

village in the form of a production cooperative. Though the cooperative provided
some profit shares, services and employment for local residents, many in the com-
munity objected to this form of ownership. By 1975, with the economic downturn
in Peru, the community of Equecco-Chacan began taking de facto possession of
portions of the cooperative land. By the early 1980s, the cooperative had been for-
mally disbanded and its land legally sold to former partner communities.

The increase in arable land after the Agrarian Reform made a significant difference
in the size of village plots. The average plot size increased from 0.8 ha in the 1960s
to 1.7 ha by 1987. This, in addition to improvements in the service infrastructure
brought about by local inhabitants and outside assistance, upgraded the overall
standard of living for the village's households. General improvement did not, how-
ever, benefit everybody in the community equally. There remained a marked differ-
ence between different income groups. The relatively well-off seemed to benefit
most, while the majority of the population still owned less than 1 ha of land.

Equecco-Chacan, like other upland communities, has maintained a strong degree
of political independence and organization. Having gained official recognition as
an independent village in 1948, the community not only brought a successful suit
against its neighboring estate to obtain more land, but also engaged in numerous
other struggles to negotiate better labour conditions for community members
working on nearby haciendas.

In Equecco-Chacan there is a high level of women's participation in decision-mak-
ing and community activities. This is due in part to the high proportion of migrant
husbands whose seasonal absence makes it necessary for women to take part in the

36 Community Forestry Case Study 7

Village Assemblies. Their influence in the community has been strengthened by
the presence of active and outspoken women's organizations like the Mothers'
Club and women's committees. Women participate on an equal basis with men in
Village Assemblies.

The level of cooperation and participation in village activities has varied over the
years. Periodic surges of community participation have often been short-lived. In
part, this has been due to the large numbers of residents who have had to leave
the village to find work and have been unable to commit themselves to involve-
ment in village affairs. More important have been the divisions between different
sectors and annexed hamlets of this geographically scattered community. The
greater degree of access certain sectors (especially the core, or "parent" commu-
nity) have enjoyed to water, arable land, pasture and services has created a great
deal of tension and conflict, making long-term collective participation and coop-
eration difficult.

When the government-fostered farming cooperative showed signs of failing in
1975, community members mobilized and village leaders organized a formal
takeover of one part of the cooperative estate. This mobilization was accompanied
by a surge in participation in all realms of community life, including Assemblies
and new faena activities. Yet in the late 1970s, when the cooperative estate was
formally broken down and parcelled out, disputes about how much land different
sectors and households would get, made continued communal management impos-
sible. Once the Village Assembly approved and organized subdivision, participa-
tion infaenas and other collective village activities dropped dramatically.

A divided community

Internal Struggles Over External Funding

When Agrarian Reform began in the early 1970s, Equecco-Chacin received several offers of
support from the United States Agency for International Development, the United States Peace
Corps and stale public works agencies. At first, these agencies encouraged prolecis Lhat organized
the village's food production system on a communal basis. Eventually, however, :he unequal distri-
bution of project costs and benefits stirred a lot of internal community disagreement. For example,
problems arose when a tractor that had been purchased using taxes collected from all sectors and
annexes was used only to benefit the parent community, Equecco-Chacan. Outraged members of
the Pinankay anney formally, though ultimately unsuccessfully, requested egal recognition as an
independentt village

Within the village governing body itself, considerable tension arose because resources and
funds were placed in the sole custody of unsupervised community leaders Community igno-
rance of how project funds were being managed tempted some leaders to use money for their
own benefit. Coupled wilh inequitable distribution of the land received through the village's suit
of the lale 1960s, community members increasingly became disillusioned by village government:
by the mid-1970s, communal farming and cooperative community development efforts were in
marked decline.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Inequitable Resource Distribution

Agrarian reform
and the poor

Taking advantage of its status as legal representative of its annex communities, [he parent com-
munity of Equecco-Clacan attempted to keep some of the land intended lor the village annexes
when former cooperative lands were being parcelled out. This led to renewed calls lor autonomy by
Pifiankay Two other annexes joined Piinankay to demand independence as well. The crisis was even-
tually overcome when the parent community agreed to grant special concessions to the annexes

Conflicts over land distribution also erupted within Chacan. Although the Village Assembly had
agreed to determine who received whale parcels of Agrarian Reform lands by drawing lots, the poor-
er and less influential families of the village were clearly discriminated against. While most families
received a single plot. wealthier families and relatives ol several community leaders received more.
At times, this was camouflaged by awarding lands to under-age sons or to relatives living outside
the community.

By the early 1980s. in the lace of such inequity, community solidarity and community activities
disappeared When a neighboring community attempted to take possession of land still held com-
munally by the Equecco-Chacan village, only Ihose families from Chacan who owned plots near the
disputed area attempted to block the take-over

Almost paradoxically, the conflicts over land distribution in the wake of Agrarian
Reform led to a new sense of strength among those that had traditionally been dis-
criminated against. They were able to make future participation in faena activities
and other village activities conditional on the direct and proportional distribution
of benefits. For example, participation in clearing ditches, improving irrigation, or
building and equipping new schoolrooms was now demanded only of the families
that would directly benefit. Monetary contributions for purchases or rentals were
made in proportion to benefits received.


-- I


Fig. 16
The women's committee of
Chacin played an important
role in helping ensure
equitable distribution of
costs and benefits.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Dissatisfaction in the decision-making process continued to exist. A number of
community leaders tried to restrict women's participation in Assembly Meetings
and transfer decision-making authority over certain issues to the Board of Direc-
tors. This was done to counteract the power and vociferousness of some of the
community's different interest groups. Nevertheless, the community's struggles for
autonomy, collective management of new resources, organization of women and
involvement of the poorer sectors in decision-making, all helped offset efforts to
fragment and weaken community organization.

Gathering wood has traditionally been the responsibility of women in Equecco-
Chacan, however, all family members, especially children, provide some help.
Men are particularly involved when wood needs to be carried large distances.

By the 1960s, only a few groves of native trees and shrubs existed along plot bor-
ders, in ditches and on the hillsides around the village. Although eucalyptus had
once been introduced to the area, few trees had been planted. The community
depended heavily on outside sources to meet fuelwood demands. Native trees for
construction were usually bartered for or purchased from the haciendas in
Urubamba province. Families used dung, stubble and straw for fuel and, in many
cases, worked without pay on neighboring haciendas to have the opportunity to
gather wood secretly.

In Equecco-Chacin the history of organized community reforestation is divided
into two phases.

Reforestation started differently in Equecco-ChacAn than it did in Ccollana-Che-
querec and Ccorao. Proposals to reforest received support. Between 1968 and
1973, large areas of land were planted with trees. The community was assisted by
the "Forest Plantations on Non-Agricultural Lands" programme and a trust fund
that provided 20 year loans at a 2% annual interest rate. Community leaders were
enthusiastic and their endorsement was a key factor in the initiation of tree plant-
ing on a surprisingly large-scale. Many families saw community plantations as a
new source of income and favoured the proposals.

Forest resources


1. 1968 73: Strong

Early Support for the Right Planting Site

The lirst inilialive for communal tree planting in Equecco-Chacin came from residents ol the
Pinankay annex. In July 1967 the Village Assembly approved Piiankay's application to plant 50 ha
of eucalyptus around the annex boundaries Most of those supporting the application were from
Pinankay itself 4120. were women and 50"r. were illiterate community members. The selected site
consisted of eroded hillsides used for grazing land rented out on a temporary basis, abandoned
land and land worked by groups of farmers from different villages. For the most part, ;l was not
land being actively used by members of the Piiankay communilv

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Agrarian Reform allowed community leaders to promise members that any land
they had to sacrifice to the project would be exchanged for new land. Thus, plant-
ing efforts continued relatively smoothly and participation in tree planting activi-
ties was remarkably high. By 1973, almost 370 ha or 40% of the village's commu-
nity-owned property had been converted into eucalyptus plantation, exceeding the
village's own approved targets.

That is not to say that reforestation proceeded without complaints from certain
community members. When plans for reforestation were drawn up for the Chacan
region, a number of households voiced concern about the project's costs in terms
of land, time and effort. Similarly, despite a strong start in the Pifiankay annex,
unresolved tension between reforestation's critics and proponents elsewhere in the
village dampened further efforts.

2. 1984 1987: By the middle of the 1970s, farmland scarcity became an overriding concern in
Dwindling enthusiasm Equecco-Chacan. Over ten years passed before further plantation development was
given serious consideration. In 1984 only 50 ha of land were approved for refor-
estation, with the promise of assistance from outside sources. The major impetus

Reforestation from Annex to Parent Community: Halting Progress

In 1968, following tme success ol rile community reforestation initiative in Pinankay annex, a
Village Assembly of 79 members, mostly from the parent community of Chacan, approved plans to
reforest 100 ha of land. This time, however, the burden of developing a new plantation was fell
keenly by community members living near tle site Even though families in the area were particu-
larly short ol land. the approved reforestation target exceeded the amount of appropriate area.
When preparations for the new plantation began, many local residents became alarmed At one
point a handful of angry residents even denounced several community leaders to the police, forcing
them to give up part of their own land for the reforestation prolecl The planting of eucalyptus
seedlings finally began only after those households that lost land to the project were promised the
first coppice re-growih.

Despite tension and conflict the third and largest reforeslalion project in Equecco-Chacin fol-
lowed several years later. Agrarian Relorm allowed some community leaders to promise that fami-
lies giving up any farmland would eventually be entitled to land elsewhere. Perhaps more than any-
thing else, this promise allowed village leaders to secure community approval lor reforestation of
200 ha, nail of which were located directly within the parent community. The rest were distributed
over the village's three annex communities

Contrary to local expectations in the mid-1970s the land obtained for the village through Agrar-
ian Reform was allotted to a village cooperative rather than individual families. Earlier promises to
compensate individual households lor losses due to reforestation could not be honoured. Tree
planting had already begun on specified sites and it was not legally possible to reverse the process.
Not surprisingly, the plantations were resented by many residents. Unlike Pifiankay, the plantations
of Chacin were damaged considerably by grazing. resentful villagers allowed their livestock to enter
the sites

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Fig. 17
The community leaders'
opinions were important
factors in the decisions
whether or not to reforest.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

behind the new site lay in the conditions of the original reforestation contract,
which specified that harvesting an old plantation could only occur if accompanied
by replanting.

In 1986, the majority of the community felt land was simply too scarce to justify
additional tree planting. Seventy-four percent of those interviewed opposed all fur-
ther plantation development, even the replanting of woodlots. Only 8% felt more
trees should be planted. Women appeared less interested, only 5% supported con-
tinued reforestation. Since past reforestation efforts were quite successful, villagers
argue that any new "free" lands should not be devoted to forestry. Only 30 of the
50 ha that were approved for reforestation by the Village Assembly in 1983 have
been planted.

One of the most promising developments in Equecco-Chacan in recent years has
been the increase in the number of individual families growing eucalyptus trees in
their own fields and along the borders of their plots. The case study survey, com-
pleted in 1986, showed that 86% of Chacin farming families own eucalyptus trees.
Seventy percent of those have trees that are more than ten years old, and 16% own
trees that are still immature. Different socio-economic groups vary greatly in the

Forest resources:
Supply and demand

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru 41

...... ----

- 1..

Meeting household
fuelwood needs with

Levels of self-sufficiency

Fig. 18
The abundance of
eucalyptus in Chacan has
influenced the type of
housing and construction.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

amount of eucalyptus trees they own. Middle-level and wealthy families own,
respectively, an average of between 5 and 14 times as many trees as their poor

Individual ownership of eucalyptus is partially the result of the efforts of reforesta-
tion promoters who handed out eucalyptus seedlings to encourage villagers to
accept the added work associated with starting community plantations (during
1968-1973 and 1984-85). However, 58% of the families said that they possessed
eucalyptus trees before the community reforestation projects. Personal initiative
has been important in growing trees in Equecco-Chacin.

Thanks to community and family reforestation, there is enough eucalyptus to meet
a significant proportion of the local fuelwood and construction needs. Our survey
showed that all families use a certain amount of eucalyptus trunks for construction;
ninety-five percent use trunks for fuel while 5% use branches. Branches and chips
are also used by the villagers, especially during the rainy season.

Average annual consumption of eucalyptus trunks is quite low (1.4 trunks, 50-60
cm in diameter per person). Consumption is especially low among the village's
poor, 0.8 trunks per person/year. Although eucalyptus consumption is widespread,
only 24% of Equecco-Chacin families are fuelwood self-sufficient. More often
than not, eucalyptus is supplemented with other fuels such as cattle, sheep, and
guinea pig dung, stubble, dried broad bean and potato stalks, and native shrubs.
Poor families own far less eucalyptus and livestock than do better-off families.
They are therefore more likely to have to look for diverse sources of fuel and
building materials. Although community plantations comprised a reliable source of
wood for a while, sales from communal forests were prohibited in 1985. Thus, at

42 Community Forestry Case Study 7

the time of this case study, 74% of all Equecco-Chacin villagers bought eucalyptus
wood from more well-endowed community members.

Use of the community plantations has been marked by a long series of struggles
between community factions over control and access to the resource. Initially,
direct community access to the forests was officially limited to branch and leaf
collection. However, clandestine felling of trees by both the parent community and
its annexes began while the trees were still relatively immature. As members of the
Pifiankay annex began selling the wood products they obtained from the commu-
nal forest, forestry officials intervened, declaring that a felling license was required
for any further tree cutting. Conflict, however, particularly between the parent
community, Chacin, and the Pifiankay annex, made it difficult to agree to get such
a license. After an uneasy agreement to apply for logging a license was reached,
tree felling proceeded while the license was being processed.

New Plantations, Old Disputes

Old disputes between the Pinankay community and the parent community of Chacan over the
distribution and use of community resources re-emerged when the village plantations were ready
to harvest When Pinankay community members expressed the wish to obtain a formal logging
license, leaders from Chacin refused to begin the application process, arguing that Pifankay would
first have to accept some basic limitations on access and use In 1982. the conflict escalated when
Pifankay community members discovered that leaders from the parent community had secretly
arranged for the sale of 350 trees from the forest grove within Pifiankay itself. As the buyer began
telling the trees. Pfiankay residents quickly moved to block realization of the full sale. Although the
annex found itself powerless to punish the responsible community leaders, the incident did allow
the community to secure explicit recognition of its exclusive right to benefit Irom forests planted
within its own territory.

When in 1983, the community ratified a plan to electrify the village, community
leaders became intent on selling the community plantation as profitably as possi-
ble. Plans were made to sell more than 10,000 eucalyptus trunks to an outside mer-
chant. To win support from community members, the leaders proposed that forest
trees be sold to members at a lower price than that given to outside merchants.
While this idea was well-received by a majority of the community, no agreement
as to the fair price for merchants could be reached. Most participants at Village
Assemblies felt that the price estimates for the timber provided by one forestry
official were far too low. In 1983-1984 leaders decided to act on their own, plan-
ning the sale of large numbers of trees to outside merchants without consulting the
Assembly. The leaders quickly applied for and were granted a logging license for
17,000 trees from the Forestry Department.

For the next year, major objections to the illegal sale of under-priced timber were
tempered by the availability of low cost trees. By 1985, however, general disillu-

Distribution of
Conflict in forest use

Disagreement over
fair prices

Suspension of all felling

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Community discontent

sion about communal forest resource management led to the election of a new
Governing Board. The trees the former leaders had planned to sell were never
felled, and among the first actions of the new leaders was the indefinite suspension
of all further timber sales from any community woodlot and a general ban on all
other wood gathering activities.

Many community members
-vy hope that the sale of trees
S from the community forests
will soon resume.
Photo: Miguel Ramon

Although meant to reverse an unpopular decision made by former village leaders,
the new measures were adopted without prior discussion in a Village Assembly
meeting. The new restrictions on fuelwood and fodder gathering caused a great
deal of discontent, especially among the poor and middle-level families. While
many members of the Equecco-Chacan community supported the idea of a tempo-
rary suspension of logging in the plantation, only 22% supported indefinite sus-
pension. Seventy-eight percent of the community (83% of the poor, 75% of-the
middle level, and 50% of the wealthier residents) supported resumption of sales to
the community as soon as possible. Seventy-four percent of the villagers stated
that they would have been amenable to selling wood to outside merchants,
although at a higher price than that offered to community members.

Although the Village Assembly formally resolved to re-initiate sales of community
plantation products after a year's suspension, leaders had not applied for the neces-
sary logging licenses as of 1987. Perhaps the most pressing issue facing the vil-
lagers of Equecco-ChacAn (like those of Ccollana-Chequerec) is not whether to
establish new plantations, but how to gain access the plantations that the villagers
themselves have already established.

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Chapter 5



Department of Cuzco, province and district of Anta
32.5 km from Cuzco

Population: 1,055 inhabitants
211 households

Land resources: 3,047 ha, including irrigated and rainfed
farming lands, grazing
pasture, forests and untilled lands

Forests: Communal and private eucalyptus
trees planted in the 1960s

Sources of income: Farming and stock breeding

The people of Compone have long struggled with outsiders for control of local
resources. They have been particularly oppressed by the large Sullupiciji hacienda.
Even before Agrarian Reform the village worked successfully to defend itself
against the estate, and gained land and political autonomy. The resulting improved
access to land has allowed livestock breeding to be integrated into traditional farm-
ing activities of Compone, setting this community apart from the other villages
studied in the series. Thanks to this mix of local sources of income, Compone can
be considered one of the most well-off communities in the uplands today.

As elsewhere in rural Peru, Agrarian Reform affected Compone in both positive
and negative ways. Like Equecco-Chacan, Compone was first forced to accept
land in the form of a cooperative, named the Tupac Amaru II Production Coopera-
tive (TAPC). By the late 1970s, frustrated with the ineffective management of


The history of land use
and tenure
The history of land
use and tenure

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Decline in communal


TAPC, the village seized part of the cooperative's land. Eventually, the govern-
ment formally handed over 731 ha to the community, consisting mostly of pasture.
With this new resource the village started a communal livestock breeding enter-
prise and encouraged villagers to increase their livestock holdings dramatically.
Not all community members benefited equally from these new developments,
however. Wealthier families, better able to obtain and care for more livestock,
were particularly favoured. Amid mounting dissatisfaction with the management
of the village pasture, and pressure from land-short villagers, the Community
Assembly decided to subdivide and distribute the communal pasture land to indi-
vidual households. Once distributed, land was usually converted to farmland and
planted with local staples like corn and potatoes.

Improving Prospects

As late as the 1950s Compone was still dominated by the neighboring Sullupiciji hacienda
which controlled most of the local farming land. pasture and forest resources. Villagers owned no
more than 50 ha of land Only those lew community members that worked as stewards for the
nearby hacienda were favoured with greater access to crucial resources.

Fortunately. in the 1960s the siluanon improved In 1961 Compone gained official recognition
as an independent community and peacefully took over 500 ha of estate land. including dry farming
'and, some natural forest and a eucal!ypus grove Ihe estate had established. When the Sullupicill
hacienda filed a suit to reclaim some of the land, the village community quickly reinforced its newly\
recognized claim to the resources by starting a small community plantation adjoining the estate.

Changes in land tenure also lead to a decrease in the predominance of communal
work orfaenas. While the village maintained some communal land, the increase
in the size of personal landholdings as a result of Agrarian Reform forced family
members to devote more time to their own fields. The labour available for com-
munal cultivation steadily decreased and many communal plots were parcelled
out to individual families for private cultivation on a rotating, basis. Although
commonly owned property still exists, communal cultivation has become
increasingly rare.

Livestock and Farming: A Diversified Subsistence Base

By the beginning of the 1980s, only 40 ha ol grazing and remained near the village. Larger
tracts of potential pasture could still be tound further away trom the community, but, because of
their remoteness, only families that could afford to maintain cabins there for seasonal grazing could
use them. As a result, family ownership of cattle, pigs and horses declined. It does, however.
remain a significant component of Ihe local economy today

Before becoming an autonomous officially recognized village, members of the
Compone community were forced to organize in secret; widespread participation
in early village government was extremely difficult to achieve. Legal recognition,

Community Forestry Case Study 7

7-- -. -.-T-WV7-TIT
.. .. .. ........... "..-..... '-. .. '

I.. ----


...., "...

.j .
. . '" ,

' : '.r i;
A -L J..

however, encouraged participation by more community members, strengthening
village cohesiveness and organization.

Despite progress, Compone tension and conflict have hindered operation of the com-
munity organization. The problems Compone has faced include: bribery and illegal
takeover of community lands by individual families; disputes over the way to secure
benefits from village property for all community members; intimidation and the use
of other "boss tactics" by some village leaders, and; violation of community agree-
ments and traditions governing land distribution. The conflicts have weakened soli-
darity and the cohesiveness of the community's decision-making system. Democratic
forces within the community have challenged such actions and attitudes. They have
not, however, been able to overcome them and considerable tension still exists.

The villagers of Compone also have an acute forest resource shortage. While fal-
low entrada fields provide native shrubs and small trees. Trees along the borders
of household plots and family fields allow ayni de palos or "pole exchange"
between village members. These sources of tree products have not, however, been

Continued Dependency on Outside Sources

While appropriation ol some forest lance from the Sullupicili hacienda in the 1960s provided an
additional source of wood, it was still not enough to make Compone sell-suhicient Villagers con-
tinued to depend on dung and native shrub branches secretly gathered from hacienda lands, and
on purchased luelwood chips Irom neighboring Colabambas province. in recent years, a decline
in oulmigration and an increase in the number of migrants returning to Compone have increased
the size of the local population and exacerbated the fuelwood shortage The increase in demand for
forest products has practically offset the increases in supply.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Fig. 20
Most of the land handed r
over to Compone
consisted of pasture.

Availability and supply
of forest resources
before reforestation

enough to meet local needs. Many households remain dependent on other, often
distant, sources of fuel and building material.

The process of Compone's experiences with communal reforestation can be divided into two
communal phases.

1. The first stage (1963- When communal plantations were first proposed by extension workers in the early
1982): Early approval 1960s, the idea was well-received. By November 1963, the Compone Village
Assembly, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture's forestry service, had
approved a contract for reforestation of 11 ha of village land, later known as the
Acllahuasi forest.

Despite initial hopes of reviving communal tenure and work Compone, residents
continued to strongly prefer to subdivide the Agrarian Reform land. Interest in larger
family holdings rather than large communal enterprises was reinforced by a high
population growth rate which made each piece of arable land even more precious.
Additionally, during the same time, restrictions on the use of Sullupiciji hacienda
resources loosened, and dung and shrub brush could be collected, providing a rela-
tively reliable source of fuel. Sustained support for communal reforestation no longer
existed and once the first plantation was established, many members of the commu-
nity resisted expansion of the existing plantation site for the next twenty -years.

A Welcomed Plan

As arranged by formal contract, Compone's first plantation was to be developed on a "coopera-
tive" basis with the Ministry of Agriculture. The Ministry agreed to feed and pay workers, provide
tools, and equipment and other necessary items on loan. In compensation for this assistance, the
Ministry was to receive 30% of the revenue for all sales from the plantation Ilncluding branches
and trunks) for the next 25 years. Compone would receive the rest.

The agreement was opposed by only a small number of wealthy community members all of
whom were either employees or stewards of the Sullupucjio hacienda and had little stake in realiz-
ing community self-sufficiency Aside Irom this group, tree planting was approved unanimously by
both the women and men of Compone.

Concerns About Expansion

The ease with which Compone's first plantation was established soon encouraged forestry olt-
cials to propose expansion of the original site This lime events developed differently Although
community leaders were enthusiastic about the proposal, many community members were not Vil-
lagers gave a number of explanations for their disapproval. Many of those who opposed the pro-
posal felt that land was still too scarce to devote more to plantation cover. Others pointed out that
the land designated lor the expanded plantation was irrigated and much too precious to be used for
a forest plantation One ol the villagers' strongest objections was that. since the land in question
had already been reserved for distribution in the future. II should be left alone.

Community Forestry Case Study 7

An agreement to begin a new plantation with a loan from the International Devel-
opment Bank was first reached again in Compone in 1983, two decades after the
start of the first plantation. As in the three other villages, a decisive factor behind
the proposal's approval was the fact that the original site could only be logged if a
new site was approved at the same time. Given the reluctance to expand reforesta-
tion, it was not easy to agree on the location and size of the new site. While one
small site was eventually chosen, a number of poor households were adversely
affected and the resistance of these villagers actually limited the possibility for real

Different Perspectives on a Common Resource

As before, the second community reforeslalion project required the approval ol community
leaders, community households and forestry officials. The first debate was over which site to
select Forestry officials argued that some 100 na ot prime plantation land were available in the
community, largely on community entrda plots. While some community leaders agreed, others did
not and proposed replanting a smaller area.

In the end. lorestrv officials modified their proposal and the Village Assembly approved a
plan to establish a 15 ha eucalyptus plantation. The area included hillside land not yet being
cultivated in Ihe village's entrada system, and thus not yet assigned to an individual house-

Although on Ihe surface the community seemed generally to approve of the second plantallon
site, problems arose as soon as implementation began. As the first seedlings were planted, a num-
ber of poor community members strongly objected to the fact that the site cut into resources they
depended on. Other community members were disappointed when they were given pine seedlings
to plant instead ol the promised eucalyptus seedlings. Not surprisingly, very few of the seedlings
planted in the village woodlot took root.

In the early 1980s, villagers began to plan to sell their first communal plantation,
the Acllahuasi forest, to pay off the village's debt to the State Forestry Service and
fund electrification of the village's central sector. The sale did not go well.
Although the proceeds did help fund electrification, the price the village received
for the wood was far below the market price. As in other villages, this encouraged
many in the community to demand that all communal forests be reserved first and
foremost for use by local villagers.

It was not long before some villagers suggested that perhaps the only way to guar-
antee the benefits of the common property plantations for all residents was to
allow community members to harvest the woodlots themselves. Some community
members continued to argue that village woodlots were the only source of revenue
for funding village improvement projects and paying-off village debts. Further dis-
agreement arose over who would be allowed to harvest which trees. As the village
agreed to reserve a major portion of the second woodlot for local use, a number of
wealthier families tried to take possession of the largest number of trees, particu-

2. The second stage
(1983 onwards):
Implicit resistance

Use of the village

The forest for the people

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

A Losing Deal

The sudden opportunity to bring electricity to the area ultimately worked against the village as it
prepared to sell Ihe Acllahuasi forest. The urgency with which villagers approached the sale gave
interested merchants a large bargaining advantage. To the villagers' chagrin, forestry officers
played a large role in setting unacceptably low prices for timber. Official forestry valuations were
based on an assessment of only the thicker trees. Thus, thousands of trees below 14-15 cm in
diameter were left out of the woodlol assessment. While the village rejected the low prices at first.
the approaching payment deadlines on community works like electrification made it difficult for the
villagers to hold out for a more favourable assessment.

In 1985, in one last attempt to obtain a better deal, village leaders entrusted the sale to several
forestry officials. The money that was ultimately received was far less than the amount the village
had turned down two years earlier. The satisfied middleman proceeded to harvest the woodlot,
removing its best and thickest trees first. In the end, the village had sold the whole forest without
realizing that the middleman had really paid for only part of it.

larly those with the thickest trunks, arguing that distribution should be based on
criteria such as age and number of children. The conflict crippled the village's
attempt to open the woodlot to local use. Some charge that wealthier families, that
have been able to sell more eucalyptus trees off of home plots, continue to resist
the idea of reserving the village woodlot for local use because they want to keep
local timber prices high.

New Communal Forest Pay for New Forestry Debts

As the first plantation approached maturity considerable interest in allowing local direct use
already existed Interest was particularly great once the village gained access to new lands for dis-
tribution to individual families after liquidation of the Tupac Amaru cooperative in 1978. A number
of families received lots near the area's only highway, and many families planned to relocate their
homes to the site; there was a sudden surge in demand for building materials.

Use of the communal plantation was hindered by two factors: the relative immaturity of the
trees and the obligation to pay the State Forestry Service 30%" of the value of the harvest In order
to pay the State, the village fell compelled to sell its first harvest rather than reserve the trees for
villagers. The prices being offered by middlemen for the young lot were. however, unacceptably
low. Many villagers wanted to gel limber to build new homes and they frequently supplemented
traditional sources of building materials with clandestinely felled logs from the Acllahuasi forest

Distribution of Although the costs of reforestation were shared fairly equally during the first phase
benefits of plantation development, its benefits were not. As with Equecco-Chacin, the
biggest winners in the first harvest appeared to be the middleman and the State
Forestry Service (which was assured of 30% of the lot's market value). Since the
proceeds were primarily used to fund electrification of the central sector of Com-
pone, households living in this area around 70% of the community, also benefit-
ed. Some families were able to electrify several buildings.

Community Forestry Case Study 7

Fig. 21
The low prices that are

for the village.

Fig. 22
The women of Compone
support sale of
eucalyptus wood to the
community itself.

Electricity never reached the outlying sectors of the Compone community, com-
posed mostly of poor households. These families obtained virtually no direct bene-
fit from the village plantation. A few poor villagers benefited only by secretly har-
vesting timber and fuelwood.

Disputes over control of new communal resources and distribution of the benefits
of communal resources continue to characterize Compone's plantation manage-
ment. Community reforestation began early in Compone, but to this day, many
conflicts remain unresolved.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru



To forestry officials and development agencies, the starkly deforested landscape of
the upland region around Cuzco city called for efforts to plant trees. Given the his-
toric precedent of communal work in the area, it was assumed that communal for-
est plantations would be the simplest way to meet the fuelwood and building mate-
rial needs of the inhabitants. In reality the situation proved much more complicat-
ed. From the communities' perspective, village plantations could indeed be a valu-
able community asset. However, factors emerged that often worked against com-
munal tree farming.

The process of communal reforestation described in the case studies suggests that
one of the most dominant factors influencing the development of communal wood-
lots is land availability. All the villages have had to cope with a long history of land
scarcity. This has been a major constraint to the promotion of communal work in
general and the initiation of communal reforestation projects in particular. Popula-
tion growth and attempts by nearby estates to monopolize land resources have put
unrelenting pressure on villagers to move away from communal farming and subdi-
vide most communal property. Of the four villages, only Compone managed to ease
the land shortage to a certain extent by acquiring land from a neighboring hacien-
da well before Agrarian Reform. Even then, however, villagers did not accept a
government encouraged production cooperative. Despite government officials' pre-
conceptions about the deep-rooted tradition of communal farming in the Cuzco
uplands, by the late 1960s conditions were unfavourable for establishment of size-
able communally-owned and managed woodlots in any of the villages studied.

It is important to note that, in theory, community members were not opposed to
giving up land for community plantations. Rather, their main concern was that
sites chosen for reforestation not take up any badly needed arable land or centrally
located pasture. Often, however, the chosen sites were precisely those valuable

Availability of land

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Chapter 6



areas. The villagers, once supportive of community reforestation, became reluctant
to continue or expand planting. In Ccorao and Compone, where the earliest com-
munity reforestation efforts proved quite successful, resistance to reforestation
sharpened when it became clear that proposed tree planting was to take place on
valuable rather than marginal land.

In many cases, even where land was not being used for cultivation, planting
meant loss of convenient grazing area. This proved to be a particular hardship for
poorer households with no alternative pasture, or insufficient available labour to
take livestock to distant grazing areas. Women, who often bore the primary
responsibility for tending livestock, were particularly disadvantaged. Not surpris-
ingly, in Ccorao village, women proved to be among the staunchest opponents to
community tree plantations.

In a few cases, land scarcity and the need to protect an area from encroachment by
outsiders encouraged villagers to emphasize their property claims by starting com-
munity woodlots in disputed areas. This seemed to be an important factor behind
renewed interest in communal reforestation in Ccorao village in the early 1980s. In
the other villages however, the lack of a systematic land management system
allowed outsiders a greater chance to claim the apparently neglected area. The
pressure to ensure closer supervision over such land, by placing it firmly in control
of individual families, limited the possibility for communal forestry in the future.

The impact of land availability on support for communal reforestation was high-
lighted when Agrarian Reform made more land available. Opposition to tree plan-
tations on village property softened; the availability of farmland made conversion
of land to forest seem a smaller sacrifice.

Whether there will be continued support for community forestry remains unclear.
In the case of Equecco-Chacin for example, renewed support for reforestation fol-
lowing Agrarian Reform was linked to the explicit promise by community leaders
to award new parcels of land to those households that lost land to reforestation.
Similarly in Ccollana-Chequerec, active participation in tree planting and woodlot
management was linked to their belief that all Agrarian Reform land that was
being farmed communally would eventually be subdivided. Participation in com-
munal reforestation was seen as one way to ensure the household's eventual enti-
tlement to some of this land. Even while communal farming was actively pursued,
there remained strong expectation that participation would eventually lead to larger
individual family plots rather than larger communal tree lots.

Availability of labour Another factor that affects enthusiasm for communal tree farming is the availabili-
ty of labour. Planting and managing community plantations requires considerable
labour inputs. In Cuzco many outsiders assumed that labour would be easily avail-

54 Community Forestry Case Study 7

able thanks to the area's long tradition offaenas. In reality, farming households did
not have large amounts of free time. Household members needed to weigh the
demands of faena work against individual work requirements. Often, farmers
found themselves with little time for faena work.

The poor and those with little or no land faced particular constraints in allocat-
ing labour to community projects. The need to make a living through wage
labour or group work on nearby haciendas and in distant towns, limited the
amount of time these households had to contribute to communal efforts. In the
case of Ccollana-Chequerec, for example, Agrarian Reform did little to improve
the conditions of poor farmers who remained dependent on work for neighbour-
ing hacienda owners to obtain income and access to equipment. These were
among the earliest community members to stop participating actively in faenas
following Agrarian Reform. As the lack of village labour made it difficult to
farm or reforest community property, the property fell into neglect; consequent-
ly, the pressure to subdivide such plots often overrode plans to continue manag-
ing them collectively.

The problem of recruiting labour for reforestation appears to be more successfully
addressed when wages are offered to those villagers that plant and manage com-
munity trees. In Equecco-Chacan, one of the reasons communal replanting got off
to a strong start was because daily wages were paid to tree planters. The communi-
ty saw the project as a source of income rather than a drain on time.

In all four villages the conditions contained in the project contracts between the
villages and the Forestry Department negatively affected communal reforestation
efforts and the distribution of its benefits. The contracts sought to ensure that any
loss of community forest area through harvesting would be compensated for by
new planting efforts; in other words, to harvest an old lot, a village was obliged
to develop a new one. This condition often provided the major impetus behind
new plantations. However, villagers saw this as an imposition placed upon them
by outsiders. Considerable resentment and opposition were sparked when vil-
lagers found themselves losing more arable land to reforestation in order to real-
ize benefits from the original site. Moreover, the inflexible obligation that refor-
estation contracts placed on the villages to pay 30% of their harvested woodlot's
market value to the government, often made it difficult for the communities to
realize any net benefits. The debt caused villagers to feel bound to sell their tim-
ber at a high price to middlemen, rather than provide the timber at lower prices
to community members. Frequently, in any case, the prices paid by middlemen
proved unsatisfactory. And such experiences made villagers reluctant to agree to
further reforestation. Proposals to begin new sites were often dismissed for fear
of commitment to the loss of more valuable land with little, if any, direct benefit
in return.

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru

Contract conditions

Availability of
alternative forest

Income and emerging
class differences

Foresters assumed that the constant shortage of fuelwood would be a major impe-
tus for village-wide reforestation. Indeed, the need for fuelwood and building
materials mobilized varying degrees of local support for community woodlots. It is
important to note, however, that, in many cases, despite apparent local shortages of
fuelwood, poles and other building timber, farming households met a good part of
their needs through alternative sources such as native shrubs, dung, family-to-fam-
ily exchange (i.e., ayni) and barter with outside suppliers.

In other words, although families were concerned about fuelwood and building
material shortages it was not necessarily their primary concern. Local demand for
new sources of wood may have been significantly reduced by the availability of
eucalyptus trees grown on home lots, a phenomenon that often accompanied com-
munity-based reforestation. Indeed, as community woodlots matured, the tendency
appears to have been to sell them and use the revenue to fund other community
projects, such as electrification, rather than consume the wood locally.

The socio-economic and political structure of the village community seems to
greatly affect both the process of communal reforestation and the distribution of
its costs and benefits. Significant socio-economic differences within the commu-
nity tend to translate into vastly different priorities concerning the management of
village resources. Reforestation on community lands often means greater costs for
poorer community members than their relatively better-off neighbours who are
less dependent on access to village property. In the communities studied, poorer
community members were often some of the greatest opponents to larger refor-
estation projects.

At the same time, as community woodlots were established, it was often the mem-
bers of the community with larger individual plots who could take greatest advan-
tage of the availability of eucalyptus seedlings to plant trees on their own land.
Once their own trees matured these families were less interested in using the com-
munity woodlots to provide materials for local use. Their priority was often to
manage the community woodlot as a community enterprise, selling its timber to
merchants to acquire revenue for other village needs.

Given these differences in perspective, it is not surprising that, when time came to
decide whether to establish new plantations or harvest existing ones, sharp dis-
agreements often arose. Agreement was often only reached when Village Assem-
blies were poorly attended. In these cases, many members of the community
became disgruntled and alienated, greatly increasing the likelihood that such pro-
jects would be passively resisted or even sabotaged.

Reforestation seemed to be more easily accepted in communities like Compone
where middle income families predominated and resources were more evenly

56 Community Forestry Case Study 7

distributed. In such places, agreement seemed easier to achieve than it did in
Ccollana-Chequerec and Ccorao. It should be noted, however, that even in
Compone, expanded reforestation was eventually resisted by poorer households
that saw the common property fallow and pasture land they depended on,

Communal reforestation caused conflicts of interest between male and female
community members. In Ccollana-Chequerec, closure of the village plantation to
locals spelled hardship, particularly for the women of the village. In both Ccol-
lana-Chequerec and Ccorao, a major complaint among women was that use of vil-
lage lands for forestry meant an increase in the time and energy needed to tend
livestock on more distant pastures. Women tended to be shut out of formal Assem-
blies in most of the villages studied. They commonly remarked that when the
theme of the assembly was known already they greatly influenced the men's deci-
sions. When the meetings were called in great haste the women felt more isolated
from the decision-making process. A conflict of interest became evident however
only when project implementation began; women often continued to allow live-
stock to graze in plantation areas, damaging the young trees.

By contrast, the case of Equecco-Chacin shows that where women were more
organized and had a greater voice in the Village Assembly, they also enjoyed
greater power to shape the process of community reforestation. It is no coincidence
that the site selected by the Equecco-Chacan Village Assembly for the original
plantation was of truly marginal farming quality, was not being farmed by any of
the village households, and was not part of the village's core grazing land. In this
case, a greater degree of approval for reforestation was secured among the women
from the start, lessening the risk of passive resistance later.

Differences in socio-economic and political strength sometimes corresponded to
geographic lines. Households of more limited means seem to be concentrated in
certain areas of a village or in individual annexes. As in the case of Equecco-
Chacan, such disparity worsened when political power over community resources
remained concentrated in the central or parent community, allowing this group to
make resource use decisions that often favoured its interests over those of other
sectors. The resulting tensions made coordination of village-wide reforestation dif-
ficult in the long run.

The concentration of power in the hands of specific leaders did not always benefit
communal plantation development. The support of a strong village leadership
could be instrumental in getting reforestation started. Unilateral decision-making
by leaders was, however, usually not sufficient to reduce underlying resistance
from the community-at-large. In some cases, it may have exacerbated opposition
to reforestation. Furthermore, the concentration of power and knowledge of legal

Four Communities in the Department of Cuzco, Peru


Geographic divisions

Community leadership


External agents

procedures in the hands of a few, sometimes appeared to encourage abuse and even
corruption. This, in turn, increased opposition to further reforestation.

The outcome of community reforestation in all of the villages was directly affected
by outside agents. Middlemen lobbied for and obtained terms of sale that were
extraordinarily favourable to themselves. In several instances, an extension agent
or forestry worker, whom the community had initially trusted, and on whom it
depended to authorize its tree sales, appeared to act on behalf of a middleman,
underestimating the true value of the woodlot and sometimes pressuring the com-
munity to accept the proposed contract regardless of its terms. In the worst cases,
villagers eventually felt obliged to sell more timber than they had planned, at
prices far lower than they expected. This prevented the community from realizing
any substantial benefit from their own reforestation projects. It is not surprising
that over the long-term, such experiences made villagers extremely wary of new
reforestation projects.

Summary The case studies reveal a complex set of factors at play in the process of village
reforestation. While communal work was traditional in the communities of the
Cuzco uplands, changing patterns of ownership and power, as well as a changing
relationship to the outside world, made the possibility of long-term communal
arrangements much more difficult. Some factors, such as constant shortages of
local fuelwood, the promises of tangible benefits, and familiarity with communal
work, appear to have encouraged rural villagers to engage in community-based
forest management. Other factors, however, posed severe obstacles to and caused
great dissatisfaction with communal reforestation. Some factors may even have
facilitated reforestation at one time and discouraged it at others.

Where community plantations appear to have been successful in one case, their
replication at another time or in another village was not guaranteed. When outside
agencies and local communities begin to work together on reforestation, there is no
substitute for a sensitive and realistic assessment of local needs, customs, socio-
economic structures and social relations.

Community Forestry Case Study 7


Community Forestry Notes

I. Household food security and forestry: an analysis of socio-economic issues

2. Participatory assessment, monitoring and evaluation in community forestry

3. Rapid appraisal

4. Herders' decision-making in natural resources management in arid and semi-arid

5. Rapid appraisal of tree and land tenure

6. The major significance of 'minor' forest products: the local use and value of forests
in the West African humid forest zone

7. Community forestry: ten years in review

8. Shifting cultivators: local technical knowledge and natural resource management
in the humid tropics

9. Socio-economic attributes of trees and tree planting practices

10. A framework for analyzing institutional incentives in community forestry

Community Forestry Field Manuals

I. Guidelines for planning, monitoring and evaluating cookstove programmes

2. The community's toolbox the idea, methods and tools for participatory assessment,
monitoring and evaluation in community forestry

3. Guidelines for integrating nutrition concerns into forestry projects

Community Forestry Case Studies

I. Case studies of farm forestry and wasteland development in Gujarat, India

2. Forestland for the people: a village forest project in northeast Thailand

3. Women's role in dynamic forest-based small scale enterprises case studies on uppage
and lacquerware from India

4. Case studies in forest-based small scale enterprises in Asia rattan, matchmaking and

5. Social and economic incentives for smallholder tree growing A case study from
Murang'a District, Kenya

6. Shifting cultivators of Indonesia: marauders or managers of the forest? Rice production
and forest use among the Uma'Jalan of East Kalimantan, Indonesia.

7. Peasant participation and community reforestation Four communities in the Department
of Cuzco, Peru

V Charcoal in northeast Thailand: rapid rural appraisal of a wood-based small-scale

V Community forestry: lessons from case studies in asia and the pacific region


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs