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Sustainable Forest Management in Rural Nicaragua: Self-Reported Household Behavior and Stated Management Preferences in ...


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SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN RURAL NICARAGUA: SELF-REPORTED HOUSEHOLD BEHAVIOR AND STATED MANAGEMENT PREFERENCES IN SANTO TOMS, CHONTALES By JENSEN REITZ MONTAMBAULT A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2004

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Copyright 2004 by Jensen Reitz Montambault

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This thesis is dedicated to my husband, my parents and my stepparents who have provided unconditional love, patience and support on my journey through life and my academic career.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The implementation of this study and production of this thesis were made possible by the immeasurable support of various individuals and institutions at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Before all others I am grateful for the constant guidance and support of my advisor and mentor Janaki R.R. Alavalapati of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation. My masters committee graciously provided the additional insight and assistance necessary for a constructive term of study and quality research; my thanks goes out to Tom Ankersen of the Levin College of Law and Tom Hammett of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia. Invaluable logistic assistance and administrative advice were also cheerfully afforded by Cathy Ritchie, Meisha Wade and Stephen Humphrey of the School of Natural Resources and Environment; Scott Sager, Cherie Arias, Sherry Tucker, Cale Batey, Marie Meldrum and Winnie Lante of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation; and Hannah Covert and Wanda Carter of the Tropical Conservation and Development Program in the Center for Latin American Studies. This research was made possible by the generous support of the Tropical Conservation and Development Program, Tinker Foundation and School of Natural Resources and Environment. The material is also based upon work supported under a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and iv

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do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, or other supporters. The success of this fieldwork is shared with my field assistant Juana Borge Cabrera and many other friends and colleagues from Santo Toms, Chontales, and the region. Special thanks are extended to local delegations of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECD) and the Ministry of Health (MINSA), the Ministry of the Environment Juigalpa (MARENA), the Santo Toms mayors office, the Santo Toms Roman Catholic Church, Nicaraguan Red Cross of Santo Toms, Advances Credit Union, Radio Chontalea, Municipal Environmental Commission (CAM), and the Cattle Ranching Cooperative of Santo Toms, Ros de Leche. Additional recognition goes to the dedication of rural school teachers whose assistance in the field was critical to the projects implementation. v

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES ...........................................................................................................ix ABSTRACT .........................................................................................................................x CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Theoretical Basis for the Study.....................................................................................3 Needs Hierarchy....................................................................................................4 Diffusion Theory...................................................................................................5 Nicaragua......................................................................................................................6 Perverse Effects of Nicaraguan Forest Policy.......................................................7 The Agricultural Frontier......................................................................................9 Social Issues and Sustainable Forest Management.............................................13 Research Questions.....................................................................................................15 Problem Statement and Rationale.......................................................................15 Research Objective and Questions......................................................................16 Thesis Overview..................................................................................................16 2 STUDY AREA...........................................................................................................17 Physical and Biological Description...........................................................................17 Ecological Understanding...........................................................................................19 Socioeconomic Description........................................................................................21 History.................................................................................................................21 Demographics......................................................................................................23 Economy and Land-Use......................................................................................24 3 METHODS.................................................................................................................27 Survey Questionnaire..................................................................................................27 Development and Pretesting................................................................................27 Sampling Design.................................................................................................29 vi

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Data Analysis.......................................................................................................30 Dependent Variables...................................................................................................30 Household Behavior Index..................................................................................31 Rationale for Weightings.....................................................................................32 Forest Management Preference Index.................................................................33 Rationale for Weightings.....................................................................................34 Independent Variables................................................................................................35 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION.................................................................................38 Descriptive Results.....................................................................................................38 Socioeconomic Characterization.........................................................................38 Household Behavior............................................................................................41 Stated Management Preference...........................................................................41 Bivariate Correlations.................................................................................................42 Regression Analysis....................................................................................................44 5 CONCLUSIONS........................................................................................................48 General Synthesis.......................................................................................................48 Research Findings.......................................................................................................50 Comments on the Survey Questionnaire Tool............................................................51 Limitations to Self-Reported Behavior and Stated Preference Analyses............52 Index Development.............................................................................................53 Directions for Future Study........................................................................................53 APPENDIX A SURVEY OF THE SANTO TOMS MUNICIPALITY INHABITANTS ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ENVIRONMENT..........................56 B ENCUESTA SOBRE LOS HABITANTES DEL MUNICIPIO DE SANTO TOMS Y SU RELACIN CON EL MEDIO AMBIENTE....................................60 C VARIETY OF TREES SELF-REPORTED ON FARMS IN SANTO TOMS, CHONTALES.............................................................................................................64 D ON-FARM TREE DIVERSITY.................................................................................70 E DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FROM QUESTIONNAIRE DATA..........................73 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................77 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................85 vii

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 A timeline of generalized regimes and influences of the expansion of the agricultural frontier..................................................................................................12 3-1 Response values used to calculate the Household Behavior Index..........................31 3-2 Bivariate and alternative values for response used to calculate the forest management preference index..................................................................................33 3-3 Expected coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables when regressed against two dependent variables...............................................................36 4-1 Data was sorted by rural and urban respondents and a students t-test was used to determine whether the detected variation was significant...................................39 4-2 Response values used to calculate the household behavior index............................40 4-3 Response values used to calculate stated forest management preference index......41 4-4 Significant relationships between independent variables.........................................42 4-5 Unstandardized coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables when regressed against two dependent variables.....................................................44 D-1 Independent variables and their expected and actual effect on tree diversity..........71 viii

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 1-1 Graphic representation of the eastward progression of Nicaraguas agricultural frontier......................................................................................................................13 2-1 Urban and rural areas surveyed in Santo Toms, Department of Chontales, Nicaragua.................................................................................................................18 2-2 Land vocation in Santo Toms, Chontales...............................................................25 2-3 Actual land use in Santo Toms, Chontales.............................................................26 5-1 Significant relationships revealed by regression analysis and bivariate correlation can be synthesized into a single figure based on common links............50 ix

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Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN RURAL NICARAGUA: SELF-REPORTED HOUSEHOLD BEHAVIOR AND STATED MANAGEMENT PREFERENCES IN SANTO TOMS, CHONTALES By Jensen Reitz Montambault August 2004 Chair: Janaki R.R. Alavalapati Major Department: School of Natural Resources and Environment The increasing human population exacerbates pressure on limited natural resources worldwide. Rapid conversion of tropical forests to cattle ranching and agriculture results in a legacy of environmental and economic problems at many scales. For example, the municipality of Santo Toms, Chontales, in Nicaragua, originally part of largest Neotropical rainforest north of the Amazon and now 80% active/abandoned cattle pasture, is currently experiencing widespread household water and forest product shortages caused by deforestation/degradation. Nicaraguas current forest management policy requires annual management plans too cumbersome for small-scale forests on farms, indirectly contributing to continued conversion of forests to cattle pasture so that Nicaragua now has the highest deforestation rate in Central America. Cattle ranching is supported by the current sociopolitical climate but employs few people relative to agriculture, forestry and industry and requires massive amounts of land causing severe economic disparity as well as long-term environmental disservices. x

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Sustainable forest management is a goal of the Nicaraguan government, but is clearly not being implemented on the ground. Forest policy can adapt to on-the-ground realities by understanding existing household behavior affecting the environment, examining public preference for sustainable management, and analyzing and adjusting policy to reinforce sustainable management preferences with incentives for conservation behavior. This study investigates the socioeconomic distinctions between groups of respondents professing different preferences and household behaviors related to sustainable forest management. This study used 100 survey questionnaires to develop a household behavior index and forest management preference index in order to explore the questions: What causes conservation behavior in households? How are behavior and stated sustainable management preferences related? The results of this study suggest that younger people in Santo Toms tend to favor more sustainable forest management practices. This may be due in part to the fact that the limits of Nicaraguan forest resources are much clearer now than for previous generations. Alternatively, young people tend to be more educated and have households in urban areas and so may have more confidence in securing alternative livelihoods. In addition, the sociopolitical history surrounding the 1979-90 Sandinista revolution and ensuing civil war may influence older residence to be more cautious in adopting innovative practices for managing forest fragments on private land. Larger households, on the other hand, tended to behave in less sustainable ways, possibly out of necessity. Rural households strongly favored conversion of forest to cattle pasture and differed significantly from urban households in terms of lower education and employment and larger household size. xi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The dilemma of human population growth and the finite natural resources on this planet has troubled philosophers throughout the ages. Specific applications depend on physical delineations, temporal scales and the subjective measures of quality of life. Developing countries such as Nicaragua have traditionally relied on vast expanses of territory to relieve social pressures caused by increased population, natural disasters and political crises 1 (Utting 1993). Sustainable management of forest resources, 2 once considered limitless, currently challenges both tropical and temperate countries. Global interest in collective benefits from environmental conservation has also made sustainable management a priority in countries receiving significant amounts of foreign aid. 3 Expansionist attitudes popularized during the Green Revolution are giving way to a mantra of sustainable economic development and environmental conservation. The increasing human population exacerbates pressure on limited natural resources worldwide. The human population currently stands at 6.15 billion and is projected to grow to 7.18 billion by the year 2015 (UNDP 2003), while forest cover is decreasing at a 1 Recent crises include Hurricanes Joan (1988) and Mitch (1998) as well as restitution to Sandinista and Contra fighters and repatriated wartime refugees (Ortega 1991), some of whom continue to lobby the government for land grants to this day. 2 Although precise definitions of sustainable forest management are open to debate, the term here refers to the definition by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), "a set of objectives and outcomes consistent with maintaining or improving the forests ecological integrity and contributing to peoples well-being both now and in the future." Definition by the Nicaraguan government appears later in this chapter. 3 The latest available figure indicated that in 1990 Nicaraguas official development assistance comprised 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (UNDP 2003). 1

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2 rate of 0.38% annually (FAO 2003). General equilibrium models have shown that limits to economic growth and prosperity may be based on renewable and non-renewable natural resources (Ricker 1997), warranting concern for sustainable growth based in natural resource management. In Central America and the Brazilian Amazon region increased human pressure has manifested itself primarily as conversion of vast expanses of rain forest to cattle pasture (Buschbacher 1986, Kaimowitz et al. 2004), in many cases irrevocably interrupting the forest ecosystem functioning on a local and watershed level (Maass 1995). Large-scale or industrial agriculture operations (e.g., soy) limit soil recovery potential while under-developed infrastructure makes chemical nutrient replacement impracticable (Buschbacher 1986). Pasture reclamation techniques represent imminent concern for the regions environment and depend on technological and socioeconomic factors, especially government subsidies and price controls (Serro and Toledo 1992). Rapid conversion of tropical forests to cattle ranching and agriculture, however, also results in a legacy of environmental and economic problems at smaller scales. For example, the municipality of Santo Toms, Chontales in Nicaragua was originally part of the largest contiguous Neotropical rainforest north of the Amazon and is now 80% active/abandoned cattle pasture (PEP 2001). As a result it is currently experiencing widespread household water and forest product shortages caused by deforestation and forest degradation. A context for effecting change to these watershed-level problems can be established by examining household behavior and attitudes toward sustainable forest management practices. Existing public policies, both explicit and implicit, 4 also 4 Johnston and Lorraine (1994) portray explicit policies as laws, regulations and technical standards giving examples such as: pesticide subsidies, protected area demarcation and declaration, idle land tax and

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3 influence how heads of household perceive the importance and feasibility of forest conservation. This chapter discusses household behavior and stated management preferences in rural Nicaragua in the context of global and regional natural resource conservation and the theoretical structure supporting the tenuous connection between peoples self-reported actions and expressed preferences. Theoretical Basis for the Study The extent of moist tropical forests disappearance for economic development has been well established (e.g. Brooks et al. 2002, Faris 1999, Kaimowitz et al. 2004). Although the conundrum of integrated conservation and development projects has been addressed by non-governmental organizations, regulatory agencies, as well as academics, deforestation for cattle ranching continues to be the primary source of biodiversity and forest cover loss in Latin American biodiversity hotspots (Brooks et al. 2002). Schmink (1987) argues that while an impoverished country, such as Brazil, destroying its greatest natural assets appears irrational from a long-term planning perspective, the small institutional steps resulting in massive deforestation are actually state policies responding to constituent pressure, corporate interests combined with the impoverished masses. This phenomenon appears to be widespread in Latin America (e.g., Collins 1986). The rational result of the state satisfying large corporations that need sizable tracts of land to be economically profitable and assuaging the wrath of the disadvantaged are to permit the immediate exploitation of forested land. Resolving the environmental conservation versus economic development conundrum in particular developing country sites requires a minimum diameter for trees harvested for timber. Implicit policies, on the other hand, are described as the absence of a policy, practice or institutional characteristic [or a] value. Examples of implicit policies include generally accepted agency corruption, law enforcement permitting squatting or poaching (trees or animals) on an individual basis by and the attitude that natural resources are plentiful and unlimited or that poor people need and deserve land.

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4 creative problem solving on the part of policy-makers (Seely et al. 2003). Current Nicaraguan forest policy has been criticized for neglecting on-the-ground realities (Elizondo 1997, Larson 2000). Considering these realities within the following theoretical frameworks may help prescribing policy changes to better achieve both conservation and development goals. Needs Hierarchy Poverty has been strongly linked in many recent studies to natural forest degradation (Nduma et al. 2001, Swinton and Quiroz 2003). Therefore, a theoretical understanding of need-based human behavior is pivotal to dissecting the complex relationship between humans (i.e., residents of the Santo Toms municipality) and sustainable management of forest resources. Maslow, in his classic work Motivation and Personality (Maslow 1970), describes the difference between basic needs, higher needs and self-actualization. This scale can be applied on a personal level where an individual is concerned with survival needs such as food and shelter, and has higher needs such as serenity in the road to self-actualization. Several studies have addressed the link between asset levels, household behaviors and natural resource results (e.g., Bahamondes 2003, Parkins et al. 2003, Swinton et al. 2003). These note that policies to alleviate poverty and encourage biodiversity conservation not addressing these links often have perverse effects. Maslow argues that attitudes are often influenced by a cumulative satisfaction or frustration of these needs fulfillments. Countries or societies can also be placed on this scale, as well. A countrys available fair-market capital and combined basic necessities for survival of its human population drives the distribution of wealth, often leaving a small group with a disproportionate amount of wealth and a large group frustrated with less than what would

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5 be their equitable share (Solomon and Richmond 2001). Previous mentioned arguments for the rationality of converting rainforest to cattle ranching in developing countries are an example of this theory put into practice. A government with sufficient infrastructure to deal with social problems or a long-term vision for development will likely find wholesale deforestation a less attractive national option. As Maslows hierarchy of needs presents the situation, individuals or countries must satisfy their basic needs and then may have steadily increasing concern for the future. Many of the behaviors and preferences exhibited by respondents in this study might seem irrational in their socioeconomic context, but are rational given the state of insecurity faced by citizens of Nicaragua and other developing nations. Diffusion Theory The diffusion of innovation has been developed and refined by Everett M. Rogers over several decades (see 4 th edition Rogers 1995 and Rogers 2004 for a retrospective analysis), which dissects the process of a new concept being accepted or adopted by an individual, community or country. First introduced by anthropologists to study effects of modern tools and other innovations on traditional societies, the theory was applied by rural sociologists to the spreading use of hybrid corn by farmers in Iowa (Ryan and Gross 1943 as cited in Rogers 2004). Now diffusion of innovation is used to describe the dissemination of and acclimation to new ideas in a variety of fields including policy analysis, marketing and public health, making it transferable to the study of sustainable forest management practices. Sustainable forest management on a household level can be considered an innovation in Santo Toms because the culturally accepted norm in the agricultural frontier region of Nicaragua has been to conquer nature (Guerrero and Soriano 1992,

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6 Nygren 2004a). One of the key elements in the diffusion of any innovation is heterophily or the degree to which two or more individuals who interact are different in certain attributes (Rogers 1995). While communication tends to be easier between two people or groups that are more homogenous, information must flow between groups that are different for innovative ideas or practices to be diffused. Understanding what scocioeconomic factors differentiate groups who accept and do not accept different ideas, preferences or behaviors is a critical step in formulating a strategy to successfully diffuse the innovation throughout the community. A goal of the Nicaraguan government is sustainable forest management (Nicaragua 2000), but this is clearly not being implemented on the ground (Elizondo 1997, Faris 1999, Larson 2000, Nygren 2004b). This study investigates the socioeconomic distinctions between groups of respondents professing different preferences and household behaviors related to sustainable forest management. Under the diffusion of innovations theory, 5 understanding these distinctions may be key to achieving Nicaraguas stated goals. Nicaragua Nicaraguas current environmental conservation policy has unintended effects (Alves Milho 1996, Larson 2001) because it fails to take into account on-the-ground realities (Elizondo 1997). New forest laws requiring annual management plans for all 5 Another perspective is found in psychological studies addressing the theory of planned behavior, which addresses the power of attitudes to predict behavior (Ajzen 1988). Kaiser, Wolfing and Fuhrer (1999) use this theoretical framework to discuss why individuals appear to behave inconsistently with respect to behavior that would support sustainable environmental conservation. The authors propose that factual knowledge about ecological behavior contributes to attitude, which then competes with social norms to create behavior intention in an individual, or household, which then leads to actual behavior. This application of the theory of planned behavior complements the diffusion of innovation theory by showing the connection between knowledge awareness, acceptance and implementation. While some individuals might believe in or understand the importance of sustainable forest management, the social costs may be too high for them to change their behavior.

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7 forests on private land intended to ensure sustainable use are so cumbersome for small-scale landowners that they inadvertently encourage landowners to convert forests to cattle pasture. This is important in the context of both Nicaraguas environmental and economic sustainability. Because cattle ranching employs few people on a per acre basis as compared to agriculture and industry and requires massive amounts of land, severe economic disparity is created between those that own cattle ranches and those that do not. In addition, long-term environmental disservices are caused by loss of forest ecosystem functions (Maass 1995). Deforestation nationwide has produced a severe lack of fuelwood, watershed-level ecosystem degradation due to erosion and wind, as well as diminishing biodiversity (Sabogal 1992). Policy initiatives intended to address sustainable forest management have created certain perverse effects. Perverse Effects of Nicaraguan Forest Policy Policies implementing sudden forest management planning requirements and logging bans have been documented throughout Latin America as counter to sustainable forest conservation and management (Pool et al. 2001). In the case of the large-scale forestry operations, rules intended to ensure that timber extraction complies with environmental protection principles involve a bureaucratic process with newly developed and under-funded agencies making full compliance practically impossible in Nicaragua (Larson 2000) and other countries in Latin America, notably Peru, Bolivia and Brazil (Pool et al. 2001). Once adherence to laws is effectively compromised, there remains little incentive to implement any of the sometimes costly, time-consuming measures. In addition, many developing countries ignore the benefits of forests conservation on lands of small-scale producers although they represent a quarter of the total forest lands in these countries, tend to have higher product diversity and more efficient utilization of the

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8 under-employed labor force and marginalized land (Scherr et al. 2004). Required forest management plans are often too cumbersome for the reduced-scale and while large-scale operators might circumvent them through cronyism or bribes, these options are rarely available to farmers with small landholdings (Scherr et al. 2004). Therefore, in cases where sustainable management of forest areas are effectively discouraged by policies emphasizing these bureaucratic regulations, private landowners would rationally chose to convert the land to simpler, more productive agricultural use, such as cattle ranching. Nicaraguas current forest law (Ley para el Desarrollo y Fomento del Sector Forestal) declares that: Sustainable forest management is a forest classification system intended to obtain sustainable production of diverse timber and non-timber forest products into perpetuity with the involvement of stakeholders in design, implementation, evaluation and distribution of costs and benefits, in addition to the policies and actions inherent in their rights. (Nicaragua 2000, authors translation) 6 Implementation of this sustainable forest management is described in Articles 23-25, establishing that landholders also have the rights to their forest cover and derived benefits, provided that they comply with regulations for creating an annual forest management plan created or approved by the National Forest Institute (INAFOR). 7 Article 39 confers vigilance, control and protection of forests as described in the forest law to municipalities, in collaboration with INAFOR. Article 41 explicitly states that only those conforming to INAFORs forest management plans as delegated to the municipal government will be eligible for any benefits derived from forests on their land. This 6 This legislation was probably intended to address crises such as occurred when the state of Nicaragua approved a large-scale forest concession in the Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni community in a case that was argued at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Unclear tenure rights for this indigenous community were determined to be the cause of the issue (IACHR 2001). 7 Article 102 of Nicaraguas constitution states that natural resources represent national heritage and their conservation and rational exploitation is a right of the State.

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9 delegation of national goals to under-funded, under-staffed and under-trained municipal governments has led to the same nearly complete disregard for forest laws on a local level throughout Nicaragua (Larson 2000). Landowners are then left with the option to illegally, yet possibly still sustainably, exploit their forests at the risk of being penalized. On the other hand, forested areas could remain unexploited by the landowner and permitted to serve the ecological functions of watershed and biodiversity protection noted in the text of forestry law (Art. 40), yet little incentive besides personal altruism exists to follow this path. Finally, a landowner might choose to convert the forest to cattle pasture. 8 If this can be accomplished without attracting the attention of authorities, such as through wildfire or in season where the roads in the countryside are impassible to motor traffic, the landowner can then extract legal monetary gain from this terrain. When the bureaucratic process of legitimate forest management is such a cumbersome option, the rational choice for a landowner is to illicitly log or burn the remaining forested areas on their land and convert them to cattle production. A perverse effect of Nicaraguan forest policy is to facilitate the eastward progression of the agricultural frontier. The Agricultural Frontier Nicaraguas agricultural frontier development and expansion has been closely associated with political movements and has been summarized in Table 1-1. Nicaraguas old agricultural frontier (see Figure 1-2) is primarily located in the central region of the country and was integrated into the agricultural and market system in the decades 8 The rationale for this choice being that in small-scale operations, the profit from cattle ranching, even with a one-time penalty for illegal deforestation, may still exceed the profit from forestry with its continuous costs of an officially approved annual management plan.

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10 between the 1940s and 1960s (Maldidier and Marchetti 1996). In contrast, the new agricultural frontier is located primarily in the Atlantic region (Maldidier and Marchetti 1996) and agricultural encroachment into forested areas actively continues to this day. The municipality of Santo Toms spans both epochs of new and old colonization, although most of the municipality has been converted to agriculture and remaining forest is fragmented. 9 Although most of this activity took place fairly recently, the easterly movement of Nicaraguas agricultural frontier is based in the political and cultural structures established throughout the Spanish colonial period from 1524-1821 (Romero 2002), specifically industrial exploitation and the concentration of landholding rights into the hands of few (Deininger and Chamorro 2004). Exploitation of the countrys vast forest reserves began as early as the mid-eighteenth century when British settlers began extracting timber from the Atlantic Coast (Vilas 1989, Ambrogi 1996). In 1777 alone, one million cubic meters of mahogany were exported to London (Ambrogi 1996). The Atlantic region was considered a British protectorate from 1762 to 1860 when the gradual withdrawal of the British from this region was completed, bowing to United States pressure (Incer 2000). Capital investment by the United States soon followed and including Bragmans Bluff Timber Company (a subsidiary of United Fruit) from 1921 to 1931, Nicaragua Long Leaf Pine (NIPCO) from 9 The Santo Toms delegation of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECD) has observed a phenomenon of encroachment and annexation in which Santo Toms still has an active role in the eastward movement of the agricultural frontier (Briceo J, personal communication). Colonists from Santo Toms are reported to move into the neighboring departments, which do not pertain to Chontales, but rather the Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region, known as RAAS (Regin Autnoma Atlntica Sur). This encroachment into the forest resources of RAAS for cattle ranching has been so widely documented that it is termed the Chontalization of the Atlantic region (Incer 2000). Once families have settled in this area, they begin to petition the Santo Toms MECD, as well as the Ministry of Health (MISNA) and municipal government for services such as schools, clinics and roads. In some cases, anecdotal evidence demonstrates attempts to legally annex the territory into Santo Toms (Briceo J, personal communication).

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11 1950 to 1963, then the Atlantic Chemical Company (ATCHEMCO) from 1968 to 1990 (Nuz Soto 1996), which were substantial enough to influence national policy decisions. For example, in 1925 Bragmans had the largest number of salaried employees in Nicaragua (Vilas 1989) and its investments played a major role in United States decision to invade and subsequently occupy Nicaragua from 1909 to 1933 (Connell 2001). Dictatorial governments (1936-1979) reaped significant benefits from the continued exploitation of the forestry sector; Nicaraguas last dictator Anastasia Somosa, for example, was reputed to have received 10% of the profit from all timber and mining exports (Vilas 1989). What is now known as the old agricultural frontier includes Chontales and was colonized in the 1920s and 1930s for wood and rubber, and later converted to cattle pasture after World War II (Maldidier and Marchetti 1996). While the 1979 Sandinista revolution nationalized the forests, along with other natural resources, contra insurgent fighters persistently ambushed timber transports and sawmills (Nietschmann 1990) crippling the sectors infrastructure that has yet to rebound. Reduced access to international markets and cancellation of existing harvest concessions on government forest lands further weakened the forestry sector (Hammett et al. 1999), leaving agriculture the only economically viable land use. Fighting, however, in the Chontales area and other frontier regions led not only to decreased timber transport, but also to a decrease in cattle ranching as many rural people moved to the relative safety of cities and ranchers sold or butchered their animals before they were confiscated by either armed force (Nietschmann 1990). By the late 1980s, the government agrarian reform policy resettled marginalized peoples from over

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12 crowded regions of the Pacific coast to abandoned agricultural frontier lands to the east (Nygren 2004a, Vilas 1989). This was followed by a wave of settling repatriated wartime refugees from such diverse backgrounds as former national guard, those not accepting the Sandinista government and those who fled for economic reasons (Ortega 1991). At the same time, many former cattle ranchers were returning to their traditional lands placing additional pressure on remaining forest resources (Marin and Pauwels 2001). Table 1-1. A timeline of generalized regimes and influences of the expansion of the agricultural frontier. Date Dominant Regimes Effects on the Agricultural Frontier Pre-1906 Colonial and Conservative Republic Political movements of this time promoted industrial exploitation and the concentration of landholding rights into the hands of few. a 1906-1979 U.S. military occupation and dictatorships A government-led effort organized the consolidation of large-scale private land holdings to increase agricultural exports. b 1979-1990 Sandinista revolutionary government c Agrarian reform made former haciendas communal property later informally redistributed to families. Many ranchers retreat from farming to the relative safety of urban areas. d 1990-present Electoral democracy Sandinista and contra fighters granted land for subsistence. f Farmers displaced by fighting also attempt to return to frontier lands. Neoliberal government policies favor national production over dispute resolution. g a See Deininger and Chamorro (2004) and Romero (2002). b See Gibson 1996. c Shocks to the economy created by Sandinista government policies were augmented by the negative burden of the Contra insurgency covertly sponsored by the U.S. who also enacted a trade embargo against Nicaraguan exports (Connell 2001, Gibson 1996). d See Nietschmann (1990). f See Gonzales (2000) and Ortega (1991). g Interest payments on the accruing national debt equaled 124% of exports in 1996 posing a risk of placing creditors in charge of environmental and development sustainability (Gibson 1996). The debt remained three times the nations GDP with service payments of half the nations exports in 2004 (Mora 2004).

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13 Figure 1-1. Graphic representation of the eastward progression of Nicaraguas agricultural frontier (see Chapter 2 for more specific maps related to the study). The Santo Toms municipality is outlined in the southern central region of the country. Established agricultural zone Western edge represents the line of the old agricultural frontier (pre-1979) Western edge represents the line of the new agricultural frontier (post-1990) The convergence of people from disparate social and political backgrounds, each with what appeared to be legitimate claims to the same land led to many and occasionally violent land tenure disputes. As previously discussed in the section on perverse effects of forest policy, legislation created by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) have made it often more profitable to deforest and raise cattle than exploit forest resources (Larson 2000) and ambiguous land tenure makes potential investors uneasy (Castilleja 1993). As a result, those cultivating the land had very little real incentive to implement any sustainable forest management practices on their property. Social Issues and Sustainable Forest Management Nicaraguas government forestry sector has developed a set of guidelines for monitoring and evaluating forest management on a nationwide scale, but clearer and more attainable policy goals are needed (McGinly and Finegan 2003). Of the Central American countries with significant forest cover (Bermdez Rojas 1996), Nicaragua has

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14 by far the lowest population density (CIA 2003), yet despite high per capita natural resources, the country remains the second poorest in the western hemisphere (UNDP 2003). In an attempt stimulate the Nicaraguan economy the recent Alemn and Bolaos administrations (1996-present) have focused on increased productivity and land titling 10 rather than equitability issues (Nygren 2004a). Inadvertent results of this unqualified development emphasis have included increased disparity of wealth in cattle ranching regions and disregard of forest services in terms of environment and microeconomic contributions to society. The Gini index 11 (or disparity of wealth, 0 being perfect equity and 1 being perfect inequity) on the agricultural frontier is 0.81, indicating that resources are concentrated in the hands of a few (Vilas 1989). In a 2000 study of nearly 2,500 Nicaraguan households, land with forests was highly significantly correlated (p<0.01) with lack of secured tenure, as compared with land entirely under agriculture (Deininger and Chamorro 2004). This suggests that forested areas do not fit into the national land-tenure scheme. This thesis is further supported by the fact that Nicaraguas forests suffer from the highest rate of deforestation in Central America (Romero and Reyes Flores 2000), the primary cause of which is clearing land for cattle pasture (Bermdez Rojas 1996). While many engage in cattle and agricultural enterprises to expand economic prospects, 50% operate on land better suited for forest especially in Chontales and neighboring Boaco (Alves Milho 1996). Natural forests and forest remnants, as opposed to plantations, however, still 10 Land titling in Nicaragua has been linked to on-farm investments and land tenure security (Deininger and Chamorro 2004). 11 The Gini Index is the standard statistical measure used by development agencies to demonstrate how far the average household income distribution differs from perfect equality; the Nicaraguan national Gini index was 0.63 as of 1998 (UNDP 2003).

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15 provide fuelwood, fence posts, and construction materials to most people in the tropics (Fredericksen and Putz 2003). Both the macro-economic potential of industrialized forests and the micro-economic role of forests on a household level have been largely disregarded in favor of the traditional cattle ranching production. The Chontales region has a long tradition of cattle ranching (Guerrero and Soriano 1992). A study recently carried out in the neighboring department of Ro San Juan indicated that if presented with higher income, the majority of the representative group surveyed preferred to invest in more cattle and clear more area since increased cattle ranching is a cultural symbol of wealth and affluence in the central region of Nicaragua (Faris 1999). This suggests that forest conservation is a fairly new innovation in this society. Therefore, its adoption can be examined using Rogers theory that attitude and behavior are influenced by communication between groups with different socioeconomic characteristics. Understanding the complex factors determining household actions and preferences helps isolate implicit and explicit policy failures and guide future policy action. Research Questions Problem Statement and Rationale Exploring human population and limited natural resources constitute a global concern, one manifestation of which is the conversion of rich lowland forest reserves in the rural Neotropics into cattle ranching and commercial agriculture operations. Existing explicit sustainable forest management and conservation laws combined with implicit enforcement policies and circumstances have failed to control deforestation in Nicaragua, leading to biodiversity loss and localized basic needs crisis as water and fuelwood become increasingly scarce. Understanding behavior and attitudes toward forest

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16 conservation through self-reported behavior and stated preference for management options will enable policy makers to adapt incentives and penalties to better fit natural and economic realities. Research Objective and Questions The primary research objective is to investigate the socioeconomic distinctions between groups of respondents professing different preferences and household behaviors related to sustainable forest management. This objective was broken down into two specific research questions most applicable to the study site: Which socioeconomic factors influence household behavior in a forest and environmental conservation context? What is the relationship between households exhibiting certain behavior and stated sustainable forest management preferences? Thesis Overview The present chapter outlines the theoretical basis for this masters thesis and develops the research problem statement in a global, regional and philosophical context. Rationale and justification for the study is provided along with a brief history of Nicaraguas forest conservation policy. The next chapter represents a biophysical, economic and cultural overview of the study site. Chapter 3 covers the data collection and analysis methods, the results of which are then presented in chapter 4 along with detailed interpretations. The final chapter draws conclusions suggested by research findings and details potential directions for future study.

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CHAPTER 2 STUDY AREA The Atlantic coast of Nicaragua is part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, 1 the largest tract of contiguous Neotropical forest north of the Amazon (Mittermeier et al. 1999). The immediate threat facing the many endemic species in this area is deforestation, especially for cattle ranching (Brooks et al. 2002). The municipality of Santo Toms is located within the Department of Chontales and is typical of cattle ranching regions on Nicaraguas agricultural frontier (see Figure 2-1). Physical and Biological Description The municipality of Santo Toms, Chontales is located 180 km from the national capital of Managua on the eastbound highway known as the Rama Highway (Figure 2-1). The municipality covers an area roughly located between the longitude 846W and 85W and latitude between 11N and 12. Active and abandoned cattle pastures occupy approximately 80% of the land area with 15% of the land in primary and secondary forests and the remaining 5% devoted to the urban area and subsistence crop fields (PEP 2001). Major watersheds include the Escondido River and its primary tributary the Mico River. Micro-catchments, especially important for household water supplies are the Buln and Quipor Rivers and Matagua and Caracol Creeks (Anon 2003). 1 The biodiversity hotspots concept was originally published by Norman Myers in the late 1980s (cited and discussed in Myers 2003) and was revised by Myers et al. (2000) as a priority-setting tool for conservation biologists and organizations. The basic argument is that limited conservation resources should be focused on areas with a high numbers of endemic species (those which do not appear elsewhere in the world) and high risk of being destroyed soon. 17

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18 N icaragua Central America Urban Area Comarcas Surveyed Santo Toms, Chontales Figure 2-1. Urban and rural areas surveyed in Santo Toms, Department of Chontales, Nicaragua. Central America and Nicaragua maps from CIA 2003, Santo Toms map created by the author based on maps in PEP 2001 and those provided by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MEDC). The urban center is located at an elevation of 400 m above sea level (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). The remaining territory, however, encompasses a variety of elevation from peaks of over 700 m to valleys below 200 m (INITER 1989a, 1989b, 1989c) and

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19 rainfall zones from 1,400 to 3,000 mm (INITER 1990). The Santo Toms municipality also includes five distinct vegetation zones and crosscuts three of the four distinct ecological regions in Nicaragua (Salas Estrada 1993). These factors combined with the convergence of brown latisols, black and brown tropical soils and lithisols (Taylor 1963) make the area hospitable to a high number of floral and faunal species. The agricultural frontier advancement through this region followed the 1966 completion of the Rama Highway infrastructure (urinda Ramrez 2000), which linked the Pacific and Atlantic coasts for the first time. The road provided ranchers with a ready transportation to milk and beef markets, indirectly resulting in severe forest fragmentation. Studies of similar cases in Central America show that these networks of forest fragments can be expected to harbor remnant biodiversity (Matlock et al. 2002, Pither and Kellman 2002). As deforestation continues to advance nationwide at an unprecedented pace, the remaining forests in Santo Toms may be expected to contain samples for flora and fauna representative of a large part of Nicaragua. Understanding the ecology and socioeconomics governing the management of these remaining forests is critical step to conserving the natural diversity of the region. Ecological Understanding The ecology of the Chontales region has not been thoroughly assessed since observations made by the ecologist and mining engineer Thomas Belt in 1874 (Belt 1985 2 ), but this area is considered to be a point of ecological transition (Incer 2000). Chontales, along with all of Nicaragua, was subject to a remote sensing vegetation analysis by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) using data 2 Reprint edition.

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20 from 1996 and 1999 (MARENA 2003). Characterization of the vegetation by Salas Estrada (1993) indicates a high diversity of flora due to the rainfall and elevation gradients. Geoscientific investigations indicate that the main and secondary watersheds of the Escondido River are among the most contaminated in Central America due to upstream mining operations (Mendoza 2003), and laboratory tests of the Mico River have revealed cyanide and mercury deposits in the sediment (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). This localized combination of high biodiversity and severe threat makes the area a strong candidate for conservation efforts. However, like most of Nicaragua, baseline biological information for conservation effort is lacking (Gillespie 2002). Recent surveys in the nearby Indio-Maiz biosphere reserve have revealed new species of plants (e.g., Taylor 1999), however, only general anecdotal evidence is available for the flora and fauna of Santo Toms (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997, PEP 2001). An anecdotal list of trees derived from 100 survey interviews and additional expert contributions for the Santo Toms region was compiled during the course of this study. The list, found in Appendix C, includes 155 tree species known to exist on farms in Santo Toms as presented by indigenous knowledge. While indigenous knowledge of trees within farming systems has been shown to be comparable to scientific and laboratory tests (Walker et al. 1999) and has been used to develop species accumulation curves (Kristensen and Baslev 2003) and in conducting rapid biodiversity assessments (Hellier et al. 1999), formal taxonomic and ecological studies including baseline inventories of the flora and fauna in this area are still strongly recommended. An analysis of on-farm tree diversity can be found in Appendix D. The clear diversity and unstudied nature of the

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21 site indicates the importance of these baseline studies in this area where anthropogenic activities are the primary shapers of the landscape. Socioeconomic Description Dairy farms have been part of the Santo Toms region for over 150 years (Guerrero and Soriano 1992). Recently, however, deforestation for new cattle pasture has led to shortages in fuelwood, fence posts and construction materials. This has prompted local interest in and forest conservation largely because natural forests, as opposed to plantations, still provide these products throughout the tropics (Fredericksen and Putz 2003). Farmers and townspeople alike are concerned about the connection between increased deforestation and drying perennial streams, which are the primary water source for both rural and urban residents (PEP 2001). The practice of burning over cattle pastures has been blamed for widespread loss of soil infertility in Santo Toms (Anon 2003) and has been documented to spark wildfires destroying lowland forests in eastern Nicaragua (Romero and Reyes Flores 2000). As socioeconomic indicators are often strongly correlated with the interrelationship of environmental behaviors and attitudes, the following provides a general context for the research objectives. History Prior to Spanish occupation, the municipality of Santo Toms was settled by the Chontal indigenous group with its capital seat located in Lovigisca, 12 km from the current urban center in the rural district now known as Los Mollejones (Guerrero and Soriano 1969, INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). After a series of resettlements by the colonial government, the Nicaraguan republic officially founded the town of Santo Toms in its current location in 1861 (Guerrero and Soriano 1969, INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997).

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22 Because cattle, unlike most other natural resources and commodities, was neither taken over by dictators, nor nationalized in the communist Sandinista era (Romero 2002), development in Santo Toms has remained relatively steady since the late 1800s. Highly significant events included the construction of Rama Highway in 1966 (urinda Ramrez 2000) bringing large-scale commercial exploitation and individual transit into the region. The 1979 Sandinista revolution 3 and ensuing conflict which forced many to temporarily give up cattle ranching and farming (Nietschmann 1990). Hurricane Juana/Joan, which struck Santo Toms in 1988 reduced forest area, introduced refugees from the Atlantic region and set off an economic recession (PEP 2001). Since Violeta Chamorros 1990 presidential election, Santo Toms has responded to the decentralization process with booming economic growth due in part to increased traffic of the Rama Highway and also to increased safety in former military zones permitting farmers to expand cattle ranches and production into more rural areas. As the economy improves and infrastructure develops, more people immigrate to Santo Toms and more young people remain rather than seeking employment in cities such as Juigalpa (the department capital) or Managua. The increased population has led to greater pressure on diminishing forest and water resources (PEP 2001). In addition, the value of land near Santo Toms has increased as more people desire to live near its schools and commercial 3 Unprecedented environmental education campaigns through schools and extension programs were also a product of the Sandinista era. In addition, a 1988 decree gave the RAAN (Regin Autnoma Atlntica Norte) and RAAS (Regin Autnoma Atlntica Sur) a degree of political autonomy and the ability to elect their own governments (Incer 2000). These areas, formerly known as Zelaya, are also home to the three remaining indigenous groups, Miskito, Sumu and Rama, that comprise 2.7% of the total Nicaraguan population (Incer 2000). While these territories and reserves belonging to these indigenous groups are quite a distance from Santo Toms, the municipality does share a border with RAAS. The lack of organization in the RAAS government, tensions between mestizo, indigenous and Creole (English-speaking descendents of African slaves) groups and distance from its capital in Bluefields facilitate the encroachment of cattle pastures into the remaining primary rainforests of RAAS.

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23 center during prosperous economic times. Many farmers have sold parcels of land at high prices and purchased greater amounts of forested land farther east for conversion to cattle pasture (Borge R, personal communication). This Chontalization of the remaining forested region (Incer 2000) exacerbates forest and water resource shortages and creates a need for more information on sustainable forest management practices. Demographics It is important to understand the demographics of Santo Toms as compared to the rest of Nicaragua to understand how socioeconomic factors influence sustainable forest management preferences and self-reported behavior. The total population in Santo Toms in 2001 was recorded at 19,778, 64% of whom live in the urban center while 36% are in rural areas (PEP 2001). While there are nominally more women in urban areas (51%), the opposite is true for rural areas (PEP 2001), a discrepancy probably due to the need for manual labor on farms. Children under the age of 15 comprise 47% of the total population (Anon 2003), a phenomenon common to developing countries in Latin America. In urban areas, approximately 53% of school-aged children attend primary school, dropping to 45% in rural areas where the adult illiteracy rate is estimated at 61% (PEP 2001). 4 The 1996 census reported that 85% of the economically active population is employed, a figure that excludes housewives and students, and 53% percent of these economically active individuals hold a formal salaried position (Anon. 2003). 5 4 The Nicaraguan national average is 33% adult illiteracy (UNDP 2003). 5 On a national level, youth (aged 18-24 years) have a 20% unemployment rate (UNDP 2003), and although directly comparable figures are not available, the employment level appears to follow the national average.

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24 Economy and Land-Use Cattle ranching economy: Deforestation for cattle ranching is the leading cause of biodiversity loss in this region, yet dairy cattle are also the basis of the economy (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). The location of the Santo Toms municipality facilitates commercial trade between the natural resource rich Atlantic zone and the majority of Nicaraguas population located in the Pacific region. Milk production fluctuates between 10,000 gallons/day in the wet season and 2,000 gallons/day in the dry season from an estimated 30,000 head of cattle in the region (Anon 2003). Of these animals, 30% are used exclusively for milk production, 20% exclusively for beef and the remaining 50% utilized for both purposes (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). At least three-quarters of the land used for cattle ranching in Santo Toms is better suited to other purposes (see Figures 2-2 and 2-3)(PEP 2001), which is higher than the national average of 50% (Alves Milho 1996). Over half of the land in Nicaragua cleared for cattle ranching and agriculture that is suitable for reforestation is located in the Departments of Chontales and Boaco (Alves Milho 1996, Nez Soto 1996). Other economic activity: Commerce, foreign aid and agriculture comprise much of the remaining economic activity in Santo Toms. Commercial districts include a variety of cottage industries such as small stores, carpentry shops, mechanics, tailoring and jewelry workshops. Foreign aid to Santo Toms in 2000 was approximately four times the income from other sources. The largest donations are from Japan, Spain, Finland, Taiwan and France, in order of decreasing contribution (Anon 2003). On average, 5% of farmland is dedicated to agriculture, except in the rural district El Alto, where 20% of farmland is in crops (Anon 2003). The percentage of cultivated area

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25 devoted to each crop is as follows: rice (2%), beans (14%), corn/maize (33%) and plantains/bananas (51%) (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). Due to rising transportation prices and deteriorating roads, farmers are increasingly reluctant to plant crops for cash sale, relying on sales of cattle and milk as primary income (Borge R, personal communication). Agriculture32%Conservation18%Forestry30%Cattle ranching20%Other0% Figure 2-2. Land vocation in Santo Toms, Chontales (PEP 2001). Forestry: According to the mayors office, there are no public forests (parks or productive) in the Santo Tomas municipality (Garca J, personal communication). Household level forestry does exist, but as demonstrated previously, there is an incongruity between the appropriate and real land use. Although private forest reserves were reported in a Participatory Rural Appraisal conducted by the mayors office (PEP 2001), many of these areas had already been clear-cut at the time of this study and the mayors office indicated that no formal protection schemes were planned by the municipality in the near future (Garca J, personal communication).

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26 Conservation0%Forestry15%Cattle ranching80%Other1%Agriculture4% Figure 2-3. Actual land use in Santo Toms, Chontales (PEP 2001). Most trees in Santo Toms exist, therefore, within forest fragments and as individual multipurpose trees on private property both in small urban lots and on rural farmland. The decision to grow trees on private land, which trees and how many, is a personal decision made by individual landowners in this area. As such, household socioeconomic variables, including gender, age, education level, household size, household income and outside employment might be a deciding factor (see Appendix D for a more detailed discussion of on-farm tree diversity). The primary challenge to policies encouraging sustainable management is the lack of information about what factors would influence individuals to choose sustainable management and why. This information gap will be addressed by this study.

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CHAPTER 3 METHODS The primary tool utilized to elicit information from households about sustainable management was a survey questionnaire. It was administered to 100 voluntary respondents selected through a randomized, stratified and quota sampling design. Preliminary aggregated results were reviewed by focus groups to identify potential biases. Students t-test, bivariate correlation and multiple linear regression analyses were conducted using the interview data to detect significant relationships between variables. Survey Questionnaire Development and Pretesting The survey questionnaire tool was developed at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA using sample surveys from similar studies in Central America and other developing countries (e.g., Albertin 2002, Harvey and Haber 1999). A sample-size of 100 was determined to be appropriate. 1 Field tests of the survey were made to include a sample of >15 volunteer respondents from a broad background to identify obvious problems with the survey and modify accordingly before translation into Spanish and submission and approval by the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (Protocol# 2003-U-414). Once tested with additional volunteers in the study site, final refinements were made. The questions presented in the survey fall into four general 1 A sample size of 100 produces a 92% confidence internal, while a sample size of 411 would be required to raise the confidence interval to 95% (UFSRC 2002). A four-fold increase in sample size would have required costs far outweighing the benefits to this study and was logistically infeasible for this project. 27

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28 categories, socioeconomics, biodiversity, actions and preferences (See Appendices A and B for English and Spanish versions of the full survey, respectively). Socioeconomics: Questionnaires commenced with a series of general socioeconomic questions including gender, age, education level, household size and make-up, total household income and contributors, whether anyone in the household had outside employment and amount of fuelwood used in the household. Specific questions about each household property (if applicable) covered land area, tenure and acquisition. Finally respondents were asked whether or not they had received environmental education and through which venues (i.e., via the radio, word-of-mouth, school, church, government or non-governmental organization). Biodiversity: Each respondent owning land was asked an open-ended question to list woody tree species and animals occurring on her or his property. Unfortunately, no scientific lists were available for this region; therefore a preliminary list was created using a focus group and then presented to respondents. 2 Information compiled on trees is available in Appendix C. Actions: The survey elicited self-reported household behavior with respect to flora, fauna and water resources. Options included harvesting fuelwood, timber and other forest products for household use and sale. Hunting wild animals for household use and sale, leaving trash and cutting fuelwood in riparian zones when going to the river to wash were also investigated (see Table 3-1). Preferences: Participants in the survey were asked to express their opinions using a Likert scale (1 = agree, 3 = no opinion, 5 = disagree) on a series of questions about 2 This list was added to as individual respondents mentioned more tree species, therefore, later interviews had a more extensive list to prompt a present/absent response than earlier surveys.

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29 sustainable forest management practices relevant to the remaining forest fragments in the Santo Toms municipality. General topics included whether the following activities should be permitted in the remaining forest fragments in Santo Toms: harvesting fuelwood and timber for household use or sale, harvesting non-timber forest products, hunting wild animals, exploring for gold and silver, deforesting new land for cattle, maintaining forest reserves for the future, as well as recreation, conservation and educational activities (see Table 3-2 for a complete list of topics). Some data collected was not used in this analysis. Full descriptive statistics on survey responses can be viewed in Appendix E. Sampling Design A total of 100 person-to-person surveys were conducted by the author and field assistant, stratified over urban (50%) and rural (50%) inhabitants. While the actual population of nearly 20,000 is distributed over 36% rural and 64% urban habitants (PEP 2001), the equal division permitted direct comparison of responses from urban and rural areas. These two sectors are demographically distinct as rural areas have a much higher illiteracy rate, lower employment rate and the largest forest fragments (see Chapter 2 for more details). Rural areas are divided into 12 comarcas or districts and urban areas into 10 barrios or neighborhoods. Only nine of these comarcas were accessible during the study period due to the deteriorating condition of the road. Using information provided by the Santo Toms delegation of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA), the number of interviews per accessible comarca or barrio was made proportional to the actual population distribution in each area. Urban residents were selected randomly within barrios using the electronic address lists provided by the mayoral cadastral system. Key informants coordinated by the Santo Toms delegation of the Ministry of

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30 Education and Culture (MEDC) assisted in rural participant selection based on availability and representation of community views within designated geographical regions. Surveys were conducted between mid-May and early-July 2003. A local field assistant accompanied the researcher implementing the interviews in Spanish to ensure that questions and answers were fully understood. Participation was voluntary and limited to heads of household 18 years and older; information collected on individual surveys was kept confidential. Data Analysis Each survey was assigned an interview number and data were transcribed into an Excel spreadsheet, giving number values to categorical data. The transformed data were then imported into the statistical analysis package SPSS, v. 12. Frequency and descriptive statistics were run for all variables. A students t-test was applied to urban vs. rural data. A standard multiple linear regression analysis and bivariate correlations were performed for the variables described below. Results of the analyses are presented in the following chapter. Dependent Variables The dependent variables were selected to address the principal components of the research questions raised in Chapter 1: behavior and attitude. A household behavior index was developed from answers to specific questions about household actions. 3 A stated management preference index was used as a second dependent variable examining the 3 The number of tree species reported for the property (tree diversity) is used a dependent variable for rural households only as a proxy for forest conservation behavior. The results of this analysis are presented in Appendix D.

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31 heads of households stated preferences with respect to specific forest management policies that may or may not support conservation. 4 Household Behavior Index Each question used to compile the household behavior index elicited a binomial (yes/no) response (Table 3-1), and was given a value of 1 if this action supports conservation policy or 0 if otherwise. The answers on each survey were transformed and averaged to create a continuous value between 0 and 1 used as a dependent variable. 5 Each element of the index was also used as the dependent variable in separate regression models to test whether the relationship represented by the index was actually driven by a particular variable. Table 3-1. Response values used to calculate the household behavior index. Response Does your household Yes No maintain trees on the property for household consumption? 1 0 unregulated hunting of wild animals? 0 1 harvest fuelwood along river/stream/spring? 0 1 throw trash when visiting river/stream/spring? 0 1 An alternative weighting scheme was also implemented to account for the difference between circumstance determined and active choice behavior. Hunting and 4 The index is a tool to compare levels of a complex concept in disciplines as diverse as environmental science and psychology. The Pollutant Standards Index, for example, uses the levels of five air pollutants to assess air quality and then relate the index value to potential negative health effects (for a discussion see Wark and Wong 2003). Similarly, the Self Esteem Index (SEI) uses 80 self-response items and a Likert-type scale to assess self-esteem problems in school-children who may require counseling (see Ferrer et al. 2003 for a recent analysis of this method). The household behavior and forest management preference indices consolidate different patterns within answers to behavior and attitude questions to facilitate isolating the socioeconomic factors contributing to a household, or head-of-household, acting or thinking in a way that supports forest conservation scenarios. 5 Another possible approach analysis would be developing a logit analysis. This would use the mean or some other natural breaking-point to divide the continuous variable into either high conservation behavior and low conservation behavior. The dependent variable would then be re-coded 1 and 0, respectively. This would be effective in cases where there was insufficient variation in the original continuous values, but much of the information contained within the continuous variable would be lost.

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32 harvesting fuelwood may be for survival and maintaining trees on the property may be a decision made by the landlord or size of the property. Throwing trash into the stream, however, is a conscious choice. Therefore, this response was assigned an arbitrary 6 value of four times greater than the other responses to test the effect of the active choice vs. circumstance determined motivation. These alternative results are also presented in the following chapter. Rationale for Weightings Maintaining trees on property for household consumption: Keeping trees on the property for multiple-use purposes either by planting or not cutting is a conscious choice made by the household. Hunting wild animals: Although two hunting clubs exist in Santo Toms who publicly claim to follow nationally recognized hunting guidelines, focus groups indicated that most hunting is done on an individual basis without the permission of landowners or regard for season or bag limits. Harvesting fuelwood and littering in riparian zones: These questions were addressed to households routinely washing clothes in the river (73%), a clear majority. While the decision to wash in the river is largely a matter of necessity, the subsequent decisions to cut fuelwood in the riparian zone (as opposed to elsewhere) or throw trash in the stream (as opposed to carrying it home) have significant conservation impact and could be easily avoided. 6 The value of four was chosen arbitrarily. Additional iterations could be completed by varying this number, but initial tests with the number four revealed no significantly different results.

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33 Forest Management Preference Index The Likert scale (1-5) used in the questionnaire was collapsed to simply agree or disagree. In the same manner as described for the household behavior index, response values were tallied and averaged, assigning a continuous value between 0 and 1 to each individual survey. The answers on each survey were transformed and averaged to create a continuous value between 0 and 1 and used as a dependent variable. Each element of the index was also used as the dependent variable in separate regression models to test whether the relationship represented by the index was actually driven by a particular variable. Table 3-2. Bivariate and alternative values for response used to calculate the forest management preference index. Bivariate Alternative Should the following activities be permitted in the forests remaining in Santo Toms Agree Disagree Agree Disagree require maintaining forest reserves on private lands? 1 0 1 0 gathering fuelwood for household use? 0 1 0 1 harvest timber for household use? 0 1 0 1 gather non-timber forest products for household use? 1 0 1 0 hunt wild animals? 0 1 0 1 harvest timber for sale? 0 1 0 4 deforest additional land for cattle pasture? 0 1 0 4 Note: Half of the respondents were asked their preference on burning pastures since wildfires are a major concern for forest maintenance. The results were not included in the index, but can be found in Appendix E. This was of special concern because the Department of Forestry (INAFOR) in Juigalpa was attempting to implement a ban on all agricultural burning at the time of this study. As with the household behavior index, an alternative-weighting scheme was developed. Harvesting fuelwood for household use is often the only energy available for cooking, especially in rural areas without good roads to bring in alternative fuels such as propane tanks or electricity for ironing or cooking. An arbitrary number of four was

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34 assigned to responses in favor of to harvesting timber for sale and deforesting for additional cattle pasture, as these represent a more active disregard for the environment. Rationale for Weightings Require maintaining forest reserves on private lands: Trees maintained on private lands can provide public environmental services such as run-off control and wildlife habitat. Gathering fuelwood for household use: Deforestation and forest degradation due to cutting fuelwood for household use is considered to be the greatest threat to forests and biodiversity in Nicaragua (Van Buren 1990). Often the petroleum energy used to transport the wood material is greater than the energy value provided by the wood itself. Eighty-three percent of those interviewed use fuelwood at least to some extent in their household, largely out of necessity. Harvest timber for household use: From the perspective of forest conservation, timber harvests for household use have no regulation or monitoring for sustainability. However, it is primarily carried out to escape purchasing substitute materials such as cement and iron, which must be hauled in from Managua and great cost and petroleum energy expense. Gathering non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for household use: Studies in the neighboring department of Ro San Juan indicated that gathering NTFPs would not significantly affect tree growth or biodiversity (Salick et al. 1995) and raises peoples

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35 appreciation of the forest, therefore this activity would be considered benign from the perspective of forest conservation. 7 Hunting wild animals: As discussed in the section detailing rationale for the household behavior index. Harvesting timber for sale or export: Illegal or unmanaged cutting of timber for sale is one of the most serious problems facing Nicaraguas forestry sector. Additional deforestation for cattle pasture: The cattle ranching cooperative Ros de Leche has studied the farming practices of ranchers in the area and concludes that it is unnecessary to cut the remaining forests to maintain current levels of ranching, or even to expand significantly if land use is made more efficient through technology adoption (Miranda A, personal communication). Independent Variables The following independent socioeconomic variables are expected to influence behavior and attitude based on similar studies discussed in Chapter 1. Typical social characteristics of respondents (heads of household) 8 included age (AGE), gender (FEMALE), years of formal education (EDUCATION) and whether or not the respondent had been exposed to environmental education (ENVIEDU). Household characteristics expected to be influential were income level (INCOME), outside employment 7 A recent comparative study of Brazil nut harvests does indicate that unregulated and persistent harvests may lead to a forest producing too few juvenile trees to sustain the population (Peres et al. 2003). The central Nicaraguan NTFP markets do not approach the historical or special extent of those in Brazil and this particular constraint is probably not a concern. This study should, however, serve as a caution to those organizations interested in further developing NTFP markets in Nicaragua and other regions. 8 Heads of household were determined by asking the potential respondent if she or he would consider her or himself the head of household or household decision-maker. While some individuals did decline to be interviewed because they would not classify themselves as the head of household, there is still room for error. Some households may make decisions as a group, or decisions about the house may be made by a different person than decisions about the land and trees.

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36 (EMPLOY), rural location vs. urban (RURAL), owning vs. renting (TENURE) and number of people living in the household (HHSIZE). A Pearsons bivariate correlation analysis was applied to these independent variables to ensure no multi-colliniarity (Tabachnick and Fidell 1996 as cited in Pallant 2001). Different socioeconomic variables are expected to influence each of the dependent variables differently. The a priori results of each analysis are presented in Table 3-3. Table 3-3. Expected coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables when regressed against two dependent variables (signs are expected to remain the same under binomial and alternative weighting schemes). Independent Variable Household Behavior Index Management Preference Index AGE FEMALE EDUCATION + + ENVIEDU + INCOME + + EMPLOY RURAL TENURE HHSIZE Note: In the original survey, the area of landholding was also collected. This was not included in the independent variables because it did not apply to all households. Additionally, the cadastral system was currently in the process of being implemented and individuals understanding of real land boundaries was highly unreliable. Because older people were raised and established their households when the Nicaraguan government was actively encouraging the settlement of the agricultural frontier through deforestation, it is expected that the household behavior and management preferences exhibited by this group would be less supportive of conservation. There are no a priori expectations about how gender and outside employment may affect the dependent variables, although other studies have shown them to be significant in the past. Education and income are both expected to have a positive influence on all of the dependent variables since these respondents would be higher up on Maslows hierarchy

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37 of needs. While environmental education should have a positive affect on respondents sustainable forest management preferences, it may not have a significant affect on behavior dependent variables because many of these questions are circumstance determined. It is likely that rural respondents will have a lower score on the behavior index due to subsistence activities such as hunting and fuelwood collecting, but an undetermined effect on preferences. Finally, larger households will use more natural resources and therefore the behavior index should be negative, while the preference might depend more on other socioeconomic factors in the individual family.

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION The data from 100 survey questionnaires was subjected to a series of analyses. Descriptive and frequency statistics provide an overall picture of the municipality through averages and ranges of socioeconomic variables. A students t-test was used to compare responses from urban and rural samples. Bivariate correlation analyses reveal significant relationships between variables. Multiple linear regression analyses assess the relationship between a dependent and independent variables by controlling for other variables and an overall relationship between a set of independent variables and a dependent variable. Detailed interpretations of the analyses results are discussed. Descriptive Results Socioeconomic Characterization The sampling design was stratified 50% urban and 50% rural. Of these respondents, 60% were women and 40% men. Ages ranged from 18 years old to 82 (mean age 41), while education level ranged from no schooling to university degrees (average education level was completion of 4 th grade). An impressive 82% of the respondents reported that they had received some type of environmental education, whether formal training through governmental agencies or non-governmental organizations, or by word-of-mouth, the church or the radio. Descriptive statistics from the complete data set are presented in Appendix E. Households ranged from one person to 14, with an average size between six and seven, including a mean value of 2.59 children (ranging from no children to 9). Although 38

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39 household income spanned all categories, the average income was low at approximately 1,000 Crdobas (US$66) monthly, 1 with an average of 2.3 people assisting with household income (includes remittances). Among those surveyed, 43% of all households had a member with outside employment. Table 4-1. Data was sorted by rural (n=50) and urban (n=50) respondents and a students t-test was used to determine whether the detected variation was significant. Numbers not followed by a percentage symbol are averages. Socioeconomic Characteristic Data Type Rural Urban T-Test Probability Significance AGE continuous 42.34 39.92 0.450 FEMALE dummy 48% 72% 0.022 ** EDUCAT continuous 3.38 6.14 0.002 ** ENVIEDU dummy 92% 72% 0.011 ** INCOME categorical 0.90 1.25 0.118 EMPLOY dummy 28% 58% 0.002 ** TENURE dummy 84% 82% 0.799 HHSIZE continuous 6.52 5.4 0.028 ** Index Value Household Behavior 0.554 Management Preference 0.002 ** Significant at = 0.1 ** Significant at = 0.05 The average respondent had lived in the present property for 18 years, but answers ranged from 0 to 76 years. Only 15% of those interviewed were living on inherited land, but 83% said that they owned the property where the household was located. 2 The survey design was stratified between rural (n=50) and urban (n=50) residents, and several significant differences were revealed between these respondents. Socioeconomic 1 The Nicaraguan Crdoba was valued at approximately C$15 to US$1 at the time of this study. 2 A 2000 World Bank study of 2475 Nicaraguan households indicates that approximately 80% of farmers with agriculture production land and 70% of households with little land have formally registered documents of land ownership (Deininger and Chamorro 2004). The study notes, however, that some respondents may have misunderstood the questions distinguishing between titles recognized by the current administration, those issued by the Sandinista regime and informal documentation.

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40 information and final index results were sorted over these two categories and subjected to a students T-test in MS Excel. The results are reported in Table 4-1. A significantly lower percentage of women responded to the survey in rural areas. Rural heads of household also tended to have fewer years of formal education and have larger households. Urban residents, on the other hand, are much more likely to have a household member with formal outside employment, but were much less likely to have received environmental education. This is probably caused by the importance of the radio in rural life and recent outreach programs broadcast by Nicaraguas Ministry of Environment (MARENA) intended to reach the rural public. In summary, rural residents are generally less educated and living in larger households with less income and fewer possibilities for outside employment than their urban counterparts. These aspects also contribute to a tendency to continue clearing remaining forest fragments in the hopes of satisfying basic needs. Both index results were also subjected to bivariate correlation analysis with individual independent variables. There was no significant difference between the household behavior index results, however, there was a highly significant difference between the results of the management preference index between rural and urban respondents. These results will be discussed in more detail in the following sections. Table 4-2. Response values used to calculate the household behavior index. Response Does your household Yes No maintain trees on the property for household consumption? 85% 15% hunt wild animals? 15% 85% harvest fuelwood along river/stream/spring? 23% 77% throw trash when visiting river/stream/spring? 29% 71%1

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41 Household Behavior The questions selected to determine the household behavior index elicited a variety of responses. Most people maintained trees on their property, in both urban and rural areas, for household fruit, fuelwood or timber consumption. Fifteen percent hunted wild animals and approximately one quarter of the respondents reported littering and harvesting fuelwood. This number is probably under-reported because some participants may have been aware that these actions are regulated and may be illegal. Stated Management Preference Most heads of household surveyed favored permitting the harvest of household use of forest products such as fuelwood, timber and non-timber forest products. Many respondents specifically commented that forests, even on private land, should be used for subsistence, but not for profit ventures. Less than half of the participants supported harvesting wood for sale or export, hunting wild animals or deforesting additional land for cattle pasture. Support for policies to maintain forest reserves on private land was substantial, however the option was presented without potential trade-offs (i.e., would you agree to this policy if overall production in the region were to decline a corresponding 10%?). Table 4-3. Response values used to calculate the stated forest management preference index. Response Should the following activities be permitted in the forests remaining in Santo Toms Agree Disagree No Opinion require maintaining forest reserves on private lands? 96% 1% 3% gathering fuelwood for household use? 85% 14% 1% harvest timber for household use? 68% 31% 1% gather non-timber forest products? 88% 8% 4% hunt wild animals? 26% 71% 3% harvest timber for sale or export? 9% 91% 0% deforest additional land for cattle pasture? 29% 70% 1%

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42 Bivariate Correlations The bivariate correlations are intended to highlight relationships between independent variables that are significant. The rural/urban dummy variable had a large number of significant correlations justifying its use as a stratification mechanism. Rural areas had significantly lower levels of education, but higher exposure to environmental education, more people in the household and limited outside employment. As previously mentioned, fewer women were interviewed in rural areas. The women interviewed overall were likely to be younger than the men, represent households with lower income and have less exposure to environmental education than men. These households were more likely to have a member with formal outside employment. 3 Table 4-4. Significant relationships between independent variables used in regression analysis. Socioeconomic Characteristic Significant Correlates and Signs RURAL FEMALE (-), EDUCAT (-), ENVIEDU (+), EMPLOY (-), HHSIZE (+) AGE FEMALE (-), EDUCAT (-), INCOME (-) FEMALE AGE (-), ENVIEDU (-), INCOME (-), EMPLOY (+), RURAL (-) EDUCAT INCOME (+), RURAL (-) ENVIEDU FEMALE (-), RURAL (+) INCOME FEMALE (-) EMPLOY TENURE (-) HHSIZE RURAL (+) Respondents with higher education also reported heading households with higher income. Those who owned land generally had less of a chance of having a member with fulltime employment, probably because landowners tend to work on the property either in ranching or a cottage industry. Years of formal education decreased in rural areas and for older people, but increased in higher income households. Most of these results suggest 3 These surveys are ones in which the female head of house hold was available and willing to be interviewed and does not indicate the female is the only head of household.

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43 that Santo Toms is a typical rural community in a developing nation and highlight some of the real challenges to forest conservation. In addition, the fact that outside employment in rural areas is lower than in urban areas, creates a strong economic incentive to continue cattle ranching. Respondents who preferred clearing forested lands for additional cattle pasture also tended to favor policies that would permit cutting timber for export and sale and hunting wild animals. This indicates a set of participants who strongly favor the exploitation of natural resources. Those who preferred clearing forested lands significantly differed from the average population in that they were primarily older. Respondents who agreed with harvesting fuelwood for household use also tended to be those who agreed with harvesting timber for household use. These respondents varied significantly from the general population in several ways. They tended to be more urban and have received less environmental education. A possible explanation is that urban dwellers generally live farther from the fuelwood source and have to pay transportation costs and use public roads rather than footpaths. Woodfuel, therefore, has a greater monetary value for town residents than rural residents, and since road traffic is more susceptible to inspection and enforcement than foot traffic, urban dwellers might face heavier penalties if customary collection rights were regulated. The correlating lack of environmental education is more likely an effect of environmental education reaching the rural community via radio programs, rather than a relationship between environmental sensitivity and woodfuel use.

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44 Regression Analysis The goal of the regression analyses is to test the relationship between socioeconomic characteristics and the behavior and attitude of respondents. Two dependent variables were used to test these research questions: the household behavior index compiled from self-reported habitual household actions and the management preference index compiled of responses to forest management that can be interpreted as either sustainable (given the value of 1 or higher) 4 or not sustainable (given a value of 0). Independent variables used in both regression analyses were age, rural/urban, gender, household size, years of formal education, income level, outside employment, owning household property and having received environmental education. Table 4-5. Unstandardized coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables when regressed against two dependent variables. Household behavior index Management preference index Independent Variable Predicted Actual Sig. Predicted Actual Sig. AGE FEMALE + EDUCATION + + + + ENVIEDU + + + INCOME + + + + EMPLOY + RURAL ** TENURE + HHSIZE Significant at = 0.1 ** Significant at = 0.05 The results of the regression analyses are illustrated in Table 4-5. All of the signs for the unstandardized coefficients were as expected. Household size was the only 4 The weights of certain activities were manipulated higher than 1 to determine if weighting had a significant effect No significant effect was observed.

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45 significant factor for the household behavior index (at =0.1, p=.090), resulting in a final model with a very low adjusted 5 R of 0.014: Household behavior index = .862 .011(HHSIZE) The household behavior supported sustainable forest management more in smaller households. It is logical that larger households would inevitably impact the sustainability of forest use in Santo Toms as they use more fuelwood for cooking 6 and ironing. Larger families also generally indicate more young children under less supervision who might engage in detrimental practices such as littering or hunting without obeying regulations. The management preference index was used as the dependent variable for a regression analysis using the same independent variables as the household behavior index analysis. Given the strong correlations cited in the literature between ecological behavior and attitude (Ajzen 1988, Kaiser and Keller 2001) a similar model might be expected. Indeed, age was a significant independent variable (p=.062) accompanied by the rural location dummy variable (p=.033), rather than household size. The resulting final model with an adjusted R of .210 is as follows: Management preference index = .857 .003(AGE) .103(RURAL) There are several reasons why households with younger decision makers might prefer more sustainable behavior. It has been documented in other parts of the Nicaraguan agricultural frontier that the pioneering or conquer nature spirit promoted 5 The adjusted R accounts for the effects of multiple independent variables isolating the influence of only the significant variables and more accurately reflects the model fit than the unadjusted R. 6 This survey found that 85% of all household use fuelwood for at least some of their cooking energy. Most heads of household commented that beans, if nothing else, were cooked over a wood fire. This is probably due to the time necessary to cook beans thoroughly and the relative cost of propane gas. Larger families would generally use more beans, a staple food throughout Nicaragua, and the use of fuelwood would be more prevalent.

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46 in the 1950s and 19060s Green Revolution is more prevalent among older residents of the region (Nygren 2004a). The bivariate correlation between age and education also showed that older people in this sample group had a significantly lower number of years of formal education. In other areas of Central America, household surveys have shown that years of education have direct correlates to preservation of old growth forests and sustainable forest management within an agricultural setting (Godoy et al. 1998). This may be partially due to traditionalism complicated by a political polarization of conservation and sustainability issues in Nicaragua. 7 Household size may not be as influential since preference represents an ideal state without necessarily considering the realistic demands of a large family. The respondents stated preference tended toward sustainable management with not only younger, but also urban heads of household. The time-preference theory offers another possible explanation for why age is a factor in both household behavior and sustainable management preference. Time-preference describes the phenomenon of changing behavior based on an individuals age and relative capacity for enjoyment of goods now as compared to the future. Although it has long been held that older people have learned the importance of saving resources for the future, recent econometrics research indicates that tendency to save money is negatively correlated with age, suggesting that the probability of instant and loss of saved resources death steadily increases with age (Senesi 2003). Another study used empirical 7 In Nicaragua, in particular, environmental education was first introduced by the Sandinista regime following the 1979 revolution creating a gap between those growing up preand post-revolution. Younger heads of household educated under the Sandinistas may have been exposed to conservation and sustainability values, but many older farmers were embittered by the collectivization of private lands and state control of agricultural prices (Nygren 2004a, Vilas 1989). Since forest conservation and sustainable management rhetoric are associated with the Sandinistas, older residents may still react against their adoption on principal. This challenge exacerbates the inherent difficulty of changing traditional farming practices.

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47 evidence to propose that people perceive their ability to enjoy goods and services as decreasing with old age, and therefore they actually accelerate their use patterns as they age (Trostel and Taylor 2001). 8 Current time-preference theory offers an explanation why younger households seem to favor sustainable forest management more strongly than those households led by older decision-makers. The previous discussion on rural vs. urban household concluded that rural people were less educated and poorer overall. For these reasons, rural respondents may be lower on the overall hierarchy of needs, still focusing on basic survival such as food and shelter. Even those who have accumulated enough wealth to not only survive, but also begin investing in the future may not be so far up on the hierarchy of needs that they would consider sustainability over immediate gain. This potential explanation has been supported by empirical studies in neighboring Ro San Juan where the majority of rural household surveyed indicated that they would invest in expanding cattle operations if they had an increase in income (Faris 1999). Investing in cattle in considered a solid fiscal option in rural Nicaragua from a cultural (Guerrero and Soriano 1992) and realistic from a financial standpoint. In a country where wages have been frozen for five years while utilities have being privatized as part of the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Debt Initiative (Mora 2004), it may be more rational for those already involved in agriculture to invest in cattle than in banks. Since trees are technically property of the state until a cumbersome management process is followed, it is unsurprising that rural households might express a preference for short-term rather than sustainable forest management, given the historical and current political economy of the region. 8 Trostel and Taylor (2001) also suggest that previous research showing opposite trends were biased because the studies excluded the infirm, an increasing percentage of the aging population.

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CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS Several robust socioeconomic influences on self-reported household behavior and stated preference with respect to forest management and conservation in Santo Toms, Chontales are indicated from the survey data analysis. These significant factors are synthesized in the following section followed by general policy implications suggested by the data. The many lessons learned through the process of administering surveys and focus groups, as well as developing indices are compiled here to assist those who might apply such research methods to address their own questions. In addition, although some questions were addressed during this process, many more were created. Directions for future research both in Nicaragua and on thematic questions are also suggested. General Synthesis The results of this study indicate that socioeconomic factors influence self-reported household behavior and stated sustainable forest management preferences in the context of forest conservation. Older respondents overall management preference index decreased significantly away from sustainability and conservation. In particular, further analysis indicated that deforestation to convert land into additional cattle pastures was strongly favored by this group. As a policy, deforestation for cattle pasture was affiliated with the exploitation of timber (for profit) and hunting animals (for household use). Younger respondents, however, were those more inclined to prefer hunting. In addition, younger people were potentially driven by subsistence rather than profit motivation since 48

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49 hunting was only for household consumption and was also significantly correlated with the number of people in the household. Although rural areas had received overwhelmingly more environmental education than urban area (predominately via the radio), necessity and custom probably urged these households to state a preference for timber harvest for household use. These households typically had also lived in their current location longer, contributing to the adherence to traditional building materials. Factors related to tradition probably also contributed to rural peoples preference for deforestation for additional cattle pasture. In addition, formal planning requirements of current forest policy 1 make deforestation a more rational economic choice for some rural residents. Figure 5-1 represents a synthesis of stated preferences organized by their significant socioeconomic independent variables. The significance of age and strong correlation between several activities that impact conservation potential reveal a more complex situation. Young people may be likely prefer more sustainable forest management options because the limits of Nicaraguan forest resources are much clearer now than for previous generations, reflected conversely in the preferences indicated by older respondents. Younger people also grew up in a socio-political environment that endorsed sustainability and conservation of forests as a national heritage. On the other hand, they have higher education and are more employable, which may make them less dependent on and less connected to forests. Both implicit and explicit policies in Santo Toms should consider these relationships for increased effectiveness. 1 See Chapter 1.

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50 Lower sustainability preference H igher conversion o f forest pasture Subsistence hunting For-profit timber harvest Harvest timber for household use Older Respondents Rural Respondents Younger Respondents Figure 5-1. Significant relationships revealed by regression analysis and bivariate correlation can be synthesized into a single figure based on common links. Research Findings Data from this study demonstrate that certain policies might affect sustainable forest management in Santo Toms. A strong relationship exists between increasing age and decreasing preference for sustainable forest management. Households with older decision makers also exhibit behavior less conducive to sustainability. This may be a product of the sociopolitical context surrounding the older people as compared to younger people in this area. The research suggests that increasing adult and rural education might alter the general tendency of older heads of household causing them to prefer and act of the preference for more sustainable management practices. Appropriate venues for adult education should be carefully considered since the average member of the population may not be initially predisposed to participating. 2 Increasing household size was a significant factor in whether or not households behaved in a manner that supported sustainable forest management. These results imply 2 See earlier discussion on older residents, especially cattle ranchers prejudices against concepts introduced by the Sandinistas. This would likely include adult education and outreach in addition to environmental education. Technical assistance and agricultural extension may be more readily received.

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51 that advocating family planning now could impact the way the average household behaves toward forest remnants in the next 10 to 20 years. Smaller households use less energy to cover basic needs and often can afford more education for children, and both of these factors are likely to increase sustainable forest use. Because larger households were also associated with increased hunting, family planning policies could benefit wildlife populations, as well. Rural residents exhibited a much lower preference for sustainable forest management. Some of this reticence may be related to lower education levels in rural areas, suggesting that increase rural education, which has been shown to have positive effects on conservation elsewhere in Nicaragua (Godoy 1994), and might address some of the discrepancy between urban and rural preferences. Additionally, there may be a perceived disconnection between predominantly urban policy makers and enforcers and the rural families largely responsible for implementing sustainability measures. As discussed in the introductory chapter, the annual forest management plan requirement for forests and forest fragments on private land creates an undue burden on small-scale landowners. This is especially true for older, generally less educated farmers accustomed to managing their land without governmental interference. Enforcement authority delegated to municipal governments in unlikely to raise confidence in the rural farming community. Addressing the perverse effects of well-intentioned conservation laws may help bridge the gap between urban and rural residents, making sustainable forest management a more plausible possibility. Comments on the Survey Questionnaire Tool The survey questionnaire tool was an effective way to generate replicated information for quantitative results. One of the challenges implementing any study,

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52 however, is the temporal factor: many of the confusing aspects of the survey were ironed out with practice, so the experience of the 99 th interviewee was inevitably different than that of the 3 rd respondent. Although analysis eliminated survey order as a statistically significant factor, it was still significant in a practical sense. In addition, weather and logistics played a defining role in initial site selection in rural areas. Some sites that would have remained accessible for a longer period of time quickly became unsafe to travel in an unusually rainy June. Finally, the structured questionnaire data would be strengthened by randomly conducted in-depth interviews with a few respondents, although care would have to be taken to avoid biases. 3 The data collected, however, were sufficiently robust to address the research questions. Limitations to Self-Reported Behavior and Stated Preference Analyses Focus group discussions indicated that many respondents probably under-reported actions that might be interpreted as deleterious toward the environment or illegal, such as harvesting fuelwood for sale. Self-reported behavior information is always limited by the respondents honesty, understanding of the questionnaire and willingness to ask for clarification. More independent observational studies might have reduced this bias, but also would be better suited to a smaller community or more limited number of households. For example, a study observing peoples actions while washing in the river or monitoring household fuelwood consumption might provide more detailed insight on household behavior, although there would still be a risk of influencing the data through the researchers presence. Remote sensing data could also be used to correlate actual land 3 While focus groups were used to check for biases in existing data, it is still likely that the sample was skewed toward a sub-sample of potential respondents who understood the process of conducting surveys, the concept of sustainable forest management and felt comfortable giving information to and discussing issues with a foreign researcher.

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53 cover with stated preferences, eliminating the bias of the researchers presence, but potentially increasing costs and time and skills needed for effective data analysis. Stated preferences may have been influenced to some degree by the participants desire to give an answer that was pleasing to the interviewer. Care was taken not to discuss conservation issues in advance of conducting the interviews and to maintain an interested indifference to responses throughout the process, but bias in inevitable. Index Development The greatest challenge to index development is selection of inputs since no index tool currently exists for addressing conservation issues in Santo Toms. The stated management preference index seemed to be much tighter and conclusions generated by this data seemed to have more practical meaning than the household behavior index. This is probably due to many of the same weaknesses discussed in the self-reported behavior section. A checklist of observable qualities may have been more effective. Nonetheless, the process of creating the index offered an opportunity to explore the data in detail. Directions for Future Study Santo Toms, Chontales represents a cultural and biophysical transition between Nicaraguas Atlantic and Pacific coasts and central mountain region (Incer 2000). Its geographical location and transect of geophysical zones make it likely that the network of forest remnants harbor a large percentage of the flora and fauna native to Nicaragua. A microcosm of the agricultural frontier in Latin America, Santo Toms also offers opportunities to study economic and social aspects of natural resource limitations. While the Pacific coast region has been well studied, little is known about the flora and fauna of the rapidly decreasing habitat of the lowland tropical rainforests. Taxonomic and ecological studies would increase understanding of these ecosystems and whether the

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54 forest fragments in Santo Toms and similar municipalities have a role as a refuge or corridor for endangered and threatened species. This might generate interest and funding for projects from conservation, ecotourism or agroforestry organizations. It would certainly strengthen any proposals made by the municipality or private organizations such as the cattle ranching cooperative for funding sustainable forest management initiatives. These biological surveys should also tap into existing indigenous knowledge and markets for timber and non-timber forest products. Of the 155 species of trees respondents acknowledged on their land, most had household uses including, but not limited to timber, posts, fuelwood, fodder, food and medicinal purposes. Many cattle ranchers understand the benefit of on-farm trees and institutions should take care that this knowledge is conserved for future generations of farmers. Technical assistance and extension programs can capitalize on these traditions to illustrate the importance of sustainable forest management. While one cooperative in Santo Toms sells natural remedies 4 made from predominantly forest products, a wider market is likely available. Market feasibility studies and cost benefit analysis of integrating non-timber forest products as a cash crop on farms and in home gardens would likely expand economic opportunities and the perceived value of forest fragments. Economic assessments of various other aspects of sustainable forest management would also aid in reducing the perverse effects of existing forest policy. An economic assessment of the impact of current forest policy on the cost/benefit ratio for small-scale landholders would evaluate monetary value derived from forests vs. the cost of 4 The Cooperativa Naturista was located one and a half blocks north of the mayors office at the time of this study. Initiated by a Finnish development agency, FINNADA, and supported with technical assistance by a syndicate based out of Managua, the cooperative sells locally collected and imported herbal remedies, honey and homemade wines and syrups.

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55 implementing annual management plans. The results of such a study might demonstrate the need for change to policy makers. An environmental economic analysis of tree products and environmental services of trees on farms on a watershed level would place a different perspective on the management of forest fragments in Santo Toms. While forest conservation was listed as a matter of critical environmental importance by the municipality in the 2001 participatory rural survey, no government funds were appropriated to conservation activities or incentive programs based on the argument that not enough people would be affected (PEP 2001). The environmental economic analysis would demonstrate the services such as water conservation and erosion control provided by sustainably managed forest fragments and would likely provide a basis for allotting public funds to some of the policy initiatives outlined in the previous section. For some of these policy initiatives to be successful, more extensive interviews should be conducted with older rural residents and wealthier landowners who appeared to be the most resistant to sustainable management practices. These interviews may elicit a wealth of information about effective outreach strategies and even traditional forest products. By investigating primary information from older residents, researchers may overcome some of the prejudices generated by the political conflicts of the last four decades. Anecdotal evidence about the expansion and contraction of the agricultural frontier in response to policies and armed conflict could be contrasted to remote sensing data from the region. This investigation might offer an interesting insight on the relationship between socioeconomic factors on a macro-level and sustainable forest management.

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APPENDIX A SURVEY OF THE SANTO TOMS MUNICIPALITY INHABITANTS ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ENVIRONMENT Note that currency has been converted to US dollars using the exchange rate of June 15, 2003 and measurements have been converted to the metric system. Interview Date: / / Barrio / Comarca: Interview Number I. General Information 1. Gender: ____F _____M Age _____ years 2. Education Level a. None b. Elementary School grade c. High School grade d. Technical Degree years e. University Degree years f. Other 3. Occupation 4. How many people live in this household at least 6 months/year? a. Among these, how many are children? b. Among these, how many contribute toward household expenses? 5. What is the average total monthly income of this household? a. Less than US$33 ____ b. US$33 $67 ____ c. US$67 $333 ____ d. more than US$333 ____ 6. Does someone in your household have outside employment? Yes ____ No ____ 7. This home is: owned, borrowed, or rented? 8. How long has your household lived here? years 56

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57 9. Does this household own another property (such as a house or farm)? No: Skip to question number 11 Yes: a. Where? b. How many hectares total? Less than 0.7 ha ____ Between 0.7 14 ha ____ Between 14 35 ha ____ Between 35 70 ha ____ Between 70 350 ha ____ More than 350 ha ____ 10. The following questions refer only to the property your household owns within the Santo Toms municipality: a. How many ha of land do you have within the Santo Tomas municipality? Less than 0.7 ha ____ Between 0.7 14 ha ____ Between 14 35 ha ____ Between 35 70 ha ____ Between 70 350 ha ____ More than 350 ha ____ b. Of this land, how many ha are forested? c. Of these, how many did you plant? d. How long have you owned this or these properties? ____ years e. How often do you visit this property? _____________________ f. How did you acquire this property: agrarian reform, inheritance, purchase, or another way? 11. What fuel does your household use to cook? Source How much? How often? Gas Fuelwood Agricultural Residue Charcoal Kerosene Other: 12. If you use fuelwood, what types of wood do you use?

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58 II: How do you use your environment? A: Trees 1. What kinds of trees do you have on your property (for example, fuelwood, posts, thatch and other construction material, ornamental, medicinal, handicraft)? 2. What do you use them for? a. Nothing Household use Sale b. If for sale: How much do you sell, how often? 3. Do you harvest fuelwood, wood, medicinal plants, or tree products from other peoples land (either with or without permission)? a. No Yes, for household use Yes, for sale b. If for sale: how much do you sell, how often? 4. How many hours does it take for you to arrive that the site where you harvest wood and other forest products? B: Animals 1. What types of wild animals have you seen on your property? 2. Does your household hunt these kinds of animals? Yes __ No __ If no, skip to Section C. Water Resources. a. How often? b. What type of animal is hunted? c. Why do you hunt?: food sale sport d. Do you usually hunt on: your own land others land e. How many hours does it take to get to the place where you hunt?

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59 C. Water Resources 1. Does your household go to rivers, creeks, streams, or springs to wash clothes? 2. All seasons Dry season only No 3. When you go to the river, do you carry away plastic (such as detergent or soap bags) or do you throw them on the banks or in the river? Carry away Throw on banks on in river 4. If your household has land, what water resources do you have? 5. Does your household harvest fuelwood along rivers, creeks, streams, or springs? Yes No III. Forest Area Management With the following, you will tell me if you are in agreement (1, 2), not in agreement (4, 5), or have no opinion (3). In the forests which remain in the municipality of Santo Toms, it should be permitted to... Cut timber for household use. 1 2 3 4 5 Cut timber for sale. 1 2 3 4 5 Hunt wild animals. 1 2 3 4 5 Harvest fuelwood. 1 2 3 4 5 Deforest to plant new cattle pasture. 1 2 3 4 5 Explore for silver and gold. 1 2 3 4 5 Harvest non-timber forest products such as medicinal and ornamental plants or fruits. 1 2 3 4 5 Recreational activities such as fieldtrips, picnics, and hiking. 1 2 3 4 5 Conservation projects to protect soils and water quality. 1 2 3 4 5 Educational activities such as farmer trainings and student fieldtrips. 1 2 3 4 5 A multi-use management plan where farms are required to use only part of their land for cattle pasture and part in forest reserve. 1 2 3 4 5 Burning for cattle and agricultural production. 1 2 3 4 5 Have you ever received any kind of environmental education? For example, from... An international organization (Ex., FADES, Paz y Tercer Mundo, etc.) The Nicaraguan government (Ex., INTA, police, mayors office, at school) Chatting with friends Your church The radio or television

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APPENDIX B ENCUESTA SOBRE LOS HABITANTES DEL MUNICIPIO DE SANTO TOMS Y SU RELACIN CON EL MEDIO AMBIENTE Fecha de la Entrevista: / / Barrio / Comarca: Numero de Entrevista I. Datos Generales del Entrevistado 1. Sexo F M Edad aos 2. Nivel Acadmico a. Ninguno b. Primaria grado c. Secundaria ao d. Tcnico ao e. Universitario ao f. Otro 3. Actividad que realiza 4. Cuntas personas viven en su casa por lo menos 6 meses del ao? a. Entre estas personas, cuantas son nios? b. Entre estas personas, cuantas ayudan con los gastos de la casa? 5. Cunto es el ingreso promedio de su casa cada mes? a. Menos que C$500 ____ b. C$500-C$1000 ____ c. C$1000-C$5000 ____ d. mas que C$5000 ____ 6. Alguien en su casa tiene empleo fuera de la casa? S ____ No ____ 7. Esta vivienda es: propia, prestada, o alquilada? 8. Cunto tiempo ha vivido aqu? Aos 60

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61 9. Posee otra propiedad (como casa, finca, o terreno)? No: Pase a la pregunta numero 11 Si: a. Adonde? b. Cuntas manzanas tiene por total? Menos que 1 manzana ____ Entre 1-20 manzanas ____ Entre 20-50 manzanas ____ Entre 50-100 manzanas ____ Entre 100-500 manzanas ____ Mas que 500 manzanas ____ 10. Se pregunta lo siguiente solamente sobre las propiedades que tiene en Santo Tomas: a. Cuntas manzanas tiene dentro el municipio de Santo Tomas? Menos que 1 manzana ____ Entre 1-20 manzanas ____ Entre 20-50 manzanas ____ Entre 50-100 manzanas ____ Entre 100-500 manzanas ____ Mas que 500 manzanas ____ b. De este terreno, cuantas manzanas son bosque? c. De estas, cuantas sembr Usted? d. Por cunto tiempo han sido dueos de esta(s) propiedad(es)? ____aos e. Cada cuanto visita esta propiedad? _____________________ f. Esta propiedad la consigui por medio de: reforma agraria, herencia, compra, o de otra manera? 11. Qu usa en su casa para cocinar? Fuente Cunto? Cada cuanto? Gas Lea Desecho Agrcolas Carboncito Queroseno Otra: 12. Cules tipos de rboles usan para lea?

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62 II:Cmo usa el medio ambiente? A: rboles 1. Qu variedad de rboles tiene en su propiedad (por ejemplo, lea, madera y otro material para la construccin, ornamentales, medicinales, frutales, artesana)? 2. Para que lo utilicen? a. Nada Consumo Propio Venta b. Si se vende: cunto se vende, cada cuanto? 3. Acostumbra a sacar lea, madera, plantas medicinales o productos de los rboles de terreno ajeno? a. No S, para consumo propio S, para venta b. Si se vende: cunto se vende, cada cuanto? 4. Cuntas horas requiere para llegar al sitio de donde saca la madera o otros productos del bosque? B: Animales 1. Qu variedad de animales silvestres tiene en su propiedad? 2. Acostumbra a cazar este tipo de animales? S __ No __ Si no, pase a Seccin C. Las Aguas. a. Cada cuanto? b. Qu tipo de animal caza? c. Porque caza: comida venta deporte d. Acostumbra a cazar en: terreno propio ajeno e. Cuntas horas requiere para llegar al sitio de la caza?

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63 C. Las Aguas 6. Acostumbra ir a lavar a los ros, quebradas, caitos, criques u ojos de agua? Todo el Ao Solamente Verano No 7. Acostumbra recoger los desechos plsticos (como bolsas de ace o jabn) cuando salgan al ro o los dejan botados? Se recoge Se deja botado 8. Si tiene terreno, qu fuentes de agua tiene en su terreno? 9. Acostumbra recoger lea o cortar madera a la orilla de los ros, quebradas, u ojos de agua? S No III. Manejo de reas forestales Con lo siguiente Usted me va a decir si esta de Acuerdo (1, 2), no est de acuerdo (4, 5), o si no tiene ninguna opinin (3). En los bosques que hay todava en el municipio de Santo Toms, se debe realizar... Corte de madera para el uso propio. 1 2 3 4 5 Corte de madera para la exportacin. 1 2 3 4 5 La cazara de animales. 1 2 3 4 5 Recoger lea. 1 2 3 4 5 Despale de los bosques para sembrar nuevo pasto para la ganadera. 1 2 3 4 5 El busque de oro y plata. 1 2 3 4 5 Recoger productos del bosque no-maderables como plantas medicinales, ornamentales, y frutas. 1 2 3 4 5 Actividades recreativas como da de campo, paseo, picnic. 1 2 3 4 5 Proyectos para proteger los suelos y la calidad del agua. 1 2 3 4 5 Actividades educativas como capacitaciones para los finqueros, campesinos, y estudiantes. 1 2 3 4 5 Un plan de manejo donde los finqueros dejan una parte de su terreno para la ganadera y otra parte en bosques. 1 2 3 4 5 La quema de los potreros y terreno de siembras. 1 2 3 4 5 Usted ha recibido alguna orientacin acerca de la conservacin del medio ambiente? Por ejemplo, departe de ... Un organismo internacional (Ej., FADES, Paz y Tercer Mundo, etc.) El Gobierno Nicaragense (Ej., INTA, la polica, la alcalda, en la escuela) Platicando entre amigos A travs de su iglesia Por medio de la radio o televisin

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APPENDIX C VARIETY OF TREES SELF-REPORTED ON FARMS IN SANTO TOMS, CHONTALES. Common names of trees collected from interviews were matched to scientific names based on known distribution. This is not a vouchered list and should be cited with caution. Extensive botanical studies are recommended for this region. Common Name Scientific Name Family Source Notes Acacia Acacia pennatula Mimosaceae 4 Acetuno Simarouba glauca Simaroubaceae 1 Achote Bixa orellana Bixaceae 4 Aguacate Persea americana Lauraceae 4 Aguacate de Monte Persea coerulea Lauraceae 4 Agege/Espavel Anacardum excelsum Anacardiaceae 2 Almendro Terminalia catappa Combretaceae 2 Anona Annona purpurea Annonaceae 4 Areno Homalium racemosum Flacourtiaceae 4 Babayan Rehdera trinervis Verbenaceae 4 Blsamo Myroxylon balsamum Fabaceae 4 Bamb Amarillo Babusa vulgaris Poaceae 2 Barazn Hirtella americana (?) Chrysobalanaceae 4 Cacao Theobroma cacao Sterculiaceae 4 Caf Coffea liberica Rubiaceae 4 Caimito Chrysophyllum cainito Sapotaceae 2 Camibar Copaifera aromatica Caesalpiniaceae 4 Canela Canelo Amarillo Arbutus xalapensis (or below) Ericaceae 4 Canelo Negro/Quinina Nectandra reticulata (or above) Lauraceae 4 Caa agria N/A Caoba del Atlantico Swietenia macrophylla Meliaceae 1 D Caoba del Pacifico Swietenia humilis Meliaceae 1 D 64

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65 Common Name Scientific Name Family Source Notes Capirote Miconia podecandra Melastomataceae 3 Capuln Muntingia calabura Elaeocarpaceae 3 Carao Bursera graveolens Burseraceae 4 Carao/Carl Cassia grandis Caesalpinaceae 1 Castao Artocarpus heterophyllus Moraceae 4 Cedro Macho Carapa nicaraguensis Meliaceae 4 C Cedro Real Cedrela odorata Meliaceae 1 D Ceiba Ceiba pentandra Bombacaceae 1 Cerito Casearia corymbosa Flacourtiaceae 4 E Ciprs Cupressus lisitanica Cupressaceae 1 Coco Coco nucifera Arecaceae 4 Coloradito Cnestidium rudescens Connaraceae 4 Cordoncillo Piper tuberculatum Piperaceae 4 Cornizuelo Acacia collinsii Mimosaceae 4 Corozo N/A Corroncha de Lagarto Farmea occidentalis Rubiaceae 4 Cortz Amarillo Tabebuia chrysantha Bignoniaceae 2 Coyol Acrocomia vinifera Arecaceae 4 Coyolito Bactris balanoides Arecaceae 4 Coyote Plartmiscium p leiostachyum Fabaceae 4 Cuarsa N/A Chaguite N/A Chaperno Lonchocardus sp. Fabaceae 4 Chicharrn Blanco Rehdera trinervis Verbenaceae 4 Chilamate Ficus sp. Moraceae 4 Chiquirn Myrosperma frutescens Fabaceae 4 bano N/A Escoba Lucia N/A Escobillo Myrciaria floribunda or Phyllostylon brasiliensis Myrtaceae/Lilmaceae 4 Espadillo Yucca elephantipes Agavaceae 4 Eucalypto Eucalyptus camaldulensis Myrtaceae 1 Flor de Avispa Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Malvaceae 4

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66 Common Name Scientific Name Family Source Notes Flor de Jamaica N/A Genzaro Pithecolobium saman Mimosaceae 1/2 Granadillo Dalbergia tucurensis Fabaceae 4 Guaba (con vainas) Inga sp. Mimosaceae 4 Guaba blanca Inga sp. Mimosaceae 4 Guaba cuadrada Inga sapinoides Mimosaceae 4 Guaba pachona Inga tonduzii Mimosaceae 4 Guaba rellera Inga sp. Mimosaceae 4 Guabo Inga vera Mimosaceae 1 Gucimo de Ternero Guazuma ulmifolia Sterculiaceae 1 Gucimo Molenillo Luehea candida Titliaceae 4 Guanbana Annona muricata Annonaceae 4 Guanacaste de Oreja Enterolobium cyclocarpum Mimosaceae 1 Guapinol Hymenaea courbaril Caesalpinaceae 1 Guarumo Cecropia insignis 3 Guayaba Psidium sp. Myrtaceae 4 Gus Coyol N/A Guyabn Terminalia oblonga Combretaceae 4 Higualtl Genipa cartuto Rubiaceae 2 Hoja Chigue Curtella americana/Petrela volubilis Dilleniaceae/Verbenaceae 4 Hoja Tostada Licania arborea Chrysobalanaceae 2 Hombre Grande Quassia amara Simaroubaceae 4 Huevo de Burro/Cachito Stemmadenia donnel-smithii Apocynaceae 4 Jicaro de Cumba N/A Jicaro Grande Cersentia sp. Bignoniaceae 4 Jicaro Sabanero Cresentia alata Bignoniaceae 2 Jiocuabo/Indio Desnudo Bursera simaruba Burseraceae 1 Jobo Lagarto Sciadodendron excelsum Araliaceae 4 Jocote Spondias sp. Anacardiaceae 4 Jocote Sabanero/Inviernero Spondias purpura Anacardiaceae 4 Kerosn Tetragastrius panamensis Burseraceae 4

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67 Common Name Scientific Name Family Source Notes Laurel Cordia alliodora Boraginaceae 1 Laurel del Indio Ficus sp. Moraceae 4 Limn Agrio/de castillo Citrus aurantifolia Rutaceae 4 Limn Dulce N/A Limn Mandarina N/A Limonaria Murraya paniculata Rutaceae 4 Madero Negro Gliricidia sepium Fabaceae 1 Madroo Calycophyllum candidissumum Rubiaceae 1 Majagua N/A Malvaceae 4 Malinche Delonix regia Caesalpiniaceae 2 Mamn Melicoccus bijugatus Sapindaceae 4 Manchn N/A Manchn Cola de Pava N/A Mandarina Citrus nobilis Rutaceae 4 A Manga larga colorada Xylopia aromatica Annonaceae 4 Mango Magifera indica Anacardiaceae 4 Manzanita Ximenia americana Olacaceae 4 Maran Anacardium occidentale Anacardiaceae 4 Matapalo Ficus obtusifolia Clusiaceae 4 E Matorral N/A Morn Chlorophora tinctoria Moraceae 2 Morisca Cordia sp./Croton xalapensis Boraginaceae/Euphorbiaceae 4 Mueco N/A Nancite Agrio Byrsonima crassifola Ebanaceae 2 Nancite Dulce N/A Nancitn Hyeronima alchomeoides Euphorbiaceae 1 Naranjo Agrio Citrus vulgaris Rutaceae 3 Naranjo Dulce Citrus sinensis Rutaceae 2 Nispero/Chicle Manilkara achras Sapotaceae 4 B, E mbar Dalbergia retusa Fabaceae 4 Ocote Pinus oocarpa Pinaceae 1 C Ojoche Brosumum alicastrum Moraceae 1

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68 Common Name Scientific Name Family Source Notes Palanco Saptanthus nicaraguense Annonaceae 4 Palo de Agua Vochysia hondurensis Vochysiaceae 1 Palo de Arco Apoplanesia paniculata Fabaceae 4 Palo de Chocoyo N/A Palo de Hule Castilla elastica Moraceae 4 E Palo de Piedra Minquartia guianensis Olacaceae 4 C Palo de Plomo/ Desposado/ Huevo de Burro Zuelania guidonia Flacourtiaceae 4 Panchl Daphnopsis seibertii Thymelaeaceae 4 Papaya Carica papaya Caricaceae 4 Peine Mico Apeiba tibourbou Tiliaceae 4 Pera N/A Pijivay Bactris gasipaes Arecaceae 4 Pino Pinus patula var. tecunnumanii Pinaceae 1 Pipilacha N/A Pochote Bombacopsis quinata Bombacaceae 1 D Quebracho Pithecellobium arboreum Mimosaceae 1/2 Quelite Cnidoscolus aconitifolius Euphorbaceae 4 Quitacalzn Astronium graveolens Anacardiaceae 4 Roble Tabebuia rosea Bignoniaceae 1 Roble Negro Quercus sp. Fagaceae 4 Sancuajoche Plumeria rubra Apocynaceae 4 Sangregrado Pterocarpus rohrii Fabaceae 4 Sotacaballo/Manglar Pothecellobium longifolium Mimosaceae 4 Tamarindo Parkinsonia aculeata Caesalpinaceae 1 Tatascame Lacistema aggregatum Asteraceae 4 Tempisque Mastichodendron capiri var. Tempisque Sapotaceae 1 Toronja/Grapefruit/Narangela Citrus paradisi Rutaceae 4 Tuno Castilla tuno Moraceae 4 Ua de gato Marchaerium biovalatum/M. marginatum Fabaceae 4 Varilla Negra N/A

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69 Common Name Scientific Name Family Source Notes Vivorilla N/A C Yema de Huevo Morinda panamensis Rubiaceae 4 Zapote Pouteria sp. Sapotaceae 4 Zapotillo Pouteria sapota Sapotaceae 4 Zopilote Vochysia ferruginea Vochysiaceae 1 Zoroncontl N/A Zorro Zanthoxylum panamensis Rutaceae 4 Sources: 1 MARENA 2003 2 Observations made at Zoolgico de Chontales Thomas Belt 3 Observations made a Paz y Tercer Mundo, Tierra Blanca comarca, Santo Toms. 4 Salas Estrada 1993 Notes: A = One of the few citruses remaining in Santo Toms after the citrus blight B = Locally extinct in La Libertad and Santo Domingo because used to hold up mine tunnels C = Trees which will not regenerate once primary forest is cut D = Precious woods valued for timber E = Known to be limited to the Atlantic region

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APPENDIX D ON-FARM TREE DIVERSITY Another way to judge the effectiveness of conservation policy is through on-farm tree diversity. Tree diversity is closely linked to biodiversity in general (Kelly and Bowler 2002), and this species richness also leads to increased ecosystem productivity (Vila et al. 2003). Diversity of woody tree species has been correlated with abiotic factors such as rainfall, soil fertility, latitude, altitude, seasonality and catastrophic events (Givnish 1999), as well as human disturbances (Bhuyan et al. 2003, Gillespie et al. 2000). The decision to grow trees on private land, and which trees and how many, is a personal decision made by individual landowners in this area. As such, household socioeconomic variables might be a deciding factor. Because no vouchered specimens were collected, caution has been used applying this data. Regional names appeared to be assigned to the same tree in some cases (e.g., chicle and nispero both referred to Manilkara achras and agege and espavel both referred to Anacardium excelsum, Salas Estrada 1993). Therefore, rather than calculating species richness or diversity indices, the number of different species on individual farms was used as the dependent variable (see Ramirez Marcial et al. 2001 and Lopz Portillo and Ezcurra 1989 for similar treatment of data). In this way tree diversity is used as an additional indicator for a societys orientation toward forest conservation and analyzed for significant socioeconomic influences. 70

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71 Of those interviewed, a total of 45 respondents reported to own farms in the Santo Toms municipality. The descriptive statistics of the sub-sample compare favorably to the general population statistics of the entire study. While the actual population of Santo Toms is 51.5% women and 49.5% men (PEP 2001), this subset of interviews included 42% women and 58% men, while the overall survey was comprised of 40% women and 60% men. The average age and educational level of this interviewed subset was exactly the same as those for the entire survey. This comparison indicates that the answers for the farm owning subset were as reliable and representative as the entire survey. Focus group meetings held with local institutions after the results were tabulated indicated that the survey results generally reflected the population overall. Table D-1. Independent variables and their expected and actual effect on tree diversity. Independent Variable Expected Actual Significant AGE + FEMALE EDUCATION + + INCOME + + ** EMPLOY + ** TENURE + HHSIZE + ** Significant at = .05. Independent variables for the purposes of this regression analysis were: age, gender, household size, education and income levels, outside employment and owning household property. After insignificant variables were removed listwise, an equation with tree diversity as the dependent variable and income and outside employment as independent variables was derived: Tree Diversity = 12.54 + 7.88(INCOME) + 16.12(EMPLOY) This indicates that households with a higher income and outside employment are more likely to choose to maintain a higher diversity of trees on their farms. Maslows

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72 hierarchy of needs offers one possible explanation for this phenomenon. Once farmers have satisfied their basic needs, they can afford to look to the future with conservation indicators.

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APPENDIX E DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FROM QUESTIONNAIRE DATA N Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation Rural 100 0 1 .50 .503 Barrio (Urban Neighborhood) Bella Vista 100 0 1 .03 .171 Hroes y Mrtires 100 0 1 .03 .171 Jaime Lpez 100 0 1 .03 .171 Pablo beda 100 0 1 .03 .171 Pancasn 100 0 1 .05 .219 Reinaldo Jirn 100 0 1 .03 .171 San Jos 100 0 1 .07 .256 Sandino 100 0 1 .09 .288 Santiago 100 0 1 .07 .256 Javier Guerra 100 0 1 .07 .256 Comarca (Rural District) Oropndola 100 0 1 .09 .288 Mollejones 100 0 1 .05 .219 Las Mesas 100 0 1 .03 .171 El Zapotal 100 0 1 .04 .197 El Jicarito 100 0 1 .10 .302 Cerca de la carretera 100 0 1 .06 .239 El Zurrn 100 0 1 .05 .219 Tierra Blanca 100 0 1 .05 .219 El Alto 100 0 1 .03 .171 Location Year-round access to urban center 100 0 1 .77 .423 Cost of travel to town 100 $0 $118 $28.42 $37.476 Socioeconomic characteristics of respondent Female 100 0 1 .60 .492 Age 100 18 82 41.13 14.920 Years of Formal Education 100 0 16 4.76 4.699 Farmer 100 0 1 .29 .456 73

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74 N Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation Merchant 100 0 1 .15 .359 Housewife 100 0 1 .40 .492 Journeyman 100 0 1 .13 .338 Day laborer 100 0 1 .04 .197 Student 100 0 1 .09 .288 Socioeconomic characteristics of the household People in Household 100 1 14 5.96 2.741 # Children 100 0 9 2.59 2.060 # People assisting with expenses 100 1 8 2.34 1.689 Household income (continuous) 53 $200 $7,200 $1,480. 38 $1,325.749 Household income (categorical) 96 0 3 1.06 .949 Member of household with outside employment 100 0 1 .43 .498 Own house 100 0 1 .83 .378 Time in current location 100 0 76 18.28 14.931 Own land 100 0 1 .46 .501 Inherited land 99 0 1 .29 .457 Monthly cost of fuelwood (C$) 94 $0 $1,125 $216.3 2 $230.755 Percent cooking energy supplied by fuelwood 98 0 100 67.78 40.792 ornament 100 0 1 .18 .386 Trees present on property Fruit 100 0 1 .95 .219 Hardwood 100 0 1 .54 .501 Tree Product Use Household consumption 100 0 1 .85 .359 Sale 100 0 1 .08 .273

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75 N Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation Collected property owned by others 100 0 1 .21 .409 Animals seen on property Common to human settlements 100 0 1 .88 .327 Wild 100 0 1 .38 .488 Household behavior Hunting 100 0 1 .15 .359 Occasionally wash in river 100 0 1 .73 .446 Always wash in river 100 0 1 .39 .490 Throw trash in river 99 0 1 .29 .457 Harvest fuelwood near river 100 0 1 .23 .423 Environmental Education Received via any venue 100 0 1 .82 .386 NGO 100 0 1 .19 .394 Government (school or agency) 100 0 1 .31 .465 Radio or Television 100 0 1 .70 .461 Word-ofmouth 100 0 1 .25 .435 Church 100 0 1 .25 .435 Preferences (Do you agree the following should be permitted in the forests that remain in the Santo Toms municipality?) Harvest timber for household 100 1 3 1.63 .928 Harvest timber for sale 100 1 3 2.82 .575 Hunt wild animals 100 1 3 2.45 .880 Harvest fuelwood for household use 100 1 3 1.29 .701 Deforest to 100 1 3 2.41 .911

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76 N Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Deviation expand cattle ranching Exploit gold and silver 100 1 3 1.75 .869 Harvest NTFPs 100 1 3 1.20 .569 Recreational activities 100 1 3 1.18 .575 Conservation projects 100 1 1 1.00 .000 Educational activities 100 1 1 1.00 .000 Mandatory forest reserves 100 1 3 1.05 .261 Permit burning for agriculture 53 1 3 2.42 .908

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78 Castilleja G. 1993. Changing trends in forest policy in Latin America: Chile, Nicaragua and Mexico. Unasylva 175(44):29-35. Central Intelligence Agency [CIA]. 2003 [updated 18 December]. The world factbook. Langley (VA): Central Intelligence Agency. Available online: http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/. Accessed 19 April 2004. Collins JL. 1986. Smallholder settlement of tropical South America: The social causes of ecological destruction. Human Organization 45(1):1-10. Connell D. 2001. Rethinking revolution: New strategies for democracy and social justice. Lawrenceville (NJ): Red Sea Press. 332 p. Deininger K, Chamorro JS. 2004. Investment and equity effects of land regularisation: the case of Nicaragua. Agricultural Economics 30(2):101-116. Elizondo D. 1997. The environment. p 131-145. In: Walker TW, editor. Nicaragua Without Illusions: Regime Transition and Structural Adjustment. Wilmington (DE): Scholarly Resources. 332 p. Faris R. 1999. Deforestation and land use on the evolving frontier: An empirical assessment. Development Discussion Paper No. 678. Harvard University, Cambridge (MA): Harvard Institute for International Development. 30 p. Ferrer CG, Miranda MC, Vargas PL. 2003. Reliability and validation with Mexican children of two instruments that measure self esteem. Salud Mental 26(4):40-46. Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO]. 2003. State of the Worlds Forests. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Available online at www.fao.org. 151 p. Fredericksen TS, Putz FE. 2003. Silvicultural intensification for tropical forest conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 12(7):1445-1453. Gibson B. 1996. The environmental consequences of stagnation in Nicaragua. World Development 24(2):325-339. Gillespie TW. 2002. Patterns of vertebrate species richness and conservation in Nicaragua. Natural Areas Journal 21:159-167. Gillespie TW, Grijalva A, Farris CN. 2000. Diversity, composition, and structure of tropical dry forests in Central America. Plant Ecology 147(1):37-47. Givnish TJ. 1999. On the causes of gradients in tropical tree diversity. Journal of Ecology 87(2):193-210.

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79 Godoy R. 1994. The effects of rural education on the use of tropical rainforests by the Sumu Indians of Nicaragua: Possible pathways, qualitative findings, and policy options. Human Organization 53(3):233-244. Godoy R, Groff S, O'Neill K. 1998. The role of education in neotropical deforestation: Household evidence from Amerindians in Honduras. Human Ecology 26(4):649-675. Gonzalez D. 2000. Among unpaid wages of a revolution: Competing claims on land in Nicaragua. The New York Times September 10. Guerrero JN, Soriano L. 1969. Municipio de Santo Toms. p 172-179. In: Guerrero JN, Soriano L, (eds). Monografa de Chontales. Managua: Liceo Lola Soriano. 259 p. Guerrero JN, Soriano L. 1992. Historia de la ganadera de Nicaragua. Managua: Editorial Union. 175 p. Hammett AL, McCrary JK, Baur GP. 1999. Forest products in Nicaragua. Forest Products Journal 49(6):12-20. Harvey CA, Haber WA. 1999. Remnant trees and the conservation of biodiversity in Costa Rican pastures. Agroforestry Systems 44(1):37-68. Hellier A, Newton AC, Gaona SO. 1999. Use of indigenous knowledge for rapidly assessing trends in biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation 8(7):869-889. INAFORM-AMUNIC. 1997. Santo Toms, Chontales. Managua: Instituto Nicaragense de Fomento Municipal y Asociacin de Municipalidades de Nicaragua. 25 p. Incer J. 2000. Geografa dinmica de Nicaragua. Managua: Editorial Hispamer. 281 p. INITER. 1989a. Nicaragua: Regin V, Departamento de Chontales, Acoyapa. No. 3151-I. Managua: Instituto Nicaragense de Estudios Territoriales. INITER. 1989b. Nicaragua: Regin V, Departamento de Chontales, Santo Toms. No. 3152-II. Managua: Instituto Nicaragense de Estudios Territoriales. INITER. 1989c. Nicaragua: Regin V y Regin Autnoma Atlntico Sur, Departamento de Chontales, Ro Malaywas. No. 3152-IV. Managua: Instituto Nicaragense de Estudios Territoriales. INITER. 1990. Repblica de Nicaragua: Precipitacin media anual, perodo 1971-1990. Instituto Nicaragense de Estudios Territoriales, Managua, Nicaragua. Inter-American Court of Human Rights [IACHR]. 2001. The case of the Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni community v. Nicaragua [translation]. Text version available online at http://www.elaw.org/resources/text.asp?ID=1050. 89 p.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jensen Reitz Montambault was born in 1976 and raised near Charlottesville, Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 1995 with degrees in environmental science and English literature and composition. As a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer from 1996-1998, Jensen served as a community environmental promoter in the town of Santo Toms, Chontales. Returning to the U.S., Jensen worked for non-profit organizations in Washington D.C., including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Conservation International where she managed Rapid Assessment Program scientific expeditions to Latin America and Africa. In 2002, she started the masters/PhD program in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida; first as a Tropical Conservation and Development Fellow and currently as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. 85


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SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN RURAL NICARAGUA:
SELF-REPORTED HOUSEHOLD BEHAVIOR AND STATED MANAGEMENT
PREFERENCES IN SANTO TOMAS, CHONTALES
















By

JENSEN REITZ MONTAMBAULT


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF SCIENCE

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2004

































Copyright 2004

by

Jensen Reitz Montambault



































This thesis is dedicated to my husband, my parents and my stepparents who have
provided unconditional love, patience and support on my journey through life and my
academic career.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The implementation of this study and production of this thesis were made possible

by the immeasurable support of various individuals and institutions at the University of

Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Before all others I am grateful for the constant guidance and

support of my advisor and mentor Janaki R.R. Alavalapati of the School of Forest

Resources and Conservation. My master's committee graciously provided the additional

insight and assistance necessary for a constructive term of study and quality research; my

thanks goes out to Tom Ankersen of the Levin College of Law and Tom Hammett of the

Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia. Invaluable logistic assistance and

administrative advice were also cheerfully afforded by Cathy Ritchie, Meisha Wade and

Stephen Humphrey of the School of Natural Resources and Environment; Scott Sager,

Cherie Arias, Sherry Tucker, Cale Batey, Marie Meldrum and Winnie Lante of the

School of Forest Resources and Conservation; and Hannah Covert and Wanda Carter of

the Tropical Conservation and Development Program in the Center for Latin American

Studies.

This research was made possible by the generous support of the Tropical

Conservation and Development Program, Tinker Foundation and School of Natural

Resources and Environment. The material is also based upon work supported under a

National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Any opinions, findings,

conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and









do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation, or other

supporters.

The success of this fieldwork is shared with my field assistant Juana Borge Cabrera

and many other friends and colleagues from Santo Tomas, Chontales, and the region.

Special thanks are extended to local delegations of the Ministry of Education, Culture and

Sports (MECD) and the Ministry of Health (MINSA), the Ministry of the Environment -

Juigalpa (MARENA), the Santo Tomas mayor's office, the Santo Tomas Roman Catholic

Church, Nicaraguan Red Cross of Santo Tomas, "Advances" Credit Union, Radio

Chontalefia, Municipal Environmental Commission (CAM), and the Cattle Ranching

Cooperative of Santo Tomas, "Rios de Leche." Additional recognition goes to the

dedication of rural school teachers whose assistance in the field was critical to the

project's implementation.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES .............. ........ ............... ........... viii

LIST OF FIGURES ........................ ........................... ix

ABSTRAC T ............. ............ ................. ........ ........x

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ................... .................. .............. .... ......... .......

Theoretical B asis for the Study.......................................................................................3
Needs Hierarchy .............................................. ..... .. .4
Diffusion Theory ............. ............................. ....... .5
Nicaragua ................................ ......... ........ .. ................. 6
Perverse Effects of Nicaraguan Forest Policy .....................................................7
The Agricultural Frontier ........................... ..................... ...............9
Social Issues and Sustainable Forest M management ...........................................13
Research Questions................................ ........... .. ..15
Problem Statement and Rationale ........................................... 15
Research Objective and Questions ...........................................16
Thesis Overview ................ ...... ............... 16

2 STUD Y AREA ................... ............................................. ...... .. .............. 17

Physical and B biological D escription.........................................................................17
Ecological Understanding......................................... ......... 19
Socioeconom ic D description ................................................................................... 2 1
History ........................... .................... .........21
Demographics.................................... .........23
Econom y and Land-U se .............................................. ............... 24

3 METHODS .................................................27

Survey Questionnaire.......................................27
D evelopm ent and Pretesting...................................................................... 27
Sam pling D design ............................ ..................29


............. ................ 2 7

Survey Q uestionnaire....... ............................................................ ...... ..... 27
D evelopm ent and Pretesting...................................................... ..... .......... 27
Sam pling D design .............................. ......................... ... ...... .... ..... ...... 29









D ata A n a ly sis ................................................................................................. 3 0
D dependent V ariables.......... ..... .............................................................. ...... ..... .. 30
H household B behavior Index ........................................................ ............... 31
R ationale for W eightings................................................................ ... ............ 32
Forest M management Preference Index..... .......... ....................................... 33
R ationale for W eightings......................................................... ............. 34
Independent Variables ....................... ......... ... ........ .................. .35

4 RESULTS AND DISCU SSION ........................................... .......................... 38

D escriptiv e R esu lts ........................................................................... .......... .. .. ...3 8
Socioeconom ic Characterization...................................................................... 38
H household B behavior .................. .......................... .................... .. 41
Stated M anagem ent Preference ........................................ ....................... 41
Bivariate Correlations ........................... .. .. .................. .. ...... 42
R egression A naly sis........... ................................................................ ......... .... 44

5 C O N C L U SIO N S ....................... .... .......................... ................ ...... ......... 48

G general Synthesis .................................. .. .. .. ...... .. ............48
R research Findings............... ........ .......... .......................................... .... .. .... 50
Comments on the Survey Questionnaire Tool .............................................. 51
Limitations to Self-Reported Behavior and Stated Preference Analyses............52
Index D evelopm ent ....................... .. .... ................... ...... .. ........... 53
D directions for Future Study ............................................... ............................. 53

APPENDIX

A SURVEY OF THE SANTO TOMAS MUNICIPALITY INHABITANTS
ABOUT THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ENVIRONMENT........................56

B ENCUESTA SOBRE LOS HABITANTES DEL MUNICIPIO DE SANTO
TOMAS Y SU RELACION CON EL MEDIO AMBIENTE...............................60

C VARIETY OF TREES SELF-REPORTED ON FARMS IN SANTO TOMAS,
CHONTALES .................. .................. ................. ........... ............... 64

D ON -FA R M TREE D IV ER SITY .................................................................................70

E DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FROM QUESTIONNAIRE DATA..........................73

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ......... ................. ...................................................................77

BIO GRAPH ICAL SK ETCH .................................................. ............................... 85
















LIST OF TABLES


Table pge

1-1 A timeline of generalized regimes and influences of the expansion of the
agricultural frontier. ........................................... .. .... ......... .. ....... 12

3-1 Response values used to calculate the Household Behavior Index..........................31

3-2 Bivariate and alternative values for response used to calculate the forest
management preference index. .......................................... ............... ............... 33

3-3 Expected coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables when
regressed against two dependent variables........ ................ ...................36

4-1 Data was sorted by rural and urban respondents and a student's t-test was used
to determine whether the detected variation was significant ................................39

4-2 Response values used to calculate the household behavior index..........................40

4-3 Response values used to calculate stated forest management preference index......41

4-4 Significant relationships between independent variables............... ...... ........ 42

4-5 Unstandardized coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables
when regressed against two dependent variables ..................................................44

D-1 Independent variables and their expected and actual effect on tree diversity..........71
















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

1-1 Graphic representation of the eastward progression of Nicaragua's agricultural
frontier....................................... .................................. ........ 13

2-1 Urban and rural areas surveyed in Santo Tomas, Department of Chontales,
Nicaragua. .......................................................18

2-2 Land vocation in Santo Tomas, Chontales........................ ................ 25

2-3 Actual land use in Santo Tomas, Chontales......... ......................26

5-1 Significant relationships revealed by regression analysis and bivariate
correlation can be synthesized into a single figure based on common links.........50


n be synthesized into a single figure based on common links............50















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science

SUSTAINABLE FOREST MANAGEMENT IN RURAL NICARAGUA:
SELF-REPORTED HOUSEHOLD BEHAVIOR AND STATED MANAGEMENT
PREFERENCES IN SANTO TOMAS, CHONTALES

By

Jensen Reitz Montambault

August 2004

Chair: Janaki R.R. Alavalapati
Major Department: School of Natural Resources and Environment

The increasing human population exacerbates pressure on limited natural resources

worldwide. Rapid conversion of tropical forests to cattle ranching and agriculture results

in a legacy of environmental and economic problems at many scales. For example, the

municipality of Santo Tomas, Chontales, in Nicaragua, originally part of largest

Neotropical rainforest north of the Amazon and now 80% active/abandoned cattle

pasture, is currently experiencing widespread household water and forest product

shortages caused by deforestation/degradation. Nicaragua's current forest management

policy requires annual management plans too cumbersome for small-scale forests on

farms, indirectly contributing to continued conversion of forests to cattle pasture so that

Nicaragua now has the highest deforestation rate in Central America. Cattle ranching is

supported by the current sociopolitical climate but employs few people relative to

agriculture, forestry and industry and requires massive amounts of land causing severe

economic disparity as well as long-term environmental disservices.









Sustainable forest management is a goal of the Nicaraguan government, but is

clearly not being implemented on the ground. Forest policy can adapt to on-the-ground

realities by understanding existing household behavior affecting the environment,

examining public preference for sustainable management, and analyzing and adjusting

policy to reinforce sustainable management preferences with incentives for conservation

behavior. This study investigates the socioeconomic distinctions between groups of

respondents professing different preferences and household behaviors related to

sustainable forest management. This study used 100 survey questionnaires to develop a

household behavior index and forest management preference index in order to explore the

questions: What causes conservation behavior in households? How are behavior and

stated sustainable management preferences related?

The results of this study suggest that younger people in Santo Tomas tend to favor

more sustainable forest management practices. This may be due in part to the fact that the

limits of Nicaraguan forest resources are much clearer now than for previous generations.

Alternatively, young people tend to be more educated and have households in urban areas

and so may have more confidence in securing alternative livelihoods. In addition, the

sociopolitical history surrounding the 1979-90 Sandinista revolution and ensuing civil

war may influence older residence to be more cautious in adopting innovative practices

for managing forest fragments on private land. Larger households, on the other hand,

tended to behave in less sustainable ways, possibly out of necessity. Rural households

strongly favored conversion of forest to cattle pasture and differed significantly from

urban households in terms of lower education and employment and larger household size.















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The dilemma of human population growth and the finite natural resources on this

planet has troubled philosophers throughout the ages. Specific applications depend on

physical delineations, temporal scales and the subjective measures of quality of life.

Developing countries such as Nicaragua have traditionally relied on vast expanses of

territory to relieve social pressures caused by increased population, natural disasters and

political crises1 (Utting 1993). Sustainable management of forest resources, 2 once

considered limitless, currently challenges both tropical and temperate countries. Global

interest in collective benefits from environmental conservation has also made sustainable

management a priority in countries receiving significant amounts of foreign aid. 3

Expansionist attitudes popularized during the "Green Revolution" are giving way to a

mantra of sustainable economic development and environmental conservation.

The increasing human population exacerbates pressure on limited natural resources

worldwide. The human population currently stands at 6.15 billion and is projected to

grow to 7.18 billion by the year 2015 (UNDP 2003), while forest cover is decreasing at a


1 Recent crises include Hurricanes Joan (1988) and Mitch (1998) as well as restitution to Sandinista and
Contra fighters and repatriated wartime refugees (Ortega 1991), some of whom continue to lobby the
government for land grants to this day.

2 Although precise definitions of sustainable forest management are open to debate, the term here refers to
the definition by the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), "a set of objectives and outcomes
consistent with maintaining or improving the forest's ecological integrity and contributing to people's well-
being both now and in the future." Definition by the Nicaraguan government appears later in this chapter.

3 The latest available figure indicated that in 1990 Nicaragua's official development assistance comprised
30% of the Gross Domestic Product (UNDP 2003).









rate of 0.38% annually (FAO 2003). General equilibrium models have shown that limits

to economic growth and prosperity may be based on renewable and non-renewable

natural resources (Ricker 1997), warranting concern for sustainable growth based in

natural resource management.

In Central America and the Brazilian Amazon region increased human pressure has

manifested itself primarily as conversion of vast expanses of rain forest to cattle pasture

(Buschbacher 1986, Kaimowitz et al. 2004), in many cases irrevocably interrupting the

forest ecosystem functioning on a local and watershed level (Maass 1995). Large-scale or

industrial agriculture operations (e.g., soy) limit soil recovery potential while under-

developed infrastructure makes chemical nutrient replacement impracticable

(Buschbacher 1986). Pasture reclamation techniques represent imminent concern for the

region's environment and depend on technological and socioeconomic factors, especially

government subsidies and price controls (Serrdo and Toledo 1992).

Rapid conversion of tropical forests to cattle ranching and agriculture, however,

also results in a legacy of environmental and economic problems at smaller scales. For

example, the municipality of Santo Tomas, Chontales in Nicaragua was originally part of

the largest contiguous Neotropical rainforest north of the Amazon and is now 80%

active/abandoned cattle pasture (PEP 2001). As a result it is currently experiencing

widespread household water and forest product shortages caused by deforestation and

forest degradation. A context for effecting change to these watershed-level problems can

be established by examining household behavior and attitudes toward sustainable forest

management practices. Existing public policies, both "explicit" and "implicit", 4 also


4 Johnston and Lorraine (1994) portray explicit policies as "laws, regulations and technical standards"
giving examples such as: pesticide subsidies, protected area demarcation and declaration, idle land tax and









influence how heads of household perceive the importance and feasibility of forest

conservation. This chapter discusses household behavior and stated management

preferences in rural Nicaragua in the context of global and regional natural resource

conservation and the theoretical structure supporting the tenuous connection between

people's self-reported actions and expressed preferences.

Theoretical Basis for the Study

The extent of moist tropical forests disappearance for economic development has

been well established (e.g. Brooks et al. 2002, Faris 1999, Kaimowitz et al. 2004).

Although the conundrum of integrated conservation and development projects has been

addressed by non-governmental organizations, regulatory agencies, as well as academics,

deforestation for cattle ranching continues to be the primary source of biodiversity and

forest cover loss in Latin American biodiversity hotspots (Brooks et al. 2002). Schmink

(1987) argues that while an impoverished country, such as Brazil, destroying its greatest

natural assets appears irrational from a long-term planning perspective, the small

institutional steps resulting in massive deforestation are actually state policies responding

to constituent pressure, corporate interests combined with the impoverished masses. This

phenomenon appears to be widespread in Latin America (e.g., Collins 1986). The rational

result of the state satisfying large corporations that need sizable tracts of land to be

economically profitable and assuaging the wrath of the disadvantaged are to permit the

immediate exploitation of forested land. Resolving the environmental conservation versus

economic development conundrum in particular developing country sites requires

a minimum diameter for trees harvested for timber. Implicit policies, on the other hand, are described as the
"absence of a policy, practice or institutional characteristic [or a] value." Examples of implicit policies
include generally accepted agency corruption, law enforcement permitting "squatting" or poaching (trees or
animals) on an individual basis by and the attitude that "natural resources are plentiful and unlimited" or
that "poor people need and deserve land."









"creative problem solving" on the part of policy-makers (Seely et al. 2003). Current

Nicaraguan forest policy has been criticized for neglecting on-the-ground realities

(Elizondo 1997, Larson 2000). Considering these realities within the following

theoretical frameworks may help prescribing policy changes to better achieve both

conservation and development goals.

Needs Hierarchy

Poverty has been strongly linked in many recent studies to natural forest

degradation (Nduma et al. 2001, Swinton and Quiroz 2003). Therefore, a theoretical

understanding of need-based human behavior is pivotal to dissecting the complex

relationship between humans (i.e., residents of the Santo Tomas municipality) and

sustainable management of forest resources. Maslow, in his classic work Motivation and

Personality (Maslow 1970), describes the difference between basic needs, higher needs

and self-actualization. This scale can be applied on a personal level where an individual

is concerned with survival needs such as food and shelter, and has higher needs such as

serenity in the road to self-actualization. Several studies have addressed the link between

asset levels, household behaviors and natural resource results (e.g., Bahamondes 2003,

Parkins et al. 2003, Swinton et al. 2003). These note that policies to alleviate poverty and

encourage biodiversity conservation not addressing these links often have perverse

effects. Maslow argues that attitudes are often influenced by a cumulative satisfaction or

frustration of these needs fulfillments.

Countries or societies can also be placed on this scale, as well. A country's

available fair-market capital and combined basic necessities for survival of its human

population drives the distribution of wealth, often leaving a small group with a

disproportionate amount of wealth and a large group frustrated with less than what would









be their equitable share (Solomon and Richmond 2001). Previous mentioned arguments

for the rationality of converting rainforest to cattle ranching in developing countries are

an example of this theory put into practice. A government with sufficient infrastructure to

deal with social problems or a long-term vision for development will likely find

wholesale deforestation a less attractive national option. As Maslow's hierarchy of needs

presents the situation, individuals or countries must satisfy their basic needs and then may

have steadily increasing concern for the future. Many of the behaviors and preferences

exhibited by respondents in this study might seem irrational in their socioeconomic

context, but are rational given the state of insecurity faced by citizens of Nicaragua and

other developing nations.

Diffusion Theory

The diffusion of innovation has been developed and refined by Everett M. Rogers

over several decades (see 4th edition Rogers 1995 and Rogers 2004 for a retrospective

analysis), which dissects the process of a new concept being accepted or adopted by an

individual, community or country. First introduced by anthropologists to study effects of

modern tools and other innovations on traditional societies, the theory was applied by

rural sociologists to the spreading use of hybrid corn by farmers in Iowa (Ryan and Gross

1943 as cited in Rogers 2004). Now diffusion of innovation is used to describe the

dissemination of and acclimation to new ideas in a variety of fields including policy

analysis, marketing and public health, making it transferable to the study of sustainable

forest management practices.

Sustainable forest management on a household level can be considered an

innovation in Santo Tomas because the culturally accepted norm in the agricultural

frontier region of Nicaragua has been to conquer nature (Guerrero and Soriano 1992,










Nygren 2004a). One of the key elements in the diffusion of any innovation is

"heterophily" or "the degree to which two or more individuals who interact are different

in certain attributes" (Rogers 1995). While communication tends to be easier between

two people or groups that are more homogenous, information must flow between groups

that are different for innovative ideas or practices to be diffused. Understanding what

scocioeconomic factors differentiate groups who accept and do not accept different ideas,

preferences or behaviors is a critical step in formulating a strategy to successfully diffuse

the innovation throughout the community. A goal of the Nicaraguan government is

sustainable forest management (Nicaragua 2000), but this is clearly not being

implemented on the ground (Elizondo 1997, Faris 1999, Larson 2000, Nygren 2004b).

This study investigates the socioeconomic distinctions between groups of respondents

professing different preferences and household behaviors related to sustainable forest

management. Under the diffusion of innovations theory,5 understanding these distinctions

may be key to achieving Nicaragua's stated goals.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua's current environmental conservation policy has unintended effects

(Alves Milho 1996, Larson 2001) because it fails to take into account on-the-ground

realities (Elizondo 1997). New forest laws requiring annual management plans for all



5 Another perspective is found in psychological studies addressing the theory of planned behavior, which
addresses the power of attitudes to predict behavior (Ajzen 1988). Kaiser, Wolfing and Fuhrer (1999) use
this theoretical framework to discuss why individuals appear to behave inconsistently with respect to
behavior that would support sustainable environmental conservation. The authors propose that factual
knowledge about ecological behavior contributes to attitude, which then competes with social norms to
create "behavior intention" in an individual, or household, which then leads to actual behavior. This
application of the theory of planned behavior complements the diffusion of innovation theory by showing
the connection between "knowledge awareness", acceptance and implementation. While some individuals
might believe in or understand the importance of sustainable forest management, the social costs may be
too high for them to change their behavior.









forests on private land intended to ensure sustainable use are so cumbersome for small-

scale landowners that they inadvertently encourage landowners to convert forests to cattle

pasture. This is important in the context of both Nicaragua's environmental and economic

sustainability. Because cattle ranching employs few people on a per acre basis as

compared to agriculture and industry and requires massive amounts of land, severe

economic disparity is created between those that own cattle ranches and those that do not.

In addition, long-term environmental disservices are caused by loss of forest ecosystem

functions (Maass 1995). Deforestation nationwide has produced a severe lack of

fuelwood, watershed-level ecosystem degradation due to erosion and wind, as well as

diminishing biodiversity (Sabogal 1992). Policy initiatives intended to address

sustainable forest management have created certain perverse effects.

Perverse Effects of Nicaraguan Forest Policy

Policies implementing sudden forest management planning requirements and

logging bans have been documented throughout Latin America as counter to sustainable

forest conservation and management (Pool et al. 2001). In the case of the large-scale

forestry operations, rules intended to ensure that timber extraction complies with

environmental protection principles involve a bureaucratic process with newly developed

and under-funded agencies making full compliance practically impossible in Nicaragua

(Larson 2000) and other countries in Latin America, notably Peru, Bolivia and Brazil

(Pool et al. 2001). Once adherence to laws is effectively compromised, there remains

little incentive to implement any of the sometimes costly, time-consuming measures. In

addition, many developing countries ignore the benefits of forests conservation on lands

of small-scale producers although they represent a quarter of the total forest lands in these

countries, tend to have higher product diversity and more efficient utilization of the









under-employed labor force and marginalized land (Scherr et al. 2004). Required forest

management plans are often too cumbersome for the reduced-scale and while large-scale

operators might circumvent them through cronyism or bribes, these options are rarely

available to farmers with small landholdings (Scherr et al. 2004). Therefore, in cases

where sustainable management of forest areas are effectively discouraged by policies

emphasizing these bureaucratic regulations, private landowners would rationally chose to

convert the land to simpler, more productive agricultural use, such as cattle ranching.

Nicaragua's current forest law (Ley para el Desarrollo y Fomento del Sector

Forestal) declares that:

"Sustainable forest management is a forest classification system intended to obtain
sustainable production of diverse timber and non-timber forest products into
perpetuity with the involvement of stakeholders in design, implementation,
evaluation and distribution of costs and benefits, in addition to the policies and
actions inherent in their rights." (Nicaragua 2000, author's translation)6

Implementation of this sustainable forest management is described in Articles 23-

25, establishing that landholders also have the rights to their forest cover and derived

benefits, provided that they comply with regulations for creating an annual forest

management plan created or approved by the National Forest Institute (INAFOR).7

Article 39 confers vigilance, control and protection of forests as described in the forest

law to municipalities, in collaboration with INAFOR. Article 41 explicitly states that only

those conforming to INAFOR's forest management plans as delegated to the municipal

government will be eligible for any benefits derived from forests on their land. This

6 This legislation was probably intended to address crises such as occurred when the state of Nicaragua
approved a large-scale forest concession in the Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni community in a case that
was argued at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Unclear tenure rights for this indigenous
community were determined to be the cause of the issue (IACHR 2001).

7 Article 102 of Nicaragua's constitution states that natural resources represent national heritage and their
conservation and rational exploitation is a right of the State.









delegation of national goals to under-funded, under-staffed and under-trained municipal

governments has led to the same nearly complete disregard for forest laws on a local

level throughout Nicaragua (Larson 2000).

Landowners are then left with the option to illegally, yet possibly still sustainably,

exploit their forests at the risk of being penalized. On the other hand, forested areas could

remain unexploited by the landowner and permitted to serve the ecological functions of

watershed and biodiversity protection noted in the text of forestry law (Art. 40), yet little

incentive besides personal altruism exists to follow this path. Finally, a landowner might

choose to convert the forest to cattle pasture.8 If this can be accomplished without

attracting the attention of authorities, such as through wildfire or in season where the

roads in the countryside are impassible to motor traffic, the landowner can then extract

legal monetary gain from this terrain. When the bureaucratic process of legitimate forest

management is such a cumbersome option, the rational choice for a landowner is to

illicitly log or burn the remaining forested areas on their land and convert them to cattle

production. A perverse effect of Nicaraguan forest policy is to facilitate the eastward

progression of the agricultural frontier.

The Agricultural Frontier

Nicaragua's agricultural frontier development and expansion has been closely

associated with political movements and has been summarized in Table 1-1. Nicaragua's

"old" agricultural frontier (see Figure 1-2) is primarily located in the central region of the

country and was integrated into the agricultural and market system in the decades



8 The rationale for this choice being that in small-scale operations, the profit from cattle ranching, even
with a one-time penalty for illegal deforestation, may still exceed the profit from forestry with its
continuous costs of an officially approved annual management plan.









between the 1940s and 1960s (Maldidier and Marchetti 1996). In contrast, the "new"

agricultural frontier is located primarily in the Atlantic region (Maldidier and Marchetti

1996) and agricultural encroachment into forested areas actively continues to this day.

The municipality of Santo Tomas spans both epochs of new and old colonization,

although most of the municipality has been converted to agriculture and remaining forest

is fragmented.9 Although most of this activity took place fairly recently, the easterly

movement of Nicaragua's agricultural frontier is based in the political and cultural

structures established throughout the Spanish colonial period from 1524-1821 (Romero

2002), specifically industrial exploitation and the concentration of landholding rights into

the hands of few (Deininger and Chamorro 2004).

Exploitation of the country's vast forest reserves began as early as the mid-

eighteenth century when British settlers began extracting timber from the Atlantic Coast

(Vilas 1989, Ambrogi 1996). In 1777 alone, one million cubic meters of mahogany were

exported to London (Ambrogi 1996). The Atlantic region was considered a British

protectorate from 1762 to 1860 when the gradual withdrawal of the British from this

region was completed, bowing to United States pressure (Incer 2000). Capital investment

by the United States soon followed and including Bragman's Bluff Timber Company (a

subsidiary of United Fruit) from 1921 to 1931, Nicaragua Long Leaf Pine (NIPCO) from



9 The Santo Tomis delegation of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (MECD) has observed a
phenomenon of encroachment and annexation in which Santo Tomis still has an active role in the eastward
movement of the agricultural frontier (Bricefio J, personal communication). Colonists from Santo Tomis
are reported to move into the neighboring departments, which do not pertain to Chontales, but rather the
Southern Atlantic Autonomous Region, known as RAAS (Regi6n Aut6noma Atlintica Sur). This
encroachment into the forest resources of RAAS for cattle ranching has been so widely documented that it
is termed the "Chontalization" of the Atlantic region (Incer 2000). Once families have settled in this area,
they begin to petition the Santo Tomis MECD, as well as the Ministry of Health (MISNA) and municipal
government for services such as schools, clinics and roads. In some cases, anecdotal evidence demonstrates
attempts to legally annex the territory into Santo Tomis (Bricefio J, personal communication).









1950 to 1963, then the Atlantic Chemical Company (ATCHEMCO) from 1968 to 1990

(Nuiez Soto 1996), which were substantial enough to influence national policy decisions.

For example, in 1925 Bragman's had the largest number of salaried employees in

Nicaragua (Vilas 1989) and its investments played a major role in United States' decision

to invade and subsequently occupy Nicaragua from 1909 to 1933 (Connell 2001).

Dictatorial governments (1936-1979) reaped significant benefits from the continued

exploitation of the forestry sector; Nicaragua's last dictator Anastasia Somosa, for

example, was reputed to have received 10% of the profit from all timber and mining

exports (Vilas 1989).

What is now known as the "old agricultural frontier" includes Chontales and was

colonized in the 1920s and 1930s for wood and rubber, and later converted to cattle

pasture after World War II (Maldidier and Marchetti 1996). While the 1979 Sandinista

revolution nationalized the forests, along with other natural resources, contra insurgent

fighters persistently ambushed timber transports and sawmills (Nietschmann 1990)

crippling the sector's infrastructure that has yet to rebound. Reduced access to

international markets and cancellation of existing harvest concessions on government

forest lands further weakened the forestry sector (Hammett et al. 1999), leaving

agriculture the only economically viable land use.

Fighting, however, in the Chontales area and other "frontier" regions led not only

to decreased timber transport, but also to a decrease in cattle ranching as many rural

people moved to the relative safety of cities and ranchers sold or butchered their animals

before they were confiscated by either armed force (Nietschmann 1990). By the late

1980's, the government agrarian reform policy resettled marginalized peoples from over-









crowded regions of the Pacific coast to abandoned agricultural frontier lands to the east

(Nygren 2004a, Vilas 1989). This was followed by a wave of settling repatriated wartime

refugees from such diverse backgrounds as former national guard, those not accepting the

Sandinista government and those who fled for economic reasons (Ortega 1991). At the

same time, many former cattle ranchers were returning to their traditional lands placing

additional pressure on remaining forest resources (Marin and Pauwels 2001).

Table 1-1. A timeline of generalized regimes and influences of the expansion of the
agricultural frontier.
Date Dominant Regimes Effects on the Agricultural Frontier
Pre-1906 Colonial and Political movements of this time promoted
"Conservative industrial exploitation and the concentration of
Republic" landholding rights into the hands of few.a
1906-1979 U.S. military A government-led effort organized the
occupation and consolidation of large-scale private land holdings
dictatorships to increase agricultural exports.b
1979-1990 Sandinista Agrarian reform made former haciendas
revolutionary communal property later informally redistributed
government to families. Many ranchers retreat from farming to
the relative safety of urban areas.d
1990- Electoral democracy Sandinista and contra fighters granted land for
present subsistence. Farmers displaced by fighting also
attempt to return to frontier lands. Neoliberal
government policies favor national production
over dispute resolution.g
a See Deininger and Chamorro (2004) and Romero (2002).
b See Gibson 1996.
' Shocks to the economy created by Sandinista government policies were augmented by
the negative burden of the Contra insurgency covertly sponsored by the U.S. who also
enacted a trade embargo against Nicaraguan exports (Connell 2001, Gibson 1996).
d See Nietschmann (1990).
f See Gonzales (2000) and Ortega (1991).
g Interest payments on the accruing national debt equaled 124% of exports in 1996 posing
a risk of placing creditors in charge of environmental and development sustainability
(Gibson 1996). The debt remained three times the nations GDP with service payments of
half the nations exports in 2004 (Mora 2004).













D. Established agricultural zone

N1 Western edge represents the line of the
"old agricultural frontier" (pre-1979)
Western edge represents the line of the
"new agricultural frontier" (post-1990)




Figure 1-1. Graphic representation of the eastward progression of Nicaragua's
agricultural frontier (see Chapter 2 for more specific maps related to the
study). The Santo Tomas municipality is outlined in the southern central
region of the country.

The convergence of people from disparate social and political backgrounds, each

with what appeared to be legitimate claims to the same land led to many and occasionally

violent land tenure disputes. As previously discussed in the section on perverse effects of

forest policy, legislation created by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

(MARENA) have made it often more profitable to deforest and raise cattle than exploit

forest resources (Larson 2000) and ambiguous land tenure makes potential investors

uneasy (Castilleja 1993). As a result, those cultivating the land had very little real

incentive to implement any sustainable forest management practices on their property.

Social Issues and Sustainable Forest Management

Nicaragua's government forestry sector has developed a set of guidelines for

monitoring and evaluating forest management on a nationwide scale, but clearer and

more attainable policy goals are needed (McGinly and Finegan 2003). Of the Central

American countries with significant forest cover (Bermudez Rojas 1996), Nicaragua has









by far the lowest population density (CIA 2003), yet despite high per capital natural

resources, the country remains the second poorest in the western hemisphere (UNDP

2003). In an attempt stimulate the Nicaraguan economy the recent Aleman and Bolahos

administrations (1996-present) have focused on increased productivity and land titling10

rather than equitability issues (Nygren 2004a). Inadvertent results of this unqualified

development emphasis have included increased disparity of wealth in cattle ranching

regions and disregard of forest services in terms of environment and microeconomic

contributions to society.

The Gini index11 (or disparity of wealth, 0 being perfect equity and 1 being perfect

inequity) on the agricultural frontier is 0.81, indicating that resources are concentrated in

the hands of a few (Vilas 1989). In a 2000 study of nearly 2,500 Nicaraguan households,

land with forests was highly significantly correlated (p<0.01) with lack of secured tenure,

as compared with land entirely under agriculture (Deininger and Chamorro 2004). This

suggests that forested areas do not fit into the national land-tenure scheme. This thesis is

further supported by the fact that Nicaragua's forests suffer from the highest rate of

deforestation in Central America (Romero and Reyes Flores 2000), the primary cause of

which is clearing land for cattle pasture (Bermudez Rojas 1996). While many engage in

cattle and agricultural enterprises to expand economic prospects, 50% operate on land

better suited for forest especially in Chontales and neighboring Boaco (Alves Milho

1996). Natural forests and forest remnants, as opposed to plantations, however, still


10 Land titling in Nicaragua has been linked to on-farm investments and land tenure security (Deininger and
Chamorro 2004).

1 The Gini Index is the standard statistical measure used by development agencies to demonstrate how far
the average household income distribution differs from perfect equality; the Nicaraguan national Gini index
was 0.63 as of 1998 (UNDP 2003).









provide fuelwood, fence posts, and construction materials to most people in the tropics

(Fredericksen and Putz 2003). Both the macro-economic potential of industrialized

forests and the micro-economic role of forests on a household level have been largely

disregarded in favor of the traditional cattle ranching production.

The Chontales region has a long tradition of cattle ranching (Guerrero and Soriano

1992). A study recently carried out in the neighboring department of Rio San Juan

indicated that if presented with higher income, the majority of the representative group

surveyed preferred to invest in more cattle and clear more area since increased cattle

ranching is a cultural symbol of wealth and affluence in the central region of Nicaragua

(Faris 1999). This suggests that forest conservation is a fairly new innovation in this

society. Therefore, its adoption can be examined using Roger's theory that attitude and

behavior are influenced by communication between groups with different socioeconomic

characteristics. Understanding the complex factors determining household actions and

preferences helps isolate implicit and explicit policy failures and guide future policy

action.

Research Questions

Problem Statement and Rationale

Exploring human population and limited natural resources constitute a global

concern, one manifestation of which is the conversion of rich lowland forest reserves in

the rural Neotropics into cattle ranching and commercial agriculture operations. Existing

explicit sustainable forest management and conservation laws combined with implicit

enforcement policies and circumstances have failed to control deforestation in Nicaragua,

leading to biodiversity loss and localized basic needs crisis as water and fuelwood

become increasingly scarce. Understanding behavior and attitudes toward forest









conservation through self-reported behavior and stated preference for management

options will enable policy makers to adapt incentives and penalties to better fit natural

and economic realities.

Research Objective and Questions

The primary research objective is to investigate the socioeconomic distinctions

between groups of respondents professing different preferences and household behaviors

related to sustainable forest management. This objective was broken down into two

specific research questions most applicable to the study site:

* Which socioeconomic factors influence household behavior in a forest and
environmental conservation context?

* What is the relationship between households exhibiting certain behavior and stated
sustainable forest management preferences?

Thesis Overview

The present chapter outlines the theoretical basis for this master's thesis and

develops the research problem statement in a global, regional and philosophical context.

Rationale and justification for the study is provided along with a brief history of

Nicaragua's forest conservation policy. The next chapter represents a biophysical,

economic and cultural overview of the study site. Chapter 3 covers the data collection

and analysis methods, the results of which are then presented in chapter 4 along with

detailed interpretations. The final chapter draws conclusions suggested by research

findings and details potential directions for future study.















CHAPTER 2
STUDY AREA

The Atlantic coast of Nicaragua is part of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot,1

the largest tract of contiguous Neotropical forest north of the Amazon (Mittermeier et al.

1999). The immediate threat facing the many endemic species in this area is

deforestation, especially for cattle ranching (Brooks et al. 2002). The municipality of

Santo Tomas is located within the Department of Chontales and is typical of cattle

ranching regions on Nicaragua's agricultural frontier (see Figure 2-1).

Physical and Biological Description

The municipality of Santo Tomas, Chontales is located 180 km from the national

capital of Managua on the eastbound highway known as the Rama Highway (Figure 2-1).

The municipality covers an area roughly located between the longitude 8446' 18"W and

85009'47"W and latitude between 11058'06"N and 12'16'08". Active and abandoned

cattle pastures occupy approximately 80% of the land area with 15% of the land in

primary and secondary forests and the remaining 5% devoted to the urban area and

subsistence crop fields (PEP 2001). Major watersheds include the Escondido River and

its primary tributary the Mico River. Micro-catchments, especially important for

household water supplies are the Bulun and Quipor Rivers and Matagua and Caracol

Creeks (Anon 2003).

1 The biodiversity "hotspots" concept was originally published by Norman Myers in the late 1980s (cited
and discussed in Myers 2003) and was revised by Myers et al. (2000) as a priority-setting tool for
conservation biologists and organizations. The basic argument is that limited conservation resources should
be focused on areas with a high numbers of endemic species (those which do not appear elsewhere in the
world) and high risk of being destroyed soon.











Uni TED STATES


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Nicaragua


Santo Tomas, Chontales

Figure 2-1. Urban and rural areas surveyed in Santo Tomas, Department r bahontales,
Nicaragua. Central America and Nicaragua maps from CIA 2003, Santo
Tomas map created by the author based on maps in PEP 2001 and those
provided by the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (MEDC).

The urban center is located at an elevation of 400 m above sea level (INAFOM-


AMUNIC 1997). The remaining territory, however, encompasses a variety of elevation


from peaks of over 700 m to valleys below 200 m (INITER 1989a, 1989b, 1989c) and


SComarcas Surveyed


SUrban Area









rainfall zones from 1,400 to 3,000 mm (INITER 1990). The Santo Tomas municipality

also includes five distinct vegetation zones and crosscuts three of the four distinct

ecological regions in Nicaragua (Salas Estrada 1993). These factors combined with the

convergence of brown latisols, black and brown tropical soils and lithisols (Taylor 1963)

make the area hospitable to a high number of floral and faunal species. The agricultural

frontier advancement through this region followed the 1966 completion of the Rama

Highway infrastructure (Nurinda Ramirez 2000), which linked the Pacific and Atlantic

coasts for the first time. The road provided ranchers with a ready transportation to milk

and beef markets, indirectly resulting in severe forest fragmentation. Studies of similar

cases in Central America show that these networks of forest fragments can be expected to

harbor remnant biodiversity (Matlock et al. 2002, Pither and Kellman 2002). As

deforestation continues to advance nationwide at an unprecedented pace, the remaining

forests in Santo Tomas may be expected to contain samples for flora and fauna

representative of a large part of Nicaragua. Understanding the ecology and

socioeconomics governing the management of these remaining forests is critical step to

conserving the natural diversity of the region.

Ecological Understanding

The ecology of the Chontales region has not been thoroughly assessed since

observations made by the ecologist and mining engineer Thomas Belt in 1874 (Belt

19852), but this area is considered to be a point of ecological transition (Incer 2000).

Chontales, along with all of Nicaragua, was subject to a remote sensing vegetation

analysis by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARENA) using data


2 Reprint edition.









from 1996 and 1999 (MARENA 2003). Characterization of the vegetation by Salas

Estrada (1993) indicates a high diversity of flora due to the rainfall and elevation

gradients. Geoscientific investigations indicate that the main and secondary watersheds of

the Escondido River are among the most contaminated in Central America due to

upstream mining operations (Mendoza 2003), and laboratory tests of the Mico River have

revealed cyanide and mercury deposits in the sediment (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). This

localized combination of high biodiversity and severe threat makes the area a strong

candidate for conservation efforts. However, like most of Nicaragua, baseline biological

information for conservation effort is lacking (Gillespie 2002).

Recent surveys in the nearby Indio-Maiz biosphere reserve have revealed new

species of plants (e.g., Taylor 1999), however, only general anecdotal evidence is

available for the flora and fauna of Santo Tomas (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997, PEP 2001).

An anecdotal list of trees derived from 100 survey interviews and additional expert

contributions for the Santo Tomas region was compiled during the course of this study.

The list, found in Appendix C, includes 155 tree species known to exist on farms in Santo

Tomas as presented by indigenous knowledge. While indigenous knowledge of trees

within farming systems has been shown to be comparable to scientific and laboratory

tests (Walker et al. 1999) and has been used to develop species accumulation curves

(Kristensen and Baslev 2003) and in conducting rapid biodiversity assessments (Hellier

et al. 1999), formal taxonomic and ecological studies including baseline inventories of

the flora and fauna in this area are still strongly recommended. An analysis of on-farm

tree diversity can be found in Appendix D. The clear diversity and unstudied nature of the









site indicates the importance of these baseline studies in this area where anthropogenic

activities are the primary shapers of the landscape.

Socioeconomic Description

Dairy farms have been part of the Santo Tomas region for over 150 years (Guerrero

and Soriano 1992). Recently, however, deforestation for new cattle pasture has led to

shortages in fuelwood, fence posts and construction materials. This has prompted local

interest in and forest conservation largely because natural forests, as opposed to

plantations, still provide these products throughout the tropics (Fredericksen and Putz

2003). Farmers and townspeople alike are concerned about the connection between

increased deforestation and drying perennial streams, which are the primary water source

for both rural and urban residents (PEP 2001). The practice of burning over cattle

pastures has been blamed for widespread loss of soil infertility in Santo Tomas (Anon

2003) and has been documented to spark wildfires destroying lowland forests in eastern

Nicaragua (Romero and Reyes Flores 2000). As socioeconomic indicators are often

strongly correlated with the interrelationship of environmental behaviors and attitudes,

the following provides a general context for the research objectives.

History

Prior to Spanish occupation, the municipality of Santo Tomas was settled by the

Chontal indigenous group with its capital seat located in Lovigiuisca, 12 km from the

current urban center in the rural district now known as Los Mollej ones (Guerrero and

Soriano 1969, INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). After a series of resettlements by the colonial

government, the Nicaraguan republic officially founded the town of Santo Tomas in its

current location in 1861 (Guerrero and Soriano 1969, INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997).










Because cattle, unlike most other natural resources and commodities, was neither

taken over by dictators, nor nationalized in the communist Sandinista era (Romero 2002),

development in Santo Tomas has remained relatively steady since the late 1800s. Highly

significant events included the construction of Rama Highway in 1966 (Nurinda Ramirez

2000) bringing large-scale commercial exploitation and individual transit into the region.

The 1979 Sandinista revolution3 and ensuing conflict which fcrced many to temporarily

give up cattle ranching and farming (Nietschmann 1990). Hurricane Juana/Joan, which

struck Santo Tomas in 1988 reduced forest area, introduced refugees from the Atlantic

region and set off an economic recession (PEP 2001).

Since Violeta Chamorro's 1990 presidential election, Santo Tomas has responded

to the decentralization process with booming economic growth due in part to increased

traffic of the Rama Highway and also to increased safety in former military zones

permitting farmers to expand cattle ranches and production into more rural areas. As the

economy improves and infrastructure develops, more people immigrate to Santo Tomas

and more young people remain rather than seeking employment in cities such as Juigalpa

(the department capital) or Managua. The increased population has led to greater pressure

on diminishing forest and water resources (PEP 2001). In addition, the value of land near

Santo Tomas has increased as more people desire to live near its schools and commercial



3 Unprecedented environmental education campaigns through schools and extension programs were also a
product of the Sandinista era. In addition, a 1988 decree gave the RAAN (Regi6n Aut6noma Atlantica
Norte) and RAAS (Regi6n Aut6noma AtlIntica Sur) a degree of political autonomy and the ability to elect
their own governments (Incer 2000). These areas, formerly known as Zelaya, are also home to the three
remaining indigenous groups, Miskito, Sumu and Rama, that comprise 2.7% of the total Nicaraguan
population (Incer 2000). While these territories and reserves belonging to these indigenous groups are quite
a distance from Santo Tomas, the municipality does share a border with RAAS. The lack of organization in
the RAAS government, tensions between mestizo, indigenous and Creole (English-speaking descendents of
African slaves) groups and distance from its capital in Bluefields facilitate the encroachment of cattle
pastures into the remaining primary rainforests of RAAS.









center during prosperous economic times. Many farmers have sold parcels of land at high

prices and purchased greater amounts of forested land farther east for conversion to cattle

pasture (Borge R, personal communication). This "Chontalization" of the remaining

forested region (Incer 2000) exacerbates forest and water resource shortages and creates a

need for more information on sustainable forest management practices.

Demographics

It is important to understand the demographics of Santo Tomas as compared to the

rest of Nicaragua to understand how socioeconomic factors influence sustainable forest

management preferences and self-reported behavior. The total population in Santo Tomas

in 2001 was recorded at 19,778, 64% of whom live in the urban center while 36% are in

rural areas (PEP 2001). While there are nominally more women in urban areas (51%), the

opposite is true for rural areas (PEP 2001), a discrepancy probably due to the need for

manual labor on farms. Children under the age of 15 comprise 47% of the total

population (Anon 2003), a phenomenon common to developing countries in Latin

America. In urban areas, approximately 53% of school-aged children attend primary

school, dropping to 45% in rural areas where the adult illiteracy rate is estimated at 61%

(PEP 2001).4 The 1996 census reported that 85% of the economically active population is

employed, a figure that excludes housewives and students, and 53% percent of these

economically active individuals hold a formal salaried position (Anon. 2003).5






4 The Nicaraguan national average is 33% adult illiteracy (UNDP 2003).

5 On a national level, youth (aged 18-24 years) have a 20% unemployment rate (UNDP 2003), and although
directly comparable figures are not available, the employment level appears to follow the national average.









Economy and Land-Use

Cattle ranching economy: Deforestation for cattle ranching is the leading cause of

biodiversity loss in this region, yet dairy cattle are also the basis of the economy

(INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). The location of the Santo Tomas municipality facilitates

commercial trade between the natural resource rich Atlantic zone and the majority of

Nicaragua's population located in the Pacific region. Milk production fluctuates between

10,000 gallons/day in the wet season and 2,000 gallons/day in the dry season from an

estimated 30,000 head of cattle in the region (Anon 2003). Of these animals, 30% are

used exclusively for milk production, 20% exclusively for beef and the remaining 50%

utilized for both purposes (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). At least three-quarters of the land

used for cattle ranching in Santo Tomas is better suited to other purposes (see Figures 2-2

and 2-3)(PEP 2001), which is higher than the national average of 50% (Alves Milho

1996). Over half of the land in Nicaragua cleared for cattle ranching and agriculture that

is suitable for reforestation is located in the Departments of Chontales and Boaco (Alves

Milho 1996, Nufiez Soto 1996).

Other economic activity: Commerce, foreign aid and agriculture comprise much

of the remaining economic activity in Santo Tomas. Commercial districts include a

variety of cottage industries such as small stores, carpentry shops, mechanics, tailoring

and jewelry workshops. Foreign aid to Santo Tomas in 2000 was approximately four

times the income from other sources. The largest donations are from Japan, Spain,

Finland, Taiwan and France, in order of decreasing contribution (Anon 2003). On

average, 5% of farmland is dedicated to agriculture, except in the rural district El Alto,

where 20% of farmland is in crops (Anon 2003). The percentage of cultivated area









devoted to each crop is as follows: rice (2%), beans (14%), corn/maize (33%) and

plantains/bananas (51%) (INAFOM-AMUNIC 1997). Due to rising transportation prices

and deteriorating roads, farmers are increasingly reluctant to plant crops for cash sale,

relying on sales of cattle and milk as primary income (Borge R, personal

communication).



Other
Cattle ranching 0%
20% .
20% Agriculture
32%





Forestry
30% Conservation
18%



Figure 2-2. Land vocation in Santo Tomas, Chontales (PEP 2001).

Forestry: According to the mayor's office, there are no public forests (parks or

productive) in the Santo Tomas municipality (Garcia J, personal communication).

Household level forestry does exist, but as demonstrated previously, there is an

incongruity between the appropriate and real land use. Although private forest reserves

were reported in a Participatory Rural Appraisal conducted by the mayor's office (PEP

2001), many of these areas had already been clear-cut at the time of this study and the

mayor's office indicated that no formal protection schemes were planned by the

municipality in the near future (Garcia J, personal communication).










Agriculture
4% Conservation
Other r 0%

Forestry
15%








Cattle ranching
80%



Figure 2-3. Actual land use in Santo Tomas, Chontales (PEP 2001).

Most trees in Santo Tomas exist, therefore, within forest fragments and as

individual multipurpose trees on private property both in small urban lots and on rural

farmland. The decision to grow trees on private land, which trees and how many, is a

personal decision made by individual landowners in this area. As such, household

socioeconomic variables, including gender, age, education level, household size,

household income and outside employment might be a deciding factor (see Appendix D

for a more detailed discussion of on-farm tree diversity). The primary challenge to

policies encouraging sustainable management is the lack of information about what

factors would influence individuals to choose sustainable management and why. This

information gap will be addressed by this study.















CHAPTER 3
METHODS

The primary tool utilized to elicit information from households about sustainable

management was a survey questionnaire. It was administered to 100 voluntary

respondents selected through a randomized, stratified and quota sampling design.

Preliminary aggregated results were reviewed by focus groups to identify potential

biases. Student's t-test, bivariate correlation and multiple linear regression analyses were

conducted using the interview data to detect significant relationships between variables.

Survey Questionnaire

Development and Pretesting

The survey questionnaire tool was developed at the University of Florida,

Gainesville, Florida, USA using sample surveys from similar studies in Central America

and other developing countries (e.g., Albertin 2002, Harvey and Haber 1999). A sample-

size of 100 was determined to be appropriate.1 Field tests of the survey were made to

include a sample of>15 volunteer respondents from a broad background to identify

obvious problems with the survey and modify accordingly before translation into Spanish

and submission and approval by the University of Florida Institutional Review Board

(Protocol# 2003-U-414). Once tested with additional volunteers in the study site, final

refinements were made. The questions presented in the survey fall into four general



1 A sample size of 100 produces a 92% confidence internal, while a sample size of 411 would be required
to raise the confidence interval to 95% (UFSRC 2002). A four-fold increase in sample size would have
required costs far outweighing the benefits to this study and was logistically infeasible for this project.









categories, socioeconomics, biodiversity, actions and preferences (See Appendices A and

B for English and Spanish versions of the full survey, respectively).

Socioeconomics: Questionnaires commenced with a series of general

socioeconomic questions including gender, age, education level, household size and

make-up, total household income and contributors, whether anyone in the household had

outside employment and amount of fuelwood used in the household. Specific questions

about each household property (if applicable) covered land area, tenure and acquisition.

Finally respondents were asked whether or not they had received environmental

education and through which venues (i.e., via the radio, word-of-mouth, school, church,

government or non-governmental organization).

Biodiversity: Each respondent owning land was asked an open-ended question to

list woody tree species and animals occurring on her or his property. Unfortunately, no

scientific lists were available for this region; therefore a preliminary list was created

using a focus group and then presented to respondents.2 Information compiled on trees is

available in Appendix C.

Actions: The survey elicited self-reported household behavior with respect to flora,

fauna and water resources. Options included harvesting fuelwood, timber and other forest

products for household use and sale. Hunting wild animals for household use and sale,

leaving trash and cutting fuelwood in riparian zones when going to the river to wash were

also investigated (see Table 3-1).

Preferences: Participants in the survey were asked to express their opinions using

a Likert scale (1 = agree, 3 = no opinion, 5 = disagree) on a series of questions about

2 This list was added to as individual respondents mentioned more tree species, therefore, later interviews
had a more extensive list to prompt a present/absent response than earlier surveys.









sustainable forest management practices relevant to the remaining forest fragments in the

Santo Tomas municipality. General topics included whether the following activities

should be permitted in the remaining forest fragments in Santo Tomas: harvesting

fuelwood and timber for household use or sale, harvesting non-timber forest products,

hunting wild animals, exploring for gold and silver, deforesting new land for cattle,

maintaining forest reserves for the future, as well as recreation, conservation and

educational activities (see Table 3-2 for a complete list of topics).

Some data collected was not used in this analysis. Full descriptive statistics on

survey responses can be viewed in Appendix E.

Sampling Design

A total of 100 person-to-person surveys were conducted by the author and field

assistant, stratified over urban (50%) and rural (50%) inhabitants. While the actual

population of nearly 20,000 is distributed over 36% rural and 64% urban habitants (PEP

2001), the equal division permitted direct comparison of responses from urban and rural

areas. These two sectors are demographically distinct as rural areas have a much higher

illiteracy rate, lower employment rate and the largest forest fragments (see Chapter 2 for

more details). Rural areas are divided into 12 comarcas or districts and urban areas into

10 barrios or neighborhoods. Only nine of these comarcas were accessible during the

study period due to the deteriorating condition of the road. Using information provided

by the Santo Tomas delegation of the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA), the

number of interviews per accessible comarca or barrio was made proportional to the

actual population distribution in each area. Urban residents were selected randomly

within barrios using the electronic address lists provided by the mayoral cadastral

system. Key informants coordinated by the Santo Tomas delegation of the Ministry of









Education and Culture (MEDC) assisted in rural participant selection based on

availability and representation of community views within designated geographical

regions. Surveys were conducted between mid-May and early-July 2003. A local field

assistant accompanied the researcher implementing the interviews in Spanish to ensure

that questions and answers were fully understood. Participation was voluntary and limited

to heads of household 18 years and older; information collected on individual surveys

was kept confidential.

Data Analysis

Each survey was assigned an interview number and data were transcribed into an

Excel spreadsheet, giving number values to categorical data. The transformed data were

then imported into the statistical analysis package SPSS, v. 12. Frequency and descriptive

statistics were run for all variables. A student's t-test was applied to urban vs. rural data.

A standard multiple linear regression analysis and bivariate correlations were performed

for the variables described below. Results of the analyses are presented in the following

chapter.

Dependent Variables

The dependent variables were selected to address the principal components of the

research questions raised in Chapter 1: behavior and attitude. A household behavior index

was developed from answers to specific questions about household actions.3 A stated

management preference index was used as a second dependent variable examining the





3 The number of tree species reported for the property (tree diversity) is used a dependent variable for rural
households only as a proxy for forest conservation behavior. The results of this analysis are presented in
Appendix D.










heads of household's stated preferences with respect to specific forest management

policies that may or may not support conservation.4

Household Behavior Index

Each question used to compile the household behavior index elicited a binomial

(yes/no) response (Table 3-1), and was given a value of 1 if this action supports

conservation policy or 0 if otherwise. The answers on each survey were transformed and

averaged to create a continuous value between 0 and 1 used as a dependent variable.5

Each element of the index was also used as the dependent variable in separate regression

models to test whether the relationship represented by the index was actually driven by a

particular variable.

Table 3-1. Response values used to calculate the household behavior index.
Response
Does your household... Response
Yes No
... maintain trees on the property for household consumption? 1 0
...unregulated hunting of wild animals? 0 1
... harvest fuelwood along river/stream/spring? 0 1
... throw trash when visiting river/stream/spring? 0 1

An alternative weighting scheme was also implemented to account for the

difference between circumstance determined and active choice behavior. Hunting and



4 The index is a tool to compare levels of a complex concept in disciplines as diverse as environmental
science and psychology. The Pollutant Standards Index, for example, uses the levels of five air pollutants to
assess air quality and then relate the index value to potential negative health effects (for a discussion see
Wark and Wong 2003). Similarly, the Self Esteem Index (SEI) uses 80 self-response items and a Likert-
type scale to assess self-esteem problems in school-children who may require counseling (see Ferrer et al.
2003 for a recent analysis of this method). The household behavior and forest management preference
indices consolidate different patterns within answers to behavior and attitude questions to facilitate
isolating the socioeconomic factors contributing to a household, or head-of-household, acting or thinking in
a way that supports forest conservation scenarios.

5 Another possible approach analysis would be developing a logit analysis. This would use the mean or
some other natural breaking-point to divide the continuous variable into either "high conservation
behavior" and "low conservation behavior". The dependent variable would then be re-coded 1 and 0,
respectively. This would be effective in cases where there was insufficient variation in the original
continuous values, but much of the information contained within the continuous variable would be lost.










harvesting fuelwood may be for survival and maintaining trees on the property may be a

decision made by the landlord or size of the property. Throwing trash into the stream,

however, is a conscious choice. Therefore, this response was assigned an arbitrary6 value

of four times greater than the other responses to test the effect of the active choice vs.

circumstance determined motivation. These alternative results are also presented in the

following chapter.

Rationale for Weightings

Maintaining trees on property for household consumption: Keeping trees on

the property for multiple-use purposes either by planting or not cutting is a conscious

choice made by the household.

Hunting wild animals: Although two hunting clubs exist in Santo Tomas who

publicly claim to follow nationally recognized hunting guidelines, focus groups indicated

that most hunting is done on an individual basis without the permission of landowner's or

regard for season or bag limits.

Harvesting fuelwood and littering in riparian zones: These questions were

addressed to households routinely washing clothes in the river (73%), a clear majority.

While the decision to wash in the river is largely a matter of necessity, the subsequent

decisions to cut fuelwood in the riparian zone (as opposed to elsewhere) or throw trash in

the stream (as opposed to carrying it home) have significant conservation impact and

could be easily avoided.






6 The value of four was chosen arbitrarily. Additional iterations could be completed by varying this
number, but initial tests with the number four revealed no significantly different results.









Forest Management Preference Index

The Likert scale (1-5) used in the questionnaire was collapsed to simply agree or

disagree. In the same manner as described for the household behavior index, response

values were tallied and averaged, assigning a continuous value between 0 and 1 to each

individual survey. The answers on each survey were transformed and averaged to create a

continuous value between 0 and 1 and used as a dependent variable. Each element of the

index was also used as the dependent variable in separate regression models to test

whether the relationship represented by the index was actually driven by a particular

variable.

Table 3-2. Bivariate and alternative values for response used to calculate the forest
management preference index.
Should the following activities be permitted in Bivariate Alternative
the forests remaining in Santo Tomas... Agree Disagree Agree Disagree
...require maintaining forest reserves on private 1 0 1 0
lands?
... gathering fuelwood for household use? 0 1 0 1
...harvest timber for household use? 0 1 0 1
... gather non-timber forest products for 1 0 1 0
household use?
...hunt wild animals? 0 1 0 1
...harvest timber for sale? 0 1 0 4
... deforest additional land for cattle pasture? 0 1 0 4
Note: Half of the respondents were asked their preference on burning pastures since
wildfires are a major concern for forest maintenance. The results were not included in the
index, but can be found in Appendix E. This was of special concern because the
Department of Forestry (INAFOR) in Juigalpa was attempting to implement a ban on all
agricultural burning at the time of this study.

As with the household behavior index, an alternative-weighting scheme was

developed. Harvesting fuelwood for household use is often the only energy available for

cooking, especially in rural areas without good roads to bring in alternative fuels such as

propane tanks or electricity for ironing or cooking. An arbitrary number of four was









assigned to responses in favor of to harvesting timber for sale and deforesting for

additional cattle pasture, as these represent a more active disregard for the environment.


Rationale for Weightings

Require maintaining forest reserves on private lands: Trees maintained on

private lands can provide public environmental services such as run-off control and

wildlife habitat.

Gathering fuelwood for household use: Deforestation and forest degradation due

to cutting fuelwood for household use is considered to be the greatest threat to forests and

biodiversity in Nicaragua (Van Buren 1990). Often the petroleum energy used to

transport the wood material is greater than the energy value provided by the wood itself.

Eighty-three percent of those interviewed use fuelwood at least to some extent in their

household, largely out of necessity.

Harvest timber for household use: From the perspective of forest conservation,

timber harvests for household use have no regulation or monitoring for sustainability.

However, it is primarily carried out to escape purchasing substitute materials such as

cement and iron, which must be hauled in from Managua and great cost and petroleum

energy expense.

Gathering non-timber forest products (NTFPs) for household use: Studies in

the neighboring department of Rio San Juan indicated that gathering NTFPs would not

significantly affect tree growth or biodiversity (Salick et al. 1995) and raises people's









appreciation of the forest, therefore this activity would be considered benign from the

perspective of forest conservation.7

Hunting wild animals: As discussed in the section detailing rationale for the

household behavior index.

Harvesting timber for sale or export: Illegal or unmanaged cutting of timber for

sale is one of the most serious problems facing Nicaragua's forestry sector.

Additional deforestation for cattle pasture: The cattle ranching cooperative Rios

de Leche has studied the farming practices of ranchers in the area and concludes that it is

unnecessary to cut the remaining forests to maintain current levels of ranching, or even to

expand significantly if land use is made more efficient through technology adoption

(Miranda A, personal communication).

Independent Variables

The following independent socioeconomic variables are expected to influence

behavior and attitude based on similar studies discussed in Chapter 1. Typical social

characteristics of respondents (heads of household)8 included age (AGE), gender

(FEMALE), years of formal education (EDUCATION) and whether or not the respondent

had been exposed to environmental education (ENVIEDU). Household characteristics

expected to be influential were income level (INCOME), outside employment


7 A recent comparative study of Brazil nut harvests does indicate that unregulated and persistent harvests
may lead to a forest producing too few juvenile trees to sustain the population (Peres et al. 2003). The
central Nicaraguan NTFP markets do not approach the historical or special extent of those in Brazil and this
particular constraint is probably not a concern. This study should, however, serve as a caution to those
organizations interested in further developing NTFP markets in Nicaragua and other regions.

8 Heads of household were determined by asking the potential respondent if she or he would consider her or
himself the head of household or "household decision-maker". While some individuals did decline to be
interviewed because they would not classify themselves as the head of household, there is still room for
error. Some households may make decisions as a group, or decisions about the house may be made by a
different person than decisions about the land and trees.









(EMPLOY), rural location vs. urban (RURAL), owning vs. renting (TENURE) and

number of people living in the household (HHSIZE). A Pearson's bivariate correlation

analysis was applied to these independent variables to ensure no multi-colliniarity

(Tabachnick and Fidell 1996 as cited in Pallant 2001).

Different socioeconomic variables are expected to influence each of the dependent

variables differently. The apriori results of each analysis are presented in Table 3-3.

Table 3-3. Expected coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables when
regressed against two dependent variables (signs are expected to remain the
same under binomial and alternative weighting schemes).
S Household Behavior Management
Independent Variable
IndependeIndex Preference Index
AGE
FEMALE
EDUCATION + +
ENVIEDU +
INCOME + +
EMPLOY
RURAL -
TENURE
HHSIZE -
Note: In the original survey, the area of landholding was also collected. This was not
included in the independent variables because it did not apply to all households.
Additionally, the cadastral system was currently in the process of being implemented and
individuals' understanding of real land boundaries was highly unreliable.

Because older people were raised and established their households when the

Nicaraguan government was actively encouraging the settlement of the agricultural

frontier through deforestation, it is expected that the household behavior and management

preferences exhibited by this group would be less supportive of conservation. There are

no apriori expectations about how gender and outside employment may affect the

dependent variables, although other studies have shown them to be significant in the past.

Education and income are both expected to have a positive influence on all of the

dependent variables since these respondents would be higher up on Maslow's hierarchy










of needs. While environmental education should have a positive affect on respondents'

sustainable forest management preferences, it may not have a significant affect on

behavior dependent variables because many of these questions are circumstance

determined. It is likely that rural respondents will have a lower score on the behavior

index due to subsistence activities such as hunting and fuelwood collecting, but an

undetermined effect on preferences. Finally, larger households will use more natural

resources and therefore the behavior index should be negative, while the preference

might depend more on other socioeconomic factors in the individual family.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The data from 100 survey questionnaires was subjected to a series of analyses.

Descriptive and frequency statistics provide an overall picture of the municipality

through averages and ranges of socioeconomic variables. A student's t-test was used to

compare responses from urban and rural samples. Bivariate correlation analyses reveal

significant relationships between variables. Multiple linear regression analyses assess the

relationship between a dependent and independent variables by controlling for other

variables and an overall relationship between a set of independent variables and a

dependent variable. Detailed interpretations of the analyses results are discussed.

Descriptive Results

Socioeconomic Characterization

The sampling design was stratified 50% urban and 50% rural. Of these

respondents, 60% were women and 40% men. Ages ranged from 18 years old to 82

(mean age 41), while education level ranged from no schooling to university degrees

(average education level was completion of 4th grade). An impressive 82% of the

respondents reported that they had received some type of environmental education,

whether formal training through governmental agencies or non-governmental

organizations, or by word-of-mouth, the church or the radio. Descriptive statistics from

the complete data set are presented in Appendix E.

Households ranged from one person to 14, with an average size between six and

seven, including a mean value of 2.59 children (ranging from no children to 9). Although









household income spanned all categories, the average income was low at approximately

1,000 C6rdobas (US$66) monthly,1 with an average of 2.3 people assisting with

household income (includes remittances). Among those surveyed, 43% of all households

had a member with outside employment.

Table 4-1. Data was sorted by rural (n=50) and urban (n=50) respondents and a student's
t-test was used to determine whether the detected variation was significant.
Numbers not followed by a percentage symbol are averages.


Socioeconomic
Characteristic
AGE
FEMALE
EDUCA T
ENVIED U
INCOME
EMPLOY
TENURE
HHSIZE


Data Type
continuous
dummy
continuous
dummy
categorical
dummy
dummy
continuous


Rural
42.34
48%
3.38
92%
0.90
28%
84%
6.52


Urban
39.92
72%
6.14
72%
1.25
58%
82%
5.4


Index Value
Household Behavior
Management Preference
* Significant at a = 0.1
** Significant at a = 0.05


T-Test
Probability
0.450
0.022
0.002
0.011
0.118
0.002
0.799
0.028

0.554
0.002


Significance


The average respondent had lived in the present property for 18 years, but answers

ranged from 0 to 76 years. Only 15% of those interviewed were living on inherited land,

but 83% said that they owned the property where the household was located.2 The survey

design was stratified between rural (n=50) and urban (n=50) residents, and several

significant differences were revealed between these respondents. Socioeconomic





1 The Nicaraguan C6rdoba was valued at approximately C$15 to US$1 at the time of this study.

2 A 2000 World Bank study of 2475 Nicaraguan households indicates that approximately 80% of farmers
with agriculture production land and 70% of households with little land have formally registered
documents of land ownership (Deininger and Chamorro 2004). The study notes, however, that some
respondents may have misunderstood the questions distinguishing between titles recognized by the current
administration, those issued by the Sandinista regime and informal documentation.









information and final index results were sorted over these two categories and subjected to

a student's T-test in MS Excel. The results are reported in Table 4-1.

A significantly lower percentage of women responded to the survey in rural areas.

Rural heads of household also tended to have fewer years of formal education and have

larger households. Urban residents, on the other hand, are much more likely to have a

household member with formal outside employment, but were much less likely to have

received environmental education. This is probably caused by the importance of the radio

in rural life and recent outreach programs broadcast by Nicaragua's Ministry of

Environment (MARENA) intended to reach the rural public. In summary, rural residents

are generally less educated and living in larger households with less income and fewer

possibilities for outside employment than their urban counterparts. These aspects also

contribute to a tendency to continue clearing remaining forest fragments in the hopes of

satisfying basic needs.

Both index results were also subjected to bivariate correlation analysis with

individual independent variables. There was no significant difference between the

household behavior index results, however, there was a highly significant difference

between the results of the management preference index between rural and urban

respondents. These results will be discussed in more detail in the following sections.

Table 4-2. Response values used to calculate the household behavior index.
Response
Does your household... Response
Yes No
... maintain trees on the property for household consumption? 85% 15%
...hunt wild animals? 15% 85%
... harvest fuelwood along river/stream/spring? 23% 77%
...throw trash when visiting river/stream/spring? 29% 71%1










Household Behavior

The questions selected to determine the household behavior index elicited a variety

of responses. Most people maintained trees on their property, in both urban and rural

areas, for household fruit, fuelwood or timber consumption. Fifteen percent hunted wild

animals and approximately one quarter of the respondents reported littering and

harvesting fuelwood. This number is probably under-reported because some participants

may have been aware that these actions are regulated and may be illegal.

Stated Management Preference

Most heads of household surveyed favored permitting the harvest of household use

of forest products such as fuelwood, timber and non-timber forest products. Many

respondents specifically commented that forests, even on private land, should be used for

subsistence, but not for profit ventures. Less than half of the participants supported

harvesting wood for sale or export, hunting wild animals or deforesting additional land

for cattle pasture. Support for policies to maintain forest reserves on private land was

substantial, however the option was presented without potential trade-offs (i.e., would

you agree to this policy if overall production in the region were to decline a

corresponding 10%?).

Table 4-3. Response values used to calculate the stated forest management preference
index.
Should the following activities be permitted in the forests Response
No
remaining in Santo Tomas... Agree Disagree Opinion
Opinion
... require maintaining forest reserves on private lands? 96% 1% 3%
...gathering fuelwood for household use? 85% 14% 1%
...harvest timber for household use? 68% 31% 1%
...gather non-timber forest products? 88% 8% 4%
...hunt wild animals? 26% 71% 3%
...harvest timber for sale or export? 9% 91% 0%
... deforest additional land for cattle pasture? 29% 70% 1%









Bivariate Correlations

The bivariate correlations are intended to highlight relationships between

independent variables that are significant. The rural/urban dummy variable had a large

number of significant correlations justifying its use as a stratification mechanism. Rural

areas had significantly lower levels of education, but higher exposure to environmental

education, more people in the household and limited outside employment. As previously

mentioned, fewer women were interviewed in rural areas. The women interviewed

overall were likely to be younger than the men, represent households with lower income

and have less exposure to environmental education than men. These households were

more likely to have a member with formal outside employment.3

Table 4-4. Significant relationships between independent variables used in regression
analysis.
Socioeconomic
Characteristic Significant Correlates and Signs
RURAL FEMALE (-), EDUCATE (-), ENVIEDU (+), EMPLOY (-), HHSIZE (+)
AGE FEMALE (-), ED UCAT (-), INCOME (-)
FEMALE AGE (-), ENVIEDU (-), INCOME (-), EMPLOY (+), RURAL (-)
EDUCAT INCOME (+), RURAL (-)
ENVIEDU FEMALE (-), RURAL (+)
INCOME FEMALE (-)
EMPLOY TENURE (-)
HHSIZE RURAL (+)

Respondents with higher education also reported heading households with higher

income. Those who owned land generally had less of a chance of having a member with

fulltime employment, probably because landowners tend to work on the property either in

ranching or a cottage industry. Years of formal education decreased in rural areas and for

older people, but increased in higher income households. Most of these results suggest


3 These surveys are ones in which the female head of house hold was available and willing to be
interviewed and does not indicate the female is the only head of household.









that Santo Tomas is a typical rural community in a developing nation and highlight some

of the real challenges to forest conservation. In addition, the fact that outside employment

in rural areas is lower than in urban areas, creates a strong economic incentive to continue

cattle ranching.

Respondents who preferred clearing forested lands for additional cattle pasture also

tended to favor policies that would permit cutting timber for export and sale and hunting

wild animals. This indicates a set of participants who strongly favor the exploitation of

natural resources. Those who preferred clearing forested lands significantly differed from

the average population in that they were primarily older.

Respondents who agreed with harvesting fuelwood for household use also tended

to be those who agreed with harvesting timber for household use. These respondents

varied significantly from the general population in several ways. They tended to be more

urban and have received less environmental education. A possible explanation is that

urban dwellers generally live farther from the fuelwood source and have to pay

transportation costs and use public roads rather than footpaths. Woodfuel, therefore, has a

greater monetary value for town residents than rural residents, and since road traffic is

more susceptible to inspection and enforcement than foot traffic, urban dwellers might

face heavier penalties if customary collection rights were regulated. The correlating lack

of environmental education is more likely an effect of environmental education reaching

the rural community via radio programs, rather than a relationship between

environmental sensitivity and woodfuel use.









Regression Analysis

The goal of the regression analyses is to test the relationship between

socioeconomic characteristics and the behavior and attitude of respondents. Two

dependent variables were used to test these research questions: the household behavior

index compiled from self-reported habitual household actions and the management

preference index compiled of responses to forest management that can be interpreted as

either sustainable (given the value of 1 or higher)4 or not sustainable (given a value of 0).

Independent variables used in both regression analyses were age, rural/urban, gender,

household size, years of formal education, income level, outside employment, owning

household property and having received environmental education.

Table 4-5. Unstandardized coefficient signs associated with socioeconomic variables
when regressed against two dependent variables.
Management preference
Household behavior index Management preference
index
Independent Predicted Actual Sig. Predicted Actual Sig.
Variable
AGE *
FEMALE + +
EDUCATION + + + +
ENVIEDU + + + +
INCOME + + + +
EMPLOY + +
RURAL **
TENURE + +
HHSIZE +
* Significant at a = 0.1
** Significant at a = 0.05

The results of the regression analyses are illustrated in Table 4-5. All of the signs

for the unstandardized coefficients were as expected. Household size was the only



4 The weights of certain activities were manipulated higher than 1 to determine if weighting had a
significant effect No significant effect was observed.









significant factor for the household behavior index (at a=0.1, p=.090), resulting in a final

model with a very low adjusted5 R2 of 0.014:

Household behavior index = .862 .011 (HHSIZE)

The household behavior supported sustainable forest management more in smaller

households. It is logical that larger households would inevitably impact the sustainability

of forest use in Santo Tomas as they use more fuelwood for cooking6 and ironing. Larger

families also generally indicate more young children under less supervision who might

engage in detrimental practices such as littering or hunting without obeying regulations.

The management preference index was used as the dependent variable for a

regression analysis using the same independent variables as the household behavior index

analysis. Given the strong correlations cited in the literature between ecological behavior

and attitude (Ajzen 1988, Kaiser and Keller 2001) a similar model might be expected.

Indeed, age was a significant independent variable (p=.062) accompanied by the rural

location dummy variable (p=.033), rather than household size. The resulting final model

with an adjusted R2 of .210 is as follows:

Management preference index = .857 -.003(AGE) .103(RURAL)

There are several reasons why households with younger decision makers might

prefer more sustainable behavior. It has been documented in other parts of the

Nicaraguan agricultural frontier that the pioneering or "conquer nature" spirit promoted


5 The adjusted R2 accounts for the effects of multiple independent variables isolating the influence of only
the significant variables and more accurately reflects the model fit than the unadjusted R2.
6 This survey found that 85% of all household use fuelwood for at least some of their cooking energy. Most
heads of household commented that beans, if nothing else, were cooked over a wood fire. This is probably
due to the time necessary to cook beans thoroughly and the relative cost of propane gas. Larger families
would generally use more beans, a staple food throughout Nicaragua, and the use of fuelwood would be
more prevalent.










in the 1950s and 19060s Green Revolution is more prevalent among older residents of the

region (Nygren 2004a). The bivariate correlation between age and education also showed

that older people in this sample group had a significantly lower number of years of

formal education. In other areas of Central America, household surveys have shown that

years of education have direct correlates to preservation of old growth forests and

sustainable forest management within an agricultural setting (Godoy et al. 1998). This

may be partially due to traditionalism complicated by a political polarization of

conservation and sustainability issues in Nicaragua. Household size may not be as

influential since preference represents an ideal state without necessarily considering the

realistic demands of a large family. The respondent's stated preference tended toward

sustainable management with not only younger, but also urban heads of household.

The time-preference theory offers another possible explanation for why age is a

factor in both household behavior and sustainable management preference. Time-

preference describes the phenomenon of changing behavior based on an individual's age

and relative capacity for enjoyment of goods now as compared to the future. Although it

has long been held that older people have learned the importance of saving resources for

the future, recent econometrics research indicates that tendency to save money is

negatively correlated with age, suggesting that the probability of instant and loss of saved

resources death steadily increases with age (Senesi 2003). Another study used empirical



7 In Nicaragua, in particular, environmental education was first introduced by the Sandinista regime
following the 1979 revolution creating a gap between those growing up pre- and post-revolution. Younger
heads of household educated under the Sandinistas may have been exposed to conservation and
sustainability values, but many older farmers were embittered by the collectivization of private lands and
state control of agricultural prices (Nygren 2004a, Vilas 1989). Since forest conservation and sustainable
management rhetoric are associated with the Sandinistas, older residents may still react against their
adoption on principal. This challenge exacerbates the inherent difficulty of changing traditional farming
practices.










evidence to propose that people perceive their ability to enjoy goods and services as

decreasing with old age, and therefore they actually accelerate their use patterns as they

age (Trostel and Taylor 2001).8 Current time-preference theory offers an explanation why

younger households seem to favor sustainable forest management more strongly than

those households led by older decision-makers.

The previous discussion on rural vs. urban household concluded that rural people

were less educated and poorer overall. For these reasons, rural respondents may be lower

on the overall hierarchy of needs, still focusing on basic survival such as food and shelter.

Even those who have accumulated enough wealth to not only survive, but also begin

investing in the future may not be so far up on the hierarchy of needs that they would

consider sustainability over immediate gain. This potential explanation has been

supported by empirical studies in neighboring Rio San Juan where the majority of rural

household surveyed indicated that they would invest in expanding cattle operations if

they had an increase in income (Faris 1999). Investing in cattle in considered a solid

fiscal option in rural Nicaragua from a cultural (Guerrero and Soriano 1992) and realistic

from a financial standpoint. In a country where wages have been frozen for five years

while utilities have being privatized as part of the Highly Indebted Poor Country (HIPC)

Debt Initiative (Mora 2004), it may be more rational for those already involved in

agriculture to invest in cattle than in banks. Since trees are technically property of the

state until a cumbersome management process is followed, it is unsurprising that rural

households might express a preference for short-term rather than sustainable forest

management, given the historical and current political economy of the region.

8 Trostel and Taylor (2001) also suggest that previous research showing opposite trends were biased
because the studies excluded the infirm, an increasing percentage of the aging population.














CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS

Several robust socioeconomic influences on self-reported household behavior and

stated preference with respect to forest management and conservation in Santo Tomas,

Chontales are indicated from the survey data analysis. These significant factors are

synthesized in the following section followed by general policy implications suggested

by the data. The many lessons learned through the process of administering surveys and

focus groups, as well as developing indices are compiled here to assist those who might

apply such research methods to address their own questions. In addition, although some

questions were addressed during this process, many more were created. Directions for

future research both in Nicaragua and on thematic questions are also suggested.

General Synthesis

The results of this study indicate that socioeconomic factors influence self-reported

household behavior and stated sustainable forest management preferences in the context

of forest conservation. Older respondents' overall management preference index

decreased significantly away from sustainability and conservation. In particular, further

analysis indicated that deforestation to convert land into additional cattle pastures was

strongly favored by this group. As a policy, deforestation for cattle pasture was affiliated

with the exploitation of timber (for profit) and hunting animals (for household use).

Younger respondents, however, were those more inclined to prefer hunting. In addition,

younger people were potentially driven by subsistence rather than profit motivation since









hunting was only for household consumption and was also significantly correlated with

the number of people in the household.

Although rural areas had received overwhelmingly more environmental education

than urban area (predominately via the radio), necessity and custom probably urged these

households to state a preference for timber harvest for household use. These households

typically had also lived in their current location longer, contributing to the adherence to

traditional building materials. Factors related to tradition probably also contributed to

rural people's preference for deforestation for additional cattle pasture. In addition,

formal planning requirements of current forest policy1 make deforestation a more rational

economic choice for some rural residents. Figure 5-1 represents a synthesis of stated

preferences organized by their significant socioeconomic independent variables.

The significance of age and strong correlation between several activities that

impact conservation potential reveal a more complex situation. Young people may be

likely prefer more sustainable forest management options because the limits of

Nicaraguan forest resources are much clearer now than for previous generations, reflected

conversely in the preferences indicated by older respondents. Younger people also grew

up in a socio-political environment that endorsed sustainability and conservation of

forests as a national heritage. On the other hand, they have higher education and are more

employable, which may make them less dependent on and less connected to forests. Both

implicit and explicit policies in Santo Tomas should consider these relationships for

increased effectiveness.


1 See Chapter 1.










/^~~~ -. -.^.,
For-profit timber
/ Higher conversion of For-profit timber
I forest pasture harvest Subsistence
S, Harvest timber i hunting
Lower sustainability for household /
preference use ,. ..
..................... '........"
t --y- t
Older Respondents Rural Respondents Younger Respondents


Figure 5-1. Significant relationships revealed by regression analysis and bivariate
correlation can be synthesized into a single figure based on common links.

Research Findings

Data from this study demonstrate that certain policies might affect sustainable

forest management in Santo Tomas. A strong relationship exists between increasing age

and decreasing preference for sustainable forest management. Households with older

decision makers also exhibit behavior less conducive to sustainability. This may be a

product of the sociopolitical context surrounding the older people as compared to

younger people in this area. The research suggests that increasing adult and rural

education might alter the general tendency of older heads of household causing them to

prefer and act of the preference for more sustainable management practices. Appropriate

venues for adult education should be carefully considered since the average member of

the population may not be initially predisposed to participating.2

Increasing household size was a significant factor in whether or not households

behaved in a manner that supported sustainable forest management. These results imply


2 See earlier discussion on older residents, especially cattle ranchers' prejudices against concepts introduced
by the Sandinistas. This would likely include adult education and outreach in addition to environmental
education. Technical assistance and agricultural extension may be more readily received.









that advocating family planning now could impact the way the average household

behaves toward forest remnants in the next 10 to 20 years. Smaller households use less

energy to cover basic needs and often can afford more education for children, and both of

these factors are likely to increase sustainable forest use. Because larger households were

also associated with increased hunting, family planning policies could benefit wildlife

populations, as well.

Rural residents exhibited a much lower preference for sustainable forest

management. Some of this reticence may be related to lower education levels in rural

areas, suggesting that increase rural education, which has been shown to have positive

effects on conservation elsewhere in Nicaragua (Godoy 1994), and might address some

of the discrepancy between urban and rural preferences. Additionally, there may be a

perceived disconnection between predominantly urban policy makers and enforcers and

the rural families largely responsible for implementing sustainability measures. As

discussed in the introductory chapter, the annual forest management plan requirement for

forests and forest fragments on private land creates an undue burden on small-scale

landowners. This is especially true for older, generally less educated farmers accustomed

to managing their land without governmental interference. Enforcement authority

delegated to municipal governments in unlikely to raise confidence in the rural farming

community. Addressing the perverse effects of well-intentioned conservation laws may

help bridge the gap between urban and rural residents, making sustainable forest

management a more plausible possibility.

Comments on the Survey Questionnaire Tool

The survey questionnaire tool was an effective way to generate replicated

information for quantitative results. One of the challenges implementing any study,









however, is the temporal factor: many of the confusing aspects of the survey were ironed

out with practice, so the experience of the 99th interviewee was inevitably different than

that of the 3rd respondent. Although analysis eliminated survey order as a statistically

significant factor, it was still significant in a practical sense. In addition, weather and

logistics played a defining role in initial site selection in rural areas. Some sites that

would have remained accessible for a longer period of time quickly became unsafe to

travel in an unusually rainy June. Finally, the structured questionnaire data would be

strengthened by randomly conducted in-depth interviews with a few respondents,

although care would have to be taken to avoid biases.3 The data collected, however, were

sufficiently robust to address the research questions.

Limitations to Self-Reported Behavior and Stated Preference Analyses

Focus group discussions indicated that many respondents probably under-reported

actions that might be interpreted as deleterious toward the environment or illegal, such as

harvesting fuelwood for sale. Self-reported behavior information is always limited by the

respondent's honesty, understanding of the questionnaire and willingness to ask for

clarification. More independent observational studies might have reduced this bias, but

also would be better suited to a smaller community or more limited number of

households. For example, a study observing people's actions while washing in the river

or monitoring household fuelwood consumption might provide more detailed insight on

household behavior, although there would still be a risk of influencing the data through

the researcher's presence. Remote sensing data could also be used to correlate actual land


3 While focus groups were used to check for biases in existing data, it is still likely that the sample was
skewed toward a sub-sample of potential respondents who understood the process of conducting surveys,
the concept of sustainable forest management and felt comfortable giving information to and discussing
issues with a foreign researcher.









cover with stated preferences, eliminating the bias of the researcher's presence, but

potentially increasing costs and time and skills needed for effective data analysis.

Stated preferences may have been influenced to some degree by the participant's

desire to give an answer that was pleasing to the interviewer. Care was taken not to

discuss conservation issues in advance of conducting the interviews and to maintain an

interested indifference to responses throughout the process, but bias in inevitable.

Index Development

The greatest challenge to index development is selection of inputs since no index

tool currently exists for addressing conservation issues in Santo Tomas. The stated

management preference index seemed to be much tighter and conclusions generated by

this data seemed to have more practical meaning than the household behavior index. This

is probably due to many of the same weaknesses discussed in the self-reported behavior

section. A checklist of observable qualities may have been more effective. Nonetheless,

the process of creating the index offered an opportunity to explore the data in detail.

Directions for Future Study

Santo Tomas, Chontales represents a cultural and biophysical transition between

Nicaragua's Atlantic and Pacific coasts and central mountain region (Incer 2000). Its

geographical location and transect of geophysical zones make it likely that the network of

forest remnants harbor a large percentage of the flora and fauna native to Nicaragua. A

microcosm of the agricultural frontier in Latin America, Santo Tomas also offers

opportunities to study economic and social aspects of natural resource limitations.

While the Pacific coast region has been well studied, little is known about the flora

and fauna of the rapidly decreasing habitat of the lowland tropical rainforests. Taxonomic

and ecological studies would increase understanding of these ecosystems and whether the









forest fragments in Santo Tomas and similar municipalities have a role as a refuge or

corridor for endangered and threatened species. This might generate interest and funding

for projects from conservation, ecotourism or agroforestry organizations. It would

certainly strengthen any proposals made by the municipality or private organizations such

as the cattle ranching cooperative for funding sustainable forest management initiatives.

These biological surveys should also tap into existing indigenous knowledge and

markets for timber and non-timber forest products. Of the 155 species of trees

respondents acknowledged on their land, most had household uses including, but not

limited to timber, posts, fuelwood, fodder, food and medicinal purposes. Many cattle

ranchers understand the benefit of on-farm trees and institutions should take care that this

knowledge is conserved for future generations of farmers. Technical assistance and

extension programs can capitalize on these traditions to illustrate the importance of

sustainable forest management. While one cooperative in Santo Tomas sells natural

remedies4 made from predominantly forest products, a wider market is likely available.

Market feasibility studies and cost benefit analysis of integrating non-timber forest

products as a cash crop on farms and in home gardens would likely expand economic

opportunities and the perceived value of forest fragments.

Economic assessments of various other aspects of sustainable forest management

would also aid in reducing the perverse effects of existing forest policy. An economic

assessment of the impact of current forest policy on the cost/benefit ratio for small-scale

landholders would evaluate monetary value derived from forests vs. the cost of


4 The "Cooperativa Naturista" was located one and a half blocks north of the mayor's office at the time of
this study. Initiated by a Finnish development agency, FINNADA, and supported with technical assistance
by a syndicate based out of Managua, the cooperative sells locally collected and imported herbal remedies,
honey and homemade wines and syrups.









implementing annual management plans. The results of such a study might demonstrate

the need for change to policy makers.

An environmental economic analysis of tree products and environmental services

of trees on farms on a watershed level would place a different perspective on the

management of forest fragments in Santo Tomas. While forest conservation was listed as

a matter of critical environmental importance by the municipality in the 2001

participatory rural survey, no government funds were appropriated to conservation

activities or incentive programs based on the argument that not enough people would be

affected (PEP 2001). The environmental economic analysis would demonstrate the

services such as water conservation and erosion control provided by sustainably managed

forest fragments and would likely provide a basis for allotting public funds to some of the

policy initiatives outlined in the previous section.

For some of these policy initiatives to be successful, more extensive interviews

should be conducted with older rural residents and wealthier landowners who appeared to

be the most resistant to sustainable management practices. These interviews may elicit a

wealth of information about effective outreach strategies and even traditional forest

products. By investigating primary information from older residents, researchers may

overcome some of the prejudices generated by the political conflicts of the last four

decades. Anecdotal evidence about the expansion and contraction of the agricultural

frontier in response to policies and armed conflict could be contrasted to remote sensing

data from the region. This investigation might offer an interesting insight on the

relationship between socioeconomic factors on a macro-level and sustainable forest

management.
















APPENDIX A
SURVEY OF THE SANTO TOMAS MUNICIPALITY INHABITANTS ABOUT
THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ENVIRONMENT

Note that currency has been converted to US dollars using the exchange rate of
June 15, 2003 and measurements have been converted to the metric system.
Interview Date: / /
Barrio / Comarca:
Interview Number

I. General Information

1. Gender: F M Age years

2. Education Level
a. None
b. Elementary School grade
c. High School grade
d. Technical Degree years
e. University Degree years
f. Other

3. Occupation

4. How many people live in this household at least 6 months/year?

a. Among these, how many are children?
b. Among these, how many contribute toward household expenses?

5. What is the average total monthly income of this household?
a. Less than US$33
b. US$33 $67
c. US$67 $333
d. more than US$333

6. Does someone in your household have outside employment?

Yes
No

7. This home is: owned,
borrowed, or
rented?

8. How long has your household lived here? years











9. Does this household own another property (such as a house or farm)?
No: Skip to question number 11
Yes: a. Where?

b. How many hectares total?
Less than 0.7 ha
Between 0.7 14 ha
Between 14 35 ha
Between 35 70 ha
Between 70 350 ha
More than 350 ha

10. The following questions refer only to the property your household owns within the Santo
Tomas municipality:
a. How many ha of land do you have within the Santo Tomas municipality?
Less than 0.7 ha
Between 0.7 14 ha
Between 14 35 ha
Between 35 70 ha
Between 70 350 ha
More than 350 ha

b. Of this land, how many ha are forested?

c. Of these, how many did you plant?

d. How long have you owned this or these properties? years

e. How often do you visit this property?

f. How did you acquire this property: agrarian reform,
inheritance,
purchase, or
another way?
11. What fuel does your household use to cook?
Source How much? How often?

Gas

Fuelwood

Agricultural Residue

Charcoal

Kerosene

Other:


12. If you use fuelwood, what types of wood do you use?










II: How do you use your environment?

A: Trees

1. What kinds of trees do you have on your property (for example, fuelwood, posts, thatch and

other construction material, ornamental, medicinal, handicraft)?









2. What do you use them for?

a. Nothing Household use Sale

b. If for sale: ,How much do you sell, how often?

3. ,Do you harvest fuelwood, wood, medicinal plants, or tree products from other people's land
(either with or without permission)?

a. No Yes, for household use Yes, for sale

b. If for sale: ,how much do you sell, how often?

4. ,How many hours does it take for you to arrive that the site where you harvest wood and other
forest products?

B: Animals

1. ,What types of wild animals have you seen on your property?





2. ,Does your household hunt these kinds of animals? Yes No
If no, skip to Section C. Water Resources.

a. How often?

b. What type of animal is hunted?

c. Why do you hunt?: food sale sport

d. Do you usually hunt on: your own land others' land

e. How many hours does it take to get to the place where you hunt?












C. Water Resources

1. Does your household go to rivers, creeks, streams, or springs to wash clothes?
2. All seasons Dry season only No

3. When you go to the river, do you carry away plastic (such as detergent or soap bags) or
do you throw them on the banks or in the river?
Carry away Throw on banks on in river

4. If your household has land, what water resources do you have?

5. Does your household harvest fuelwood along rivers, creeks, streams, or springs? Yes
No

III. Forest Area Management

With the following, you will tell me if you are in agreement (1, 2), not in agreement (4, 5), or
have no opinion (3).

In the forests which remain in the municipality ofSanto Tomcis, it should be permitted to...
Cut timber for household use. 1 2 3 4 5
Cut timber for sale. 1 2 3 4 5
Hunt wild animals. 1 2 3 4 5
Harvest fuelwood. 1 2 3 4 5
Deforest to plant new cattle pasture. 1 2 3 4 5
Explore for silver and gold. 1 2 3 4 5
Harvest non-timber forest products such as medicinal and ornamental
1 2 3 4 5


plants or trusts.
Recreational activities such as fieldtrips, picnics, and hiking.
Conservation projects to protect soils and water quality.
Educational activities such as farmer training and student fieldtrips.
A multi-use management plan where farms are required to use only part
of their land for cattle pasture and part in forest reserve.
Burning for cattle and agricultural production.

Have you ever received any kind of environmental education?

For example, from...
An international organization (Ex., FADES, Paz y Tercer Mundo, etc.)
The Nicaraguan government (Ex., INTA, police, mayor's office, at school)
Chatting with friends
Your church
The radio or television


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APPENDIX B
ENCUESTA SOBRE LOS HABITANTES DEL MUNICIPIO DE SANTO TOMAS Y
SU RELACION CON EL MEDIO AMBIENTE

Fecha de la Entrevista: / /
Barrio / Comarca:
Numero de Entrevista

I. Datos Generales del Entrevistado

1. Sexo F M Edad afios

2. Nivel Academico
a. Ninguno
b. Primaria grado
c. Secundaria afio
d. Tecnico afio
e. Universitario afio
f. Otro

3. Actividad que realize

4. 6Cuantas personas viven en su casa por lo menos 6 meses del afio?

a. 6Entre estas personas, cuantas son nifios?

b. 6Entre estas personas, cuantas ayudan con los gastos de la casa?

5. 6Cuanto es el ingreso promedio de su casa cada mes?
a. Menos que C$500
b. C$500-C$1000
c. C$1000-C$5000
d. mas que C$5000

6. 6Alguien en su casa tiene empleo fuera de la casa?

Si
No

7. 6Esta vivienda es: propia,
prestada, o
alquilada?

8. 6Cuanto tiempo ha vivido aqui? Afios










9. iPosee otra propiedad (como casa, finca, o terreno)?
No: Pase a la pregunta numero 11
Si: a. iAdonde?

b. iCuintas manzanas tiene por total?
Menos que 1 manzana
Entre 1-20 manzanas
Entre 20-50 manzanas
Entre 50-100 manzanas
Entre 100-500 manzanas
Mas que 500 manzanas

10. Se pregunta lo siguiente solamente sobre las propiedades que tiene en Santo Tomas:
a. iCuintas manzanas tiene dentro el municipio de Santo Tomas?
Menos que 1 manzana
Entre 1-20 manzanas
Entre 20-50 manzanas
Entre 50-100 manzanas
Entre 100-500 manzanas
Mas que 500 manzanas

b. ,De este terreno, cuantas manzanas son bosque?

c. ,De estas, cuantas sembr6 Usted?

d. iPor cuinto tiempo han sido duefios de esta(s) propiedad(es)? afios

e. iCada cuanto visit esta propiedad?

f. iEsta propiedad la consigui6 por medio de: reform agraria,
herencia,
compra, o
de otra manera?
11. iQue usa en su casa para cocinar?

Fuente iCuanto? iCada cuanto?

Gas

Lefia

Desecho Agricolas

Carboncito

Queroseno

Otra:


12. iCuiles tipos de arboles usan para lefia?











II:;,C6mo usa el medio ambiente?

A: Arboles

1. iQue variedad de arboles tiene en su propiedad (por ejemplo, lefia, madera y otro material para

la construcci6n, omamentales, medicinales, frutales, artesania)?









2. iPara que lo utilicen?

a. Nada Consumo Propio Venta

b. Si se vende: ,cuinto se vende, cada cuanto?

3. iAcostumbra a sacar lefia, madera, plants medicinales o products de los arboles de terreno
ajeno?

a. No Si, para consume propio Si, para venta

b. Si se vende: ,cuinto se vende, cada cuanto?

4. iCuantas horas require para llegar al sitio de donde saca la madera o otros products del
bosque?

B: Animals

1. iQue variedad de animals silvestres tiene en su propiedad?





2. iAcostumbra a cazar este tipo de animals? Si _No
Si no, pase a Seccidn C. Las Aguas.

a. iCada cuanto?

b. iQue tipo de animal caza?

c. iPorque caza: comida venta deported

d. iAcostumbra a cazar en: terreno propio ajeno

e. iCuantas horas require para llegar al sitio de la caza?











C. Las Aguas

6. iAcostumbra ir a lavar a los rios, quebradas, cafiitos, criques u ojos de agua? Todo el
Afio Solamente Verano No

7. iAcostumbra recoger los desechos plasticos (como bolsas de ace o jab6n) cuando salgan
al rio o los dejan botados?
Se recoge Se deja botado

8. iSi tiene terreno, que fuentes de agua tiene en su terreno?

9. iAcostumbra recoger lefia o cortar madera a la orilla de los rios, quebradas, u ojos de
agua? Si No

III. Maneio de Areas forestales

Con lo siguiente Usted me va a decir si esta de Acuerdo (1, 2), no esta de acuerdo (4, 5), o si no
tiene ninguna opinion (3).

En los bosques que hay todavia en el municipio de Santo Tomas, se debe realizar...


Corte de madera para el uso propio.
Corte de madera para la exportaci6n.
La cazaria de animals.
Recoger lefia.
Despale de los bosques para sembrar nuevo past para la ganaderia.
El busque de oro y plata.
Recoger products del bosque no-maderables como plants medicinales,
omamentales, y frutas.
Actividades recreativas como dia de campo, paseo, picnic.
Proyectos para proteger los suelos y la calidad del agua.
Actividades educativas como capacitaciones para los finqueros,
campesinos, y estudiantes.
Un plan de manejo donde los finqueros dejan una parte de su terreno para
la ganaderia y otra parte en bosques.
La quema de los potreros y terreno de siembras.


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iUsted ha recibido alguna orientaci6n acerca de la conservaci6n del medio ambiente?

Por ejemplo, departed de ...
Un organismo intemacional (Ej., FADES, Paz y Tercer Mundo, etc.)
El Gobiemo Nicaragtiense (Ej., INTA, la policia, la alcaldia, en la escuela)
Platicando entire amigos
A travds de su iglesia
Por medio de la radio o television
















APPENDIX C
VARIETY OF TREES SELF-REPORTED ON FARMS IN SANTO TOMAS,
CHONTALES.

Common names of trees collected from interviews were matched to scientific names
based on known distribution. This is not a vouchered list and should be cited with
caution. Extensive botanical studies are recommended for this region.


Common Name


Acacia
Acetuno
Achote


Aguacate
Aguacate de Monte
Agtiegtie/Espavel
Almendro
Anona
Areno
Babayan
Balsamo
Bambi Amarillo
Baraz6n
Cacao
Cafe
Caimito
Camibar
Canela

Canelo Amarillo

Canelo Negro/Quinina
Cafia agria
Caoba del Atlantico
Caoba del Pacifico


Scientific Name

Acacia pennatula
Simarouba glauca
Bixa orellana
Persea americana
Persea coerulea
Anacardum excelsum
Terminalia catappa
Annona purpurea
Homalium racemosum
Rehdera trinervis
Myroxylon balsamum
Babusa vulgaris
Hirtella americana (?)
Theobroma cacao
Coffea liberica
C l(i pluy/Thn cainito
Copaifera aromatica


Arbutus xalapensis (or
below)
Nectandra reticulata (or
above)
N/A

Swietenia macrophylla
Swietenia humilis


Family

Mimosaceae
Simaroubaceae
Bixaceae
Lauraceae
Lauraceae
Anacardiaceae
Combretaceae
Annonaceae
Flacourtiaceae
Verbenaceae
Fabaceae
Poaceae
Chrysobalanaceae
Sterculiaceae
Rubiaceae
Sapotaceae
Caesalpiniaceae



Ericaceae

Lauraceae


Meliaceae
Meliaceae


Source Notes

4
1
4
4
4
2
2
4
4
4












Common Name


Capirote
Capulin
Carafio
Carao/Carol
Castafio
Cedro Macho
Cedro Real
Ceiba
Cerito
Cipres
Coco
Coloradito
Cordoncillo
Comizuelo
Corozo
Corroncha de Lagarto
Cortez Amarillo
Coyol
Coyolito

Coyote
Cuarsa
Chaguite
Chaperno
Chicharr6n Blanco
Chilamate
Chiquirin
Ebano
Escoba Lucia

Escobillo
Espadillo
Eucalypto
Flor de Avispa


Scientific Name


Miconia podecandra
MAhtintgia calabura
Bursera graveolens
Cassia grandis
Artocarpus heterophyllus
Carapa nicaraguensis
Cedrela odorata
Ceiba pentandra
Casearia corymbosa
Cupressus lisitanica
Coco nucifera
Cnestidium rudescens
Piper tuberculatum
Acacia collinsii
N/A
Farmea occidentalis
Tabebuia chrysantha
Acrocomia vinifera
Bactris balanoides
Plartmiscium
pleiostachyum
N/A
N/A
Lonchocardus sp.
Rehdera trinervis
Ficus sp.
Myrosperma frutescens
N/A
N/A
Myrciariafloribunda or
Phyllostylon brasiliensis
Yucca elephantipes
Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis


Family

Melastomataceae
Elaeocarpaceae
Burseraceae
Caesalpinaceae
Moraceae
Meliaceae
Meliaceae
Bombacaceae
Flacourtiaceae
Cupressaceae
Arecaceae
Connaraceae
Piperaceae
Mimosaceae


Rubiaceae
Bignoniaceae
Arecaceae
Arecaceae

Fabaceae




Fabaceae
Verbenaceae
Moraceae
Fabaceae



Myrtaceae/Lilmace
ae
Agavaceae
Myrtaceae
Malvaceae


Source Notes











Common Name

Flor de Jamaica
Genizaro
Granadillo
Guaba (con vainas)
Guaba blanca
Guaba cuadrada
Guaba pachona
Guaba rellera
Guabo
Guicimo de Terero
Guicimo Molenillo
Guandbana
Guanacaste de Oreja
Guapinol
Guarumo
Guayaba
Guis Coyol
Guyab6n
Higualtil

Hoja Chigue
Hoja Tostada


Scientific Name

N/A
Pithecolobium saman
Dalbergia tucurensis
Inga sp.
Inga sp.
Inga sapinoides
Inga tonduzii
Inga sp.
Inga vera
Guazuma ulmifolia
Luehea candida
Annona muricata


Family


Mimosaceae
Fabaceae
Mimosaceae
Mimosaceae
Mimosaceae
Mimosaceae
Mimosaceae
Mimosaceae
Sterculiaceae
Titliaceae
Annonaceae


Enterolobium cyclocarpum Mimosaceae


Hymenaea courbaril
Cecropia insignis
Psidium sp.
N/A
Terminalia oblonga
Genipa cartuto
Curtella americana/Petrela
volubilis
Licania arborea


Hombre Grande Quassia amara
Stemmadenia donnel-
Huevo de Burro/Cachito smithii
Jicaro de Cumba N/A
Jicaro Grande Cersentia sp.
Jicaro Sabanero Cresentia alata
Jifiocuabo/Indio
Desnudo Bursera simaruba
Jobo Lagarto Sciadodendron excelsum
Jocote Spondias sp.
Jocote
Sabanero/Inviemero Spondias purpura
Kerosen Tetragastrius panamensis


Source Notes


1/2
4
4
4
4
4
4
1
1
4
4
1


Caesalpinaceae


Myrtaceae


Combretaceae
Rubiaceae
Dilleniaceae/Verbe
naceae
Chrysobalanaceae
Simaroubaceae

Apocynaceae


Bignoniaceae
Bignoniaceae

Burseraceae
Araliaceae
Anacardiaceae

Anacardiaceae
Burseraceae











Common Name

Laurel


Scientific Name

Cordia alliodora


Laurel del Indio Ficus sp.
Lim6n Agrio/de castillo Citrus aurantifolia
Lim6n Dulce N/A
Lim6n Mandarina N/A


Family

Boraginaceae
Moraceae
Rutaceae


Source Notes

1
4
4


Limonaria
Madero Negro

Madrofio
Majagua
Malinche
Mam6n
Manch6n
Manch6n Cola de Pava
Mandarina
Manga larga colorada
Mango
Manzanita
Marafi6n
Matapalo
Matorral
Moran

Morisca
Mufieco
Nancite Agrio
Nancite Dulce
Nancit6n
Naranjo Agrio
Naranjo Dulce
Nispero/Chicle
Nambar
Ocote
Ojoche


Murraya paniculata
Gliricidia sepium
Calycophyllum
candidissumum
N/A
Delonix regia
Melicoccus bijugatus
N/A
N/A
Citrus nobilis
Xylopia aromatica
'M\,if ,,1 indica
Ximenia americana
Anacardium occidentale
Ficus obtusifolia
N/A
Chlorophora tinctoria
Cordia sp./Croton
xalapensis
N/A
Byrsonima crassifola
N/A
Hyeronima alchomeoides
Citrus vulgaris
Citrus sinensis
Manilkara achras
Dalbergia retusa
Pinus oocarpa
Brosumum alicastrum


Rutaceae
Fabaceae

Rubiaceae
Malvaceae
Caesalpiniaceae
Sapindaceae




Rutaceae
Annonaceae
Anacardiaceae
Olacaceae
Anacardiaceae
Clusiaceae


Moraceae
Boraginaceae/Euph
orbiaceae


Ebanaceae


Euphorbiaceae
Rutaceae
Rutaceae
Sapotaceae
Fabaceae
Pinaceae
Moraceae


B, E


C











Common Name


Palanco
Palo de Agua
Palo de Arco
Palo de Chocoyo
Palo de Hule
Palo de Piedra
Palo de Plomo/
Desposado/ Huevo de
Burro
Panchil
Papaya
Peine Mico
Pera
Pijivay

Pino
Pipilacha
Pochote
Quebracho
Quelite
Quitacalz6n
Roble
Roble Negro
Sancuajoche
Sangregrado
Sotacaballo/Manglar
Tamarindo
Tatascame

Tempisque
Toronj a/Grapefruit/Nara
ngela
Tuno

Ufia de gato
Varilla Negra


Scientific Name


Saptanthus nicaraguense
Vochysia hondurensis
Apoplanesia paniculata
N/A
Castilla elastica
Minquartia guianensis


Zuelania guidonia
Daphnopsis seibertii
Carica papaya
Apeiba tibourbou
N/A
Bactris gasipaes
Pinus patula var.
tecunnumanii
N/A


Family

Annonaceae
Vochysiaceae
Fabaceae


Moraceae
Olacaceae


Flacourtiaceae
Thymelaeaceae
Caricaceae
Tiliaceae


Arecaceae

Pinaceae


Source Notes


Bombacopsis quinata Bombacaceae
Pithecellobium arboreum Mimosaceae
Cnidoscolus aconitifolius Euphorbaceae
Astronium graveolens Anacardiaceae
Tabebuia rosea Bignoniaceae
Quercus sp. Fagaceae
Plumeria rubra Apocynaceae
Pterocarpus rohrii Fabaceae
Pothecellobium longifolium Mimosaceae


Parkinsonia aculeata
Lacistema aggrgttmllll
Mastichodendron capiri
var. Tempisque


Caesalpinaceae
Asteraceae

Sapotaceae


Citrus paradise Rutaceae
Castilla tuno Moraceae
Marchaerium
hii,,,iuw il, 1 marginatum Fabaceae







69



Common Name Scientific Name Family Source Notes

Vivorilla N/A C
Yema de Huevo Morinda panamensis Rubiaceae 4
Zapote Pouteria sp. Sapotaceae 4
Zapotillo Pouteria sapota Sapotaceae 4
Zopilote Vochysiaferruginea Vochysiaceae 1
Zoroncontil N/A
Zorro Zanthoxylum panamensis Rutaceae 4
Sources:
1 MARENA 2003
2 Observations made at Zool6gico de Chontales "Thomas Belt"
3 Observations made a Paz y Tercer Mundo, Tierra Blanca comarca, Santo Tomas.
4 Salas Estrada 1993

Notes:
A = One of the few citruses remaining in Santo Tomas after the citrus blight
B = Locally extinct in La Libertad and Santo Domingo because used to hold up mine tunnels
C = Trees which will not regenerate once primary forest is cut
D = Precious woods valued for timber
E = Known to be limited to the Atlantic region
















APPENDIX D
ON-FARM TREE DIVERSITY

Another way to judge the effectiveness of conservation policy is through on-farm

tree diversity. Tree diversity is closely linked to biodiversity in general (Kelly and

Bowler 2002), and this species richness also leads to increased ecosystem productivity

(Vila et al. 2003). Diversity of woody tree species has been correlated with abiotic factors

such as rainfall, soil fertility, latitude, altitude, seasonality and catastrophic events

(Givnish 1999), as well as human disturbances (Bhuyan et al. 2003, Gillespie et al. 2000).

The decision to grow trees on private land, and which trees and how many, is a personal

decision made by individual landowners in this area. As such, household socioeconomic

variables might be a deciding factor.

Because no vouchered specimens were collected, caution has been used applying

this data. Regional names appeared to be assigned to the same tree in some cases (e.g.,

chicle and nispero both referred to Manilkara achras and aguegue and espavel both

referred to Anacardium excelsum, Salas Estrada 1993). Therefore, rather than calculating

species richness or diversity indices, the number of different species on individual farms

was used as the dependent variable (see Ramirez Marcial et al. 2001 and Lopez Portillo

and Ezcurra 1989 for similar treatment of data). In this way tree diversity is used as an

additional indicator for a society's orientation toward forest conservation and analyzed

for significant socioeconomic influences.









Of those interviewed, a total of 45 respondents reported to own farms in the Santo

Tomas municipality. The descriptive statistics of the sub-sample compare favorably to

the general population statistics of the entire study. While the actual population of Santo

Tomas is 51.5% women and 49.5% men (PEP 2001), this subset of interviews included

42% women and 58% men, while the overall survey was comprised of 40% women and

60% men. The average age and educational level of this interviewed subset was exactly

the same as those for the entire survey. This comparison indicates that the answers for the

farm owning subset were as reliable and representative as the entire survey. Focus group

meetings held with local institutions after the results were tabulated indicated that the

survey results generally reflected the population overall.

Table D-1. Independent variables and their expected and actual effect on tree diversity.
Independent Variable Expected Actual Significant
AGE +
FEMALE
EDUCATION + +
INCOME + + **
EMPLOY + **
TENURE +
HHSIZE +
** Significant at a = .05.

Independent variables for the purposes of this regression analysis were: age,

gender, household size, education and income levels, outside employment and owning

household property. After insignificant variables were removed listwise, an equation with

tree diversity as the dependent variable and income and outside employment as

independent variables was derived:

Tree Diversity = 12.54 + 7.88(INCOME) + 16.12(EMPLOY)

This indicates that households with a higher income and outside employment are

more likely to choose to maintain a higher diversity of trees on their farms. Maslow's






72


hierarchy of needs offers one possible explanation for this phenomenon. Once farmers

have satisfied their basic needs, they can afford to look to the future with conservation

indicators.















APPENDIX E
DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS FROM QUESTIONNAIRE DATA


N Minimum Maximum
Rural 100 0 1
Barrio (Urban Neighborhood)
Bella Vista 100 0 1
Heroes y
Hroesy 100 0 1
Martires
Jaime L6pez 100 0 1
Pablo Ubeda 100 0 1
Pancasan 100 0 1
Reinaldo Jir6n 100 0 1
San Jose 100 0 1
Sandino 100 0 1
Santiago 100 0 1
Javier Guerra 100 0 1
Comarca (Rural District)
Oropendola 100 0 1
Mollejones 100 0 1
Las Mesas 100 0 1
El Zapotal 100 0 1
El Jicarito 100 0 1


Cerca de la
carretera
El Zurr6n
Tierra Blanca
El Alto
Location
Year-round
access to urban
center
Cost of travel
to town
Socioeconomic
Female
Age
Years of
Formal
Education
Farmer


100 0


100
100
100


100


100 $0


$118


characteristics of respondent
100 0 1
100 18 82

100 0 16

100 0 1


Mean
.50


Standard
Deviation
.503


.03 .171

.03 .171


.171
.171
.219
.171
.256
.288
.256
.256

.288
.219
.171
.197
.302


.06 .239


.219
.219
.171


.77 .423


$28.42 $37.476


.60 .492
41.13 14.920

4.76 4.699


.456











N Minimum
Merchant 100 0
Housewife 100 0
Journeyman 100 0
Day laborer 100 0
Student 100 0
Socioeconomic characteristics of the
People in
100 1
Household
# Children 100 0
# People
assisting with 100 1
expenses
Household
income 53 $200
(continuous)
Household
income 96 0
(categorical)
Member of
household with
100 0
outside
employment
Own house 100 0
Time in
current 100 0
location
Own land 100 0
Inherited land 99 0
Monthly cost
of fuelwood 94 $0
(C$)
Percent
cooking
energy 98 0
supplied by
fuelwood
ornament 100 0
Trees present on property
Fruit 100 0
Hardwood 100 0
Tree Product Use
Household
100 0
consumption
Sale 100 0


Maximum
1
1
1
1
1
household
14


Mean
.15
.40
.13
.04
.09


5.96 2.741
2.59 2.060

2.34 1.689


$7,200 $1480
38


3 1.06


18.28 14.931


1 .46
1 .29
$216.3
$1,125
2



100 67.78


1 .18

1 .95
1 .54


1 .85


.08 .273


Standard
Deviation
.359
.492
.338
.197
.288


$1,325.749


.949



.498


.378


.501
.457

$230.755


40.792


.386


.219
.501


.359










Standard
N Minimum Maximum Mean Deviation
Collected
property 100 0 1 .21 .409
owned by
others
Animals seen on property
Common to
human 100 0 1 .88 .327
settlements
Wild 100 0 1 .38 .488
Household behavior
Hunting 100 0 1 .15 .359
Occasionally
Occasionally 100 0 1 .73 .446
wash in river
Always wash
100 0 1 .39 .490
in river
Throw trash in
Throw trash in 99 0 1 .29 .457
river
Harvest
fuelwood near 100 0 1 .23 .423
river
Environmental Education
Received via
100 0 1 .82 .386
any venue
NGO 100 0 1 .19 .394
Government
(school or 100 0 1 .31 .465
agency)
Radio or
Radioor 100 0 1 .70 .461
Television
Word-of-
ordof100 0 1 .25 .435
mouth
Church 100 0 1 .25 .435
Preferences (Do you agree the following should be permitted in the
forests that remain in the Santo TomAs municipality?)
Harvest timber
Harvesttimber 100 1 3 1.63 .928
for household
Harvest timber
100 1 3 2.82 .575
for sale
Hunt wild
100 1 3 2.45 .880
animals
Harvest
fuelwood for 100 1 3 1.29 .701
household use
Deforest to 100 1 3 2.41 .911









Standard
N Minimum Maximum Mean Deviation
expand cattle
ranching
Exploit gold 100 1 3 1.75 .869
and silver
Harvest
t 100 1 3 1.20 .569
NTFPs
Recreational
100 1 3 1.18 .575
activities
Conservation
100 1 1 1.00 .000
projects
Educational
100 1 1 1.00 .000
activities
Mandatory 100 1 3 1.05 .261
forest reserves
Permit burning
Permit burning 53 1 3 2.42 .908
for agriculture















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Jensen Reitz Montambault was born in 1976 and raised near Charlottesville,

Virginia. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 1995 with degrees in

environmental science and English literature and composition. As a U.S. Peace Corps

volunteer from 1996-1998, Jensen served as a community environmental promoter in the

town of Santo Tomas, Chontales. Returning to the U.S., Jensen worked for non-profit

organizations in Washington D.C., including the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

and Conservation International where she managed Rapid Assessment Program scientific

expeditions to Latin America and Africa. In 2002, she started the master's/PhD program

in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida; first as a Tropical Conservation

and Development Fellow and currently as a National Science Foundation Graduate

Research Fellow.