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Nontimber Forest Product Certification Considered

PETE
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0023770/00001

Material Information

Title: Nontimber Forest Product Certification Considered The Case of Chamaedorea Palm Fronds (Xate)
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Wilsey, David
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: certification, commercialization, conservation, development, forestry, livelihoods, ntfp, palm, xate
Interdisciplinary Ecology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Interdisciplinary Ecology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Certification of nontimber forest products is often promoted, but the process is seldom undertaken. Its thin performance record contains mixed results. Optimism about the certification of Chamaedorea palm frond (xate) extraction and trade is fueled by a production trend, from extraction to cultivation, and the success of pilot and regional sales of fronds marketed as sustainably harvested and fairly traded. This study examined the feasibility of xate certification at multiple scales: first exploring the global xate value chain, and then investigating the livelihood system of an extractor community. The value chain analysis focused on the components of the xate procurement system and the dimensions of the xate market. The xate chain was found to be extensive and oligopsonistic. The market was characterized by large, mature demand for conventional fronds and substantially smaller, but growing demand for sustainably harvested and fairly traded ('certified') fronds. Low trade volume of the latter hindered the requisite segregation of 'certified' from conventional palms. Barriers to (market) entry, for suppliers, related to flat demand and value chain structure. Transaction costs were expected to be high for buyers developing new relationships with suppliers. A quality provision in a 2005 xate purchase agreement represented what, for certification, might be a 'keystone standard,' one that bridges the feasibility gap between present conditions and a future characterized by greater demand for certified fronds. Analysis of the livelihood system used ethnographic investigation and linear programming simulations to test the livelihood effects of four xate market/management scenarios. Certification, as simulated, improved livelihoods for all household types. However, under all scenarios, the community was unable to generate the minimum weekly supply required by the buyer. This supply-demand disparity proved to be the primary obstacle to the feasibility of certification. Results led to the conclusion that cooperative efforts with nearby communities and/or seasonal commercialization strategies might improve feasibility. Study results pertain to the feasibility of xate certification, and enhance our understanding of certification's potential contribution to forest conservation and economic development objectives.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by David Wilsey.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hildebrand, Peter E.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-12-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0023770:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0023770/00001

Material Information

Title: Nontimber Forest Product Certification Considered The Case of Chamaedorea Palm Fronds (Xate)
Physical Description: 1 online resource (154 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Wilsey, David
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: certification, commercialization, conservation, development, forestry, livelihoods, ntfp, palm, xate
Interdisciplinary Ecology -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Interdisciplinary Ecology thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: Certification of nontimber forest products is often promoted, but the process is seldom undertaken. Its thin performance record contains mixed results. Optimism about the certification of Chamaedorea palm frond (xate) extraction and trade is fueled by a production trend, from extraction to cultivation, and the success of pilot and regional sales of fronds marketed as sustainably harvested and fairly traded. This study examined the feasibility of xate certification at multiple scales: first exploring the global xate value chain, and then investigating the livelihood system of an extractor community. The value chain analysis focused on the components of the xate procurement system and the dimensions of the xate market. The xate chain was found to be extensive and oligopsonistic. The market was characterized by large, mature demand for conventional fronds and substantially smaller, but growing demand for sustainably harvested and fairly traded ('certified') fronds. Low trade volume of the latter hindered the requisite segregation of 'certified' from conventional palms. Barriers to (market) entry, for suppliers, related to flat demand and value chain structure. Transaction costs were expected to be high for buyers developing new relationships with suppliers. A quality provision in a 2005 xate purchase agreement represented what, for certification, might be a 'keystone standard,' one that bridges the feasibility gap between present conditions and a future characterized by greater demand for certified fronds. Analysis of the livelihood system used ethnographic investigation and linear programming simulations to test the livelihood effects of four xate market/management scenarios. Certification, as simulated, improved livelihoods for all household types. However, under all scenarios, the community was unable to generate the minimum weekly supply required by the buyer. This supply-demand disparity proved to be the primary obstacle to the feasibility of certification. Results led to the conclusion that cooperative efforts with nearby communities and/or seasonal commercialization strategies might improve feasibility. Study results pertain to the feasibility of xate certification, and enhance our understanding of certification's potential contribution to forest conservation and economic development objectives.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by David Wilsey.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local: Adviser: Hildebrand, Peter E.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2010-12-31

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2008
System ID: UFE0023770:00001


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1 NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCT CERTIFICATION CONSIDERED: THE CASE OF CHAMAEDORE A PALM FRONDS (XATE) By DAVID SCOTT WILSEY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 David Scott Wilsey

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3 To Heather

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Nothing is accom plished alone. I thank my parents for their early and ongoing support to do my thing, and for their persistent reminders to combine hard play with hard work. I am indebted to my friend and advisor Pete Hildeb rand, his wife Maria, and daugher Annie, for opening their hearts and home to me, and eventua lly my family, which grew with each year of this process. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the people of Soledad de Juarez and the numerous other communities in Mexico and Guatemala where I have been welcomed first as a guest, then as a researcher, and hopefully as a friend. My life is changed for the better by the many who have supported me only by doing what came to them naturally. I am grateful and indebted to Janett de los Santos Espinosa: first a colleague an d eventually a friend. Sin cere thanks also to my advisory committee for their support, criticism, and guidance each in appropriate measure. Above all, I thank my wife Heather for he r commitment and inexhaustible support throughout this personal and professional endeavor; and our daughters, Maren and Hanna, who joined us midstream and who have grown much too fluent in the phrase: Daddy is working.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................8LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................9LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................................ 10ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... .............11 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 13Study Overview ......................................................................................................................13Research Questions ............................................................................................................ .....162 NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS FOR CONSER VATION AND DEVELOPMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................... 18Integration of Conservation a nd Development Objectives .....................................................18Amazonia ...................................................................................................................... ...19Extractivism .................................................................................................................. ...19Extractive Reserves ......................................................................................................... 20NTFP Commercialization and Integrat ed Conservation and Development ........................... 21Specific Research Context ..................................................................................................... .23NTFP Certification ..........................................................................................................23Chamaedorea Certification .............................................................................................253 CHAMAEDOREA P ALM FROND CERTIFICATION: AN INTEGRATED VALUE CHAIN AND MARKET PERSPECTIVE ............................................................................. 27Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........27Conceptual Framework .......................................................................................................... .28Hypothesis and Research Objectives ...................................................................................... 31Materials and Methods ...........................................................................................................32Results .....................................................................................................................................34Components of the Integrated Value Chain .................................................................... 34Production systems ................................................................................................... 34Production regions .................................................................................................... 35Principal actors .........................................................................................................37Dimensions of the Integrated Xate Market ..................................................................... 39Conventional markets ............................................................................................... 39Market Dimensions and Trends ............................................................................... 40

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6 Product Heterogeneity ..............................................................................................41Eco-palms: an emerging market ............................................................................... 41Discussion .................................................................................................................... ...........43Conclusions .............................................................................................................................464 THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM .................................................... 53Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........53Research Objective .................................................................................................................54Analytical Framework .......................................................................................................... ..54Study Area ..............................................................................................................................55Materials and Methods ...........................................................................................................57Results .....................................................................................................................................59Overview ...................................................................................................................... ...59Context ....................................................................................................................... .....60Political structur e and history ................................................................................... 60Infrastructure ............................................................................................................ 61Social services ..........................................................................................................62Land Cover and Use ........................................................................................................62The Soledad Economy .....................................................................................................63Agriculture and agroforestry .................................................................................... 63Forest resources ........................................................................................................67Reproduction and wage labor ...................................................................................69Summary and Discussion .......................................................................................................715 CERTIFICATION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM .......................................................................................................77Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........77Research objective and hypotheses .................................................................................77Analytical framework ......................................................................................................78Study area ........................................................................................................................79Method ........................................................................................................................ ............79Model specification .........................................................................................................79Input data for the model .................................................................................................. 82Model output ............................................................................................................ 87Setup of the calculations ..................................................................................................87Household composition ............................................................................................ 92Results of the ELP Model .......................................................................................................93Livelihood (Economic) Results ....................................................................................... 93Market results ................................................................................................................ ..94Sensitivity An alysis ......................................................................................................... 95Discussion .................................................................................................................... ...........97Conclusions ...........................................................................................................................1016 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ...................................................................................110

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7 APPENDIX A FSC CHAMAEDOREA ADDE NDUM ................................................................................. 123B MEXICOS NTFP POLICY ................................................................................................. 137LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................142BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................154

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Harmonized tariff codes for xate in th e United States, Mexico, and Guatem ala ...............523-2 Reported unit equivalencies for Chamaedorea fronds ......................................................524-1 Opportunistic inventory of a Soledad home garden ( solar) ...............................................765-1 Calendar of seasonal production activities in Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca. ..................... 1085-2 Resource requirements and yields for pr incipal agricultural crops used in the Ethnographic Linear Program. ......................................................................................... 1085-3 General matrix for ELP model outpu t framed by household types and market scenarios. .................................................................................................................... ......1085-4 Operational elements of xate market scenarios. .............................................................. 1085-5 Household composition scenarios for Solead de Juarez, Oaxaca .................................... 1095-6 Livelihood benefits under the quality/susta inability market scen ario (S4), and in comparison to the current market scenario (S1), by household composition. ................. 1095-7 Sensitivity to selected factors of Soledad s potential range of xate supply (in rolls*) under the certified market scenario (S4). ......................................................................... 109B-1 Official Mexican Regula tions (NOMs) pertaining to the conservation, exploitation, and commercialization of NTFP (Garcia-Pena V 2001). .................................................141

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Bultos of C. oblongata in a storage facility in Uaxactn, Guatem ala await transport to Santa Elena ....................................................................................................................483-2 Xate ( C. oblongata ) being sorted in Sant a Elena, Guatemala ........................................... 483-3 Xate ( C. elegans) cultivated under forest canopy in Catemaco, Veracruz (Mexico) ........ 493-4 Principal xate production re gions and distribution routes ................................................. 493-5 Annual imports of xate fronds to the Un ited States from Guatemala and Mexico. ........... 503-6 General schematic model of th e integrated xate value chain ............................................. 503-7 Total annual xate imports to the United States, 1971-2007 ............................................... 513-8 Relative demand index for xate vari eties for a major U.S. importer. ................................ 513-9 Total annual xate imports to the U.S. a nd sales (1-yr lag) of certified palms. ..................524-1 Localization of Soledad de Juarez ..................................................................................... 754-2 Schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system .......................................................... 754-3 Proximity of La Soledad de Juar ez to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico .................................... 765-1 Captured image of the ethnographic linear program structure in Microsoft Excel ......... 1045-2 Asymmetric periods in Soledads dry (T) and rainy (R) seasons, created to allocate labor in the ELP model. ................................................................................................... 1055-3 ELP model output by scenario. ........................................................................................ 1065-4 Annual household harvest days by scenario. ...................................................................107

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10 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AGEXPORT: Asociacin de E xportadores de Guatemala AMS: Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) CFG: Continental Floral Greens CINRAM: Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management CONAFOR: Comisin Naciona l Forestal (Mxico) CONANP: Consejo Nacional de reas Naturales Protegidas (Mxico) CONAP: Consejo Nacional de r eas Protegidas (Guatemala) CRRN-P: Consejo Regional para los Recurs os Naturales Papaloapan (Mxico) ELP: Ethnographic Linear Program ER: Extractive Reserve FSC: Forest Stewardship Council ICDP: Integrated Conservation and Development Program MBR: Maya Biosphere Reserve (Guatemala) MIE: Integrated Ecosystem Management Project (Mexico) NTFP: Non-Timber Forest Product PROCAMPO: El Programa de Apoyos Directos al Campo (Mxico) SAGARPA: Secretara de Agricultura, Ganadera, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca, y Alimentacin (Mxico) SEMARNAT: Secretara del Manejo de los Recursos Naturales (Mxico) USDA: United States Department of Agriculture

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCT CERTIFICATION CONSIDERED: THE CASE OF CHAMAEDORE A PALM FRONDS (XATE) By David Scott Wilsey December 2008 Chair: Peter E. Hildebrand Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology Certification of nontimber forest products is often promoted, but the process is seldom undertaken. Its thin perf ormance record contains mixed resu lts. Optimism about the certification of Chamaedorea palm frond (xate) extraction and trad e is fueled by a production trend, from extraction to cultivation, and th e success of pilot and regional sales of fronds marketed as sustainably harvested and fairly traded. This stu dy examined the feasibility of xate certification at multiple scales: first exploring the global xate value chain, and then investigating the livelihood system of an extractor community. The value chain analysis focused on the components of the xate procurement system and the dimensions of the xate market. The xate chain was found to be extensive and oligopsonistic. The market was characterized by large, mature demand for conventional fronds and substantially smaller, but growing demand for sustainably harv ested and fairly traded (certified) fronds. Low trade volume of the latter hindered the requisite segregation of certified from conventional palms. Barriers to (market) entry, for suppliers, related to flat demand and value chain structure. Transaction costs were expected to be high for buyers developing new relationships with suppliers. A quality provisi on in a 2005 xate purchase agreement represented

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12 what, for certification, might be a keystone stan dard, one that bridges the feasibility gap between present conditions and a future charac terized by greater demand for certified fronds. Analysis of the livelihood system used et hnographic investigation and linear programming simulations to test the livelihood effects of four xate market/management scenarios. Certification, as simulated, improved livelihoods for all household types. However, under all scenarios, the community was unable to genera te the minimum weekly supply required by the buyer. This supply-demand disparity proved to be the primary obstacle to the feasibility of certification. Results led to the conclusion that cooperative efforts with nearby communities and/or seasonal commercialization strategies might improve feasibility. Study results pertain to the feasibility of xate certific ation, and enhance our understandi ng of certifications potential contribution to forest conservation and economic development objectives.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Study Overview Tropical forests contain som e of the highest levels of biodiversity and species endemism on the planet but are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of human land use patterns (1990; Anderson et al. 2002). Tropical forests can benefi t local and non-local pop ulations by protecting useful and marketable resources, as well as through the provision of local and global-scale environmental services (Myers 1983). Over th e past 25 years, commercialization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has been promoted as a reconciliatory strategy (DeBeer 1989; Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Arnold and Ruiz Perez 1998; Neumann and Hirsch 2000); one that addresses forest conservation and the live lihood needs of forest-based populations. Ostensibly, commercialized NTFPs reconcil e conservation and development objectives through integration: increasing the economic value of intact forest to local inhabitants, thereby providing an incentive for conservation (Fearns ide 1989; Peters et al. 1989; Wollenberg 1998; Angelsen and Wunder 2003). The dynamics of ex traction-based NTFP economies have fomented lively debate about the benefits of a market -based approach (Homma 1992, 1994, 1996; Browder 1992, 1992; Dove 1993, 1994; Belcher and Schrecke nberg 2007). Nevertheless, the search continues, unabated, for NTFPs with commercia l potential and for tropical forest contexts amenable to commercialization and conservation (Marshall et al. 2003; Belcher et al. 2005; Marshall, Schreckenbe rg et al. 2006). Xate (sha-tay) is one term used generically in reference to the commercialized fronds of a subset of Chamaedorea palm species. Since the 1950s, U.S. a nd European florists have imported xate from Mexico and Guatemala for use as deco rative foliage in floral arrangements and in Palm Sunday church services (CEC 2002). Of twenty-one commercially important Chamaedorea

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14 species, consumers prize the fo liage of several, notably C. tepejilote, C. oblongata, C. elegans and C. ernesti-agustii (Hodel 1992; CEC 2002). From the outs et, international markets were supplied with xate harvested from naturally occu rring populations within tropical forests. Xate harvest contributes to forest livelihoods in several regions of Mexico (CEC 2002; Jones and Gorchov 2002; Endress, Gorchov, and Noble 2004; Santos et al. 2006; Lopez-Feldman 2005), the Petn region of Guatemala (Nations 2006, 1992; Litow et al. 2001; CEC 2002; Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006; Dugelby 2006), and to a lesser extent in Belize (Pic kles 2004; Bridgewater et al. 2006). Xate remains an important comm ercial product even though the profitability for importers peaked during the 1960s (Everett, pers onal communication). Extraction remains an income source for those living in and near tropical forests. Future benefits of extraction are less certain. Some researchers argue that the dynam ics of NTFP production systems make commercialization an unstable strategy upon wh ich to base forest conservation and/or development efforts (Homma 1992, 1994, 1996; Dove 1993, 1994). They posit that the economics of extractivism necessarily lead, over time and space, from the harvest of naturally occurring populations toward intensified cu ltivation, and/or replacement with synthetic alternatives. Xate production is beginning to ev ince this dynamic. One forward-looking importer anticipated these changes as ear ly as 1989, hedging wild supply with stock cultivated under the existing forest cover. More re cently, alternative production system s and locations have begun to emerge. If critics of a commercialization appr oach to conservation and development were correct, any integration of liveli hood and conservation objectives a ssociated with xate extraction would likely diminish as xate production adva nces along the path from forest to farm.

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15 Certification has been embraced as a strategy to counter this tre nd (Current et al. 2003; Pickles 2004; Zajfen 2005; CEC 2005, 2006). Advocates of certification posit that access to niche markets and/or premiums paid for certified palm fronds will help extractive procurem ent systems to remain competitive with more intensive, frond cultivation systems. Yet, few researchers and practitioners interested in xate commercialization and/or certificatio n have considered certification within the broader context of the xate procurement system in which locali zed interventions occur. The multiple-systems approach used in this study is based loosely on Pittaluga a nd colleagues (2004) zero in approach to livelihood system profiling a nd Vaydas (1983) concept of progressive contextualization. It was designed to explore the feasibility of xate certifica tion, and to serve as an initial step toward understanding the potentia l for certification to facilitate integration of conservation and development objectives. An approach that highlights the nature a nd dynamics of the broader xate procurement system is indispensable for three reasons (Kaplin sky and Morris 2001). First, while efficiency is necessary for penetrating markets, sustainability is necessary to remain. Xate extraction must be understood as a single, elective component of a rura l livelihood stra tegy situated within a larger livelihood system (Ros-Tonen and Wiersum 2005; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004). The feasibility of certification depends, in part, on th e ongoing participation of ex tractors, in light of the benefits and constraints a ssociated with certification. Second, livelihood strategies pursued in a particular locale must coalesce to form a viable first link in a value chain comprised of multiple actors, spanning from the extractor to the consumer (Belcher 1997, 1998). Moreover, inter-system competitiveness has become increasingly relevant to localized success. Local procurement system s must be considered

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16 alongside non-local competitors. The competitiv e and comparative advantages (Porter 1990; Kaplinsky 2000) of certification need to be we ighed against those of existing and competing procurement models. Finally, sustained market involvement requir es an understanding of the dynamic factors characterizing the global commodity system, or value chain (Kaplinsky 2000; Gereffi and Korzeniewicz 1994). The anticipated aggregate effects of certifica tion must be considered in light of these factors. Current and projected producers and co nsumers, supply and demand, and the dynamics of each within the context of the globa l value chain are material factors that affect the feasibility of certification at any scale. Proponents hope xate certification represents an intervention capable of integrating conservation and development objectives in harvest communities. Through the elaboration of the analytical framework described, this study contributes to an u nderstanding of this broader unknown by exploring, at multiple scales, the question of whether certificati on of xate represents a feasible intervention. The remainder of this chap ter outlines the specific research questions to be addressed by this study. Research Questions Chapter 2 introduces in tegrated conservati on and development and tracks the metamorphosis of the conception of extractivism from an Amazonian social movement to a globally recognized strategy for integrating re source conservation and economic development objectives. The chapter also explores the emergi ng conviction that NTFP certification represents an intervention suited to that tas k. Finally, support for certification of xate is considered in light of the specific attributes of the xate procurement system and markets. Chapter 3 examines the integrated value chain and market for xate in order to discover likely outcomes of (or obstacles to) xate certif ication. I hypothesize that the feasibility of

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17 certification depends, in part, upon the attributes of certified suppl y and demand relative to the supply and demand for conventional product in the global market. The chapter has two specific research objectives: Research Objective 1 Identify the components of the integrated xate value chain: prevailing production systems, regions, and key actors. Research Objective 2 Describe the dimensions of the integrated xate market. Chapter 4 develops a more complete understandi ng of a harvester liv elihood system and the broader socio-economic context within which households fashion their livelihood strategies. The chapter presents the results of a ra pid and participatory assessment method, or sondeo, of the livelihood system and community context for Soledad de Juarez. Soledad is an ejido in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Chapter 5 builds upon the livelihood system desc ribed in Chapter 4. It contains a description of an ethnographi c linear program (ELP) model based on the Soledad livelihood system. The ELP model uses xate market/management and household composition scenarios to test two hypotheses related to li velihoods, and a third hypothesis a ddresses xate market fluidity, or supply relative to demand. Taken together, the th ree hypotheses suggest that, to be a feasible intervention, certification will: 1. Positively affect household livelihoods. 2. Benefit, or at least not di sadvantage, the poorest households. 3. Be viable with resp ect to supply and demand. A sixth and final chapter summarizes th e study and presents conclusions and recommendations relating to the overarching question of whether certif ication represents a feasible intervention.

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18 CHAPTER 2 NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS FOR CONSERVATI ON AND DEVELOPMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Integration of Conservation and Development Objectives Rapid deforestation in the tropics during th e 1980s (Myers 1983) proved a catalyst f or a reorientation of resource conservation and ru ral development philosophies. The emergent paradigms of the subsequent years (sustainable development, community forestry, participatory management) incorporated and built upon two themes that came to the fore during this period. First, researchers suggested that the value of natural resources and environmental services contained in, and provided by tropical forests, exceeded the value captured by the predominant uses of the day (Myers 1983; Peters et al. 1989). Specifically, exploi tation of specialty hardwoods, swidden agriculture, and forest to pasture conversion ignored the potential value of forest diversity and the anticipated long-term benefits of biodivers e, relative to depauperate or deforested, environments. In short, tropical fo rests represented a valu able but underutilized resource (or resource suite). Second, decision ma kers became increasingly sensitive to the concern that rural development, conservation, forestry, and farming projects failed to consider local interests, needs, and pa rticipation (Gregersen 1989). The exclusion-based conservation models that were considered effective in the United States and other northern countries had mostly failed in the tropics. It was believed that parks required a large and concentrated middleclass to support them (Schwart zman 1989), while tropical forests were by and large inhabited by heterogeneous communities, whose cultures a nd livelihoods depend on forest resources. The segregation of resource conser vation and rural livelihood consid erations led to bio-centric conservation strategies that produced perverse developmen t incentives (Schmink and Wood 1987; Schmink and Wood 1992; Allegretti 1990; F earnside 1990; Sawyer 1990). Nowhere were these realities more ev ident than Amazonia.

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19 Amazonia The increasing rate and extent of deforesta tion in the Am azon during the 1980s contributed to the regions emergence as a crucible for creative and innovative approaches to conservation and development that incorporated ecology, economi cs, and social sciences A number of factors converged during this period and led to the cons ideration of alternative models for forest management and use (Schmink and Wood 1984; Schmink and Wood 1987; Schmink and Wood 1992; Browder 1992, 1989; Anderson 1990, 1990; Ne pstad and Schwartzman 1992; Redford and Padoch 1992). First, Amazonia was essentially mana ged as a resource fron tier. Landless people were encouraged to colonize and exploit the na tural resources of this empty, resource-rich forested region using land intensive production. A second, related condition that emerged from a period of environmentally and socially disa strous development incentives was a highly speculative land market in a contex t of an inflationary national economy. As is often the case, forested land was deforested, or improved, as a necessary means to demonstrate ownership and delineate tenure. A third condition, resulting from the previous two, was an overall increase in competition for land. From this context emerged a gradual recognition of alternative land use practices considered relativel y benign in comparison with logging and deforestation for agriculture and pasture needs. Finally, the emergence of th e autonomous rubber tapper movement from the colonial avamiento system represented a social gr oup whose socio-economic objectives aligned with the rapidly developing interest in finding altern atives to deforestation. The convergence of these factors led politicians and researchers, among others, to seek new alternatives for the forest that remained standing. Extractivism Perhaps m ore than any other factor, the emerge nce of the autonomous rubber tapper social movement in the Amazonia context led to the re-branding of extractiv ism (Allegretti 1994; Rego

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20 1999), and associated development of a model for integrated conservation and development. Throughout most of history, extractivism has been a term used pejorativel y with regard to its social, economic, environmental attributes (A llegretti 1994). Extractiv ism represented a low technology, point-of-entry production system suitable for under populated regions. Relationships were exploitative, based on a co lonial patron-client model. Extractivism was considered a predatory means of resource procur ement, often resulting in the death of the resource. The emergence of the rubber tapper move ment in western Amazonia precipitated a shift in the reputation of extr activism. For the rubber tappers, extrac tivism represented a socially just and sustainable use of tropical forest resource s (Allegretti 1994), the details of which were circumscribed in their proposal for extractive reserves. Extractive Reserves The extractive reserve (ER) concept em erged as a local, Amazonian response to massive deforestation and environmentally and socially disastrous development schemes (Schwartzman 1989). ERs are territorial spaces protected by the state that are designated for use and conservation by a particular user group and regulated by concessionary contracts backed by approved resource utilization plans (Fearnside 1989; Schwartzman 1989; Allegretti 1994, 1990). More than a proposal for the use of NTFPs, the extractive reserve initia tive suggests a means for grassroots groups to participate in national and international devel opment policy decisions (Schwartzman 1992). Moreover, ERs were justified in part by their economic value and thus represent a market-oriented approach to conser vation and development (Browder 1992). The new vision for extractivism and the associated inst itutional model of the extractive reserve that emerged from the rubber tapper movement in Amazonia represented a blueprint for the reconciliation of conservation and livelihood development objectives based, in part, on the

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21 commercialization of NTFPs, a model that woul d soon be considered outside of the region (Heinzman and Reining 1990; Reining and Heinzm an 1992; Nations 1992; Salafsky et al. 1993). NTFP Commercialization and Integrat ed Conservation and Development An i mportant outcome of extractivism and th e extractive reserve model in Amazonia was a renewed interest in NTFPs and their potential role in the integr ation of livelihood and conservation objectives (Neumann a nd Hirsch 2000). In the optimis tic context of the early 1990s, researchers and practitioners e nvisioned two, synergetic benefits to commercial NTFP extraction. One benefit related to rural livelihood objectives : NTFP extraction had the potential to increase incomes, as it was shown in certain cases to provide greater returns on labor than existing employment alternatives (Schwartzman 1989; H echt 1992; Peters et al. 1989). Moreover, the development of new markets for forest products wa s seen as a way to increase rural employment opportunities, particularly in marginalized area s where there were few other employment options. A second benefit of NTFP extrac tion related to natural resource conservation: NTFP extraction was perceived to be a benign use of forest resour ces relative to the prev ailing practices, namely logging, swidden agriculture, and conversion of fo rest to pasture (Fearnside 1990). Additionally, opening forested areas to commercial NTFP extrac tion was calculated to result in a higher net present value per area than al ternative uses (Balick and Me ndelsohn 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). Thus, commercialization of sustainably extr acted NTFPs was envisioned as a catalyst for integration of forest conservation and liv elihood development objectives (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). In the wake of initial exuberance, numerous issues and concerns have been id entified with the use of NTFP commercialization as a means to reconcile conservation and development objectives. A complete discussion of the myriad issues and challenges related to natural product commercialization is beyond the scop e of this section, but it is im portant to highlight the contours

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22 of the discourse. Four general classes of concerns are found in the NTFP commercialization literature (Browder 1992, 1992; Dove 1994; Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Crook and Clapp 1998; Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Arnold and Ruiz Perez 2001; Ticktin 2004). Ecological concerns relate to the potential for nega tive consequences of commercialization with respect to NTFP populations, the broader biotic co mmunity, and the greater ecosyste m. Economic concerns relate to the potential failures of commercialization st rategies stemming from su ch factors as supply and demand characteristics, calculated value versus net benefits, and economies of scale, to name a few. Socio-political concerns focus on the contextual elements of NTFP harvester groups and regions such as resource tenure and rights, effects on gende r roles, and on the broader contribution of NTFPs to rural livelihoods. Often there can be uni ntended and disruptive effects of NTFP commercialization. Finally concerns relate to the incompatibility NTFP management with existing forms of forest ma nagement and potential obstacles to the changes that may be necessary for commercialization to succeed. In pract ice, many of these issu es are interconnected. In addition to these four cl asses, the causal factors fo r failure of commercialization efforts tend to be of three types (Neumann and Hirsch 2000). First, market-related factors may create conditions favorable to over-exploitation. Second, the institutional conditions associated with commercial harvest may differ substantiall y from existing conditions and customs. Third, the biological attributes of a given NTFP (what is harvested as well as individual and population level response to harvest) influence the initial su ccess and sustainability of commercial harvest. Critics of commercialization as a means to integrate conservation and development objectives assert that commercial resource extracti on represents an unstable base due to the many possible combinations of the considerati ons presented above (Browder 1992, 1992; Homma 1996, 1994, 1992; Dove 1994; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). The challenge of NTFP commercialization efforts has been to identify c onditions for successful ex traction that contribute

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23 to the conservation of forests and increase in comes for forest people (Ros-Tonen et al. 1995). Certification, used in the broa dest sense, represents a commer cialization adapta tion intended to address the socio-political, ecologi cal, and economic failings that have been empirically observed in ongoing NTFP commercia lization efforts. Specific Research Context NTFP Certification Certification is a process through which transn ational networks com prised of diverse actors set and enforce standards for products and pr oduction processes (Dankers 2003; Meidinger 2003). The certification process incl udes two important public role s (Meidinger 2003): defining acceptable or appropriate behavior and establis hing mechanisms to enforce product or process standards. Certification programs are market-based in that they seek to achieve their goals by restructuring producers relations hips to consumers through markets (Meidinger 2003). The use of certification as a forest policy tool is relatively ne w (Viana, Pierce et al 1996; Shanley et al. 2005; Overdevest and Rickenbach 2006). NTFP certification has emerged as a prospective solution to the myriad ecological, economic, and social challenges associated with commercialization (Viana, Jamison et al. 1996; Sh anley et al. 2002; Shanley et al. 2005), but support has waxed and waned due, in part, to the significant challenge of creating broadly applicable certification guidelines for an ex tremely diverse set of products and production systems. Moreover, early efforts suggest that certification repres ents a viable strategy for only a limited subset of charismatic NTFPs with high profiles and inte rnational markets (Laird and Guillen 2002). Although certification was describe d nearly 15 years ago as key to the integration of conservation and developm ent through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its in fancy (Shanley et al. 2005).

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24 Four categories of certification programs have been suggested as most relevant for NTFP applications (Ervin and Ma llet 2002; Walter 2002; Vantomme and Walter 2003): 1) forest management; 2) social justice; 3) organic; a nd, 4) product quality. Single programs rarely address all three of the dimensions of sustainability (society, environment, economy). Most focus on a single dimension and perhaps incorporate some sta ndards for others. The f act that the numerous certification programs operate through the use of different, but ofte n overlapping, standards represents an additional challe nge to NTFP certification, but also suggests potential synergies (Vantomme and Walter 2003). Numerous opportunities and challenges have b een identified with NTFP certification in general (Viana, Pierce et al. 1996; Pierce 1999; Mallet and Karm ann 2001; Anderson and Putz 2002; Pierce et al. 2003). As a form of commercialization, efforts ar e likely to encounter most, if not all of the ecological, economic, and social cha llenges described in th e previous section. New and different benefits and costs (opportunities and challenges) also emerge that relate to the increased transparency and formality of the te rms of production and/or trade. Price premiums, improved market access, environmental sustainabili ty, and social justice are perhaps the most frequently cited benefits of certification (Simula 1996; Viana, Jamison et al. 1996; Shanley et al. 2002; Walter 2002). Other benefits include increa sed efficiency, organization, transparency, accountability, safety, and educat ion (Shanley et al. 2005; Over devest and Rickenbach 2006). Foremost among the challenges pos ed by certification is the paucity of biological information for the multitude of NTFPs as well as the numerous and significant costs to producers in an uncertain demand environment (Simula 1996; Kiker and Putz 1997; Shanley et al. 2002). Nevertheless, some argue that the key challenge facing rural fore st communities is not whether to participate in global processes (i.e., commercializa tion), but how to do so in ways that provide for sustainable

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25 growth (Fitter and Kaplinsky 2002) The evolving concept of NTFP certification represents one important voice in this ongoing dialogue. Chamaedorea Certifica tion Support for xate certificati on (in the most general sens e) was initially founded upon a survey of consumers, which indicated a strong intere st in a certified product (Current et al. 2003). Interest was strongest among church-based c onsumers, those who use palm fronds for Palm Sunday services once a year and who could repr esent an additional source of demand throughout the year via the purchase of flor al arrangements featuring certified palm fronds. Formal standards for Chamaedorea certification do not yet exist and the feas ibility of a full-scale specialty market has only been explored via a pilot study and subsequent regional sales (CEC 2005, 2006). Moreover, it is not prudent to assume that expressed interests will necessarily translate into actual market demand (Kiker and Putz 1997; Forsyth et al. 1999). Nevertheless, the promising results of these early sales were interpreted by some as eviden ce that xate certificati on represents a feasible intervention. Despite the many challenges associated with NTFP certification, several factors suggest that it may be a timely interventi on worthy of further consideration. First, xate certification could represent a niche marketing opportu nity through which extractors might insulate themselves from negative price pressure associated with trends in the conventional market. An early market study (CEC 2002) concluded that the market for conventiona l xate was stable, if not in the early stages of contraction (i.e., decreasing demand). Thus, existing and emerging xate suppliers could find themselves in the position occupied by coffee producers in the 1990s: suffering record low prices resulting from surplus supply in the wake of donor-driven econo mic development projects (Fitter and Kaplinsky ; Fritsch 2002; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2003). The perceived state of the xate market, coupled with nascent donor-driven economic development efforts directed toward xate

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26 cultivation in Guatemala and Mexico, suggest th at extractors supplying the conventional market were due to see diminishing pri ces resulting from increasing supply. Second, extractors are feared to become the disproportionate bearers of the high costs of low prices: cultivated palm fronds likely being of a higher quality and uniformity and having lower production costs per unit than forest extracted fronds. Expectations of lower costs stem from greater economies of scale of cultivated sy stems, lower levels of waste, and lower transportation costs. These comparative and compet itive disadvantages to extractors are already the reality for many frustrated communities unable to find buyers (or reas onable prices) for their consistent, but relatively small offerings of high quality xate. Any strategy perceived to confer advantage to the extractive systems, whether through market access or premiums, is worthy of consideration. The alternative is feared to be nothing short of th e departure of commercial xate extraction from the forest. Finally, certification is viewed as the only practical strate gy to capture the value of ecologically sustainable and/or socially responsib le processes. It may be a necessary step to mitigate the deleterious high volume / low margin emphasis of commodity markets and to slow the transition from extraction to cultivation. In xate extraction regions, which depend on natural populations, reduced palm abundance and quality are two symptoms of over-harvesting that have negatively affected the perceived value of extrac tive procurement systems. Harvesting pressure comes from two directions: s uppliers acting to ensure that demand could be fulfilled and extractors striving to maintain or improve their livelihoods. Stakeholders worry that the extractive procurement system was approaching the critical threshold (Wiersum 1997) where extraction is eclipsed by cultivation outside of the forest. History suggests that, without intervention, cultivation under modified forest or ar tificial shade could soon be the norm.

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27 CHAPTER 3 CHAMAEDOREA P ALM FROND CERTIFICATION: AN INTEGRATED VALUE CHAIN AND MARKET PERSPECTIVE Introduction One im portant outcome of the Amazonian extr active reserve model de veloped in the late 1980s was renewed interest in non-t imber forest products (NTFPs) a nd their potential role in the integration of livelihood and conservation objectives. Supporters of commercial NTFP extraction envisioned two synergetic benefits of NTFP commercialization: rura l livelihood improvement and tropical forest conserva tion (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). NTFP commercialization initiatives mushroomed, followed by investigation into the efficacy of these interventions. In time, NT FP certification (Shanley et al. 2005; Shanley et al. 2002) emerged as one response to the many pitfalls of commercialization identified by experience and complementary research (Browder 1992; D ove 1994; Homma 1996). And although certification was described nearly 15 years ago as key to the integration of conservation and development through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its in fancy (Shanley et al. 2005). This chapter examines the components of the inte grated value chain and the dimensions of the market for Chamaedorea palm fronds as one component of a systemic analysis of the global system that is being undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of certification as an intervention to integrate forest conservation and economic development objectives. Few genera of palms rival Chamaedorea in variety of foliage, size, and growth habit (Hodel 1992). Trade of live Chamaedorea palm specimens and the cultivation of palms from seed can be dated to the 19th century, but large-scal e procurement and distribution of palms did not begin until the mid 20th century (CEC 2002). The commercial harvest of palm fronds followed rapidly, and since the 1950s North American and European florists have used the imported fronds of several species from the genus as decorative fo liage in floral arrangem ents. Churches also use

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28 the large fronds of certain species for Palm Sunday celebrations (CEC 2002). Today, Chamaedorea palm fronds are sourced from several st ates in Mexico as well as Guatemala and Belize. Markets for the fronds, commonly referred to as xate (sha-tay), exist in North America and throughout Europe as well as in the countries of origin. Xate procurement has gradually been advanc ing along a path from forest extraction to cultivation outside of forest regions. Integrated livelihood and conservati on benefits associated with xate extraction for those w ho reside in extractor communities have diminished accordingly. While early Chamaedorea research primarily focused on palm taxonomy and biology, recent studies have addressed emerging xate markets (C EC 2002), harvest economics and sustainability (Endress et al. 2006; Bridgewate r et al. 2006), and certification (Wilsey and Radachowsky 2007; Pickles 2004). Certification of xa te management and the extraction of fronds from natural forests has been suggested as a counter-measure to the pl antation trend (Current et al. 2003). Limited and qualified success in the certificati on of other NTFP suggests that fu rther consideration should be given to this approach. The NTFP literature suggests a unifying, or integrated analytical approach and two specific areas of inquiry. Conceptual Framework NTFP are wide-ranging and diverse products de fined to some extent by what they are not (Belcher 2003). The di versity of NTFP, in terms of specie s, products, and use, represents a formidable obstacle to summary explanations of NTFPs ecological, social, and economic characteristics. And while heuristics for NT FP commercialization have emerged from several multi-case studies (Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Sh anley et al. 2002; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007), these generalized consideratio ns can be difficult to operati onalize. What then, is the best perspective from which to view NTFP procuremen t systems when the objective is an intervention that will favorably affect economic, social, or environmental conditions?

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29 The need for an integrated value chain pers pective is one importan t and pragmatic lesson to emerge from NTFP commercialization studies (Belcher and Schreck enberg 2007). The value chain concept encompasses various ideas that have evolved in diverse fi elds of study. Hopkins and Wallerstein (1986, p.159) provided an early c onceptualization of a global commodity chain (GCC) as, The network of labor and producti on processes whose end result is a finished commodity. It is comprised of all parallel and interconnecting permutations of production-toconsumption systems. Contrary to the name however, the GCC is a network, not a linear structure. The GCC concept is evident in Blowfi elds later conceptualization of the value chain (Blowfield 2001), which he described as the complex web of [actors] that affect the productionto-consumption process. In both cases, and irre spective of the intended application of the concept, emphasis is placed on the holistic, in tegrated system. Indeed, in considering xate certification it seems pragmatic to ta ke an integrated analytical a pproach in two specific areas. First, taking an integrated pers pective with respect to the value chains components, or its numerous and varied actors, bene fits consideration of potential outcomes of and obstacles to certification. Although certificati on typically is presented as a decision to be evaluated by producers and end consumers, its effects and feas ibility incorporate a broader group of actors. NTFP certification has typically emphasized production processes (e .g., social justice, sustainability) more so than product attribut es (e.g., quality; Ervin and Mallet 2002). Processoriented standards target producers, but al so affect actors throughout the production-toconsumption system. A straightforward and useful example is the requirement to keep certified products physically separate from conventional product throughout the supply chain, a stipulation that affects all actors in the system. In practice, the decisi on to certify made by any given producer may not adequately consider the economi es of scale necessary for other actors or enterprises throughout the value chain to handle certified production prof itably. Profitability, of

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30 course, is a business fundament and failure to consider it in certification efforts or other interventions may quickly precipitate market failure. An integrated perspective on the xate market may also be nefit certification efforts. Certification strategies are market-based in that they seek to achieve their goals by restructuring producers relati onships to consumers through markets (Meidinger 2003: p.266). Thus, understanding the full complexity of existing and potential markets will likely improve the efficacy of any market-based intervention (Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). The integrated xate market refers to potential sub-markets differentia ted by region, end use, or other considerations. In a study of the forestry sector, Overdevest (200 4: p.174) observed that strategies for certifying high-standard coded products are limited by an inability to create mark ets for the certified goods, specifically with regard to creating a critical mass of supply. In the market for xate, where demand for certified product is nascent, it is conc eivable that market failu re could equally result from insufficient consumer demand. Thus, bot h the overall size of both supply and demand, as well as their dynamics, should be considered in fluential factors in the success of NTFP certification efforts (Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Shanley et al. 200 5; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). It is inadequate, and perhaps even irresponsib le, to consider an intervention in a local production system or the development of a market niche without consideration of the broader production system or market within which e ither are situated. The production and market components must be viewed and understood, using an integrated perspective, as part of a broader commodity system. Despite considerable enthusia sm for xate certification, to date negligible effort has been made to integrate localized cer tification efforts into a comprehensive framework that links the numerous and diverse xate procurement systems and markets.

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31 Hypothesis and Research Objectives The overarching objective of th is ch apter is to evaluate xate certification using an integrated perspective focusing on the value ch ain and market. This evaluation represents one component in a broader strategy to evaluate th e feasibility of certifi cation, which is being considered as an intervention oriented toward integration of forest conservation and economic development. More plainly, the chapter asks what we can learn about the likely outcomes of (or obstacles to) xate certification by focusing on th e broader value chain and market. I hypothesized that the feasibility of certificat ion will depend upon the attribut es of certified supply and demand relative to the supply and demand for conventio nal product in the globa l system. Here, supply refers generally to the producers and actors in th e value chain, while demand refers to the palm market. Use of the term attributes, rather than values, highli ghts the importance of understanding not only the quantitative interpre tation of supply and demand, but also the qualitative nature of these terms, such as seasonality and trend (Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). A complete description of a value chain includes three important elements (Marshall, Schreckenberg et al. 2006; Kaplinsky and Morris 2001): 1) important actors and their activities; 2) key trade routes; and, 3) main consumers. I a dd a fourth element to those described above: an understanding of the attributes of supply and demand. Taken together, these four elements coalesce into two specific research objectives of this chapter: Research Objective 1 Identify the components of the integrated xate value chain: prevailing production systems, regions, and key actors. Research Objective 2 Describe the dimensions of the integrated xate market.

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32 Materials and Methods Identification of the components of the integrat ed xate value chain and establishm ent of the dimensions of the xate market began with a review of the Chamaedorea literature. Xate studies from Mexico (Endress et al. 2006; Endress, Go rchov, Peterson et al. 2004; Lopez-Feldman 2004; Rushton et al. 2004), Guatemala (CONAP 2002; Radachowsky and Ramos 2004; Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006) and Belize (B ridgewater et al. 2006) captured much of the geographic range of procurement. Additional studies addresse d xate markets (Camarena M 2005; Current and Wilsey 2002; Current 2005; CEC 2002; Wilsey and Radachowsky 2007); some touched on xate certification (Pickles 2004; Zajfen 2005). Collectively, these studies provided a reasonably comprehensive overview of xate production syst ems and regions as well as insight into the dimensions and dynamics of national and international markets for palm fronds. Additional information pertaining to the integrated xate value chain and details relating to its influential actors and in stitutions were collected through use of a modified sondeo method, following Ruston and colleagues (2004). A sondeo is a rapid assessment method developed to facilitate holistic understanding of syst ems (Hildebrand 1981). The sondeo method was developed under the rubric of farming systems a nd was, therefore, intended for use in a single locality. Consequently, the method required some modification to accommodate the challenges imposed by working within the expanded geographic footprint of the xate value chain. First, the method was developed for use by an interdiscip linary team of researchers working within a community or region. For this phase of research, which extended beyond the zone of influence of many local and regional institutions, a one researcher with interdisciplinary training conducted the sondeo. Second, the sondeo calls for conversations with key info rmants to transpire over the course of several days to a week. For this study, conversations were necessarily dispersed over three extended field visits, which occurred be tween the summer of 2005 and the summer of 2007.

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33 Aggregate national trade data were procured through government reports organized by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, which is based on the international reporting system established by the World Customs Organization (Table 3-1). Xate data were commonly aggregated with figures for other foliage, branches, and like products. In the United States, palm frond and other foliage import data were classified usi ng the Foreign Agricultural Serv ices (FAS) Foreign Agriculture and Trade system (FATUS). Mexicos Nationa l Institute for Geographic Statistics and Information (INEGI, in Spanish) similarly aggregat ed trade data for xate with data for other live plants and floriculture products (CEC 2002). Finally, Guatemalas aggregate data was found within the Ventanilla nica managed by AGEXPORT. The formidable challenge of characterizing the xate market using aggregated foliage data was resolved partially by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which provides disaggregated trade data via its online portal (AMS 2007). Similarly, Mexicos SEMARNAT and Guatemalas National Commission for Protected Areas (CONAP) maintain records on the authorized transport of Chamaedorea palm fronds (Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). All data were st andardized whenever possible through the conversion of the differently reported units to fronds (Table 3-2). Time gaps (e.g., the AMS 10year moving window) were resolved by synt hesizing data from multiple sources. Mexican and Guatemalan reporting of production and/or transport, rather than export, data allowed for the possibility that significant quantitie s of illicitly harvested and exported xate might have escaped counting in national statistics. Thus, in characterizi ng the market I elected to use United States (AMS) import statistics, rather than national or re gional production and transportation figures, to avoid the problem of underreporting resulting from illicit harvesting or other factors. There were obvious limitations ch aracterizing a multi-nationa l system using U.S.

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34 import data, but since much of the internationall y distributed xate supp ly passes through U.S.based intermediaries, I determined this to be the most conservative course of action. Results Components of the Integrated Value Chain Production systems Historically, m ost commercialized palm fronds have been extracted from natural populations in which regeneration is a natural process. As with ma ny NTFPs, there is an evident and growing trend toward system intensification via cultivation. Even at the time of this study, however, a large proportion of the xate encoun tered in markets originated in relatively unmanaged forest ecosystems (Eve rett, personal communication). Extraction Xate extractive systems varied with lo cation but the procur ement process was fairly uniform. An individual or gr oup enters the forest on foot in search of naturally occurring palms. Trips to and from the forest commonly require several hours of walking. In many regions, sustained commercial pressure on the resource has progressively increased distances from communities to harvesting locations (Radac howsky and Ramos 2004; Lopez-Feldman 2005). Once found, palm fronds are cut by hand to meet local and/or industry sp ecifications using a modified machete or a knife. Extractors bundle the fronds into gruesas, technically 144 palm fronds but actual quantities vari ed according to local custom. Grue sas are subsequently assembled into bultos, which are gruesas bound or wrapped by burlap or bl ankets (see Figure 3-1). The number of gruesas in a bulto de pended on the carrying capacity of the individual harvester, but a bulto typically does not exceed ten gruesas. Carrying the bulto on their backs, extractors hike out of the forest or to a central coll ection point in the forest so anim als or pickup trucks can transport the bundled xate out of the forest. Extracted xate is typi cally sold to an intermediary, referred to as a coyote who either resides in the ha rvesters community or who si mply visits periodically to

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35 make purchases. Traditionally, extr actors were paid based on the quantity of gruesas harvested. In recent years, there has been effort in some areas to shift to quality -driven purchasing (CEC 2006). Selection and processing t ypically occur further along th e value chain (Figure 3-2). Cultivation Unlike the relative uniformity of the extractive experience, plantations took varied form. Perhaps the most (commercially) successful plantation system cultivated palms under the shade of secondary forest canopy (acahual ). In this system, existing understory vegetation had been cleared and palm plants transplanted from germinated seed stock under the requisite shade of the tree canopy (Figur e 3-3). Coffee production systems represented another, although far less comm on system within which palms were cultivated. Both the traditional polyculture and rustic coffee producti on systems common to Mexico contain a diverse assortment of commercial and usef ul species and palm fits well within these diversified systems. Palms were also observed in cultivation under the shade of rubber tree plantations. Production regions The xate procurem ent network is extensiv e and transcends numerous regions across national boundaries. U.S. importers principally source palm fronds from Mexico and Guatemala (Figure 3-4), the former responsible for the great er share over the produc ts commercial history (CEC 2002) (Figure 3-5). Import figures are decep tive, however, in their portrayal of overall production: not all xate entered th e U.S. prior to broader distribut ion. As a case in point, In 2005 Guatemala shipped principally to Holland (48.4% ), followed closely by the United States (46.6%) (Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). Nevertheless, Mexico remained the leading producer even when Guatemalas production figures were doubl ed. Palms from Belize reach international markets via illicit extraction by Guatemalan harvesters, who, for years, have been crossing the contested Guatemala-Belize border to cut xate (Bridgewater et al. 2006).

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36 Mexico. Mexico has several important xate regions. One of the most important, in terms of volume, is the Los Tuxtlas region in Veracruz. In Veracruz, palms are primarily cultivated under the shade of secondary forest canopy ( acahual ). An historically important region was the Ri Cajonos valley in Oaxacas Chinantla where extraction remains a time and resource intensive production activity. The states of Chiapas and Taba sco are also important sources of extracted xate (Camarena M 2005). Historically, a large ma jority of palm fronds originated from the regions Selva Lacandona. Another important extraction re gion in Chiapas extends along the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, a coastal range beginning in Oaxacas Chimalapas region and running southeast toward Guatemala. In the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the El Cielo Biosphere Reserve is another important xate extraction region (Endre ss et al. 2006), notably for C. radicalis Finally, San Luis Potosi is known to be an important source of xate. Guatemala. Most of Guatemalas xate is extracted from naturally occurring populations within the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) a mosaic of protected areas in the countrys northernmost department: El Petn (R eyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). A 2005 commercialization agreement between the largest U.S. palm importer and two community forest concessions Uaxactn and Carmelita repr esented a landmark value chain development coincident with the creation of a certified ma rket. Xate management in the concessions is governed through an addendum (see Appendix A) to FSC certification for sustainable forest management, the latter a legal stipulation for the community concessions. Terms of the agreement specify that xate must meet pr oduct quality standards in addition to FSC sustainable management, or process standards. Xate can be sold to conve ntional markets based on fr ond quality, but also to seasonal consumers interested in certified product (explained below). Moreover, vertical integration of the concessions procurement syst em means the concession assumed responsibility

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37 for some of the value-enhanc ing transformations formerly handled by intermediaries and consolidators. Principal actors The xate value chain is best characterized as oligopsonistic, comprised of a sm all group of influential actors, notably at th e levels of the national consolid ator and importer. Down-chain actors differ by region, as do their specific roles and thus the general shape of the systems themselves. Figure 3-6 portrays a general schematic model of the integrated value chain and its numerous actors and variations along th e path to the international market. Extractors are one type of supplier for the xate value chain. In most observed contexts, extractors operated independently, selling their harvest to an inte rmediary or other consolidator. Local contractors or a community-level associat ion also organize harvesters. Recent emphasis on certification of xate producti on systems drives a new emphasis on models within which both communities and harvesters take more responsibility for delivering a quality or value added product. Cultivators are the other type of s upplier for the xate value ch ain. Cultivators included both large operations, such as the 90-ha Flor de Catemaco in Veracruz, Mexi co, or cooperatives comprised of relatively smaller growers, such as Tropicales de los Tuxtlas also in Veracruz. Cultivation by households in extractor communities has been promoted and observed but, at the time of the study, did not represen t a substantial source of supply. Intermediaries operate, both independently and as form al or informal employees of larger actors, throughout the early links of the valu e chain. Frequently disparaged for exploiting extractors, they often play important, under-value d roles in commercialization processes (Padoch 1992). In the xate chain, inte rmediaries are sometimes former extractors who developed relationships with actors further up the value chain. One role of the intermediary is to provide

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38 transportation for extractors w ho are without means to get cut fronds from the forest to the market. In the economically marginal regions where xate is found, this role must not be understated. Another role is th e stabilization of supply throug h the consolidation of small quantities of palms harvested over a broad area, or by numerous harvesters. When institutions such as producer/extractor coopera tives are absent, it can be the in termediary who helps to ensure that minimum feasible levels of supply are achieved in a particular region. Extractor communities in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, for example, we re left without a market when an independent intermediary relocated to another region of Mexico. Local consolidators when they exist, operate under varied models. One development professional described a case in a community in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca where one community member stored all of the xate extracted by others thr oughout the week until the arrival of the intermediary (Santos, personal comm unication). In Uaxactn, Guatemala, a communitymanaged storage facility was built to store fr onds brought in from the forest by pickup truck before they were cargo trucked to nearby Santa Elena. In these and most other cases, local actors consolidate extensive xate extraction so that the relatively capital-intensive modes of transportation might achieve economies of scal e during periodic visits to the community. Consolidators and exporters operate at the regional and na tional levels and comprise the most diverse general category of actors in the supply chain. This diversity is attributable to the fact that the xate value chain may take vari ed form between the harvester/grower and the importer, depending on numerous factors. At the time of th is study, the largest national consolidators in Mexico and Guatemala were believed to be Continental and Plantas Arco Iris respectively. International buyers of xate are limited and the market at this level, could justly be described as a monopsony. In the United States, one buyer Continental Fl oral Greens (CFG) of

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39 Texas is reputed to import the vast majority of xate. Smaller importers include World Foliage Resource (WFR), Inc. and Simpsons Greens, bot h located in Florida. CFG and WFR (formerly Jewel) were the original U.S. importers of Chamaedorea palm fronds. Dimensions of the Integrated Xate Market The analys is revealed an integrated palm market that was comprised of a large, mature conventional market and a significantly smaller, yet dynamic certified market. Both markets were seasonal in nature with the certif ied market being confined to the conventional markets peak season. Conventional markets Chamaedorea palm fronds are important in the flor al industry, yet they are not typically components of a flower shops retail assortment. Florists utilize pa lms and other greens in retail floral arrangements either as decorative material, filler, or to provide structural support (Current and Wilsey 2002). Typically, flow er shop retail customers request floral arrangements based upon one or a few predominant flowers, whereas a dditional flowers and filler greens are added at the discretion of the florist. In the floral industry, therefore, the end consumer of xate is effectively the retail florist, rath er than the flower shop patron. Certain denominations of Chris tian churches represent anothe r source of demand for xate (CEC 2002). Churches use palm fronds, which represent victory, in Palm Sunday celebrations. In contrast to the flower shop scenario, churches purchase the actu al fronds in accordance with the congregation and the specific use in the celebration (i.e., struct ural dcor or distribution to parishioners). Palm Sunday palm fronds can be purchased through retail florists and wholesalers, but are also available through busin esses catering specifically to religious organizations. Church consumption may double or treble weekly demand, relative to typical week s during the year, but the increase is limited to th e weeks preceding Palm Sunday. The notion of environmentally

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40 and/or socially certified palm production and dist ribution has the greatest traction among church consumers (Current et al. 2003). It is difficult to estimate the respective propor tions of xate imports at tributable to floral industry and church use, although th e church market has been estim ated to represent from 5 to 10 percent of total annual demand (C urrent et al. 2003). Floral whol esalers and retailers serve as intermediaries for both the floral and church ma rkets, so floral industry data may overestimate use in floral arrangements. Finally, cross-de nominational use of palms is not limited to Chamaedorea varieties, also including species of fan palm ( Chamaerops humilis ) and sabal palm ( Sabal palmetto ), among others. Market Dimensions and Trends Comm ercial importing of xate to the Unite d States began around 1950. Import and sales volumes increased in subsequent years before p eaking once in the late 1970s, then again in the late 1980s. Annual import data, synthesized from several sources (Johnson 1999; CEC 2002; AMS 2007), offered a picture of the overall trend in xate imports to the United States since the early 1970s (Figure 3-7). Although annual imports were volatile throughou t the period, they reached an absolute peak of nearly 450 million fronds in the mid 1980s before beginning an erratic, downward trend. Only in recent years had the downward trend that began in the early 1990 s slowed, or perhaps stabilized, with imports rebounding from fewer th an 150 million fronds in the early part of the current decade to about 225 million annually. The seasonality of xate imports varies by species. It is noteworthy that C. oblongata one of the most popular overall sellers throughout the year (see Figure 3.8) typically receives only a 2030 percent bump in demand during the Easter season. The wide leaf lets of this species are not greatly appreciated by the church market. This obse rvation alludes to two important points. First,

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41 any discussion of xate refers to a commercial composite of Chamaedorea species, each possessing different physical and co mmercial attributes. Second, the small seasonal increase in imports observed in the best selling Chamaedorea species, relative to the other xate species, serves as a reminder of the limited (or dispropor tionate) effect of increased demand for certified xate on overall xate import figures. Product Heterogeneity Latin Greens and Commodore are the two m ost common trade names used in the United States market to generically refe rence all commercial varieties of Chamaedorea foliage. Because the commercial classification is comprised of numerous species, it is important to recognize that aggregate annual and seasonal export, import, a nd sales figures mask differences in speciesspecific values (Figure 3-8). C. oblongata (Wide), C. elegans (Jumbo), C. quetzalteca (Giant or Chiapas), and C. ernesti-agusti (Fishtail) are the predominant sp ecies, in terms of fronds sold, used for commercial foliage (CEC 2002; Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). Species data are often unavailable or unreliable (Camarena M 200 5). Substantial differences in the demand for each species, coupled with the natural distributions of species throughout the region of supply, could be important considerations when determ ining communities appropriate for interventions such as certification. Eco-palms: an emerging market The m ost noteworthy emerging trend in the xa te market is the recent establishment and rapid growth of the market for Eco-Palms among church consumers. In 2001, the North American Commission for Environmental C ooperation (CEC) commissioned a study of the overall market for Chamaedorea palm fronds in North America and Europe (Current and Wilsey 2002; CEC 2002). This market study id entified a potential opportuni ty for developing a market for sustainably extracted fronds oriented toward church consumers. This potential market niche

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42 was further explored in a subseque nt study (Current et al. 2003) a nd in 2005, a pilot sale of EcoPalms was organized and administered by the Ce nter for Integrated Agricultural and Natural Resources Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota. In 2006, the pilot was expanded to a regional sale centered on the Mi nneapolis-Saint Paul ur ban area. The regional effort sold 80,000 fronds, up from 5,000 in 2005 (L acey 2007). In 2006, participating churches paid US$ 0.22 per frond for certified palm fr onds, generating a premium of about 5 cents per frond for harvesters. Fueled by the success of the 2006 regional effort, the sale went national in 2007 with sales of around 364,000 fronds. Eco-Pal ms are recognized for conservation and livelihood benefits Since 2001, the Center for Integrated Natura l Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota has been working with the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC ) and other partners including Rainforest Alliance in Guatemala and PRONATURA, an environmental NGO, in Mexico to produce palms which are sustainably harvested and wh ich provide greater income to harvesting communities as a way to promote environmental conservation and improved livelihoods for the gathering communities. Sustainably harvested palms are sold to Christian congregations in the US for Palm Sunday providing an additional $0.05 premium payment per [stem] following Palm Sunday in addition to the $0.01-0.02 that the communities normally receive year-round for the palms. The premium payment has been used for scholarships, paying teachers and providing soci al services to harvesters. Two communities in Guatemala are currently in the process of qualifying for FSC certification for palm harvest under the Rainforest Alliances Sm artwood Program, with plans for additional communities to follow. Source: The Center for Integrated Natura l Resources and Agricultural Management, University of Minnesota Eco-Palm sales have generated a buzz among the xate community, comprised of government and non-governmental promoters, value chain actors, and harvester communities. Yet, it is important to contextualize sales figur es by juxtaposing them against the conventional market for xate. Plotting annual imports of conventional xate and sales of Eco-Palms (both logarithmically transformed and the latter lagge d by one year) demonstrates two important points (Figure 3-9). The first is that annual sales of eco-palms have grown exponentially. This pattern

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43 has justifiably fueled optimism among conserva tion and development practitioners. However, a second point should temper this optimism: the vol ume of eco-palms remain s several orders of magnitude lower than the import volume of conv entionally xate. In 2006, just over 200 million conventional fronds came into the United States, of which the roughly 364,000 eco-palms sold in 2007 would have represented about 0.2 percent of the market. Discussion Analysis of the integrated xate value chain a nd m arket revealed the form and function of a successful NTFP commodity system. As with many NTFP chains, xate procurement is extensive, transcending numerous regions in multiple countr ies. Historically, most buyers maintained armslength relations with extractors, the latter selling opport unistically to itinerant intermediaries working independently, or for established intermed iate enterprises located in regional or national centers. For this reason, actors in the xate value chain are vulne rable to many of the economic challenges identified in the NTFP commercialization and certification literature, but namely, the inability of suppliers to affect market relationships and terms of trade. The analysis revealed an integrated xate mark et comprised of a large, mature conventional market and a significantly smaller, yet dynami c certified market. Conventional fronds are an important component in the floral industry throughout the year, while primarily church congregations use certified fronds, and only during Palm Sunday celebrations. The very existence of a growing market for certified xate has heartened promoters and extractor communities alike throughout the region of extraction. The volume of certified fronds, however, is several orders of magnitude lower than the volume of conventiona lly produced xate. The largest U.S. importer expressed that this discrepancy specifically, the low volume of certified xate made virtually infeasible the necessary segreg ation of certified and conventional product in the supply chain.

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44 The salient challenges to xate certification th at emerged from this analysis are economic. Suppliers considering certification face significant ba rriers to entry that stem from the maturity of the conventional xate market and an oligopsonis tic value chain comprised of a few dominant actors and regions. Barriers are likely to be mo re formidable for new harvesters (and harvesting regions) interested in entering the market to cap italize on the small, but gr owing certified market. These barriers stand to become even more impos ing should established extr actors of conventional xate determine that a shift to certification makes sense. Th e 2005 direct-sale arrangement between two FSC-certified community forest con cessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve and a major U.S. importer, coupled with the current push for xate certification by international actors such as Rainforest Alliance (in Guatemala and Me xico) and ProNatura (in Mexico), suggests that the shift to certification scenar io merits serious consideration. Moreover, the seasonality of the certified market implies that suppliers will need to adjust their year-round activit ies to accrue benefits only during the Easter season. In most regions, palms are extracted throughout the year. Willingne ss to pursue certification for the seasonal, or any other, market will depend heavily, although pe rhaps not exclusively on twin factors: price premium and/or market access, mirror images with respect to economic benefit (Sedjo and Swallow 1999). It is noteworthy that the 2005 M BR agreement explicitly included a quality standard, allowing the forest concessions to accru e the benefits of certification throughout the year, rather than merely during the Easter seas on. Additionally, the agreement formalized what had previously been an informal and indi rect transaction with the U.S. buyer. From the buyers perspective, there are significant transaction costs to forging new relationships with suppliers. The current procurement system relies on communities that are typically characterized by under-developed transportation infrastr ucture and unfamiliar sociopolitical systems. The emergence of palm cultiva tion in Veracruz and elsewhere reflected this

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45 challenge and was consistent with Hommas (1992) conclusion that extractivism may represent an unstable base for conservation and development strategies. As demand remained greater than cultivated supply, restructuring th e terms of trade with existing pa rtners appeared to be more attractive to buyers than the forging of new re lationships. Indeed, the 2005 MBR agreement with an established supplier stipulated a higher price fo r higher quality xate; oste nsibly reductions in the amount of waste (non-marketable fronds) offset the premium paid by the buyer. Finally, economy of scale repr esents a significant obstacle for actors throughout the value chain. The current low demand for certified xa te makes segregation of eco-palms from conventional xate in the supply chain infeasib le over the long term. This observation echoes Overdevests (2004) observation that strategies for the certificati on of high-standard products and processes are often limited by the di fficulty of constructing viable markets. For xate, the viability of a certified market appears to be most cons trained by nascent consum er demand. Nevertheless, this dark cloud over the horizon of xate certification has a silver lining. In the 2005 MBR agreement, quality requirements represented what might be described as a keystone standard; one that bridges the gap between the short-term obstacle described above, and the long-term success that might be possible with a more established, and sizable demand for certified xate. The atypical combination of a pro duct standard (quality) a nd the process standards stipulated by FSC facilitates an intermediate st ep in the development of a market for certified fronds. Specifically, certified xate is made availabl e as needed to the certified market due to the hybrid product/process standards ma ndated in the MBR agreement. Wh en viewed in light of the maturity of the conventional market, the MBR arrangement highlights an opportunity for an established buyer to foster and perhaps even shap e the development of a small, yet growing niche market. The short-term costs of subsidizing this market may ultimately be offset by the long-term benefits of rejuvenating commercia l interest in what has been described as a pass commodity.

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46 Finally, as state institut ions increasingly focus on sustaina bility guidelines for the harvest of forest products, a trend observed both in Guatem ala and Mexico, the extent to which certification facilitates state authorization for any form of commercial xate extraction might increase the willingness of both suppliers and buyers to respectively embrace certification standards. Ultimately, the inclusion of quality standards in xate certification will likely increase this interventions ability to facilitate the integrat ion of conservation and development objectives in extractor communities. Conclusions Early succes s in Guatemalas MBR concessions highlights the value of including existing industry quality standards in sustainable manage ment certification schemes. Although the forest concessions in the MBR commercialize xate that is certified for sustai nable management (through an addendum to existing FSC forest management certification), buyers purc hase the majority of fronds for their quality attributes. The requireme nt that xate meets quality as well as other environmental/social standards provide a possibl e solution to some of the challenges to NTFP certification described in the literature. Certifie d xate from the MBR can be sold at commodity prices in the conventional market without any special consideration. With proper handling (i.e., segregation) throughout the supply chain, it can be sold at a pr emium, as certified xate, to churches and other pote ntial consumers. Combining product standards and process standards represents a bundling of attributes that, when considered in is olation, may be insufficient to support commercial success for actors throughout the xate value chain. The feasibility of a certified xate mark et depends upon numerous factors and the circumstances of widely distribut ed actors. Initially, how ever, the success of xate certification as a step toward integrating conservation and development objectives will depend on the unique

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47 context and livelihoods in each extraction locale. Chapters 4 and 5 address these issues in the setting of La Soledad de Juarez in th e Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico.

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48 Figure 3-1. Bultos of C. oblongata in a storage facility in Uax actn, Guatemala await transport to Santa Elena Figure 3-2. Xate ( C. oblongata ) being sorted in Santa Elena, Guatemala

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49 Figure 3-3. Xate ( C. elegans) cultivated under forest canopy in Catemaco, Veracruz (Mexico) San Luis Potosi(C.elegans)Tamaulipas(C.radicalis)Oaxaca Chiapas(C.quetzalteca)Guatemala(C.oblongata)Veracruz(C.elegans)Tabasco N Regiones con Palma Centros de Acopio Rutas de los Traileres a Europa por Avion (C.elegans) a Continental EUA por Trailer Continental SA de CV R.B. MayaCancn Figure 3-4. Principal xate production regions and distribution routes

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50 Figure 3-5. Annual imports of xate fronds to th e United States from Guatemala and Mexico. (Source: AMS (2007). Figure ad apted from CEC (2002)). International Buyer National Consolidator / Exporter Regional Consolidator Grower Harvester Local Consolidator Grower Cooperative / Consolidator Intermediary / Transporter Figure 3-6. General schematic model of the integrated xate value chain

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51 Figure 3-7. Total annual xate imports to the United States, 1971-2007 Figure 3-8. Relative demand index for xate varietie s for a major U.S. importer. (Source: author interviews).

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52 Figure 3-9. Total annual xate imports to the U.S. and sales (1-yr lag) of certified palms. (AMS 2007; Lacey 2007)). Table 3-1. Harmonized tariff codes for xate in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala Code Country Description Chapter 06 US, GT, MX Live Plants and Floriculture Products Heading 04 US, GT, MX Foliage, leaves, branches and other parts of plants without flowers or flower buds, grasses, mosses, and lichens fo r bouquets or for ornamental purposes, fresh, dried, bleached, dyed, impr egnated, or otherwise prepared. Sub Heading 91 US Fresh Section 0080 US Other Sub Heading 91 MX Fresh Section 01 MX Fresh GT Not Available Table 3-2. Reported unit equivalencies for Chamaedorea fronds Quantity Unit Quantity Unit 1 Bunch 20 Palm fronds 1 Roll 30 Bunches 1 Gruesa1 144 Palm fronds 1 Gruesa ( C.elegans ) 0.95 Kg 1 Gruesas can contain fewer palm fronds depending on the region

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53 CHAPTER 4 THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM Introduction The Am azonian extractive reserve model deve loped in the late 1980s fostered renewed interest in non-timber forest products (NTFPs) a nd their potential role in the reconciliation of conservation and development objectives. Supporte rs of commercial NT FP extraction envisioned two synergetic benefits of NTFP commerciali zation: rural livelihood im provement and tropical forest conservation (Nepstad and Schwartzman, 1992; Panayotou, 1992). NTFP commercialization initiatives mushroomed, followe d by investigation into the efficacy of these endeavors. In time, NTFP certification emerged as one response to the many pitfalls of commercialization identified by experience and complementary research (Browder 1992; Dove 1994; Homma 1996; Belcher et al 2005; Shanley et al. 2002; Shanley et al. 2005). Although certification was described nearly 15 years ago as key to the integration of conservation and development through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its infancy (Shanley et al. 2005). Peters and colleagues (1989) seminal NTFP va luation study and its subsequent critiques (Browder 1992) outlined a template for the approp riate analysis of market interventions. Taken together, these studies demonstrated a basic need to better understand NTFP markets, NTFP ecology, and NTFP production systems, in wh ich NTFP extraction or production often contributes to diverse, forest-b ased livelihoods. This chapter focuses on the latter the livelihood system of xate ( Chamaedorea spp.) extractors in La Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico. It represents one component of a broader inquiry into the feasibility of certification as a tool for integrated conservation and development one th at examines xate certification at multiple

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54 scales: the livelihood system, the production-to-c onsumption system, and the global commodity system. Research Objective This chapter provides foundation for a subs equent chapter that exam ines hypotheses relating to the anti cipated effects of certification on the re source and on livelihood strategies that include xate harvesting. These anticipated effects of certi fication derive from hypotheses developed as part of Marshall et al.s (2006) NTFP study of the factors influencing successful NTFP commercialization. Together, these two chapters focusing on the Soledad livelihood system contribute to the broader analysis of th e feasibility of xate ce rtification. This broad inquiry provides conservation and development professionals with an improved analytical framework for the assessment of market related NTFP interventions. Thus, this chapter presents the results of research unde rtaken with the objective to develop a better understanding of the Soledad de Juarez livelihood system and the broader context with in which Soledad households fashion livelihood strategies. Analytical Framework The live lihood system approach originates in the "farming systems literature. Broadly interpreted, farming system refers to the means by which a household manages its resources to meet its objectives within its particular ecologi cal, economic, and social context (Sellen et al. 1993). Particularly in developing regions of the world, a farmi ng system is household-centered and may operate at, or near, subsistence leve l, typically supplementing farm production with varied combinations of available off-farm activities.

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55 A livelihood system is the composite of ac tivities available to all households in the particular system within whic h they secure their livelihoods1 (Hildebrand et al. 2003; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004). A livelihood system is a farm ing system so long as farming remains a (primary) livelihood option. Livelihood systems in the tropical forest regions of Latin America commonly include swidden subsistence agriculture combined with extraction of forest products for consumption or sale, hunting of game, loggi ng, and other forms of wage-based employment (Fearnside 1989; Heinzman and Reining 1990). Livelihood systems research is a diagnostic pr ocess comprised of diverse methods through which researchers elicit a bette r understanding of farm households their decisions, and decisionmaking processes (Collinson 2000). While the original application of this approach specifically addressed (non) adoption of impr oved crop varieties, its utility extends to any situation where small producers are faced with competing alternatives, from new crop varieties to alternative management options. NTFP certification represents a complex package of standards that must ultimately be adopted by producers, or incorporated into their livelihood system and strategies. It is for this reason that a livelihood systems framew ork is appropriate for the assessment of NTFP certification. Along with other factors, the success of certification as a mechanism to facilitate or sustain the integration of forest conservati on and economic development objectives will depend on its adoption at the level of th e household, often the fi rst actor in commercial NTFP extractive systems. Study Area Chinantla is an ethnically and linguistically defi ned region in the northern part of the Mexican s tate of Oaxaca (Figure 4-1). Recognition of the region predates Spanish arrival in the 1 By extension, a livelihood strategy is the specific set of activities, selected from those comprising the livelihood system, in which a particular household engages (Hildebrand and Schmink, 2004).

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56 New World (Bevan 1938). Its 461,000 ha represen t five percent of Oaxacas territory. The heterogeneous indigenous communities of the region, collectively referred to as Chinantecos, rank fourth among the indigenous groups of Oaxaca and represent two percen t of Mexicos total indigenous population (INI 2004). The region is home to 110,223 i nhabitants and comprised of approximately 258 communities organized in to 16 municipalities (De Teresa n.d.). Chinantla straddles the Sierra Juarez mountai n range, which intercepts humid winds of the Gulf of Mexico and forms the continental di vide between the Atlantic and Pacific. The ecological importance of the regi on centers on its biological divers ity and the richness of its natural resources. The region enco mpasses numerous forest ecosystems. Fifty-six percent of the landscape is classified as vari ous forest types. Another 21 percent is secondary vegetation evincing previous agricultural and forestry production activities (INI 2004 ; De Teresa 1998). The regions Selva Alta Perennefolia (39.5 percent) is believed to be one of the worlds most biologically diverse and is only found in two other regions of Me xico: Oaxacas Chimalapas and the Selva Lacandona in Chiapa s (Anta et al. 1996). Geography favors classification of the region into three topographica lly defined zones. Chinantla Alta refers to the terrain above 1000 m, and which contains rare mesophyll forest as well as pine-oak forest and tropical montane fore st. Three of the regions 14 municipalities and 7 percent of its population ar e situated in the Alta. Media describes the altitudinal band occurring between 400 and 1000 m. This region is dominated by tropical montane forest and includes some of the regions seasonal agricu lture. The Media contains five m unicipalities and 31 percent of the regions population. Baja refers to the terrain situated below 400 m, and which is predominantly evergreen montane forest. However, this zone also contains most of the regions seasonal agricultural land and pasture. Th e Baja contains the remaining six municipalities and 62 percent

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57 of the regions population. La Soleda d de Juarez is in the Chinantla Baja, within th e municipality of Santa Maria Jacatepec, but is administratively considered a part of the adjacent municipality of Ayotzintepec. It is one of several communities along the Rio Cajonos the valley of which is known for an abundance of Chamaedorea species palms. Materials and Methods Basic livelihood system and contextual inform ation can be obtained through rapid and/or participatory field assessment methods, many of which were developed within the purview of Farming Systems Research (FSR; Collinson 2000). The sondeo is a rapid and participatory assessment method (Hildebrand 1981) that emerged from FSR and that is considered to be a seminal rapid assessment technique (Sellen et al 1993). It is a conversa tional survey approach that does not depend on a survey instrument and that can be implemented by a multi-disciplinary team. The basic tenets of the sondeo method conti nue to be used by researchers to quickly learn about and assess livelihood and other systems as a pr eliminary step in the research process or as a means to make recommendations for resear ch (Moulton 1989; Hild ebrand and Schmink 2004; Marshall, Rushton et al. 2006). Sondeo is the Spanish term for sounding out. The method was developed at the Institute of Science and Agricultural Tec hnology (ICTA, by Spanish initials) in Guatemala as a result of the need to gain insight into marginalized farm ing communities, where mistrust of outsiders was prevalent. The method is participatory to ensure the direct input of community members in the assessment of local conditions. It relies on an inte rdisciplinary perspective to facilitate a more balanced treatment of factors such as age and gender relations, formal and informal economic activities, and environmental considerations. Finally, the assessment is rapid so that limited resources such as time, money, and goodwill may be used most productively. Properly done, the sondeo method provides rich contextual info rmation about the community and identifies the

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58 basic dimensions of the livelihood system and its key actors. It can also be useful as a means to orient research objectives and the information w ithin can be called upon in subsequent stages of research and analysis. Conventionally, the sondeo met hod requires that a team of researchers visit a community for a limited time period (e.g., one week). Thro ughout the period, resear chers converse with community members selected opport unistically. Visits to homes, farms, or forests are conducted by day; summary reporting and reflection are co mpleted at night. Observation, conversations, and reflection facilitate the elab oration of an abstracted live lihood system model. A schematic model of the livelihood system is developed as researchers begin to develop an understanding of its salient components. In Soledad, modifications to the sondeo proce ss were required to al low the process to be undertaken by an individual, rather than a t eam. This need resulted primarily from time limitations on the part of collaborating partners and limited financial resour ces on the part of all involved. The need to modify the process for us e by an individual is unfortunate and almost certainly affects the overall qua lity of the sondeo findings, but reflects the challenge of undertaking fieldwork with limited resources. Tw o modifications are notew orthy. First, existing grey literature focusing on the Chinantla re gion and Soledad was consulted prior to the community visit. This step was essential in order to orient the researcher and to ensure that time with community participants was used effici ently. Moreover, primary data gathered through conversations with community members were validated and supplemented by secondary data encountered in the grey litera ture. Second, the sondeo process benefits from the synergetic presence of multiple minds trained in multiple disciplines, yet in the Soledad sondeo, a single

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59 researcher with interdisciplinary training was used. Apart from these notable modifications, sondeo protocol was followed. The sondeo generated two related outputs: 1) a report describing the Soledad livelihood system and its context, and 2) a schematic model of the livelihood system. The schematic livelihood model provided a foundati on for the elaboration of a basic matrix comprised of the important household livelihood activities, resources, and constraints, from the perspective of the community participants. The livelihood system ma trix reflects the options available to all households in the system. It is operationalized through the construction of a linear program (see Chapter 6). Results Overview The sondeo generated infor mation used to deve lop the schematic model of the predominant livelihood system (Figure 4-2). Soledad is located in Oaxacas heavily forested, ethno-linguistic region: the Chinantla. The predominant Soleda d livelihood system combines subsistence and commercial agriculture and agroforestry, couplin g these activities with limited commercial nontimber forest extraction and other wage-genera ting employment at the local, regional, and national levels. The household is the characteri stic organizational institution, each typically comprised of two generations, but often operating in cooperation with a physically distinct but relationally connected thir d generation household. Soledad households receive institutional suppor t from various branches of the Mexican government in the areas of agriculture and so cial development (e.g., schooling, nutrition, and healthcare). The Soledad economy co uld be described as integrated into the broader regional and national economy, but is likely to become even mo re so as a result of a recently paved roadway.

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60 Context Political structure and history Soledad is politically organized as an ejido one of three types of rural pr operty initially defined through Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution (Mendivil 1996). Ejidos are collectivized land grants that were primarily made to landless groups of varied ethnic backgrounds. An ejido is, in principle, property of the nation that is granted to a community of peasants in usufruct. It is not communal property, but rather an obscured form of private smallholding with a few defining characteristic s (Bartra 1993). First a nd foremost, lands are endowed by the state rather than purchased. Additionally, land usage is subject to restrictions and limitations including Mexican citi zenship, eligibility through residence, the requirement to personally work the land, and the absence of ot her forms of ownership. Since its conception in 1917, the ejido (as a mode of land redistribution a nd as a means to manage land tenure and use) has played a formative role in Mexi cos social and economic landscape. Soledad is an ejido of relati vely recent vintage (1998), form ed in the wake of conflict between the neighboring ejido, Plan Juan Martinez, and a previ ous ejido, Ceiba Mocha. This conflict led in 1985 to the abandonment by Ceiba Mochas ejidatarios of their 1,811 ha (MIE 2004). After a time, a group of landless individuals from Plan Juan Martinez organized to take possession of the abandoned Cieba Mocha land, becoming the founding 52 members of ejido La Soledad de Juarez. Soledads urba n center occupies a 23 ha parc el that is shared with, and classified as territory of Plan Juan Martinez. In 2004, the Soledad was estimated to have 48 resident families, or 350 individual inhabitants (MIE 2004). With regard to the overall management and utilization of natural resources, Soledad participates, through elected delegates, in the Regional Council for the Management of Natural Resources within the Papaloapan watershed (CRRNP, by its Spanish initials). This council is a

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61 legally formed civil association whose members are representatives from the regions communities and ejidos. As such, the CRRN-P is a political figure formed to govern and mediate interactions between member communities and exte rnal actors interested in the regions natural resources. Infrastructure The urban center shared by Sole dad and Plan Juan Martinez is located at kilom eter 31 on the recently paved roadway that connects the municipal seat of Ayotzint epec to the segment of the Pan American route (MX 147) that links the Oaxacan city of Tuxtepec to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (see Figure 4-3). Tuxtepec is a city of approxi mately 150,000 inhabitants (INEGI 2005) and the most important commercial center in close proximity to Soledad. Embarking eastward along MX 147 from the T uxtepec-Oaxaca City juncture, access to Soledad is at La Reforma (km 20). The journey between Tuxtepec and Soledad can be reliably made in under two hours, although until quite recently the trip requ ired several hours due to weather and road conditions. Communities along this roadway are served by regular bus service. In Soledad, many homes are traditional constructed of timber frames, rough-hewn paneling, and palm thatch roofing. It is common, however, to see alongside traditional structures newer cinder block structures with zinc (galvanized metal) roofing. When both are present, the traditional structure typically serves as the kitc hen and family gathering area, while the cinder block structure is comprised of sleeping quart ers and a common room. The form of traditional structure reflects the necessary function of elim inating smoke, which results from the continued use of fuelwood. Nearly all homes in Soledad have electric power. Potable water is captured from a capped local artesian spring and most homes have water access on their property via spigot. At the time of this study, Soledad had neither cellular telephone coverage nor Internet

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62 capabilities. Satellite tele phones existed throughout the re gion, however, coverage was intermittent (MIE 2004). Social services Oportunidades is th e Mexican governments poverty mitigation program (SEDESOL 2008). It provides households with cash transf ers that are linked to the three principal components of the program: education, healt h, and nutrition. In 2008, qualifying households received a monthly transfer of $MX 195 for nutrition, $MX 50 for util ities, and a variable amount for the educational expenses of childre n under the age of 22, ranging from $MX 130 for primary to $MX 825 for girls in their third y ear of high school. An additional $MX 270 per individual per month was transferred to households with elderly members. Soledad has a primary and secondary school, bot h limited in their capacity to meet the needs of the community. Students interested in further education, therefore, commute by bus to attend the secondary school in nearby Ayotzintepec. Soledad also has one locally staffed health care clinic. Additionally, a medical care professional is dispatched monthly from Tuxtepec to Soledad and nearby communities. Advanced care generally requires travel to Tuxtepec. Land Cover and Use Consistent with the broader Chinantla regi on, S oledads 1,811 hectares are principally forested and characterized by considerable relief. A majority of land cover (75 percent) is classified as Montane Evergreen Tropical Rainforest2 (MIE 2004; INI 2004; Rzedowski 1981). This forest classification is one of the worlds most biologically diverse and can only be found in two other regions of Mexico: Oaxacas Chimalap as and the Selva Lacandona in Chiapas (Anta et 2 Translated by author from Selva Alta Perennifolia using Rzedowskis (1981, p.153) classifications, which are based in part on the Koeppen System of vegetation classification, in this case Af.

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63 al. 1996). An additional 24 percent of Soledads land is classified as Evergreen Tropical Rainforest interspersed with secondary vegetation (MIE 2004). NTFPs such as Chamaedorea species palms (xate), game, fibers, and fuelwood are gathered and hunted from all accessible forest ed terrain. Moreover, the forested landscape categorized by the presence of secondary vegeta tion includes moderately sloped terrain on which ejidatarios have planted coffee and practice traditional, seasonal forms of agriculture. The result is a land cover mosaic comprised of varying stages of utilization and recovery, characteristic of the regions agricultural system know as rozo-tumba y quema (slash, cut, and burn) (De Teresa 1998). The maximum extent of land area affected by such use is approximately 96 ha, with estimates of actual use around 20 ha (MIE 2004). Year-round subsistence and commercial agricultu re are mostly confined to a nearly 16hectare lowland/ripa rian strip along the Rio Cajonos. The agricultural system practiced in this area is known as rozo-junta y quema (slash, collect, and burn), and is typical of landscapes where the transition has been made from shifting to relatively permanent agricultural production (De Teresa 1998). Together, these ag ricultural zones represent rou ghly somewhere between 2 to 6 percent of the ejidos land area, the exact value depending on extent of use. Thus, the majority of Soledads land is not well suited to the cultivation of tradit ional and commercial food crops. Nevertheless, subsistence and commercial agricu ltural production form the basis for Soledads economy, which is enriched by the harvest of NTFP and through periodic local and external wage labor. The Soledad Economy Agriculture and agroforestry Milpa Maize (Zea mays ) is th e predominant agricultural commodity in the region (De Teresa n.d.) and in Soledad, where it is a staple grain that is prim arily consumed in the form of

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64 large (30 cm diameter), hand-rolled tortillas. A dditionally, discarded grain represents a feedstock for small livestock, principally chickens and turke y. Maize is planted in both of the regions two agricultural production seasons. It is planted in the uplands at the commencement of the rainy season, or the temporada Land preparation occurs throughout April and May, slash is burned prior to the first rains, and when the rains arrive in late May or early June, they are followed in short order by planting. Maize may also be pl anted in the riparian lowlands during the temporada, but is certainly planted on these lands during the dry season, or tonamil. Planting during the tonamil is typically done in November. In ei ther planting season, collective work parties are often used to rapidly accomplish larg e tasks such as planting or harvesting. When used, work groups move from parcel to parcel until the task has been accomplished for all participants. Such forms of labor exchange elim inate the households need for a large amount of cash for wage-laborers at peak labor demand periods. Consistent with the milpa production system found thr oughout Mesoamerica, climbing beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ) and squash (Cucurbita spp.) varieties are often planted alongside the maize plants throughout the parcel. In Soledad, bush bean varieties are more commonly cultivated in tareas, small sub-parcels within maize plantings. The milpa parcel is typically interspersed with other naturally occurring, tolerated, and cultivated edible plants, collectively referred to in the region as quilites. These include plants locally referred to as cebollin ( Allium fistulosum?), cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), hoja de pozole (unknown), huele de noche (unknown), mostaza (Lepidium spp.?), ocuyo (Piper auritum?), papaloquilite (Porophyllum ruderale?), yerbamora (Solanum nigrum?), and others. Quilites represent an important component of the traditional Chinantec diet.

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65 Chile Chile peppers ( Capsicum spp.) are considered by Soledad community members to be the most important revenue-generating crop. Ch ile production in this community is linked to an intricate national procurement network (K eys 2005) centered in Puebla, Puebla. Chile production is both capital and labor intensive, with initial investment advanced to producers by established buyers. It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of Soledad hous eholds cultivate chile, but the area dedicated to chile production se ldom exceeds hectare per household, a land commitment that is considered to balance the need to achieve some economy of scale and the risk of chronic price instabili ty (MIE 2004). Chile production be gins in April and ends in October, straddling the tonamil and temporada growing seasons. Coffee. Coffee (Coffea rustica ) has been cultivated in the region for decades, but only beginning in the 1970s did it become an important agricultural crop (De Teresa n.d.). This shift came about through Mexicos INMECAFE program, which encouraged increased production in the region. The regional economic importance of coffee has been hamstrung by the combined effect of the inferior C. r ustica variety grown, sub-standard production conditions (i.e., low altitude), and coffee market volatility over the past decade. Many Soledad households maintain, through use of minimal resources, mature coffee in traditional polyculture (Moguel and Toledo 1999). The perceived importance of coffee parcels may relate to long-term security but also stems partly from the value to households of the associated crops. Traditional polyculture parcels typically contain banana and citrus varieties, avocado and other fruit bearing trees, medicinal and edible plants. Coffee contribute s to livelihoods only through the periodic harvest and sale of limited quantities of dried coffee beans ( caf pergamino). Other crops In addition to coffee and its associat ed crops, chile peppers, and to the milpa crop association of maize, beans, and squash, se veral other crops are impo rtant to households in

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66 Soledad. Yuca ( Manihot esculenta ) is important as a traditional element of the Oaxacan celebration of the Day of the Dead (01-02 Nove mber), when the souls of deceased ancestors return. Tortillas of yuca are prepared in anticipa tion of this celebration and, as a result, most households maintain small plantings of yuca. It is not uncommon for a household to sell one or two small bags of surplus harvest in the weeks le ading up to the celebratio n. In fact, surplus of nearly all cultivated crops are commonly sold opportunistically to other households in the community, and less frequently to outside buyers. Jcama ( Pachyrhizus erosus) is another edible root that is cultivated in Soledad for consumption and occasional sale. Some households in Soledad have had or retain plantings of the ground dwelling bromeliad, Aechmea magdalenae, used for the commercial extraction of the fiber, which is known in Mexico as pita or ixtle (Murphy 2005). At times, the sale of pita fiber has been an important source of income but residents of Sole dad related that the market has collapsed in recent years. Another of the regions commercia lly harvested native plants and occasionally cultivated crop that has suffered a similar fate is barbasco ( Dioscorea mexicana), which throughout the early and mid 20th century was used to produce synthetic steroids. Both pita and barbasco can be found in and aroun d cultivated areas throughout th e community but little use is presently made of these plants. Household gardens Within the urban area, households maintain home gardens, or solares. These are small parcels containing trees bear ing edible fruit and useful fiber, edible greens ( quilites ) and medicinal plants, varied quantities of av ian livestock, and fuelwood storage. An opportunistic, non-scientific i nventory of one such home garden (Table 4-1), approximately 300 m2, identified eleven types of fruit, six vegetabl es, at least seven edible or medicinal plants, and five types of livestock. In the particular case there were around twenty free ranging chickens

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67 and roosters, two turkeys, a duck, a goose, and one pig. Fowl forage throughout the solar, but are also fed low quality maize that has been el iminated from household stocks. These animals represent an important source of protein and are also sold duri ng times of need. Typically, food production in the solar is low intensity and complementary to larger plantings elsewhere (e.g., milpa and coffee plots); certainly the close proximity to the home of fers a measure of variety and convenience to households in this community without a fresh market. Upkeep of the solar is considered to be part of the household, or re production, domain and is primarily undertaken by women and children. PROCAMPO Mexicos Secretary of Agricultur e, Livestock, and Rural Development (SAGARPA, by its Spanish initials) administer s the Program for Direct Rural Assistance, popularly known as PROCAMPO. The program is a resource transfer mechanism designed to compensate national producers for subsidies received by their foreign competitors (SAGARPA 2008). Certain agricultural crops are eligible including maize and beans. Payments are made on a per hectare basis. According to SAGARPA r ecords, PROCAMPO benefited 27 producers in Soledad between the autumn 2006 and spring 2007 growing seasons. Payments for the two growing periods were prorated from $US 89 and $US 107 / ha, respectively. Average qualifying terrain was 0.5 hectare for the autumn 2006 season and 1.6 hectares in spring 2007. Forest resources Timber Th ere was little evidence of current or recent commercial timber operations on Soledads endowed territory. Timber was not men tioned by individuals in the community to be an important resource (to be contrasted with repeated mention of the forest), nor was logging mentioned as an important economic activity. Th at said, the period between the 1950s to the 1990s was characterized by indiscriminant extrac tion of timber species throughout the Chinantla, including the deforestation of lowland areas for the creation of cattle pasture (MIE 2004). A fact

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68 that is supported by the reported low prevalence of mature, fine timber species in Soledads forest (MIE 2004). A notable exception is the presence of Spanish Cedar ( Cedrela odorata ), a member of the mahogany family Meliaceae which has been planted in and around coffee plots by many Soledad families, with the anticip ation of future harvest and sale. Chamaedorea palms (xate). In comparison to timber, the co llection of NTFPs has been a greater contributor to Soledad livelihoods (MIE 2004). Of the regions NTFPs, the most important are palms of the genus Chamaedorea namely: C. oblongata, C. elegans, C. tepejilote, and to a lesser extent C. concolor. Regionally, these palms are most abundant in close proximity to the Rio Cajonos, which passes through the municipalities of Ayotzintepec, Jacatepec, and Jocotepec. In the late 1990s, xate harvest was reported to account for household economic activity for 44, 25, and 19 percent of households in these municipalities, respectively (De Teresa n.d.). In Soledad, both men and women harvest xate. In either case the procurement process is fairly uniform. An individual or gr oup enters the forest on foot in search of naturally occurring palms. Of the 1768 ha deemed suitable for pa lm, 1010 ha are estimated to contain palm populations (Salgado C 2002). Trips to and from the forest require several hours of walking. Palm fronds are cut by hand to meet local and/or industry spec ifications using a chaveta, a knife or machete with a sharpened, hooked tip (Santos E et al. 2003). Fronds are bundled into gruesas (ideally 144 fronds, but typically 120 in Soledad); gruesas ar e later assembled into bultos (gruesas bound or wrapped by burlap or blankets). The number of gruesas in a bulto depends on the carrying capability of the harvester, but a bulto typically does not exceed ten gruesas. Carrying the bultos on their backs, individuals walk out of the forest. Selection and processing typically occur further al ong in the value chain.

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69 Soledad is in the laudable, if not advantage ous position of having the requisite government permission to commercially harvest xate. Harves ting permits are granted for periods of five years; extraction rates are loca tion specific and based on a palm population survey undertaken by a nationally registered forest engineer (Sal gado C 2002; SEMARNAT 2005). Xate harvest has diminished in recent years as prices have st agnated and as the intervals between visits by intermediaries have increased, or in some cases trips have altogether ceased. In Soledad, the popularly held belief is that the departure fr om the region of a long-time and well-known buyer precipitated the decline in the community and regi ons importance as a xate supplier. In fact, all of the five processing centers onc e located in nearby Tuxtepec have shut their facilities over the past ten years (Tolen A 2006). Increasing fuel co sts, inconsistent supplies, and diminishing frond quality are offered as reasons for the regions di minished importance as a supplier. Increased harvest and cultivation in other regions (e.g. Guat emala and Veracruz, respectively) are certainly complicit factors. Presently, xate from Soledad is periodically sold to itinerant middlemen who only visit the region when demand is high (Santos E, personal communication); prices remain low at roughly $US 1.30 ($MX 14) per gruesa. Fuelwood Collected wood is the principal fuel used for household food preparation in Soledad (MIE 2004), although some homes also ha ve natural gas cooking ranges and/or ovens. Collection is an activity entered both strate gically and opportunisti cally, by all household members. Most fuelwood is collected from falle n trees and cleared agricultural land within the forest area as well as from within and around co ffee plantings and other relatively permanent agricultural parcels. Reproduction and wage labor Reproduction labor: Reproduction labor describes the dom estic activities required to maintain the household, such as child rearing, food preparation, and general upkeep. It also

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70 includes maintenance of the solar. While all adult and adolescent members of the household participate in agricultu ral production and forest resource collection activities described in the sections above, reproduction ac tivities typically fall under the do main of adult and adolescent females in the household, who are supported by younger children. Local wage labor: Soledad has neither industry nor a service sector beyond the existence of several family managed stores, which stoc k basic household necessities along with snacks and beverages. Given the predominantly subsistenc e-oriented agricultural economy, producers face liquidity challenges (MIE 2004), meaning households have difficulty converting assets into cash. The result is that much labor is exchanged between households during periods of high demand. Adolescent males without land have limited loca l paid labor opportunitie s, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that an individual cannot expect many more than 3-5 days of paid local work within the community over the course of a year. Regional migration: Historically, Chinantecos have not demonstrated a strong tendency toward emigration from the region (INI 2004). Ra ther, the regions development has resulted from a large number of permanent, intra-region migrations (De Teresa n.d.). One example is the migration made by the Soledads founding members from their ejido of origin, the nearby Plan Juan Martinez. These intra-regi onal migrations, however, are typi cally driven by a need for land rather than for wage labor. With respect to migr ations driven by the latter, short-term migration to nearby urban centers is an option. A typical week spent working in the nearby cities of Tuxtepec or Veracruz is reporte d to generate $US 41 ($MX 450), earnings from which travel and boarding expenses must be subtracted. National and international migration: Longer-term (seasonal) migration from Soledad to larger cities throughout Mexico is more common than short-term migration to nearby cities. A

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71 recent study suggested that 20 families in Soleda d are affected by this type of migration, principally young adults and the landless children of ejidatar ios (MIE 2004). Migration is principally to other regions of Mexico such as the central valley (e.g., Mexico City, Cuernavaca) and the maquila zone (e.g., Ciudad Juarez). Men typically find employ ment in the trades while women seek employment as domestics. It was co mmented that little financial remittance could be expected from individuals who have migrated outside the region, with the exception of funds provided for structural improvements and/or materi al contributions along the lines of stereos, televisions, and computers. Thes e contributions can be substan tial, but they do not typically provide a reliable revenue stream to the household. There are also community members that have migrated to and returned from the United States. This phenomenon is estimated to affect few households (three, according to MIE 2004), and only one account was given of an individual that had remained abroad. In fact, several of the individuals that had traveled to the United States commented that life is too good in Soledad to remain away. Summary and Discussion The prim ary objective of the sondeo was to deve lop a better understa nding of the Soledad de Juarez livelihood system and of the broader context within which Soledad households fashion their livelihood strate gies. A secondary objective was to use the sondeo and resulting information to generate an informed perspective with respect to the present role of xa te harvest and potential future role of xate commercialization and certification. The predominant Soledad livelihood system combines subsistence and commercial agriculture and agroforestry, coupling these activities with limited commercial non-timber forest extraction and other wage-employment at the local, regional, and national levels.

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72 A prominent livelihood issue in Soledad is the dearth of lo cal wage-generating employment. This scarcity repres ents an issue that, over time, is likely to affect local economic development and conservation of forest resour ces. Yet the absence of wage labor, or cash income, should not be misinterpreted as an ab sence of economic activity, and for that matter economic development. Wage-labor represents bu t one form of livelihood formation and wealth creation (Wollenberg 1998), just as cash-based, or market, transactions represent but one means of economic integration (Halperin 1994). As a case in point, it is useful to highlight Soledads agricultural work parties as well as th e regional social institution of the tequio which utilizes male labor to accomplish public works projects (INI 2004). These institutions offer a reminder that assessments of economic vitality and de velopment should not be limited to singular metrics, such as wage generation. Nevertheless, Soledads economy is increas ingly likely to be shaped by external influences, as it is open to the influence of outsi de actors. Present levels of external influence will almost certainly continue or increase, ensured by the recent paving of the access road. Moreover, it is reasonable to expect that the pave d road lead to an exte rnal infiltration of the local economic system in ways analogous to the disturbance effects of road paving on forest ecosystems (see Nepstad et al. 2001). Improved acce ss to nearby cities may fa cilitate the practice of commuting by Soledad residents, with the poten tial effect of increased discretionary cash and spending in the community. Easier access may also serve to lower the cost of outside goods sold in the community. However, should the road fac ilitate the outward fli ght of the communitys limited cash resources, new means to attract requi site discretionary cash (however minimal) will be needed. Ultimately, Soledad is likely to benef it from the retention of, or increase in, some form of wage-generating employment.

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73 Historically, xate harvest in Soledad provided a source of wage s, although present rates are diminished relative to past activity. Palm harvest and other commercially oriented NTFP activities couple the community with its natural re sources, thus providing a direct and important economic link. This wage-generating role of fore st resources represents one element of an undoubtedly complex assessment of fore st value. And just as a boat rises and falls with the tide, the perceived overall value of Soledads forest is also likely to diminish as these economic links weaken, or cease to exist. The cumulative effect of the progressive opening of the local economy and reduced wage generation from local natural resources could have negative effects on forest conservation. Individuals may lose economic connections with their natural resource base; perhaps others may leave the community to seek wage employment. Over time, local (natur al resource) knowledge atrophies. This process is essentially the inverse of the underlying premise for integrated conservation and development, which calls fo r the addition or for tification of economic incentives as a means to strengthen or facilitate natural resource conservation. As mentioned above, Soledad is in the favor able to advantageous position of having a government permit to commercially harvest palms. Soledads permit expired in December 2007, but funding for the renewal process was granted in July of that same year, and the maintenance assessment of the resource was completed in March 2008 (Santos, personal communication). This evidence of Soledads commitment to formal authorization of xate harvest suggests the ejido will remain one of only a few communities in the region able to legally harvest and sell xate. The government mandated harvest rates intend to represent the maximum sustainable harvest level. Whether or not government establ ished rates truly represent sustainable harvest levels is beyond the scope of this study. It is certain, however, that gove rnment rates represent

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74 the maximum legal harvest. Less clear is the im plication of the mandate d harvest rate on the feasibility of commercial (including certified) harvest. This question will be addressed in Chapter 6 through the live lihood system model. A final concern for Soledad relating to xate harvest is the absence of a legal entity authorized to coordinate and manage the commer cialization of natural resources. In the past, commercialization of xate has occurred between individual collectors and intermediaries from outside the region. Certification would require a more coordina ted approach. The previously described CRRN-P is a legal political entity formed to govern and mediate interactions between member communities and external actors; it does not have jurisdiction over commercial activity. Thus the commercialization of certified xate will require the formation of a legal entity, one similar to the CRRN-P, but organi zed for the commercial purposes. The legal form of such an institution could vary. NTFP harvest has historically represented an important income-generating activity and the certification of xate harvest may serve to bolster its role in Soledad s local economy. Obstacles exist, yet Soledad is relatively well positioned for integration into an emerging market for certified xate. The ejido has gove rnment authorization to commerc ially harvest the resource at mandated sustainable rates. What remains uncer tain is whether these established rates will represent an opportunity or a constraint upon commercial harv esting, and thus on the broader objective of using forest-based economic activity to integrate forest conservation and economic development.

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75 Figure 4-1. Localization of Soledad de Juarez. A) Oax aca, Mexico. B) Chinantla, Oaxaca. C) Jacatepec, Chinantla. Soledad Livelihood System Household Local, Regional, National & International Markets Coffee and associated crops Chamaedorea spp. palms Ixtle or Pita Fuelwood Game Assorted Fruits & Greens Yuca Domesticated Animals: Chickens Turkeys Pigs Ducks Milpa: maize, beans, and squash Associated greens Chili peppers Jicama Yuca Fallow & Forest Home Gardens Lowland & Highland Agriculture Natural Resource Driven Food and Fiber Production Labor Fuel Food Labor Feed Cash Cash Food Institutional Support: Figure 4-2. Schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system

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76 La Soledad de JuarezTuxtepecSanta Maria Jacatepec AyotzintepecOaxaca VeracruzMX 147 MX 147 MX 147 MX 182 MX 175 MX 145 MX 145 5 Km Figure 4-3. Proximity of La Soledad de Juarez to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico Table 4-1. Opportunistic inventory of a Sole dad home garden ( solar) Fruits Aguacate ( Persea americana ) Caf ( Coffea rustica ) Carambola ( Averrhoa carambola ) Chirimoya ( Annona chirimola) Ciruela or Jocote ( Spondias purpurea ) Guayabana (Annona muricata) Limn ( Citrus spp ) Naranja ( Citrus sinensis ) Mango ( Mangifera spp ) Nanche ( Byrsonima crassifolia ) Platano ( Musa spp .) Platano Macho ( Musa spp ) Edible and Medicinal Herbs Arbol de Canela ( Cinnamomum zeylanicum? ) Hierba Mora (Solanum nigrum?) Hierba de la Noche (Unknown) Ocuyo / Hierba Santa (Piper auritum?) Oregano ( Lippia graveolens ) Papaloquilite (Porophyllum ruderale?) Vainilla ( Vanilla spp ) Plus several unrecorded Livestock Chicken ( Gallus gallus ) Guajolote ( Meleagris gallopavo ) Ganzo ( Anser spp ) Pato ( Duck ) ( Unknown ) Cochina ( Sus spp ) Vegetable Calabaza ( Cucurbita spp ) Camote ( Ipomoea batatas ) Jcama (Pachyrizus erosus) Jcara ( Unknown ) Yuca & [ Jame ] ( Manihot escuelenta ) Source: authors field notes

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77 CHAPTER 5 CERTIFICATION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD S YSTEM Introduction In the United States and Europe, fronds from Chamaedorea species palms (xate) are used as decorative foliage in floral arrangements a nd in Palm Sunday church services (CEC 2002). One of the great hopes of the present effo rts throughout southeaste rn Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize to certify xate is that it re presents an intervention to foster integration of forest conservation and economic developmen t objectives in harvest communities. This expectation is consistent with the synergetic benefits of non-timber forest product (NTFP) commercialization envisioned in the early 1990s (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). Proponents hope, and sometimes assume, that certifications standards will bridge the numerous environmental, economic, and social pitfalls that impeded the success of previous commercialization efforts: pitfalls such as over-explo itation, appropriation of valuable resources by powerful actors, and immiserizing growth (Kaplinsky 2000), which refers to downward price pressures caused by supply incr easing more rapidly than demand and the resulting need to increase harvest to maintain economic benefits. Expecta tions associated with xate certification must also be tempered by the looming reality that the success of labeling efforts has been limited by an absence of fluid ma rkets, those for which supply and demand are reasonably balanced (Overdevest 2004; Pierce et al. 2003). In spite of al l this, enthusiasm for xate certification persis ts. If certification is to be a feasib le, better understanding of the role of xate harvest in specific commun ity livelihood systems is needed. Research objective and hypotheses The objective of this chapter is to use an ethnographic line ar program (ELP) model of a xate harvesting communitys livelihood system and xate marketing/management scenarios to test

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78 two hypotheses related to extractor livelihoods and another related to market fluidity. Certification is a variant of co mmercialization and th e three hypotheses test ed in this chapter derive from a subset of hypotheses tested in a recent NTFP commercialization study (Marshall, Schreckenberg et al. 2006). For commercializat ion, as well as certification, the hypotheses rest on the assumption that interventi ons should not negatively affect the livelihoods of extractors. This assumption is imperative because certificatio n is an optional undertaking that would almost certainly be rejected by those w ho perceive negative livelihood or resource effects. The three hypotheses suggest that, to be a feas ible intervention, certification must: 1. Positively affect household livelihoods. 2. Benefit, or at least not disa dvantage, the poorest households. 3. Be viable with respec t to supply and demand. These hypotheses represent one component of a multiscale inquiry into the feasibility of xate certification. Analytical framework This studys livelihood system approach considers the m eans by which a household manages its resources to meet its objectives within its particular ecologica l, economic, and social context (Sellen et al. 1993). It is the composite of activities av ailable to all households in the particular system within which they secure their livelihoods (Hildebra nd et al. 2003; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004). Particularly in developing regions of the world, livelihoods are householdcentered and might operate at, or near, a subsis tence level. Livelihood systems in the tropical forest regions of Latin America commonly incl ude swidden subsistence agriculture combined with extraction of forest products for consump tion or sale, hunting of game, logging, and other forms of wage-based employment (Fearnside 198 9; Heinzman and Reining 1990). By extension, a livelihood strategy is the specific set of activities that a partic ular household engages in from among those that comprise its livelihood system (Hildebrand and Schmink 2004)

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79 Study area The palm harvesting community of interest is La Soledad de Juarez, located in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Chinantla is an ethnically and linguistically defined region in the northern part the state. The heter ogeneous indigenous communities of the region, collectively referred to as Chinantecos, rank fourth in population size among the indigenous groups of Oaxaca and represent two percent of Mexicos total indigenous population (INI 2004). The ecological importance of the region centers on biological diversity and the richness of natural resources. La Soledad de Juarez (henceforth, Soledad) is geographically situated in Chinantla Baja, within the municipality of Sa nta Maria Jacatepec, but is administratively considered a part of the adjacent municipality of Ayotzintepec. It is one of several communities along the Rio Cajonos the valley of which is known for an abundance of Chamaedorea species. Historically, palm harvest has represented one li velihood activity in a pr edominantly agricultural livelihood system comprised of subsistence a nd commercial crop production, agroforestry, and off-farm wage labor. Method Model specification Linear p rogramming (LP) is a mathematical optimization procedure that maximizes (or minimizes) an objective function (household goal) s ubject to a set of cons traints (e.g., expenses, food consumption) and available resources (land, labor, cash). An ethnographic linear program (ELP) model was developed using Soledad commun ity and household data to analyze the effects of xate commercialization and certification on livelihoods and, more spec ifically, the livelihood role of xate harvesting. The general struct ure of the ELP is summarized as follows:

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80 Maximize (or Minimize): = j Cj Xj (j = 1,,n) Subject to: j Aij Xj Ri (i = 1,,m) And Xi 0 Where is the objective to be optimized; Xj is the vector of livelihood activity variables to be determined; Cj is the cost (debit) or retu rn (credit) of each of the n activities; Aij is the set of technical coefficients for each activity j and resource/constraint, i ; and, Ri is the set of m minimum or maximum constraints. The model uses a one-year time horizon due to high levels of uncertain ty about a) the longterm feasibility of palm extracti on in general and, b) the feasibility of the long-term market for certified xate. In the model, it is assumed that behavioral changes associ ated with the different scenarios are immediate the model is not de signed to capture the process of adoption. The schematic livelihood model (see Figure 42, Chapter 4) provides a foundation for the elaboration of a basic matrix of the important household live lihood activities, resources, and constraints, from the perspective of the community participants. This matrix is common to all households in the system. It is operationalized through the construction of an ethnographic linear program. The general structure of the model is sh own in Figure 5-1. Activ ities in the model are production oriented: the cultivation of subsis tence and commercial crops, palm and fuelwood harvest, and off-farm labor. Reproduction activit y associated with the hou sehold is also included. Use of land, labor, and cash re sources varies by activity. Starting with the basic matrix developed from the schematic model, the most efficient means of constructing the ELP model is to select a willing household from within the livelihood system to model their particular resources a nd constraints (Hildebra nd et al. 2003). Input and output coefficients for each liv elihood activity, or en terprise, are the amount s of all resources required to produce one unit of an activity and th e measurable output resulting from one unit of

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81 that activity. To construct a feasible model, an alysis of resource inputs and outputs must be conducted for all relevant activities. Resource availability vari es by household, but generally the inputs and outputs associated wi th a unit of activity do not. The availability of agricultural land (ripari an and upland), supply of and demand for household labor, household consumption requi rements, and the supply and demand for agricultural and NTFP commodities all represent general constraints to the model. A palm population estimate was established by a nationa lly approved forestry engineer (Salgado C 2001). This estimate and the legal harvest leve ls calculated from it re present absolute and relative limits to xate harvest. The ELP model also contains a number of technical constraints The production areas for associated crops are linked to ensure that cr op associations in the model are maintained as empirically observed. For example, the cultivated area for jicama cannot exceed the cultivated area for maize, which is the crop within which the farmers inter-plant jicama. Commercialization of certain crops such as yuca and beans is also constrained with the intent to simulate the low levels of demand described by community members. For the same reason, similar constraints exist to limit participation in local wage-labor and xate harvest. Demand constraints on xate harvest vary by market scenario and derive fr om the estimated palm population, percentage of waste in the harvest, and populat ion sustainability requirements, respectively. The scenarios are presented in greater detail below. The ELP model facilitates analysis of the feasibility of xate commercialization and certification at the household and community level by prov iding the optimal household livelihood strategies for a given household objective. In this anal ysis, two different household objective functions are used to establish a rang e of possible xate harvest outcomes. This is

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82 necessary because of the difficulty in ascertaining a households tr ue objective. One objective is to maximize household year-end discretionary cas h. This reflects the in tuitive and expressed expectation that households desire to improve their economic positions. B ecause palm harvest is one of only a few income-generating activities availa ble, it was anticipated that the cash income maximization objective would represent the ma ximum harvest level at the household and, through aggregation of results, the community level. It is important to recognize, however, that households are first homes, not busin esses, such that their goals and objectives may differ from those commonly used in economic analyses. Thus, a second objective is to minimize employment-driven migration. This objective re flects the expressed desire of many Soledad residents to remain in their community. The migration minimization objective approximates a household doing whatever necessary in order to meet its needs without migration. Use of the migration minimization objective in the ELP mode l should result in the minimum harvest level, above and beyond what might be necessary for households to meet their minimum cash requirements. The ELP model was built in Microsoft Excel and solved using the Solver add-in. This widely available, inexpensive modeling software was selected to facilitate model development and utilization while in the field, and subse quent use and modification of the model by collaborating institutions. Input data for the model Input data for the ELP were obtained through se veral m ethods. Prior to data collection, a general context for this community-level rese arch was garnered through several diagnostic studies previously undertaken in the commun ity (MIE 2004; Grupo Mesofilo 2004; Angel 2003) and in the broader Chinantla region (De Tere sa 1998; INI 2004; De Teresa n.d.). Basal understanding of the structure, or framework, of Soledads livelihood system was developed

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83 further through the use of a rapid assessment, or sondeo (Hildebrand 1981), which was completed in the community over the course of five days. The sondeo process generated a schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system (see Figure 5.2, Chapter 5), which served also to focus the collection of liveli hood activity data. In addition to the schematic model, the sondeo process contributed to a richer understanding of the Soledad livelihood system and, to a lesser extent, provided data relating to livelihood activ ities. Agricultural and forest-based livelihood activity data were prin cipally collected through the combination of two community workshops and in-depth conversations with three willing Soledad househ olds. Livelihood data from the sondeo, community workshops, and household interviews were compared with and, in some cases, complemented by data published in the diagnostic studies mentioned above. Soledad is an ejido one of three types of rural property initially defined through Article 27 of the1917 Mexican constitution (Mendivil 1996). Ejidatarios are those individuals in the community who form the community assembly and who have been endowed with land resources. Soledad was formed in 1998 with 52 ejidatarios. Avecindados, by contrast, are individuals in the community w ho are without representation or land endowment (e.g., spouses and children of ejidatarios). An important assu mption made by this research was that each household contains only one ejidatario, or mo re importantly, access to the land endowed to a single ejidatario. Given Soledads recent formation, the validity of this assumption is more probable than it would be in an older ejido, where land has transferre d over generations. The total labor available to a hous ehold was measured in days (jornales) and depended on household composition. Total available labor was al so affected by several empirically driven assumptions, such as a six-day workweek and re ductions to the available workdays in weeks affected by seasonal activities and events (e .g. school, holidays). For example, December

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84 holidays reduced the number for available work days in the month by eight, from 27 to 19. Exchanged labor, or the work party, was not reflected in seasona l/annual totals, as gains were offset by payments within the same time period. In other words, the scale of benefits and costs (i.e., the ability through labor trad ing to accomplish a large task in one or several days) was too small to account for in this model, in which a year was divided into six periods. The ELP model used a double-entry labor a ccounting system. This system was designed so that the dominant pattern of pooled, or indiscriminate househol d labor could be applied to the majority of livelihood activitie s, without ignoring the constr aints imposed by the less common cases where activities required th e labor of a particular (type of) individual (e.g., reproduction labor and females). Specifically, labor required for any and all activities was drawn from a common pool of total available household labor. However, labor for certain tasks that were typically associated with household subgr oups (e.g., adolescent males, women) was also drawn from a separate account of that subgroups available labor. The re sult was that the amount of the subgroups labor, women for example, could conceivably constrain overall household participation in a partic ular livelihood activity. Agricultural land represents a critical resource. Only a small percentage of the Soledads land is suitable for crop production. Soledads 1,811 hectare endowment falls under three legal classifications (MIE 2004). 1,369 forested ha ( 76 percent) are designate d for conservation (non agricultural use). Conserva tion status forested land can, howev er, be used for the collection of forest products such as NTFPs. Another 329 forest ha (18 percent) are designated for utilization. In fact, the land designated for u tilization is allocate d amongst the ejidos families, such that familys allotment averages around 6.5 ha (Gr upo Mesofilo 2003, p.13). This allotment is the land that Soledad households use for forest-based agriculture (e.g., coffee and associated crops)

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85 and for the collection of fuelwood. The remain ing 111 ha (6 percent) are designated for agriculture, only 16 ha of which are lowland ripa rian terrain suitable for planting during the dry season, or tonamil (MIE 2004). It is estimated that only 20 of the remaining 95 ha of nonriparian agricultural la nd are actually under cu ltivation (MIE 2004, p.15), an average of 0.4 ha per household. To summarize, Soledads ejidatarios, on averag e, have endowments of 0.3 ha of riparian agricultural land, 0.4 ha of upland agricultural terrain, and an approximately 600 m2 plot that includes a home and garden, or solar (MIE 2004). Agricultural land is typically used to produce milpa (corn, beans and squash), chili peppers, yuca, and jicama. In addition, ejidatarios typically possess about 6.5 ha of utilizable forest terrain, pa rts of which were historically used for coffee production and fuelwood collection. C onservation status forest ca nnot be used for agricultural activities, but is accessible to all community members for forest product collection. Since most agricultural operations need to be performed within a certain timeframe, the model year was divided into two agricultu ral seasons, temporada (R) and tonamil (T), which represent the rainy and dry weathe r patterns. Each of these two ag ricultural seasons was further sub-divided into three asymmetri cal periods (Figure 5-2). The as ymmetry of these periods stems from a need to differentiate three important, reso urce-utilizing periods with in of each agricultural season: land preparation and plan ting (2 months), crop maintenance (3 months), and harvest (1 month). Each cropping association (e.g., milpa) and individual crop has unique seasonal requirements, which are primarily agronomic in nature (Table 5-1). Milpa (maize, beans, and squash) is planted in both the rainy and dr y seasons. Milpa is both the predominant and traditional subsistence crop association: its production cycle corresponds exactly with the two

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86 recognized agricultural seasons. Jicama, while cultiv ated within the milpa, is not planted until late in the rainy season. Bean s and jicama are both planted among maize, so the total area cultivated in either cannot exceed the area cultivated in milpa. The production of chile peppers, which are not part of the trad itional regional agriculture, stra ddles the two seasons. Seed is planted midway though the rainy season and final harvests occur toward the end of the dry season. Finally, yuca has an extended growth cycl es and while planted midway through the dry season, it is not harvested until the early part of the subsequent dry season. The primary forest-oriented livelihood activity is xate harvest. Xa te can be collected throughout the year, although peak activity has historically been during the period from December to April. Coffee production, which wa s an important economic activity in the community during the 1970s and into the 1980s, no longer represented an important livelihood activity in Soledad in 2006-2007. The same can be said for cultivation of pita ( Aechmea magdalenae ) and collection of barbasco ( Dioscorea mexicana ). Data for both agricultural and forest-based livelihood activities were procured through household interviews and published communityand regional-level diagnostics (Table 5-2). Mexico sponsors two social programs that affect Soledad livelihoods. The first is the Program for Direct Rural Assist ance, or PROCAMPO, administer ed by Mexicos Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development (SAGARPA, by its Spanish initials). PROCAMPO is a resource transfer mechanism de signed to compensate national producers for subsidies received by their foreign competitors (SAGARPA 2008). Certain ag ricultural crops are eligible, including maize and beans. Payments ar e made on a per hectare basis. According to SAGARPA records (SAGARPA 2008), PROCAMPO benefited 27 producers in Soledad between the autumn 2006 and spring 2007 grow ing seasons. Payments for the two growing

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87 periods were prorated from $U S 89 ($MX 963) and $US 107 ($MX 1160) / hectare, respectively. Average qualifying terrain was 0.5 ha for the autumn 2006 season and 1.6 ha in spring 2007. Oportunidades is a national poverty mitigation pr ogram (SEDESOL 2008). It provides households with cash transfers that are linked to the three princi pal components of the program: education, health, and nutrition. In 2008, qualifying households rece ived a monthly transfer of $US 18 ($MX 195) for nutrition, $US 5 ($MX 50) fo r utilities, and a variable amount for the educational expenses of child ren under the age of 22, ranging from $US 12 ($MX 130) for primary to $US 76 ($MX 825) for girls in their third year of high school. It was assumed that education-related payments pass through the household to cover matriculation so payments and costs were excluded from the model. Househol ds with seniors receive an additional $US 25 ($MX 270) per qualifying individual. Model output The solution for the ELP m odel represents the optimal livelihood strategies for the specified household objective. The ELP was solved first to maximize year-end cash, then again to minimize of migration. The optimal livelihood strategies are defined by the allocation of household resources land, labor, and cash to subsistence and commercial crops, NTFP harvest, and off-farm economic pursuits. One component of each solution is the number of days that a household dedicated to the harvest of xate This value is correlated with the quantity of xate harvested. Household level harvest quantities are aggregated to the community level. The community level harvest represents an important factor in assessi ng the feasibility of the market intervention. Setup of the calculations Two factors fram e the scenar ios used in the ELP model: xate market/management and household composition Their permutations generate a matr ix for the model output (Table 5-3).

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88 The output matrix is used to organize a number of hypothesis-driven dependent variables such as year-end household cash, total hous ehold migration periods, and, as described above, the number of household days dedicated to xate harvest. Xate market/management scenarios Conversations about xate cer tification, considered with in the context of xate commercialization experiences in Soledad and th roughout the region, suggested four general xate market/management scenarios (Table 6.4). They are: the current market, the historical market, the quality-driven market, and the certified (i.e., quality and sust ainability) market. These four generalized scenarios fa cilitate analysis of the effects of changing market and/or resource management terms on household livelihood strategies While simplistic, they provide a means to begin to evaluate approaches to commercializat ion, including certificatio n. In the ELP model, scenarios are operationalized through two interrelated terms, or factors. One is the price paid for xate; the other is quantity demanded. The price paid to harvesters traditionally has been based on the number of gruesas (in Soledad, 120 fronds) harvested, wit hout consideration for the quality of the individual fronds or for the total quantity supplied. Recent xate comm ercialization efforts, however, focus more on quality, supplied in consistent quantities. Pricing in active mark ets, such as Guatemalas El Petn, has been gradually shifting toward a system in which a higher price is paid for complete orders of quality fronds. Communities de liver xate directly to buyers in rolls (600 fronds), rather than to intermediaries in the traditional gruesas. There is an expecta tion that non-marketable fronds have been sorted out, either by the ha rvester (i.e., not picked) or by a post-harvest processor in the community. Higher prices do no t represent a premium; rather, they are an adjustment for added value. The market bene fit of certification, regardless of whether

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89 standards target product quality, process quality (e.g. sustainable harvest), or both accrues to the community in the form of market access (Sedjo and Swallow 1999), rather than price premiums. Demand for fronds of a particular variety and sourced from a particul ar region or location represents another important factor in the feasib ility of xate commercialization and certification (see Chapter 3). In the period from Sept ember 2006 to August 2007, no buyer was regularly purchasing xate from Soledad harvesters. Ho wever, in December 2007 a large buyer in the United States offered to make a weekly purchase of 100 rolls of C. oblongata According to the buyer, that quantity represented the minimum feasible purchase. Thus, 100 rolls per week represent the expressed de mand for Soledad xate. In the ELP, demand is operationalized as a constraint: it is the maximu m number of rolls of xate harvestable by each household, given the resource management requirements imposed by either the palm population or marketing strategy (Table 5-4). Consequently, the term demand becomes somewhat of a misnomer and merits explanation. Commercializ ing 100 rolls per week, as demanded by the buyer, would vastly exceed Soledads estimated xate population. In this respect, commercialization of Soledads xate is infeasible ex ante To be able to explore the effects of market/management and household co mposition scenarios, the expressed demand was scaled back to the maximum possible (or allowable) harvest as dictated by the market/management scenarios. Apart from the current market scenario (S1), in which the demand for palm fronds equals zero, demand refers to the maximum possibl e (or allowable) harvest. This value changes with each scenario, beginning as the estimate of Soledads palm population and progressively constrained by the inclusion of quality, then sust ainability standards. In other words, resource

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90 management standards are imposed on the households. In all scenarios, the maximum possible (or allowable) harvest was allocated e qually among the 25 harvesting households In the final analysis, the amount harvested represents the ac tual supply, which can be compared against both the maximum possible (allowable) harvest as well as the buyers expressed demand of 100 rolls per week. S1. The current market scenario: This scenario is the baseline that currently characterizes Soledad and the region. The definitive attribut e is the absence of de mand, although in practice itinerant buyers make occasional purchases. Neverthe less, the demand for xate in this scenario has been set to zero. The rela tively recent abatement of demand has been explained as the combined effect of increased buyer uncertainty with regard to weekly supply coupled with rising transportation costs. The price, although it is made irrelevant by the absence of demand, is based on the traditional amount paid for unsorted palm fronds. It is consistent with the amount currently paid by itinerant buyers in the regi on (De los Santos, personal communication). S2. The historical market scenario: In the baseline current market scenario, demand was set at zero to reflect the vi rtual absence of xate purchasing, and conseque ntly xate harvest. The historical market scenario re laxes this restriction. Demand is se t at one-fifth of the estimated five-year harvest, which is based on an estimate of the population of palms at a commercially viable age (Salgado C 2002; personal communi cation). Price remains unchanged from the current market scenario. The historical market scenario is, for all intents and purposes, a livelihood artifact that w ould likely be untenable in the present market and regulatory context. Nevertheless, this scenario provides a point of reference for future comparison of the benefits/costs of interventions base d upon product and proc ess standards.

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91 S3. The quality market scenario: In the previous two scenarios, the price paid per roll of fronds accounted for a percentage of waste associat ed with the customary harvesting practices. In this scenario, the higher price per roll reflects the premium presently being offered for delivery of a consistent weekly supply of quality (i.e., no waste) xate (E verett and Blankenship, personal communication). The total number of harvestabl e fronds calculated from the estimate of commercial-age plants is reduced by 20 percent, to account for the decrease in waste. An important assumption is that harvesters, through selective harvesting practices, will do the quality sorting. The harvest rate remains at one roll per day base d on the related assumption that harvesters will require as much time to collect 600 quality fronds as to collect 750 fronds containing 20 percent waste. The net effect is an increase to the demand, or maximum allowable harvest, of one roll per harvester per year. S4. The certified market scenario: Xate harvest in naturally o ccurring (versus cultivated) populations is regulated by Mexi can law NOM-006 (Appendix B), whic h requires that at least 20 percent of the mature plant population be left untouched to ensure repr oductive success and longterm population health1. The effect of this sustainability mandate over the short term is a reduction by 20 percent to the number of harvestabl e plants. In contrast to the quality market scenario, where quality restrictions were offset by increased harvest efficiency, the sustainability restriction results in a propor tional net decrease in total demand (or maximum allowable harvest). Price remains unchanged from the quality market scenario. The certification scenario likely most nearly approximates what might be a realistic standards-driven xate market in Soledad and the broader region. It is the only scen ario that provides a price incentive and/or 1 Neither this scenario nor the broader study aims to validate the ecological sustainability of the standards imposed by NOM-006.

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92 ensures market access, that addresses the buyers concern for a consistent offering of quality product, and that incorporates the states legal mandate for su stainable resource management. Household composition Household com position represents a facet of co mmunity diversity and is recognized as an important factor in the formation of household livelihood strategies (Cab rera et al. 2005). Two observations support the consideration of house hold composition in this analysis of palm commercialization and/or certification. First, market (or other) interventions may have differential effects on households in the communit y. In the ELP model, as in reality, household composition dictates resource av ailability (e.g., labor) as well as resource requirements (e.g., consumption). Thus, household composition can di rectly influence livelihood strategies through basic decisions, such as the amount of land to place under cultivation and whether to pursue nonfarm cash generating opportunities. As commercial xate harvest is a labor-consuming livelihood activity, participation is subject to the households overall resource availability and requirements. Second, consideration of household compos ition enhances our understanding of the broader (community-level ) feasibility of market interventions. Use of household types based upon composition allows for differential responses to be weighted by the actual number of households comprising each type, and then to be scaled up to the community level. Too often, estimates are made for an average household and then simply multiplied by the total number of households to get the community-level effect. Consideration of household composition generates a better estimate of the commun ity-level effects of market inte rventions a crucial figure in contexts where economy of scale plays a deciding factor. Four household stages are used in the ELP m odel (Table 6.5). Each modeled household is a construct developed using actual composition data from 25 Soledad households. The four household stages are: no children (HH I), young children (HH II), mixed-age children (HH III),

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93 and older children (HH IV). For each stage, the household composition used in the model is the average number of individuals, for each gender, of the following age groups: seniors, adults, adolescents, and youth. Averages are calculated from only the house holds classified within each particular stage. The baseline is a nuclear household; it contains parents and mixed-age children (HH III in Table 5-5). Fifteen (60 percent) of the 25 harvester households in Soledad are so classified. This seven person household is also consistent with the average Soledad household as measured by a community-wide diagnostic study (MIE 2004). Results of the ELP Model Livelihood (Economic) Results I hypothesized that certification positively af fects household livelihoods. In the ELP model, all p alm marketing scenarios including quality/sustainability certification produced livelihood benefits under either household objecti ve (Figure 5-3). Set to maximize year-end discretionary cash, that value more than doubled for all household compositions (Figure 5-3a). Set to minimize migration, the number of peri ods spent working outside of the community decreased for each of the three households for wh ich migration is necessary in the absence of palm harvest; for one of the three households (HH II), the option to harvest palm rendered migration unnecessary (Figure 5-3b). Household composition also affected live lihood outcomes. Year-end cash values were greatest for households with ol der (working) children (HH IV), followed by households without children (HH I), for which expenses were rela tively minimal. Under the minimize migration objective, households needed not migrate (HH I) or, through xate commercialization or certification, were able to eliminate (HH II) or nearly eliminate (HH IV) the migrations. The household with mixed-age children (HH III) inci dentally the most common continued to migrate at levels relatively close to their pre-commercia lization values.

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94 All household livelihoods were affected by the addition of quality standards and pricing (S3) as well as sustainability standards (S4). When the objective was to maximize year-end cash, that value was affected by the combined effects of increased price paid per roll (from S2 to S3) then by the sustainability limitations imposed on harvest (from S3 to S4). The relatively small differences in year-end household cash between the commercialization scen arios (II, III, and IV) were inconsequential compared to the overall increase in year-end household cash that occurred when households went from not commercializing fronds (SI) to a ny form of commercialization. When the objective was to minimize migration the marginal effects of quality and sustainability standards were even less pronounce d. For all three of the household compositions for which migration was necessary, the number of migration periods remained unchanged after the initial livelihood response to palm commercialization. I hypothesized that certification will benefit, or at least not disadvantage, the poorest households In the ELP, the poorest households were cons idered to be those for which the yearend cash value was the lowest or for which migr ation requirements were the highest. Under both objectives, however, xate commercialization and ce rtification benefited th ose households. In the case of year-end cash, certification benefits to the poorest two household t ypes were greater than to the two less poor (Table 6.6). In the case of migration, the re lative benefits did not clearly correspond with household status, yet certification conferred be nefits on all three of the households that pursued a migration strate gy when xate harvest was not an option. Market results I hypothesized that certification is viable with respect to supply and demand. Together, the two household objectives generated a probab l e range of palm harvest for each household type. Scaled to the community level, the results provided a reas onable picture of the communitys production capacity, or supply potential. Of particular intere st was the range of

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95 production under the certification sc enario (S4). This scenario mo st closely approximated the conditions of any future harvest, given the obser ved social, economic, and legal climate. At the low end of that range (estimated under the migr ation minimization strategy) Soledad households were likely to supply the market with about 432 rolls of palms in a year. At the high end (estimated by maximizing year-end cash) So ledad would supply the full 910 roll annual allowable harvest dictated by the management pla n. I conclude from these results that, given the opportunity, Soledad households could and li kely would commercialize between 47 and 100 percent of their allowa ble annual harvest. Sensitivity Analysis Sensitiv ity analysis was used to establish the effects of three factors on the model results: household expenditure, xate price, and palm population estimate. In any context, the elaboration of a livelihood system model necessitates approximation and assumption about livelihoods and livelihood activities. In th e ELP model, the estimate of incidental household cash expenditures was the least informed, due principally to time c onstraints and the univers al challenges inherent to collecting reliable household income and e xpense data. Because households can forego cash expenditures in difficult times, through reduced consumption and other procurement methods such as informal exchange, I chose to set househ old cash expenses at a low value: $US 9.2 ($MX 100) per week for the baseline household ( HH III), adjusted for others by household composition. It was unlikely that actual household e xpenditures were at a level below this value. Increasing household cash expendi tures in the model by 25 percen t affected the livelihoods only by reducing year-end cash by the equivalent, an nualized increase in expenditure, when households had the objective to maximize year-e nd cash. The sensitivity analysis was conducted under the quality/sustainability market scenario (S4). Xate harvest and income were unaffected by the change. In contrast, the increase in e xpenses under the objective to minimize migration

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96 led to an increase in xate harvest for all hous eholds. Soledads annual xate supply increased by 49 percent: from 432 rolls to 643 rolls (Table 5-7). Xate price is an important consideration both within the harvest communities and among those interested in market interventions. Prices in the ELP model reflected the historical and current amount paid for unsorted fronds (S1 a nd S2) and the price offered in the negotiation between the Soledad and a large xate buyer (S3 an d S4). Given that the low end of the Soledad supply range fell short of the annua l allowable harvest, it was reasona ble to consider the potential effects of a higher price. A price change, equiva lent to the increase in price from the unsorted harvest to quality harvest (S2 to S3), result ed in a price per roll of $US 12.7 ($MX 138). The sensitivity analysis was also run for the certified market scenario (S4). At the higher price, xate harvest remained unchanged and the household year-end cash increased by the cumulative amount of the marginal increase, when households had the objective to maximize year-end cash. Harvest levels under this objective were already at the maximum allowable level. However, the price increase led to a decreas e in xate harvest for all hous ehold types under the minimize migration objective. Soledads annual xate supply decreased by 16 percent: from 432 rolls to 362 rolls. Finally, estimates of Soledads total palm population affected the maximum possible, or allowable, harvests in the four, xate market scenarios. A 20 percent increase in the estimated total palm population resulted in an increase to the upper end of So ledads total supply: from 910 rolls to 1100 rolls, or from 18 percent to 21 pe rcent of the buyers expressed demand. The upper end of the supply range was determined by th e maximize year-end cash objective. Although unrealistic to expect population estimates to change substantially, such an effect might be achieved through enrichment planting. The total xate harvest under the maximize year-end cash

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97 objective would be affected similarly by reductions to the 20 percent waste estimate used in the quality market scenario (S3), or by reductions to the certificati on requirement (S4; NOM-006) to forego harvest on 20 percent of palms. Discussion Is certification of xate feasible with regard to extract or livelihoods and m arket fluidity? The results of the ELP model were contradi ctory. On one hand, Sole dad livelihoods improved with the opportunity to commercialize certified xate, characteri zed herein as quality fronds harvested at sustainable rates (per the standards legislated by NOM-006). Livelihoods improved regardless of the household objective. This ac ross-the-board improvement, under an imposed sustainable harvest regimen, supported the use of xate certification. On the other hand, Soledad households supplied merely 8 to 18 percent of the buyer-expressed demand of 100 rolls per week, or around 5200 rolls per year. In practice, it is difficult to e nvision a buyer who would respond positively to such a low order fulfillm ent rate. This result portended that xate certification, as well as the le ss-constrained commercialization, represent infeasible marketbased interventions in Soledad, given the pres ent state of the palm resource and prevailing market conditions. Yet despite the seeming contra diction between these two outcomes, together they reinforced important lessons learned from other efforts to integrate conservation and development objectives through commercial NTFP enterprises. Results of the ELP model echoe d the well-documented importan ce of market fluidity, or supply and demand parity, in certification e fforts (Panayotou and Ashton 1992; Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Overdevest 2004). In Soledad, the estimated total palm population was inadequate to meet the demand expressed by the buyer, creating a disparity immediately recognizable as an obstacle to market interventions. In a different community, however, xate population estimates mi ght translate to potential supply levels that are much closer

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98 to expressed demand. A higher popu lation-driven estimate of suppl y might reinforce, or even encourage a different conclusion ab out the feasibility of market intervention. Results of the ELP model in Soledad demonstrated that decisions about market interventi ons must not be based solely on estimated population values. In Soledad, the buyers expressed demand and willingness to pay for higher quality palm fronds highlighted the fact that supply and dema nd parity must be scrutinized not only for quantity, but also quality, as the latter affects the former. Estimates from the Chinantla region suggested 20 percent waste (Tolen, personal comm unication), yet waste estimates from the forest concessions of El Petn, Guatemala were as high as 76 percent (Radachowsky and Ramos 2004). Moreover, the quality issue extends beyond the natu ral state of the resour ce, reflecting also the capacity of local harvesters and intermediaries to efficiently harvest, transport, and process fronds. Poor quality resulting from natural or proce dural deficiencies equally affects feasibility. The range of Soledads potential xate s upply, established through the use of the two household objectives, revealed perhaps the most important contribution of the Soledad ELP model to the conversation about NTFP certifica tion. Specifically, there is a need for supply estimates to be recognized as a function not onl y of the natural resource, but also of livelihood objectives and household circumstances, which are related to household composition. The range generated from the two objectives alluded to the unreliability of single estimates that fail to consider the households motivation and ability to harvest and deliver the resource to the market. The Soledad model clearly demonstrated that household considerations like quality, could influence the gulf between estimated and actual supply. Results of the sensitivity analysis demonstr ated that certain values in the ELP model influenced the low end of Soledads supply ra nge. To clarify, the low end of the range

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99 represented the supply generated when househol ds sought to minimize migration. Of the many values in the model, xate price was of particular interest. Under the minimize migration objective, price was negatively correlated with xate supply. Thus, a price premium generated by certification would have resulted in all households harvesting fe wer fronds and a smaller total supply at the low end of the range. Given the objective to maximize discretionary year-end cash, households harvesting behavior remained unchanged, as the allowable xate harvest constrained the activity. As a consequence, the ch allenge of closing the gap between the high and low end of the supply range was unlikely to be overcome through the use of price premiums. Depending on the household objective, price pr emiums might have benefited households minimizing migration by allowing them to harves t less and still meet household needs, which might have undermined the feasib ility of commercial activity. Sensitivity analysis also demonstrated the positive correla tion between the upper end of the community-level supply range and the estimate of the palm population, a figure that was unlikely to appreciably change over the short-term. Ultima tely, the short-term feas ibility of any market intervention depends, in large part on buyer flexibility with regard to the upper limits of the supply range. Over an extended time horizon, ho wever, palm populations may be subject to the influence of intensification. In some contexts, intensification (e.g., enhancement planting) might be appropriate and important stra tegy for increasing bene fits of a market-related intervention or, in the case of Soledad, increasing its potential viability (Michon and de Foresta 1998). However, intensification might also displa ce existing understory vegetation a nd, therefore, dire ctly conflict with biodiversity conservation ob jectives (Browder 1992). Decisions about NTFP intensification might ultimately be dictated by a communitys broader forest conservation or management strategy, provided that one exists.

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100 Like any modeling technique, the ELP model wa s an abstraction of an actual livelihood system. Model outputs (i.e., household livelihood strategies) were infl uenced by the use of approximations, averages, and assumptions. For example, resource requirements and yields for agricultural and NTFP production we re collected from three repr esentative households. While the data from these households were the best available, it was necessary in some cases to supplement them with information published in community diagnostic studies. And while the model was calibrated using the th ree representative households, m odel output likely deviated from actual household livelihood strategies. One important assumption in the ELP model wa s the requirement for equitable distribution of the palm demand among the 25 Soledad househol ds. This arrangement contrasted with an unmanaged supply strategy, one where no controls were imposed on household harvest levels. Two considerations supported the equitable distribution assumption. First, the social structure of the ejido and the related process of organi zing a group of households around palm harvest together implied a high degree of collaboration and equity among its members. While it was not certain that ejido leaders would evenly al locate demand among interested households (e.g., through the use of harvest quotas), the ejido d ecision-making process provided a precedent for such behavior. A second consideration rela ted to model mechanics and hypotheses. The allocation of harvest quantity among the 25 households was not important, given the greater need to interpret the feasibility of Soledads total xa te supply in the context of the prospective buyers expressed demand. The disparity between the high end of the supply range and the expressed demand suggested the more pressing issue facing Soledad might be the ability to coordinate harvest efforts and timing with nearby ejidos.

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101 Additionally, xate harvest in the ELP was distributed thr oughout the year, which reflected the buyers preference for a stable weekly supply to buffer existi ng supply variability. Structured as a year-round activity, Soledad was unable to meet the weekly minimum supply requirement. However, other arrangements might produce di fferent results. A seasonal harvest, one corresponding with the Easter demand peak, might se rve to concentrate harvest and thus increase weekly fulfillment. Using the estimated range of annual supply generated by the ELP model (432 910 rolls), Soledad could potentially supply the buyer with 100 rolls/week for a period of four to nine weeks. The feasibility of this approach would depend on the availability of household resources, namely labor, during th is period. Nevertheless, the opti on suggests an opportunity to be explored by the community and the buyer. Conclusions The ELP m odel and scenarios suggested that certificati on might produce beneficial livelihood outcomes, but the model revealed a li mitation common to all of the interventions. Three necessary conditions for th e feasibility of certi fication were hypothesize d: two related to extractor livelihoods and another related to mark et fluidity. Only the two livelihood hypotheses were supported. Two distinct model (household) objectives were used: 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. Although livelihood and xate supply outcomes differed between the two household objectives, all else being equal, their interpretation with respect to the tested hypotheses did not. First, certification of xate improved Soledad livelihoods. Second, certification of xate improved livelihoo ds for each of four household compositions used as a proxy for relative financial wellbeing. Third, livelihood improvements persisted, although they were diminished, as commercialization was constrai ned, first by quality standards and then by the incorporation of Mexicos NOM -006 population sustainability standards. These outcomes supported the notion that resource sust ainability and economic development are not

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102 mutually exclusive. Taken togeth er, these three findings provided support for the feasibility of xate certification. By contrast, the model revealed an unfavorab le discrepancy between Soledads xate supply (under either household objective) and the buyers expressed demand. This shortcoming represented a significant obstacle to the feasibility of xate certif ication in the community. In the model, Soledad households supplied only 8 to 18 percent of the expressed demand. This range reflected differences in household participa tion in harvesting that corresponded with the household objectives respectively, 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. A better understanding of house hold objectives, the relaxing of constraints, and adjustments to the models assumptions might narrow the ra nge of supply generated under the two household objectives. An important topi c for future research should be a better understanding of actual household objectives. For example, what conditions produce the figurative inflection point between households acting to minimize migration and maximize yearend discretionary cash? Leaving as ide discussion of the differen ce in (or range of) supply that resulted from the two model (household) objectiv es, the low levels of fulfillment portended that, irrespective of the observed live lihood and conservation benefits, xate certification in Soledad represented an infeasible strategy. Practical considerations shaped certain aspects of this st udy. One was the structuring of commercial xate harvest as a year-round livelihood activity. Othe r arrangements, such as a seasonal harvest, might represent feasible altern atives and should be explored further. Another aspect was the focus on a single community. Before interpreting the above re sults, therefore, it must be noted that Soledad de Juarez does not ex ist in isolation. Rather, it is one of several communities situated within a valley well endowed with Chamaedorea palms. The near

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103 proximity of other communities with the palm resource justifies a renewed, but tempered optimism for the feasibility of xa te certification in the region. Inter-community cooperation has the potential to enhance the feasib ility of the strategy, at least fr om the perspective of supply and demand parity. Cooperation might also enlarge the footprint of any positive conservation and development effects related to ce rtification. I conclude that So ledads xate commercialization (and certification) objectives would be best served by engaging nearby communities in a cooperative effort to augment regional supply, thereby decreasing the observed gap between supply and demand. In Soledad de Juarez, the broader Chinantla region, and beyond, the question of whether xate certification repres ents a feasible intervention rapidly leads to th e fundamental issue of supply and demand parity. In other words, c onversations about labeling and other market interventions should address rudimentary concerns for market fluidity as well as the typical discussions about sustainable rates of harvest and price premiums. Ulti mately, in the case of Soledad and the Chinantla region, the most challe nging question may be whether adequate social cohesion exists to allow communities to work in cooperation to positively influence the regions economy of scale. The ELP modeling process and th e model developed here could be useful in facilitating this conversation and in broader investigations of the production capacities of households and communities in the region.

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104 Milpa, Temp / Comun Milpa, Temp / Baja Milpa, Tonamil / Baja Maize, Transfer Frijoles, Temp / Comun Frijoles, Temp / Baja Frijoles, Tonamil / Baja Frijoles, Sell T Frijoles, Transfer Yuca Yuca, Sell Yuca, Transfer Chile /5 Chile, Sell T1 Chile, Sell T2 Jicama Jicama, Sell Palm Harvest, R1 Palm Harvest, R2 Palm Harvest, R3 Palm Harvest, T1 Palm Harvest, T2 Palm Harvest, T3 Collect Fuelwood /8 Collect Fuelwood, R2 Collect Fuelwood, R3 Collect Fuelwood, T1 Collect Fuelwood, T2 Collect Fuelwood, T3 Off-Farm Labor, R1 Off-Farm Labor, R2 Off-Farm Labor, R3 Off-Farm Labor, T1 Off-Farm Labor, T2 Off-Farm Labor, T3 Migration, Rainy /17 Migration, Tonamil /17 Buy Rice, R1 Buy Rice, R2 Buy Rice, R3 Buy Rice, T1 Buy Rice, T2 Buy Rice, T3 "Oportunidades" "Oportunidades" Ad.May. Tranfer $, R1 > R2 Tranfer $, R2 > R3 Tranfer $, R3 > T1 Tranfer $, T1 > T2 Tranfer $, T2 > T3 Tranfer $, T3 > YE Reproductive Act. RHS SOLUTIONSConce p t Unit hahahak g hahahak g k g hacostalk g hak g k g k g k g j or. j or. j or. j or. j or. j or. j o r j o r j o r j o r j o r j o r j or. j or. j or. j or. j or. j or.k g k g k g k g k g k g p esos p esos p esos p esos p esos p esos Conce p to 0.000.000.0000.000.000.00####00.03011.40.2796.14900.0007.62113.387.62113.38060.7 0000111111 2.962.960000001####123727123374480778418503100 ResourceTierra Ba j a, Tem p orad a ha 1111 0.30 0.30Tierra Ba j a, Tem p ResourceTierra Ba j a, Tonami l ha 1111 0.30 0.30Tierra Ba j a, Tona m ResourceTierra Comu n ha 11 0.40 0.00Tierra Comu n ResourceTierra Monte ha 0.00 0.00Tierra Monte ResourceLabor, R1 /1 j or. 676766661115137 256.4 197.0Labor, R1 /1 ResourceLabor, R2 /1 j or. 1616989893241117855 389.2 383.9Labor, R2 /1 ResourceLabor, R3 /1 j or. 2424484889161112519 122.8 120.2Labor, R3 /1 ResourceLabor, T1 /1 j or. 64663899161114137 206.4 195.3Labor, T1 /1 ResourceLabor, T2 /1 j or. 239819121117354 365.7 282.6Labor, T2 /1 ResourceLabor, T3 /1 j or. 1548321112318 113.6 90.3Labor, T3 /1 Resource Labor F, R1 /1b j or. 37 102.6 36.6 Labor F, R1 /1b Resource Labor F, R2 /1b j or. 55 155.7 55.2 Labor F, R2 /1b Resource Labor F, R3 /1b j or. 19 49.1 18.6 Labor F, R3 /1b Resource Labor F, T1 /1b j or. 37 82.6 36.6 Labor F, T1 /1b Resource Labor F, T2 /1b j or. 54 146.3 54.0 Labor F, T2 /1b Resource Labor F, T3 /1b j or. 18 45.4 18.0 Labor F, T3 /1b Resource Labor A, R1 /1c j or. 1 256.4 7.6 Labor A, R1 /1c Resource Labor A, R2 /1c j or. 1 389.2 11.0 Labor A, R2 /1c Resource Labor A, R3 /1c j or. 1 122.8 3.4 Labor A, R3 /1c Resource Labor A, T1 /1c j or. 1 206.4 7.6 Labor A, T1 /1c Resource Labor A, T2 /1c j or. 1 365.7 11.0 Labor A, T2 /1c Resource Labor A, T3 /1c j or. 1 113.6 3.4 Labor A, T3 /1c Resource Labor M A+J, R1 /1d j or. 151 153.8 152.7 Labor M A+J, R Resource Labor M A+J, R2 /1d j or. 178 233.5 231.4 Labor M A+J, R Resource Labor M A+J, R3 /1d j or. 125 73.7 73.7 Labor M A+J, R Resource Labor M A+J, T1 /1d j or. 141 123.8 123.0 Labor M A+J, T Resource Labor M A+J, T2 /1d j or. 173 219.4 217.2 Labor M A+J, T Resource Labor M A+J, T3 /1d j or. 123 68.1 68.1 Labor M A+J, T Accountin g Maize Acct. k g ( 1175 ) ( 1175 ) ( 1100 ) 1 0.0 ( 0.0 ) Maize Acct. Accountin g Maize Consum p tio n k g 191916 ( 1 ) ( 204 ) ( 204 ) ( 1008.7 ) ( 1208.4 ) Maize Consum p ti o Accountin g Fri j oles Acct. k g ( 900 ) ( 900 ) ( 900 ) 11 0.0 ( 0.00 ) Fri j oles Acct. Accountin g Fri j oles Consum p tio n k g 424242 ( 1 ) ( 22 ) ( 22 ) ( 109.0 ) ( 130.6 ) Fri j oles Consum pt Accountin g Yuca Acct. k g ( 450 ) 501 0.0 0.00Yuca Acct. Accountin g Yuca Consum p tionk g ( 1 ) ( 11.4 ) ( 11.4 ) Yuca Consum p tio n Accountin g Chile Acct, T1. k g ( 350 ) 1 0.0 ( 0.0 ) Chile Acct, T1. Accountin g Chile Acct, T2 k g ( 1783 ) 1 0.0 ( 0.0 ) Chile Acct, T2 Accountin g Jicama Accountin g k g ( 200 ) 1 0.0 0.00Jicama Accountin g Accountin g Fuelwood Acc t tercio ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 182.0 ) ( 182.0 ) Fuelwood Acc t ConstraintRe p roductive Activ. y /n ( 1 ) ( 1.0 ) ( 1.0 ) Re p roductive Act. Constraint"O p ortunidades" ( 1 ) = ( 1.0 ) ( 1.0 ) "O p ortunidades" Constraint"O p ortunidades"-AdMa y ( 1 ) = 0.0 ( 0.0 ) "O p ortunidades"A ConstraintPalm Harvest, R1 /12b j o r 1 7.62 7.62Palm Harvest, R1 ConstraintPalm Harvest, R2 j o r 1 11.00 11.00Palm Harvest, R2 ConstraintPalm Harvest, R3 j o r 1 3.38 3.38Palm Harvest, R3 ConstraintPalm Harvest, T1 j o r 1 7.62 7.62Palm Harvest, T1 ConstraintPalm Harvest, T2 j o r 1 11.00 11.00Palm Harvest, T2 ConstraintPalm Harvest, T3 j o r 1 3.38 3.38Palm Harvest, T3 ConstraintOff-Farm, R1 /12 a j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, R1 ConstraintOff-Farm, R2 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, R2 ConstraintOff-Farm, R3 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, R3 ConstraintOff-Farm, T1 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, T1 ConstraintOff-Farm, T2 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, T2 ConstraintOff-Farm, T3 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, T3 ConstraintRice, R1 k g ( 4 ) ( 4 ) ( 1 ) ( 14.3 ) ( 21.4 ) Rice, R1 ConstraintRice, R2 k g ( 5 ) ( 5 ) ( 1 ) ( 21.4 ) ( 32.1 ) Rice, R2 ConstraintRice, R3 k g ( 2 ) ( 2 ) ( 1 ) ( 7.1 ) ( 10.7 ) Rice, R3 ConstraintRice, T1 k g ( 4 ) ( 4 ) ( 1 ) ( 14.3 ) ( 21.4 ) Rice, T1 ConstraintRice, T2 k g ( 5 ) ( 5 ) ( 1 ) ( 21.4 ) ( 32.1 ) Rice, T2 ConstraintRice, T3 k g ( 2 ) ( 2 ) ( 1 ) ( 7.1 ) ( 10.7 ) Rice, T3 CashCash, R1 p esos 358358 ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 180 ) 18 ( 490 ) ( 540 ) 1 ( 765.0 ) ( 765.0 ) Cash, R1 CashCash, R2 p esos 313313118340 ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 270 ) 18 ( 735 ) ( 810 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 1105.0 ) ( 1105.0 ) Cash, R2 CashCash, R3 p esos 00 ( 150 ) 0 ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 90 ) 18 ( 245 ) ( 270 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 340.0 ) ( 340.0 ) Cash, R3 CashCash, T1 p esos 358421033 ( 5 ) ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 180 ) 18 ( 490 ) ( 540 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 765.0 ) ( 765.0 ) Cash, T1 CashCash, T2 p esos 29804420 ( 5 ) ( 10 ) ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 270 ) 18 ( 735 ) ( 810 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 1105.0 ) ( 1105.0 ) Cash, T2 CashCash, T3 pesos 00(116)(100)(90)18(245) (270)(1)1 (340.0) (340.0)Cash, T3 Cash Year End Cash pesos 1 0.08,503Year End Cas h Figure 5-1. Captured image of the ethnographic linear program struct ure in Microsoft Excel

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105 R1 R2 R3 T1 T2 T3 Figure 5-2. Asymmetric periods in Soledads dry (T) and rainy (R) seasons, created to allocate labor in the ELP model.

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106 A. B. Figure 5-3. ELP model output by scenario. A) household year-end cash under the maximize year-end ca sh objective. B) sum of household migration periods under the minimize migration objective.

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107 A. B. Figure 5-4. Annual household harvest days by sc enario. A) under the maximize year-end cas h objective. B) under the minimize migration objective.

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108 Table 5-1. Calendar of seasonal production ac tivities in Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca. J 1 J 2 F 1 F 2 M 1 M 2 A 1 A 2 M 1 M 2 J 1 J 2 J 1 J 2 A 1 A 2 S 1 S 2 O 1 O 2 N 1 N 2 D 1 D 2 Ra i n y Solar (garden) Milpa, rainy Milpa, dry Beans, rainy Beans, dry Chile Yuca Jicama Xate harvest P e a k School Table 5-2. Resource requirements and yields fo r principal agricultural crops used in the Ethnographic Linear Program. Labor Cash Cost Yield (Days) ($US) (Kg/ha) Maize, rainy 107 62 1175 Maize, dry 102 60 1100 Beans 212 0 900 Chili peppers 281 612 2133 Yuca 89 0 450 Jicama 68 0 200 Table 5-3. General matrix for ELP model out put framed by household types and market scenarios. Household Types Xate Market Scenarios HH I HH II HH III HH IV ALL HH S1, current market A1 B1 C1 D1 E1 S2, historical market A2 B2 C2 D2 E2 S3, quality market A3 B3 C3 D3 E3 S4, quality/sustainability market A4 B4 C4 D4 E4 Table 5-4. Operational elements of xate market scenarios. Xate Market Scenario Concept Unit S1 S2 S3 S4 Price ($US/roll*) 8.90 8.90 10.65 10.65 Demand (Rolls/household/year) 0 45 46 36 *1 roll = 600 fronds

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109 Table 5-5. Household composition scenarios for Solead de Juarez, Oaxaca HH I HH II HH III HH IV Individual N = 3 N = 3 N = 15 N = 4 Senior, male 0 0 0 0 Senior, female 0 0 0 0 Adult, male 1 1 1 1 Adult, female 1 1 1 1 Adolescent, male 0 0 1 2 Adolescent, female 0 0 2 1 Youth, male 0 2 1 0 Youth, female 0 1 1 0 Table 5-6. Livelihood benefits unde r the quality/sustain ability market scen ario (S4), and in comparison to the current market scenario (S1), by household composition. HH I HH II HH III HH IV Year-end cash, S4 6624 5190 4652 7626 Percent change from S1 148% 444% 520% 123% Migration, S4 0.0 0.0 2.7 0.3 Percent change from S1 0% 100% -31% 86% Table 5-7. Sensitivity to selected factors of Sole dads potential range of xate supply (in rolls*) under the certified mark et scenario (S4). ELP Model Objective Function Minimize Migration Maximize Year-End Cash Basic model, S4 432 910 Household expenses + 25% 643 910 Palm price + 20% 362 910 Palm population +20% 432 1100 *1 roll = 600 fronds

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110 CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Beginning in the late 1980s, comm ercializati on of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) was promoted as a strategy for integration of forest conservation and economic development objectives. For a variety of reasons, however, straightforward comme rcialization produced inconsistent results. NTFP cer tification emerged in the late 1990s as a second-generation commercialization strategy. Support for NTFP cer tification has waxed and waned and, despite early enthusiasm, certification re mains in its infancy. Neverthele ss, proponents hope certification represents a strategic intervention capable of integrating conservation and development objectives. This study accepted the possibili ty of successful integration of forest conservation and economic development and addressed the particul ar conviction that certification of xate ( Chamaedorea spp.) represents a feasible intervention toward that end. The study utilized a Zero-In approach (Pittaluga et al. 2004), effectively an invers ion of Vaydas (1983) method of progressive contextualization. It began with an examination of the integrated global palm procurement system, and then narrowed to an examination of harvester-household livelihood systems, within which xate extraction represents a single livelihood activity. Through this approach, this study reinforced many existing observations relate d to NTFP commercialization and certification, but also gene rated important new insights a nd considerations for future research. A literature review traced development of NTFP commercialization, and ultimately certification, as an intervention oriented towa rd the ideal of integrated conservation and development. The origins of NT FP certification lie in the rene wal of extractivism through the seringuero (rubber tapper) social movement in Amazonia. Neo-extractivism underwent a rapid

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111 metamorphosis into a more broadly app lied conservation and development strategy operationalized through NTFP commer cialization. Initially championed as a veritable panacea for the reconciliation of conservation and deve lopment objectives, commercial extraction of NTFPs met with numerous obstacles. The literature highlighted four genera l challenges to NTFP commercialization. Ecological concerns related to the potential for negative cons equences of commercialization with respect to NTFP populations, broader biotic comm unities, and greater ecosystems. Economic concerns related to potential failures of commercialization strategies stemming from such factors as supply and demand characteristics, calcula ted value versus net benefits, a nd economies of scale, to name a few. Socio-political concerns focused on the contextual elements of NTFP harvester groups and regions such as resource tenure and rights, effects on ge nder roles, and on the broader contribution of NTFPs to rural livelihoods. Fi nally, there were conc erns relating to the incompatibility of NTFP management with existing system s of forest management and potential obstacles to the changes necessary for comm ercialization to succeed. In practice, these challenges are interconnected. Most, if not all, of the cha llenges that emerged from th e early experiences of NTFP commercialization applied to NT FP certification. The need to establish clear standards addressing social and/or ecological sustainability represented an additional challenge unique to the latter. Early certification effo rts indicated that the approach might represent a viable strategy for only a limited subset of charismatic NTFPs (Guillen et al. 2002). Nevertheless, several reported and observed factors suggested that cer tification might be a feasible intervention for Chamaedorea palm fronds, or xate.

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112 First, certification represen ted an undeveloped niche mark eting opportunity through which existing palm extractors might insulate themselv es from trends experienced in conventional markets. An early market study (CEC 2002) conc luded that the market for conventional xate fronds was stable, or perhaps in early stages of contraction (i.e., d ecreasing demand) The perceived state of the market, coupled with nascent donor-driven economic development efforts directed toward palm cultivation in Guatemala and Mexico, suggested that extractors supplying the conventional market were due to see dimi nishing prices resulting from increasing supply. Second, extractors were feared to become the disproportionate bearers of the high costs of low prices: cultivated fronds are of a higher qua lity and uniformity and have lower production costs per unit than extracted fronds. Lower costs stemmed from greater economies of scale for cultivated systems, lower levels of waste, a nd lower transport costs. These comparative and competitive disadvantages to extractors were alr eady the reality for many frustrated communities unable to find buyers (or reasonable prices) for thei r consistent, but relatively small offerings of high quality xate. Any strategy perceived to confer advantage to the extractive systems, whether through market access or premiums, was worthy of consideration. The alternative was feared to be nothing short of the departure of commer cial xate extraction from the forest. Finally, certification was viewed as the only practical strate gy to capture the value of ecologically sustainable and/or socially res ponsible processes, and thereby mitigate the deleterious emphasis on high volumes and low margins typical of commodity markets and slowing the transition from extr action to cultivation. In xate extraction regions, which depend on natural populations, reduced palm abundance and quality were two symptoms of over-harvesting that had negatively affected the perceived valu e of extractive procurement systems. Harvesting pressure came from two directions: suppliers acting to ensure that demand could be fulfilled and

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113 extractors striving to maintain or improve th eir livelihoods. Stakeholde rs worried that the extractive procurement system was approaching the critical threshold where extraction is eclipsed by cultivation outside of the forest. History suggested that, without intervention, cultivation under modified fo rest or artificial shade c ould soon be the norm. These considerations, and the convict ion among practitioners that palm certification represented an appropriate intervention, highlighted the need for an integrated analys is of the feasibility of palm certification in extraction communities. This study departed from the literature through an analysis of the global xate system. The current integrated value chain and market were examined as a means to evaluate the feasibility of xate certification. I hypothesized that feasib ility (at any scale) depe nds on the attributes of certified supply and demand relative to the supp ly and demand for the conventional product in the global system. Specifically, the analysis focused on two objectives: 1) identifying the components of the integrated xate value chain and, 2) describing the dimensions of the integrated xate market. Prior to this study, negligible effo rt had been made to contextualize localized interventions into an integrate d, systems framework that consid ered the numerous and diverse xate procurement systems and markets. Information about the integrated value chain and market was collected through conversations with its component actors and other influential individuals using a modified rapid appraisal method ( sondeo ). The interviews, along with a ggregate national trade data and published research, were used to descri be and characterize the xate market. The analysis revealed a xate value chain that is extensive, trans cending numerous regions across national boundaries. U.S. importers prin cipally sourced palms from Mexico and Guatemala, the former supplying the vastly greate r share. Within Mexico, there were numerous

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114 supply regions located in several states. As w ith many NTFP chains, there was an evident and growing trend toward system intensification, via cultivation. The xate value chain was composed of a small group of influential actors, notably at the levels of national consolidators and U.S. importers. It was best characterized as oli gopsonistic, or comprised of a small group of influential actors. Historically, buyers maintained arms-length relations with extractors, the latter selling opportunistically to itinerant intermediaries who worked independently, or for established intermediate enterprises located in regional or national centers. Fo r this reason, actors in the xate value chain were vulnerable to many of the economic challenges identified in the NTFP commercialization and certification literature, namely the inability of suppliers to affect market relationships and terms of trade. The analysis further revealed an integrated xate market comprised of a large, mature conventional market and a significantly smalle r, yet dynamic certified market. Conventional fronds were an important component in the flor al industry throughout the year, while certified fronds were purchased primarily by church cong regations during the Easter season. The very existence of a growing market for certified xate heartened promoters and extractor communities alike throughout the region of extraction. The sales volume of certified xate, however, was several orders of magnitude lower than the volume of conventionally produced fronds. The largest U.S. importer stated that this discrepa ncy, and specifically the low overall quantity of certified xate, made virtually infeasible the necessary segregation of certified xate from conventional product in the supply chain. The salient challenges to palm certificati on that emerged from this analysis were economic. Suppliers considering cert ification stood to face substantial barriers to entry that stem from the maturity of the conven tional xate market and an oligopsonistic value chain comprised

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115 of a few dominant actors and regions. Barriers were likely to be more formidable for new harvesters (and harvesting regions) interested in entering the market to capitalize on the small, but growing certified market. They stood to b ecome even more imposing should established extractors of conventional xate determine that a shift to certification makes sense. A 2005 directsale arrangement between two FSC-certified community forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) and a major U.S. import er, coupled with the current push for xate certification by international acto rs such as Rainforest Alliance (in Guatemala and Mexico) and ProNatura (in Mexico), suggested that the shift to certificat ion scenario merits serious consideration. Moreover, seasonality of the certified market implied that suppliers would need to adjust their year-round activities in or der to accrue benefits only during the Easter season, when churches paid a premium for certified fronds. In most regions, xate was extracted throughout the year. Willingness to pursue certification for the seasonal, or any other, market would depend heavily, although perhaps not exclusively on twin factors: price premium and/or market access, mirror images with respect to economic benefit (Sedjo and Swallow 1999). It was noteworthy that the 2005 MBR agreement explicitly incl uded a quality standard, allowing the forest concessions to accrue the benefits of certification throughout the y ear, rather than merely during the Easter season. Additionally, the agreement formalized what had previously been an informal and indirect transacti on with the U.S. buyer. From the buyers perspective, there were significant transa ction costs to forging new relationships with suppliers. The procurement system relied on communities that were best characterized by under-developed tr ansportation infrastructure and socio-political systems unfamiliar to buyers. Restructuring the terms of trad e with existing partners appeared to be more

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116 attractive to buyers than forging new relations hips. Indeed, the 2005 MBR agreement with an established supplier stipulated a higher price for higher quality xate the higher price paid by the buyer ostensibly was offset by comparable reductions in non-marketable fronds. Finally, economy of scale repr esented a significant obstacle for actors throughout the value chain. The current demand for certified palms made segregation of eco-pal ms from conventional palms in the supply chain infeasible over the lo ng term. This observation echoed Overdevests (2004) assertion that strategies for certification of high-standard products and processes are often limited by the difficulty of constructing viable mark ets. For palms, the viability of a certified market appeared to be most constrained by na scent consumer demand. Nevertheless, this dark cloud over the horizon of xate certif ication had a silver lining. In the 2005 MBR agreement, quality requirement s represented what might be described best as a keystone standard that bridged th e gap between the short-term obstacle described above and the long-term success that might be possible with a more established, and sizable demand for certified xate. The atypical combina tion of a product standa rd (quality) and the process standards stipulated by FSC facilitated an intermediate step in the development of a market for certified xate. Specifically, certified xate was made available as needed to the certified market due to the hybrid product/proces s standards mandated in the MBR agreement. When viewed in light of the maturity of the conventional market the MBR arrangement highlighted an opportunity for an establishe d buyer to foster and perhaps even shape development of a small, yet growing niche mark et. The short-term costs of subsidizing this market may ultimately be offset by the long-term be nefits of rejuvenating commercial interest in what has been described as a pa ss commodity. Finally, as state institutions increasingly focus on sustainability guidelines for harves ting forest products, a trend observed both in Guatemala and

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117 Mexico, the extent to which certification faci litates state authorization for any form of commercial xate extraction might increase the willingness of both suppliers and buyers to embrace certification standards. Ultimately, the inclusion of quality standards in xate certification will likely increase th is likelihood that the intervention will represent a feasible step on the path toward integration of conserva tion and development obj ectives in extractor communities. An ethnographic linear program (ELP) model of the Soledad de Juarez livelihood system was developed to test two hypotheses related to extractor livelihoods and another related to market fluidity. The ELP model was constructe d from a foundational schematic livelihood model that was elaborated usin g a rapid appraisal, or sondeo in Chapter 4. Results were based on four xate marketing/management scenarios: current, historical, quality, and certified. The current scenario was characterized by the absence of a market. The remaining commercialization scenarios produced beneficial livelihood and conservation outcomes, but the model revealed a limitation common to all of the interventions. Three necessary conditions fo r the feasibility of certifi cation were hypothesized: two related to extractor livelihoods and another related to mark et fluidity. Only the two livelihood hypotheses were supported. Two distinct model (hous ehold) objectives were used: 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretio nary cash. Although livelih ood and resource use outcomes differed between the two household objectiv es, all else being equal, their interpretation with respect to the tested hypothe ses did not. First, commercializa tion of certified xate improved Soledad livelihoods. Second, commercialization of cer tified xate improved livelihoods for each of four household compositions, used as a pr oxy for relative financial well-being. Finally, livelihood improvements persisted, although they were diminished, as commercialization was

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118 constrained: first by the inclusion of quality standards, and then by the incorporation of Mexicos NOM-006 population sustainability standards. These outcomes supported the notion that resource sustainability and economic development are not mutually exclusive. Taken together, these findings provided support for xate certific ation as an intervention oriented toward integrating conservation a nd development objectives. By contrast, the model revealed an unfavorab le discrepancy between Soledads xate supply (under either household objective) and the level of demand expressed by an interested buyer. This shortcoming represented a substantial obstacle to the feasibility of xate certification in the community. In the model, Soledad households su pplied only 8 to 18 perc ent of the expressed demand. This range reflected differences in household participation in harvesting that corresponded with the househol d objectives respectively, 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. Leaving aside discussion of the differe nce in (or range of) supply that resulted from the two model (househ old) objectives, the low levels of fulfillment portended that xate certification re presented an infeasible strategy in Soledad, irrespective of the observed livelihood and conservatio n benefits described above. Practical considerations shaped certain aspects of this st udy. One was the structuring of commercial xate harvest as a year-round livelihood activity. Othe r arrangements, such as a seasonal harvest, might represent feasible alternativ es to be explored further. Another aspect was the focus on a single extraction community. Before interpreting the above re sults, therefore, it must be noted that Soledad de Juarez did not ex ist in isolation. Rather, it was one of several communities situated within a valley well endowed with Chamaedorea palms. The close proximity of other communities justifies a renewed, yet tempered optimism for the feasibility of xate certification in the region. Inter-community cooperation has the potential to enhance the

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119 feasibility of the strategy, at least from the perspective of su pply and demand parity. Cooperation could also enlarge the footprint of any positive conservation and development effects that might stem from certification. Consider ed in light of the positive re sults above, I concluded that Soledads palm commercialization (and certifica tion) objectives would be best served by engaging nearby communities in a cooperative effort to augment regional supply, thereby decreasing the observed gap between supply and demand. Reflection on the analyses of the global value chain and community livelihood systems generated three important summary conclusions pe rtaining to the certificat ion of xate. First, I conclude that the maturity of the conventional xate market offers limited potential for the development of new palm suppliers, or supply communities. Just as Homma concluded that increased cultivation would displace extraction (Homma 1992), in the mature xate market context, one characterized by stable demand, the development of new extraction communities will almost certainly displace existing communities that might be at a competitive disadvantage. In promoting commercial palm extraction in new communities, promoters are implicitly expressing preferences for those communities, ecosystems, cultures, etc., that should benefit from commercial extraction. If the ultimate goal is integration of conservation and development, it is uncertain whether the communities with co mpetitive advantage today represent those best suited to that end. The results from Soledad de Juarez clearly demonstrated that small producers face large challenges with respect to achieving econom y of scale. A second reasonable conclusion, therefore, is that conversati ons about labeling and other mark et interventions should address rudimentary concerns for market fluidity as we ll as the typical discus sions about sustainable rates of harvest and price premiums. Certainly the latter considerati ons are of critical importance,

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120 but without supply and demand parit y, questions related to how to ha rvest (rather than whether to harvest) are rendered moot. This co nclusion leads to the recommendation that the pressing concern for smaller producers (and external pa rtners) considering certification must be development of cooperative production networks, seasonal concentration of commercialization, or some combination of the two strategies. The existence of a nascent niche market for certified xate suggests supports consideration of the inte rvention in such contexts. Ultimately, however, only those communities able to work collectively or seasonally to achieve necessary economies of scale in the short-term will have the opportunity in the mediumto long-term of addressing and refining the ecological and social cons iderations inherent to certification. The experience of community forest concessi ons in Guatemalas Maya Biosphere Reserve led to a third conclusion, that e ffort to certify xate using proc ess-oriented standards (i.e., ecological sustainability or social justice) might benefit from the inclusion of quality (or product) standards. The call for a quality emphasis echoe s, but differs from, the quality conversation accompanying the development of the market for fa ir trade certified coff ee. With coffee, the combination of low product quality and low dema nd resulted, unfortunately, in the sale of 70 percent of fairly-trade d beans in the conventi onal coffee market (Bacon 2005). In contrast, the goal in the case of xate should be to get certified product into the conventional market: quality attributes are needed to sustain demand for certif ied xate because the market for certified fronds is seasonal. I recommend that certifiers consider incorporating quality as a keystone standard. Quality standards will benefit actors in the critical market development phase, during which demand for certified product is insufficient to ju stify the necessary, but costly, segregation of certified and conventional product in the value ch ain. Ultimately, quality standards will help to

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121 ensure that buyers equate certi fied xate with quality xate, a nd thus value certif ication throughout the year, during which the majority of time no retail demand exists for certified fronds. Important limitations to this study relate to its scope and analytical approach, and suggest themes for future research. First, the market for xate is truly global and exhibits dynamics that this study was unable to portray though the use of U.S. import data. The difficulty of accessing reliable data, coupled with time and re source limitations, precluded a more thorough consideration of emerging xate markets, part icularly those in East ern Europe. Anecdotal evidence suggested that this region repr esents a growth market segment for conventionally produced xate. Substantial increases in overall ma rket demand could potentially offset any negative price pressure that this study anticipated as a result of increased xate cultivation or the development of new extraction-oriented suppliers Similarly, a small, but growing market for organic flowers almost non-existent when this study began might represent an important and growing market segment for certified xate. The requirement of a single household obj ective function in linear programming represented a second limitation in the livelihood system component of the study. It is unlikely that household behavior can be accurately char acterized by a single operational objective, such as maximize year-end discretionary cash or m inimize migration. More over, the challenge of ascertaining a primary household objective wa s compounded by the need to juxtapose the request for highly subjective information (the household objective) w ithin a conversation focused on obtaining relatively obj ective livelihood data. More plainly stated: intra-household power dynamics (e.g., gender, age) could not be controlled for in an open household conversation about livelihood activities. The decisi on to use two objectives to create a range of possible harvest outcomes represented an attempt to mitigate the negative effect of the above

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122 limitations. This approach was practical, but ce rtainly imperfect. It was fortunate that, in Soledad, the palm population rendered unimportant the implication of household objective for the feasibility of certification. In other commun ities, however, the difference could prove to be critical. Therefore, a better understanding of ha rvester household objectives should be a priority in future research. Finally, national and global circumstances from 2007 2008 bring to the fore the importance of viewing xate certif ication within an even broader context. In Mexico, drug related gang violence along the gulf coast ha s disrupted the regional and, to a lesser extent, the national and international economy (BBC 2008). The gulf coas t transit ways are the principal trade route for xate, which is trucked from Guatemala City, Guatemala, through Veracruz, Mexico, and then to San Antonio, Texas. Disruptions to this trade route could have important implications for sourcing and routing decisions made by buyers, ther eby affecting the selec tion of suppliers and the cost-benefit calculations for both conventional and ce rtified product. Superimposed over this regional issue of instability is the global issue of energy costs. Rising fuel prices could dramati cally alter the viability of exte nsive xate procurement and thus the overall viability of the conventional xate ma rket. A future characterized by dramatically higher energy costs could have many outcomes, but may favor intensive cultivation in regions close to major trade routes. Alternatively, such conditions could favor a shift in the floral industry to other cut-greens amenable to produc tion within the region of sale. Whatever the future may hold, it is clear that practitioners acting locally, without consideration of broader contexts, undermine the feasibility of interven tions oriented toward forest conservation and economic development.

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123 APPENDIX A FSC CHAMAEDOREA ADDE NDUM MBR Forest Concession & Chamaedorea Certification4 Forest Stewardship Councils Principles and CriteriaPrinciple 1: Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles Forest management shall respect all applicable laws of the count ry in which they occur, and in ternational treaties and agreemen ts to which the country is a signatory, and comply with all FSC Principles and Criteria. All Chamaedorea exploitation operations should demonstrate agreement wi th the policy and practices of FSCs Principles and Criteria for Forest Management. The extraction and processing of Chamaedorea may invoke laws and regulations that are not normally covered by the typical SmartWood eval uation, for example the extraction of xate [ Chamaedorea] requires legal permission and licensure. In some cases existing conventions may exist or international treaties may apply, as clearly is the c ase with species in danger of extinction under the CITES treaty or other laws for national tenure and usufruct rights. The evaluato rs have to consult with relevant government agencies and other actors to verify if an operation is addressing in a responsible manner the legal requirements for the extraction, processing, and sale of Chamaedorea. Criteria: 1.1 Forest management shall resp ect all national and local laws an d administrative requirements. 1.1.1. Interviews with public servants, othe r involved or interested actors, and field observations, indicate that the FMO is m eeting the national and/or local environmental, labor, forestry, protected area, and other applicable laws such as: Protected areas law; Protected area policy; Non-timber products policy and xate norms; Conservation strategy of the MBR; Decree of the creation of the MBR; Norms for the granting of forest concessions; Norms and regulations of MAGA through OIRISA; CITES norms; International Convention on Biodiversity; Monitoring systems of the forest concessions; Xate exportation tariffs; Municipal codes; Work codes. 1.1.1.a. The Forest Management Operation (FMO) meets all the na tional and local laws for environment, labor, forestry, and protected areas, among others, in the extraction, processing, and commercialization of Chamaedorea. 1.1.1.b. The FMO meets the integrated management of resources granted under the concession in agreement with the clauses stipulated under the contract. 1.1.2. Any violation of the law by the part of the FMO is to be immediately addressed by the proper authorities. 1.2 All applicable and legally prescribed fees, r oyalties, taxes and other charges shall be paid. 1.2.1. The FMO will be up to date on the payment of taxes, forest rights, and freight, among others. 4 FSC Principles & Criteria in BLACK MBR additions in ITALICS Chamaedorea addendum in BOLD

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124 1.2.1.a. The FMO or Chamaedorea intermediaries will remain up to date on the payment of debts, license s, guides, taxes, and other fiscal requirements. 1.3 In signatory countries, the provisions of all binding interna tional agreements such as CITES, ILO Conventions, ITTA, and Convention on Biological Diversity, shall be respected. 1.3.1. The FMO will meet o demonstrate intent to meet applicab le international conventions, in accord with the scale of operation, 1.4 Conflicts between laws, regulations and the FSC Principles and Criteria shall be evaluated for the purposes of certificatio n, on a caseby-case basis, by the certifiers and th e involved or affected parties. 1.4.1. 1.4.2. 1.5 Forest management areas should be protected from illegal harvesting, settlement and other unauthorized activities. 1.5.1. 1.5.2. 1.6 Forest managers shall demonstrate a long-term commitme nt to adhere to the FSC Principles and Criteria. 1.6.1. 1.6.2. 1.6.3 Principle 2: Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities Long-term tenure and use rights to the land and forest resources shall be clearly defined, documented, and legally established. Chamaedorea palms are non-timber forest products important to rural populations and urban areas of Guatemala and other countries. Forest managers must always demonstrate sensitivity to local individuals dependency on Chamaedorea, as long as the use of which does not endanger the integrity of the forest. Forest managers may take proactive steps to improve community relations through improving understanding of xate use, permitting continued access to these resources. Nevertheless, a growing market demand, higher prices, or new populations can augment resource pressure. In such cases, the management may have to restrict access to the palms to those with traditional rights or in extreme cases, temporarily prohibit access, to protect the resource. Criteria: 2.1 Clear evidence of long-term forest use rights to the land (e.g. land title, customary rights, or lease agreements) shall be demonstrated. 2.1.1. 2.1.1.a. When outsiders are involved in the extraction of Chamaedorea they should obtain endorsement from the appropriate responsible party (owner, concessionaire, or lessee). This endorsement will need to be recognized by authorities prior to the guarantee of extraction license. 2.2 Local communities with legal or customary tenure or use rights shall maintain contro l, to the extent necessary to protect t heir rights or resources, over forest operations unless they delegate c ontrol with free and informed consent to other agencies. 2.2.1.

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125 2.2.2. 2.2.2.a. Extraction and commercialization activities for Chamaedorea are planned and/or with the participation and/or consent of individuals, groups, or communities with legal rights and consent over the area of the managed resources. 2.2.3. 2.3 Appropriate mechanisms shall be employed to resolve disputes over tenure claims and use right s. The circumstances and statu s of any outstanding disputes will be explicitly considered in the cer tification evaluation. Disputes of substantial magnitude invol ving a significant number of interests will normally di squalify an operation from being certified. 2.3.1. 2.3.2. 2.3.3. Principle 3: Indigenous People's Rights The legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use and manage their lands, territories, and resources shall be re cognized and respected. Certification efforts should attempt to minimize any potentially negative impacts of the market on use and traditional manageme nt of forests and forest products. The rights of indigenous peoples and locals to use Chamaedorea for subsistence needs must be protected. The certification of Chamaedorea should increase the local economy in a cultural and socially appropriate manner. Certification efforts should be a means to avoid circumstances which create conditions of dependency that undermine cultural integrity. Criteria: 3.1 Indigenous peoples shall control forest management on their lands and territories unless they delegate control with free and informed consent to other agencies. 3.1.1. 3.1.1.a. The consuetudinarios[sic] and traditional rights of indigenous peoples that possess, manage, or utilize Chamaedorea, have been recognized in a fair manner and clearly documented in writing. 3.1.2.a. In the case of delegation of the management of Chamaedorea to a third party, voluntary agreements exist with indigenous peoples in which the control and distribution of the benefits will be made through common agreement of the involved parties. 3.1.2. 3.2 Forest management shall not threaten or diminish, either directly or indirectly, the resources or tenure rights of indigeno us peoples. 3.2.1. 3.3 Sites of special cultural, ecological, economic or religious significance to indigenous peoples shall be clearly identified in cooperation with such peoples, and recognized and protected by forest managers. 3.3.1 3.3.1.a. The extraction of Chamaedorea should respect the potential religious and cult ural significant it may have for indigenous communities. The extraction of Chamaedorea should not be undertaken in sacred sites or areas of special significance for indigenous communities.

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126 3.3.2. 3.3.3. 3.4 Indigenous peoples shall be compensated for the application of their traditional knowledge regarding the use of forest spec ies or management systems in forest operations. This compensation shall be formally agreed upon with their free and informed consent b efore forest operations commence. 3.4.1 3.4.1.a. Indigenous communities should receive fair and adequate benefits any use of their name and imagry in the marketing of Chamaedorea 3.4.2. Principle 4: Community Relations and Workers' Rights Forest management operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities. The certification of NTFPs such as Chamaedorea has as objectives the increase and st abilization of economic resources based on the long-term use of forest resources. It is not feasible that on ly the proprietors of the enterprise receive the premium of ce rtified Chamaedorea, workers and local communities also should be beneficiaries, whenever possible. The resources and benefits generated by the management should be proportionally available to the local level. The active involvement and continue participation of these groups will help to promote the sustaina ble management in the long t erm, a primary objective of the certification of Chamaedorea Criteria: 4.1 The communities within, or adjacent to, the forest manageme nt area should be given opportunities for employment, training, and other services. 4.1.1. 4.1.1.a. The residents of local communities have priority in labor contracts for the extraction of Chamaedorea 4.1.1.b. The local communities have first preference for the Chamaedorea in the managed area over third parties. 4.2 Forest management should meet or exceed all applicable laws and/or regulations covering hea lth and safety of employees and their families. 4.2.1. 4.2.1.a. The salaries and other benefits (health, life insuranc e, retirement, working conditions, lodging, food) for the worker s involved in the extraction of Chamaedorea are consistent (not less than) national legislation. 4.2.2. 4.2.2.a. The technical methods, working conditions, and facilities for the extraction of Chamaedorea are sufficiently safe and sanitary for the workers and for final consumers. 4.2.3. 4.2.3.a First responders are available for workers in the Chamaedorea extraction camps or social security in the case of accidents. 4.2.4.

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127 4.2.4.a Safety equipment is used in the field during the extraction operations for Chamaedorea such as adequate footware and other considerations. 4.3 The rights of workers to organize and voluntarily negotiate with their employers shall be gua ranteed as outlined in Convent ions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 4.3.1. 4.3.2. 4.3.3. 4.4 Management planning and operations shall incorporate the resu lts of evaluations of social impact. Consultations shall be ma intained with people and groups (both men and women) dir ectly affected by management operations. 4.4.1. 4.4.1.a The FMO formally takes account of social impacts of Chamaedorea extraction on affected communities and workers. 4.4.2 4.4.3 4.4.4 4.5 Appropriate mechanisms shall be employed for resolving grie vances and for providing fair compensation in the case of loss o r damage affecting the legal or customary rights, property, resour ces, or livelihoods of local peoples. Measures shall be taken t o avoid such loss or damage. 4.5.1. 4.5.2. 4.5.3 4.5.4 Principle 5: Benefits from the Forest Forest management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forest's multiple products and services to ensure economi c viability and a wide range of environmental and social benefits. The extraction of Chamaedorea can provide an array of social and economic bene fits at the local, regional, and international level. The intention of certification is to optimize the socio-economic potential of the species, to provide a higher and more certain economic yield for a given forest area to local communities and forest managers, without negative impacts on the local use of t he species. On par with timber extraction, the commercialization of Chamaedorea should continue rational market plans and solid financial investments to ensure long term viability, fo rest conservation, and stability of the local communities. Criteria: 5.1 Forest management should strive toward economic viability, while taking into account the full environmental, social, and op erational costs of production, and ensuring the investments necessary to maintain the ecological productivity of the forest. 5.1.1.

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128 5.1.1.a. When third parties harvest Chamaedorea, compensation to the FMO (cash, goods, services, or products) is negotiated among the FMO administrators and the commercial enterprises. Th is compensation is viewed as an incentive to the FMO to stimulate long-term forest management. 5.1.1.b Adequate equipment and methods of ex traction and transformation should be us ed to maximize the economic viability of the Chamaedorea extraction operation. 5.1.1.c. An activity plan, financial plan, and business pl an should exist and be in use for the extraction of Chamaedorea that considers all management and social costs as well as those associated with measures for mitigation. 5.1.2. 5.1.2.a. It is the responsibility of the FMO to know and docu ment the related costs to achi eve social, environmental, and operational costs provided by the management plan for Chamaedorea. These costs are to be used to make management decisions. 5.2 Forest management and marketing operations should encourage the optimal use and local processing of the forest's diversity of products. 5.2.1. 5.2.2. 5.2.2.a. The FMO promotes the use of commercially less well-known or utilized species of Chamaedorea. 5.2.3 5.2.4 5.2.4.a. The FMO promotes the processing and packaging of Chamaedorea by the participating communities. 5.3 Forest management should minimize waste associated with harv esting and on-site processing operations and avoid damage to ot her forest resources. 5.3.1. 5.3.1.a. The FMO, intermediaries, and processing centers optimi ze methods for the minimization of waste from extraction and sorting. 5.3.2. 5.4 Forest management should strive to strengthen and diversify the local economy, av oiding dependence on a single forest produ ct. 5.4.1. 5.4.2. 5.5 Forest management operations shall recognize, maintain, and, where appropriate, enhance the value of forest services and re sources such as watersheds and fisheries. 5.5.1. 5.5.2. 5.6 The rate of harvest of forest products shall not exceed levels which can be permanently sustained. 5.6.1.

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129 5.6.1.a. The intensity, frequency, and seasonality of extraction of Chamaedorea, by area and volume, is based on a combination of scientific studies, experiences, and local long-term knowledge, and is executed at a sustainable level. 5.6.2. 5.6.3. Principle 6: Environmental Impact Forest management shall conserve biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and unique and fragile ecosystems and landscapes, and, by so doing, maintain th e ecological functions and the integrity of the forest. The certified management of Chamaedorea should ensure the long-term ecological viability of populations of this product. Is management generally has less impact on the ecosystem than timb er management, but cautions should be made that the level of collection does not exceed the regeneration. Correct extraction techniques and incorporating the impacts of the elimination of Chamaedorea in the population structure shou ld ensure its long-term viability. Criteria: 6.1 Assessment of environmental impacts shall be completed -appropriate to the scale, intensity of forest management and the uniqueness of the affected resources -and adequately integrated into management systems. Asse ssments shall include landscape level considerations as well as the impacts of on-site processing f acilities. Environmental impacts shall be assessed prior to commen cement of site-disturbing operations. 6.1.1. 6.1.1.a. Environmental impact evaluations will include results of the commercial extraction of Chamaedorea 6.1.2. 6.1.2.a. Mitigation measures will be inco rporated and applied in th e extraction and pr ocessing (selection, packaging, and transport) of Chamaedorea 6.1.3. 6.2 Safeguards shall exist which protect rare, threatened and en dangered species and their habitats (e.g., nesting and feeding areas). Conservation zones and protection areas shall be established, appr opriate to the scale and intensity of forest management and t he uniqueness of the affected resources. Inappropriate hunting, fishing, trapping and collecting shall be controlled. 6.2.1. 6.2.1.a. All requirements stipulated by presiding institutions, local lists, and/or CITES will be met for the extraction of res tricted species of Chamaedorea. 6.2.2. 6.2.3. 6.2.4. 6.2.5. 6.3 Ecological functions and values shall be maintained intact, enhanced, or restored, including: a) Forest regeneration and succession. b) Genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity. c) Natural cycles that affect the productivity of the forest ecosystem. 6.3.1.

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130 6.3.1.a. The forestry and ecological justification for the prescribed management of Chamaedorea will be well documented, natural regeneration will be promoted, an d composition and structure impacts to Chamaedorea populations will be minimized. 6.3.2. 6.3.2.a. Will promote investigation of the impacts of extraction on associated species (wildlife). 6.3.2.b. The natural regeneration and succession of Chamaedorea will be maintained and/or increased, in all of the area Ander management. 6.3.3. 6.4 Representative samples of existing ecosystems within the lands cape shall be protected in their natural state and recorded o n maps, appropriate to the scale and intensity of operations and the uniqueness of the affected resources. 6.4.1. 6.4.2. 6.5 Written guidelines shall be prepared and implemented to: control erosion; minimize forest damage during harvesting, road construction, and all other mechanical di sturbances; and protect water resources. 6.5.1. 6.5.2. 6.5.3. 6.5.4. 6.5.4.a. Minimization of the impacts of extraction and transport of Chamaedorea on soil and water resources, especially on paths, access roads, and temporary camps. 6.5.4.b. Written guides shall exist to minimize the environmen tal impacts associated with th e extraction and transport of Chamaedorea. Field personnel will have knowledge of and use these guides. 6.5.5. 6.5.6 6.5.7. 6.6 Management systems shall promote the development and adoption of environmentally friendly non-chemical methods of pest management and strive to avoid the use of chemical pesticides. World Health Organization Type 1A and 1B and chlorinated hydroca rbon pesticides; pesticides that are persistent, toxic or whose deri vatives remain biologically active and accumulate in the food ch ain beyond their intended use; as well as any pesticides banned by interna tional agreement, shall be prohibited. If chemicals are used, pr oper equipment and training shall be provided to minimize health and environmental risks. 6.6.1. 6.6.1.a. To the extent possible, the use of chemicals in the forest and in the processing and transport of Chamaedorea will be avoided. 6.6.2. 6.6.3.

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131 6.6.4. 6.7 Chemicals, containers, liquid and solid non-organic wastes including fuel and oil sh all be disposed of in an environmentall y appropriate manner at off-site locations. 6.7.1. 6.8 Use of biological control agents shall be documented, min imized, monitored and strictly controlled in accordance with natio nal laws and internationally accepted scientific protocols. Use of genetically modified organisms shall be prohibited. 6.8.1. 6.8.2. 6.9 The use of exotic species shall be carefully controlled and actively monitored to avoid adverse ecological impacts. 6.9.1. 6.9.1.a. The introduction of exotic species of Chamaedorea into the natural forest is prohibited, save when justified socioeconomically and environmentally a when legislation permits. 6.9.2. 6.9.3. 6.9.3.a. Emphasis is placed on plantations and/or applied investigation of species of Chamaedorea native to the region. 6.9.4. 6.9.4.a. Where exotic species are planted, measures will be taken to minimize the environmental impacts on natural populations of Chamaedorea 6.10 Forest conversion to plantations or non-forest land uses sh all not occur, except in circumstances where conversion: a) ent ails a very limited portion of the forest management unit; and b) does not o ccur on high conservation value forest areas; and c) will enabl e clear, substantial, additional, secure, long term conser vation benefits across the forest management unit. 6.10.1. 6.10.1.a. Underbrush (sub-canopy) [Sotobosque] may not be eliminated for Chamaedorea enrichment activities, unless the enrichment is undertaken in areas of forest destined for agricul ture (according to studies of land-use management or the like). 6.10.1.b. Underbrush (sub-canopy) [Sotobosque] ma y not be eliminated for the establishment of Chamaedorea plantations in areas that for reason of other objectives or internal zoning such activity is prohibited. 6.10.2 6.10.3. 6.10.4 Principle 7: Management Plan A management plan -appropriate to the s cale and intensity of the operations -sha ll be written, implemented, and kept up to date. The long-term objectives of management, and the means of achieving them, shall be clearly stated.

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132 Management plans for Chamaedorea describing the objectives of management extraction areas, extraction norms and techniques; extraction should be used by FMOs or third parties. The levels and methods of extraction should be rationalized through the published literature, site-specific data and/or local knowledge. Intermediaries poorly trained can cause great damage to forest resources. The training of the worker is essential to the achievement of a good forest management plan and the impl ementation of correct extraction techniques in the field. Criteria: 7.1 The management plan and supporting documents shall provide: a) Management objectives. b) Description of the forest resource s to be managed, environmental limitations, land use and ownership st atus, socio-economic conditions, and a profile of adjacent land s. c) Description of silvicultural and/or other management system, ba sed on the ecology of the forest in question and information gat hered through resource inventories. d) Rationale for rate of annual harvest and species selection. e) Provisions for monitoring of fo rest growth and dynamics. f) Environmental safeguards based on environmenta l assessments. g) Plans for the identification and protection of rare, threatened and endangered species. h) Maps describing the forest resource base including protected areas, planned management ac tivities and land ownership. i) Description and justification of harvesting techniques and equipment to be used. 7.1.1. 7.1.1.a. The FMOs management plan will in corporate a specific management plan for Chamaedorea that should at least include: Management objectives; User rights for Chamaedorea and socioeconomic conditions for harvesters; Extraction areas (marked on a map); Measure, period, and quantity of palms for harvest, based on the number of extractable leaves and the establishment of best management practices and post-harvest practices; Description and justification of the quantity of Chamaedorea harvested, the technique of extraction and equipment to be used; Information resources that support the management activities for Chamaedorea (e.g. site-specific field data, local knowledge or published regional forest investigations and government regulations); Strategies to implement that ensure the natural regeneration of the species; Strategies for the management and protection of conservation areas. 7.1.2. 7.1.3. 7.1.4. 7.1.5. 7.1.6. 7.2 The management plan shall be periodically revised to incorp orate the results of monitoring or new scientific and technical information, as well as to respond to changing environmental, social and economic circumstances. 7.2.1. 7.2.2. 7.3 Forest workers shall receive adequate training and supervision to ensure proper implementation of the management plan. 7.3.3 7.3.3.a. Effective training programs on the extraction and commercialization of Chamaedorea will exist for the workers and/or participating local communities 7.3.4

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133 7.4 While respecting the confidentiality of information, forest ma nagers shall make publicly av ailable a summary of the primary elements of the management plan, in cluding those listed in Criterion 7.1. 7.4.1. 7.4.1.a. A public summary of the management plan will include aspects related to the management of Chamaedorea Principle 8: Monitoring and Assessment Monitoring shall be conducted -appropriate to the scale and in tensity of forest management -to assess the condition of the forest, yields of forest products, chain of custody, management activities and their social and environmental impacts. The internal monitoring systems are crucial for providing quality control for forest management operations, identification of social, ecological, economic, and operational challenges, and repor ting about exits or shortcomings of management interventions to resolve problems. In some management operations monitoring could be adequate, but extremely informal. Assessors could have to push for more formal monitoring systems and documentation, that which fi nally can serve to improve the quality and effectiveness of management. Criteria: 8.1 The frequency and intensity of monitoring should be determined by the scale and intensity of forest management operations a s well as the relative complexity and fragility of the affected environment. Monitoring procedures should be consistent and replicable over time to allow comparison of results and assessment of change. 8.1.1. 8.1.1.a. Extraction activities for Chamaedorea are monitored annual, including amon g other variables, silvicultural, environmental, socio-economic impacts. The results will be incorporated in the FMOs annual monitoring report. 8.1.2. 8.1.3. 8.2 Forest management should include the research and data coll ection needed to monitor, at a minimum, the following indicators : a) Yield of all forest products harvested. b) Growth rates, re generation and condition of the forest. c) Composition and observed changes in the flora and fauna. d) Environmental and social impacts of harvesting and other operations. e) Costs, productivity, and effici ency of forest management. 8.2.1. 8.2.1.a. A plan and design for peri odic monitoring and evaluation of Chamaedorea will exist. 8.2.2. 8.2.2.a. Information will exist on forest monitoring of Chamaedorea within which should in clude, among other things, abundance, number of total leaves, extractable leaves, extracted leaves, flowering, fruiting, apic al meristem, photosynthesis, regeneration, mortality, and recruitment. 8.3 Documentation shall be provided by the forest manager to enable monitoring and certifying organizations to trace each fores t product from its origin, a process known as the "chain of custody." 8.3.1. 8.3.1.a. The FMO and commercializing enterprises will ensure that volume and source data relating to the extracted Chamaedorea will be available in the forest, in transport, at processing centers, and control points.

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134 8.3.2. 8.3.2.a. Extraction licences, transportation rules, payment co nditions and other related documentation to extraction and transport must specify forest of or igin, date, and extracted species. 8.3.3. 8.3.3.a. Certified Chamaedorea will be clearly distinguishable from non-certified palms through the use of marks or seals, separate documents and records, and receipts that accompany, in all stages of processing and distribution and until the point o f sale or transport, that they are fr om the forest (until the forest door). 8.4 The results of monitoring shall be incorporated into the implementation and revision of the management plan. 8.4.1. 8.4.2. 8.5 While respecting the confidentiality of information, forest ma nagers shall make publicly av ailable a summary of the results of monitoring indicators, including those listed in Criterion 8.2. 8.5.1. Principle 9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests Management activities in high conservation valu e forests shall maintain or enhance the a ttributes which define such forests. De cisions regarding high conservation value forests shall always be considered in the context of a precautionary approach. The management of Chamaedorea can contribute to the maintenance of High Valu e Conservation Forests. The actual definitions permit forests to be considered HVCF when providing basic need s to local communities, be it subsistence or maintenance of cultural identity. In such cases, Chamaedorea could be important in the determination of a high conservation value forest is considered from a social perspective. Criteria: 9.1 Assessment to determine the presence of the attributes consis tent with High Conservation Value Forests will be completed, appropriate to scale and intensity of forest management. 9.1.1. 9.1.1.a. To determine the specific status of a HVCF, Chamaedorea should be included as an elemen t in the social analysis section, covering the importance of the forest for the local communities (by definition d, of the HVCF provided by FSC). 9.1.2. 9.2 The consultative portion of the certification process must place emphasis on the identified conservation attributes, and op tions for the maintenance thereof. 9.2.1. 9.2.2. 9.3 The management plan shall include and implement specific measures that ensure the maintenance and/or enhancement of the applicable conservation attributes consistent with the precauti onary approach. These measures shall be specifically included in the publicly available management plan summary. 9.3.1.

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135 9.3.1.a. Chamaedorea management will not diminish the defining attributes that make the forest HCVF. 9.3.2. 9.3.3. 9.4 Annual monitoring shall be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the measures employed to maintain or enhance the applic able conservation attributes. 9.4.1. 9.4.2. Principle 10: Plantations Plantations shall be planned and managed in accordance with Principles and Criteria 1 9, and Principle 10 and its Criteria. W hile plantations can provide an array of social and economic benef its, and can contribute to satisfying the world's needs for forest products, they should complement the management of, reduce pressures on, and promote the restoration and conservation of natural forests. Criteria: 10.1 The management objectives of the plantation, including natu ral forest conservation and restoration objectives, shall be ex plicitly stated in the management plan, and clearly de monstrated in the implementation of the plan. 10.2 The design and layout of plantations s hould promote the protection, restoration an d conservation of natural forests, and n ot increase pressures on natural forests. Wildlife corridors, streamside zones and a mosaic of stands of different ages and rotation period s, shall be used in the layout of the plantation, consistent with the scale of the operation. The scale and layout of plantation blocks sha ll be consistent with the patterns of forest stands found within the natural landscape. 10.3 Diversity in the composition of plantations is preferred, so as to enhance economic, ecological and social stability. Such diversity may include the size and spatial distribution of management un its within the landscape, number and genetic composition of speci es, age classes and structures. 10.4 The selection of species for planting shall be based on th eir overall suitability for the s ite and their appropriateness t o the management objectives. In order to enhance the conservation of biological diversity, native species are preferred over exotic s pecies in the establishment of plantations and the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Exotic species, which shall be used only when thei r performance is greater than that of native species, shall be caref ully monitored to detect unusual mortality, disease, or insect outbreaks and adverse ecological impacts. 10.5 A proportion of the overall forest management area, appropriate to the scale of the plantation and to be determined in reg ional standards, shall be managed so as to restor e the site to a natural forest cover. 10.6 Measures shall be taken to maintain or im prove soil structure, fertility, and biological activity. The techniques and ra te of harvesting, road and trail construction and maintenan ce, and the choice of species shall not result in long term soil degradati on or adverse impacts on water quality, quantity or substantial d eviation from stream course drainage patterns. 10.7 Measures shall be taken to prevent and minimize outbreaks of pests, diseases, fire and invasive plant introductions. Integ rated pest management shall form an essential part of the management pl an, with primary reliance on prevention and biological control meth ods rather than chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Plantation management should make every effort to move away from chemical pest icides and fertilizers, including their use in nurseries. The use of chemicals is also covered in Criteria 6.6 and 6.7. 10.8 Appropriate to the scale and diversity of the operation, monitoring of plantations shall include regular assessment of pot ential onsite and off-site ecological and social impacts, (e.g. natural regeneration, effects on water resources and soil fertility, and impacts on local welfare and social well-being), in add ition to those elements addressed in princi ples 8, 6 and 4. No species should be pl anted on a large scale until local trials and/or experience have shown that they are ecologically well-adapted to the site, are not invasi ve, and do not have significant negative ecological impacts on other ecosystems. Special attention will be paid to social issues of land acquisition for plantations, especially the protection of local rights of ownership, use or access.

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136 10.9 Plantations established in areas converted from natural fo rests after November 1994 normally shall not qualify for certifi cation. Certification may be allowed in circumstances where sufficient evidence is submitted to the certification body that the manager/owner is not responsible directly or i ndirectly of such conversion.

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137 APPENDIX B MEXICOS NTFP POLICY NOM-006-RECNAT-1997 The 1997 Official Mexican Law NO M-006-RECNAT-1997 (SEMARNAT 1997) for mally established procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport, and storage of Chamaedorea palm fronds5 (Table B-1). References: 2.1. NOM-059-ECOL-1994 specifies those species and subspecies of wild terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna that are danger of extinc tion, threatened, rare, and subject to special protecti on, and establishes specifica tions for their protection, published in the Official Diar y of the Federation, 16 May 1994. 2.2. Procedures for the importation and exporta tion of wild and aquatic flora and fauna species, their products, and sub-products, as well as for the importation of forest products, are subject to the regulations of SEMARNAP, published in the Official Diary of the Federation, 31 July 1996. Select Procedures, Criteria, and Specifications: 4.1.1. In order to exploit palm fronds, th e owner or possessor of the corresponding property must present written notificati on before the Federal Delegation of the Secretary for the corresponding federal en tity, that will be annual or for a maximum period of 5 years. 4.1.6. Exploitation of palm fronds will rema in subject to the following criteria and technical specifications: I. Harvest may only be from plants of mature stature, identified by size and vegetative characteristics a ppropriate for each species. II. In the case of Chamaedorea palm, the adequate maturity for harvest will be determined by the following characteristics: a. Dark green coloring b. No significant damage (marked, spotted, slashed or eaten fronds) c. Free of infestation or sicknesses In general, foliage of larger size and best characteristics will receive the best price 5 Authors translation

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138 III. Harvest will be distributed even ly throughout the area of exploitation without interfering with a minimum of 20 percent of existing mature plants, so that these may continue to reproduce and propagate by seed. IV. During extraction, adequate tools must be utilized such that the terminal bud is not damaged. V. For each leave cut there must remain a part of the stem, from 3 5 cm, so as not to damage the stem. VI. The harvest intensity for each plan t must be a maximum of 75 percent of the existing fronds, including in this percentage the removal of dry fronds. VII. 3 4 fronds must remain in the part nearest to th e apical leaf. 4.1.8. Species under protected status will on ly be incorporated into the previous authorization when harvest conforms to the terms of the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection and other applicable legal orders. Observance of the Law 7.1 Observance of this law is obligatory for those engaged in the harvest, transport, and storage of palm fronds from natural populations. Procedures for legal, commercial NTFP harvests Article 56 of the Regulations of the Genera l Law of Sustainable Forest Development (SEMARNAT 2005) outlines specific procedures for legal, commercial NTFP harvest. Article 56. Requests for authoriz ation for the extraction of non-timber forest products will be presented in the format dictated by the Secr etary and will include th e name and denomination or social affiliation of the interested party. When applicable, applications must include the registry information of the forest ry technician. The following items are to be included with the request: I. Original or certified copy of property title. II. Original or certified copy of the instrument that demonstrat es the right to undertake the requested extraction activities. III. In the case of ejidos or comunidades the original act of assemb ly that demonstrates the right to undertake the requested extraction activities. IV. A witnessed, written statement pertaining to the legal situation of the estate, including a description of any unresolved disput es with respect to the estate. V. A geo-referenced map indicating the locations where extraction activities will take place.

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139 VI. A simplified forest management program. Article 57 of the Regulations of the Genera l Law of Sustainable Forest Development further outlines the requirements for the simplif ied management plan required in Article 56. Article 57. Simplified management pl ans for non-timber forest products will include: I. For each species: I.1 General diagnostic of the physical characte ristics, biology, and eco logy of the estate. I.2 Analysis of previous extraction and the response of the resource to the treatments, with comparative data and actual populations. I.3 Use of the simplified forest management plan. I.4 Scientific and common names of the species as well as land area in hectares and annual extraction quantities in cubic meters, liters, or kilograms. I.5 Estimate of actual populations and rates of regeneration fo r the areas of extraction, according to the characteristics of reproduction and development of the relevant species. I.6 Definition and justification of the period of recuperation for the extraction areas. I.7 Criteria and technical speci fications of extraction. I.8 Promotion and cultivation practices to ensure the persistenc e of the resource. I.9 Measures to prevent and control fires. I.10 Description of prevention and mitigation measures for negative environmental impacts. I.11 When applicable, the name, denomination or affiliation, and registry information for the certified forestry technician respons ible for the developm ent of the simplified forest management plan. Cultivation of NTFPs does not require compliance with Mexicos forestry laws. It is important, therefore, to note that a gray area ex ists between extraction from primary forest and cultivation (Anta, personal communication). Spec ifically, harvest from intermediate systems, those difficult to classify as either forest or ag riculture, is not clearly c overed by the law and thus leaves an avenue for illicit exploitation. Finally, SEMARNAT is responsible for NTFPs while CONANP is responsible for Protected Areas. If the NTFPs are to be harvested from designate d protected areas administered

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140 by CONANP then permission must be requested from SEMARNAT. In such cases, SEMARNAT confers with CONANP to verify th at there is a manage ment plan. If CONANP authorizes the request, SEMARNAT can th en authorize harvest (Sanchez, personal communication).

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141 Table B-1. Official Mexican Regulations (NOMs) pertaining to the conservation, exploitation, and commercialization of NTFP (Garcia-Pena V 2001). Legislation Obligations Date of Publication NOM-002-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of Pine resins. 30 May 1996 NOM-003-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest soils. 05 June 1996 NOM-004-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest plant roots and rhizomes. 24 June 1996 NOM-005-RECNAT-1997 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest plant cuttings, stems, and complete plants. Exempts the exploitation of [candelilla] wax for which the NOM process is underway. 20 May 1997 NOM-006-RECNAT-1997 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of palm fronds. 28 May 1997 NOM-007-RECNAT-1997 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. 30 May 1997 NOM-008-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of tree crowns [cogollos]. 24 June 1996 NOM-009-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of latex and other vegetal exudates. 26 June 1996 NOM-010-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of mushrooms. 28 May 1996 NOM-011-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of mosses, clover, and ferns. 26 June 1996 NOM-059-ECOL-1994 Determines the species of wild flora and fauna, both terrestrial and aquatic, which are to be considered rare, endemic, threatened, in danger of extinction, and subject to special protection. 1994 NOM-060-ECOL-1994 Establishes the procedures, criteria, and specifications to mitigate the adverse effects imposed by the forest resource exploitation on soils, riparian zones, and bodies of water. 1994 NOM-061-ECOL-1994 Establishes the procedures, criteria, and specifications to mitigate the adverse effects imposed by the forest resource exploitation on wild flora and fauna. 1994 NOM-062-ECOL-1994 Establishes the procedures, criteria, and specifications to mitigate the adverse effects on biodiversity imposed by changes in forest and agricultural land uses. 1994

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142 LIST OF REFERENCES Allegretti, M. H. 1990. Extractive reserves: an alternative for reconciling developm ent and environmental conservation in Amazonia. In Alternatives to Deforestation: Steps toward Sustainable Use of the Amazon Rain Forest ed. A. B. Anderson. New York: Columbia University Press. 1994. Policies for the use of renewable natural resources: th e Amazon region and extractive activities. In Extractivism in the Brazilian Amazon: Perspectives on regional development ed. M. Clusener-Godt and I. Sachs. Paris: UNESCO. AMS. 2007. Market News Portal Agricultural Marketing Se rvice 2007 [cited 27 March 2007 2007]. Available from http://www.ams.usda.gov/. Anderson, A. B. 1990. Deforestation in Am azoni a: dynamics, causes, and alternatives. In Alternatives to Deforestation: Steps toward Sustainable Use of the Amazon Rain Forest ed. A. B. Anderson. New York: Columbia University Press. ed. 1990. Alternatives to deforestation: steps to ward sustainable use of the Amazon rain forest New York: Columbia University Press. Anderson, L. E., C. W. J. Granger, E. J. Reis, D. Weinhold, and S. Wunder, eds. 2002. The dynamics of deforestation and economic growth in the Brazilian Amazon UK: Cambridge University Press. Anderson, P. J., and F. E. Putz. 2002. Harvesting and conservation: are both possible for the palm, Iriartea deltoidea ? Forest Ecology and Management 170: 271-283. Angel, M. 2003. Soledad de Juarez, Diagnostico Comunitario. Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. Angelsen, A., and S. Wunder. 2003. Exploring the forest poverty li nk: key concepts, issues, and research implications. In Occasional Paper : CIFOR. Anta, S., R. M. Garibay V, and J. L. Pania gua. 1996. Politica forestal y conservacin de las selvas humedas en Mxico: el caso de la Chinantla Baja. In El Acceso a los Recursos Naturales y El Dearrollo Sustentable ed. H. Mackinlay and E. Boege: UAMAzcapotzalco, UNAM, INAH, y Plaza y Valdes. Arnold, J. E. M., and M. Ruiz Perez. 1998. Th e role of non-timber forest products in conservation and development. In Incomes from the Forest: Methods for the Development and Conservation of Forest Products for Local Communities ed. E. Wollenberg and A. Ingles. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR. 2001. Can non-timber forest products match tropical forest conservation and development objectives? Ecological Economics 39(3): 437-447.

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143 Bacon, C. 2005. Confronting the Coff ee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Or ganic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua? World Development 33(3): 497-511. Balick, M. J., and R. Mendelsohn. 1992. Assessing the economic value of traditional medicines from tropical rain forests. Conservation Biology 6: 128-130. Bartra, R. 1993. Agrarian structure and political power in Mexico Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. Original edition, 1974. BBC. 2008. Crime 'Damages' Mexico Economy (International Edition). BBC News 2008 [cited 04 September 2008]. Available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/am ericas/7597138.stm Belcher, B., M. Ruiz-Perez, and R. Achdiawan. 2005. Global patterns and trends in the use and management of commercial NTFPs: implicat ions for livelihoods and conservation. World Development 33(9): 1435-1452. Belcher, B., and K. Schrecke nberg. 2007. Commercialisation of non-timber forest products: a reality check. Development Policy Review 25(3): 355-377. Belcher, B. M. 1997. Commercialization of fo rest products as a tool for sustainable development: lesson from the Asian rattan sector. Dissertation, Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul. 1998. A production-to-consumption systems a pproach: lessons from the bamboo and rattan sectors in Asia. In Incomes from the Forest: Me thods for the Development and Conservation of Forest Products for Local Communities ed. E. Wollenberg and A. Ingles. Bogor: CIFOR. 2003. What isn't an NTFP? International Forestry Review 5(2):161-168. Belcher, B. M., and K. Schreckenberg. 2003. NT FP commercialization: a reality check. Paper read at World Forestry Congress, at Quebec, Canada. Bevan, B. 1938. The Chinantec; report on the centra l and southeastern Chinantec region. Mexico, D.F.: [s.n.]. Blowfield, M. 2001. Value Chains. In Issue Paper #2 London: Resource Centre. Bridgewater, S., P. Pickles, N. C. Garwood, M. Penn, R. M. Bateman, H. Porter Morgan, N. Wicks, and N. Bol. 2006. Chamaedorea (xate) in the greater Maya mountains and the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize: an ec onomic assessment of a non-timber forest product. Economic Botany 60(3): 265-283. Browder, J. O. 1989. Fragile lands of Latin America: st rategies for sust ainable development Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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144 1992. Social and economic constraints on the development of market -oriented extractive reserves in Amazon rain forests. In Non-timber products from tropical forests: evaluation of a conservation and development strategy ed. D. Nepstad and S. Schwartzman. New York: The New York Botanical Gardens. 1992. The limits of extractivism. Bioscience 42(3): 174-183. Cabrera, V. E., P. E. Hildebrand, and J. W. Jones. 2005. Modeling the effect of household composition on the welfare of limited-resource farmers in Canete, Peru. Agricultural Systems 86: 207-222. Camarena M, R. A. 2005. Proyecto de comercializ acin de palma camedor. Distrito Federal, MX: CONAFOR. CEC. 2002. In search of a sustainable palm ma rket in North America. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 2005. Churches celebrate 'eco-Palm' Sunday. TRIO 2006. Churches lend support to 'eco-palm' harvesters. TRIO Clay, J. W. 1992. Some general principles and strategies fo r developing markets in North America and Europe for non-timber forest products. In Non-timber products from tropical forests: evaluation of a conservation and development strategy, ed. D. Nepstad and S. Schwartzman. Collinson, M. 2000. A history of farming systems research UK: FAO/CABI. CONAP. 2002. Xate ( Chamaedorea spp.): Situacin del sistema de recoleccin y exportacin y recomendaciones para un plan de trabajo: FIPA/USAID. Crook, C., and R. A. Clapp. 1998. Is market orient ed forest conservati on a contradiction in terms? Environmental Conservation 25(2): 131-145. Current, D. 2005. El mercado intern acional para el Xate: condicione s actuales, perspectivas para el futuro y apoyo a la conservacin de recu rsos naturales. Washington, DC: Conservation International. Current, D., E. Lassemo, and J. C. Cervante s. 2003. The potential market, and market and certification mechanisms for palms of the genus Chamaedorea Montreal: Commission for Enivironmental Cooperation. Current, D. A., and D. S. Wilsey. 2002. The market for the Chamaedorea palms in North America and Europe: opportuni ties for sustainable manageme nt and green marketing of the resource with improved benefits for local communities. Montreal: Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

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145 Dankers, C. 2003. Environmental and social standard s, certification, and labelling for cash crops. Rome, Italy: FAO. De Teresa, A. P. 1998. Estrateg ias Productivas y Deterioro Am biental en la Chinantla: Universidad Autonomo Mexicano Iztapalapa. n.d. Poblacion y recursos en la region Ch inanteca de Oaxaca: Universidad Autonomo Mexicano Iztapalapa. DeBeer, J. H. M. M. J. 1989. The economic value of NTFPs in southeast Asia Amsterdam, Netherlands: Netherlands Committee for IUCN. Dove, M. R. 1993. A revisionist view of tropical deforestatio n and development. Environmental Conservation 20: 17-24. 1994. Marketing the rainforest: 'green' panacea or red herring? Analysis from the EastWest Center 13: 1-7. Dugelby, B. L. 2006. Getting the goods out of the woods Rodale 2006 [cited 21 July 2006]. Available from http://fadr.msu.ru/rodale/agsieve/txt/vol5/1/art4.htm l. Endress, B. A., D. L. Gorchov, and E. J. Berr y. 2006. Sustainability of a non-timber forest product: effects of alternative leaf harvest practices over 6 years on yield and demography of the palm Chamaedorea radicalis Forest Ecology and Management 234: 181-191. Endress, B. A., D. L. Gorchov, and R. B. N oble. 2004. Non-timber forest product extraction: effects of harvest and brow sing on an understory palm. Ecological Applications 14(4): 1139-1153. Endress, B. A., D. L. Gorchov, M. B. Pete rson, and E. Padron Serrano. 2004. Harvest of the palm Chamaedorea radicalis, its effects of leaf produc tion, and implications for sustainable management. Conservation Biology 18(3): 1-9. Ervin, J. B., and P. Mallet. 2002. The rise of certif ication, the current state of the playing field for NTFP certification programs a nd future prospects. In Tapping the Green Market: certification and management of non-timber forest products ed. P. Shanley, A. R. Pierce, S. A. Laird and A. Guillen. London, Sterling: VA: Earthscan. Fearnside, P. M. 1989. Extractive reserves in Brazilian Amazonia. BioScience 39(6): 387-393. 1990. Predominant land uses in Brazilian Amazonia. In Alternatives to Deforestation: Steps toward Sustainable Use of the Amazon Rain Forest ed. A. B. Anderson. New York: Columbia University Press. Fitter, R., and R. Kaplinsky. 2001. Who gains from product rents as the coffee market becomes more differentiated? A value-chain analysis. In Bulletin Paper Sussex: IDS.

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146 2002. Can an agricultural "commodity" be de-c ommodified, and if so, who is to gain? Institute for Development Studies: Sussex. Forsyth, K., D. Haley, and R. Kozak. 1999. W ill consumers pay more for certified wood products? Journal of Forestry 97(2): 18-22. Fritsch, P. 2002. Bitter brew: an oversupply of coffee beans deepens Latin America's woes. Wall Street Journal 1. Garcia-Pena V, E. 2001. Marco institucional, normativo, y politico para el manejo y comercializacin de productos forestales no maderables en Mxico. In Comercializacin de productos forestales no maderabl es: factores de exito y fracaso : UNEP-WCMC. Gereffi, G., and M. Korzeniewicz. 1994. Commodity chains and global capitalism ed. I. Wallerstein, Studies in the Political Economy of the World-System Westport: Praeger. Gregersen, H. D. S. E. D. 1989. People and trees: the role of social forestry in sustainable development Washington, D.C.: The World Bank. Grupo Mesofilo, A. C. 2003. Diagnostico Comunitario del Bloque III. Oaxaca, Mexico: Grupo Mesofilo, A.C. 2004. Taller de Capacitacion e Intercambio de Experiencias para el Establecimiento de Viveros y Plantaciones de Palma Camedor: Ejido Soledad de Juarez. Oaxaca: Grupo Mesofilo, A.C. Guillen, A., P. A. R., and R. Z. Donovan. 2002. Technical Issues. In Tapping the Green Market: Certification and Management of Non-Timber Forest Products ed. P. Shanley, A. R. Pierce, S. A. Laird and A. Guillen. London: Sterling, VA: Earthscan. Halperin, R. H. 1994. Cultural Economies Past and Present. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. Hecht, S. B. 1992. Valuing land uses in Amazoni a: colonist agriculture, cattle, and petty extraction in comparative perspective. In Conservation of Neotropi cal Forests: Working from Traditional Resource Use, ed. K. H. Redford and C. Padoch. New York: Colombia University Press. Heinzman, R., and C. Reining. 1990. Sustained rura l development: extractive forest reserves in the northern Peten of Guatemala. New Haven: Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Hildebrand, P. E. 1981. Combining disciplines in rapid appraisal: the Sondeo approach. Agricultural Administration 8: 423-432. Hildebrand, P. E., N. E. Breuer, V. E. Cabr era, and A. J. Sullivan. 2003. Modeling diverse livelihood strategies in rura l livelihood systems using et hnographic linear programming.

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152 evaluation of a conservation and development strategy ed. S. Schwartzman and D. Nepstad. New York: The New York Botanical Gardens. SEDESOL. Oportunidades 2008 [cited 01 March 2008. Available from http://www.oportunidades.gob.mx Sedjo, R. A., and S. K. Swallow. 1999. Eco-labeling and the price prem ium. In Discussion Paper 00-04. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future. Sellen, D., W. Howard, and E. Goddard. 1993. Production to consumption systems research: a review of methods and approaches. Guelph, Ontario: Department of Agricultural Economics and Business. SEMARNAT. 1997. NOM-006-RECNAT-1997. 2005. Reglamento de la Ley general de desarrollo forestal sustentable. Shanley, P., A. Pierce, and S. Laird. 2005. Be yond timber: certification of non-timber forest products. Washington, D.C.: Forest Trends. Shanley, P., A. R. Pierce, S. A. Laird, and A. Guillen. 2002. Tapping the green market certification and management of non-timber forest products People and Plants Conservation Series. London, Sterling: VA: Earthscan. Simula, M. 1996. Economics of certification. In Certification of forest products: issues and perspectives ed. V. Viana, E. Jamison, R. Donovan, C. Elliot and H. Gholz. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. Ticktin, T. 2004. The ecological implications of harvesting non-timber forest products. Journal of Applied Ecology 41(1): 11-21. Tolen A, L. 2006. Interview: Leobardo Tolen. Catemaco, Veracruz. Vantomme, P., and S. Walter. 2003. Opportunities and challenge s for non-wood forest products certification. Paper submitted to World Forestry Congress, Quebec. Vayda, A. M. 1983. Progressive contextualizati on: methods for research in human ecology. Human Ecology 11(3):265-281. Viana, V., E. Jamison, R. Donovan, C. Elliot, and H. Gholz. 1996. Certification of forest products: issues and perspectives Washington, D.C.: Island Press. Viana, V. M., A. R. Pierce, and R. Z. Donovan. 1996. Certification of Nontimber Forest Products. In Certification of Nontimber Forest Products, ed. V. M. Viana and et al. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. Walter, S. 2002. Certification of Non-Wood Forest Products an Overview. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.

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153 Wiersum, K. F. 1997. Indigenous ex ploitation and management of tr opical forest resources: an evolutionary continuum in forest-people interactions. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 63: 1-16. Wilsey, D. S., and J. Radachowsky. 2007. Keeping NTFPs in the forest: can certification provide an alternative to intensive cultivation? Ethnobotany Research and Applications 5(1): 4558. Wollenberg, E. 1998. Methods for assessing the conservation and development of forest products: what we know and what we have yet to learn. In Incomes from the Forest: Methods for the Development and Conserva tion of Forest Products for Local Communities ed. E. Wollenberg and A. I ngles. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR. Wollenberg, E. I. A. 1998. Incomes from the forest: methods for the development and conservation of forest products for local communities Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR. Zajfen, V. S. 2005. A market chain analysis of Chamaedorea palms: prospects for Fair Trade labeling, Iowa State University, Ames.

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154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH David W ilsey earned a Bachelor of Busine ss Administration from the University of Wisconsin in 1994. Several years living in and tr aveling the western United States, followed by several more working as a business analyst for Ta rget Corporation, cataly zed his return to the University of Minnesota to pursue a gr aduate degree in conservation biology. In 2001, he earned a Master of Science for research on nontimber forest products in northern Minnesota. During this period he also re ceived an internship grant from the Macarthur Foundation, an opportunity that led to his first experience abroad, in Chiapas, Mexico. A pair of consultancies for the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation complemented his graduate studies, enhanced hi s international experience, and served as an introduction to Chamaedorea palms. From 2002-2003 David served as a Peace Corp s volunteer in Ecuadors Sustainable Agriculture and Small Business Development program. In 2004, he commenced his doctoral studies in interdisciplinary ecology at the Univ ersity of Florida, re turning to the study of Chamaedorea palm fronds and focusing on the cont ribution of certification to forest conservation and economic development in the tropical forests of Mexico. Presently, David is an Assistant Extension Pr ofessor and Educator at the University of Minnesota, where his scholarship and teach ing focus on non-timber forest products and traditional natural resource management and utilization by Native American communities.







NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCT CERTIFICATION CONSIDERED:
THE CASE OF CHAMAEDOREA PALM FRONDS (XATE)





















By

DAVID SCOTT WILSEY


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2008
































2008 David Scott Wilsey


































To Heather









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Nothing is accomplished alone. I thank my parents for their early and ongoing support to

"do my thing," and for their persistent reminders to combine hard play with hard work. I am

indebted to my friend and advisor Pete Hildebrand, his wife Maria, and daughter Annie, for

opening their hearts and home to me, and eventually my family, which grew with each year of

this process. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the people of Soledad de Juarez and the numerous

other communities in Mexico and Guatemala where I have been welcomed first as a guest, then

as a researcher, and hopefully as a friend. My life is changed for the better by the many who

have supported me only by doing what came to them naturally. I am grateful and indebted to

Janett de los Santos Espinosa: first a colleague and eventually a friend. Sincere thanks also to my

advisory committee for their support, criticism, and guidance each in appropriate measure.

Above all, I thank my wife Heather for her commitment and inexhaustible support throughout

this personal and professional endeavor; and our daughters, Maren and Hanna, who joined us

midstream and who have grown much too fluent in the phrase: "Daddy is working."









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ..............................................................................................................4

L IST O F T A B L E S ......................................... ............................ 8

LIST OF FIGURES .................................. .. ..... ..... ................. .9

LIST OF A BBREV IA TION S ......... ......... .................................... ... ............... 10

A B S T R A C T ......... ....................... ............................................................ 1 1

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION .......................................................................... .. ... .... 13

S tu dy O v erv iew .................................................................................................. ........... 13
Research Questions............................... .. .... .... ..................16

2 NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS FOR CONSERVATION AND
DEVELOPMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE............................... 18

Integration of Conservation and Development Objectives.................................. ...............18
A m a z o n ia ......................................................................... 1 9
E x tractiv i sm ...................................... .................................................. 19
E xtractive R deserves ................. ........................ .... .. .... ....... .... ............... .. 20
NTFP Commercialization and Integrated Conservation and Development ...........................21
Specific R research C ontext............................................................................. ... .......... 23
N TFP C certification ........................................................... .............. .. 23
C ham aedorea C certification ..................................................................... ..................25

3 CHAMAEDOREA PALM FROND CERTIFICATION: AN INTEGRATED VALUE
CHAIN AND MARKET PERSPECTIVE ........................................................27

Introdu action ........... .....................................................................2 7
Conceptual Framework............................... ............... ............28
H hypothesis and R research Objectives............................ ................. ............................. 31
M materials and M methods ........................ .. ........................ .. .... ........ ........ 32
R results ................ ........ .................. .. .. ............................ 34
Components of the Integrated Value Chain .......................................... ....... .............34
P reduction sy stem s............ ... ........................................................ ........... ...... 34
P rodu action region s........... ..... ..................................................................... .. .. .. 35
P rin cip al actors ......... ............................................................................................ 3 7
Dimensions of the Integrated Xate M market ... ............ ..........................................39
C conventional m arkets............ ... .................................................... .. .... ........39
M market D im tensions and Trends ........................................ .............................. 40









P product H eterogeneity ......... ..................................................... .... ........... .... 4 1
Eco-palm s: an em erging m arket......................................... ......................... 41
D discussion ..................................................................................43
C onclu sions.......... ..........................................................46

4 THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM .......................................... 53

In tro d u ctio n ................... ...................5...................3..........
Research Objective .................................................. .......... ...... ............. 54
Analytical Framework ................................ ...................... ............ 54
Stu dy A rea ..........................................................................5 5
M materials and M methods ........................ .. ........................ .. .... ........ ........ 57
R e su lts ......... ...................... ................. ...................................... 5 9
O v e rv ie w .........................................................................................................................5 9
Context .............................................................. 60
Political structure and history ................................................................ .. ...60
In frastru ctu re ................................................................6 1
Social services ........................................................................................... ........62
L and C over and U se ................................................................62
T he Soledad E conom y ............................................................................... 63
Agriculture and agroforestry ................. ...............................63
F o re st re so u rc e s ................................................................................ 6 7
Reproduction and wage labor..................... ...............69
Su m m ary an d D iscu ssion ................................................................................................. 7 1

5 CERTIFICATION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ
L IV E L IH O O D SY ST E M ................................................................. ..............................77

In tro d u ctio n .......................................................................................................7 7
Research objective and hypotheses .................... ......... ..........................77
Analytical framework ................. .. ...... ..................78
S tu d y area ......... .... .............. ..................................... ............................7 9
M eth od ......... .................................... .................... 79
M o d el sp ecific atio n ................................................................................................... 7 9
Input data for the m odel .............................................................82
M o d el ou tpu t ................................................................87
Setup of the calculations............................................ 87
Household composition.................................... .........92
Results of the ELP Model ..... ........... .... .............. ........ 93
Livelihood (Economic) Results ..................... .............................. 93
M ark et resu lts ................................................................94
S en sitiv ity A n aly sis ......................................................................................................... 9 5
D isc u ssio n ........................ .................... ..................................................................................9 7
C onclu sions.......... .........................................................10 1

6 SUM M ARY AND CONCLUSIONS ................................ ........ .............................110




6









APPENDIX

A FSC CHAMAEDOREA ADDENDUM...................................................... ............... 123

B M E X IC O 'S N TFP PO L IC Y ........................................................................ ...................137

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S .................................................................................. .....................142

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK ETCH ............................................................................. ............... 154














































7









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1 Harmonized tariff codes for xate in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala...............52

3-2 Reported unit equivalencies for Chamaedorea fronds ............................................... 52

4-1 Opportunistic inventory of a Soledad home garden (solar)................. .................76

5-1 Calendar of seasonal production activities in Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca. ...................108

5-2 Resource requirements and yields for principal agricultural crops used in the
Ethnographic L near Program .................................................................................... 108

5-3 General matrix for ELP model output framed by household types and market
scenarios. .......................... ..... ......... ...........................................108

5-4 Operational elements of xate market scenarios. ......... ................................. 108

5-5 Household composition scenarios for Solead de Juarez, Oaxaca............................... 109

5-6 Livelihood benefits under the quality/sustainability market scenario (S4), and in
comparison to the current market scenario (S1), by household composition................109

5-7 Sensitivity to selected factors of Soledad's potential range of xate supply (in rolls*)
under the certified market scenario (S4) ...................................... ........................ ...... 109

B-l Official Mexican Regulations (NOMs) pertaining to the conservation, exploitation,
and commercialization of NTFP (Garcia-Pena V 2001).............................................. 141









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure pe

3-1 Bultos of C. oblongata in a storage facility in Uaxactun, Guatemala await transport
to S anta E len a .............................................................................4 8

3-2 Xate (C. oblongata) being sorted in Santa Elena, Guatemala .......................................48

3-3 Xate (C. elegans) cultivated under forest canopy in Catemaco, Veracruz (Mexico) ........49

3-4 Principal xate production regions and distribution routes ...........................................49

3-5 Annual imports of xate fronds to the United States from Guatemala and Mexico............50

3-6 General schematic model of the integrated xate value chain............... .............. 50

3-7 Total annual xate imports to the United States, 1971-2007................... .............. 51

3-8 Relative demand index for xate varieties for a major U.S. importer.................................51

3-9 Total annual xate imports to the U.S. and sales (1-yr lag) of certified palms. ..................52

4-1 Localization of Soledad de Juarez .................................. .....................................75

4-2 Schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system ..................................... ..................75

4-3 Proximity of La Soledad de Juarez to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico...............................76

5-1 Captured image of the ethnographic linear program structure in Microsoft Excel .........104

5-2 Asymmetric periods in Soledad's dry (T) and rainy (R) seasons, created to allocate
labor in the ELP m odel. ........................... ................ ................ ..... ...... 105

5-3 ELP m odel output by scenario ......................................... .... ................... ............... 106

5-4 Annual household harvest days by scenario. ......................................... ...............107











AGEXPORT:

AMS:


CFG:

CINRAM:

CONAFOR:

CONANP:

CONAP:

CRRN-P:

ELP:

ER:

FSC:

ICDP:

MBR:

MIE:

NTFP:

PROCAMPO:

SAGARPA:


SEMARNAT:

USDA:


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

Asociaci6n de Exportadores de Guatemala

Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA)

Continental Floral Greens

Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management

Comisi6n Nacional Forestal (Mexico)

Consejo Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (Mexico)

Consejo Nacional de Areas Protegidas (Guatemala)

Consejo Regional para los Recursos Naturales Papaloapan (Mexico)

Ethnographic Linear Program

Extractive Reserve

Forest Stewardship Council

Integrated Conservation and Development Program

Maya Biosphere Reserve (Guatemala)

Integrated Ecosystem Management Project (Mexico)

Non-Timber Forest Product

El Program de Apoyos Directos al Campo (Mexico)

Secretaria de Agricultura, Ganaderia, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca, y
Alimentaci6n (Mexico)

Secretaria del Manejo de los Recursos Naturales (Mexico)

United States Department of Agriculture









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCT CERTIFICATION CONSIDERED:
THE CASE OF CHAMAEDOREA PALM FRONDS (XATE)

By

David Scott Wilsey

December 2008

Chair: Peter E. Hildebrand
Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology

Certification of nontimber forest products is often promoted, but the process is seldom

undertaken. Its thin performance record contains mixed results. Optimism about the certification

of Chamaedorea palm frond (xate) extraction and trade is fueled by a production trend, from

extraction to cultivation, and the success of pilot and regional sales of fronds marketed as

sustainably harvested and fairly traded. This study examined the feasibility of xate certification

at multiple scales: first exploring the global xate value chain, and then investigating the

livelihood system of an extractor community.

The value chain analysis focused on the components of the xate procurement system and

the dimensions of the xate market. The xate chain was found to be extensive and oligopsonistic.

The market was characterized by large, mature demand for conventional fronds and substantially

smaller, but growing demand for sustainably harvested and fairly traded ("certified") fronds.

Low trade volume of the latter hindered the requisite segregation of "certified" from

conventional palms. Barriers to (market) entry, for suppliers, related to flat demand and value

chain structure. Transaction costs were expected to be high for buyers developing new

relationships with suppliers. A quality provision in a 2005 xate purchase agreement represented









what, for certification, might be a "keystone standard," one that bridges the feasibility gap

between present conditions and a future characterized by greater demand for certified fronds.

Analysis of the livelihood system used ethnographic investigation and linear programming

simulations to test the livelihood effects of four xate market/management scenarios.

Certification, as simulated, improved livelihoods for all household types. However, under all

scenarios, the community was unable to generate the minimum weekly supply required by the

buyer. This supply-demand disparity proved to be the primary obstacle to the feasibility of

certification. Results led to the conclusion that cooperative efforts with nearby communities

and/or seasonal commercialization strategies might improve feasibility. Study results pertain to

the feasibility of xate certification, and enhance our understanding of certification's potential

contribution to forest conservation and economic development objectives.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Study Overview

Tropical forests contain some of the highest levels of biodiversity and species endemism

on the planet but are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of human land use patterns (1990;

Anderson et al. 2002). Tropical forests can benefit local and non-local populations by protecting

useful and marketable resources, as well as through the provision of local and global-scale

environmental services (Myers 1983). Over the past 25 years, commercialization of non-timber

forest products (NTFPs) has been promoted as a reconciliatory strategy (DeBeer 1989; Nepstad

and Schwartzman 1992; Arnold and Ruiz Perez 1998; Neumann and Hirsch 2000); one that

addresses forest conservation and the livelihood needs of forest-based populations.

Ostensibly, commercialized NTFPs reconcile conservation and development objectives

through integration: increasing the economic value of intact forest to local inhabitants, thereby

providing an incentive for conservation (Fearnside 1989; Peters et al. 1989; Wollenberg 1998;

Angelsen and Wunder 2003). The dynamics of extraction-based NTFP economies have fomented

lively debate about the benefits of a market-based approach (Homma 1992, 1994, 1996; Browder

1992, 1992; Dove 1993, 1994; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). Nevertheless, the search

continues, unabated, for NTFPs with commercial potential and for tropical forest contexts

amenable to commercialization and conservation (Marshall et al. 2003; Belcher et al. 2005;

Marshall, Schreckenberg et al. 2006).

Xate (sha-tay) is one term used generically in reference to the commercialized fronds of a

subset of Chamaedorea palm species. Since the 1950s, U.S. and European florists have imported

xate from Mexico and Guatemala for use as decorative foliage in floral arrangements and in

Palm Sunday church services (CEC 2002). Of twenty-one commercially important Chamaedorea









species, consumers prize the foliage of several, notably C. tepejilote, C. oblongata, C. elegans,

and C. ernesti-agustii (Hodel 1992; CEC 2002). From the outset, international markets were

supplied with xate harvested from naturally occurring populations within tropical forests. Xate

harvest contributes to forest livelihoods in several regions of Mexico (CEC 2002; Jones and

Gorchov 2002; Endress, Gorchov, and Noble 2004; Santos et al. 2006; Lopez-Feldman 2005),

the Peten region of Guatemala (Nations 2006, 1992; Litow et al. 2001; CEC 2002; Reyes Rodas

and Wilshusen 2006; Dugelby 2006), and to a lesser extent in Belize (Pickles 2004; Bridgewater

et al. 2006). Xate remains an important commercial product even though the profitability for

importers peaked during the 1960s (Everett, personal communication). Extraction remains an

income source for those living in and near tropical forests. Future benefits of extraction are less

certain.

Some researchers argue that the dynamics of NTFP production systems make

commercialization an unstable strategy upon which to base forest conservation and/or

development efforts (Homma 1992, 1994, 1996; Dove 1993, 1994). They posit that the

economics of extractivism necessarily lead, over time and space, from the harvest of naturally

occurring populations toward intensified cultivation, and/or replacement with synthetic

alternatives. Xate production is beginning to evince this dynamic. One forward-looking importer

anticipated these changes as early as 1989, hedging wild supply with stock cultivated under the

existing forest cover. More recently, alternative production systems and locations have begun to

emerge. If critics of a commercialization approach to conservation and development were

correct, any integration of livelihood and conservation objectives associated with xate extraction

would likely diminish as xate production advances along the path from forest to farm.









Certification has been embraced as a strategy to counter this trend (Current et al. 2003; Pickles

2004; Zajfen 2005; CEC 2005, 2006).

Advocates of certification posit that access to niche markets and/or premiums paid for

certified palm fronds will help extractive procurement systems to remain competitive with more

intensive, frond cultivation systems. Yet, few researchers and practitioners interested in xate

commercialization and/or certification have considered certification within the broader context of

the xate procurement system in which localized interventions occur. The multiple-systems

approach used in this study is based loosely on Pittaluga and colleagues' (2004) "zero in"

approach to livelihood system profiling and Vayda's (1983) concept of progressive

contextualization. It was designed to explore the feasibility of xate certification, and to serve as

an initial step toward understanding the potential for certification to facilitate integration of

conservation and development objectives.

An approach that highlights the nature and dynamics of the broader xate procurement

system is indispensable for three reasons (Kaplinsky and Morris 2001). First, while efficiency is

necessary for penetrating markets, sustainability is necessary to remain. Xate extraction must be

understood as a single, elective component of a rural livelihood strategy situated within a larger

livelihood system (Ros-Tonen and Wiersum 2005; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004). The

feasibility of certification depends, in part, on the ongoing participation of extractors, in light of

the benefits and constraints associated with certification.

Second, livelihood strategies pursued in a particular locale must coalesce to form a viable

first link in a value chain comprised of multiple actors, spanning from the extractor to the

consumer (Belcher 1997, 1998). Moreover, inter-system competitiveness has become

increasingly relevant to localized success. Local procurement systems must be considered









alongside non-local competitors. The competitive and comparative advantages (Porter 1990;

Kaplinsky 2000) of certification need to be weighed against those of existing and competing

procurement models.

Finally, sustained market involvement requires an understanding of the dynamic factors

characterizing the global commodity system, or value chain (Kaplinsky 2000; Gereffi and

Korzeniewicz 1994). The anticipated aggregate effects of certification must be considered in

light of these factors. Current and projected producers and consumers, supply and demand, and

the dynamics of each within the context of the global value chain are material factors that affect

the feasibility of certification at any scale.

Proponents hope xate certification represents an intervention capable of integrating

conservation and development objectives in harvest communities. Through the elaboration of the

analytical framework described, this study contributes to an understanding of this broader

unknown by exploring, at multiple scales, the question of whether certification of xate represents

a feasible intervention. The remainder of this chapter outlines the specific research questions to

be addressed by this study.

Research Questions

Chapter 2 introduces integrated conservation and development and tracks the

metamorphosis of the conception of extractivism from an Amazonian social movement to a

globally recognized strategy for integrating resource conservation and economic development

objectives. The chapter also explores the emerging conviction that NTFP certification represents

an intervention suited to that task. Finally, support for certification of xate is considered in light

of the specific attributes of the xate procurement system and markets.

Chapter 3 examines the integrated value chain and market for xate in order to discover

likely outcomes of (or obstacles to) xate certification. I hypothesize that the feasibility of









certification depends, in part, upon the attributes of certified supply and demand relative to the

supply and demand for conventional product in the global market. The chapter has two specific

research objectives:

Research Objective 1. Identify the components of the integrated xate value chain:
prevailing production systems, regions, and key actors.

Research Objective 2. Describe the dimensions of the integrated xate market.

Chapter 4 develops a more complete understanding of a harvester livelihood system and

the broader socio-economic context within which households fashion their livelihood strategies.

The chapter presents the results of a rapid and participatory assessment method, or sondeo, of the

livelihood system and community context for Soledad de Juarez. Soledad is an ejido in the

Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico.

Chapter 5 builds upon the livelihood system described in Chapter 4. It contains a

description of an ethnographic linear program (ELP) model based on the Soledad livelihood

system. The ELP model uses xate market/management and household composition scenarios to

test two hypotheses related to livelihoods, and a third hypothesis addresses xate market fluidity,

or supply relative to demand. Taken together, the three hypotheses suggest that, to be a feasible

intervention, certification will:

1. Positively affect household livelihoods.
2. Benefit, or at least not disadvantage, the poorest households.
3. Be viable with respect to supply and demand.

A sixth and final chapter summarizes the study and presents conclusions and

recommendations relating to the overarching question of whether certification represents a

feasible intervention.









CHAPTER 2
NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS FOR CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT:
A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Integration of Conservation and Development Objectives

Rapid deforestation in the tropics during the 1980s (Myers 1983) proved a catalyst for a

reorientation of resource conservation and rural development philosophies. The emergent

paradigms of the subsequent years (sustainable development, community forestry, participatory

management) incorporated and built upon two themes that came to the fore during this period.

First, researchers suggested that the value of natural resources and environmental services

contained in, and provided by tropical forests, exceeded the value captured by the predominant

uses of the day (Myers 1983; Peters et al. 1989). Specifically, exploitation of specialty

hardwoods, swidden agriculture, and forest to pasture conversion ignored the potential value of

forest diversity and the anticipated long-term benefits of biodiverse, relative to depauperate or

deforested, environments. In short, tropical forests represented a valuable but underutilized

resource (or resource suite). Second, decision makers became increasingly sensitive to the

concern that rural development, conservation, forestry, and farming projects failed to consider

local interests, needs, and participation (Gregersen 1989). The exclusion-based conservation

models that were considered effective in the United States and other northern countries had

mostly failed in the tropics. It was believed that parks required a large and concentrated middle-

class to support them (Schwartzman 1989), while tropical forests were by and large inhabited by

heterogeneous communities, whose cultures and livelihoods depend on forest resources. The

segregation of resource conservation and rural livelihood considerations led to bio-centric

conservation strategies that produced perverse development incentives (Schmink and Wood

1987; Schmink and Wood 1992; Allegretti 1990; Fearnside 1990; Sawyer 1990). Nowhere were

these realities more evident than Amazonia.









Amazonia

The increasing rate and extent of deforestation in the Amazon during the 1980s contributed

to the region's emergence as a crucible for creative and innovative approaches to conservation

and development that incorporated ecology, economics, and social sciences. A number of factors

converged during this period and led to the consideration of alternative models for forest

management and use (Schmink and Wood 1984; Schmink and Wood 1987; Schmink and Wood

1992; Browder 1992, 1989; Anderson 1990, 1990; Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Redford and

Padoch 1992). First, Amazonia was essentially managed as a resource frontier. Landless people

were encouraged to colonize and exploit the natural resources of this "empty," resource-rich

forested region using land intensive production. A second, related condition that emerged from a

period of environmentally and socially disastrous development incentives was a highly

speculative land market in a context of an inflationary national economy. As is often the case,

forested land was deforested, or "improved," as a necessary means to demonstrate ownership and

delineate tenure. A third condition, resulting from the previous two, was an overall increase in

competition for land. From this context emerged a gradual recognition of alternative land use

practices considered relatively benign in comparison with logging and deforestation for

agriculture and pasture needs. Finally, the emergence of the autonomous rubber tapper movement

from the colonial avamiento system represented a social group whose socio-economic objectives

aligned with the rapidly developing interest in finding alternatives to deforestation. The

convergence of these factors led politicians and researchers, among others, to seek new

alternatives for the forest that remained standing.

Extractivism

Perhaps more than any other factor, the emergence of the autonomous rubber tapper social

movement in the Amazonia context led to the re-branding of extractivism (Allegretti 1994; Rego









1999), and associated development of a model for integrated conservation and development.

Throughout most of history, extractivism has been a term used pejoratively with regard to its

social, economic, environmental attributes (Allegretti 1994). Extractivism represented a low

technology, point-of-entry production system suitable for "under populated" regions.

Relationships were exploitative, based on a colonial patron-client model. Extractivism was

considered a predatory means of resource procurement, often resulting in the death of the

resource. The emergence of the rubber tapper movement in western Amazonia precipitated a shift

in the reputation of extractivism. For the rubber tappers, extractivism represented a socially just

and sustainable use of tropical forest resources (Allegretti 1994), the details of which were

circumscribed in their proposal for extractive reserves.

Extractive Reserves

The extractive reserve (ER) concept emerged "as a local, Amazonian response to massive

deforestation and environmentally and socially disastrous development schemes" (Schwartzman

1989). ERs are territorial spaces protected by the state that are designated for use and

conservation by a particular user group and regulated by concessionary contracts backed by

approved resource utilization plans (Fearnside 1989; Schwartzman 1989; Allegretti 1994, 1990).

"More than a proposal for the use ofNTFPs, the extractive reserve initiative suggests a means for

grassroots groups to participate in national and international development policy decisions"

(Schwartzman 1992). Moreover, ERs were justified in part by their economic value and thus

represent a market-oriented approach to conservation and development (Browder 1992). The new

vision for extractivism and the associated institutional model of the extractive reserve that

emerged from the rubber tapper movement in Amazonia represented a blueprint for the

reconciliation of conservation and livelihood development objectives based, in part, on the









commercialization of NTFPs, a model that would soon be considered outside of the region

(Heinzman and Reining 1990; Reining and Heinzman 1992; Nations 1992; Salafsky et al. 1993).

NTFP Commercialization and Integrated Conservation and Development

An important outcome of extractivism and the extractive reserve model in Amazonia was a

renewed interest in NTFPs and their potential role in the integration of livelihood and

conservation objectives (Neumann and Hirsch 2000). In the optimistic context of the early 1990s,

researchers and practitioners envisioned two, synergetic benefits to commercial NTFP extraction.

One benefit related to rural livelihood objectives: NTFP extraction had the potential to increase

incomes, as it was shown in certain cases to provide greater returns on labor than existing

employment alternatives (Schwartzman 1989; Hecht 1992; Peters et al. 1989). Moreover, the

development of new markets for forest products was seen as a way to increase rural employment

opportunities, particularly in marginalized areas where there were few other employment options.

A second benefit of NTFP extraction related to natural resource conservation: NTFP extraction

was perceived to be a benign use of forest resources relative to the prevailing practices, namely

logging, swidden agriculture, and conversion of forest to pasture (Fearnside 1990). Additionally,

opening forested areas to commercial NTFP extraction was calculated to result in a higher net

present value per area than alternative uses (Balick and Mendelsohn 1992; Panayotou and Ashton

1992). Thus, commercialization of sustainably extracted NTFPs was envisioned as a catalyst for

integration of forest conservation and livelihood development objectives (Nepstad and

Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). In the wake of initial exuberance, numerous

issues and concerns have been identified with the use of NTFP commercialization as a means to

reconcile conservation and development objectives.

A complete discussion of the myriad issues and challenges related to natural product

commercialization is beyond the scope of this section, but it is important to highlight the contours









of the discourse. Four general classes of concerns are found in the NTFP commercialization

literature (Browder 1992, 1992; Dove 1994; Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Crook and Clapp 1998;

Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Arnold and Ruiz Perez 2001; Ticktin 2004). Ecological concerns

relate to the potential for negative consequences of commercialization with respect to NTFP

populations, the broader biotic community, and the greater ecosystem. Economic concerns relate

to the potential failures of commercialization strategies stemming from such factors as supply and

demand characteristics, calculated value versus net benefits, and economies of scale, to name a

few. Socio-political concerns focus on the contextual elements of NTFP harvester groups and

regions such as resource tenure and rights, effects on gender roles, and on the broader

contribution of NTFPs to rural livelihoods. Often there can be unintended and disruptive effects

of NTFP commercialization. Finally, concerns relate to the incompatibility NTFP management

with existing forms of forest management and potential obstacles to the changes that may be

necessary for commercialization to succeed. In practice, many of these issues are interconnected.

In addition to these four classes, the "causal" factors for failure of commercialization

efforts tend to be of three types (Neumann and Hirsch 2000). First, market-related factors may

create conditions favorable to over-exploitation. Second, the institutional conditions associated

with commercial harvest may differ substantially from existing conditions and customs. Third,

the biological attributes of a given NTFP (what is harvested as well as individual and population

level response to harvest) influence the initial success and sustainability of commercial harvest.

Critics of commercialization as a means to integrate conservation and development

objectives assert that commercial resource extraction represents an unstable base due to the many

possible combinations of the considerations presented above (Browder 1992, 1992; Homma

1996, 1994, 1992; Dove 1994; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). The challenge of NTFP

commercialization efforts has been to identify conditions for successful extraction that contribute









to the conservation of forests and increase incomes for forest people (Ros-Tonen et al. 1995).

Certification, used in the broadest sense, represents a commercialization adaptation intended to

address the socio-political, ecological, and economic failings that have been empirically observed

in ongoing NTFP commercialization efforts.

Specific Research Context

NTFP Certification

Certification is a process through which transnational networks comprised of diverse actors

set and enforce standards for products and production processes (Dankers 2003; Meidinger 2003).

The certification process includes two important public roles (Meidinger 2003): defining

acceptable or appropriate behavior and establishing mechanisms to enforce product or process

standards. Certification programs are 'market-based' in that they "seek to achieve their goals by

restructuring producers' relationships to consumers through markets" (Meidinger 2003). The use

of certification as a forest policy tool is relatively new (Viana, Pierce et al. 1996; Shanley et al.

2005; Overdevest and Rickenbach 2006). NTFP certification has emerged as a prospective

solution to the myriad ecological, economic, and social challenges associated with

commercialization (Viana, Jamison et al. 1996; Shanley et al. 2002; Shanley et al. 2005), but

support has waxed and waned due, in part, to the significant challenge of creating broadly

applicable certification guidelines for an extremely diverse set of products and production

systems. Moreover, early efforts suggest that certification represents a viable strategy for only a

limited subset of"charismatic" NTFPs with high profiles and international markets (Laird and

Guillen 2002). Although certification was described nearly 15 years ago as "key" to the

integration of conservation and development through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP

certification remains in its infancy (Shanley et al. 2005).









Four categories of certification programs have been suggested as most relevant for NTFP

applications (Ervin and Mallet 2002; Walter 2002; Vantomme and Walter 2003): 1) forest

management; 2) social justice; 3) organic; and, 4) product quality. Single programs rarely address

all three of the dimensions of sustainability (society, environment, economy). Most focus on a

single dimension and perhaps incorporate some standards for others. The fact that the numerous

certification programs operate through the use of different, but often overlapping, standards

represents an additional challenge to NTFP certification, but also suggests potential synergies

(Vantomme and Walter 2003).

Numerous opportunities and challenges have been identified with NTFP certification in

general (Viana, Pierce et al. 1996; Pierce 1999; Mallet and Karmann 2001; Anderson and Putz

2002; Pierce et al. 2003). As a form of commercialization, efforts are likely to encounter most, if

not all of the ecological, economic, and social challenges described in the previous section. New

and different benefits and costs (opportunities and challenges) also emerge that relate to the

increased transparency and formality of the terms of production and/or trade. Price premiums,

improved market access, environmental sustainability, and social justice are perhaps the most

frequently cited benefits of certification (Simula 1996; Viana, Jamison et al. 1996; Shanley et al.

2002; Walter 2002). Other benefits include increased efficiency, organization, transparency,

accountability, safety, and education (Shanley et al. 2005; Overdevest and Rickenbach 2006).

Foremost among the challenges posed by certification is the paucity of biological information for

the multitude ofNTFPs as well as the numerous and significant costs to producers in an uncertain

demand environment (Simula 1996; Kiker and Putz 1997; Shanley et al. 2002). Nevertheless,

some argue that the key challenge facing rural forest communities is not whether to participate in

global processes (i.e., commercialization), but how to do so in ways that provide for sustainable









growth (Fitter and Kaplinsky 2002). The evolving concept of NTFP certification represents one

important voice in this ongoing dialogue.

Chamaedorea Certification

Support for xate certification (in the most general sense) was initially founded upon a

survey of consumers, which indicated a strong interest in a certified product (Current et al. 2003).

Interest was strongest among church-based consumers, those who use palm fronds for Palm

Sunday services once a year and who could represent an additional source of demand throughout

the year via the purchase of floral arrangements featuring certified palm fronds. Formal standards

for Chamaedorea certification do not yet exist and the feasibility of a full-scale specialty market

has only been explored via a pilot study and subsequent regional sales (CEC 2005, 2006).

Moreover, it is not prudent to assume that expressed interests will necessarily translate into actual

market demand (Kiker and Putz 1997; Forsyth et al. 1999). Nevertheless, the promising results of

these early sales were interpreted by some as evidence that xate certification represents a feasible

intervention.

Despite the many challenges associated with NTFP certification, several factors suggest

that it may be a timely intervention worthy of further consideration. First, xate certification could

represent a niche marketing opportunity through which extractors might insulate themselves from

negative price pressure associated with trends in the conventional market. An early market study

(CEC 2002) concluded that the market for conventional xate was stable, if not in the early stages

of contraction (i.e., decreasing demand). Thus, existing and emerging xate suppliers could find

themselves in the position occupied by coffee producers in the 1990s: suffering record low prices

resulting from surplus supply in the wake of donor-driven economic development projects (Fitter

and Kaplinsky ; Fritsch 2002; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2003). The perceived state of the xate

market, coupled with nascent donor-driven economic development efforts directed toward xate









cultivation in Guatemala and Mexico, suggest that extractors supplying the conventional market

were due to see diminishing prices resulting from increasing supply.

Second, extractors are feared to become the disproportionate bearers of the high costs of

low prices: cultivated palm fronds likely being of a higher quality and uniformity and having

lower production costs per unit than forest extracted fronds. Expectations of lower costs stem

from greater economies of scale of cultivated systems, lower levels of waste, and lower

transportation costs. These comparative and competitive disadvantages to extractors are already

the reality for many frustrated communities unable to find buyers (or reasonable prices) for their

consistent, but relatively small offerings of high quality xate. Any strategy perceived to confer

advantage to the extractive systems, whether through market access or premiums, is worthy of

consideration. The alternative is feared to be nothing short of the departure of commercial xate

extraction from the forest.

Finally, certification is viewed as the only practical strategy to capture the value of

ecologically sustainable and/or socially responsible processes. It may be a necessary step to

mitigate the deleterious high volume / low margin emphasis of commodity markets and to slow

the transition from extraction to cultivation. In xate extraction regions, which depend on natural

populations, reduced palm abundance and quality are two symptoms of over-harvesting that have

negatively affected the perceived value of extractive procurement systems. Harvesting pressure

comes from two directions: suppliers acting to ensure that demand could be fulfilled and

extractors striving to maintain or improve their livelihoods. Stakeholders worry that the extractive

procurement system was approaching the critical threshold (Wiersum 1997) where extraction is

eclipsed by cultivation outside of the forest. History suggests that, without intervention,

cultivation under modified forest or artificial shade could soon be the norm.









CHAPTER 3
CHAMAEDOREA PALM FROND CERTIFICATION: AN INTEGRATED VALUE CHAIN
AND MARKET PERSPECTIVE

Introduction

One important outcome of the Amazonian extractive reserve model developed in the late

1980s was renewed interest in non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and their potential role in the

integration of livelihood and conservation objectives. Supporters of commercial NTFP extraction

envisioned two synergetic benefits of NTFP commercialization: rural livelihood improvement

and tropical forest conservation (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992).

NTFP commercialization initiatives mushroomed, followed by investigation into the efficacy of

these interventions. In time, NTFP certification (Shanley et al. 2005; Shanley et al. 2002)

emerged as one response to the many pitfalls of commercialization identified by experience and

complementary research (Browder 1992; Dove 1994; Homma 1996). And although certification

was described nearly 15 years ago as "key" to the integration of conservation and development

through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its infancy (Shanley et al. 2005).

This chapter examines the components of the integrated value chain and the dimensions of the

market for Chamaedorea palm fronds as one component of a systemic analysis of the global

system that is being undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of certification as an intervention to

integrate forest conservation and economic development objectives.

Few genera of palms rival Chamaedorea in variety of foliage, size, and growth habit

(Hodel 1992). Trade of live Chamaedorea palm specimens and the cultivation of palms from seed

can be dated to the 19th century, but large-scale procurement and distribution of palms did not

begin until the mid 20th century (CEC 2002). The commercial harvest of palm fronds followed

rapidly, and since the 1950s North American and European florists have used the imported fronds

of several species from the genus as decorative foliage in floral arrangements. Churches also use









the large fronds of certain species for Palm Sunday celebrations (CEC 2002). Today,

Chamaedorea palm fronds are sourced from several states in Mexico as well as Guatemala and

Belize. Markets for the fronds, commonly referred to as xate (sha-tay), exist in North America

and throughout Europe as well as in the countries of origin.

Xate procurement has gradually been advancing along a path from forest extraction to

cultivation outside of forest regions. Integrated livelihood and conservation benefits associated

with xate extraction for those who reside in extractor communities have diminished accordingly.

While early Chamaedorea research primarily focused on palm taxonomy and biology, recent

studies have addressed emerging xate markets (CEC 2002), harvest economics and sustainability

(Endress et al. 2006; Bridgewater et al. 2006), and certification (Wilsey and Radachowsky 2007;

Pickles 2004). Certification of xate management and the extraction of fronds from natural forests

has been suggested as a counter-measure to the plantation trend (Current et al. 2003). Limited and

qualified success in the certification of other NTFP suggests that further consideration should be

given to this approach. The NTFP literature suggests a unifying, or integrated analytical approach

and two specific areas of inquiry.

Conceptual Framework

NTFP are wide-ranging and diverse products defined to some extent by what they are

'not' (Belcher 2003). The diversity of NTFP, in terms of species, products, and use, represents a

formidable obstacle to summary explanations of NTFPs' ecological, social, and economic

characteristics. And while heuristics for NTFP commercialization have emerged from several

multi-case studies (Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Shanley et al. 2002; Belcher and Schreckenberg

2007), these generalized considerations can be difficult to operationalize. What then, is the best

perspective from which to view NTFP procurement systems when the objective is an intervention

that will favorably affect economic, social, or environmental conditions?









The need for an integrated value chain perspective is one important and pragmatic lesson

to emerge from NTFP commercialization studies (Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). The value

chain concept encompasses various ideas that have evolved in diverse fields of study. Hopkins

and Wallerstein (1986, p.159) provided an early conceptualization of a global commodity chain

(GCC) as, "The network of labor and production processes whose end result is a finished

commodity." It is comprised of all parallel and interconnecting permutations of production-to-

consumption systems. Contrary to the name, however, the GCC is a network, not a linear

structure. The GCC concept is evident in Blowfield's later conceptualization of the value chain

(Blowfield 2001), which he described as the "complex web of [actors] that affect the production-

to-consumption process." In both cases, and irrespective of the intended application of the

concept, emphasis is placed on the holistic, integrated system. Indeed, in considering xate

certification it seems pragmatic to take an integrated analytical approach in two specific areas.

First, taking an integrated perspective with respect to the value chain's components, or its

numerous and varied actors, benefits consideration of potential outcomes of and obstacles to

certification. Although certification typically is presented as a decision to be evaluated by

producers and end consumers, its effects and feasibility incorporate a broader group of actors.

NTFP certification has typically emphasized production processes (e.g., social justice,

sustainability) more so than product attributes (e.g., quality; Ervin and Mallet 2002). Process-

oriented standards target producers, but also affect actors throughout the production-to-

consumption system. A straightforward and useful example is the requirement to keep certified

products physically separate from conventional product throughout the supply chain, a stipulation

that affects all actors in the system. In practice, the decision to certify made by any given

producer may not adequately consider the economies of scale necessary for other actors or

enterprises throughout the value chain to handle certified production profitably. Profitability, of









course, is a business fundament and failure to consider it in certification efforts or other

interventions may quickly precipitate market failure.

An integrated perspective on the xate market may also benefit certification efforts.

Certification strategies are 'market-based' in that they "seek to achieve their goals by

restructuring producers' relationships to consumers through markets" (Meidinger 2003: p.266).

Thus, understanding the full complexity of existing and potential markets will likely improve the

efficacy of any market-based intervention (Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). The integrated xate

market refers to potential sub-markets differentiated by region, end use, or other considerations.

In a study of the forestry sector, Overdevest (2004: p. 174) observed that strategies for certifying

"high-standard coded products" are limited by an inability to create markets for the certified

goods, specifically with regard to creating a critical mass of supply. In the market for xate, where

demand for certified product is nascent, it is conceivable that market failure could equally result

from insufficient consumer demand. Thus, both the overall size of both supply and demand, as

well as their dynamics, should be considered influential factors in the success ofNTFP

certification efforts (Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Shanley et al. 2005; Belcher and Schreckenberg

2007).

It is inadequate, and perhaps even irresponsible, to consider an intervention in a local

production system or the development of a market niche without consideration of the broader

production system or market within which either are situated. The production and market

components must be viewed and understood, using an integrated perspective, as part of a broader

commodity system. Despite considerable enthusiasm for xate certification, to date negligible

effort has been made to integrate localized certification efforts into a comprehensive framework

that links the numerous and diverse xate procurement systems and markets.









Hypothesis and Research Objectives

The overarching objective of this chapter is to evaluate xate certification using an

integrated perspective focusing on the value chain and market. This evaluation represents one

component in a broader strategy to evaluate the feasibility of certification, which is being

considered as an intervention oriented toward integration of forest conservation and economic

development. More plainly, the chapter asks what we can learn about the likely outcomes of (or

obstacles to) xate certification by focusing on the broader value chain and market. I hypothesized

that the feasibility of certification will depend upon the attributes of certified supply and demand

relative to the supply and demand for conventional product in the global system. Here, supply

refers generally to the producers and actors in the value chain, while demand refers to the palm

market. Use of the term 'attributes,' rather than 'values,' highlights the importance of

understanding not only the quantitative interpretation of supply and demand, but also the

qualitative nature of these terms, such as seasonality and trend (Belcher and Schreckenberg

2007).

A complete description of a value chain includes three important elements (Marshall,

Schreckenberg et al. 2006; Kaplinsky and Morris 2001): 1) important actors and their activities;

2) key trade routes; and, 3) main consumers. I add a fourth element to those described above: an

understanding of the attributes of supply and demand. Taken together, these four elements

coalesce into two specific research objectives of this chapter:

Research Objective 1. Identify the components of the integrated xate value chain:
prevailing production systems, regions, and key actors.

Research Objective 2. Describe the dimensions of the integrated xate market.









Materials and Methods

Identification of the components of the integrated xate value chain and establishment of the

dimensions of the xate market began with a review of the Chamaedorea literature. Xate studies

from Mexico (Endress et al. 2006; Endress, Gorchov, Peterson et al. 2004; Lopez-Feldman 2004;

Rushton et al. 2004), Guatemala (CONAP 2002; Radachowsky and Ramos 2004; Reyes Rodas

and Wilshusen 2006) and Belize (Bridgewater et al. 2006) captured much of the geographic range

of procurement. Additional studies addressed xate markets (Camarena M 2005; Current and

Wilsey 2002; Current 2005; CEC 2002; Wilsey and Radachowsky 2007); some touched on xate

certification (Pickles 2004; Zajfen 2005). Collectively, these studies provided a reasonably

comprehensive overview of xate production systems and regions as well as insight into the

dimensions and dynamics of national and international markets for palm fronds.

Additional information pertaining to the integrated xate value chain and details relating to

its influential actors and institutions were collected through use of a "modified sondeo" method,

following Ruston and colleagues (2004). A sondeo is a rapid assessment method developed to

facilitate holistic understanding of systems (Hildebrand 1981). The sondeo method was

developed under the rubric of farming systems and was, therefore, intended for use in a single

locality. Consequently, the method required some modification to accommodate the challenges

imposed by working within the expanded geographic footprint of the xate value chain. First, the

method was developed for use by an interdisciplinary team of researchers working within a

community or region. For this phase of research, which extended beyond the zone of influence of

many local and regional institutions, a one researcher with interdisciplinary training conducted

the sondeo. Second, the sondeo calls for conversations with key informants to transpire over the

course of several days to a week. For this study, conversations were necessarily dispersed over

three extended field visits, which occurred between the summer of 2005 and the summer of 2007.









Aggregate national trade data were procured through government reports organized by the

Harmonized Tariff Schedule, which is based on the international reporting system established by

the World Customs Organization (Table 3-1). Xate data were commonly aggregated with figures

for other foliage, branches, and like products. In the United States, palm frond and other foliage

import data were classified using the Foreign Agricultural Service's (FAS) Foreign Agriculture

and Trade system (FATUS). Mexico's National Institute for Geographic Statistics and

Information (INEGI, in Spanish) similarly aggregated trade data for xate with data for other live

plants and floriculture products (CEC 2002). Finally, Guatemala's aggregate data was found

within the Ventanilla Unica, managed by AGEXPORT.

The formidable challenge of characterizing the xate market using aggregated foliage data

was resolved partially by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing

Service (AMS), which provides disaggregated trade data via its online portal (AMS 2007).

Similarly, Mexico's SEMARNAT and Guatemala's National Commission for Protected Areas

(CONAP) maintain records on the authorized transport of Chamaedorea palm fronds (Reyes

Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). All data were standardized whenever possible through the

conversion of the differently reported units to fronds (Table 3-2). Time gaps (e.g., the AMS 10-

year moving window) were resolved by synthesizing data from multiple sources.

Mexican and Guatemalan reporting of production and/or transport, rather than export, data

allowed for the possibility that significant quantities of illicitly harvested and exported xate might

have escaped counting in national statistics. Thus, in characterizing the market I elected to use

United States (AMS) import statistics, rather than national or regional production and

transportation figures, to avoid the problem of underreporting resulting from illicit harvesting or

other factors. There were obvious limitations characterizing a multi-national system using U.S.









import data, but since much of the internationally distributed xate supply passes through U.S.-

based intermediaries, I determined this to be the most conservative course of action.

Results

Components of the Integrated Value Chain

Production systems

Historically, most commercialized palm fronds have been extracted from natural

populations in which regeneration is a natural process. As with many NTFPs, there is an evident

and growing trend toward system intensification via cultivation. Even at the time of this study,

however, a large proportion of the xate encountered in markets originated in relatively

unmanaged forest ecosystems (Everett, personal communication).

Extraction. Xate extractive systems varied with location but the procurement process was

fairly uniform. An individual or group enters the forest on foot in search of naturally occurring

palms. Trips to and from the forest commonly require several hours of walking. In many regions,

sustained commercial pressure on the resource has progressively increased distances from

communities to harvesting locations (Radachowsky and Ramos 2004; Lopez-Feldman 2005).

Once found, palm fronds are cut by hand to meet local and/or industry specifications using a

modified machete or a knife. Extractors bundle the fronds into gruesas, technically 144 palm

fronds but actual quantities varied according to local custom. Gruesas are subsequently assembled

into bultos, which are gruesas bound or wrapped by burlap or blankets (see Figure 3-1). The

number of gruesas in a bulto depended on the carrying capacity of the individual harvester, but a

bulto typically does not exceed ten gruesas. Carrying the bulto on their backs, extractors hike out

of the forest or to a central collection point in the forest so animals or pickup trucks can transport

the bundled xate out of the forest. Extracted xate is typically sold to an intermediary, referred to

as a coyote, who either resides in the harvester's community or who simply visits periodically to









make purchases. Traditionally, extractors were paid based on the quantity of gruesas harvested. In

recent years, there has been effort in some areas to shift to quality-driven purchasing (CEC 2006).

Selection and processing typically occur further along the value chain (Figure 3-2).

Cultivation. Unlike the relative uniformity of the extractive experience, plantations took

varied form. Perhaps the most (commercially) successful plantation system cultivated palms

under the shade of secondary forest canopy (acahual). In this system, existing understory

vegetation had been cleared and palm plants transplanted from germinated seed stock under

the requisite shade of the tree canopy (Figure 3-3). Coffee production systems represented

another, although far less common system within which palms were cultivated. Both the

traditional polyculture and rustic coffee production systems common to Mexico contain a diverse

assortment of commercial and useful species and palm fits well within these diversified systems.

Palms were also observed in cultivation under the shade of rubber tree plantations.

Production regions

The xate procurement network is extensive and transcends numerous regions across

national boundaries. U.S. importers principally source palm fronds from Mexico and Guatemala

(Figure 3-4), the former responsible for the greater share over the products' commercial history

(CEC 2002) (Figure 3-5). Import figures are deceptive, however, in their portrayal of overall

production: not all xate entered the U.S. prior to broader distribution. As a case in point, In 2005

Guatemala shipped principally to Holland (48.4%), followed closely by the United States (46.6%)

(Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). Nevertheless, Mexico remained the leading producer even

when Guatemala's production figures were doubled. Palms from Belize reach international

markets via illicit extraction by Guatemalan harvesters, who, for years, have been crossing the

contested Guatemala-Belize border to cut xate (Bridgewater et al. 2006).









Mexico. Mexico has several important xate regions. One of the most important, in terms of

volume, is the Los Tuxtlas region in Veracruz. In Veracruz, palms are primarily cultivated under

the shade of secondary forest canopy (acahual). An historically important region was the Ri6

Cajonos valley in Oaxaca's Chinantla, where extraction remains a time and resource intensive

production activity. The states of Chiapas and Tabasco are also important sources of extracted

xate (Camarena M 2005). Historically, a large majority of palm fronds originated from the

region's Selva Lacandona. Another important extraction region in Chiapas extends along the

Sierra Madre de Chiapas, a coastal range beginning in Oaxaca's Chimalapas region and running

southeast toward Guatemala. In the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the El Cielo Biosphere

Reserve is another important xate extraction region (Endress et al. 2006), notably for C. radicalis.

Finally, San Luis Potosi is known to be an important source of xate.

Guatemala. Most of Guatemala's xate is extracted from naturally occurring populations

within the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) a mosaic of protected areas in the country's

northernmost department: El Peten (Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). A 2005

commercialization agreement between the largest U.S. palm importer and two community forest

concessions Uaxactun and Carmelita represented a landmark value chain development

coincident with the creation of a "certified market." Xate management in the concessions is

governed through an addendum (see Appendix A) to FSC certification for sustainable forest

management, the latter a legal stipulation for the community concessions. Terms of the agreement

specify that xate must meet product quality standards in addition to FSC sustainable management,

or process standards. Xate can be sold to conventional markets based on frond quality, but also to

seasonal consumers interested in certified product (explained below). Moreover, vertical

integration of the concessions' procurement system means the concession assumed responsibility









for some of the value-enhancing transformations formerly handled by intermediaries and

consolidators.

Principal actors

The xate value chain is best characterized as oligopsonistic, comprised of a small group of

influential actors, notably at the levels of the national consolidator and importer. Down-chain

actors differ by region, as do their specific roles and thus the general shape of the systems

themselves. Figure 3-6 portrays a general schematic model of the integrated value chain and its

numerous actors and variations along the path to the international market.

Extractors are one type of supplier for the xate value chain. In most observed contexts,

extractors operated independently, selling their harvest to an intermediary or other consolidator.

Local contractors or a community-level association also organize harvesters. Recent emphasis on

certification of xate production systems drives a new emphasis on models within which both

communities and harvesters take more responsibility for delivering a quality or value added -

product.

Cultivators are the other type of supplier for the xate value chain. Cultivators included

both large operations, such as the 90-ha Flor de Catemaco in Veracruz, Mexico, or cooperatives

comprised of relatively smaller growers, such as Tropicales de los Tuxtlas, also in Veracruz.

Cultivation by households in extractor communities has been promoted and observed but, at the

time of the study, did not represent a substantial source of supply.

Intermediaries operate, both independently and as formal or informal employees of larger

actors, throughout the early links of the value chain. Frequently disparaged for exploiting

extractors, they often play important, under-valued roles in commercialization processes (Padoch

1992). In the xate chain, intermediaries are sometimes former extractors who developed

relationships with actors further up the value chain. One role of the intermediary is to provide









transportation for extractors who are without means to get cut fronds from the forest to the

market. In the economically marginal regions where xate is found, this role must not be

understated. Another role is the stabilization of supply through the consolidation of small

quantities of palms harvested over a broad area, or by numerous harvesters. When institutions

such as producer/extractor cooperatives are absent, it can be the intermediary who helps to ensure

that minimum feasible levels of supply are achieved in a particular region. Extractor communities

in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, for example, were left without a market when an independent

intermediary relocated to another region of Mexico.

Local consolidators, when they exist, operate under varied models. One development

professional described a case in a community in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca where one

community member stored all of the xate extracted by others throughout the week until the arrival

of the intermediary (Santos, personal communication). In Uaxactun, Guatemala, a community-

managed storage facility was built to store fronds brought in from the forest by pickup truck

before they were cargo trucked to nearby Santa Elena. In these and most other cases, local actors

consolidate extensive xate extraction so that the relatively capital-intensive modes of

transportation might achieve economies of scale during periodic visits to the community.

Consolidators and exporters operate at the regional and national levels and comprise the

most diverse general category of actors in the supply chain. This diversity is attributable to the

fact that the xate value chain may take varied form between the harvester/grower and the

importer, depending on numerous factors. At the time of this study, the largest national

consolidators in Mexico and Guatemala were believed to be Continental and Plantas Arco Iris,

respectively.

International buyers of xate are limited and the market, at this level, could justly be

described as a monopsony. In the United States, one buyer Continental Floral Greens (CFG) of









Texas is reputed to import the vast majority of xate. Smaller importers include World Foliage

Resource (WFR), Inc. and Simpson's Greens, both located in Florida. CFG and WFR (formerly

Jewel) were the original U.S. importers of Chamaedorea palm fronds.

Dimensions of the Integrated Xate Market

The analysis revealed an integrated palm market that was comprised of a large, mature

conventional market and a significantly smaller, yet dynamic certified market. Both markets were

seasonal in nature with the certified market being confined to the conventional market's peak

season.

Conventional markets

Chamaedorea palm fronds are important in the floral industry, yet they are not typically

components of a flower shop's retail assortment. Florists utilize palms and other greens in retail

floral arrangements either as decorative material, filler, or to provide structural support (Current

and Wilsey 2002). Typically, flower shop retail customers request floral arrangements based

upon one or a few predominant flowers, whereas additional flowers and filler greens are added at

the discretion of the florist. In the floral industry, therefore, the end consumer of xate is

effectively the retail florist, rather than the flower shop patron.

Certain denominations of Christian churches represent another source of demand for xate

(CEC 2002). Churches use palm fronds, which represent victory, in Palm Sunday celebrations. In

contrast to the flower shop scenario, churches purchase the actual fronds in accordance with the

congregation and the specific use in the celebration (i.e., structural decor or distribution to

parishioners). Palm Sunday palm fronds can be purchased through retail florists and wholesalers,

but are also available through businesses catering specifically to religious organizations. Church

consumption may double or treble weekly demand, relative to typical weeks during the year, but

the increase is limited to the weeks preceding Palm Sunday. The notion of environmentally









and/or socially certified palm production and distribution has the greatest traction among church

consumers (Current et al. 2003).

It is difficult to estimate the respective proportions of xate imports attributable to floral

industry and church use, although the church market has been estimated to represent from 5 to 10

percent of total annual demand (Current et al. 2003). Floral wholesalers and retailers serve as

intermediaries for both the floral and church markets, so floral industry data may overestimate

use in floral arrangements. Finally, cross-denominational use of palms is not limited to

Chamaedorea varieties, also including species of fan palm (Chamaerops humilis) and sabal palm

(Sabalpalmetto), among others.

Market Dimensions and Trends

Commercial importing of xate to the United States began around 1950. Import and sales

volumes increased in subsequent years before peaking once in the late 1970s, then again in the

late 1980s. Annual import data, synthesized from several sources (Johnson 1999; CEC 2002;

AMS 2007), offered a picture of the overall trend in xate imports to the United States since the

early 1970s (Figure 3-7).

Although annual imports were volatile throughout the period, they reached an absolute

peak of nearly 450 million fronds in the mid 1980s before beginning an erratic, downward trend.

Only in recent years had the downward trend that began in the early 1990s slowed, or perhaps

stabilized, with imports rebounding from fewer than 150 million fronds in the early part of the

current decade to about 225 million annually.

The seasonality of xate imports varies by species. It is noteworthy that C. oblongata, one of

the most popular overall sellers throughout the year (see Figure 3.8), typically receives only a 20-

30 percent bump in demand during the Easter season. The wide leaflets of this species are not

greatly appreciated by the church market. This observation alludes to two important points. First,









any discussion of xate refers to a "commercial composite" of Chamaedorea species, each

possessing different physical and commercial attributes. Second, the small seasonal increase in

imports observed in the best selling Chamaedorea species, relative to the other xate species,

serves as a reminder of the limited (or disproportionate) effect of increased demand for certified

xate on overall xate import figures.

Product Heterogeneity

Latin Greens and Commodore are the two most common trade names used in the United

States market to generically reference all commercial varieties of Chamaedorea foliage. Because

the commercial classification is comprised of numerous species, it is important to recognize that

aggregate annual and seasonal export, import, and sales figures mask differences in species-

specific values (Figure 3-8). C. oblongata (Wide), C. elegans (Jumbo), C. quetzalteca (Giant or

Chiapas), and C. ernesti-agusti (Fishtail) are the predominant species, in terms of fronds sold,

used for commercial foliage (CEC 2002; Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). Species data are

often unavailable or unreliable (Camarena M 2005). Substantial differences in the demand for

each species, coupled with the natural distributions of species throughout the region of supply,

could be important considerations when determining communities appropriate for interventions

such as certification.

Eco-palms: an emerging market

The most noteworthy emerging trend in the xate market is the recent establishment and

rapid growth of the market for "Eco-Palms" among church consumers. In 2001, the North

American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) commissioned a study of the

overall market for Chamaedorea palm fronds in North America and Europe (Current and Wilsey

2002; CEC 2002). This market study identified a potential opportunity for developing a market

for sustainably extracted fronds oriented toward church consumers. This potential market niche









was further explored in a subsequent study (Current et al. 2003) and in 2005, a pilot sale of"Eco-

Palms" was organized and administered by the Center for Integrated Agricultural and Natural

Resources Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota. In 2006, the pilot was

expanded to a regional sale centered on the Minneapolis-Saint Paul urban area. The regional

effort sold 80,000 fronds, up from 5,000 in 2005 (Lacey 2007). In 2006, participating churches

paid US$ 0.22 per frond for certified palm fronds, generating a premium of about 5 cents per

frond for harvesters. Fueled by the success of the 2006 regional effort, the sale went national in

2007 with sales of around 364,000 fronds. "Eco-Palms" are recognized for conservation and

livelihood benefits

Since 2001, the Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management
(CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota has been working with the North American
Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and other partners including Rainforest
Alliance in Guatemala and PRONATURA, an environmental NGO, in Mexico to produce
palms which are sustainably harvested and which provide greater income to harvesting
communities as a way to promote environmental conservation and improved livelihoods for
the gathering communities. Sustainably harvested palms are sold to Christian
congregations in the US for Palm Sunday providing an additional $0.05 premium payment
per [stem] following Palm Sunday in addition to the $0.01-0.02 that the communities
normally receive year-round for the palms. The premium payment has been used for
scholarships, paying teachers and providing social services to harvesters. Two communities
in Guatemala are currently in the process of qualifying for FSC certification for palm
harvest under the Rainforest Alliances' Smartwood Program, with plans for additional
communities to follow.
Source: The Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management,
University of Minnesota

Eco-Palm sales have generated a buzz among the "xate community," comprised of

government and non-governmental promoters, value chain actors, and harvester communities.

Yet, it is important to contextualize sales figures by juxtaposing them against the conventional

market for xate. Plotting annual imports of conventional xate and sales of Eco-Palms (both

logarithmically transformed and the latter lagged by one year) demonstrates two important points

(Figure 3-9). The first is that annual sales of eco-palms have grown exponentially. This pattern









has justifiably fueled optimism among conservation and development practitioners. However, a

second point should temper this optimism: the volume of eco-palms remains several orders of

magnitude lower than the import volume of conventionally xate. In 2006, just over 200 million

conventional fronds came into the United States, of which the roughly 364,000 eco-palms sold in

2007 would have represented about 0.2 percent of the market.

Discussion

Analysis of the integrated xate value chain and market revealed the form and function of a

successful NTFP commodity system. As with many NTFP chains, xate procurement is extensive,

transcending numerous regions in multiple countries. Historically, most buyers maintained arms-

length relations with extractors, the latter selling opportunistically to itinerant intermediaries

working independently, or for established intermediate enterprises located in regional or national

centers. For this reason, actors in the xate value chain are vulnerable to many of the economic

challenges identified in the NTFP commercialization and certification literature, but namely, the

inability of suppliers to affect market relationships and terms of trade.

The analysis revealed an integrated xate market comprised of a large, mature conventional

market and a significantly smaller, yet dynamic certified market. Conventional fronds are an

important component in the floral industry throughout the year, while primarily church

congregations use certified fronds, and only during Palm Sunday celebrations. The very existence

of a growing market for certified xate has heartened promoters and extractor communities alike

throughout the region of extraction. The volume of certified fronds, however, is several orders of

magnitude lower than the volume of conventionally produced xate. The largest U.S. importer

expressed that this discrepancy specifically, the low volume of certified xate made virtually

infeasible the necessary segregation of certified and conventional product in the supply chain.









The salient challenges to xate certification that emerged from this analysis are economic.

Suppliers considering certification face significant barriers to entry that stem from the maturity of

the conventional xate market and an oligopsonistic value chain comprised of a few dominant

actors and regions. Barriers are likely to be more formidable for new harvesters (and harvesting

regions) interested in entering the market to capitalize on the small, but growing certified market.

These barriers stand to become even more imposing should established extractors of conventional

xate determine that a shift to certification makes sense. The 2005 direct-sale arrangement

between two FSC-certified community forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve and a

major U.S. importer, coupled with the current push for xate certification by international actors

such as Rainforest Alliance (in Guatemala and Mexico) and ProNatura (in Mexico), suggests that

the "shift to certification" scenario merits serious consideration.

Moreover, the seasonality of the certified market implies that suppliers will need to adjust

their year-round activities to accrue benefits only during the Easter season. In most regions,

palms are extracted throughout the year. Willingness to pursue certification for the seasonal, or

any other, market will depend heavily, although perhaps not exclusively on twin factors: price

premium and/or market access, mirror images with respect to economic benefit (Sedjo and

Swallow 1999). It is noteworthy that the 2005 MBR agreement explicitly included a quality

standard, allowing the forest concessions to accrue the benefits of certification throughout the

year, rather than merely during the Easter season. Additionally, the agreement formalized what

had previously been an informal and indirect transaction with the U.S. buyer.

From the buyers' perspective, there are significant transaction costs to forging new

relationships with suppliers. The current procurement system relies on communities that are

typically characterized by under-developed transportation infrastructure and unfamiliar socio-

political systems. The emergence of palm cultivation in Veracruz and elsewhere reflected this









challenge and was consistent with Homma's (1992) conclusion that extractivism may represent

an unstable base for conservation and development strategies. As demand remained greater than

cultivated supply, restructuring the terms of trade with existing partners appeared to be more

attractive to buyers than the forging of new relationships. Indeed, the 2005 MBR agreement with

an established supplier stipulated a higher price for higher quality xate; ostensibly reductions in

the amount of waste (non-marketable fronds) offset the premium paid by the buyer.

Finally, economy of scale represents a significant obstacle for actors throughout the value

chain. The current low demand for certified xate makes segregation of eco-palms from

conventional xate in the supply chain infeasible over the long term. This observation echoes

Overdevest's (2004) observation that strategies for the certification of high-standard products and

processes are often limited by the difficulty of constructing viable markets. For xate, the viability

of a certified market appears to be most constrained by nascent consumer demand. Nevertheless,

this dark cloud over the horizon of xate certification has a silver lining.

In the 2005 MBR agreement, quality requirements represented what might be described as

a "keystone standard;" one that bridges the gap between the short-term obstacle described above,

and the long-term success that might be possible with a more established, and sizable demand for

certified xate. The atypical combination of a product standard (quality) and the process standards

stipulated by FSC facilitates an intermediate step in the development of a market for certified

fronds. Specifically, certified xate is made available as needed to the certified market due to the

hybrid product/process standards mandated in the MBR agreement. When viewed in light of the

maturity of the conventional market, the MBR arrangement highlights an opportunity for an

established buyer to foster and perhaps even shape the development of a small, yet growing niche

market. The short-term costs of subsidizing this market may ultimately be offset by the long-term

benefits of rejuvenating commercial interest in what has been described as a passe commodity.









Finally, as state institutions increasingly focus on sustainability guidelines for the harvest of

forest products, a trend observed both in Guatemala and Mexico, the extent to which certification

facilitates state authorization for any form of commercial xate extraction might increase the

willingness of both suppliers and buyers to respectively embrace certification standards.

Ultimately, the inclusion of quality standards in xate certification will likely increase this

intervention's ability to facilitate the integration of conservation and development objectives in

extractor communities.

Conclusions

Early success in Guatemala's MBR concessions highlights the value of including existing

industry quality standards in sustainable management certification schemes. Although the forest

concessions in the MBR commercialize xate that is certified for sustainable management (through

an addendum to existing FSC forest management certification), buyers purchase the majority of

fronds for their quality attributes. The requirement that xate meets quality as well as other

environmental/social standards provide a possible solution to some of the challenges to NTFP

certification described in the literature. Certified xate from the MBR can be sold at commodity

prices in the conventional market without any special consideration. With proper handling (i.e.,

segregation) throughout the supply chain, it can be sold at a premium, as certified xate, to

churches and other potential consumers. Combining product standards and process standards

represents a bundling of attributes that, when considered in isolation, may be insufficient to

support commercial success for actors throughout the xate value chain.

The feasibility of a certified xate market depends upon numerous factors and the

circumstances of widely distributed actors. Initially, however, the success of xate certification as

a step toward integrating conservation and development objectives will depend on the unique









context and livelihoods in each extraction locale. Chapters 4 and 5 address these issues in the

setting of La Soledad de Juarez in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico.






























Figure 3-1. Bultos of C. oblongata in a storage facility in Uaxactun, Guatemala await transport to
Santa Elena


Figure 3-2. Xate (C. oblongata) being sorted in Santa Elena, Guatemala






























Figure 3-3. Xate (C. elegans) cultivated under forest canopy in Catemaco, Veracruz (Mexico)


Regionescon Palma --/ "V
Centros de Acopio G / uatemala
SRutas de los Traileres (C.oblongata)
Figure 3-4. Principal xate production regions and distribution routes
















300,000

250,000

200,000
ronds
{rons 150,000
(000)
100,000

50,000


EGuatemala


OMedco


1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006

NYar






Figure 3-5. Annual imports of xate fronds to the United States from Guatemala and Mexico.
(Source: AMS (2007). Figure adapted from CEC (2002)).


Figure 3-6. General schematic model of the integrated xate value chain


.1. 01111k ............. ...... .
.....................................
. . . . . I . .
......................................
...............................
.....................................
................................
......................................
.....................................
......................................
.....................................
......................................
......................................
.....................................
......................................
.....................................
......................................
.....................................










300,000

250,000

200,000
Fronds s*
000 150,000

100,000

50,000


1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Year

Figure 3-7. Total annual xate imports to the United States, 1971-2007






100
80
Index 0
40
20
r 0 0







Figure 3-8. Relative demand index for xate varieties for a major U.S. importer. (Source: author
interviews).











9
8
7
6
5
Ln(fronds)
4
3
2
1
0


- U.S Im ports
-Certifed Sales


2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
bYar


Figure 3-9. Total annual xate imports to the U.S.
2007; Lacey 2007)).


and sales (1-yr lag) of certified palms. (AMS


Table 3-1. Harmonized tariff codes for xate in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala
Code Country Description
Chapter 06 US, GT, MX Live Plants and Floriculture Products
Heading 04 US, GT, MX Foliage, leaves, branches and other parts of plants without flowers or flower
buds, grasses, mosses, and lichens for bouquets or for ornamental purposes,
fresh, dried, bleached, dyed, impregnated, or otherwise prepared.

Sub Heading 91 US Fresh
Section 0080 US Other
Sub Heading 91 MX Fresh
Section 01 MX Fresh
GT Not Available


Table 3-2. Reported unit equivalencies for Chamaedorea fronds
Quantity Unit Quantity Unit
1 Bunch 20 Palm fronds
1 Roll 30 Bunches
1 Gruesa1 144 Palm fronds
1 Gruesa (C.elegans) 0.95 Kg
Gruesas can contain fewer palm fronds depending on the region









CHAPTER 4
THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM

Introduction

The Amazonian extractive reserve model developed in the late 1980s fostered renewed

interest in non-timber forest products (NTFPs) and their potential role in the reconciliation of

conservation and development objectives. Supporters of commercial NTFP extraction envisioned

two synergetic benefits of NTFP commercialization: rural livelihood improvement and tropical

forest conservation (Nepstad and Schwartzman, 1992; Panayotou, 1992). NTFP

commercialization initiatives mushroomed, followed by investigation into the efficacy of these

endeavors. In time, NTFP certification emerged as one response to the many pitfalls of

commercialization identified by experience and complementary research (Browder 1992; Dove

1994; Homma 1996; Belcher et al. 2005; Shanley et al. 2002; Shanley et al. 2005). Although

certification was described nearly 15 years ago as "key" to the integration of conservation and

development through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its infancy

(Shanley et al. 2005).

Peters and colleagues' (1989) seminal NTFP valuation study and its subsequent critiques

(Browder 1992) outlined a template for the appropriate analysis of market interventions. Taken

together, these studies demonstrated a basic need to better understand NTFP markets, NTFP

ecology, and NTFP production systems, in which NTFP extraction or production often

contributes to diverse, forest-based livelihoods. This chapter focuses on the latter the livelihood

system of xate (Chamaedorea spp.) extractors in La Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico. It

represents one component of a broader inquiry into the feasibility of certification as a tool for

integrated conservation and development one that examines xate certification at multiple









scales: the livelihood system, the production-to-consumption system, and the global commodity

system.

Research Objective

This chapter provides foundation for a subsequent chapter that examines hypotheses

relating to the anticipated effects of certification on the resource and on livelihood strategies that

include xate harvesting. These "anticipated effects" of certification derive from hypotheses

developed as part of Marshall et al.'s (2006) NTFP study of the factors influencing successful

NTFP commercialization. Together, these two chapters focusing on the Soledad livelihood

system contribute to the broader analysis of the feasibility of xate certification. This broad

inquiry provides conservation and development professionals with an improved analytical

framework for the assessment of market related NTFP interventions. Thus, this chapter presents

the results of research undertaken with the objective to develop a better understanding of the

Soledad de Juarez livelihood system and the broader c ,nev \i ihin/ which Soledad households

fashion livelihood strategies.

Analytical Framework

The livelihood system approach originates in the "farming systems" literature. Broadly

interpreted, farming system refers to the means by which a household manages its resources to

meet its objectives within its particular ecological, economic, and social context (Sellen et al.

1993). Particularly in developing regions of the world, a farming system is household-centered

and may operate at, or near, subsistence level, typically supplementing farm production with

varied combinations of available off-farm activities.









A livelihood system is the composite of activities available to all households in the

particular system within which they secure their livelihoods1 (Hildebrand et al. 2003; Hildebrand

and Schmink 2004). A livelihood system is a farming system so long as farming remains a

(primary) livelihood option. Livelihood systems in the tropical forest regions of Latin America

commonly include swidden subsistence agriculture combined with extraction of forest products

for consumption or sale, hunting of game, logging, and other forms of wage-based employment

(Fearnside 1989; Heinzman and Reining 1990).

Livelihood systems research is a diagnostic process comprised of diverse methods through

which researchers elicit a better understanding of farm households, their decisions, and decision-

making processes (Collinson 2000). While the original application of this approach specifically

addressed (non) adoption of improved crop varieties, its utility extends to any situation where

small producers are faced with competing alternatives, from new crop varieties to alternative

management options. NTFP certification represents a complex package of standards that must

ultimately be adopted by producers, or incorporated into their livelihood system and strategies. It

is for this reason that a livelihood systems framework is appropriate for the assessment of NTFP

certification. Along with other factors, the success of certification as a mechanism to facilitate or

sustain the integration of forest conservation and economic development objectives will depend

on its adoption at the level of the household, often the first actor in commercial NTFP extractive

systems.

Study Area

Chinantla is an ethnically and linguistically defined region in the northern part of the

Mexican state of Oaxaca (Figure 4-1). Recognition of the region predates Spanish arrival in the


1 By extension, a livelihood strategy is the specific set of activities, selected from those comprising the livelihood
system, in which a particular household engages (Hildebrand and Schmink, 2004).









New World (Bevan 1938). Its 461,000 ha represent five percent of Oaxaca's territory. The

heterogeneous indigenous communities of the region, collectively referred to as Chinantecos,

rank fourth among the indigenous groups of Oaxaca and represent two percent of Mexico's total

indigenous population (INI 2004). The region is home to 110,223 inhabitants and comprised of

approximately 258 communities organized into 16 municipalities (De Teresa n.d.).

Chinantla straddles the Sierra Juarez mountain range, which intercepts humid winds of the

Gulf of Mexico and forms the continental divide between the Atlantic and Pacific. The

ecological importance of the region centers on its biological diversity and the richness of its

natural resources. The region encompasses numerous forest ecosystems. Fifty-six percent of the

landscape is classified as various forest types. Another 21 percent is secondary vegetation

evincing previous agricultural and forestry production activities (INI 2004; De Teresa 1998). The

region's Selva Alta Perennefolia (39.5 percent) is believed to be one of the world's most

biologically diverse and is only found in two other regions of Mexico: Oaxaca's Chimalapas and

the Selva Lacandona in Chiapas (Anta et al. 1996).

Geography favors classification of the region into three topographically defined zones.

Chinantla Alta refers to the terrain above 1000 m, and which contains rare mesophyll forest as

well as pine-oak forest and tropical montane forest. Three of the region's 14 municipalities and 7

percent of its population are situated in the Alta. Media describes the altitudinal band occurring

between 400 and 1000 m. This region is dominated by tropical montane forest and includes some

of the region's seasonal agriculture. The Media contains five municipalities and 31 percent of the

region's population. Baja refers to the terrain situated below 400 m, and which is predominantly

evergreen montane forest. However, this zone also contains most of the region's seasonal

agricultural land and pasture. The Baja contains the remaining six municipalities and 62 percent









of the region's population. La Soledad de Juarez is in the Chinantla Baja, within the municipality

of Santa Maria Jacatepec, but is administratively considered a part of the adjacent municipality

of Ayotzintepec. It is one of several communities along the Rio Cajonos, the valley of which is

known for an abundance of Chamaedorea species palms.

Materials and Methods

Basic livelihood system and contextual information can be obtained through rapid and/or

participatory field assessment methods, many of which were developed within the purview of

Farming Systems Research (FSR; Collinson 2000). The sondeo is a rapid and participatory

assessment method (Hildebrand 1981) that emerged from FSR and that is considered to be a

seminal rapid assessment technique (Sellen et al. 1993). It is a conversational survey approach

that does not depend on a survey instrument and that can be implemented by a multi-disciplinary

team. The basic tenets of the sondeo method continue to be used by researchers to quickly learn

about and assess livelihood and other systems as a preliminary step in the research process or as

a means to make recommendations for research (Moulton 1989; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004;

Marshall, Rushton et al. 2006).

Sondeo is the Spanish term for "sounding out." The method was developed at the Institute

of Science and Agricultural Technology (ICTA, by Spanish initials) in Guatemala as a result of

the need to gain insight into marginalized farming communities, where mistrust of outsiders was

prevalent. The method is participatory to ensure the direct input of community members in the

assessment of local conditions. It relies on an interdisciplinary perspective to facilitate a more

balanced treatment of factors such as age and gender relations, formal and informal economic

activities, and environmental considerations. Finally, the assessment is rapid so that limited

resources such as time, money, and goodwill may be used most productively. Properly done,

the sondeo method provides rich contextual information about the community and identifies the









basic dimensions of the livelihood system and its key actors. It can also be useful as a means to

orient research objectives and the information within can be called upon in subsequent stages of

research and analysis.

Conventionally, the sondeo method requires that a team of researchers visit a community

for a limited time period (e.g., one week). Throughout the period, researchers converse with

community members selected opportunistically. Visits to homes, farms, or forests are conducted

by day; summary reporting and reflection are completed at night. Observation, conversations,

and reflection facilitate the elaboration of an abstracted livelihood system model. A schematic

model of the livelihood system is developed as researchers begin to develop an understanding of

its salient components.

In Soledad, modifications to the sondeo process were required to allow the process to be

undertaken by an individual, rather than a team. This need resulted primarily from time

limitations on the part of collaborating partners and limited financial resources on the part of all

involved. The need to modify the process for use by an individual is unfortunate and almost

certainly affects the overall quality of the sondeo findings, but reflects the challenge of

undertaking fieldwork with limited resources. Two modifications are noteworthy. First, existing

grey literature focusing on the Chinantla region and Soledad was consulted prior to the

community visit. This step was essential in order to orient the researcher and to ensure that time

with community participants was used efficiently. Moreover, primary data gathered through

conversations with community members were validated and supplemented by secondary data

encountered in the grey literature. Second, the sondeo process benefits from the synergetic

presence of multiple minds trained in multiple disciplines, yet in the Soledad sondeo, a single









researcher with interdisciplinary training was used. Apart from these notable modifications,

sondeo protocol was followed.

The sondeo generated two related outputs: 1) a report describing the Soledad livelihood

system and its context, and 2) a schematic model of the livelihood system. The schematic

livelihood model provided a foundation for the elaboration of a basic matrix comprised of the

important household livelihood activities, resources, and constraints, from the perspective of the

community participants. The livelihood system matrix reflects the options available to all

households in the system. It is operationalized through the construction of a linear program (see

Chapter 6).

Results

Overview

The sondeo generated information used to develop the schematic model of the predominant

livelihood system (Figure 4-2). Soledad is located in Oaxaca's heavily forested, ethno-linguistic

region: the Chinantla. The predominant Soledad livelihood system combines subsistence and

commercial agriculture and agroforestry, coupling these activities with limited commercial non-

timber forest extraction and other wage-generating employment at the local, regional, and

national levels. The household is the characteristic organizational institution, each typically

comprised of two generations, but often operating in cooperation with a physically distinct but

relationally connected third generation household.

Soledad households receive institutional support from various branches of the Mexican

government in the areas of agriculture and social development (e.g., schooling, nutrition, and

healthcare). The Soledad economy could be described as integrated into the broader regional and

national economy, but is likely to become even more so as a result of a recently paved roadway.









Context

Political structure and history

Soledad is politically organized as an ejido, one of three types of rural property initially

defined through Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution (Mendivil 1996). Ejidos are

collectivized land grants that were primarily made to landless groups of varied ethnic

backgrounds. An ejido is, in principle, property of the nation that is granted to a community of

peasants in usufruct. It is not communal property, but rather an obscured form of private

smallholding with a few defining characteristics (Bartra 1993). First and foremost, lands are

endowed by the state rather than purchased. Additionally, land usage is subject to restrictions and

limitations including Mexican citizenship, eligibility through residence, the requirement to

personally work the land, and the absence of other forms of ownership. Since its conception in

1917, the ejido (as a mode of land redistribution and as a means to manage land tenure and use)

has played a formative role in Mexico's social and economic landscape.

Soledad is an ejido of relatively recent vintage (1998), formed in the wake of conflict

between the neighboring ejido, Plan Juan Martinez, and a previous ejido, Ceiba Mocha. This

conflict led in 1985 to the abandonment by Ceiba Mocha's ejidatarios of their 1,811 ha (MIE

2004). After a time, a group of landless individuals from Plan Juan Martinez organized to take

possession of the abandoned Cieba Mocha land, becoming the founding 52 members of ejido La

Soledad de Juarez. Soledad's urban center occupies a 23 ha parcel that is shared with, and

classified as territory of Plan Juan Martinez. In 2004, the Soledad was estimated to have 48

resident families, or 350 individual inhabitants (MIE 2004).

With regard to the overall management and utilization of natural resources, Soledad

participates, through elected delegates, in the Regional Council for the Management of Natural

Resources within the Papaloapan watershed (CRRN-P, by its Spanish initials). This council is a









legally formed civil association whose members are representatives from the regions'

communities and ejidos. As such, the CRRN-P is a political figure formed to govern and mediate

interactions between member communities and external actors interested in the region's natural

resources.

Infrastructure

The urban center shared by Soledad and Plan Juan Martinez is located at kilometer 31 on

the recently paved roadway that connects the municipal seat of Ayotzintepec to the segment of

the Pan American route (MX 147) that links the Oaxacan city of Tuxtepec to the Isthmus of

Tehuantepec (see Figure 4-3). Tuxtepec is a city of approximately 150,000 inhabitants (INEGI

2005) and the most important commercial center in close proximity to Soledad. Embarking

eastward along MX 147 from the Tuxtepec-Oaxaca City juncture, access to Soledad is at La

Reforma (km 20). The journey between Tuxtepec and Soledad can be reliably made in under two

hours, although until quite recently the trip required several hours due to weather and road

conditions. Communities along this roadway are served by regular bus service.

In Soledad, many homes are traditional constructed of timber frames, rough-hewn

paneling, and palm thatch roofing. It is common, however, to see alongside traditional structures

newer cinder block structures with zinc (galvanized metal) roofing. When both are present, the

traditional structure typically serves as the kitchen and family gathering area, while the cinder

block structure is comprised of sleeping quarters and a common room. The form of traditional

structure reflects the necessary function of eliminating smoke, which results from the continued

use of fuelwood. Nearly all homes in Soledad have electric power. Potable water is captured

from a capped local artesian spring and most homes have water access on their property via

spigot. At the time of this study, Soledad had neither cellular telephone coverage nor Internet









capabilities. Satellite telephones existed throughout the region, however, coverage was

intermittent (MIE 2004).

Social services

Oportunidades is the Mexican government's poverty mitigation program (SEDESOL

2008). It provides households with cash transfers that are linked to the three principal

components of the program: education, health, and nutrition. In 2008, qualifying households

received a monthly transfer of $MX 195 for nutrition, $MX 50 for utilities, and a variable

amount for the educational expenses of children under the age of 22, ranging from $MX 130 for

primary to $MX 825 for girls in their third year of high school. An additional $MX 270 per

individual per month was transferred to households with elderly members.

Soledad has a primary and secondary school, both limited in their capacity to meet the

needs of the community. Students interested in further education, therefore, commute by bus to

attend the secondary school in nearby Ayotzintepec.

Soledad also has one locally staffed health care clinic. Additionally, a medical care

professional is dispatched monthly from Tuxtepec to Soledad and nearby communities.

Advanced care generally requires travel to Tuxtepec.

Land Cover and Use

Consistent with the broader Chinantla region, Soledad's 1,811 hectares are principally

forested and characterized by considerable relief. A majority of land cover (75 percent) is

classified as Montane Evergreen Tropical Rainforest2 (MIE 2004; INI 2004; Rzedowski 1981).

This forest classification is one of the world's most biologically diverse and can only be found in

two other regions of Mexico: Oaxaca's Chimalapas and the Selva Lacandona in Chiapas (Anta et


2 Translated by author from Selva Alta Perennifolia using Rzedowski's (1981, p.153) classifications, which are
based in part on the Koeppen System of vegetation classification, in this case Af.









al. 1996). An additional 24 percent of Soledad's land is classified as Evergreen Tropical

Rainforest interspersed iith secondary vegetation (MIE 2004).

NTFPs such as Chamaedorea species palms (xate), game, fibers, and fuelwood are

gathered and hunted from all accessible forested terrain. Moreover, the forested landscape

categorized by the presence of secondary vegetation includes moderately sloped terrain on which

ejidatarios have planted coffee and practice traditional, seasonal forms of agriculture. The result

is a land cover mosaic comprised of varying stages of utilization and recovery, characteristic of

the region's agricultural system know as rozo-tumbay quema (slash, cut, and burn) (De Teresa

1998). The maximum extent of land area affected by such use is approximately 96 ha, with

estimates of actual use around 20 ha (MIE 2004).

Year-round subsistence and commercial agriculture are mostly confined to a nearly 16-

hectare lowland/riparian strip along the Rio Cajonos. The agricultural system practiced in this

area is known as rozo-juntay quema (slash, collect, and burn), and is typical of landscapes where

the transition has been made from shifting to relatively permanent agricultural production (De

Teresa 1998). Together, these agricultural zones represent roughly somewhere between 2 to 6

percent of the ejido's land area, the exact value depending on extent of use. Thus, the majority of

Soledad's land is not well suited to the cultivation of traditional and commercial food crops.

Nevertheless, subsistence and commercial agricultural production form the basis for Soledad's

economy, which is enriched by the harvest of NTFP and through periodic local and external

wage labor.

The Soledad Economy

Agriculture and agroforestry

Milpa. Maize (Zea mays) is the predominant agricultural commodity in the region (De

Teresa n.d.) and in Soledad, where it is a staple grain that is primarily consumed in the form of









large (30 cm diameter), hand-rolled tortillas. Additionally, discarded grain represents a feedstock

for small livestock, principally chickens and turkey. Maize is planted in both of the region's two

agricultural production seasons. It is planted in the uplands at the commencement of the rainy

season, or the temporada. Land preparation occurs throughout April and May, slash is burned

prior to the first rains, and when the rains arrive in late May or early June, they are followed in

short order by planting. Maize may also be planted in the riparian lowlands during the

temporada, but is certainly planted on these lands during the dry season, or tonamil. Planting

during the tonamil is typically done in November. In either planting season, collective work

parties are often used to rapidly accomplish large tasks such as planting or harvesting. When

used, work groups move from parcel to parcel until the task has been accomplished for all

participants. Such forms of labor exchange eliminate the household's need for a large amount of

cash for wage-laborers at peak labor demand periods.

Consistent with the milpa production system found throughout Mesoamerica, climbing

beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and squash (Cucurbita spp.) varieties are often planted alongside the

maize plants throughout the parcel. In Soledad, bush bean varieties are more commonly

cultivated in tareas, small sub-parcels within maize plantings. The milpa parcel is typically

interspersed with other naturally occurring, "tolerated," and cultivated edible plants, collectively

referred to in the region as quilites. These include plants locally referred to as cebollin (Allium

fistulosum?), cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), hoja depozole (unknown), huele de noche

(unknown), mostaza (Lepidium spp. ?), ocuyo (Piper auritum?), papaloquilite (Porophyllum

ruderale?), yerbamora (Solanum nigrum?), and others. Quilites represent an important

component of the traditional Chinantec diet.









Chile. Chile peppers (Capsicum spp.) are considered by Soledad community members to

be the most important revenue-generating crop. Chile production in this community is linked to

an intricate national procurement network (Keys 2005) centered in Puebla, Puebla. Chile

production is both capital and labor intensive, with initial investment advanced to producers by

established buyers. It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of Soledad households cultivate chile,

but the area dedicated to chile production seldom exceeds 14 hectare per household, a land

commitment that is considered to balance the need to achieve some economy of scale and the

risk of chronic price instability (MIE 2004). Chile production begins in April and ends in

October, straddling the tonamil and temporada growing seasons.

Coffee. Coffee (Coffea rustica) has been cultivated in the region for decades, but only

beginning in the 1970s did it become an important agricultural crop (De Teresa n.d.). This shift

came about through Mexico's INMECAFE program, which encouraged increased production in

the region. The regional economic importance of coffee has been hamstrung by the combined

effect of the inferior C. rustica variety grown, sub-standard production conditions (i.e., low

altitude), and coffee market volatility over the past decade. Many Soledad households maintain,

through use of minimal resources, mature coffee in traditional polyculture (Moguel and Toledo

1999). The perceived importance of coffee parcels may relate to long-term security but also

stems partly from the value to households of the associated crops. Traditional polyculture parcels

typically contain banana and citrus varieties, avocado and other fruit bearing trees, medicinal and

edible plants. Coffee contributes to livelihoods only through the periodic harvest and sale of

limited quantities of dried coffee beans (cafe pergamino).

Other crops. In addition to coffee and its associated crops, chile peppers, and to the milpa

crop association of maize, beans, and squash, several other crops are important to households in









Soledad. Yuca (Manihot esculenta) is important as a traditional element of the Oaxacan

celebration of the Day of the Dead (01-02 November), when the souls of deceased ancestors

return. Tortillas of yuca are prepared in anticipation of this celebration and, as a result, most

households maintain small plantings of yuca. It is not uncommon for a household to sell one or

two small bags of surplus harvest in the weeks leading up to the celebration. In fact, surplus of

nearly all cultivated crops are commonly sold opportunistically to other households in the

community, and less frequently to outside buyers. Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) is another edible

root that is cultivated in Soledad for consumption and occasional sale.

Some households in Soledad have had or retain plantings of the ground dwelling

bromeliad, Aechmea magdalenae, used for the commercial extraction of the fiber, which is

known in Mexico as pita, or ixtle (Murphy 2005). At times, the sale of pita fiber has been an

important source of income but residents of Soledad related that the market has collapsed in

recent years. Another of the region's commercially harvested native plants and occasionally

cultivated crop that has suffered a similar fate is barbasco (Dioscorea mexicana), which

throughout the early and mid 20th century was used to produce synthetic steroids. Both pita and

barbasco can be found in and around cultivated areas throughout the community but little use is

presently made of these plants.

Household gardens. Within the urban area, households maintain home gardens, or

solares. These are small parcels containing trees bearing edible fruit and useful fiber, edible

greens (quilites) and medicinal plants, varied quantities of avian livestock, and fuelwood storage.

An opportunistic, non-scientific inventory of one such home garden (Table 4-1), approximately

300 m2, identified eleven types of fruit, six vegetables, at least seven edible or medicinal plants,

and five types of livestock. In the particular case there were around twenty free ranging chickens









and roosters, two turkeys, a duck, a goose, and one pig. Fowl forage throughout the solar, but are

also fed low quality maize that has been eliminated from household stocks. These animals

represent an important source of protein and are also sold during times of need. Typically, food

production in the solar is low intensity and complementary to larger plantings elsewhere (e.g.,

milpa and coffee plots); certainly the close proximity to the home offers a measure of variety and

convenience to households in this community without a fresh market. Upkeep of the solar is

considered to be part of the household, or reproduction, domain and is primarily undertaken by

women and children.

PROCAMPO. Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development

(SAGARPA, by its Spanish initials) administers the Program for Direct Rural Assistance,

popularly known as PROCAMPO. The program is a resource transfer mechanism designed to

compensate national producers for subsidies received by their foreign competitors (SAGARPA

2008). Certain agricultural crops are eligible including maize and beans. Payments are made on a

per hectare basis. According to SAGARPA records, PROCAMPO benefited 27 producers in

Soledad between the autumn 2006 and spring 2007 growing seasons. Payments for the two

growing periods were prorated from $US 89 and $US 107 / ha, respectively. Average qualifying

terrain was 0.5 hectare for the autumn 2006 season and 1.6 hectares in spring 2007.

Forest resources

Timber. There was little evidence of current or recent commercial timber operations on

Soledad's endowed territory. Timber was not mentioned by individuals in the community to be

an important resource (to be contrasted with repeated mention of "the forest"), nor was logging

mentioned as an important economic activity. That said, the period between the 1950s to the

1990s was characterized by indiscriminant extraction of timber species throughout the Chinantla,

including the deforestation of lowland areas for the creation of cattle pasture (MIE 2004). A fact









that is supported by the reported low prevalence of mature, fine timber species in Soledad's

forest (MIE 2004). A notable exception is the presence of "Spanish Cedar" (Cedrela odorata), a

member of the mahogany family Meliaceae, which has been planted in and around coffee plots

by many Soledad families, with the anticipation of future harvest and sale.

Chamaedorea palms (xate). In comparison to timber, the collection of NTFPs has been a

greater contributor to Soledad livelihoods (MIE 2004). Of the region's NTFPs, the most

important are palms of the genus Chamaedorea, namely: C. oblongata, C. elegans, C. tepejilote,

and to a lesser extent, C. concolor. Regionally, these palms are most abundant in close proximity

to the Rio Cajonos, which passes through the municipalities of Ayotzintepec, Jacatepec, and

Jocotepec. In the late 1990s, xate harvest was reported to account for household economic

activity for 44, 25, and 19 percent of households in these municipalities, respectively (De Teresa

n.d.).

In Soledad, both men and women harvest xate. In either case the procurement process is

fairly uniform. An individual or group enters the forest on foot in search of naturally occurring

palms. Of the 1768 ha deemed suitable for palm, 1010 ha are estimated to contain palm

populations (Salgado C 2002). Trips to and from the forest require several hours of walking.

Palm fronds are cut by hand to meet local and/or industry specifications using a chaveta, a knife

or machete with a sharpened, hooked tip (Santos E et al. 2003). Fronds are bundled into gruesas

(ideally 144 fronds, but typically 120 in Soledad); gruesas are later assembled into bultos

(gruesas bound or wrapped by burlap or blankets). The number of gruesas in a bulto depends on

the carrying capability of the harvester, but a bulto typically does not exceed ten gruesas.

Carrying the bultos on their backs, individuals walk out of the forest. Selection and processing

typically occur further along in the value chain.









Soledad is in the laudable, if not advantageous position of having the requisite government

permission to commercially harvest xate. Harvesting permits are granted for periods of five

years; extraction rates are location specific and based on a palm population survey undertaken by

a nationally registered forest engineer (Salgado C 2002; SEMARNAT 2005). Xate harvest has

diminished in recent years as prices have stagnated and as the intervals between visits by

intermediaries have increased, or in some cases trips have altogether ceased. In Soledad, the

popularly held belief is that the departure from the region of a long-time and well-known buyer

precipitated the decline in the community and region's importance as a xate supplier. In fact, all

of the five processing centers once located in nearby Tuxtepec have shut their facilities over the

past ten years (Tolen A 2006). Increasing fuel costs, inconsistent supplies, and diminishing frond

quality are offered as reasons for the region's diminished importance as a supplier. Increased

harvest and cultivation in other regions (e.g. Guatemala and Veracruz, respectively) are certainly

complicit factors. Presently, xate from Soledad is periodically sold to itinerant middlemen who

only visit the region when demand is high (Santos E, personal communication); prices remain

low at roughly $US 1.30 ($MX 14) per gruesa.

Fuelwood. Collected wood is the principal fuel used for household food preparation in

Soledad (MIE 2004), although some homes also have natural gas cooking ranges and/or ovens.

Collection is an activity entered both strategically and opportunistically, by all household

members. Most fuelwood is collected from fallen trees and cleared agricultural land within the

forest area as well as from within and around coffee plantings and other relatively permanent

agricultural parcels.

Reproduction and wage labor

Reproduction labor: "Reproduction labor" describes the domestic activities required to

maintain the household, such as child rearing, food preparation, and general upkeep. It also









includes maintenance of the solar. While all adult and adolescent members of the household

participate in agricultural production and forest resource collection activities described in the

sections above, reproduction activities typically fall under the domain of adult and adolescent

females in the household, who are supported by younger children.

Local wage labor: Soledad has neither industry nor a service sector beyond the existence

of several family managed stores, which stock basic household necessities along with snacks and

beverages. Given the predominantly subsistence-oriented agricultural economy, producers face

liquidity challenges (MIE 2004), meaning households have difficulty converting assets into cash.

The result is that much labor is exchanged between households during periods of high demand.

Adolescent males without land have limited local paid labor opportunities, with anecdotal

evidence suggesting that an individual cannot expect many more than 3-5 days of paid local

work within the community over the course of a year.

Regional migration: Historically, Chinantecos have not demonstrated a strong tendency

toward emigration from the region (INI 2004). Rather, the region's development has resulted

from a large number of permanent, intra-region migrations (De Teresa n.d.). One example is the

migration made by the Soledad's founding members from their ejido of origin, the nearby Plan

Juan Martinez. These intra-regional migrations, however, are typically driven by a need for land

rather than for wage labor. With respect to migrations driven by the latter, short-term migration

to nearby urban centers is an option. A typical week spent working in the nearby cities of

Tuxtepec or Veracruz is reported to generate $US 41 ($MX 450), earnings from which travel and

boarding expenses must be subtracted.

National and international migration: Longer-term (seasonal) migration from Soledad to

larger cities throughout Mexico is more common than short-term migration to nearby cities. A









recent study suggested that 20 families in Soledad are affected by this type of migration,

principally young adults and the landless children of ejidatarios (MIE 2004). Migration is

principally to other regions of Mexico such as the central valley (e.g., Mexico City, Cuernavaca)

and the maquila zone (e.g., Ciudad Juarez). Men typically find employment in the trades while

women seek employment as domestics. It was commented that little financial remittance could

be expected from individuals who have migrated outside the region, with the exception of funds

provided for structural improvements and/or material contributions along the lines of stereos,

televisions, and computers. These contributions can be substantial, but they do not typically

provide a reliable revenue stream to the household.

There are also community members that have migrated to and returned from the United

States. This phenomenon is estimated to affect few households (three, according to MIE 2004),

and only one account was given of an individual that had remained abroad. In fact, several of the

individuals that had traveled to the United States commented that life is too good in Soledad to

remain away.

Summary and Discussion

The primary objective of the sondeo was to develop a better understanding of the Soledad

de Juarez livelihood system and of the broader context within which Soledad households fashion

their livelihood strategies. A secondary objective was to use the sondeo and resulting information

to generate an informed perspective with respect to the present role of xate harvest and potential

future role of xate commercialization and certification. The predominant Soledad livelihood

system combines subsistence and commercial agriculture and agroforestry, coupling these

activities with limited commercial non-timber forest extraction and other wage-employment at

the local, regional, and national levels.









A prominent livelihood issue in Soledad is the dearth of local wage-generating

employment. This scarcity represents an issue that, over time, is likely to affect local economic

development and conservation of forest resources. Yet the absence of wage labor, or cash

income, should not be misinterpreted as an absence of economic activity, and for that matter

economic development. Wage-labor represents but one form of livelihood formation and wealth

creation (Wollenberg 1998), just as cash-based, or market, transactions represent but one means

of economic integration (Halperin 1994). As a case in point, it is useful to highlight Soledad's

agricultural work parties as well as the regional social institution of the tequio, which utilizes

male labor to accomplish public works projects (INI 2004). These institutions offer a reminder

that assessments of "economic" vitality and development should not be limited to singular

metrics, such as wage generation.

Nevertheless, Soledad's economy is increasingly likely to be shaped by external

influences, as it is open to the influence of outside actors. Present levels of external influence

will almost certainly continue or increase, ensured by the recent paving of the access road.

Moreover, it is reasonable to expect that the paved road lead to an external infiltration of the

local economic system in ways analogous to the disturbance effects of road paving on forest

ecosystems (see Nepstad et al. 2001). Improved access to nearby cities may facilitate the practice

of commuting by Soledad residents, with the potential effect of increased discretionary cash and

spending in the community. Easier access may also serve to lower the cost of outside goods sold

in the community. However, should the road facilitate the outward flight of the community's

limited cash resources, new means to attract requisite discretionary cash (however minimal) will

be needed. Ultimately, Soledad is likely to benefit from the retention of, or increase in, some

form of wage-generating employment.









Historically, xate harvest in Soledad provided a source of wages, although present rates are

diminished relative to past activity. Palm harvest and other commercially oriented NTFP

activities couple the community with its natural resources, thus providing a direct and important

economic link. This wage-generating role of forest resources represents one element of an

undoubtedly complex assessment of forest value. And just as a boat rises and falls with the tide,

the perceived overall value of Soledad's forest is also likely to diminish as these economic links

weaken, or cease to exist.

The cumulative effect of the progressive "opening" of the local economy and reduced

wage generation from local natural resources could have negative effects on forest conservation.

Individuals may lose economic connections with their natural resource base; perhaps others may

leave the community to seek wage employment. Over time, local (natural resource) knowledge

atrophies. This process is essentially the inverse of the underlying premise for integrated

conservation and development, which calls for the addition or fortification of economic

incentives as a means to strengthen or facilitate natural resource conservation.

As mentioned above, Soledad is in the favorable to advantageous position of having a

government permit to commercially harvest palms. Soledad's permit expired in December 2007,

but funding for the renewal process was granted in July of that same year, and the maintenance

assessment of the resource was completed in March 2008 (Santos, personal communication).

This evidence of Soledad's commitment to formal authorization of xate harvest suggests the

ejido will remain one of only a few communities in the region able to legally harvest and sell

xate. The government mandated harvest rates intend to represent the maximum sustainable

harvest level. Whether or not government established rates truly represent sustainable harvest

levels is beyond the scope of this study. It is certain, however, that government rates represent









the maximum legal harvest. Less clear is the implication of the mandated harvest rate on the

feasibility of commercial (including certified) harvest. This question will be addressed in

Chapter 6 through the livelihood system model.

A final concern for Soledad relating to xate harvest is the absence of a legal entity

authorized to coordinate and manage the commercialization of natural resources. In the past,

commercialization of xate has occurred between individual collectors and intermediaries from

outside the region. Certification would require a more coordinated approach. The previously

described CRRN-P is a legal political entity formed to govern and mediate interactions between

member communities and external actors; it does not have jurisdiction over commercial activity.

Thus the commercialization of certified xate will require the formation of a legal entity, one

similar to the CRRN-P, but organized for the commercial purposes. The legal form of such an

institution could vary.

NTFP harvest has historically represented an important income-generating activity and the

certification of xate harvest may serve to bolster its role in Soledad's local economy. Obstacles

exist, yet Soledad is relatively well positioned for integration into an emerging market for

certified xate. The ejido has government authorization to commercially harvest the resource at

mandated sustainable rates. What remains uncertain is whether these established rates will

represent an opportunity or a constraint upon commercial harvesting, and thus on the broader

objective of using forest-based economic activity to integrate forest conservation and economic

development.






















A. B. C.

Figure 4-1. Localization of Soledad de Juarez. A) Oaxaca, Mexico. B) Chinantla, Oaxaca.
C) Jacatepec, Chinantla.


Figure 4-2. Schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system

































Ayotzintepec


Figure 4-3. Proximity of La Soledad de Juarez to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico



Table 4-1. Opportunistic inventory of a Soledad home garden (solar)
Fruits Edible and Medicinal Herbs
Aguacate (Persea americana) Arbol de Canela (Cinnamomum zeylanicum?)
Cafe (C. *n,, rustic) Hierba Mora (Solanum nigrum?)
Carambola (Averrhoa carambola) Hierba de la Noche (Unknown)
Chirimoya (Annona chirimola) Ocuyo /Hierba Santa (Piper auritum?)
Ciruela or Jocote (Spondias purpurea) Oregano (Lippia graveolens)
Guayabana (Annona muricata) Papaloquilite (Porophyllum ruderale?)
Lim6n (Citrus spp.) Vainilla (Vanilla spp.)
Naranja (Citrus sinensis) Plus several unrecorded...
Mango (Mangifera spp.)
Nanche (Byrsonima crassifolia)
Platano (Musa spp.)
Platano Macho (Musa spp.)
Livestock Vegetable
Chicken (Gallus gallus) Calabaza (Cucurbita spp.)
Guajolote (Meleagris gallopavo) Camote (Ipomoea batatas)
Ganzo (Anser spp.) Jicama (Pachyrizus erosus)
Pato(Duck) (Unknown) Jicara (Unknown)
Cochina (Sus spp.) Yuca & [Jame] (Manihot escuelenta)
Source: author's field notes









CHAPTER 5
CERTIFICATION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ
LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM

Introduction

In the United States and Europe, fronds from Chamaedorea species palms (xate) are used

as decorative foliage in floral arrangements and in Palm Sunday church services (CEC 2002).

One of the great hopes of the present efforts throughout southeastern Mexico, northern

Guatemala, and Belize to certify xate is that it represents an intervention to foster integration of

forest conservation and economic development objectives in harvest communities. This

expectation is consistent with the synergetic benefits of non-timber forest product (NTFP)

commercialization envisioned in the early 1990s (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou

and Ashton 1992). Proponents hope, and sometimes assume, that certification's standards will

bridge the numerous environmental, economic, and social pitfalls that impeded the success of

previous commercialization efforts: pitfalls such as over-exploitation, appropriation of valuable

resources by powerful actors, and "immiserizing groiwtl" (Kaplinsky 2000), which refers to

downward price pressures caused by supply increasing more rapidly than demand and the

resulting need to increase harvest to maintain economic benefits. Expectations associated with

xate certification must also be tempered by the looming reality that the success of labeling efforts

has been limited by an absence of fluid markets, those for which supply and demand are

reasonably balanced (Overdevest 2004; Pierce et al. 2003). In spite of all this, enthusiasm for

xate certification persists. If certification is to be a feasible, better understanding of the role of

xate harvest in specific community livelihood systems is needed.

Research objective and hypotheses

The objective of this chapter is to use an ethnographic linear program (ELP) model of a

xate harvesting community's livelihood system and xate marketing/management scenarios to test









two hypotheses related to extractor livelihoods and another related to market fluidity.

Certification is a variant of commercialization and the three hypotheses tested in this chapter

derive from a subset of hypotheses tested in a recent NTFP commercialization study (Marshall,

Schreckenberg et al. 2006). For commercialization, as well as certification, the hypotheses rest

on the assumption that interventions should not negatively affect the livelihoods of extractors.

This assumption is imperative because certification is an optional undertaking that would almost

certainly be rejected by those who perceive negative livelihood or resource effects. The three

hypotheses suggest that, to be a feasible intervention, certification must:

1. Positively affect household livelihoods.
2. Benefit, or at least not disadvantage, the poorest households.
3. Be viable with respect to supply and demand.

These hypotheses represent one component of a multi-scale inquiry into the feasibility of xate

certification.

Analytical framework

This study's livelihood system approach considers the means by which a household

manages its resources to meet its objectives within its particular ecological, economic, and social

context (Sellen et al. 1993). It is the composite of activities available to all households in the

particular system within which they secure their livelihoods (Hildebrand et al. 2003; Hildebrand

and Schmink 2004). Particularly in developing regions of the world, livelihoods are household-

centered and might operate at, or near, a subsistence level. Livelihood systems in the tropical

forest regions of Latin America commonly include swidden subsistence agriculture combined

with extraction of forest products for consumption or sale, hunting of game, logging, and other

forms of wage-based employment (Fearnside 1989; Heinzman and Reining 1990). By extension,

a livelihood strategy is the specific set of activities that a particular household engages in from

among those that comprise its livelihood system (Hildebrand and Schmink 2004).









Study area

The palm harvesting community of interest is La Soledad de Juarez, located in the

Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Chinantla is an ethnically and linguistically defined region

in the northern part the state. The heterogeneous indigenous communities of the region,

collectively referred to as Chinantecos, rank fourth in population size among the indigenous

groups of Oaxaca and represent two percent of Mexico's total indigenous population (INI 2004).

The ecological importance of the region centers on biological diversity and the richness of

natural resources. La Soledad de Juarez (henceforth, Soledad) is geographically situated in

Chinantla Baja, within the municipality of Santa Maria Jacatepec, but is administratively

considered a part of the adjacent municipality of Ayotzintepec. It is one of several communities

along the Rio Cajonos, the valley of which is known for an abundance of Chamaedorea species.

Historically, palm harvest has represented one livelihood activity in a predominantly agricultural

livelihood system comprised of subsistence and commercial crop production, agroforestry, and

off-farm wage labor.

Method

Model specification

Linear programming (LP) is a mathematical optimization procedure that maximizes (or

minimizes) an objective function (household goal) subject to a set of constraints (e.g., expenses,

food consumption) and available resources (land, labor, cash). An ethnographic linear program

(ELP) model was developed using Soledad community and household data to analyze the effects

of xate commercialization and certification on livelihoods and, more specifically, the livelihood

role of xate harvesting. The general structure of the ELP is summarized as follows:









Maximize (or Minimize): f = CXj (j = 1, ...,n)
Subject to: A, j < R, (i = 1,...,m)
And X, > 0
Where n is the objective to be optimized; X, is the vector of livelihood activity variables to be

determined; C, is the cost (debit) or return (credit) of each of the n activities; A, is the set of

technical coefficients for each activity and resource/constraint, i; and, R, is the set of m

minimum or maximum constraints.

The model uses a one-year time horizon due to high levels of uncertainty about a) the long-

term feasibility of palm extraction in general and, b) the feasibility of the long-term market for

certified xate. In the model, it is assumed that behavioral changes associated with the different

scenarios are immediate the model is not designed to capture the process of adoption.

The schematic livelihood model (see Figure 4-2, Chapter 4) provides a foundation for the

elaboration of a basic matrix of the important household livelihood activities, resources, and

constraints, from the perspective of the community participants. This matrix is common to all

households in the system. It is operationalized through the construction of an ethnographic linear

program. The general structure of the model is shown in Figure 5-1. Activities in the model are

production oriented: the cultivation of subsistence and commercial crops, palm and fuelwood

harvest, and off-farm labor. Reproduction activity associated with the household is also included.

Use of land, labor, and cash resources varies by activity.

Starting with the basic matrix developed from the schematic model, the most efficient

means of constructing the ELP model is to select a willing household from within the livelihood

system to model their particular resources and constraints (Hildebrand et al. 2003). Input and

output coefficients for each livelihood activity, or enterprise, are the amounts of all resources

required to produce one unit of an activity and the measurable output resulting from one unit of









that activity. To construct a feasible model, analysis of resource inputs and outputs must be

conducted for all relevant activities. Resource availability varies by household, but generally the

inputs and outputs associated with a unit of activity do not.

The availability of agricultural land (riparian and upland), supply of and demand for

household labor, household consumption requirements, and the supply and demand for

agricultural and NTFP commodities all represent general constraints to the model. A palm

population estimate was established by a nationally approved forestry engineer (Salgado C

2001). This estimate and the legal harvest levels calculated from it represent absolute and

relative limits to xate harvest.

The ELP model also contains a number of technical constraints. The production areas for

associated crops are "linked" to ensure that crop associations in the model are maintained as

empirically observed. For example, the cultivated area forjicama cannot exceed the cultivated

area for maize, which is the crop within which the farmers inter-plant jicama. Commercialization

of certain crops such as yuca and beans is also constrained with the intent to simulate the low

levels of demand described by community members. For the same reason, similar constraints

exist to limit participation in local wage-labor and xate harvest. Demand constraints on xate

harvest vary by market scenario and derive from the estimated palm population, percentage of

waste in the harvest, and population sustainability requirements, respectively. The scenarios are

presented in greater detail below.

The ELP model facilitates analysis of the feasibility of xate commercialization and

certification at the household and community level by providing the optimal household

livelihood strategies for a given household objective. In this analysis, two different household

objective functions are used to establish a range of possible xate harvest outcomes. This is









necessary because of the difficulty in ascertaining a household's true objective. One objective is

to maximize household year-end discretionary cash. This reflects the intuitive and expressed

expectation that households desire to improve their economic positions. Because palm harvest is

one of only a few income-generating activities available, it was anticipated that the cash income

maximization objective would represent the maximum harvest level at the household and,

through aggregation of results, the community level. It is important to recognize, however, that

households are first homes, not businesses, such that their goals and objectives may differ from

those commonly used in economic analyses. Thus, a second objective is to minimize

employment-driven migration. This objective reflects the expressed desire of many Soledad

residents to remain in their community. The migration minimization objective approximates a

household doing whatever necessary in order to meet its needs without migration. Use of the

migration minimization objective in the ELP model should result in the minimum harvest level,

above and beyond what might be necessary for households to meet their minimum cash

requirements.

The ELP model was built in Microsoft Excel and solved using the Solver add-in. This

widely available, inexpensive modeling software was selected to facilitate model development

and utilization while in the field, and subsequent use and modification of the model by

collaborating institutions.

Input data for the model

Input data for the ELP were obtained through several methods. Prior to data collection, a

general context for this community-level research was garnered through several diagnostic

studies previously undertaken in the community (MIE 2004; Grupo Mesofilo 2004; Angel 2003)

and in the broader Chinantla region (De Teresa 1998; INI 2004; De Teresa n.d.). Basal

understanding of the structure, or framework, of Soledad's livelihood system was developed









further through the use of a rapid assessment, or sondeo (Hildebrand 1981), which was

completed in the community over the course of five days. The sondeo process generated a

schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system (see Figure 5.2, Chapter 5), which served also

to focus the collection of livelihood activity data. In addition to the schematic model, the sondeo

process contributed to a richer understanding of the Soledad livelihood system and, to a lesser

extent, provided data relating to livelihood activities. Agricultural and forest-based livelihood

activity data were principally collected through the combination of two community workshops

and in-depth conversations with three willing Soledad households. Livelihood data from the

sondeo, community workshops, and household interviews were compared with and, in some

cases, complemented by data published in the diagnostic studies mentioned above.

Soledad is an ejido, one of three types of rural property initially defined through Article 27

of thel917 Mexican constitution (Mendivil 1996). Ejidatarios are those individuals in the

community who form the community assembly and who have been endowed with land

resources. Soledad was formed in 1998 with 52 ejidatarios. Avecindados, by contrast, are

individuals in the community who are without representation or land endowment (e.g., spouses

and children of ejidatarios). An important assumption made by this research was that each

household contains only one ejidatario, or more importantly, access to the land endowed to a

single ejidatario. Given Soledad's recent formation, the validity of this assumption is more

probable than it would be in an older ejido, where land has transferred over generations.

The total labor available to a household was measured in days (jornales) and depended on

household composition. Total available labor was also affected by several empirically driven

assumptions, such as a six-day workweek and reductions to the available workdays in weeks

affected by seasonal activities and events (e.g. school, holidays). For example, December









holidays reduced the number for available workdays in the month by eight, from 27 to 19.

Exchanged labor, or the work party, was not reflected in seasonal/annual totals, as gains were

offset by payments within the same time period. In other words, the scale of benefits and costs

(i.e., the ability through labor trading to accomplish a large task in one or several days) was too

small to account for in this model, in which a year was divided into six periods.

The ELP model used a double-entry labor accounting system. This system was designed

so that the dominant pattern of pooled, or indiscriminate household labor could be applied to the

majority of livelihood activities, without ignoring the constraints imposed by the less common

cases where activities required the labor of a particular (type of) individual (e.g., "reproduction

labor and females). Specifically, labor required for any and all activities was drawn from a

common pool of total available household labor. However, labor for certain tasks that were

typically associated with household subgroups (e.g., adolescent males, women) was also drawn

from a separate account of that subgroup's available labor. The result was that the amount of the

subgroup's labor, women for example, could conceivably constrain overall household

participation in a particular livelihood activity.

Agricultural land represents a critical resource. Only a small percentage of the Soledad's

land is suitable for crop production. Soledad's 1,811 hectare endowment falls under three legal

classifications (MIE 2004). 1,369 forested ha (76 percent) are designated for conservation (non

agricultural use). Conservation status forested land can, however, be used for the collection of

forest products such as NTFPs. Another 329 forest ha (18 percent) are designated for utilization.

In fact, the land designated for utilization is allocated amongst the ejido's families, such that

family's allotment averages around 6.5 ha (Grupo Mesofilo 2003, p.13). This allotment is the

land that Soledad households use for forest-based agriculture (e.g., coffee and associated crops)









and for the collection of fuelwood. The remaining 111 ha (6 percent) are designated for

agriculture, only 16 ha of which are lowland riparian terrain suitable for planting during the dry

season, or tonamil (MIE 2004). It is estimated that only 20 of the remaining 95 ha of non-

riparian agricultural land are actually under cultivation (MIE 2004, p. 15), an average of 0.4 ha

per household.

To summarize, Soledad's ejidatarios, on average, have endowments of 0.3 ha of riparian

agricultural land, 0.4 ha of upland agricultural terrain, and an approximately 600 m2 plot that

includes a home and garden, or solar (MIE 2004). Agricultural land is typically used to produce

milpa (corn, beans and squash), chili peppers, yuca, and jicama. In addition, ejidatarios typically

possess about 6.5 ha of utilizable forest terrain, parts of which were historically used for coffee

production and fuelwood collection. Conservation status forest cannot be used for agricultural

activities, but is accessible to all community members for forest product collection.

Since most agricultural operations need to be performed within a certain timeframe, the

model year was divided into two agricultural seasons, temporada (R) and tonamil (T), which

represent the rainy and dry weather patterns. Each of these two agricultural seasons was further

sub-divided into three asymmetrical periods (Figure 5-2). The asymmetry of these periods stems

from a need to differentiate three important, resource-utilizing periods within of each agricultural

season: land preparation and planting (2 months), crop maintenance (3 months), and harvest (1

month).

Each cropping association (e.g., milpa) and individual crop has unique seasonal

requirements, which are primarily agronomic in nature (Table 5-1). Milpa (maize, beans, and

squash) is planted in both the rainy and dry seasons. Milpa is both the predominant and

traditional subsistence crop association: its production cycle corresponds exactly with the two









recognized agricultural seasons. Jicama, while cultivated within the milpa, is not planted until

late in the rainy season. Beans and jicama are both planted among maize, so the total area

cultivated in either cannot exceed the area cultivated in milpa. The production of chile peppers,

which are not part of the traditional regional agriculture, straddles the two seasons. Seed is

planted midway though the rainy season and final harvests occur toward the end of the dry

season. Finally, yuca has an extended growth cycles and while planted midway through the dry

season, it is not harvested until the early part of the subsequent dry season.

The primary forest-oriented livelihood activity is xate harvest. Xate can be collected

throughout the year, although peak activity has historically been during the period from

December to April. Coffee production, which was an important economic activity in the

community during the 1970s and into the 1980s, no longer represented an important livelihood

activity in Soledad in 2006-2007. The same can be said for cultivation of pita (Aechmea

magdalenae) and collection of barbasco (Dioscorea mexicana). Data for both agricultural and

forest-based livelihood activities were procured through household interviews and published

community- and regional-level diagnostics (Table 5-2).

Mexico sponsors two social programs that affect Soledad livelihoods. The first is the

Program for Direct Rural Assistance, or PROCAMPO, administered by Mexico's Secretary of

Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development (SAGARPA, by its Spanish initials).

PROCAMPO is a resource transfer mechanism designed to compensate national producers for

subsidies received by their foreign competitors (SAGARPA 2008). Certain agricultural crops are

eligible, including maize and beans. Payments are made on a per hectare basis. According to

SAGARPA records (SAGARPA 2008), PROCAMPO benefited 27 producers in Soledad

between the autumn 2006 and spring 2007 growing seasons. Payments for the two growing









periods were prorated from $US 89 ($MX 963) and $US 107 ($MX 1160) / hectare, respectively.

Average qualifying terrain was 0.5 ha for the autumn 2006 season and 1.6 ha in spring 2007.

Oportunidades is a national poverty mitigation program (SEDESOL 2008). It provides

households with cash transfers that are linked to the three principal components of the program:

education, health, and nutrition. In 2008, qualifying households received a monthly transfer of

$US 18 ($MX 195) for nutrition, $US 5 ($MX 50) for utilities, and a variable amount for the

educational expenses of children under the age of 22, ranging from $US 12 ($MX 130) for

primary to $US 76 ($MX 825) for girls in their third year of high school. It was assumed that

education-related payments pass through the household to cover matriculation so payments and

costs were excluded from the model. Households with seniors receive an additional $US 25

($MX 270) per qualifying individual.

Model output

The solution for the ELP model represents the optimal livelihood strategies for the

specified household objective. The ELP was solved first to maximize year-end cash, then again

to minimize of migration. The optimal livelihood strategies are defined by the allocation of

household resources land, labor, and cash to subsistence and commercial crops, NTFP

harvest, and off-farm economic pursuits. One component of each solution is the number of days

that a household dedicated to the harvest of xate. This value is correlated with the quantity of

xate harvested. Household level harvest quantities are aggregated to the community level. The

community level harvest represents an important factor in assessing the feasibility of the market

intervention.

Setup of the calculations

Two factors frame the scenarios used in the ELP model: xate market/management and

household composition. Their permutations generate a matrix for the model output (Table 5-3).









The output matrix is used to organize a number of hypothesis-driven dependent variables such as

year-end household cash, total household migration periods, and, as described above, the number

of household days dedicated to xate harvest.


Xate market/management scenarios

Conversations about xate certification, considered within the context of xate

commercialization experiences in Soledad and throughout the region, suggested four general xate

market/management scenarios (Table 6.4). They are: the current market, the historical market,

the quality-driven market, and the certified (i.e., quality and sustainability) market. These four

generalized scenarios facilitate analysis of the effects of changing market and/or resource

management terms on household livelihood strategies. While simplistic, they provide a means to

begin to evaluate approaches to commercialization, including certification. In the ELP model,

scenarios are operationalized through two interrelated terms, or factors. One is the price paid for

xate; the other is quantity demanded.

The price paid to harvesters traditionally has been based on the number ofgruesas (in

Soledad, 120 fronds) harvested, without consideration for the quality of the individual fronds or

for the total quantity supplied. Recent xate commercialization efforts, however, focus more on

quality, supplied in consistent quantities. Pricing in active markets, such as Guatemala's El

Peten, has been gradually shifting toward a system in which a higher price is paid for complete

orders of quality fronds. Communities deliver xate directly to buyers in rolls (600 fronds), rather

than to intermediaries in the traditional gruesas. There is an expectation that non-marketable

fronds have been sorted out, either by the harvester (i.e., not picked) or by a post-harvest

processor in the community. Higher prices do not represent a premium; rather, they are an

adjustment for added value. The market benefit of "certification," regardless of whether









standards target product quality, process quality (e.g. sustainable harvest), or both accrues to

the community in the form of market access (Sedjo and Swallow 1999), rather than price

premiums.

Demand for fronds of a particular variety and sourced from a particular region or location

represents another important factor in the feasibility of xate commercialization and certification

(see Chapter 3). In the period from September 2006 to August 2007, no buyer was regularly

purchasing xate from Soledad harvesters. However, in December 2007 a large buyer in the

United States offered to make a weekly purchase of 100 rolls of C. oblongata. According to the

buyer, that quantity represented the minimum feasible purchase. Thus, 100 rolls per week

represent the "expressed demand" for Soledad xate.

In the ELP, demand is operationalized as a constraint: it is the maximum number of rolls of

xate harvestable by each household, given the resource management requirements imposed by

either the palm population or marketing strategy (Table 5-4). Consequently, the term "demand"

becomes somewhat of a misnomer and merits explanation. Commercializing 100 rolls per week,

as demanded by the buyer, would vastly exceed Soledad's estimated xate population. In this

respect, commercialization of Soledad's xate is infeasible ex ante. To be able to explore the

effects of market/management and household composition scenarios, the expressed demand was

scaled back to the maximum possible (or allowable) harvest as dictated by the

market/management scenarios.

Apart from the "current market" scenario (S1), in which the demand for palm fronds

equals zero, demand refers to the maximum possible (or allowable) harvest. This value changes

with each scenario, beginning as the estimate of Soledad's palm population and progressively

constrained by the inclusion of quality, then sustainability standards. In other words, resource









management standards are imposed on the households. In all scenarios, the maximum possible

(or allowable) harvest was allocated equally among the 25 harvesting households. In the final

analysis, the amount harvested represents the actual supply, which can be compared against both

the maximum possible (allowable) harvest as well as the buyer's expressed demand of 100 rolls

per week.

S1. The 'current market' scenario: This scenario is the baseline that currently characterizes

Soledad and the region. The definitive attribute is the absence of demand, although in practice

itinerant buyers make occasional purchases. Nevertheless, the demand for xate in this scenario

has been set to zero. The relatively recent abatement of demand has been explained as the

combined effect of increased buyer uncertainty with regard to weekly supply coupled with rising

transportation costs. The price, although it is made irrelevant by the absence of demand, is based

on the traditional amount paid for unsorted palm fronds. It is consistent with the amount

currently paid by itinerant buyers in the region (De los Santos, personal communication).

S2. The 'historical market' scenario: In the baseline 'current market' scenario, demand

was set at zero to reflect the virtual absence of xate purchasing, and consequently xate harvest.

The historical market scenario relaxes this restriction. Demand is set at one-fifth of the estimated

five-year harvest, which is based on an estimate of the population of palms at a commercially

viable age (Salgado C 2002; personal communication). Price remains unchanged from the

current market scenario. The historical market scenario is, for all intents and purposes, a

livelihood artifact that would likely be untenable in the present market and regulatory context.

Nevertheless, this scenario provides a point of reference for future comparison of the

benefits/costs of interventions based upon product and process standards.









S3. The 'quality market' scenario: In the previous two scenarios, the price paid per roll of

fronds accounted for a percentage of waste associated with the customary harvesting practices. In

this scenario, the higher price per roll reflects the premium presently being offered for delivery

of a consistent weekly supply of quality (i.e., no waste) xate (Everett and Blankenship, personal

communication). The total number of harvestable fronds calculated from the estimate of

commercial-age plants is reduced by 20 percent, to account for the decrease in waste. An

important assumption is that harvesters, through selective harvesting practices, will do the

quality sorting. The harvest rate remains at one roll per day based on the related assumption that

harvesters will require as much time to collect 600 quality fronds as to collect 750 fronds

containing 20 percent waste. The net effect is an increase to the demand, or maximum allowable

harvest, of one roll per harvester per year.

S4. The 'certified market' scenario: Xate harvest in naturally occurring (versus cultivated)

populations is regulated by Mexican law NOM-006 (Appendix B), which requires that at least 20

percent of the mature plant population be left untouched to ensure reproductive success and long-

term population health1. The effect of this sustainability mandate over the short term is a

reduction by 20 percent to the number of harvestable plants. In contrast to the quality market

scenario, where quality restrictions were offset by increased harvest efficiency, the sustainability

restriction results in a proportional net decrease in total demand (or maximum allowable

harvest). Price remains unchanged from the quality market scenario. The certification scenario

likely most nearly approximates what might be a realistic standards-driven xate market in

Soledad and the broader region. It is the only scenario that provides a price incentive and/or




1 Neither this scenario nor the broader study aims to validate the ecological sustainability of the standards imposed
by NOM-006.









ensures market access, that addresses the buyer's concern for a consistent offering of quality

product, and that incorporates the state's legal mandate for sustainable resource management.

Household composition

Household composition represents a facet of community diversity and is recognized as an

important factor in the formation of household livelihood strategies (Cabrera et al. 2005). Two

observations support the consideration of household composition in this analysis of palm

commercialization and/or certification. First, market (or other) interventions may have

differential effects on households in the community. In the ELP model, as in reality, household

composition dictates resource availability (e.g., labor) as well as resource requirements (e.g.,

consumption). Thus, household composition can directly influence livelihood strategies through

basic decisions, such as the amount of land to place under cultivation and whether to pursue non-

farm cash generating opportunities. As commercial xate harvest is a labor-consuming livelihood

activity, participation is subject to the household's overall resource availability and requirements.

Second, consideration of household composition enhances our understanding of the

broader (community-level) feasibility of market interventions. Use of household types based

upon composition allows for differential responses to be weighted by the actual number of

households comprising each type, and then to be scaled up to the community level. Too often,

estimates are made for an average household and then simply multiplied by the total number of

households to get the community-level effect. Consideration of household composition generates

a better estimate of the community-level effects of market interventions a crucial figure in

contexts where economy of scale plays a deciding factor.

Four household stages are used in the ELP model (Table 6.5). Each modeled household is

a construct developed using actual composition data from 25 Soledad households. The four

household stages are: no children (HH I), young children (HH II), mixed-age children (HH III),









and older children (HH IV). For each stage, the household composition used in the model is the

average number of individuals, for each gender, of the following age groups: seniors, adults,

adolescents, and youth. Averages are calculated from only the households classified within each

particular stage. The baseline is a nuclear household; it contains parents and mixed-age children

(HH III in Table 5-5). Fifteen (60 percent) of the 25 harvester households in Soledad are so

classified. This seven person household is also consistent with the average Soledad household as

measured by a community-wide diagnostic study (MIE 2004).

Results of the ELP Model

Livelihood (Economic) Results

I hypothesized that certification positively affects household livelihoods. In the ELP

model, all palm marketing scenarios including quality/sustainability certification produced

livelihood benefits under either household objective (Figure 5-3). Set to 'maximize year-end

discretionary cash,' that value more than doubled for all household compositions (Figure 5-3a).

Set to minimize migration, the number of periods spent working outside of the community

decreased for each of the three households for which migration is necessary in the absence of

palm harvest; for one of the three households (HH II), the option to harvest palm rendered

migration unnecessary (Figure 5-3b).

Household composition also affected livelihood outcomes. Year-end cash values were

greatest for households with older (working) children (HH IV), followed by households without

children (HH I), for which expenses were relatively minimal. Under the minimize migration

objective, households needed not migrate (HH I) or, through xate commercialization or

certification, were able to eliminate (HH II) or nearly eliminate (HH IV) the migrations. The

household with mixed-age children (HH III) incidentally the most common continued to

migrate at levels relatively close to their pre-commercialization values.









All household livelihoods were affected by the addition of quality standards and pricing

(S3) as well as sustainability standards (S4). When the objective was to maximize year-end cash,

that value was affected by the combined effects of increased price paid per roll (from S2 to S3)

then by the sustainability limitations imposed on harvest (from S3 to S4). The relatively small

differences in year-end household cash between the commercialization scenarios (II, III, and IV)

were inconsequential compared to the overall increase in year-end household cash that occurred

when households went from not commercializing fronds (SI) to any form of commercialization.

When the objective was to minimize migration the marginal effects of quality and

sustainability standards were even less pronounced. For all three of the household compositions

for which migration was necessary, the number of migration periods remained unchanged after

the initial livelihood response to palm commercialization.

I hypothesized that certification will benefit, or at least not disadvantage, thepoorest

households. In the ELP, the poorest households were considered to be those for which the year-

end cash value was the lowest or for which migration requirements were the highest. Under both

objectives, however, xate commercialization and certification benefited those households. In the

case of year-end cash, certification benefits to the poorest two household types were greater than

to the two less poor (Table 6.6). In the case of migration, the relative benefits did not clearly

correspond with household status, yet certification conferred benefits on all three of the

households that pursued a migration strategy when xate harvest was not an option.

Market results

I hypothesized that certification is viable with respect to supply and demand. Together,

the two household objectives generated a probable range of palm harvest for each household

type. Scaled to the community level, the results provided a reasonable picture of the

community's production capacity, or supply potential. Of particular interest was the range of









production under the certification scenario (S4). This scenario most closely approximated the

conditions of any future harvest, given the observed social, economic, and legal climate. At the

low end of that range (estimated under the migration minimization strategy) Soledad households

were likely to supply the market with about 432 rolls of palms in a year. At the high end

(estimated by maximizing year-end cash) Soledad would supply the full 910 roll annual

allowable harvest dictated by the management plan. I conclude from these results that, given the

opportunity, Soledad households could and likely would commercialize between 47 and 100

percent of their allowable annual harvest.

Sensitivity Analysis

Sensitivity analysis was used to establish the effects of three factors on the model results:

household expenditure, xate price, and palm population estimate. In any context, the elaboration

of a livelihood system model necessitates approximation and assumption about livelihoods and

livelihood activities. In the ELP model, the estimate of incidental household cash expenditures

was the least informed, due principally to time constraints and the universal challenges inherent

to collecting reliable household income and expense data. Because households can forego cash

expenditures in difficult times, through reduced consumption and other procurement methods

such as informal exchange, I chose to set household cash expenses at a low value: $US 9.2 ($MX

100) per week for the baseline household (HH III), adjusted for others by household

composition. It was unlikely that actual household expenditures were at a level below this value.

Increasing household cash expenditures in the model by 25 percent affected the livelihoods only

by reducing year-end cash by the equivalent, annualized increase in expenditure, when

households had the objective to maximize year-end cash. The sensitivity analysis was conducted

under the quality/sustainability market scenario (S4). Xate harvest and income were unaffected

by the change. In contrast, the increase in expenses under the objective to minimize migration









led to an increase in xate harvest for all households. Soledad's annual xate supply increased by

49 percent: from 432 rolls to 643 rolls (Table 5-7).

Xate price is an important consideration both within the harvest communities and among

those interested in market interventions. Prices in the ELP model reflected the historical and

current amount paid for unsorted fronds (S and S2) and the price offered in the negotiation

between the Soledad and a large xate buyer (S3 and S4). Given that the low end of the Soledad

supply range fell short of the annual allowable harvest, it was reasonable to consider the potential

effects of a higher price. A price change, equivalent to the increase in price from the unsorted

harvest to quality harvest (S2 to S3), resulted in a price per roll of $US 12.7 ($MX 138). The

sensitivity analysis was also run for the certified market scenario (S4). At the higher price, xate

harvest remained unchanged and the household year-end cash increased by the cumulative

amount of the marginal increase, when households had the objective to maximize year-end cash.

Harvest levels under this objective were already at the maximum allowable level. However, the

price increase led to a decrease in xate harvest for all household types under the 'minimize

migration' objective. Soledad's annual xate supply decreased by 16 percent: from 432 rolls to

362 rolls.

Finally, estimates of Soledad's total palm population affected the maximum possible, or

allowable, harvests in the four, xate market scenarios. A 20 percent increase in the estimated

total palm population resulted in an increase to the upper end of Soledad's total supply: from 910

rolls to 1100 rolls, or from 18 percent to 21 percent of the buyer's expressed demand. The upper

end of the supply range was determined by the 'maximize year-end cash' objective. Although

unrealistic to expect population estimates to change substantially, such an effect might be

achieved through enrichment planting. The total xate harvest under the 'maximize year-end cash'









objective would be affected similarly by reductions to the 20 percent waste estimate used in the

quality market scenario (S3), or by reductions to the certification requirement (S4; NOM-006) to

forego harvest on 20 percent of palms.

Discussion

Is certification of xate feasible with regard to extractor livelihoods and market fluidity?

The results of the ELP model were contradictory. On one hand, Soledad livelihoods improved

with the opportunity to commercialize certified xate, characterized herein as quality fronds

harvested at sustainable rates (per the standards legislated by NOM-006). Livelihoods improved

regardless of the household objective. This across-the-board improvement, under an imposed

sustainable harvest regimen, supported the use of xate certification. On the other hand, Soledad

households supplied merely 8 to 18 percent of the buyer-expressed demand of 100 rolls per

week, or around 5200 rolls per year. In practice, it is difficult to envision a buyer who would

respond positively to such a low order fulfillment rate. This result portended that xate

certification, as well as the less-constrained commercialization, represent infeasible market-

based interventions in Soledad, given the present state of the palm resource and prevailing

market conditions. Yet despite the seeming contradiction between these two outcomes, together

they reinforced important lessons learned from other efforts to integrate conservation and

development objectives through commercial NTFP enterprises.

Results of the ELP model echoed the well-documented importance of market fluidity, or

supply and demand parity, in certification efforts (Panayotou and Ashton 1992; Neumann and

Hirsch 2000; Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Overdevest 2004). In Soledad, the estimated total palm

population was inadequate to meet the demand expressed by the buyer, creating a disparity

immediately recognizable as an obstacle to market interventions. In a different community,

however, xate population estimates might translate to potential supply levels that are much closer









to expressed demand. A higher population-driven estimate of supply might reinforce, or even

encourage a different conclusion about the feasibility of market intervention. Results of the ELP

model in Soledad demonstrated that decisions about market interventions must not be based

solely on estimated population values.

In Soledad, the buyer's expressed demand and willingness to pay for higher quality palm

fronds highlighted the fact that supply and demand parity must be scrutinized not only for

quantity, but also quality, as the latter affects the former. Estimates from the Chinantla region

suggested 20 percent waste (Tolen, personal communication), yet waste estimates from the forest

concessions of El Peten, Guatemala were as high as 76 percent (Radachowsky and Ramos 2004).

Moreover, the quality issue extends beyond the natural state of the resource, reflecting also the

capacity of local harvesters and intermediaries to efficiently harvest, transport, and process

fronds. Poor quality resulting from natural or procedural deficiencies equally affects feasibility.

The range of Soledad's potential xate supply, established through the use of the two

household objectives, revealed perhaps the most important contribution of the Soledad ELP

model to the conversation about NTFP certification. Specifically, there is a need for supply

estimates to be recognized as a function not only of the natural resource, but also of livelihood

objectives and household circumstances, which are related to household composition. The range

generated from the two objectives alluded to the unreliability of single estimates that fail to

consider the household's motivation and ability to harvest and deliver the resource to the market.

The Soledad model clearly demonstrated that household considerations, like quality, could

influence the gulf between estimated and actual supply.

Results of the sensitivity analysis demonstrated that certain values in the ELP model

influenced the low end of Soledad's supply range. To clarify, the low end of the range









represented the supply generated when households sought to minimize migration. Of the many

values in the model, xate price was of particular interest. Under the 'minimize migration'

objective, price was negatively correlated with xate supply. Thus, a price premium generated by

certification would have resulted in all households harvesting fewer fronds and a smaller total

supply at the low end of the range. Given the objective to 'maximize discretionary year-end

cash,' households' harvesting behavior remained unchanged, as the allowable xate harvest

constrained the activity. As a consequence, the challenge of closing the gap between the high and

low end of the supply range was unlikely to be overcome through the use of price premiums.

Depending on the household objective, price premiums might have benefited households

minimizing migration by allowing them to harvest less and still meet household needs, which

might have undermined the feasibility of commercial activity.

Sensitivity analysis also demonstrated the positive correlation between the upper end of the

community-level supply range and the estimate of the palm population, a figure that was unlikely

to appreciably change over the short-term. Ultimately, the short-term feasibility of any market

intervention depends, in large part, on buyer flexibility with regard to the upper limits of the

supply range. Over an extended time horizon, however, palm populations may be subject to the

influence of intensification. In some contexts, intensification (e.g., enhancement planting) might

be appropriate and important strategy for increasing benefits of a market-related intervention or,

in the case of Soledad, increasing its potential viability (Michon and de Foresta 1998). However,

intensification might also displace existing understory vegetation and, therefore, directly conflict

with biodiversity conservation objectives (Browder 1992). Decisions about NTFP intensification

might ultimately be dictated by a community's broader forest conservation or management

strategy, provided that one exists.









Like any modeling technique, the ELP model was an abstraction of an actual livelihood

system. Model outputs (i.e., household livelihood strategies) were influenced by the use of

approximations, averages, and assumptions. For example, resource requirements and yields for

agricultural and NTFP production were collected from three representative households. While

the data from these households were the best available, it was necessary in some cases to

supplement them with information published in community diagnostic studies. And while the

model was calibrated using the three representative households, model output likely deviated

from actual household livelihood strategies.

One important assumption in the ELP model was the requirement for equitable distribution

of the palm demand among the 25 Soledad households. This arrangement contrasted with an

unmanaged supply strategy, one where no controls were imposed on household harvest levels.

Two considerations supported the equitable distribution assumption. First, the social structure of

the ejido and the related process of organizing a group of households around palm harvest

together implied a high degree of collaboration and equity among its members. While it was not

certain that ejido leaders would evenly allocate demand among interested households (e.g.,

through the use of harvest quotas), the ejido decision-making process provided a precedent for

such behavior. A second consideration related to model mechanics and hypotheses. The

allocation of harvest quantity among the 25 households was not important, given the greater need

to interpret the feasibility of Soledad's total xate supply in the context of the prospective buyer's

expressed demand. The disparity between the high end of the supply range and the expressed

demand suggested the more pressing issue facing Soledad might be the ability to coordinate

harvest efforts and timing with nearby ejidos.









Additionally, xate harvest in the ELP was distributed throughout the year, which reflected

the buyer's preference for a stable weekly supply to buffer existing supply variability. Structured

as a year-round activity, Soledad was unable to meet the weekly minimum supply requirement.

However, other arrangements might produce different results. A seasonal harvest, one

corresponding with the Easter demand peak, might serve to concentrate harvest and thus increase

weekly fulfillment. Using the estimated range of annual supply generated by the ELP model (432

- 910 rolls), Soledad could potentially supply the buyer with 100 rolls/week for a period of four

to nine weeks. The feasibility of this approach would depend on the availability of household

resources, namely labor, during this period. Nevertheless, the option suggests an opportunity to

be explored by the community and the buyer.

Conclusions

The ELP model and scenarios suggested that certification might produce beneficial

livelihood outcomes, but the model revealed a limitation common to all of the interventions.

Three necessary conditions for the feasibility of certification were hypothesized: two related to

extractor livelihoods and another related to market fluidity. Only the two livelihood hypotheses

were supported. Two distinct model (household) objectives were used: 1) minimize migration

and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. Although livelihood and xate supply outcomes

differed between the two household objectives, all else being equal, their interpretation with

respect to the tested hypotheses did not. First, certification of xate improved Soledad livelihoods.

Second, certification of xate improved livelihoods for each of four household compositions -

used as a proxy for relative financial well-being. Third, livelihood improvements persisted,

although they were diminished, as commercialization was constrained, first by quality standards

and then by the incorporation of Mexico's NOM-006 population sustainability standards. These

outcomes supported the notion that resource sustainability and economic development are not









mutually exclusive. Taken together, these three findings provided support for the feasibility of

xate certification.

By contrast, the model revealed an unfavorable discrepancy between Soledad's xate supply

(under either household objective) and the buyer's expressed demand. This shortcoming

represented a significant obstacle to the feasibility of xate certification in the community. In the

model, Soledad households supplied only 8 to 18 percent of the expressed demand. This range

reflected differences in household participation in harvesting that corresponded with the

household objectives respectively, 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end

discretionary cash. A better understanding of household objectives, the relaxing of constraints,

and adjustments to the model's assumptions might narrow the range of supply generated under

the two household objectives. An important topic for future research should be a better

understanding of actual household objectives. For example, what conditions produce the

figurative inflection point between households acting to minimize migration and maximize year-

end discretionary cash? Leaving aside discussion of the difference in (or range of) supply that

resulted from the two model (household) objectives, the low levels of fulfillment portended that,

irrespective of the observed livelihood and conservation benefits, xate certification in Soledad

represented an infeasible strategy.

Practical considerations shaped certain aspects of this study. One was the structuring of

commercial xate harvest as a year-round livelihood activity. Other arrangements, such as a

seasonal harvest, might represent feasible alternatives and should be explored further. Another

aspect was the focus on a single community. Before interpreting the above results, therefore, it

must be noted that Soledad de Juarez does not exist in isolation. Rather, it is one of several

communities situated within a valley well endowed with Chamaedorea palms. The near









proximity of other communities with the palm resource justifies a renewed, but tempered

optimism for the feasibility of xate certification in the region. Inter-community cooperation has

the potential to enhance the feasibility of the strategy, at least from the perspective of supply and

demand parity. Cooperation might also enlarge the footprint of any positive conservation and

development effects related to certification. I conclude that Soledad's xate commercialization

(and certification) objectives would be best served by engaging nearby communities in a

cooperative effort to augment regional supply, thereby decreasing the observed gap between

supply and demand.

In Soledad de Juarez, the broader Chinantla region, and beyond, the question of whether

xate certification represents a feasible intervention rapidly leads to the fundamental issue of

supply and demand parity. In other words, conversations about labeling and other market

interventions should address rudimentary concerns for market fluidity as well as the typical

discussions about sustainable rates of harvest and price premiums. Ultimately, in the case of

Soledad and the Chinantla region, the most challenging question may be whether adequate social

cohesion exists to allow communities to work in cooperation to positively influence the region's

economy of scale. The ELP modeling process and the model developed here could be useful in

facilitating this conversation and in broader investigations of the production capacities of

households and communities in the region.


































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Cash Cash, T3
Cash YearEndCash pes


PE?

U M
u u 6 6 i
l .s, t i i a a s s s a a s s s -i i 4a u u u u o

1 i j i i ii i i i i i i i j I J i
:"":::"; s. s. .a ^ ^ ^I ^ ^ B B B a a a a a a h h h ~ ~ h h |, " eg


I I I I I I i i i ,1 i ,1 I ] i I i I i ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 ,1 i i i I i i i 1 .1 I. 1 i. .1 I .1


0.3 03 Tera Baja,ona
0.4(1 0 0( Tira Comun
0.0 00 Tierra Monte
256. 197 Labr, R1 1
389. 383 Labor, Ri2
122. 120 Lb, R3 1
206. 195 Labo, T1 1
365. 282 Labo, T2/1
13. 90 Lab, T3 /
(10. 36 Labor F R/
1 55 Labor F, R2 /
9. 18 Labor F,R3/
82. 1362 Labor T /
546 Labor F, T2/
(5. 18 Labor i 3/
256. 7 La orA, R I
9. 11 LaborA,R2/
33 LaborA, R3/e c
406. 7 LaborA, T /
365. 1 LaborA, T2/
113. 34 LaborA, T3/
153. 152 Labor MA
233. 231 Labor MAJ,
73. 737 LaborMA +J,
123. 123 LaborMA+J,
219. 217 LaborMA+J,
68M 68 LaborMA+J.
i0.0 (Mize M Acct
1008.7) (1208 Ma-ze Cons-npt,
0.0 (00 FrlolesAcct
(109.,) (130 A'rloles Consup
0.0 0 0 Yuca Acct
(11. (11 .uca Consp
i0.0 ( Cle Acct, T1
0.0 (0 (,)Cle Acct, T2

(182.)) (182 uelwoodAcct
(l.( (1_ Rproducive Act
(l.() (1 'Opontmdades"
0.0 (0 )'Opononidades"-

7.6 3 3 Pahm Harvest, R3
3.K 37 6 Pahm Harvest, R

11.00 11 0 Palm Harvest, T2
3. 3 3 Pahm Harvest, T3
1.0 10 Off-F R1
1.0 10 Off-Fa, R2
1.0 1 Off-Farm R3
1.0 1 Off-Farm T1
1.0 10 Off-Fa, T2
1.0 1 0 Off-Fa, T3

(21.) (2 'ce,
(7.1 (10 ce, p3
(14) (21 lce, T
(2 (32 Rce, T2
(7.1 (10 ice,T3
(765. 765 ash, Rl

s(340. 340 R3
(765. } 765 ash, Tl

(340.gL____(340 WOmsh, T3
oA-o -8,50JYear End Cas]


Figure 5-1. Captured image of the ethnographic linear program structure in Microsoft Excel















T3 RI



T2 m



T1 R3


Figure 5-2. Asymmetric periods in Soledad's dry (T) and rainy (R) seasons, created to allocate
labor in the ELP model.




























Year End 5000 um of
Cash Migration 2.0
(Pesos) 4000- Periods

3000- 1.

1.0-
2000-


1 000 / S 4 0.5 / S 4
__- / Market/ : Market/
/ Management | Management
0- Scenario 0.0- Scenario
HH H i1 B) HSil H1 HHH 1 IIIII
Household () IHouHho ld H IV
A. B.


Figure 5-3. ELP model output by scenario. A) household year-end cash under the 'maximize year-end cash' objective. B) sum of

household migration periods under the 'minimize migration' objective.






























Harvest 5 Hrvest 1.0
Days 20- Days 15.0-



100
151


P 5.0-
Market/ Market/
S. Management Management
Scenario 0.0- Scenario
H 1 1 HH I14: SI
HH 11 (B) HHHI H IV ] B) HH III
Household Household
A. B.



Figure 5-4. Annual household harvest days by scenario. A) under the 'maximize year-end cash' objective. B) under the 'minimize

migration' objective.











Table 5-1. Calendar of seasonal production activities in Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca.
J J F F MMA A MMJ J J J A A S S O O N N D D
1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 1 2

Solar (garden)
Milpa, rainy
Milpa, dry
Beans, rainy
Beans, dry
Chile
Yuca
Jicama
Xate harvest
School

Table 5-2. Resource requirements and yields for principal agricultural crops used in the
Ethnographic Linear Program.


Maize, rainy
Maize, dry
Beans
Chili peppers
Yuca
Jicama


Labor
(Days)
107
102
212
281
89
68


Cash Cost
($ US)
62
60
0
612
0
0


Yield
[i.; 11,, '
1175
1100
900
2133
450
200


Table 5-3. General matrix for ELP model


output framed by household types and market


scenarios.
Household Types
Xate Market Scenarios HH I HH II HH III HH IV ALL HH
S1, current market Al B1 C1 D1 El
S2, historical market A2 B2 C2 D2 E2
S3, quality market A3 B3 C3 D3 E3
S4, quality/sustainability market A4 B4 C4 D4 E4

Table 5-4. Operational elements of xate market scenarios.
Xate Market Scenario
Concept Unit S1 S2 S3 S4
Price ($US/roll*) 8.90 8.90 10.65 10.65
Demand (Rolls/household/year) 0 45 46 36
*1 roll = 600 fronds










Table 5-5. Household composition scenarios for Solead de Juarez, Oaxaca
HH I HH II HH III HH IV
Individual N 3 N 3 N 15 N 4
Senior, male 0 0 0 0
Senior, female 0 0 0 0
Adult, male 1 1 1 1
Adult, female 1 1 1 1
Adolescent, male 0 0 1 2
Adolescent, female 0 0 2 1
Youth, male 0 2 1 0
Youth, female 0 1 1 0

Table 5-6. Livelihood benefits under the quality/sustainability market scenario (S4), and in
comparison to the current market scenario (S ), by household composition.
HH I HH II HH III HH IV
Year-end cash, S4 6624 5190 4652 7626
Percent change from S1 148% 444% 520% 123%
Migration, S4 0.0 0.0 2.7 0.3
Percent change from S1 0% -100% -31% 86%

Table 5-7. Sensitivity to selected factors of Soledad's potential range of xate supply (in rolls*)
under the certified market scenario (S4).
ELP Model Objective Function
Minimize Migration Maximize Year-End Cash
Basic model, S4 432 910
Household expenses + 25% 643 910
Palm price + 20% 362 910
Palm population +20% 432 1100
*1 roll = 600 fronds









CHAPTER 6
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS

Beginning in the late 1980s, commercialization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) was

promoted as a strategy for integration of forest conservation and economic development

objectives. For a variety of reasons, however, straightforward commercialization produced

inconsistent results. NTFP certification emerged in the late 1990s as a second-generation

commercialization strategy. Support for NTFP certification has waxed and waned and, despite

early enthusiasm, certification remains in its infancy. Nevertheless, proponents hope certification

represents a strategic intervention capable of integrating conservation and development

objectives.

This study accepted the possibility of successful integration of forest conservation and

economic development and addressed the particular conviction that certification of xate

(Chamaedorea spp.) represents a feasible intervention toward that end. The study utilized a

"Zero-In" approach (Pittaluga et al. 2004), effectively an inversion of Vayda's (1983) method of

progressive contextualization. It began with an examination of the integrated global palm

procurement system, and then narrowed to an examination of harvester-household livelihood

systems, within which xate extraction represents a single livelihood activity. Through this

approach, this study reinforced many existing observations related to NTFP commercialization

and certification, but also generated important new insights and considerations for future

research.

A literature review traced development of NTFP commercialization, and ultimately

certification, as an intervention oriented toward the ideal of integrated conservation and

development. The origins of NTFP certification lie in the renewal of extractivism through the

seringuero (rubber tapper) social movement in Amazonia. Neo-extractivism underwent a rapid









metamorphosis into a more broadly applied conservation and development strategy

operationalized through NTFP commercialization. Initially championed as a veritable panacea

for the reconciliation of conservation and development objectives, commercial extraction of

NTFPs met with numerous obstacles.

The literature highlighted four general challenges to NTFP commercialization. Ecological

concerns related to the potential for negative consequences of commercialization with respect to

NTFP populations, broader biotic communities, and greater ecosystems. Economic concerns

related to potential failures of commercialization strategies stemming from such factors as supply

and demand characteristics, calculated value versus net benefits, and economies of scale, to name

a few. Socio-political concerns focused on the contextual elements of NTFP harvester groups

and regions such as resource tenure and rights, effects on gender roles, and on the broader

contribution of NTFPs to rural livelihoods. Finally, there were concerns relating to the

incompatibility of NTFP management with existing systems of forest management and potential

obstacles to the changes necessary for commercialization to succeed. In practice, these

challenges are interconnected.

Most, if not all, of the challenges that emerged from the early experiences of NTFP

commercialization applied to NTFP certification. The need to establish clear standards

addressing social and/or ecological sustainability represented an additional challenge unique to

the latter. Early certification efforts indicated that the approach might represent a viable strategy

for only a limited subset of "charismatic" NTFPs (Guillen et al. 2002). Nevertheless, several

reported and observed factors suggested that certification might be a feasible intervention for

Chamaedorea palm fronds, or xate.









First, certification represented an undeveloped niche marketing opportunity through which

existing palm extractors might insulate themselves from trends experienced in conventional

markets. An early market study (CEC 2002) concluded that the market for conventional xate

fronds was stable, or perhaps in early stages of contraction (i.e., decreasing demand) The

perceived state of the market, coupled with nascent donor-driven economic development efforts

directed toward palm cultivation in Guatemala and Mexico, suggested that extractors supplying

the conventional market were due to see diminishing prices resulting from increasing supply.

Second, extractors were feared to become the disproportionate bearers of the high costs of

low prices: cultivated fronds are of a higher quality and uniformity and have lower production

costs per unit than extracted fronds. Lower costs stemmed from greater economies of scale for

cultivated systems, lower levels of waste, and lower transport costs. These comparative and

competitive disadvantages to extractors were already the reality for many frustrated communities

unable to find buyers (or reasonable prices) for their consistent, but relatively small offerings of

high quality xate. Any strategy perceived to confer advantage to the extractive systems, whether

through market access or premiums, was worthy of consideration. The alternative was feared to

be nothing short of the departure of commercial xate extraction from the forest.

Finally, certification was viewed as the only practical strategy to capture the value of

ecologically sustainable and/or socially responsible processes, and thereby mitigate the

deleterious emphasis on high volumes and low margins typical of commodity markets and

slowing the transition from extraction to cultivation. In xate extraction regions, which depend on

natural populations, reduced palm abundance and quality were two symptoms of over-harvesting

that had negatively affected the perceived value of extractive procurement systems. Harvesting

pressure came from two directions: suppliers acting to ensure that demand could be fulfilled and









extractors striving to maintain or improve their livelihoods. Stakeholders worried that the

extractive procurement system was approaching the critical threshold where extraction is

eclipsed by cultivation outside of the forest. History suggested that, without intervention,

cultivation under modified forest or artificial shade could soon be the norm. These

considerations, and the conviction among practitioners that palm certification represented an

appropriate intervention, highlighted the need for an integrated analysis of the feasibility of palm

certification in extraction communities.

This study departed from the literature through an analysis of the global xate system. The

current integrated value chain and market were examined as a means to evaluate the feasibility of

xate certification. I hypothesized that feasibility (at any scale) depends on the attributes of

certified supply and demand relative to the supply and demand for the conventional product in

the global system. Specifically, the analysis focused on two objectives: 1) identifying the

components of the integrated xate value chain and, 2) describing the dimensions of the integrated

xate market. Prior to this study, negligible effort had been made to contextualize localized

interventions into an integrated, systems framework that considered the numerous and diverse

xate procurement systems and markets.

Information about the integrated value chain and market was collected through

conversations with its component actors and other influential individuals using a modified rapid

appraisal method (sondeo). The interviews, along with aggregate national trade data and

published research, were used to describe and characterize the xate market.

The analysis revealed a xate value chain that is extensive, transcending numerous regions

across national boundaries. U.S. importers principally sourced palms from Mexico and

Guatemala, the former supplying the vastly greater share. Within Mexico, there were numerous









supply regions located in several states. As with many NTFP chains, there was an evident and

growing trend toward system intensification, via cultivation. The xate value chain was composed

of a small group of influential actors, notably at the levels of national consolidators and U.S.

importers. It was best characterized as oligopsonistic, or comprised of a small group of

influential actors. Historically, buyers maintained arms-length relations with extractors, the latter

selling opportunistically to itinerant intermediaries who worked independently, or for established

intermediate enterprises located in regional or national centers. For this reason, actors in the xate

value chain were vulnerable to many of the economic challenges identified in the NTFP

commercialization and certification literature, namely the inability of suppliers to affect market

relationships and terms of trade.

The analysis further revealed an integrated xate market comprised of a large, mature

conventional market and a significantly smaller, yet dynamic certified market. Conventional

fronds were an important component in the floral industry throughout the year, while certified

fronds were purchased primarily by church congregations during the Easter season. The very

existence of a growing market for certified xate heartened promoters and extractor communities

alike throughout the region of extraction. The sales volume of certified xate, however, was

several orders of magnitude lower than the volume of conventionally produced fronds. The

largest U.S. importer stated that this discrepancy, and specifically the low overall quantity of

certified xate, made virtually infeasible the necessary segregation of certified xate from

conventional product in the supply chain.

The salient challenges to palm certification that emerged from this analysis were

economic. Suppliers considering certification stood to face substantial barriers to entry that stem

from the maturity of the conventional xate market and an oligopsonistic value chain comprised









of a few dominant actors and regions. Barriers were likely to be more formidable for new

harvesters (and harvesting regions) interested in entering the market to capitalize on the small,

but growing certified market. They stood to become even more imposing should established

extractors of conventional xate determine that a shift to certification makes sense. A 2005 direct-

sale arrangement between two FSC-certified community forest concessions in the Maya

Biosphere Reserve (MBR) and a major U.S. importer, coupled with the current push for xate

certification by international actors such as Rainforest Alliance (in Guatemala and Mexico) and

ProNatura (in Mexico), suggested that the "shift to certification" scenario merits serious

consideration.

Moreover, seasonality of the certified market implied that suppliers would need to adjust

their year-round activities in order to accrue benefits only during the Easter season, when

churches paid a premium for certified fronds. In most regions, xate was extracted throughout the

year. Willingness to pursue certification for the seasonal, or any other, market would depend

heavily, although perhaps not exclusively on twin factors: price premium and/or market access,

mirror images with respect to economic benefit (Sedjo and Swallow 1999). It was noteworthy

that the 2005 MBR agreement explicitly included a quality standard, allowing the forest

concessions to accrue the benefits of certification throughout the year, rather than merely during

the Easter season. Additionally, the agreement formalized what had previously been an informal

and indirect transaction with the U.S. buyer.

From the buyers' perspective, there were significant transaction costs to forging new

relationships with suppliers. The procurement system relied on communities that were best

characterized by under-developed transportation infrastructure and socio-political systems

unfamiliar to buyers. Restructuring the terms of trade with existing partners appeared to be more









attractive to buyers than forging new relationships. Indeed, the 2005 MBR agreement with an

established supplier stipulated a higher price for higher quality xate, the higher price paid by the

buyer ostensibly was offset by comparable reductions in non-marketable fronds.

Finally, economy of scale represented a significant obstacle for actors throughout the value

chain. The current demand for certified palms made segregation of eco-palms from conventional

palms in the supply chain infeasible over the long term. This observation echoed Overdevest's

(2004) assertion that strategies for certification of high-standard products and processes are often

limited by the difficulty of constructing viable markets. For palms, the viability of a certified

market appeared to be most constrained by nascent consumer demand. Nevertheless, this dark

cloud over the horizon of xate certification had a silver lining.

In the 2005 MBR agreement, quality requirements represented what might be described

best as a "keystone standard" that bridged the gap between the short-term obstacle described

above and the long-term success that might be possible with a more established, and sizable

demand for certified xate. The atypical combination of a product standard (quality) and the

process standards stipulated by FSC facilitated an intermediate step in the development of a

market for certified xate. Specifically, certified xate was made available as needed to the

certified market due to the hybrid product/process standards mandated in the MBR agreement.

When viewed in light of the maturity of the conventional market, the MBR arrangement

highlighted an opportunity for an established buyer to foster and perhaps even shape

development of a small, yet growing niche market. The short-term costs of subsidizing this

market may ultimately be offset by the long-term benefits of rejuvenating commercial interest in

what has been described as a passe commodity. Finally, as state institutions increasingly focus on

sustainability guidelines for harvesting forest products, a trend observed both in Guatemala and









Mexico, the extent to which certification facilitates state authorization for any form of

commercial xate extraction might increase the willingness of both suppliers and buyers to

embrace certification standards. Ultimately, the inclusion of quality standards in xate

certification will likely increase this likelihood that the intervention will represent a feasible step

on the path toward integration of conservation and development objectives in extractor

communities.

An ethnographic linear program (ELP) model of the Soledad de Juarez livelihood system

was developed to test two hypotheses related to extractor livelihoods and another related to

market fluidity. The ELP model was constructed from a foundational schematic livelihood model

that was elaborated using a rapid appraisal, or sondeo, in Chapter 4. Results were based on four

xate marketing/management scenarios: current, historical, quality, and certified. The 'current'

scenario was characterized by the absence of a market. The remaining commercialization

scenarios produced beneficial livelihood and conservation outcomes, but the model revealed a

limitation common to all of the interventions.

Three necessary conditions for the feasibility of certification were hypothesized: two

related to extractor livelihoods and another related to market fluidity. Only the two livelihood

hypotheses were supported. Two distinct model (household) objectives were used: 1) minimize

migration and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. Although livelihood and resource use

outcomes differed between the two household objectives, all else being equal, their interpretation

with respect to the tested hypotheses did not. First, commercialization of certified xate improved

Soledad livelihoods. Second, commercialization of certified xate improved livelihoods for each

of four household compositions, used as a proxy for relative financial well-being. Finally,

livelihood improvements persisted, although they were diminished, as commercialization was









constrained: first by the inclusion of quality standards, and then by the incorporation of Mexico's

NOM-006 population sustainability standards. These outcomes supported the notion that

resource sustainability and economic development are not mutually exclusive. Taken together,

these findings provided support for xate certification as an intervention oriented toward

integrating conservation and development objectives.

By contrast, the model revealed an unfavorable discrepancy between Soledad's xate supply

(under either household objective) and the level of demand expressed by an interested buyer.

This shortcoming represented a substantial obstacle to the feasibility of xate certification in the

community. In the model, Soledad households supplied only 8 to 18 percent of the expressed

demand. This range reflected differences in household participation in harvesting that

corresponded with the household objectives respectively, 1) minimize migration and 2)

maximize year-end discretionary cash. Leaving aside discussion of the difference in (or range of)

supply that resulted from the two model (household) objectives, the low levels of fulfillment

portended that xate certification represented an infeasible strategy in Soledad, irrespective of the

observed livelihood and conservation benefits described above.

Practical considerations shaped certain aspects of this study. One was the structuring of

commercial xate harvest as a year-round livelihood activity. Other arrangements, such as a

seasonal harvest, might represent feasible alternatives to be explored further. Another aspect was

the focus on a single extraction community. Before interpreting the above results, therefore, it

must be noted that Soledad de Juarez did not exist in isolation. Rather, it was one of several

communities situated within a valley well endowed with Chamaedorea palms. The close

proximity of other communities justifies a renewed, yet tempered optimism for the feasibility of

xate certification in the region. Inter-community cooperation has the potential to enhance the









feasibility of the strategy, at least from the perspective of supply and demand parity. Cooperation

could also enlarge the footprint of any positive conservation and development effects that might

stem from certification. Considered in light of the positive results above, I concluded that

Soledad's palm commercialization (and certification) objectives would be best served by

engaging nearby communities in a cooperative effort to augment regional supply, thereby

decreasing the observed gap between supply and demand.

Reflection on the analyses of the global value chain and community livelihood systems

generated three important summary conclusions pertaining to the certification of xate. First, I

conclude that the maturity of the conventional xate market offers limited potential for the

development of new palm suppliers, or supply communities. Just as Homma concluded that

increased cultivation would displace extraction (Homma 1992), in the mature xate market

context, one characterized by stable demand, the development of new extraction communities

will almost certainly displace existing communities that might be at a competitive disadvantage.

In promoting commercial palm extraction in new communities, promoters are implicitly

expressing preferences for those communities, ecosystems, cultures, etc., that should benefit

from commercial extraction. If the ultimate goal is integration of conservation and development,

it is uncertain whether the communities with competitive advantage today represent those best

suited to that end.

The results from Soledad de Juarez clearly demonstrated that small producers face large

challenges with respect to achieving economy of scale. A second reasonable conclusion,

therefore, is that conversations about labeling and other market interventions should address

rudimentary concerns for market fluidity as well as the typical discussions about sustainable

rates of harvest and price premiums. Certainly the latter considerations are of critical importance,









but without supply and demand parity, questions related to how to harvest (rather than whether to

harvest) are rendered moot. This conclusion leads to the recommendation that the pressing

concern for smaller producers (and external partners) considering certification must be

development of cooperative production networks, seasonal concentration of commercialization,

or some combination of the two strategies. The existence of a nascent niche market for certified

xate suggests supports consideration of the intervention in such contexts. Ultimately, however,

only those communities able to work collectively or seasonally to achieve necessary economies

of scale in the short-term will have the opportunity in the medium- to long-term of addressing

and refining the ecological and social considerations inherent to certification.

The experience of community forest concessions in Guatemala's Maya Biosphere Reserve

led to a third conclusion, that effort to certify xate using process-oriented standards (i.e.,

ecological sustainability or social justice) might benefit from the inclusion of quality (or product)

standards. The call for a quality emphasis echoes, but differs from, the quality conversation

accompanying the development of the market for fair trade certified coffee. With coffee, the

combination of low product quality and low demand resulted, unfortunately, in the sale of 70

percent of fairly-traded beans in the conventional coffee market (Bacon 2005). In contrast, the

goal in the case of xate should be to get certified product into the conventional market: quality

attributes are needed to sustain demand for certified xate because the market for certified fronds

is seasonal. I recommend that certifiers consider incorporating quality as a "keystone standard."

Quality standards will benefit actors in the critical market development phase, during which

demand for certified product is insufficient to justify the necessary, but costly, segregation of

certified and conventional product in the value chain. Ultimately, quality standards will help to









ensure that buyers equate certified xate with quality xate, and thus value certification throughout

the year, during which the majority of time no retail demand exists for certified fronds.

Important limitations to this study relate to its scope and analytical approach, and suggest

themes for future research. First, the market for xate is truly global and exhibits dynamics that

this study was unable to portray though the use of U.S. import data. The difficulty of accessing

reliable data, coupled with time and resource limitations, precluded a more thorough

consideration of emerging xate markets, particularly those in Eastern Europe. Anecdotal

evidence suggested that this region represents a growth market segment for conventionally

produced xate. Substantial increases in overall market demand could potentially offset any

negative price pressure that this study anticipated as a result of increased xate cultivation or the

development of new extraction-oriented suppliers. Similarly, a small, but growing market for

organic flowers almost non-existent when this study began might represent an important and

growing market segment for certified xate.

The requirement of a single household objective function in linear programming

represented a second limitation in the livelihood system component of the study. It is unlikely

that household behavior can be accurately characterized by a single operational objective, such

as 'maximize year-end discretionary cash' or 'minimize migration.' Moreover, the challenge of

ascertaining a primary household objective was compounded by the need to juxtapose the

request for highly subjective information (the household objective) within a conversation

focused on obtaining relatively objective livelihood data. More plainly stated: intra-household

power dynamics (e.g., gender, age) could not be controlled for in an open household

conversation about livelihood activities. The decision to use two objectives to create a range of

possible harvest outcomes represented an attempt to mitigate the negative effect of the above









limitations. This approach was practical, but certainly imperfect. It was fortunate that, in

Soledad, the palm population rendered unimportant the implication of household objective for

the feasibility of certification. In other communities, however, the difference could prove to be

critical. Therefore, a better understanding of harvester household objectives should be a priority

in future research.

Finally, national and global circumstances from 2007 2008 bring to the fore the

importance of viewing xate certification within an even broader context. In Mexico, drug related

gang violence along the gulf coast has disrupted the regional and, to a lesser extent, the national

and international economy (BBC 2008). The gulf coast transit ways are the principal trade route

for xate, which is trucked from Guatemala City, Guatemala, through Veracruz, Mexico, and then

to San Antonio, Texas. Disruptions to this trade route could have important implications for

sourcing and routing decisions made by buyers, thereby affecting the selection of suppliers and

the cost-benefit calculations for both conventional and certified product.

Superimposed over this regional issue of instability is the global issue of energy costs.

Rising fuel prices could dramatically alter the viability of extensive xate procurement and thus

the overall viability of the conventional xate market. A future characterized by dramatically

higher energy costs could have many outcomes, but may favor intensive cultivation in regions

close to major trade routes. Alternatively, such conditions could favor a shift in the floral

industry to other cut-greens amenable to production within the region of sale. Whatever the

future may hold, it is clear that practitioners acting locally, without consideration of broader

contexts, undermine the feasibility of interventions oriented toward forest conservation and

economic development.











APPENDIX A
FSC CHAMAEDOREA ADDENDUM


MBR Forest Concession & Chamaedorea Certification4


Forest Stewardship Council's Principles and Criteria-


Principle 1: Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles

Forest management shall respect all applicable laws of the country in which they occur, and international treaties and agreements to
which the country is a signatory, and comply with all FSC Principles and Criteria.

All Chamaedorea exploitation operations should demonstrate agreement with the policy and practices of FSC's Principles and
Criteria for Forest Management. The extraction and processing of Chamaedorea may invoke laws and regulations that are not
normally covered by the typical SmartWood evaluation, for example the extraction of xate [Chamaedorea] requires legal
permission and licensure. In some cases existing conventions may exist or international treaties may apply, as clearly is the case
with species in danger of extinction under the CITES treaty or other laws for national tenure and usufruct rights. The evaluators
have to consult with relevant government agencies and other actors to verify if an operation is addressing in a responsible
manner the legal requirements for the extraction, processing, and sale of Chamaedorea

Criteria:

1.1 Forest management shall respect all national and local laws and administrative requirements.

1.1.1. Interviews with public servants, other involved or interested actors, andfield observations, indicate that the FMO is meeting the
national and/or local environmental, labor, forestry, protected area, and other applicable laws such as:

* Protected areas law;
* Protected area policy;
* Non-timberproducts policy and xate norms;
* Conservation strategy of the MBR;
* Decree of the creation d,,iI MIBR;
..,,,, r.., ii,-' granting offorest concessions;
Norms and regulations of MAGA through OIRISA;
CITES norms;
International Convention on Biodiversity;
Monitoring systems of the forest concessions;
S Xate exportation iariti/:
Municipal codes;
S Work codes.

1.1.1.a. The Forest Management Operation (FMO) meets all the national and local laws for environment, labor, forestry, and
protected areas, among others, in the extraction, processing, and commercialization of Chamaedorea.

1.1.l.b. The FMO meets the integrated management of resources granted under the concession in agreement with the clauses
stipulated under the contract.

1.1.2. Any violation of the law by the part .*i,- FlIMO is to be immediately addressed by the proper authorities.

1.2 All applicable and legally prescribed fees, royalties, taxes and other charges shall be paid.

1.2.1. The FMO will be up to date on the payment of taxes, forest rights, andfreight, among others.


4 FSC Principles & Criteria in BLACK, MBR additions in ITALICS, Chamaedorea addendum in BOLD












1.2.1.a. The FMO or Chamaedorea intermediaries will remain up to date on the payment of debts, licenses, guides, taxes, and
other fiscal requirements.


1.3 In signatory countries, the provisions of all binding international agreements such as CITES, ILO Conventions, ITTA, and
Convention on Biological Diversity, shall be respected.


1.3.1. The FMO will meet o demonstrate intent to meet applicable international conventions, in accord with the scale of
operation,


1.4 Conflicts between laws, regulations and the FSC Principles and Criteria shall be evaluated for the purposes of certification, on a case-
by-case basis, by the certifiers and the involved or affected parties.


1.4.1.


1.4.2.


1.5 Forest management areas should be protected from illegal harvesting, settlement and other unauthorized activities.


1.5.1.


1.5.2.


1.6 Forest managers shall demonstrate a long-term commitment to adhere to the FSC Principles and Criteria.


1.6.1.


1.6.2.


1.6.3


Principle 2: Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities


Long-term tenure and use rights to the land and forest resources shall be clearly defined, documented, and legally established.


Chamaedorea palms are non-timber forest products important to rural populations and urban areas of Guatemala and other
countries. Forest managers must always demonstrate sensitivity to local individuals' dependency on Chamaedorea, as long as the
use of which does not endanger the integrity of the forest. Forest managers may take proactive steps to improve community
relations through improving understanding of xate use, permitting continued access to these resources. Nevertheless, a growing
market demand, higher prices, or new populations can augment resource pressure. In such cases, the management may have to
restrict access to the palms to those with traditional rights or in extreme cases, temporarily prohibit access, to protect the
resource.


Criteria:


2.1 Clear evidence of long-term forest use rights to the land (e.g. land title, customary rights, or lease agreements) shall be demonstrated.


2.1.1.


2.1.1.a. When outsiders are involved in the extraction of Chamaedorea they should obtain endorsement from the appropriate
responsible party (owner, concessionaire, or lessee). This endorsement will need to be recognized by authorities prior to the
guarantee of extraction license.


2.2 Local communities with legal or customary tenure or use rights shall maintain control, to the extent necessary to protect their rights
or resources, over forest operations unless they delegate control with free and informed consent to other agencies.


2.2.1.












2.2.2.


2.2.2.a. Extraction and commercialization activities for Chamaedorea are planned and/or with the participation and/or consent of
individuals, groups, or communities with legal rights and consent over the area of the managed resources.


2.2.3.


2.3 Appropriate mechanisms shall be employed to resolve disputes over tenure claims and use rights. The circumstances and status of
any outstanding disputes will be explicitly considered in the certification evaluation. Disputes of substantial magnitude involving a
significant number of interests will normally disqualify an operation from being certified.


2.3.1.


2.3.2.


2.3.3.


Principle 3: Indigenous People's Rights


The legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use and manage their lands, territories, and resources shall be recognized
and respected.


Certification efforts should attempt to minimize any potentially negative impacts of the market on use and traditional management of
forests and forest products.


The rights of indigenous peoples and locals to use Chamaedorea for subsistence needs must be protected. The certification of
Chamaedorea should increase the local economy in a cultural and socially appropriate manner. Certification efforts should be a
means to avoid circumstances which create conditions of dependency that undermine cultural integrity.


Criteria:


3.1 Indigenous peoples shall control forest management on their lands and territories unless they delegate control with free and informed
consent to other agencies.


3.1.1.


3.1.1.a. The consuetudinarios[sic] and traditional rights of indigenous peoples that possess, manage, or utilize Chamaedorea, have
been recognized in a fair manner and clearly documented in writing.


3.1.2.a. In the case of delegation of the management of Chamaedorea to a third party, voluntary agreements exist with indigenous
peoples in which the control and distribution of the benefits will be made through common agreement of the involved parties.


3.1.2.


3.2 Forest management shall not threaten or diminish, either directly or indirectly, the resources or tenure rights of indigenous peoples.


3.2.1.


3.3 Sites of special cultural, ecological, economic or religious significance to indigenous peoples shall be clearly identified in
cooperation with such peoples, and recognized and protected by forest managers.


3.3.1


3.3.1.a. The extraction of Chamaedorea should respect the potential religious and cultural significant it may have for indigenous
communities. The extraction of Chamaedorea should not be undertaken in sacred sites or areas of special significance for
indigenous communities.












3.3.2.


3.3.3.


3.4 Indigenous peoples shall be compensated for the application of their traditional knowledge regarding the use of forest species or
management systems in forest operations. This compensation shall be formally agreed upon with their free and informed consent before
forest operations commence.


3.4.1


3.4.1.a. Indigenous communities should receive fair and adequate benefits any use of their name and imagry in the marketing of
Chamaedorea.


3.4.2.


Principle 4: Community Relations and Workers' Rights


Forest management operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local
communities.


The certification of NTFPs such as Chamaedorea has as objectives the increase and stabilization of economic resources based on
the long-term use of forest resources. It is not feasible that only the proprietors of the enterprise receive the premium of certified
Chamaedorea, workers and local communities also should be beneficiaries, whenever possible. The resources and benefits
generated by the management should be proportionally available to the local level. The active involvement and continue
participation of these groups will help to promote the sustainable management in the long term, a primary objective of the
certification of Chamaedorea.


Criteria:


4.1 The communities within, or adjacent to, the forest management area should be given opportunities for employment, training, and
other services.


4.1.1.


4.1.1.a. The residents of local communities have priority in labor contracts for the extraction of Chamaedorea.


4.1.1.b. The local communities have first preference for the Chamaedorea in the managed area over third parties.


4.2 Forest management should meet or exceed all applicable laws and/or regulations covering health and safety of employees and their
families.


4.2.1.


4.2.1.a. The salaries and other benefits (health, life insurance, retirement, working conditions, lodging, food) for the workers
involved in the extraction of Chamaedorea are consistent (not less than) national legislation.


4.2.2.


4.2.2.a. The technical methods, working conditions, and facilities for the extraction of Chamaedorea are sufficiently safe and
sanitary for the workers and for final consumers.


4.2.3.


4.2.3.a First responders are available for workers in the Chamaedorea extraction camps or social security in the case of accidents.


4.2.4.












4.2.4.a Safety equipment is used in the field during the extraction operations for Chamaedorea, such as adequate footware and
other considerations.


4.3 The rights of workers to organize and voluntarily negotiate with their employers shall be guaranteed as outlined in Conventions 87
and 98 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).


4.3.1.


4.3.2.


4.3.3.


4.4 Management planning and operations shall incorporate the results of evaluations of social impact. Consultations shall be maintained
with people and groups (both men and women) directly affected by management operations.


4.4.1.


4.4.1.a The FMO formally takes account of social impacts of Chamaedorea extraction on affected communities and workers.


4.4.2


4.4.3


4.4.4


4.5 Appropriate mechanisms shall be employed for resolving grievances and for providing fair compensation in the case of loss or
damage affecting the legal or customary rights, property, resources, or livelihoods of local peoples. Measures shall be taken to avoid such
loss or damage.


4.5.1.


4.5.2.


4.5.3


4.5.4


Principle 5: Benefits from the Forest


Forest management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forest's multiple products and services to ensure economic
viability and a wide range of environmental and social benefits.


The extraction of Chamaedorea can provide an array of social and economic benefits at the local, regional, and international
level. The intention of certification is to optimize the socio-economic potential of the species, to provide a higher and more certain
economic yield for a given forest area to local communities and forest managers, without negative impacts on the local use of the
species. On par with timber extraction, the commercialization of Chamaedorea should continue rational market plans and solid
financial investments to ensure long term viability, forest conservation, and stability of the local communities.


Criteria:


5.1 Forest management should strive toward economic viability, while taking into account the full environmental, social, and operational
costs of production, and ensuring the investments necessary to maintain the ecological productivity of the forest.


5.1.1.












5.1.1.a. When third parties harvest Chamaedorea, compensation to the FMO (cash, goods, services, or products) is negotiated
among the FMO administrators and the commercial enterprises. This compensation is viewed as an incentive to the FMO to
stimulate long-term forest management.


5.1.1.b Adequate equipment and methods of extraction and transformation should be used to maximize the economic viability of
the Chamaedorea extraction operation.


5.1.1.c. An activity plan, financial plan, and business plan should exist and be in use for the extraction of Chamaedorea that
considers all management and social costs as well as those associated with measures for mitigation.


5.1.2.


5.1.2.a. It is the responsibility of the FMO to know and document the related costs to achieve social, environmental, and
operational costs provided by the management plan for Chamaedorea. These costs are to be used to make management decisions.


5.2 Forest management and marketing operations should encourage the optimal use and local processing of the forest's diversity of
products.


5.2.1.


5.2.2.


5.2.2.a. The FMO promotes the use of commercially less well-known or utilized species of Chamaedorea.


5.2.3


5.2.4


5.2.4.a. The FMO promotes the processing and packaging of Chamaedorea by the participating communities.


5.3 Forest management should minimize waste associated with harvesting and on-site processing operations and avoid damage to other
forest resources.


5.3.1.


5.3.1.a. The FMO, intermediaries, and processing centers optimize methods for the minimization of waste from extraction and
sorting.


5.3.2.


5.4 Forest management should strive to strengthen and diversify the local economy, avoiding dependence on a single forest product.


5.4.1.


5.4.2.


5.5 Forest management operations shall recognize, maintain, and, where appropriate, enhance the value of forest services and resources
such as watersheds and fisheries.


5.5.1.


5.5.2.


5.6 The rate of harvest of forest products shall not exceed levels which can be permanently sustained.


5.6.1.












5.6.1.a. The intensity, frequency, and seasonality of extraction of Chamaedorea, by area and volume, is based on a combination of
scientific studies, experiences, and local long-term knowledge, and is executed at a sustainable level.


5.6.2.


5.6.3.


Principle 6: Environmental Impact


Forest management shall conserve biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and unique and fragile
ecosystems and landscapes, and, by so doing, maintain the ecological functions and the integrity of the forest.


The certified management of Chamaedorea should ensure the long-term ecological viability of populations of this product. Is
management generally has less impact on the ecosystem than timber management, but cautions should be made that the level of
collection does not exceed the regeneration. Correct extraction techniques and incorporating the impacts of the elimination of
Chamaedorea in the population structure should ensure its long-term viability.


Criteria:


6.1 Assessment of environmental impacts shall be completed -- appropriate to the scale, intensity of forest management and the
uniqueness of the affected resources -- and adequately integrated into management systems. Assessments shall include landscape level
considerations as well as the impacts of on-site processing facilities. Environmental impacts shall be assessed prior to commencement of
site-disturbing operations.


6.1.1.


6.1.1.a. Environmental impact evaluations will include results of the commercial extraction of Chamaedorea.


6.1.2.


6.1.2.a. Mitigation measures will be incorporated and applied in the extraction and processing (selection, packaging, and
transport) of Chamaedorea.


6.1.3.


6.2 Safeguards shall exist which protect rare, threatened and endangered species and their habitats (e.g., nesting and feeding areas).
Conservation zones and protection areas shall be established, appropriate to the scale and intensity of forest management and the
uniqueness of the affected resources. Inappropriate hunting, fishing, trapping and collecting shall be controlled.


6.2.1.


6.2.1.a. All requirements stipulated by presiding institutions, local lists, and/or CITES will be met for the extraction of restricted
species of Chamaedorea.


6.2.2.


6.2.3.


6.2.4.


6.2.5.


6.3 Ecological functions and values shall be maintained intact, enhanced, or restored, including: a) Forest regeneration and succession. b)
Genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity. c) Natural cycles that affect the productivity of the forest ecosystem.


6.3.1.












6.3.1.a. The forestry and ecological justification for the prescribed management of Chamaedorea will be well documented,
natural regeneration will be promoted, and composition and structure impacts to Chamaedorea populations will be minimized.


6.3.2.


6.3.2.a. Will promote investigation of the impacts of extraction on associated species (wildlife).


6.3.2.b. The natural regeneration and succession of Chamaedorea will be maintained and/or increased, in all of the area Ander
management.


6.3.3.


6.4 Representative samples of existing ecosystems within the landscape shall be protected in their natural state and recorded on maps,
appropriate to the scale and intensity of operations and the uniqueness of the affected resources.


6.4.1.


6.4.2.


6.5 Written guidelines shall be prepared and implemented to: control erosion; minimize forest damage during harvesting, road
construction, and all other mechanical disturbances; and protect water resources.


6.5.1.


6.5.2.


6.5.3.


6.5.4.


6.5.4.a. Minimization of the impacts of extraction and transport of Chamaedorea on soil and water resources, especially on paths,
access roads, and temporary camps.


6.5.4.b. Written guides shall exist to minimize the environmental impacts associated with the extraction and transport of
Chamaedorea. Field personnel will have knowledge of and use these guides.


6.5.5.


6.5.6


6.5.7.


6.6 Management systems shall promote the development and adoption of environmentally friendly non-chemical methods of pest
management and strive to avoid the use of chemical pesticides. World Health Organization Type 1A and 1B and chlorinated hydrocarbon
pesticides; pesticides that are persistent, toxic or whose derivatives remain biologically active and accumulate in the food chain beyond
their intended use; as well as any pesticides banned by international agreement, shall be prohibited. If chemicals are used, proper
equipment and training shall be provided to minimize health and environmental risks.


6.6.1.


6.6.1.a. To the extent possible, the use of chemicals in the forest and in the processing and transport of Chamaedorea will be
avoided.


6.6.2.


6.6.3.












6.6.4.


6.7 Chemicals, containers, liquid and solid non-organic wastes including fuel and oil shall be disposed of in an environmentally
appropriate manner at off-site locations.


6.7.1.


6.8 Use of biological control agents shall be documented, minimized, monitored and strictly controlled in accordance with national laws
and internationally accepted scientific protocols. Use of genetically modified organisms shall be prohibited.


6.8.1.


6.8.2.


6.9 The use of exotic species shall be carefully controlled and actively monitored to avoid adverse ecological impacts.


6.9.1.


6.9.1.a. The introduction of exotic species of Chamaedorea into the natural forest is prohibited, save when justified socio-
economically and environmentally a when legislation permits.


6.9.2.


6.9.3.


6.9.3.a. Emphasis is placed on plantations and/or applied investigation of species of Chamaedorea native to the region.


6.9.4.


6.9.4.a. Where exotic species are planted, measures will be taken to minimize the environmental impacts on natural populations
of Chamaedorea.


6.10 Forest conversion to plantations or non-forest land uses shall not occur, except in circumstances where conversion: a) entails a very
limited portion of the forest management unit; and b) does not occur on high conservation value forest areas; and c) will enable clear,
substantial, additional, secure, long term conservation benefits across the forest management unit.


6.10.1.


6.10.l.a. Underbrush (sub-canopy) [Sotobosque] may not be eliminated for Chamaedorea enrichment activities, unless the
enrichment is undertaken in areas of forest destined for agriculture (according to studies of land-use management or the like).


6.10.1.b. Underbrush (sub-canopy) [Sotobosque] may not be eliminated for the establishment of Chamaedorea plantations in
areas that for reason of other objectives or internal zoning such activity is prohibited.


6.10.2


6.10.3.


6.10.4


Principle 7: Management Plan


A management plan -- appropriate to the scale and intensity of the operations -- shall be written, implemented, and kept up to date. The
long-term objectives of management, and the means of achieving them, shall be clearly stated.












Management plans for Chamaedorea describing the objectives of management, extraction areas, extraction norms and
techniques; extraction should be used by FMOs or third parties.


The levels and methods of extraction should be rationalized through the published literature, site-specific data and/or local
knowledge. Intermediaries poorly trained can cause great damage to forest resources. The training of the worker is essential to
the achievement of a good forest management plan and the implementation of correct extraction techniques in the field.


Criteria:


7.1 The management plan and supporting documents shall provide: a) Management objectives. b) Description of the forest resources to
be managed, environmental limitations, land use and ownership status, socio-economic conditions, and a profile of adjacent lands. c)
Description of silvicultural and/or other management system, based on the ecology of the forest in question and information gathered
through resource inventories. d) Rationale for rate of annual harvest and species selection. e) Provisions for monitoring of forest growth
and dynamics. f) Environmental safeguards based on environmental assessments. g) Plans for the identification and protection of rare,
threatened and endangered species. h) Maps describing the forest resource base including protected areas, planned management activities
and land ownership. i) Description and justification of harvesting techniques and equipment to be used.


7.1.1.


7.1.1.a. The FMO's management plan will incorporate a specific management plan for Chamaedorea that should at least include:


Management objectives;
User rights for Chamaedorea and socio- economic conditions for harvesters;
Extraction areas (marked on a map);
Measure, period, and quantity of palms for harvest, based on the number of extractable leaves and the establishment of
best management practices and post-harvest practices;
Description and justification of the quantity of Chamaedorea harvested, the technique of extraction and equipment to be
used;
Information resources that support the management activities for Chamaedorea (e.g. site-specific field data, local
knowledge or published regional forest investigations and government regulations);
Strategies to implement that ensure the natural regeneration of the species;
Strategies for the management and protection of conservation areas.


7.1.2.


7.1.3.


7.1.4.


7.1.5.


7.1.6.


7.2 The management plan shall be periodically revised to incorporate the results of monitoring or new scientific and technical
information, as well as to respond to changing environmental, social and economic circumstances.


7.2.1.


7.2.2.


7.3 Forest workers shall receive adequate training and supervision to ensure proper implementation of the management plan.


7.3.3


7.3.3.a. Effective training programs on the extraction and commercialization of Chamaedorea will exist for the workers and/or
participating local communities


7.3.4












7.4 While respecting the confidentiality of information, forest managers shall make publicly available a summary of the primary
elements of the management plan, including those listed in Criterion 7.1.


7.4.1.


7.4.1.a. A public summary of the management plan will include aspects related to the management of Chamaedorea.


Principle 8: Monitoring and Assessment


Monitoring shall be conducted -- appropriate to the scale and intensity of forest management -- to assess the condition of the forest,
yields of forest products, chain of custody, management activities and their social and environmental impacts.


The internal monitoring systems are crucial for providing quality control for forest management operations, identification of
social, ecological, economic, and operational challenges, and reporting about exits or shortcomings of management interventions
to resolve problems.


In some management operations monitoring could be adequate, but extremely informal. Assessors could have to push for more
formal monitoring systems and documentation, that which finally can serve to improve the quality and effectiveness of
management.


Criteria:


8.1 The frequency and intensity of monitoring should be determined by the scale and intensity of forest management operations as well
as the relative complexity and fragility of the affected environment. Monitoring procedures should be consistent and replicable over time
to allow comparison of results and assessment of change.


8.1.1.


8.1.1.a. Extraction activities for Chamaedorea are monitored annual, including among other variables, silvicultural,
environmental, socio-economic impacts. The results will be incorporated in the FMO's annual monitoring report.


8.1.2.


8.1.3.


8.2 Forest management should include the research and data collection needed to monitor, at a minimum, the following indicators: a)
Yield of all forest products harvested. b) Growth rates, regeneration and condition of the forest. c) Composition and observed changes in
the flora and fauna. d) Environmental and social impacts of harvesting and other operations. e) Costs, productivity, and efficiency of
forest management.


8.2.1.


8.2.1.a. A plan and design for periodic monitoring and evaluation of Chamaedorea will exist.


8.2.2.


8.2.2.a. Information will exist on forest monitoring of Chamaedorea within which should include, among other things,
abundance, number of total leaves, extractable leaves, extracted leaves, flowering, fruiting, apical meristem, photosynthesis,
regeneration, mortality, and recruitment.


8.3 Documentation shall be provided by the forest manager to enable monitoring and certifying organizations to trace each forest product
from its origin, a process known as the "chain of custody."


8.3.1.


8.3.1.a. The FMO and commercializing enterprises will ensure that volume and source data relating to the extracted
Chamaedorea will be available in the forest, in transport, at processing centers, and control points.












8.3.2.


8.3.2.a. Extraction licences, transportation rules, payment conditions and other related documentation to extraction and
transport must specify forest of origin, date, and extracted species.


8.3.3.


8.3.3.a. Certified Chamaedorea will be clearly distinguishable from non-certified palms through the use of marks or seals,
separate documents and records, and receipts that accompany, in all stages of processing and distribution and until the point of
sale or transport, that they are from the forest (until the forest door).


8.4 The results of monitoring shall be incorporated into the implementation and revision of the management plan.


8.4.1.


8.4.2.


8.5 While respecting the confidentiality of information, forest managers shall make publicly available a summary of the results of
monitoring indicators, including those listed in Criterion 8.2.


8.5.1.


Principle 9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests


Management activities in high conservation value forests shall maintain or enhance the attributes which define such forests. Decisions
regarding high conservation value forests shall always be considered in the context of a precautionary approach.


The management of Chamaedorea can contribute to the maintenance of High Value Conservation Forests. The actual definitions
permit forests to be considered HVCF when providing basic needs to local communities, be it subsistence or maintenance of
cultural identity. In such cases, Chamaedorea could be important in the determination of a high conservation value forest is
considered from a social perspective.


Criteria:


9.1 Assessment to determine the presence of the attributes consistent with High Conservation Value Forests will be completed,
appropriate to scale and intensity of forest management.


9.1.1.


9.1.1.a. To determine the specific status of a HVCF, Chamaedorea should be included as an element in the social analysis section,
covering the importance of the forest for the local communities (by definition "d," of the HVCF provided by FSC).


9.1.2.


9.2 The consultative portion of the certification process must place emphasis on the identified conservation attributes, and options for the
maintenance thereof.


9.2.1.


9.2.2.


9.3 The management plan shall include and implement specific measures that ensure the maintenance and/or enhancement of the
applicable conservation attributes consistent with the precautionary approach. These measures shall be specifically included in the
publicly available management plan summary.


9.3.1.












9.3.1.a. Chamaedorea management will not diminish the defining attributes that make the forest HCVF.

9.3.2.

9.3.3.


9.4 Annual monitoring shall be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the measures employed to maintain or enhance the applicable
conservation attributes.

9.4.1.

9.4.2.


Principle 10: Plantations


Plantations shall be planned and managed in accordance with Principles and Criteria 1 9, and Principle 10 and its Criteria. While
plantations can provide an array of social and economic benefits, and can contribute to satisfying the world's needs for forest products,
they should complement the management of, reduce pressures on, and promote the restoration and conservation of natural forests.

Criteria:

10.1 The management objectives of the plantation, including natural forest conservation and restoration objectives, shall be explicitly
stated in the management plan, and clearly demonstrated in the implementation of the plan.

10.2 The design and layout of plantations should promote the protection, restoration and conservation of natural forests, and not increase
pressures on natural forests. Wildlife corridors, streamside zones and a mosaic of stands of different ages and rotation periods, shall be
used in the layout of the plantation, consistent with the scale of the operation. The scale and layout of plantation blocks shall be
consistent with the patterns of forest stands found within the natural landscape.

10.3 Diversity in the composition of plantations is preferred, so as to enhance economic, ecological and social stability. Such diversity
may include the size and spatial distribution of management units within the landscape, number and genetic composition of species, age
classes and structures.

10.4 The selection of species for planting shall be based on their overall suitability for the site and their appropriateness to the
management objectives. In order to enhance the conservation of biological diversity, native species are preferred over exotic species in
the establishment of plantations and the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Exotic species, which shall be used only when their
performance is greater than that of native species, shall be carefully monitored to detect unusual mortality, disease, or insect outbreaks
and adverse ecological impacts.

10.5 A proportion of the overall forest management area, appropriate to the scale of the plantation and to be determined in regional
standards, shall be managed so as to restore the site to a natural forest cover. 10.6 Measures shall be taken to maintain or improve soil
structure, fertility, and biological activity. The techniques and rate of harvesting, road and trail construction and maintenance, and the
choice of species shall not result in long term soil degradation or adverse impacts on water quality, quantity or substantial deviation from
stream course drainage patterns.

10.7 Measures shall be taken to prevent and minimize outbreaks of pests, diseases, fire and invasive plant introductions. Integrated pest
management shall form an essential part of the management plan, with primary reliance on prevention and biological control methods
rather than chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Plantation management should make every effort to move away from chemical pesticides
and fertilizers, including their use in nurseries. The use of chemicals is also covered in Criteria 6.6 and 6.7.

10.8 Appropriate to the scale and diversity of the operation, monitoring of plantations shall include regular assessment of potential on-
site and off-site ecological and social impacts, (e.g. natural regeneration, effects on water resources and soil fertility, and impacts on
local welfare and social well-being), in addition to those elements addressed in principles 8, 6 and 4. No species should be planted on a
large scale until local trials and/or experience have shown that they are ecologically well-adapted to the site, are not invasive, and do not
have significant negative ecological impacts on other ecosystems. Special attention will be paid to social issues of land acquisition for
plantations, especially the protection of local rights of ownership, use or access.











10.9 Plantations established in areas converted from natural forests after November 1994 normally shall not qualify for certification.
Certification may be allowed in circumstances where sufficient evidence is submitted to the certification body that the manager/owner is
not responsible directly or indirectly of such conversion.









APPENDIX B
MEXICO'S NTFP POLICY

NOM-006-RECNAT-1997

The 1997 Official Mexican Law NOM-006-RECNAT-1997 (SEMARNAT 1997)

formally established procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport, and

storage of Chamaedorea palm fronds5 (Table B-1).

References:
2.1. NOM-059-ECOL-1994 specifies those species and subspecies of wild terrestrial
and aquatic flora and fauna that are danger of extinction, threatened, rare, and
subject to special protection, and establishes specifications for their protection,
published in the Official Diary of the Federation, 16 May 1994.
2.2. Procedures for the importation and exportation of wild and aquatic flora and fauna
species, their products, and sub-products, as well as for the importation of forest
products, are subject to the regulations of SEMARNAP, published in the Official
Diary of the Federation, 31 July 1996.
Select Procedures, Criteria, and Specifications:
4.1.1. In order to exploit palm fronds, the owner or possessor of the corresponding
property must present written notification before the Federal Delegation of the
Secretary for the corresponding federal entity, that will be annual or for a
maximum period of 5 years.

4.1.6. Exploitation of palm fronds will remain subject to the following criteria and
technical specifications:
I. Harvest may only be from plants of mature stature, identified by size and
vegetative characteristics appropriate for each species.
II. In the case of Chamaedorea palm, the adequate maturity for harvest will
be determined by the following characteristics:


a. Dark green coloring
b. No significant damage (marked, spotted, slashed or eaten fronds)
c. Free of infestation or sicknesses
In general, foliage of larger size and best characteristics will receive the
best price


5 Author's translation









III. Harvest will be distributed evenly throughout the area of exploitation
without interfering with a minimum of 20 percent of existing mature
plants, so that these may continue to reproduce and propagate by seed.
IV. During extraction, adequate tools must be utilized such that the terminal
bud is not damaged.
V. For each leave cut there must remain a part of the stem, from 3 5 cm, so
as not to damage the stem.
VI. The harvest intensity for each plant must be a maximum of 75 percent of
the existing fronds, including in this percentage the removal of dry fronds.
VII. 3 4 fronds must remain in the part nearest to the apical leaf.
4.1.8. Species under protected status will only be incorporated into the previous
authorization when harvest conforms to the terms of the General Law of
Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection and other applicable legal
orders.
Observance of the Law
7.1 Observance of this law is obligatory for those engaged in the harvest, transport,
and storage of palm fronds from natural populations.

Procedures for legal, commercial NTFP harvests

Article 56 of the Regulations of the General Law of Sustainable Forest Development

(SEMARNAT 2005) outlines specific procedures for legal, commercial NTFP harvest.

Article 56. Requests for authorization for the extraction of non-timber forest products will

be presented in the format dictated by the Secretary and will include the name and denomination

or social affiliation of the interested party. When applicable, applications must include the

registry information of the forestry technician. The following items are to be included with the

request:

I. Original or certified copy of property title.
II. Original or certified copy of the instrument that demonstrates the right to undertake the
requested extraction activities.
III. In the case of ejidos or comunidades, the original act of assembly that demonstrates the
right to undertake the requested extraction activities.
IV. A witnessed, written statement pertaining to the legal situation of the estate, including a
description of any unresolved disputes with respect to the estate.
V. A geo-referenced map indicating the locations where extraction activities will take place.









VI. A simplified forest management program.

Article 57 of the Regulations of the General Law of Sustainable Forest Development

further outlines the requirements for the simplified management plan required in Article 56.

Article 57. Simplified management plans for non-timber forest products will include:

I. For each species:
I.1 General diagnostic of the physical characteristics, biology, and ecology of the estate.
1.2 Analysis of previous extraction and the response of the resource to the treatments, with
comparative data and actual populations.
1.3 Use of the simplified forest management plan.
1.4 Scientific and common names of the species as well as land area in hectares and annual
extraction quantities in cubic meters, liters, or kilograms.
1.5 Estimate of actual populations and rates of regeneration for the areas of extraction,
according to the characteristics of reproduction and development of the relevant
species.
1.6 Definition and justification of the period of recuperation for the extraction areas.
1.7 Criteria and technical specifications of extraction.
1.8 Promotion and cultivation practices to ensure the persistence of the resource.
1.9 Measures to prevent and control fires.
1.10 Description of prevention and mitigation measures for negative environmental
impacts.
1.11 When applicable, the name, denomination or affiliation, and registry information
for the certified forestry technician responsible for the development of the simplified
forest management plan.

Cultivation ofNTFPs does not require compliance with Mexico's forestry laws. It is

important, therefore, to note that a "gray area" exists between extraction from primary forest and

cultivation (Anta, personal communication). Specifically, harvest from intermediate systems,

those difficult to classify as either forest or agriculture, is not clearly covered by the law and thus

leaves an avenue for illicit exploitation.

Finally, SEMARNAT is responsible for NTFPs while CONANP is responsible for

Protected Areas. If the NTFPs are to be harvested from designated protected areas administered









by CONANP then permission must be requested from SEMARNAT. In such cases,

SEMARNAT confers with CONANP to verify that there is a management plan. If CONANP

authorizes the request, SEMARNAT can then authorize harvest (Sanchez, personal

communication).











Table B-1. Official Mexican Regulations (NOMs) pertaining to the conservation, exploitation,
and commercialization of NTFP (Garcia-Pena V 2001).


Legislation
NOM-002-RECNAT-1996


NOM-003-RECNAT-1996


NOM-004-RECNAT-1996


NOM-005-RECNAT-1997




NOM-006-RECNAT-1997


NOM-007-RECNAT-1997


NOM-008-RECNAT-1996


NOM-009-RECNAT-1996


NOM-010-RECNAT-1996


NOM-011-RECNAT-1996


NOM-059-ECOL-1994



NOM-060-ECOL-1994



NOM-061-ECOL-1994



NOM-062-ECOL-1994


Obligations
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of Pine
resins.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest
soils.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest
plant roots and rhizomes.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest
plant cuttings, stems, and complete plants.
Exempts the exploitation of candelillaa] wax for
which the NOM process is underway.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of palm
fronds.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of
branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of tree
crowns [cogollos].
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of latex
and other vegetal exudates.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of
mushrooms.
Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications
for the exploitation, transport and storage of
mosses, clover, and ferns.
Determines the species of wild flora and fauna,
both terrestrial and aquatic, which are to be
considered rare, endemic, threatened, in danger of
extinction, and subject to special protection.
Establishes the procedures, criteria, and
specifications to mitigate the adverse effects
imposed by the forest resource exploitation on
soils, riparian zones, and bodies of water.
Establishes the procedures, criteria, and
specifications to mitigate the adverse effects
imposed by the forest resource exploitation on
wild flora and fauna.
Establishes the procedures, criteria, and
specifications to mitigate the adverse effects on
biodiversity imposed by changes in forest and
agricultural land uses.


Date of Publication
30 May 1996


05 June 1996


24 June 1996


20 May 1997




28 May 1997


30 May 1997


24 June 1996


26 June 1996


28 May 1996


26 June 1996


1994



1994



1994



1994









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

David Wilsey earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of

Wisconsin in 1994. Several years living in and traveling the western United States, followed by

several more working as a business analyst for Target Corporation, catalyzed his return to the

University of Minnesota to pursue a graduate degree in conservation biology.

In 2001, he earned a Master of Science for research on non-timber forest products in

northern Minnesota. During this period he also received an internship grant from the Macarthur

Foundation, an opportunity that led to his first experience abroad, in Chiapas, Mexico. A pair of

consultancies for the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation

complemented his graduate studies, enhanced his international experience, and served as an

introduction to Chamaedorea palms.

From 2002-2003 David served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador's Sustainable

Agriculture and Small Business Development program. In 2004, he commenced his doctoral

studies in interdisciplinary ecology at the University of Florida, returning to the study of

Chamaedorea palm fronds and focusing on the contribution of certification to forest

conservation and economic development in the tropical forests of Mexico.

Presently, David is an Assistant Extension Professor and Educator at the University of

Minnesota, where his scholarship and teaching focus on non-timber forest products and

traditional natural resource management and utilization by Native American communities.





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1 NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCT CERTIFICATION CONSIDERED: THE CASE OF CHAMAEDORE A PALM FRONDS (XATE) By DAVID SCOTT WILSEY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 David Scott Wilsey

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3 To Heather

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Nothing is accom plished alone. I thank my parents for their early and ongoing support to do my thing, and for their persistent reminders to combine hard play with hard work. I am indebted to my friend and advisor Pete Hildeb rand, his wife Maria, and daugher Annie, for opening their hearts and home to me, and eventua lly my family, which grew with each year of this process. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the people of Soledad de Juarez and the numerous other communities in Mexico and Guatemala where I have been welcomed first as a guest, then as a researcher, and hopefully as a friend. My life is changed for the better by the many who have supported me only by doing what came to them naturally. I am grateful and indebted to Janett de los Santos Espinosa: first a colleague an d eventually a friend. Sin cere thanks also to my advisory committee for their support, criticism, and guidance each in appropriate measure. Above all, I thank my wife Heather for he r commitment and inexhaustible support throughout this personal and professional endeavor; and our daughters, Maren and Hanna, who joined us midstream and who have grown much too fluent in the phrase: Daddy is working.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ............................................................................................................... 4LIST OF TABLES ...........................................................................................................................8LIST OF FIGURES .........................................................................................................................9LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ........................................................................................................ 10ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................... .............11 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................. 13Study Overview ......................................................................................................................13Research Questions ............................................................................................................ .....162 NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS FOR CONSER VATION AND DEVELOPMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ........................................... 18Integration of Conservation a nd Development Objectives .....................................................18Amazonia ...................................................................................................................... ...19Extractivism .................................................................................................................. ...19Extractive Reserves ......................................................................................................... 20NTFP Commercialization and Integrat ed Conservation and Development ........................... 21Specific Research Context ..................................................................................................... .23NTFP Certification ..........................................................................................................23Chamaedorea Certification .............................................................................................253 CHAMAEDOREA P ALM FROND CERTIFICATION: AN INTEGRATED VALUE CHAIN AND MARKET PERSPECTIVE ............................................................................. 27Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........27Conceptual Framework .......................................................................................................... .28Hypothesis and Research Objectives ...................................................................................... 31Materials and Methods ...........................................................................................................32Results .....................................................................................................................................34Components of the Integrated Value Chain .................................................................... 34Production systems ................................................................................................... 34Production regions .................................................................................................... 35Principal actors .........................................................................................................37Dimensions of the Integrated Xate Market ..................................................................... 39Conventional markets ............................................................................................... 39Market Dimensions and Trends ............................................................................... 40

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6 Product Heterogeneity ..............................................................................................41Eco-palms: an emerging market ............................................................................... 41Discussion .................................................................................................................... ...........43Conclusions .............................................................................................................................464 THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM .................................................... 53Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........53Research Objective .................................................................................................................54Analytical Framework .......................................................................................................... ..54Study Area ..............................................................................................................................55Materials and Methods ...........................................................................................................57Results .....................................................................................................................................59Overview ...................................................................................................................... ...59Context ....................................................................................................................... .....60Political structur e and history ................................................................................... 60Infrastructure ............................................................................................................ 61Social services ..........................................................................................................62Land Cover and Use ........................................................................................................62The Soledad Economy .....................................................................................................63Agriculture and agroforestry .................................................................................... 63Forest resources ........................................................................................................67Reproduction and wage labor ...................................................................................69Summary and Discussion .......................................................................................................715 CERTIFICATION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM .......................................................................................................77Introduction .................................................................................................................. ...........77Research objective and hypotheses .................................................................................77Analytical framework ......................................................................................................78Study area ........................................................................................................................79Method ........................................................................................................................ ............79Model specification .........................................................................................................79Input data for the model .................................................................................................. 82Model output ............................................................................................................ 87Setup of the calculations ..................................................................................................87Household composition ............................................................................................ 92Results of the ELP Model .......................................................................................................93Livelihood (Economic) Results ....................................................................................... 93Market results ................................................................................................................ ..94Sensitivity An alysis ......................................................................................................... 95Discussion .................................................................................................................... ...........97Conclusions ...........................................................................................................................1016 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ...................................................................................110

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7 APPENDIX A FSC CHAMAEDOREA ADDE NDUM ................................................................................. 123B MEXICOS NTFP POLICY ................................................................................................. 137LIST OF REFERENCES .............................................................................................................142BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .......................................................................................................154

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8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 Harmonized tariff codes for xate in th e United States, Mexico, and Guatem ala ...............523-2 Reported unit equivalencies for Chamaedorea fronds ......................................................524-1 Opportunistic inventory of a Soledad home garden ( solar) ...............................................765-1 Calendar of seasonal production activities in Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca. ..................... 1085-2 Resource requirements and yields for pr incipal agricultural crops used in the Ethnographic Linear Program. ......................................................................................... 1085-3 General matrix for ELP model outpu t framed by household types and market scenarios. .................................................................................................................... ......1085-4 Operational elements of xate market scenarios. .............................................................. 1085-5 Household composition scenarios for Solead de Juarez, Oaxaca .................................... 1095-6 Livelihood benefits under the quality/susta inability market scen ario (S4), and in comparison to the current market scenario (S1), by household composition. ................. 1095-7 Sensitivity to selected factors of Soledad s potential range of xate supply (in rolls*) under the certified market scenario (S4). ......................................................................... 109B-1 Official Mexican Regula tions (NOMs) pertaining to the conservation, exploitation, and commercialization of NTFP (Garcia-Pena V 2001). .................................................141

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9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 3-1 Bultos of C. oblongata in a storage facility in Uaxactn, Guatem ala await transport to Santa Elena ....................................................................................................................483-2 Xate ( C. oblongata ) being sorted in Sant a Elena, Guatemala ........................................... 483-3 Xate ( C. elegans) cultivated under forest canopy in Catemaco, Veracruz (Mexico) ........ 493-4 Principal xate production re gions and distribution routes ................................................. 493-5 Annual imports of xate fronds to the Un ited States from Guatemala and Mexico. ........... 503-6 General schematic model of th e integrated xate value chain ............................................. 503-7 Total annual xate imports to the United States, 1971-2007 ............................................... 513-8 Relative demand index for xate vari eties for a major U.S. importer. ................................ 513-9 Total annual xate imports to the U.S. a nd sales (1-yr lag) of certified palms. ..................524-1 Localization of Soledad de Juarez ..................................................................................... 754-2 Schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system .......................................................... 754-3 Proximity of La Soledad de Juar ez to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico .................................... 765-1 Captured image of the ethnographic linear program structure in Microsoft Excel ......... 1045-2 Asymmetric periods in Soledads dry (T) and rainy (R) seasons, created to allocate labor in the ELP model. ................................................................................................... 1055-3 ELP model output by scenario. ........................................................................................ 1065-4 Annual household harvest days by scenario. ...................................................................107

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10 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS AGEXPORT: Asociacin de E xportadores de Guatemala AMS: Agricultural Marketing Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) CFG: Continental Floral Greens CINRAM: Center for Integrated Natural Resources and Agricultural Management CONAFOR: Comisin Naciona l Forestal (Mxico) CONANP: Consejo Nacional de reas Naturales Protegidas (Mxico) CONAP: Consejo Nacional de r eas Protegidas (Guatemala) CRRN-P: Consejo Regional para los Recurs os Naturales Papaloapan (Mxico) ELP: Ethnographic Linear Program ER: Extractive Reserve FSC: Forest Stewardship Council ICDP: Integrated Conservation and Development Program MBR: Maya Biosphere Reserve (Guatemala) MIE: Integrated Ecosystem Management Project (Mexico) NTFP: Non-Timber Forest Product PROCAMPO: El Programa de Apoyos Directos al Campo (Mxico) SAGARPA: Secretara de Agricultura, Ganadera, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca, y Alimentacin (Mxico) SEMARNAT: Secretara del Manejo de los Recursos Naturales (Mxico) USDA: United States Department of Agriculture

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11 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCT CERTIFICATION CONSIDERED: THE CASE OF CHAMAEDORE A PALM FRONDS (XATE) By David Scott Wilsey December 2008 Chair: Peter E. Hildebrand Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology Certification of nontimber forest products is often promoted, but the process is seldom undertaken. Its thin perf ormance record contains mixed resu lts. Optimism about the certification of Chamaedorea palm frond (xate) extraction and trad e is fueled by a production trend, from extraction to cultivation, and th e success of pilot and regional sales of fronds marketed as sustainably harvested and fairly traded. This stu dy examined the feasibility of xate certification at multiple scales: first exploring the global xate value chain, and then investigating the livelihood system of an extractor community. The value chain analysis focused on the components of the xate procurement system and the dimensions of the xate market. The xate chain was found to be extensive and oligopsonistic. The market was characterized by large, mature demand for conventional fronds and substantially smaller, but growing demand for sustainably harv ested and fairly traded (certified) fronds. Low trade volume of the latter hindered the requisite segregation of certified from conventional palms. Barriers to (market) entry, for suppliers, related to flat demand and value chain structure. Transaction costs were expected to be high for buyers developing new relationships with suppliers. A quality provisi on in a 2005 xate purchase agreement represented

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12 what, for certification, might be a keystone stan dard, one that bridges the feasibility gap between present conditions and a future charac terized by greater demand for certified fronds. Analysis of the livelihood system used et hnographic investigation and linear programming simulations to test the livelihood effects of four xate market/management scenarios. Certification, as simulated, improved livelihoods for all household types. However, under all scenarios, the community was unable to genera te the minimum weekly supply required by the buyer. This supply-demand disparity proved to be the primary obstacle to the feasibility of certification. Results led to the conclusion that cooperative efforts with nearby communities and/or seasonal commercialization strategies might improve feasibility. Study results pertain to the feasibility of xate certific ation, and enhance our understandi ng of certifications potential contribution to forest conservation and economic development objectives.

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13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Study Overview Tropical forests contain som e of the highest levels of biodiversity and species endemism on the planet but are disappearing at alarming rates as a result of human land use patterns (1990; Anderson et al. 2002). Tropical forests can benefi t local and non-local pop ulations by protecting useful and marketable resources, as well as through the provision of local and global-scale environmental services (Myers 1983). Over th e past 25 years, commercialization of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) has been promoted as a reconciliatory strategy (DeBeer 1989; Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Arnold and Ruiz Perez 1998; Neumann and Hirsch 2000); one that addresses forest conservation and the live lihood needs of forest-based populations. Ostensibly, commercialized NTFPs reconcil e conservation and development objectives through integration: increasing the economic value of intact forest to local inhabitants, thereby providing an incentive for conservation (Fearns ide 1989; Peters et al. 1989; Wollenberg 1998; Angelsen and Wunder 2003). The dynamics of ex traction-based NTFP economies have fomented lively debate about the benefits of a market -based approach (Homma 1992, 1994, 1996; Browder 1992, 1992; Dove 1993, 1994; Belcher and Schrecke nberg 2007). Nevertheless, the search continues, unabated, for NTFPs with commercia l potential and for tropical forest contexts amenable to commercialization and conservation (Marshall et al. 2003; Belcher et al. 2005; Marshall, Schreckenbe rg et al. 2006). Xate (sha-tay) is one term used generically in reference to the commercialized fronds of a subset of Chamaedorea palm species. Since the 1950s, U.S. a nd European florists have imported xate from Mexico and Guatemala for use as deco rative foliage in floral arrangements and in Palm Sunday church services (CEC 2002). Of twenty-one commercially important Chamaedorea

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14 species, consumers prize the fo liage of several, notably C. tepejilote, C. oblongata, C. elegans and C. ernesti-agustii (Hodel 1992; CEC 2002). From the outs et, international markets were supplied with xate harvested from naturally occu rring populations within tropical forests. Xate harvest contributes to forest livelihoods in several regions of Mexico (CEC 2002; Jones and Gorchov 2002; Endress, Gorchov, and Noble 2004; Santos et al. 2006; Lopez-Feldman 2005), the Petn region of Guatemala (Nations 2006, 1992; Litow et al. 2001; CEC 2002; Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006; Dugelby 2006), and to a lesser extent in Belize (Pic kles 2004; Bridgewater et al. 2006). Xate remains an important comm ercial product even though the profitability for importers peaked during the 1960s (Everett, pers onal communication). Extraction remains an income source for those living in and near tropical forests. Future benefits of extraction are less certain. Some researchers argue that the dynam ics of NTFP production systems make commercialization an unstable strategy upon wh ich to base forest conservation and/or development efforts (Homma 1992, 1994, 1996; Dove 1993, 1994). They posit that the economics of extractivism necessarily lead, over time and space, from the harvest of naturally occurring populations toward intensified cu ltivation, and/or replacement with synthetic alternatives. Xate production is beginning to ev ince this dynamic. One forward-looking importer anticipated these changes as ear ly as 1989, hedging wild supply with stock cultivated under the existing forest cover. More re cently, alternative production system s and locations have begun to emerge. If critics of a commercialization appr oach to conservation and development were correct, any integration of liveli hood and conservation objectives a ssociated with xate extraction would likely diminish as xate production adva nces along the path from forest to farm.

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15 Certification has been embraced as a strategy to counter this tre nd (Current et al. 2003; Pickles 2004; Zajfen 2005; CEC 2005, 2006). Advocates of certification posit that access to niche markets and/or premiums paid for certified palm fronds will help extractive procurem ent systems to remain competitive with more intensive, frond cultivation systems. Yet, few researchers and practitioners interested in xate commercialization and/or certificatio n have considered certification within the broader context of the xate procurement system in which locali zed interventions occur. The multiple-systems approach used in this study is based loosely on Pittaluga a nd colleagues (2004) zero in approach to livelihood system profiling a nd Vaydas (1983) concept of progressive contextualization. It was designed to explore the feasibility of xate certifica tion, and to serve as an initial step toward understanding the potentia l for certification to facilitate integration of conservation and development objectives. An approach that highlights the nature a nd dynamics of the broader xate procurement system is indispensable for three reasons (Kaplin sky and Morris 2001). First, while efficiency is necessary for penetrating markets, sustainability is necessary to remain. Xate extraction must be understood as a single, elective component of a rura l livelihood stra tegy situated within a larger livelihood system (Ros-Tonen and Wiersum 2005; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004). The feasibility of certification depends, in part, on th e ongoing participation of ex tractors, in light of the benefits and constraints a ssociated with certification. Second, livelihood strategies pursued in a particular locale must coalesce to form a viable first link in a value chain comprised of multiple actors, spanning from the extractor to the consumer (Belcher 1997, 1998). Moreover, inter-system competitiveness has become increasingly relevant to localized success. Local procurement system s must be considered

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16 alongside non-local competitors. The competitiv e and comparative advantages (Porter 1990; Kaplinsky 2000) of certification need to be we ighed against those of existing and competing procurement models. Finally, sustained market involvement requir es an understanding of the dynamic factors characterizing the global commodity system, or value chain (Kaplinsky 2000; Gereffi and Korzeniewicz 1994). The anticipated aggregate effects of certifica tion must be considered in light of these factors. Current and projected producers and co nsumers, supply and demand, and the dynamics of each within the context of the globa l value chain are material factors that affect the feasibility of certification at any scale. Proponents hope xate certification represents an intervention capable of integrating conservation and development objectives in harvest communities. Through the elaboration of the analytical framework described, this study contributes to an u nderstanding of this broader unknown by exploring, at multiple scales, the question of whether certificati on of xate represents a feasible intervention. The remainder of this chap ter outlines the specific research questions to be addressed by this study. Research Questions Chapter 2 introduces in tegrated conservati on and development and tracks the metamorphosis of the conception of extractivism from an Amazonian social movement to a globally recognized strategy for integrating re source conservation and economic development objectives. The chapter also explores the emergi ng conviction that NTFP certification represents an intervention suited to that tas k. Finally, support for certification of xate is considered in light of the specific attributes of the xate procurement system and markets. Chapter 3 examines the integrated value chain and market for xate in order to discover likely outcomes of (or obstacles to) xate certif ication. I hypothesize that the feasibility of

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17 certification depends, in part, upon the attributes of certified suppl y and demand relative to the supply and demand for conventional product in the global market. The chapter has two specific research objectives: Research Objective 1 Identify the components of the integrated xate value chain: prevailing production systems, regions, and key actors. Research Objective 2 Describe the dimensions of the integrated xate market. Chapter 4 develops a more complete understandi ng of a harvester liv elihood system and the broader socio-economic context within which households fashion their livelihood strategies. The chapter presents the results of a ra pid and participatory assessment method, or sondeo, of the livelihood system and community context for Soledad de Juarez. Soledad is an ejido in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Chapter 5 builds upon the livelihood system desc ribed in Chapter 4. It contains a description of an ethnographi c linear program (ELP) model based on the Soledad livelihood system. The ELP model uses xate market/management and household composition scenarios to test two hypotheses related to li velihoods, and a third hypothesis a ddresses xate market fluidity, or supply relative to demand. Taken together, the th ree hypotheses suggest that, to be a feasible intervention, certification will: 1. Positively affect household livelihoods. 2. Benefit, or at least not di sadvantage, the poorest households. 3. Be viable with resp ect to supply and demand. A sixth and final chapter summarizes th e study and presents conclusions and recommendations relating to the overarching question of whether certif ication represents a feasible intervention.

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18 CHAPTER 2 NONTIMBER FOREST PRODUCTS FOR CONSERVATI ON AND DEVELOPMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Integration of Conservation and Development Objectives Rapid deforestation in the tropics during th e 1980s (Myers 1983) proved a catalyst f or a reorientation of resource conservation and ru ral development philosophies. The emergent paradigms of the subsequent years (sustainable development, community forestry, participatory management) incorporated and built upon two themes that came to the fore during this period. First, researchers suggested that the value of natural resources and environmental services contained in, and provided by tropical forests, exceeded the value captured by the predominant uses of the day (Myers 1983; Peters et al. 1989). Specifically, exploi tation of specialty hardwoods, swidden agriculture, and forest to pasture conversion ignored the potential value of forest diversity and the anticipated long-term benefits of biodivers e, relative to depauperate or deforested, environments. In short, tropical fo rests represented a valu able but underutilized resource (or resource suite). Second, decision ma kers became increasingly sensitive to the concern that rural development, conservation, forestry, and farming projects failed to consider local interests, needs, and pa rticipation (Gregersen 1989). The exclusion-based conservation models that were considered effective in the United States and other northern countries had mostly failed in the tropics. It was believed that parks required a large and concentrated middleclass to support them (Schwart zman 1989), while tropical forests were by and large inhabited by heterogeneous communities, whose cultures a nd livelihoods depend on forest resources. The segregation of resource conser vation and rural livelihood consid erations led to bio-centric conservation strategies that produced perverse developmen t incentives (Schmink and Wood 1987; Schmink and Wood 1992; Allegretti 1990; F earnside 1990; Sawyer 1990). Nowhere were these realities more ev ident than Amazonia.

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19 Amazonia The increasing rate and extent of deforesta tion in the Am azon during the 1980s contributed to the regions emergence as a crucible for creative and innovative approaches to conservation and development that incorporated ecology, economi cs, and social sciences A number of factors converged during this period and led to the cons ideration of alternative models for forest management and use (Schmink and Wood 1984; Schmink and Wood 1987; Schmink and Wood 1992; Browder 1992, 1989; Anderson 1990, 1990; Ne pstad and Schwartzman 1992; Redford and Padoch 1992). First, Amazonia was essentially mana ged as a resource fron tier. Landless people were encouraged to colonize and exploit the na tural resources of this empty, resource-rich forested region using land intensive production. A second, related condition that emerged from a period of environmentally and socially disa strous development incentives was a highly speculative land market in a contex t of an inflationary national economy. As is often the case, forested land was deforested, or improved, as a necessary means to demonstrate ownership and delineate tenure. A third condition, resulting from the previous two, was an overall increase in competition for land. From this context emerged a gradual recognition of alternative land use practices considered relativel y benign in comparison with logging and deforestation for agriculture and pasture needs. Finally, the emergence of th e autonomous rubber tapper movement from the colonial avamiento system represented a social gr oup whose socio-economic objectives aligned with the rapidly developing interest in finding altern atives to deforestation. The convergence of these factors led politicians and researchers, among others, to seek new alternatives for the forest that remained standing. Extractivism Perhaps m ore than any other factor, the emerge nce of the autonomous rubber tapper social movement in the Amazonia context led to the re-branding of extractiv ism (Allegretti 1994; Rego

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20 1999), and associated development of a model for integrated conservation and development. Throughout most of history, extractivism has been a term used pejorativel y with regard to its social, economic, environmental attributes (A llegretti 1994). Extractiv ism represented a low technology, point-of-entry production system suitable for under populated regions. Relationships were exploitative, based on a co lonial patron-client model. Extractivism was considered a predatory means of resource procur ement, often resulting in the death of the resource. The emergence of the rubber tapper move ment in western Amazonia precipitated a shift in the reputation of extr activism. For the rubber tappers, extrac tivism represented a socially just and sustainable use of tropical forest resource s (Allegretti 1994), the details of which were circumscribed in their proposal for extractive reserves. Extractive Reserves The extractive reserve (ER) concept em erged as a local, Amazonian response to massive deforestation and environmentally and socially disastrous development schemes (Schwartzman 1989). ERs are territorial spaces protected by the state that are designated for use and conservation by a particular user group and regulated by concessionary contracts backed by approved resource utilization plans (Fearnside 1989; Schwartzman 1989; Allegretti 1994, 1990). More than a proposal for the use of NTFPs, the extractive reserve initia tive suggests a means for grassroots groups to participate in national and international devel opment policy decisions (Schwartzman 1992). Moreover, ERs were justified in part by their economic value and thus represent a market-oriented approach to conser vation and development (Browder 1992). The new vision for extractivism and the associated inst itutional model of the extractive reserve that emerged from the rubber tapper movement in Amazonia represented a blueprint for the reconciliation of conservation and livelihood development objectives based, in part, on the

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21 commercialization of NTFPs, a model that woul d soon be considered outside of the region (Heinzman and Reining 1990; Reining and Heinzm an 1992; Nations 1992; Salafsky et al. 1993). NTFP Commercialization and Integrat ed Conservation and Development An i mportant outcome of extractivism and th e extractive reserve model in Amazonia was a renewed interest in NTFPs and their potential role in the integr ation of livelihood and conservation objectives (Neumann a nd Hirsch 2000). In the optimis tic context of the early 1990s, researchers and practitioners e nvisioned two, synergetic benefits to commercial NTFP extraction. One benefit related to rural livelihood objectives : NTFP extraction had the potential to increase incomes, as it was shown in certain cases to provide greater returns on labor than existing employment alternatives (Schwartzman 1989; H echt 1992; Peters et al. 1989). Moreover, the development of new markets for forest products wa s seen as a way to increase rural employment opportunities, particularly in marginalized area s where there were few other employment options. A second benefit of NTFP extrac tion related to natural resource conservation: NTFP extraction was perceived to be a benign use of forest resour ces relative to the prev ailing practices, namely logging, swidden agriculture, and conversion of fo rest to pasture (Fearnside 1990). Additionally, opening forested areas to commercial NTFP extrac tion was calculated to result in a higher net present value per area than al ternative uses (Balick and Me ndelsohn 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). Thus, commercialization of sustainably extr acted NTFPs was envisioned as a catalyst for integration of forest conservation and liv elihood development objectives (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). In the wake of initial exuberance, numerous issues and concerns have been id entified with the use of NTFP commercialization as a means to reconcile conservation and development objectives. A complete discussion of the myriad issues and challenges related to natural product commercialization is beyond the scop e of this section, but it is im portant to highlight the contours

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22 of the discourse. Four general classes of concerns are found in the NTFP commercialization literature (Browder 1992, 1992; Dove 1994; Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Crook and Clapp 1998; Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Arnold and Ruiz Perez 2001; Ticktin 2004). Ecological concerns relate to the potential for nega tive consequences of commercialization with respect to NTFP populations, the broader biotic co mmunity, and the greater ecosyste m. Economic concerns relate to the potential failures of commercialization st rategies stemming from su ch factors as supply and demand characteristics, calculated value versus net benefits, and economies of scale, to name a few. Socio-political concerns focus on the contextual elements of NTFP harvester groups and regions such as resource tenure and rights, effects on gende r roles, and on the broader contribution of NTFPs to rural livelihoods. Often there can be uni ntended and disruptive effects of NTFP commercialization. Finally concerns relate to the incompatibility NTFP management with existing forms of forest ma nagement and potential obstacles to the changes that may be necessary for commercialization to succeed. In pract ice, many of these issu es are interconnected. In addition to these four cl asses, the causal factors fo r failure of commercialization efforts tend to be of three types (Neumann and Hirsch 2000). First, market-related factors may create conditions favorable to over-exploitation. Second, the institutional conditions associated with commercial harvest may differ substantiall y from existing conditions and customs. Third, the biological attributes of a given NTFP (what is harvested as well as individual and population level response to harvest) influence the initial su ccess and sustainability of commercial harvest. Critics of commercialization as a means to integrate conservation and development objectives assert that commercial resource extracti on represents an unstable base due to the many possible combinations of the considerati ons presented above (Browder 1992, 1992; Homma 1996, 1994, 1992; Dove 1994; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). The challenge of NTFP commercialization efforts has been to identify c onditions for successful ex traction that contribute

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23 to the conservation of forests and increase in comes for forest people (Ros-Tonen et al. 1995). Certification, used in the broa dest sense, represents a commer cialization adapta tion intended to address the socio-political, ecologi cal, and economic failings that have been empirically observed in ongoing NTFP commercia lization efforts. Specific Research Context NTFP Certification Certification is a process through which transn ational networks com prised of diverse actors set and enforce standards for products and pr oduction processes (Dankers 2003; Meidinger 2003). The certification process incl udes two important public role s (Meidinger 2003): defining acceptable or appropriate behavior and establis hing mechanisms to enforce product or process standards. Certification programs are market-based in that they seek to achieve their goals by restructuring producers relations hips to consumers through markets (Meidinger 2003). The use of certification as a forest policy tool is relatively ne w (Viana, Pierce et al 1996; Shanley et al. 2005; Overdevest and Rickenbach 2006). NTFP certification has emerged as a prospective solution to the myriad ecological, economic, and social challenges associated with commercialization (Viana, Jamison et al. 1996; Sh anley et al. 2002; Shanley et al. 2005), but support has waxed and waned due, in part, to the significant challenge of creating broadly applicable certification guidelines for an ex tremely diverse set of products and production systems. Moreover, early efforts suggest that certification repres ents a viable strategy for only a limited subset of charismatic NTFPs with high profiles and inte rnational markets (Laird and Guillen 2002). Although certification was describe d nearly 15 years ago as key to the integration of conservation and developm ent through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its in fancy (Shanley et al. 2005).

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24 Four categories of certification programs have been suggested as most relevant for NTFP applications (Ervin and Ma llet 2002; Walter 2002; Vantomme and Walter 2003): 1) forest management; 2) social justice; 3) organic; a nd, 4) product quality. Single programs rarely address all three of the dimensions of sustainability (society, environment, economy). Most focus on a single dimension and perhaps incorporate some sta ndards for others. The f act that the numerous certification programs operate through the use of different, but ofte n overlapping, standards represents an additional challe nge to NTFP certification, but also suggests potential synergies (Vantomme and Walter 2003). Numerous opportunities and challenges have b een identified with NTFP certification in general (Viana, Pierce et al. 1996; Pierce 1999; Mallet and Karm ann 2001; Anderson and Putz 2002; Pierce et al. 2003). As a form of commercialization, efforts ar e likely to encounter most, if not all of the ecological, economic, and social cha llenges described in th e previous section. New and different benefits and costs (opportunities and challenges) also emerge that relate to the increased transparency and formality of the te rms of production and/or trade. Price premiums, improved market access, environmental sustainabili ty, and social justice are perhaps the most frequently cited benefits of certification (Simula 1996; Viana, Jamison et al. 1996; Shanley et al. 2002; Walter 2002). Other benefits include increa sed efficiency, organization, transparency, accountability, safety, and educat ion (Shanley et al. 2005; Over devest and Rickenbach 2006). Foremost among the challenges pos ed by certification is the paucity of biological information for the multitude of NTFPs as well as the numerous and significant costs to producers in an uncertain demand environment (Simula 1996; Kiker and Putz 1997; Shanley et al. 2002). Nevertheless, some argue that the key challenge facing rural fore st communities is not whether to participate in global processes (i.e., commercializa tion), but how to do so in ways that provide for sustainable

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25 growth (Fitter and Kaplinsky 2002) The evolving concept of NTFP certification represents one important voice in this ongoing dialogue. Chamaedorea Certifica tion Support for xate certificati on (in the most general sens e) was initially founded upon a survey of consumers, which indicated a strong intere st in a certified product (Current et al. 2003). Interest was strongest among church-based c onsumers, those who use palm fronds for Palm Sunday services once a year and who could repr esent an additional source of demand throughout the year via the purchase of flor al arrangements featuring certified palm fronds. Formal standards for Chamaedorea certification do not yet exist and the feas ibility of a full-scale specialty market has only been explored via a pilot study and subsequent regional sales (CEC 2005, 2006). Moreover, it is not prudent to assume that expressed interests will necessarily translate into actual market demand (Kiker and Putz 1997; Forsyth et al. 1999). Nevertheless, the promising results of these early sales were interpreted by some as eviden ce that xate certificati on represents a feasible intervention. Despite the many challenges associated with NTFP certification, several factors suggest that it may be a timely interventi on worthy of further consideration. First, xate certification could represent a niche marketing opportu nity through which extractors might insulate themselves from negative price pressure associated with trends in the conventional market. An early market study (CEC 2002) concluded that the market for conventiona l xate was stable, if not in the early stages of contraction (i.e., decreasing demand). Thus, existing and emerging xate suppliers could find themselves in the position occupied by coffee producers in the 1990s: suffering record low prices resulting from surplus supply in the wake of donor-driven econo mic development projects (Fitter and Kaplinsky ; Fritsch 2002; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2003). The perceived state of the xate market, coupled with nascent donor-driven economic development efforts directed toward xate

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26 cultivation in Guatemala and Mexico, suggest th at extractors supplying the conventional market were due to see diminishing pri ces resulting from increasing supply. Second, extractors are feared to become the disproportionate bearers of the high costs of low prices: cultivated palm fronds likely being of a higher quality and uniformity and having lower production costs per unit than forest extracted fronds. Expectations of lower costs stem from greater economies of scale of cultivated sy stems, lower levels of waste, and lower transportation costs. These comparative and compet itive disadvantages to extractors are already the reality for many frustrated communities unable to find buyers (or reas onable prices) for their consistent, but relatively small offerings of high quality xate. Any strategy perceived to confer advantage to the extractive systems, whether through market access or premiums, is worthy of consideration. The alternative is feared to be nothing short of th e departure of commercial xate extraction from the forest. Finally, certification is viewed as the only practical strate gy to capture the value of ecologically sustainable and/or socially responsib le processes. It may be a necessary step to mitigate the deleterious high volume / low margin emphasis of commodity markets and to slow the transition from extraction to cultivation. In xate extraction regions, which depend on natural populations, reduced palm abundance and quality are two symptoms of over-harvesting that have negatively affected the perceived value of extrac tive procurement systems. Harvesting pressure comes from two directions: s uppliers acting to ensure that demand could be fulfilled and extractors striving to maintain or improve their livelihoods. Stakeholders worry that the extractive procurement system was approaching the critical threshold (Wiersum 1997) where extraction is eclipsed by cultivation outside of the forest. History suggests that, without intervention, cultivation under modified forest or ar tificial shade could soon be the norm.

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27 CHAPTER 3 CHAMAEDOREA P ALM FROND CERTIFICATION: AN INTEGRATED VALUE CHAIN AND MARKET PERSPECTIVE Introduction One im portant outcome of the Amazonian extr active reserve model de veloped in the late 1980s was renewed interest in non-t imber forest products (NTFPs) a nd their potential role in the integration of livelihood and conservation objectives. Supporters of commercial NTFP extraction envisioned two synergetic benefits of NTFP commercialization: rura l livelihood improvement and tropical forest conserva tion (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). NTFP commercialization initiatives mushroomed, followed by investigation into the efficacy of these interventions. In time, NT FP certification (Shanley et al. 2005; Shanley et al. 2002) emerged as one response to the many pitfalls of commercialization identified by experience and complementary research (Browder 1992; D ove 1994; Homma 1996). And although certification was described nearly 15 years ago as key to the integration of conservation and development through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its in fancy (Shanley et al. 2005). This chapter examines the components of the inte grated value chain and the dimensions of the market for Chamaedorea palm fronds as one component of a systemic analysis of the global system that is being undertaken to evaluate the feasibility of certification as an intervention to integrate forest conservation and economic development objectives. Few genera of palms rival Chamaedorea in variety of foliage, size, and growth habit (Hodel 1992). Trade of live Chamaedorea palm specimens and the cultivation of palms from seed can be dated to the 19th century, but large-scal e procurement and distribution of palms did not begin until the mid 20th century (CEC 2002). The commercial harvest of palm fronds followed rapidly, and since the 1950s North American and European florists have used the imported fronds of several species from the genus as decorative fo liage in floral arrangem ents. Churches also use

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28 the large fronds of certain species for Palm Sunday celebrations (CEC 2002). Today, Chamaedorea palm fronds are sourced from several st ates in Mexico as well as Guatemala and Belize. Markets for the fronds, commonly referred to as xate (sha-tay), exist in North America and throughout Europe as well as in the countries of origin. Xate procurement has gradually been advanc ing along a path from forest extraction to cultivation outside of forest regions. Integrated livelihood and conservati on benefits associated with xate extraction for those w ho reside in extractor communities have diminished accordingly. While early Chamaedorea research primarily focused on palm taxonomy and biology, recent studies have addressed emerging xate markets (C EC 2002), harvest economics and sustainability (Endress et al. 2006; Bridgewate r et al. 2006), and certification (Wilsey and Radachowsky 2007; Pickles 2004). Certification of xa te management and the extraction of fronds from natural forests has been suggested as a counter-measure to the pl antation trend (Current et al. 2003). Limited and qualified success in the certificati on of other NTFP suggests that fu rther consideration should be given to this approach. The NTFP literature suggests a unifying, or integrated analytical approach and two specific areas of inquiry. Conceptual Framework NTFP are wide-ranging and diverse products de fined to some extent by what they are not (Belcher 2003). The di versity of NTFP, in terms of specie s, products, and use, represents a formidable obstacle to summary explanations of NTFPs ecological, social, and economic characteristics. And while heuristics for NT FP commercialization have emerged from several multi-case studies (Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Sh anley et al. 2002; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007), these generalized consideratio ns can be difficult to operati onalize. What then, is the best perspective from which to view NTFP procuremen t systems when the objective is an intervention that will favorably affect economic, social, or environmental conditions?

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29 The need for an integrated value chain pers pective is one importan t and pragmatic lesson to emerge from NTFP commercialization studies (Belcher and Schreck enberg 2007). The value chain concept encompasses various ideas that have evolved in diverse fi elds of study. Hopkins and Wallerstein (1986, p.159) provided an early c onceptualization of a global commodity chain (GCC) as, The network of labor and producti on processes whose end result is a finished commodity. It is comprised of all parallel and interconnecting permutations of production-toconsumption systems. Contrary to the name however, the GCC is a network, not a linear structure. The GCC concept is evident in Blowfi elds later conceptualization of the value chain (Blowfield 2001), which he described as the complex web of [actors] that affect the productionto-consumption process. In both cases, and irre spective of the intended application of the concept, emphasis is placed on the holistic, in tegrated system. Indeed, in considering xate certification it seems pragmatic to ta ke an integrated analytical a pproach in two specific areas. First, taking an integrated pers pective with respect to the value chains components, or its numerous and varied actors, bene fits consideration of potential outcomes of and obstacles to certification. Although certificati on typically is presented as a decision to be evaluated by producers and end consumers, its effects and feas ibility incorporate a broader group of actors. NTFP certification has typically emphasized production processes (e .g., social justice, sustainability) more so than product attribut es (e.g., quality; Ervin and Mallet 2002). Processoriented standards target producers, but al so affect actors throughout the production-toconsumption system. A straightforward and useful example is the requirement to keep certified products physically separate from conventional product throughout the supply chain, a stipulation that affects all actors in the system. In practice, the decisi on to certify made by any given producer may not adequately consider the economi es of scale necessary for other actors or enterprises throughout the value chain to handle certified production prof itably. Profitability, of

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30 course, is a business fundament and failure to consider it in certification efforts or other interventions may quickly precipitate market failure. An integrated perspective on the xate market may also be nefit certification efforts. Certification strategies are market-based in that they seek to achieve their goals by restructuring producers relati onships to consumers through markets (Meidinger 2003: p.266). Thus, understanding the full complexity of existing and potential markets will likely improve the efficacy of any market-based intervention (Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). The integrated xate market refers to potential sub-markets differentia ted by region, end use, or other considerations. In a study of the forestry sector, Overdevest (200 4: p.174) observed that strategies for certifying high-standard coded products are limited by an inability to create mark ets for the certified goods, specifically with regard to creating a critical mass of supply. In the market for xate, where demand for certified product is nascent, it is conc eivable that market failu re could equally result from insufficient consumer demand. Thus, bot h the overall size of both supply and demand, as well as their dynamics, should be considered in fluential factors in the success of NTFP certification efforts (Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Shanley et al. 200 5; Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). It is inadequate, and perhaps even irresponsib le, to consider an intervention in a local production system or the development of a market niche without consideration of the broader production system or market within which e ither are situated. The production and market components must be viewed and understood, using an integrated perspective, as part of a broader commodity system. Despite considerable enthusia sm for xate certification, to date negligible effort has been made to integrate localized cer tification efforts into a comprehensive framework that links the numerous and diverse xate procurement systems and markets.

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31 Hypothesis and Research Objectives The overarching objective of th is ch apter is to evaluate xate certification using an integrated perspective focusing on the value ch ain and market. This evaluation represents one component in a broader strategy to evaluate th e feasibility of certifi cation, which is being considered as an intervention oriented toward integration of forest conservation and economic development. More plainly, the chapter asks what we can learn about the likely outcomes of (or obstacles to) xate certification by focusing on th e broader value chain and market. I hypothesized that the feasibility of certificat ion will depend upon the attribut es of certified supply and demand relative to the supply and demand for conventio nal product in the globa l system. Here, supply refers generally to the producers and actors in th e value chain, while demand refers to the palm market. Use of the term attributes, rather than values, highli ghts the importance of understanding not only the quantitative interpre tation of supply and demand, but also the qualitative nature of these terms, such as seasonality and trend (Belcher and Schreckenberg 2007). A complete description of a value chain includes three important elements (Marshall, Schreckenberg et al. 2006; Kaplinsky and Morris 2001): 1) important actors and their activities; 2) key trade routes; and, 3) main consumers. I a dd a fourth element to those described above: an understanding of the attributes of supply and demand. Taken together, these four elements coalesce into two specific research objectives of this chapter: Research Objective 1 Identify the components of the integrated xate value chain: prevailing production systems, regions, and key actors. Research Objective 2 Describe the dimensions of the integrated xate market.

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32 Materials and Methods Identification of the components of the integrat ed xate value chain and establishm ent of the dimensions of the xate market began with a review of the Chamaedorea literature. Xate studies from Mexico (Endress et al. 2006; Endress, Go rchov, Peterson et al. 2004; Lopez-Feldman 2004; Rushton et al. 2004), Guatemala (CONAP 2002; Radachowsky and Ramos 2004; Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006) and Belize (B ridgewater et al. 2006) captured much of the geographic range of procurement. Additional studies addresse d xate markets (Camarena M 2005; Current and Wilsey 2002; Current 2005; CEC 2002; Wilsey and Radachowsky 2007); some touched on xate certification (Pickles 2004; Zajfen 2005). Collectively, these studies provided a reasonably comprehensive overview of xate production syst ems and regions as well as insight into the dimensions and dynamics of national and international markets for palm fronds. Additional information pertaining to the integrated xate value chain and details relating to its influential actors and in stitutions were collected through use of a modified sondeo method, following Ruston and colleagues (2004). A sondeo is a rapid assessment method developed to facilitate holistic understanding of syst ems (Hildebrand 1981). The sondeo method was developed under the rubric of farming systems a nd was, therefore, intended for use in a single locality. Consequently, the method required some modification to accommodate the challenges imposed by working within the expanded geographic footprint of the xate value chain. First, the method was developed for use by an interdiscip linary team of researchers working within a community or region. For this phase of research, which extended beyond the zone of influence of many local and regional institutions, a one researcher with interdisciplinary training conducted the sondeo. Second, the sondeo calls for conversations with key info rmants to transpire over the course of several days to a week. For this study, conversations were necessarily dispersed over three extended field visits, which occurred be tween the summer of 2005 and the summer of 2007.

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33 Aggregate national trade data were procured through government reports organized by the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, which is based on the international reporting system established by the World Customs Organization (Table 3-1). Xate data were commonly aggregated with figures for other foliage, branches, and like products. In the United States, palm frond and other foliage import data were classified usi ng the Foreign Agricultural Serv ices (FAS) Foreign Agriculture and Trade system (FATUS). Mexicos Nationa l Institute for Geographic Statistics and Information (INEGI, in Spanish) similarly aggregat ed trade data for xate with data for other live plants and floriculture products (CEC 2002). Finally, Guatemalas aggregate data was found within the Ventanilla nica managed by AGEXPORT. The formidable challenge of characterizing the xate market using aggregated foliage data was resolved partially by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), which provides disaggregated trade data via its online portal (AMS 2007). Similarly, Mexicos SEMARNAT and Guatemalas National Commission for Protected Areas (CONAP) maintain records on the authorized transport of Chamaedorea palm fronds (Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). All data were st andardized whenever possible through the conversion of the differently reported units to fronds (Table 3-2). Time gaps (e.g., the AMS 10year moving window) were resolved by synt hesizing data from multiple sources. Mexican and Guatemalan reporting of production and/or transport, rather than export, data allowed for the possibility that significant quantitie s of illicitly harvested and exported xate might have escaped counting in national statistics. Thus, in characterizi ng the market I elected to use United States (AMS) import statistics, rather than national or re gional production and transportation figures, to avoid the problem of underreporting resulting from illicit harvesting or other factors. There were obvious limitations ch aracterizing a multi-nationa l system using U.S.

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34 import data, but since much of the internationall y distributed xate supp ly passes through U.S.based intermediaries, I determined this to be the most conservative course of action. Results Components of the Integrated Value Chain Production systems Historically, m ost commercialized palm fronds have been extracted from natural populations in which regeneration is a natural process. As with ma ny NTFPs, there is an evident and growing trend toward system intensification via cultivation. Even at the time of this study, however, a large proportion of the xate encoun tered in markets originated in relatively unmanaged forest ecosystems (Eve rett, personal communication). Extraction Xate extractive systems varied with lo cation but the procur ement process was fairly uniform. An individual or gr oup enters the forest on foot in search of naturally occurring palms. Trips to and from the forest commonly require several hours of walking. In many regions, sustained commercial pressure on the resource has progressively increased distances from communities to harvesting locations (Radac howsky and Ramos 2004; Lopez-Feldman 2005). Once found, palm fronds are cut by hand to meet local and/or industry sp ecifications using a modified machete or a knife. Extractors bundle the fronds into gruesas, technically 144 palm fronds but actual quantities vari ed according to local custom. Grue sas are subsequently assembled into bultos, which are gruesas bound or wrapped by burlap or bl ankets (see Figure 3-1). The number of gruesas in a bulto de pended on the carrying capacity of the individual harvester, but a bulto typically does not exceed ten gruesas. Carrying the bulto on their backs, extractors hike out of the forest or to a central coll ection point in the forest so anim als or pickup trucks can transport the bundled xate out of the forest. Extracted xate is typi cally sold to an intermediary, referred to as a coyote who either resides in the ha rvesters community or who si mply visits periodically to

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35 make purchases. Traditionally, extr actors were paid based on the quantity of gruesas harvested. In recent years, there has been effort in some areas to shift to quality -driven purchasing (CEC 2006). Selection and processing t ypically occur further along th e value chain (Figure 3-2). Cultivation Unlike the relative uniformity of the extractive experience, plantations took varied form. Perhaps the most (commercially) successful plantation system cultivated palms under the shade of secondary forest canopy (acahual ). In this system, existing understory vegetation had been cleared and palm plants transplanted from germinated seed stock under the requisite shade of the tree canopy (Figur e 3-3). Coffee production systems represented another, although far less comm on system within which palms were cultivated. Both the traditional polyculture and rustic coffee producti on systems common to Mexico contain a diverse assortment of commercial and usef ul species and palm fits well within these diversified systems. Palms were also observed in cultivation under the shade of rubber tree plantations. Production regions The xate procurem ent network is extensiv e and transcends numerous regions across national boundaries. U.S. importers principally source palm fronds from Mexico and Guatemala (Figure 3-4), the former responsible for the great er share over the produc ts commercial history (CEC 2002) (Figure 3-5). Import figures are decep tive, however, in their portrayal of overall production: not all xate entered th e U.S. prior to broader distribut ion. As a case in point, In 2005 Guatemala shipped principally to Holland (48.4% ), followed closely by the United States (46.6%) (Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). Nevertheless, Mexico remained the leading producer even when Guatemalas production figures were doubl ed. Palms from Belize reach international markets via illicit extraction by Guatemalan harvesters, who, for years, have been crossing the contested Guatemala-Belize border to cut xate (Bridgewater et al. 2006).

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36 Mexico. Mexico has several important xate regions. One of the most important, in terms of volume, is the Los Tuxtlas region in Veracruz. In Veracruz, palms are primarily cultivated under the shade of secondary forest canopy ( acahual ). An historically important region was the Ri Cajonos valley in Oaxacas Chinantla where extraction remains a time and resource intensive production activity. The states of Chiapas and Taba sco are also important sources of extracted xate (Camarena M 2005). Historically, a large ma jority of palm fronds originated from the regions Selva Lacandona. Another important extraction re gion in Chiapas extends along the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, a coastal range beginning in Oaxacas Chimalapas region and running southeast toward Guatemala. In the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, the El Cielo Biosphere Reserve is another important xate extraction region (Endre ss et al. 2006), notably for C. radicalis Finally, San Luis Potosi is known to be an important source of xate. Guatemala. Most of Guatemalas xate is extracted from naturally occurring populations within the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) a mosaic of protected areas in the countrys northernmost department: El Petn (R eyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). A 2005 commercialization agreement between the largest U.S. palm importer and two community forest concessions Uaxactn and Carmelita repr esented a landmark value chain development coincident with the creation of a certified ma rket. Xate management in the concessions is governed through an addendum (see Appendix A) to FSC certification for sustainable forest management, the latter a legal stipulation for the community concessions. Terms of the agreement specify that xate must meet pr oduct quality standards in addition to FSC sustainable management, or process standards. Xate can be sold to conve ntional markets based on fr ond quality, but also to seasonal consumers interested in certified product (explained below). Moreover, vertical integration of the concessions procurement syst em means the concession assumed responsibility

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37 for some of the value-enhanc ing transformations formerly handled by intermediaries and consolidators. Principal actors The xate value chain is best characterized as oligopsonistic, comprised of a sm all group of influential actors, notably at th e levels of the national consolid ator and importer. Down-chain actors differ by region, as do their specific roles and thus the general shape of the systems themselves. Figure 3-6 portrays a general schematic model of the integrated value chain and its numerous actors and variations along th e path to the international market. Extractors are one type of supplier for the xate value chain. In most observed contexts, extractors operated independently, selling their harvest to an inte rmediary or other consolidator. Local contractors or a community-level associat ion also organize harvesters. Recent emphasis on certification of xate producti on systems drives a new emphasis on models within which both communities and harvesters take more responsibility for delivering a quality or value added product. Cultivators are the other type of s upplier for the xate value ch ain. Cultivators included both large operations, such as the 90-ha Flor de Catemaco in Veracruz, Mexi co, or cooperatives comprised of relatively smaller growers, such as Tropicales de los Tuxtlas also in Veracruz. Cultivation by households in extractor communities has been promoted and observed but, at the time of the study, did not represen t a substantial source of supply. Intermediaries operate, both independently and as form al or informal employees of larger actors, throughout the early links of the valu e chain. Frequently disparaged for exploiting extractors, they often play important, under-value d roles in commercialization processes (Padoch 1992). In the xate chain, inte rmediaries are sometimes former extractors who developed relationships with actors further up the value chain. One role of the intermediary is to provide

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38 transportation for extractors w ho are without means to get cut fronds from the forest to the market. In the economically marginal regions where xate is found, this role must not be understated. Another role is th e stabilization of supply throug h the consolidation of small quantities of palms harvested over a broad area, or by numerous harvesters. When institutions such as producer/extractor coopera tives are absent, it can be the in termediary who helps to ensure that minimum feasible levels of supply are achieved in a particular region. Extractor communities in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, for example, we re left without a market when an independent intermediary relocated to another region of Mexico. Local consolidators when they exist, operate under varied models. One development professional described a case in a community in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca where one community member stored all of the xate extracted by others thr oughout the week until the arrival of the intermediary (Santos, personal comm unication). In Uaxactn, Guatemala, a communitymanaged storage facility was built to store fr onds brought in from the forest by pickup truck before they were cargo trucked to nearby Santa Elena. In these and most other cases, local actors consolidate extensive xate extraction so that the relatively capital-intensive modes of transportation might achieve economies of scal e during periodic visits to the community. Consolidators and exporters operate at the regional and na tional levels and comprise the most diverse general category of actors in the supply chain. This diversity is attributable to the fact that the xate value chain may take vari ed form between the harvester/grower and the importer, depending on numerous factors. At the time of th is study, the largest national consolidators in Mexico and Guatemala were believed to be Continental and Plantas Arco Iris respectively. International buyers of xate are limited and the market at this level, could justly be described as a monopsony. In the United States, one buyer Continental Fl oral Greens (CFG) of

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39 Texas is reputed to import the vast majority of xate. Smaller importers include World Foliage Resource (WFR), Inc. and Simpsons Greens, bot h located in Florida. CFG and WFR (formerly Jewel) were the original U.S. importers of Chamaedorea palm fronds. Dimensions of the Integrated Xate Market The analys is revealed an integrated palm market that was comprised of a large, mature conventional market and a significantly smaller, yet dynamic certified market. Both markets were seasonal in nature with the certif ied market being confined to the conventional markets peak season. Conventional markets Chamaedorea palm fronds are important in the flor al industry, yet they are not typically components of a flower shops retail assortment. Florists utilize pa lms and other greens in retail floral arrangements either as decorative material, filler, or to provide structural support (Current and Wilsey 2002). Typically, flow er shop retail customers request floral arrangements based upon one or a few predominant flowers, whereas a dditional flowers and filler greens are added at the discretion of the florist. In the floral industry, therefore, the end consumer of xate is effectively the retail florist, rath er than the flower shop patron. Certain denominations of Chris tian churches represent anothe r source of demand for xate (CEC 2002). Churches use palm fronds, which represent victory, in Palm Sunday celebrations. In contrast to the flower shop scenario, churches purchase the actu al fronds in accordance with the congregation and the specific use in the celebration (i.e., struct ural dcor or distribution to parishioners). Palm Sunday palm fronds can be purchased through retail florists and wholesalers, but are also available through busin esses catering specifically to religious organizations. Church consumption may double or treble weekly demand, relative to typical week s during the year, but the increase is limited to th e weeks preceding Palm Sunday. The notion of environmentally

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40 and/or socially certified palm production and dist ribution has the greatest traction among church consumers (Current et al. 2003). It is difficult to estimate the respective propor tions of xate imports at tributable to floral industry and church use, although th e church market has been estim ated to represent from 5 to 10 percent of total annual demand (C urrent et al. 2003). Floral whol esalers and retailers serve as intermediaries for both the floral and church ma rkets, so floral industry data may overestimate use in floral arrangements. Finally, cross-de nominational use of palms is not limited to Chamaedorea varieties, also including species of fan palm ( Chamaerops humilis ) and sabal palm ( Sabal palmetto ), among others. Market Dimensions and Trends Comm ercial importing of xate to the Unite d States began around 1950. Import and sales volumes increased in subsequent years before p eaking once in the late 1970s, then again in the late 1980s. Annual import data, synthesized from several sources (Johnson 1999; CEC 2002; AMS 2007), offered a picture of the overall trend in xate imports to the United States since the early 1970s (Figure 3-7). Although annual imports were volatile throughou t the period, they reached an absolute peak of nearly 450 million fronds in the mid 1980s before beginning an erratic, downward trend. Only in recent years had the downward trend that began in the early 1990 s slowed, or perhaps stabilized, with imports rebounding from fewer th an 150 million fronds in the early part of the current decade to about 225 million annually. The seasonality of xate imports varies by species. It is noteworthy that C. oblongata one of the most popular overall sellers throughout the year (see Figure 3.8) typically receives only a 2030 percent bump in demand during the Easter season. The wide leaf lets of this species are not greatly appreciated by the church market. This obse rvation alludes to two important points. First,

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41 any discussion of xate refers to a commercial composite of Chamaedorea species, each possessing different physical and co mmercial attributes. Second, the small seasonal increase in imports observed in the best selling Chamaedorea species, relative to the other xate species, serves as a reminder of the limited (or dispropor tionate) effect of increased demand for certified xate on overall xate import figures. Product Heterogeneity Latin Greens and Commodore are the two m ost common trade names used in the United States market to generically refe rence all commercial varieties of Chamaedorea foliage. Because the commercial classification is comprised of numerous species, it is important to recognize that aggregate annual and seasonal export, import, a nd sales figures mask differences in speciesspecific values (Figure 3-8). C. oblongata (Wide), C. elegans (Jumbo), C. quetzalteca (Giant or Chiapas), and C. ernesti-agusti (Fishtail) are the predominant sp ecies, in terms of fronds sold, used for commercial foliage (CEC 2002; Reyes Rodas and Wilshusen 2006). Species data are often unavailable or unreliable (Camarena M 200 5). Substantial differences in the demand for each species, coupled with the natural distributions of species throughout the region of supply, could be important considerations when determ ining communities appropriate for interventions such as certification. Eco-palms: an emerging market The m ost noteworthy emerging trend in the xa te market is the recent establishment and rapid growth of the market for Eco-Palms among church consumers. In 2001, the North American Commission for Environmental C ooperation (CEC) commissioned a study of the overall market for Chamaedorea palm fronds in North America and Europe (Current and Wilsey 2002; CEC 2002). This market study id entified a potential opportuni ty for developing a market for sustainably extracted fronds oriented toward church consumers. This potential market niche

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42 was further explored in a subseque nt study (Current et al. 2003) a nd in 2005, a pilot sale of EcoPalms was organized and administered by the Ce nter for Integrated Agricultural and Natural Resources Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota. In 2006, the pilot was expanded to a regional sale centered on the Mi nneapolis-Saint Paul ur ban area. The regional effort sold 80,000 fronds, up from 5,000 in 2005 (L acey 2007). In 2006, participating churches paid US$ 0.22 per frond for certified palm fr onds, generating a premium of about 5 cents per frond for harvesters. Fueled by the success of the 2006 regional effort, the sale went national in 2007 with sales of around 364,000 fronds. Eco-Pal ms are recognized for conservation and livelihood benefits Since 2001, the Center for Integrated Natura l Resources and Agricultural Management (CINRAM) at the University of Minnesota has been working with the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC ) and other partners including Rainforest Alliance in Guatemala and PRONATURA, an environmental NGO, in Mexico to produce palms which are sustainably harvested and wh ich provide greater income to harvesting communities as a way to promote environmental conservation and improved livelihoods for the gathering communities. Sustainably harvested palms are sold to Christian congregations in the US for Palm Sunday providing an additional $0.05 premium payment per [stem] following Palm Sunday in addition to the $0.01-0.02 that the communities normally receive year-round for the palms. The premium payment has been used for scholarships, paying teachers and providing soci al services to harvesters. Two communities in Guatemala are currently in the process of qualifying for FSC certification for palm harvest under the Rainforest Alliances Sm artwood Program, with plans for additional communities to follow. Source: The Center for Integrated Natura l Resources and Agricultural Management, University of Minnesota Eco-Palm sales have generated a buzz among the xate community, comprised of government and non-governmental promoters, value chain actors, and harvester communities. Yet, it is important to contextualize sales figur es by juxtaposing them against the conventional market for xate. Plotting annual imports of conventional xate and sales of Eco-Palms (both logarithmically transformed and the latter lagge d by one year) demonstrates two important points (Figure 3-9). The first is that annual sales of eco-palms have grown exponentially. This pattern

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43 has justifiably fueled optimism among conserva tion and development practitioners. However, a second point should temper this optimism: the vol ume of eco-palms remain s several orders of magnitude lower than the import volume of conv entionally xate. In 2006, just over 200 million conventional fronds came into the United States, of which the roughly 364,000 eco-palms sold in 2007 would have represented about 0.2 percent of the market. Discussion Analysis of the integrated xate value chain a nd m arket revealed the form and function of a successful NTFP commodity system. As with many NTFP chains, xate procurement is extensive, transcending numerous regions in multiple countr ies. Historically, most buyers maintained armslength relations with extractors, the latter selling opport unistically to itinerant intermediaries working independently, or for established intermed iate enterprises located in regional or national centers. For this reason, actors in the xate value chain are vulne rable to many of the economic challenges identified in the NTFP commercialization and certification literature, but namely, the inability of suppliers to affect market relationships and terms of trade. The analysis revealed an integrated xate mark et comprised of a large, mature conventional market and a significantly smaller, yet dynami c certified market. Conventional fronds are an important component in the floral industry throughout the year, while primarily church congregations use certified fronds, and only during Palm Sunday celebrations. The very existence of a growing market for certified xate has heartened promoters and extractor communities alike throughout the region of extraction. The volume of certified fronds, however, is several orders of magnitude lower than the volume of conventiona lly produced xate. The largest U.S. importer expressed that this discrepancy specifically, the low volume of certified xate made virtually infeasible the necessary segreg ation of certified and conventional product in the supply chain.

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44 The salient challenges to xate certification th at emerged from this analysis are economic. Suppliers considering certification face significant ba rriers to entry that stem from the maturity of the conventional xate market and an oligopsonis tic value chain comprised of a few dominant actors and regions. Barriers are likely to be mo re formidable for new harvesters (and harvesting regions) interested in entering the market to cap italize on the small, but gr owing certified market. These barriers stand to become even more impos ing should established extr actors of conventional xate determine that a shift to certification makes sense. Th e 2005 direct-sale arrangement between two FSC-certified community forest con cessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve and a major U.S. importer, coupled with the current push for xate certification by international actors such as Rainforest Alliance (in Guatemala and Me xico) and ProNatura (in Mexico), suggests that the shift to certification scenar io merits serious consideration. Moreover, the seasonality of the certified market implies that suppliers will need to adjust their year-round activit ies to accrue benefits only during the Easter season. In most regions, palms are extracted throughout the year. Willingne ss to pursue certification for the seasonal, or any other, market will depend heavily, although pe rhaps not exclusively on twin factors: price premium and/or market access, mirror images with respect to economic benefit (Sedjo and Swallow 1999). It is noteworthy that the 2005 M BR agreement explicitly included a quality standard, allowing the forest concessions to accru e the benefits of certification throughout the year, rather than merely during the Easter seas on. Additionally, the agreement formalized what had previously been an informal and indi rect transaction with the U.S. buyer. From the buyers perspective, there are significant transaction costs to forging new relationships with suppliers. The current procurement system relies on communities that are typically characterized by under-developed transportation infrastr ucture and unfamiliar sociopolitical systems. The emergence of palm cultiva tion in Veracruz and elsewhere reflected this

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45 challenge and was consistent with Hommas (1992) conclusion that extractivism may represent an unstable base for conservation and development strategies. As demand remained greater than cultivated supply, restructuring th e terms of trade with existing pa rtners appeared to be more attractive to buyers than the forging of new re lationships. Indeed, the 2005 MBR agreement with an established supplier stipulated a higher price fo r higher quality xate; oste nsibly reductions in the amount of waste (non-marketable fronds) offset the premium paid by the buyer. Finally, economy of scale repr esents a significant obstacle for actors throughout the value chain. The current low demand for certified xa te makes segregation of eco-palms from conventional xate in the supply chain infeasib le over the long term. This observation echoes Overdevests (2004) observation that strategies for the certificati on of high-standard products and processes are often limited by the di fficulty of constructing viable markets. For xate, the viability of a certified market appears to be most cons trained by nascent consum er demand. Nevertheless, this dark cloud over the horizon of xate certification has a silver lining. In the 2005 MBR agreement, quality requirements represented what might be described as a keystone standard; one that bridges the gap between the short-term obstacle described above, and the long-term success that might be possible with a more established, and sizable demand for certified xate. The atypical combination of a pro duct standard (quality) a nd the process standards stipulated by FSC facilitates an intermediate st ep in the development of a market for certified fronds. Specifically, certified xate is made availabl e as needed to the certified market due to the hybrid product/process standards ma ndated in the MBR agreement. Wh en viewed in light of the maturity of the conventional market, the MBR arrangement highlights an opportunity for an established buyer to foster and perhaps even shap e the development of a small, yet growing niche market. The short-term costs of subsidizing this market may ultimately be offset by the long-term benefits of rejuvenating commercia l interest in what has been described as a pass commodity.

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46 Finally, as state institut ions increasingly focus on sustaina bility guidelines for the harvest of forest products, a trend observed both in Guatem ala and Mexico, the extent to which certification facilitates state authorization for any form of commercial xate extraction might increase the willingness of both suppliers and buyers to respectively embrace certification standards. Ultimately, the inclusion of quality standards in xate certification will likely increase this interventions ability to facilitate the integrat ion of conservation and development objectives in extractor communities. Conclusions Early succes s in Guatemalas MBR concessions highlights the value of including existing industry quality standards in sustainable manage ment certification schemes. Although the forest concessions in the MBR commercialize xate that is certified for sustai nable management (through an addendum to existing FSC forest management certification), buyers purc hase the majority of fronds for their quality attributes. The requireme nt that xate meets quality as well as other environmental/social standards provide a possibl e solution to some of the challenges to NTFP certification described in the literature. Certifie d xate from the MBR can be sold at commodity prices in the conventional market without any special consideration. With proper handling (i.e., segregation) throughout the supply chain, it can be sold at a pr emium, as certified xate, to churches and other pote ntial consumers. Combining product standards and process standards represents a bundling of attributes that, when considered in is olation, may be insufficient to support commercial success for actors throughout the xate value chain. The feasibility of a certified xate mark et depends upon numerous factors and the circumstances of widely distribut ed actors. Initially, how ever, the success of xate certification as a step toward integrating conservation and development objectives will depend on the unique

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47 context and livelihoods in each extraction locale. Chapters 4 and 5 address these issues in the setting of La Soledad de Juarez in th e Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico.

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48 Figure 3-1. Bultos of C. oblongata in a storage facility in Uax actn, Guatemala await transport to Santa Elena Figure 3-2. Xate ( C. oblongata ) being sorted in Santa Elena, Guatemala

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49 Figure 3-3. Xate ( C. elegans) cultivated under forest canopy in Catemaco, Veracruz (Mexico) San Luis Potosi(C.elegans)Tamaulipas(C.radicalis)Oaxaca Chiapas(C.quetzalteca)Guatemala(C.oblongata)Veracruz(C.elegans)Tabasco N Regiones con Palma Centros de Acopio Rutas de los Traileres a Europa por Avion (C.elegans) a Continental EUA por Trailer Continental SA de CV R.B. MayaCancn Figure 3-4. Principal xate production regions and distribution routes

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50 Figure 3-5. Annual imports of xate fronds to th e United States from Guatemala and Mexico. (Source: AMS (2007). Figure ad apted from CEC (2002)). International Buyer National Consolidator / Exporter Regional Consolidator Grower Harvester Local Consolidator Grower Cooperative / Consolidator Intermediary / Transporter Figure 3-6. General schematic model of the integrated xate value chain

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51 Figure 3-7. Total annual xate imports to the United States, 1971-2007 Figure 3-8. Relative demand index for xate varietie s for a major U.S. importer. (Source: author interviews).

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52 Figure 3-9. Total annual xate imports to the U.S. and sales (1-yr lag) of certified palms. (AMS 2007; Lacey 2007)). Table 3-1. Harmonized tariff codes for xate in the United States, Mexico, and Guatemala Code Country Description Chapter 06 US, GT, MX Live Plants and Floriculture Products Heading 04 US, GT, MX Foliage, leaves, branches and other parts of plants without flowers or flower buds, grasses, mosses, and lichens fo r bouquets or for ornamental purposes, fresh, dried, bleached, dyed, impr egnated, or otherwise prepared. Sub Heading 91 US Fresh Section 0080 US Other Sub Heading 91 MX Fresh Section 01 MX Fresh GT Not Available Table 3-2. Reported unit equivalencies for Chamaedorea fronds Quantity Unit Quantity Unit 1 Bunch 20 Palm fronds 1 Roll 30 Bunches 1 Gruesa1 144 Palm fronds 1 Gruesa ( C.elegans ) 0.95 Kg 1 Gruesas can contain fewer palm fronds depending on the region

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53 CHAPTER 4 THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD SYSTEM Introduction The Am azonian extractive reserve model deve loped in the late 1980s fostered renewed interest in non-timber forest products (NTFPs) a nd their potential role in the reconciliation of conservation and development objectives. Supporte rs of commercial NT FP extraction envisioned two synergetic benefits of NTFP commerciali zation: rural livelihood im provement and tropical forest conservation (Nepstad and Schwartzman, 1992; Panayotou, 1992). NTFP commercialization initiatives mushroomed, followe d by investigation into the efficacy of these endeavors. In time, NTFP certification emerged as one response to the many pitfalls of commercialization identified by experience and complementary research (Browder 1992; Dove 1994; Homma 1996; Belcher et al 2005; Shanley et al. 2002; Shanley et al. 2005). Although certification was described nearly 15 years ago as key to the integration of conservation and development through extractivism (Clay 1992), NTFP certification remains in its infancy (Shanley et al. 2005). Peters and colleagues (1989) seminal NTFP va luation study and its subsequent critiques (Browder 1992) outlined a template for the approp riate analysis of market interventions. Taken together, these studies demonstrated a basic need to better understand NTFP markets, NTFP ecology, and NTFP production systems, in wh ich NTFP extraction or production often contributes to diverse, forest-b ased livelihoods. This chapter focuses on the latter the livelihood system of xate ( Chamaedorea spp.) extractors in La Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico. It represents one component of a broader inquiry into the feasibility of certification as a tool for integrated conservation and development one th at examines xate certification at multiple

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54 scales: the livelihood system, the production-to-c onsumption system, and the global commodity system. Research Objective This chapter provides foundation for a subs equent chapter that exam ines hypotheses relating to the anti cipated effects of certification on the re source and on livelihood strategies that include xate harvesting. These anticipated effects of certi fication derive from hypotheses developed as part of Marshall et al.s (2006) NTFP study of the factors influencing successful NTFP commercialization. Together, these two chapters focusing on the Soledad livelihood system contribute to the broader analysis of th e feasibility of xate ce rtification. This broad inquiry provides conservation and development professionals with an improved analytical framework for the assessment of market related NTFP interventions. Thus, this chapter presents the results of research unde rtaken with the objective to develop a better understanding of the Soledad de Juarez livelihood system and the broader context with in which Soledad households fashion livelihood strategies. Analytical Framework The live lihood system approach originates in the "farming systems literature. Broadly interpreted, farming system refers to the means by which a household manages its resources to meet its objectives within its particular ecologi cal, economic, and social context (Sellen et al. 1993). Particularly in developing regions of the world, a farmi ng system is household-centered and may operate at, or near, subsistence leve l, typically supplementing farm production with varied combinations of available off-farm activities.

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55 A livelihood system is the composite of ac tivities available to all households in the particular system within whic h they secure their livelihoods1 (Hildebrand et al. 2003; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004). A livelihood system is a farm ing system so long as farming remains a (primary) livelihood option. Livelihood systems in the tropical forest regions of Latin America commonly include swidden subsistence agriculture combined with extraction of forest products for consumption or sale, hunting of game, loggi ng, and other forms of wage-based employment (Fearnside 1989; Heinzman and Reining 1990). Livelihood systems research is a diagnostic pr ocess comprised of diverse methods through which researchers elicit a bette r understanding of farm households their decisions, and decisionmaking processes (Collinson 2000). While the original application of this approach specifically addressed (non) adoption of impr oved crop varieties, its utility extends to any situation where small producers are faced with competing alternatives, from new crop varieties to alternative management options. NTFP certification represents a complex package of standards that must ultimately be adopted by producers, or incorporated into their livelihood system and strategies. It is for this reason that a livelihood systems framew ork is appropriate for the assessment of NTFP certification. Along with other factors, the success of certification as a mechanism to facilitate or sustain the integration of forest conservati on and economic development objectives will depend on its adoption at the level of th e household, often the fi rst actor in commercial NTFP extractive systems. Study Area Chinantla is an ethnically and linguistically defi ned region in the northern part of the Mexican s tate of Oaxaca (Figure 4-1). Recognition of the region predates Spanish arrival in the 1 By extension, a livelihood strategy is the specific set of activities, selected from those comprising the livelihood system, in which a particular household engages (Hildebrand and Schmink, 2004).

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56 New World (Bevan 1938). Its 461,000 ha represen t five percent of Oaxacas territory. The heterogeneous indigenous communities of the region, collectively referred to as Chinantecos, rank fourth among the indigenous groups of Oaxaca and represent two percen t of Mexicos total indigenous population (INI 2004). The region is home to 110,223 i nhabitants and comprised of approximately 258 communities organized in to 16 municipalities (De Teresa n.d.). Chinantla straddles the Sierra Juarez mountai n range, which intercepts humid winds of the Gulf of Mexico and forms the continental di vide between the Atlantic and Pacific. The ecological importance of the regi on centers on its biological divers ity and the richness of its natural resources. The region enco mpasses numerous forest ecosystems. Fifty-six percent of the landscape is classified as vari ous forest types. Another 21 percent is secondary vegetation evincing previous agricultural and forestry production activities (INI 2004 ; De Teresa 1998). The regions Selva Alta Perennefolia (39.5 percent) is believed to be one of the worlds most biologically diverse and is only found in two other regions of Me xico: Oaxacas Chimalapas and the Selva Lacandona in Chiapa s (Anta et al. 1996). Geography favors classification of the region into three topographica lly defined zones. Chinantla Alta refers to the terrain above 1000 m, and which contains rare mesophyll forest as well as pine-oak forest and tropical montane fore st. Three of the regions 14 municipalities and 7 percent of its population ar e situated in the Alta. Media describes the altitudinal band occurring between 400 and 1000 m. This region is dominated by tropical montane forest and includes some of the regions seasonal agricu lture. The Media contains five m unicipalities and 31 percent of the regions population. Baja refers to the terrain situated below 400 m, and which is predominantly evergreen montane forest. However, this zone also contains most of the regions seasonal agricultural land and pasture. Th e Baja contains the remaining six municipalities and 62 percent

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57 of the regions population. La Soleda d de Juarez is in the Chinantla Baja, within th e municipality of Santa Maria Jacatepec, but is administratively considered a part of the adjacent municipality of Ayotzintepec. It is one of several communities along the Rio Cajonos the valley of which is known for an abundance of Chamaedorea species palms. Materials and Methods Basic livelihood system and contextual inform ation can be obtained through rapid and/or participatory field assessment methods, many of which were developed within the purview of Farming Systems Research (FSR; Collinson 2000). The sondeo is a rapid and participatory assessment method (Hildebrand 1981) that emerged from FSR and that is considered to be a seminal rapid assessment technique (Sellen et al 1993). It is a conversa tional survey approach that does not depend on a survey instrument and that can be implemented by a multi-disciplinary team. The basic tenets of the sondeo method conti nue to be used by researchers to quickly learn about and assess livelihood and other systems as a pr eliminary step in the research process or as a means to make recommendations for resear ch (Moulton 1989; Hild ebrand and Schmink 2004; Marshall, Rushton et al. 2006). Sondeo is the Spanish term for sounding out. The method was developed at the Institute of Science and Agricultural Tec hnology (ICTA, by Spanish initials) in Guatemala as a result of the need to gain insight into marginalized farm ing communities, where mistrust of outsiders was prevalent. The method is participatory to ensure the direct input of community members in the assessment of local conditions. It relies on an inte rdisciplinary perspective to facilitate a more balanced treatment of factors such as age and gender relations, formal and informal economic activities, and environmental considerations. Finally, the assessment is rapid so that limited resources such as time, money, and goodwill may be used most productively. Properly done, the sondeo method provides rich contextual info rmation about the community and identifies the

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58 basic dimensions of the livelihood system and its key actors. It can also be useful as a means to orient research objectives and the information w ithin can be called upon in subsequent stages of research and analysis. Conventionally, the sondeo met hod requires that a team of researchers visit a community for a limited time period (e.g., one week). Thro ughout the period, resear chers converse with community members selected opport unistically. Visits to homes, farms, or forests are conducted by day; summary reporting and reflection are co mpleted at night. Observation, conversations, and reflection facilitate the elab oration of an abstracted live lihood system model. A schematic model of the livelihood system is developed as researchers begin to develop an understanding of its salient components. In Soledad, modifications to the sondeo proce ss were required to al low the process to be undertaken by an individual, rather than a t eam. This need resulted primarily from time limitations on the part of collaborating partners and limited financial resour ces on the part of all involved. The need to modify the process for us e by an individual is unfortunate and almost certainly affects the overall qua lity of the sondeo findings, but reflects the challenge of undertaking fieldwork with limited resources. Tw o modifications are notew orthy. First, existing grey literature focusing on the Chinantla re gion and Soledad was consulted prior to the community visit. This step was essential in order to orient the researcher and to ensure that time with community participants was used effici ently. Moreover, primary data gathered through conversations with community members were validated and supplemented by secondary data encountered in the grey litera ture. Second, the sondeo process benefits from the synergetic presence of multiple minds trained in multiple disciplines, yet in the Soledad sondeo, a single

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59 researcher with interdisciplinary training was used. Apart from these notable modifications, sondeo protocol was followed. The sondeo generated two related outputs: 1) a report describing the Soledad livelihood system and its context, and 2) a schematic model of the livelihood system. The schematic livelihood model provided a foundati on for the elaboration of a basic matrix comprised of the important household livelihood activities, resources, and constraints, from the perspective of the community participants. The livelihood system ma trix reflects the options available to all households in the system. It is operationalized through the construction of a linear program (see Chapter 6). Results Overview The sondeo generated infor mation used to deve lop the schematic model of the predominant livelihood system (Figure 4-2). Soledad is located in Oaxacas heavily forested, ethno-linguistic region: the Chinantla. The predominant Soleda d livelihood system combines subsistence and commercial agriculture and agroforestry, couplin g these activities with limited commercial nontimber forest extraction and other wage-genera ting employment at the local, regional, and national levels. The household is the characteri stic organizational institution, each typically comprised of two generations, but often operating in cooperation with a physically distinct but relationally connected thir d generation household. Soledad households receive institutional suppor t from various branches of the Mexican government in the areas of agriculture and so cial development (e.g., schooling, nutrition, and healthcare). The Soledad economy co uld be described as integrated into the broader regional and national economy, but is likely to become even mo re so as a result of a recently paved roadway.

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60 Context Political structure and history Soledad is politically organized as an ejido one of three types of rural pr operty initially defined through Article 27 of the 1917 Mexican Constitution (Mendivil 1996). Ejidos are collectivized land grants that were primarily made to landless groups of varied ethnic backgrounds. An ejido is, in principle, property of the nation that is granted to a community of peasants in usufruct. It is not communal property, but rather an obscured form of private smallholding with a few defining characteristic s (Bartra 1993). First a nd foremost, lands are endowed by the state rather than purchased. Additionally, land usage is subject to restrictions and limitations including Mexican citi zenship, eligibility through residence, the requirement to personally work the land, and the absence of ot her forms of ownership. Since its conception in 1917, the ejido (as a mode of land redistribution a nd as a means to manage land tenure and use) has played a formative role in Mexi cos social and economic landscape. Soledad is an ejido of relati vely recent vintage (1998), form ed in the wake of conflict between the neighboring ejido, Plan Juan Martinez, and a previ ous ejido, Ceiba Mocha. This conflict led in 1985 to the abandonment by Ceiba Mochas ejidatarios of their 1,811 ha (MIE 2004). After a time, a group of landless individuals from Plan Juan Martinez organized to take possession of the abandoned Cieba Mocha land, becoming the founding 52 members of ejido La Soledad de Juarez. Soledads urba n center occupies a 23 ha parc el that is shared with, and classified as territory of Plan Juan Martinez. In 2004, the Soledad was estimated to have 48 resident families, or 350 individual inhabitants (MIE 2004). With regard to the overall management and utilization of natural resources, Soledad participates, through elected delegates, in the Regional Council for the Management of Natural Resources within the Papaloapan watershed (CRRNP, by its Spanish initials). This council is a

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61 legally formed civil association whose members are representatives from the regions communities and ejidos. As such, the CRRN-P is a political figure formed to govern and mediate interactions between member communities and exte rnal actors interested in the regions natural resources. Infrastructure The urban center shared by Sole dad and Plan Juan Martinez is located at kilom eter 31 on the recently paved roadway that connects the municipal seat of Ayotzint epec to the segment of the Pan American route (MX 147) that links the Oaxacan city of Tuxtepec to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (see Figure 4-3). Tuxtepec is a city of approxi mately 150,000 inhabitants (INEGI 2005) and the most important commercial center in close proximity to Soledad. Embarking eastward along MX 147 from the T uxtepec-Oaxaca City juncture, access to Soledad is at La Reforma (km 20). The journey between Tuxtepec and Soledad can be reliably made in under two hours, although until quite recently the trip requ ired several hours due to weather and road conditions. Communities along this roadway are served by regular bus service. In Soledad, many homes are traditional constructed of timber frames, rough-hewn paneling, and palm thatch roofing. It is common, however, to see alongside traditional structures newer cinder block structures with zinc (galvanized metal) roofing. When both are present, the traditional structure typically serves as the kitc hen and family gathering area, while the cinder block structure is comprised of sleeping quart ers and a common room. The form of traditional structure reflects the necessary function of elim inating smoke, which results from the continued use of fuelwood. Nearly all homes in Soledad have electric power. Potable water is captured from a capped local artesian spring and most homes have water access on their property via spigot. At the time of this study, Soledad had neither cellular telephone coverage nor Internet

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62 capabilities. Satellite tele phones existed throughout the re gion, however, coverage was intermittent (MIE 2004). Social services Oportunidades is th e Mexican governments poverty mitigation program (SEDESOL 2008). It provides households with cash transf ers that are linked to the three principal components of the program: education, healt h, and nutrition. In 2008, qualifying households received a monthly transfer of $MX 195 for nutrition, $MX 50 for util ities, and a variable amount for the educational expenses of childre n under the age of 22, ranging from $MX 130 for primary to $MX 825 for girls in their third y ear of high school. An additional $MX 270 per individual per month was transferred to households with elderly members. Soledad has a primary and secondary school, bot h limited in their capacity to meet the needs of the community. Students interested in further education, therefore, commute by bus to attend the secondary school in nearby Ayotzintepec. Soledad also has one locally staffed health care clinic. Additionally, a medical care professional is dispatched monthly from Tuxtepec to Soledad and nearby communities. Advanced care generally requires travel to Tuxtepec. Land Cover and Use Consistent with the broader Chinantla regi on, S oledads 1,811 hectares are principally forested and characterized by considerable relief. A majority of land cover (75 percent) is classified as Montane Evergreen Tropical Rainforest2 (MIE 2004; INI 2004; Rzedowski 1981). This forest classification is one of the worlds most biologically diverse and can only be found in two other regions of Mexico: Oaxacas Chimalap as and the Selva Lacandona in Chiapas (Anta et 2 Translated by author from Selva Alta Perennifolia using Rzedowskis (1981, p.153) classifications, which are based in part on the Koeppen System of vegetation classification, in this case Af.

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63 al. 1996). An additional 24 percent of Soledads land is classified as Evergreen Tropical Rainforest interspersed with secondary vegetation (MIE 2004). NTFPs such as Chamaedorea species palms (xate), game, fibers, and fuelwood are gathered and hunted from all accessible forest ed terrain. Moreover, the forested landscape categorized by the presence of secondary vegeta tion includes moderately sloped terrain on which ejidatarios have planted coffee and practice traditional, seasonal forms of agriculture. The result is a land cover mosaic comprised of varying stages of utilization and recovery, characteristic of the regions agricultural system know as rozo-tumba y quema (slash, cut, and burn) (De Teresa 1998). The maximum extent of land area affected by such use is approximately 96 ha, with estimates of actual use around 20 ha (MIE 2004). Year-round subsistence and commercial agricultu re are mostly confined to a nearly 16hectare lowland/ripa rian strip along the Rio Cajonos. The agricultural system practiced in this area is known as rozo-junta y quema (slash, collect, and burn), and is typical of landscapes where the transition has been made from shifting to relatively permanent agricultural production (De Teresa 1998). Together, these ag ricultural zones represent rou ghly somewhere between 2 to 6 percent of the ejidos land area, the exact value depending on extent of use. Thus, the majority of Soledads land is not well suited to the cultivation of tradit ional and commercial food crops. Nevertheless, subsistence and commercial agricu ltural production form the basis for Soledads economy, which is enriched by the harvest of NTFP and through periodic local and external wage labor. The Soledad Economy Agriculture and agroforestry Milpa Maize (Zea mays ) is th e predominant agricultural commodity in the region (De Teresa n.d.) and in Soledad, where it is a staple grain that is prim arily consumed in the form of

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64 large (30 cm diameter), hand-rolled tortillas. A dditionally, discarded grain represents a feedstock for small livestock, principally chickens and turke y. Maize is planted in both of the regions two agricultural production seasons. It is planted in the uplands at the commencement of the rainy season, or the temporada Land preparation occurs throughout April and May, slash is burned prior to the first rains, and when the rains arrive in late May or early June, they are followed in short order by planting. Maize may also be pl anted in the riparian lowlands during the temporada, but is certainly planted on these lands during the dry season, or tonamil. Planting during the tonamil is typically done in November. In ei ther planting season, collective work parties are often used to rapidly accomplish larg e tasks such as planting or harvesting. When used, work groups move from parcel to parcel until the task has been accomplished for all participants. Such forms of labor exchange elim inate the households need for a large amount of cash for wage-laborers at peak labor demand periods. Consistent with the milpa production system found thr oughout Mesoamerica, climbing beans ( Phaseolus vulgaris ) and squash (Cucurbita spp.) varieties are often planted alongside the maize plants throughout the parcel. In Soledad, bush bean varieties are more commonly cultivated in tareas, small sub-parcels within maize plantings. The milpa parcel is typically interspersed with other naturally occurring, tolerated, and cultivated edible plants, collectively referred to in the region as quilites. These include plants locally referred to as cebollin ( Allium fistulosum?), cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), hoja de pozole (unknown), huele de noche (unknown), mostaza (Lepidium spp.?), ocuyo (Piper auritum?), papaloquilite (Porophyllum ruderale?), yerbamora (Solanum nigrum?), and others. Quilites represent an important component of the traditional Chinantec diet.

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65 Chile Chile peppers ( Capsicum spp.) are considered by Soledad community members to be the most important revenue-generating crop. Ch ile production in this community is linked to an intricate national procurement network (K eys 2005) centered in Puebla, Puebla. Chile production is both capital and labor intensive, with initial investment advanced to producers by established buyers. It is estimated that nearly 60 percent of Soledad hous eholds cultivate chile, but the area dedicated to chile production se ldom exceeds hectare per household, a land commitment that is considered to balance the need to achieve some economy of scale and the risk of chronic price instabili ty (MIE 2004). Chile production be gins in April and ends in October, straddling the tonamil and temporada growing seasons. Coffee. Coffee (Coffea rustica ) has been cultivated in the region for decades, but only beginning in the 1970s did it become an important agricultural crop (De Teresa n.d.). This shift came about through Mexicos INMECAFE program, which encouraged increased production in the region. The regional economic importance of coffee has been hamstrung by the combined effect of the inferior C. r ustica variety grown, sub-standard production conditions (i.e., low altitude), and coffee market volatility over the past decade. Many Soledad households maintain, through use of minimal resources, mature coffee in traditional polyculture (Moguel and Toledo 1999). The perceived importance of coffee parcels may relate to long-term security but also stems partly from the value to households of the associated crops. Traditional polyculture parcels typically contain banana and citrus varieties, avocado and other fruit bearing trees, medicinal and edible plants. Coffee contribute s to livelihoods only through the periodic harvest and sale of limited quantities of dried coffee beans ( caf pergamino). Other crops In addition to coffee and its associat ed crops, chile peppers, and to the milpa crop association of maize, beans, and squash, se veral other crops are impo rtant to households in

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66 Soledad. Yuca ( Manihot esculenta ) is important as a traditional element of the Oaxacan celebration of the Day of the Dead (01-02 Nove mber), when the souls of deceased ancestors return. Tortillas of yuca are prepared in anticipa tion of this celebration and, as a result, most households maintain small plantings of yuca. It is not uncommon for a household to sell one or two small bags of surplus harvest in the weeks le ading up to the celebratio n. In fact, surplus of nearly all cultivated crops are commonly sold opportunistically to other households in the community, and less frequently to outside buyers. Jcama ( Pachyrhizus erosus) is another edible root that is cultivated in Soledad for consumption and occasional sale. Some households in Soledad have had or retain plantings of the ground dwelling bromeliad, Aechmea magdalenae, used for the commercial extraction of the fiber, which is known in Mexico as pita or ixtle (Murphy 2005). At times, the sale of pita fiber has been an important source of income but residents of Sole dad related that the market has collapsed in recent years. Another of the regions commercia lly harvested native plants and occasionally cultivated crop that has suffered a similar fate is barbasco ( Dioscorea mexicana), which throughout the early and mid 20th century was used to produce synthetic steroids. Both pita and barbasco can be found in and aroun d cultivated areas throughout th e community but little use is presently made of these plants. Household gardens Within the urban area, households maintain home gardens, or solares. These are small parcels containing trees bear ing edible fruit and useful fiber, edible greens ( quilites ) and medicinal plants, varied quantities of av ian livestock, and fuelwood storage. An opportunistic, non-scientific i nventory of one such home garden (Table 4-1), approximately 300 m2, identified eleven types of fruit, six vegetabl es, at least seven edible or medicinal plants, and five types of livestock. In the particular case there were around twenty free ranging chickens

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67 and roosters, two turkeys, a duck, a goose, and one pig. Fowl forage throughout the solar, but are also fed low quality maize that has been el iminated from household stocks. These animals represent an important source of protein and are also sold duri ng times of need. Typically, food production in the solar is low intensity and complementary to larger plantings elsewhere (e.g., milpa and coffee plots); certainly the close proximity to the home of fers a measure of variety and convenience to households in this community without a fresh market. Upkeep of the solar is considered to be part of the household, or re production, domain and is primarily undertaken by women and children. PROCAMPO Mexicos Secretary of Agricultur e, Livestock, and Rural Development (SAGARPA, by its Spanish initials) administer s the Program for Direct Rural Assistance, popularly known as PROCAMPO. The program is a resource transfer mechanism designed to compensate national producers for subsidies received by their foreign competitors (SAGARPA 2008). Certain agricultural crops are eligible including maize and beans. Payments are made on a per hectare basis. According to SAGARPA r ecords, PROCAMPO benefited 27 producers in Soledad between the autumn 2006 and spring 2007 growing seasons. Payments for the two growing periods were prorated from $US 89 and $US 107 / ha, respectively. Average qualifying terrain was 0.5 hectare for the autumn 2006 season and 1.6 hectares in spring 2007. Forest resources Timber Th ere was little evidence of current or recent commercial timber operations on Soledads endowed territory. Timber was not men tioned by individuals in the community to be an important resource (to be contrasted with repeated mention of the forest), nor was logging mentioned as an important economic activity. Th at said, the period between the 1950s to the 1990s was characterized by indiscriminant extrac tion of timber species throughout the Chinantla, including the deforestation of lowland areas for the creation of cattle pasture (MIE 2004). A fact

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68 that is supported by the reported low prevalence of mature, fine timber species in Soledads forest (MIE 2004). A notable exception is the presence of Spanish Cedar ( Cedrela odorata ), a member of the mahogany family Meliaceae which has been planted in and around coffee plots by many Soledad families, with the anticip ation of future harvest and sale. Chamaedorea palms (xate). In comparison to timber, the co llection of NTFPs has been a greater contributor to Soledad livelihoods (MIE 2004). Of the regions NTFPs, the most important are palms of the genus Chamaedorea namely: C. oblongata, C. elegans, C. tepejilote, and to a lesser extent C. concolor. Regionally, these palms are most abundant in close proximity to the Rio Cajonos, which passes through the municipalities of Ayotzintepec, Jacatepec, and Jocotepec. In the late 1990s, xate harvest was reported to account for household economic activity for 44, 25, and 19 percent of households in these municipalities, respectively (De Teresa n.d.). In Soledad, both men and women harvest xate. In either case the procurement process is fairly uniform. An individual or gr oup enters the forest on foot in search of naturally occurring palms. Of the 1768 ha deemed suitable for pa lm, 1010 ha are estimated to contain palm populations (Salgado C 2002). Trips to and from the forest require several hours of walking. Palm fronds are cut by hand to meet local and/or industry spec ifications using a chaveta, a knife or machete with a sharpened, hooked tip (Santos E et al. 2003). Fronds are bundled into gruesas (ideally 144 fronds, but typically 120 in Soledad); gruesas ar e later assembled into bultos (gruesas bound or wrapped by burlap or blankets). The number of gruesas in a bulto depends on the carrying capability of the harvester, but a bulto typically does not exceed ten gruesas. Carrying the bultos on their backs, individuals walk out of the forest. Selection and processing typically occur further al ong in the value chain.

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69 Soledad is in the laudable, if not advantage ous position of having the requisite government permission to commercially harvest xate. Harves ting permits are granted for periods of five years; extraction rates are loca tion specific and based on a palm population survey undertaken by a nationally registered forest engineer (Sal gado C 2002; SEMARNAT 2005). Xate harvest has diminished in recent years as prices have st agnated and as the intervals between visits by intermediaries have increased, or in some cases trips have altogether ceased. In Soledad, the popularly held belief is that the departure fr om the region of a long-time and well-known buyer precipitated the decline in the community and regi ons importance as a xate supplier. In fact, all of the five processing centers onc e located in nearby Tuxtepec have shut their facilities over the past ten years (Tolen A 2006). Increasing fuel co sts, inconsistent supplies, and diminishing frond quality are offered as reasons for the regions di minished importance as a supplier. Increased harvest and cultivation in other regions (e.g. Guat emala and Veracruz, respectively) are certainly complicit factors. Presently, xate from Soledad is periodically sold to itinerant middlemen who only visit the region when demand is high (Santos E, personal communication); prices remain low at roughly $US 1.30 ($MX 14) per gruesa. Fuelwood Collected wood is the principal fuel used for household food preparation in Soledad (MIE 2004), although some homes also ha ve natural gas cooking ranges and/or ovens. Collection is an activity entered both strate gically and opportunisti cally, by all household members. Most fuelwood is collected from falle n trees and cleared agricultural land within the forest area as well as from within and around co ffee plantings and other relatively permanent agricultural parcels. Reproduction and wage labor Reproduction labor: Reproduction labor describes the dom estic activities required to maintain the household, such as child rearing, food preparation, and general upkeep. It also

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70 includes maintenance of the solar. While all adult and adolescent members of the household participate in agricultu ral production and forest resource collection activities described in the sections above, reproduction ac tivities typically fall under the do main of adult and adolescent females in the household, who are supported by younger children. Local wage labor: Soledad has neither industry nor a service sector beyond the existence of several family managed stores, which stoc k basic household necessities along with snacks and beverages. Given the predominantly subsistenc e-oriented agricultural economy, producers face liquidity challenges (MIE 2004), meaning households have difficulty converting assets into cash. The result is that much labor is exchanged between households during periods of high demand. Adolescent males without land have limited loca l paid labor opportunitie s, with anecdotal evidence suggesting that an individual cannot expect many more than 3-5 days of paid local work within the community over the course of a year. Regional migration: Historically, Chinantecos have not demonstrated a strong tendency toward emigration from the region (INI 2004). Ra ther, the regions development has resulted from a large number of permanent, intra-region migrations (De Teresa n.d.). One example is the migration made by the Soledads founding members from their ejido of origin, the nearby Plan Juan Martinez. These intra-regi onal migrations, however, are typi cally driven by a need for land rather than for wage labor. With respect to migr ations driven by the latter, short-term migration to nearby urban centers is an option. A typical week spent working in the nearby cities of Tuxtepec or Veracruz is reporte d to generate $US 41 ($MX 450), earnings from which travel and boarding expenses must be subtracted. National and international migration: Longer-term (seasonal) migration from Soledad to larger cities throughout Mexico is more common than short-term migration to nearby cities. A

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71 recent study suggested that 20 families in Soleda d are affected by this type of migration, principally young adults and the landless children of ejidatar ios (MIE 2004). Migration is principally to other regions of Mexico such as the central valley (e.g., Mexico City, Cuernavaca) and the maquila zone (e.g., Ciudad Juarez). Men typically find employ ment in the trades while women seek employment as domestics. It was co mmented that little financial remittance could be expected from individuals who have migrated outside the region, with the exception of funds provided for structural improvements and/or materi al contributions along the lines of stereos, televisions, and computers. Thes e contributions can be substan tial, but they do not typically provide a reliable revenue stream to the household. There are also community members that have migrated to and returned from the United States. This phenomenon is estimated to affect few households (three, according to MIE 2004), and only one account was given of an individual that had remained abroad. In fact, several of the individuals that had traveled to the United States commented that life is too good in Soledad to remain away. Summary and Discussion The prim ary objective of the sondeo was to deve lop a better understa nding of the Soledad de Juarez livelihood system and of the broader context within which Soledad households fashion their livelihood strate gies. A secondary objective was to use the sondeo and resulting information to generate an informed perspective with respect to the present role of xa te harvest and potential future role of xate commercialization and certification. The predominant Soledad livelihood system combines subsistence and commercial agriculture and agroforestry, coupling these activities with limited commercial non-timber forest extraction and other wage-employment at the local, regional, and national levels.

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72 A prominent livelihood issue in Soledad is the dearth of lo cal wage-generating employment. This scarcity repres ents an issue that, over time, is likely to affect local economic development and conservation of forest resour ces. Yet the absence of wage labor, or cash income, should not be misinterpreted as an ab sence of economic activity, and for that matter economic development. Wage-labor represents bu t one form of livelihood formation and wealth creation (Wollenberg 1998), just as cash-based, or market, transactions represent but one means of economic integration (Halperin 1994). As a case in point, it is useful to highlight Soledads agricultural work parties as well as th e regional social institution of the tequio which utilizes male labor to accomplish public works projects (INI 2004). These institutions offer a reminder that assessments of economic vitality and de velopment should not be limited to singular metrics, such as wage generation. Nevertheless, Soledads economy is increas ingly likely to be shaped by external influences, as it is open to the influence of outsi de actors. Present levels of external influence will almost certainly continue or increase, ensured by the recent paving of the access road. Moreover, it is reasonable to expect that the pave d road lead to an exte rnal infiltration of the local economic system in ways analogous to the disturbance effects of road paving on forest ecosystems (see Nepstad et al. 2001). Improved acce ss to nearby cities may fa cilitate the practice of commuting by Soledad residents, with the poten tial effect of increased discretionary cash and spending in the community. Easier access may also serve to lower the cost of outside goods sold in the community. However, should the road fac ilitate the outward fli ght of the communitys limited cash resources, new means to attract requi site discretionary cash (however minimal) will be needed. Ultimately, Soledad is likely to benef it from the retention of, or increase in, some form of wage-generating employment.

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73 Historically, xate harvest in Soledad provided a source of wage s, although present rates are diminished relative to past activity. Palm harvest and other commercially oriented NTFP activities couple the community with its natural re sources, thus providing a direct and important economic link. This wage-generating role of fore st resources represents one element of an undoubtedly complex assessment of fore st value. And just as a boat rises and falls with the tide, the perceived overall value of Soledads forest is also likely to diminish as these economic links weaken, or cease to exist. The cumulative effect of the progressive opening of the local economy and reduced wage generation from local natural resources could have negative effects on forest conservation. Individuals may lose economic connections with their natural resource base; perhaps others may leave the community to seek wage employment. Over time, local (natur al resource) knowledge atrophies. This process is essentially the inverse of the underlying premise for integrated conservation and development, which calls fo r the addition or for tification of economic incentives as a means to strengthen or facilitate natural resource conservation. As mentioned above, Soledad is in the favor able to advantageous position of having a government permit to commercially harvest palms. Soledads permit expired in December 2007, but funding for the renewal process was granted in July of that same year, and the maintenance assessment of the resource was completed in March 2008 (Santos, personal communication). This evidence of Soledads commitment to formal authorization of xate harvest suggests the ejido will remain one of only a few communities in the region able to legally harvest and sell xate. The government mandated harvest rates intend to represent the maximum sustainable harvest level. Whether or not government establ ished rates truly represent sustainable harvest levels is beyond the scope of this study. It is certain, however, that gove rnment rates represent

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74 the maximum legal harvest. Less clear is the im plication of the mandate d harvest rate on the feasibility of commercial (including certified) harvest. This question will be addressed in Chapter 6 through the live lihood system model. A final concern for Soledad relating to xate harvest is the absence of a legal entity authorized to coordinate and manage the commer cialization of natural resources. In the past, commercialization of xate has occurred between individual collectors and intermediaries from outside the region. Certification would require a more coordina ted approach. The previously described CRRN-P is a legal political entity formed to govern and mediate interactions between member communities and external actors; it does not have jurisdiction over commercial activity. Thus the commercialization of certified xate will require the formation of a legal entity, one similar to the CRRN-P, but organi zed for the commercial purposes. The legal form of such an institution could vary. NTFP harvest has historically represented an important income-generating activity and the certification of xate harvest may serve to bolster its role in Soledad s local economy. Obstacles exist, yet Soledad is relatively well positioned for integration into an emerging market for certified xate. The ejido has gove rnment authorization to commerc ially harvest the resource at mandated sustainable rates. What remains uncer tain is whether these established rates will represent an opportunity or a constraint upon commercial harv esting, and thus on the broader objective of using forest-based economic activity to integrate forest conservation and economic development.

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75 Figure 4-1. Localization of Soledad de Juarez. A) Oax aca, Mexico. B) Chinantla, Oaxaca. C) Jacatepec, Chinantla. Soledad Livelihood System Household Local, Regional, National & International Markets Coffee and associated crops Chamaedorea spp. palms Ixtle or Pita Fuelwood Game Assorted Fruits & Greens Yuca Domesticated Animals: Chickens Turkeys Pigs Ducks Milpa: maize, beans, and squash Associated greens Chili peppers Jicama Yuca Fallow & Forest Home Gardens Lowland & Highland Agriculture Natural Resource Driven Food and Fiber Production Labor Fuel Food Labor Feed Cash Cash Food Institutional Support: Figure 4-2. Schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system

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76 La Soledad de JuarezTuxtepecSanta Maria Jacatepec AyotzintepecOaxaca VeracruzMX 147 MX 147 MX 147 MX 182 MX 175 MX 145 MX 145 5 Km Figure 4-3. Proximity of La Soledad de Juarez to Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico Table 4-1. Opportunistic inventory of a Sole dad home garden ( solar) Fruits Aguacate ( Persea americana ) Caf ( Coffea rustica ) Carambola ( Averrhoa carambola ) Chirimoya ( Annona chirimola) Ciruela or Jocote ( Spondias purpurea ) Guayabana (Annona muricata) Limn ( Citrus spp ) Naranja ( Citrus sinensis ) Mango ( Mangifera spp ) Nanche ( Byrsonima crassifolia ) Platano ( Musa spp .) Platano Macho ( Musa spp ) Edible and Medicinal Herbs Arbol de Canela ( Cinnamomum zeylanicum? ) Hierba Mora (Solanum nigrum?) Hierba de la Noche (Unknown) Ocuyo / Hierba Santa (Piper auritum?) Oregano ( Lippia graveolens ) Papaloquilite (Porophyllum ruderale?) Vainilla ( Vanilla spp ) Plus several unrecorded Livestock Chicken ( Gallus gallus ) Guajolote ( Meleagris gallopavo ) Ganzo ( Anser spp ) Pato ( Duck ) ( Unknown ) Cochina ( Sus spp ) Vegetable Calabaza ( Cucurbita spp ) Camote ( Ipomoea batatas ) Jcama (Pachyrizus erosus) Jcara ( Unknown ) Yuca & [ Jame ] ( Manihot escuelenta ) Source: authors field notes

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77 CHAPTER 5 CERTIFICATION FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SOLEDAD DE JUAREZ LIVELIHOOD S YSTEM Introduction In the United States and Europe, fronds from Chamaedorea species palms (xate) are used as decorative foliage in floral arrangements a nd in Palm Sunday church services (CEC 2002). One of the great hopes of the present effo rts throughout southeaste rn Mexico, northern Guatemala, and Belize to certify xate is that it re presents an intervention to foster integration of forest conservation and economic developmen t objectives in harvest communities. This expectation is consistent with the synergetic benefits of non-timber forest product (NTFP) commercialization envisioned in the early 1990s (Nepstad and Schwartzman 1992; Panayotou and Ashton 1992). Proponents hope, and sometimes assume, that certifications standards will bridge the numerous environmental, economic, and social pitfalls that impeded the success of previous commercialization efforts: pitfalls such as over-explo itation, appropriation of valuable resources by powerful actors, and immiserizing growth (Kaplinsky 2000), which refers to downward price pressures caused by supply incr easing more rapidly than demand and the resulting need to increase harvest to maintain economic benefits. Expecta tions associated with xate certification must also be tempered by the looming reality that the success of labeling efforts has been limited by an absence of fluid ma rkets, those for which supply and demand are reasonably balanced (Overdevest 2004; Pierce et al. 2003). In spite of al l this, enthusiasm for xate certification persis ts. If certification is to be a feasib le, better understanding of the role of xate harvest in specific commun ity livelihood systems is needed. Research objective and hypotheses The objective of this chapter is to use an ethnographic line ar program (ELP) model of a xate harvesting communitys livelihood system and xate marketing/management scenarios to test

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78 two hypotheses related to extractor livelihoods and another related to market fluidity. Certification is a variant of co mmercialization and th e three hypotheses test ed in this chapter derive from a subset of hypotheses tested in a recent NTFP commercialization study (Marshall, Schreckenberg et al. 2006). For commercializat ion, as well as certification, the hypotheses rest on the assumption that interventi ons should not negatively affect the livelihoods of extractors. This assumption is imperative because certificatio n is an optional undertaking that would almost certainly be rejected by those w ho perceive negative livelihood or resource effects. The three hypotheses suggest that, to be a feas ible intervention, certification must: 1. Positively affect household livelihoods. 2. Benefit, or at least not disa dvantage, the poorest households. 3. Be viable with respec t to supply and demand. These hypotheses represent one component of a multiscale inquiry into the feasibility of xate certification. Analytical framework This studys livelihood system approach considers the m eans by which a household manages its resources to meet its objectives within its particular ecologica l, economic, and social context (Sellen et al. 1993). It is the composite of activities av ailable to all households in the particular system within which they secure their livelihoods (Hildebra nd et al. 2003; Hildebrand and Schmink 2004). Particularly in developing regions of the world, livelihoods are householdcentered and might operate at, or near, a subsis tence level. Livelihood systems in the tropical forest regions of Latin America commonly incl ude swidden subsistence agriculture combined with extraction of forest products for consump tion or sale, hunting of game, logging, and other forms of wage-based employment (Fearnside 198 9; Heinzman and Reining 1990). By extension, a livelihood strategy is the specific set of activities that a partic ular household engages in from among those that comprise its livelihood system (Hildebrand and Schmink 2004)

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79 Study area The palm harvesting community of interest is La Soledad de Juarez, located in the Chinantla region of Oaxaca, Mexico. Chinantla is an ethnically and linguistically defined region in the northern part the state. The heter ogeneous indigenous communities of the region, collectively referred to as Chinantecos, rank fourth in population size among the indigenous groups of Oaxaca and represent two percent of Mexicos total indigenous population (INI 2004). The ecological importance of the region centers on biological diversity and the richness of natural resources. La Soledad de Juarez (henceforth, Soledad) is geographically situated in Chinantla Baja, within the municipality of Sa nta Maria Jacatepec, but is administratively considered a part of the adjacent municipality of Ayotzintepec. It is one of several communities along the Rio Cajonos the valley of which is known for an abundance of Chamaedorea species. Historically, palm harvest has represented one li velihood activity in a pr edominantly agricultural livelihood system comprised of subsistence a nd commercial crop production, agroforestry, and off-farm wage labor. Method Model specification Linear p rogramming (LP) is a mathematical optimization procedure that maximizes (or minimizes) an objective function (household goal) s ubject to a set of cons traints (e.g., expenses, food consumption) and available resources (land, labor, cash). An ethnographic linear program (ELP) model was developed using Soledad commun ity and household data to analyze the effects of xate commercialization and certification on livelihoods and, more spec ifically, the livelihood role of xate harvesting. The general struct ure of the ELP is summarized as follows:

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80 Maximize (or Minimize): = j Cj Xj (j = 1,,n) Subject to: j Aij Xj Ri (i = 1,,m) And Xi 0 Where is the objective to be optimized; Xj is the vector of livelihood activity variables to be determined; Cj is the cost (debit) or retu rn (credit) of each of the n activities; Aij is the set of technical coefficients for each activity j and resource/constraint, i ; and, Ri is the set of m minimum or maximum constraints. The model uses a one-year time horizon due to high levels of uncertain ty about a) the longterm feasibility of palm extracti on in general and, b) the feasibility of the long-term market for certified xate. In the model, it is assumed that behavioral changes associ ated with the different scenarios are immediate the model is not de signed to capture the process of adoption. The schematic livelihood model (see Figure 42, Chapter 4) provides a foundation for the elaboration of a basic matrix of the important household live lihood activities, resources, and constraints, from the perspective of the community participants. This matrix is common to all households in the system. It is operationalized through the construction of an ethnographic linear program. The general structure of the model is sh own in Figure 5-1. Activ ities in the model are production oriented: the cultivation of subsis tence and commercial crops, palm and fuelwood harvest, and off-farm labor. Reproduction activit y associated with the hou sehold is also included. Use of land, labor, and cash re sources varies by activity. Starting with the basic matrix developed from the schematic model, the most efficient means of constructing the ELP model is to select a willing household from within the livelihood system to model their particular resources a nd constraints (Hildebra nd et al. 2003). Input and output coefficients for each liv elihood activity, or en terprise, are the amount s of all resources required to produce one unit of an activity and th e measurable output resulting from one unit of

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81 that activity. To construct a feasible model, an alysis of resource inputs and outputs must be conducted for all relevant activities. Resource availability vari es by household, but generally the inputs and outputs associated wi th a unit of activity do not. The availability of agricultural land (ripari an and upland), supply of and demand for household labor, household consumption requi rements, and the supply and demand for agricultural and NTFP commodities all represent general constraints to the model. A palm population estimate was established by a nationa lly approved forestry engineer (Salgado C 2001). This estimate and the legal harvest leve ls calculated from it re present absolute and relative limits to xate harvest. The ELP model also contains a number of technical constraints The production areas for associated crops are linked to ensure that cr op associations in the model are maintained as empirically observed. For example, the cultivated area for jicama cannot exceed the cultivated area for maize, which is the crop within which the farmers inter-plant jicama. Commercialization of certain crops such as yuca and beans is also constrained with the intent to simulate the low levels of demand described by community members. For the same reason, similar constraints exist to limit participation in local wage-labor and xate harvest. Demand constraints on xate harvest vary by market scenario and derive fr om the estimated palm population, percentage of waste in the harvest, and populat ion sustainability requirements, respectively. The scenarios are presented in greater detail below. The ELP model facilitates analysis of the feasibility of xate commercialization and certification at the household and community level by prov iding the optimal household livelihood strategies for a given household objective. In this anal ysis, two different household objective functions are used to establish a rang e of possible xate harvest outcomes. This is

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82 necessary because of the difficulty in ascertaining a households tr ue objective. One objective is to maximize household year-end discretionary cas h. This reflects the in tuitive and expressed expectation that households desire to improve their economic positions. B ecause palm harvest is one of only a few income-generating activities availa ble, it was anticipated that the cash income maximization objective would represent the ma ximum harvest level at the household and, through aggregation of results, the community level. It is important to recognize, however, that households are first homes, not busin esses, such that their goals and objectives may differ from those commonly used in economic analyses. Thus, a second objective is to minimize employment-driven migration. This objective re flects the expressed desire of many Soledad residents to remain in their community. The migration minimization objective approximates a household doing whatever necessary in order to meet its needs without migration. Use of the migration minimization objective in the ELP mode l should result in the minimum harvest level, above and beyond what might be necessary for households to meet their minimum cash requirements. The ELP model was built in Microsoft Excel and solved using the Solver add-in. This widely available, inexpensive modeling software was selected to facilitate model development and utilization while in the field, and subse quent use and modification of the model by collaborating institutions. Input data for the model Input data for the ELP were obtained through se veral m ethods. Prior to data collection, a general context for this community-level rese arch was garnered through several diagnostic studies previously undertaken in the commun ity (MIE 2004; Grupo Mesofilo 2004; Angel 2003) and in the broader Chinantla region (De Tere sa 1998; INI 2004; De Teresa n.d.). Basal understanding of the structure, or framework, of Soledads livelihood system was developed

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83 further through the use of a rapid assessment, or sondeo (Hildebrand 1981), which was completed in the community over the course of five days. The sondeo process generated a schematic model of the Soledad livelihood system (see Figure 5.2, Chapter 5), which served also to focus the collection of liveli hood activity data. In addition to the schematic model, the sondeo process contributed to a richer understanding of the Soledad livelihood system and, to a lesser extent, provided data relating to livelihood activ ities. Agricultural and forest-based livelihood activity data were prin cipally collected through the combination of two community workshops and in-depth conversations with three willing Soledad househ olds. Livelihood data from the sondeo, community workshops, and household interviews were compared with and, in some cases, complemented by data published in the diagnostic studies mentioned above. Soledad is an ejido one of three types of rural property initially defined through Article 27 of the1917 Mexican constitution (Mendivil 1996). Ejidatarios are those individuals in the community who form the community assembly and who have been endowed with land resources. Soledad was formed in 1998 with 52 ejidatarios. Avecindados, by contrast, are individuals in the community w ho are without representation or land endowment (e.g., spouses and children of ejidatarios). An important assu mption made by this research was that each household contains only one ejidatario, or mo re importantly, access to the land endowed to a single ejidatario. Given Soledads recent formation, the validity of this assumption is more probable than it would be in an older ejido, where land has transferre d over generations. The total labor available to a hous ehold was measured in days (jornales) and depended on household composition. Total available labor was al so affected by several empirically driven assumptions, such as a six-day workweek and re ductions to the available workdays in weeks affected by seasonal activities and events (e .g. school, holidays). For example, December

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84 holidays reduced the number for available work days in the month by eight, from 27 to 19. Exchanged labor, or the work party, was not reflected in seasona l/annual totals, as gains were offset by payments within the same time period. In other words, the scale of benefits and costs (i.e., the ability through labor trad ing to accomplish a large task in one or several days) was too small to account for in this model, in which a year was divided into six periods. The ELP model used a double-entry labor a ccounting system. This system was designed so that the dominant pattern of pooled, or indiscriminate househol d labor could be applied to the majority of livelihood activitie s, without ignoring the constr aints imposed by the less common cases where activities required th e labor of a particular (type of) individual (e.g., reproduction labor and females). Specifically, labor required for any and all activities was drawn from a common pool of total available household labor. However, labor for certain tasks that were typically associated with household subgr oups (e.g., adolescent males, women) was also drawn from a separate account of that subgroups available labor. The re sult was that the amount of the subgroups labor, women for example, could conceivably constrain overall household participation in a partic ular livelihood activity. Agricultural land represents a critical resource. Only a small percentage of the Soledads land is suitable for crop production. Soledads 1,811 hectare endowment falls under three legal classifications (MIE 2004). 1,369 forested ha ( 76 percent) are designate d for conservation (non agricultural use). Conserva tion status forested land can, howev er, be used for the collection of forest products such as NTFPs. Another 329 forest ha (18 percent) are designated for utilization. In fact, the land designated for u tilization is allocate d amongst the ejidos families, such that familys allotment averages around 6.5 ha (Gr upo Mesofilo 2003, p.13). This allotment is the land that Soledad households use for forest-based agriculture (e.g., coffee and associated crops)

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85 and for the collection of fuelwood. The remain ing 111 ha (6 percent) are designated for agriculture, only 16 ha of which are lowland ripa rian terrain suitable for planting during the dry season, or tonamil (MIE 2004). It is estimated that only 20 of the remaining 95 ha of nonriparian agricultural la nd are actually under cu ltivation (MIE 2004, p.15), an average of 0.4 ha per household. To summarize, Soledads ejidatarios, on averag e, have endowments of 0.3 ha of riparian agricultural land, 0.4 ha of upland agricultural terrain, and an approximately 600 m2 plot that includes a home and garden, or solar (MIE 2004). Agricultural land is typically used to produce milpa (corn, beans and squash), chili peppers, yuca, and jicama. In addition, ejidatarios typically possess about 6.5 ha of utilizable forest terrain, pa rts of which were historically used for coffee production and fuelwood collection. C onservation status forest ca nnot be used for agricultural activities, but is accessible to all community members for forest product collection. Since most agricultural operations need to be performed within a certain timeframe, the model year was divided into two agricultu ral seasons, temporada (R) and tonamil (T), which represent the rainy and dry weathe r patterns. Each of these two ag ricultural seasons was further sub-divided into three asymmetri cal periods (Figure 5-2). The as ymmetry of these periods stems from a need to differentiate three important, reso urce-utilizing periods with in of each agricultural season: land preparation and plan ting (2 months), crop maintenance (3 months), and harvest (1 month). Each cropping association (e.g., milpa) and individual crop has unique seasonal requirements, which are primarily agronomic in nature (Table 5-1). Milpa (maize, beans, and squash) is planted in both the rainy and dr y seasons. Milpa is both the predominant and traditional subsistence crop association: its production cycle corresponds exactly with the two

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86 recognized agricultural seasons. Jicama, while cultiv ated within the milpa, is not planted until late in the rainy season. Bean s and jicama are both planted among maize, so the total area cultivated in either cannot exceed the area cultivated in milpa. The production of chile peppers, which are not part of the trad itional regional agriculture, stra ddles the two seasons. Seed is planted midway though the rainy season and final harvests occur toward the end of the dry season. Finally, yuca has an extended growth cycl es and while planted midway through the dry season, it is not harvested until the early part of the subsequent dry season. The primary forest-oriented livelihood activity is xate harvest. Xa te can be collected throughout the year, although peak activity has historically been during the period from December to April. Coffee production, which wa s an important economic activity in the community during the 1970s and into the 1980s, no longer represented an important livelihood activity in Soledad in 2006-2007. The same can be said for cultivation of pita ( Aechmea magdalenae ) and collection of barbasco ( Dioscorea mexicana ). Data for both agricultural and forest-based livelihood activities were procured through household interviews and published communityand regional-level diagnostics (Table 5-2). Mexico sponsors two social programs that affect Soledad livelihoods. The first is the Program for Direct Rural Assist ance, or PROCAMPO, administer ed by Mexicos Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, and Rural Development (SAGARPA, by its Spanish initials). PROCAMPO is a resource transfer mechanism de signed to compensate national producers for subsidies received by their foreign competitors (SAGARPA 2008). Certain ag ricultural crops are eligible, including maize and beans. Payments ar e made on a per hectare basis. According to SAGARPA records (SAGARPA 2008), PROCAMPO benefited 27 producers in Soledad between the autumn 2006 and spring 2007 grow ing seasons. Payments for the two growing

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87 periods were prorated from $U S 89 ($MX 963) and $US 107 ($MX 1160) / hectare, respectively. Average qualifying terrain was 0.5 ha for the autumn 2006 season and 1.6 ha in spring 2007. Oportunidades is a national poverty mitigation pr ogram (SEDESOL 2008). It provides households with cash transfers that are linked to the three princi pal components of the program: education, health, and nutrition. In 2008, qualifying households rece ived a monthly transfer of $US 18 ($MX 195) for nutrition, $US 5 ($MX 50) fo r utilities, and a variable amount for the educational expenses of child ren under the age of 22, ranging from $US 12 ($MX 130) for primary to $US 76 ($MX 825) for girls in their third year of high school. It was assumed that education-related payments pass through the household to cover matriculation so payments and costs were excluded from the model. Househol ds with seniors receive an additional $US 25 ($MX 270) per qualifying individual. Model output The solution for the ELP m odel represents the optimal livelihood strategies for the specified household objective. The ELP was solved first to maximize year-end cash, then again to minimize of migration. The optimal livelihood strategies are defined by the allocation of household resources land, labor, and cash to subsistence and commercial crops, NTFP harvest, and off-farm economic pursuits. One component of each solution is the number of days that a household dedicated to the harvest of xate This value is correlated with the quantity of xate harvested. Household level harvest quantities are aggregated to the community level. The community level harvest represents an important factor in assessi ng the feasibility of the market intervention. Setup of the calculations Two factors fram e the scenar ios used in the ELP model: xate market/management and household composition Their permutations generate a matr ix for the model output (Table 5-3).

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88 The output matrix is used to organize a number of hypothesis-driven dependent variables such as year-end household cash, total hous ehold migration periods, and, as described above, the number of household days dedicated to xate harvest. Xate market/management scenarios Conversations about xate cer tification, considered with in the context of xate commercialization experiences in Soledad and th roughout the region, suggested four general xate market/management scenarios (Table 6.4). They are: the current market, the historical market, the quality-driven market, and the certified (i.e., quality and sust ainability) market. These four generalized scenarios fa cilitate analysis of the effects of changing market and/or resource management terms on household livelihood strategies While simplistic, they provide a means to begin to evaluate approaches to commercializat ion, including certificatio n. In the ELP model, scenarios are operationalized through two interrelated terms, or factors. One is the price paid for xate; the other is quantity demanded. The price paid to harvesters traditionally has been based on the number of gruesas (in Soledad, 120 fronds) harvested, wit hout consideration for the quality of the individual fronds or for the total quantity supplied. Recent xate comm ercialization efforts, however, focus more on quality, supplied in consistent quantities. Pricing in active mark ets, such as Guatemalas El Petn, has been gradually shifting toward a system in which a higher price is paid for complete orders of quality fronds. Communities de liver xate directly to buyers in rolls (600 fronds), rather than to intermediaries in the traditional gruesas. There is an expecta tion that non-marketable fronds have been sorted out, either by the ha rvester (i.e., not picked) or by a post-harvest processor in the community. Higher prices do no t represent a premium; rather, they are an adjustment for added value. The market bene fit of certification, regardless of whether

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89 standards target product quality, process quality (e.g. sustainable harvest), or both accrues to the community in the form of market access (Sedjo and Swallow 1999), rather than price premiums. Demand for fronds of a particular variety and sourced from a particul ar region or location represents another important factor in the feasib ility of xate commercialization and certification (see Chapter 3). In the period from Sept ember 2006 to August 2007, no buyer was regularly purchasing xate from Soledad harvesters. Ho wever, in December 2007 a large buyer in the United States offered to make a weekly purchase of 100 rolls of C. oblongata According to the buyer, that quantity represented the minimum feasible purchase. Thus, 100 rolls per week represent the expressed de mand for Soledad xate. In the ELP, demand is operationalized as a constraint: it is the maximu m number of rolls of xate harvestable by each household, given the resource management requirements imposed by either the palm population or marketing strategy (Table 5-4). Consequently, the term demand becomes somewhat of a misnomer and merits explanation. Commercializ ing 100 rolls per week, as demanded by the buyer, would vastly exceed Soledads estimated xate population. In this respect, commercialization of Soledads xate is infeasible ex ante To be able to explore the effects of market/management and household co mposition scenarios, the expressed demand was scaled back to the maximum possible (or allowable) harvest as dictated by the market/management scenarios. Apart from the current market scenario (S1), in which the demand for palm fronds equals zero, demand refers to the maximum possibl e (or allowable) harvest. This value changes with each scenario, beginning as the estimate of Soledads palm population and progressively constrained by the inclusion of quality, then sust ainability standards. In other words, resource

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90 management standards are imposed on the households. In all scenarios, the maximum possible (or allowable) harvest was allocated e qually among the 25 harvesting households In the final analysis, the amount harvested represents the ac tual supply, which can be compared against both the maximum possible (allowable) harvest as well as the buyers expressed demand of 100 rolls per week. S1. The current market scenario: This scenario is the baseline that currently characterizes Soledad and the region. The definitive attribut e is the absence of de mand, although in practice itinerant buyers make occasional purchases. Neverthe less, the demand for xate in this scenario has been set to zero. The rela tively recent abatement of demand has been explained as the combined effect of increased buyer uncertainty with regard to weekly supply coupled with rising transportation costs. The price, although it is made irrelevant by the absence of demand, is based on the traditional amount paid for unsorted palm fronds. It is consistent with the amount currently paid by itinerant buyers in the regi on (De los Santos, personal communication). S2. The historical market scenario: In the baseline current market scenario, demand was set at zero to reflect the vi rtual absence of xate purchasing, and conseque ntly xate harvest. The historical market scenario re laxes this restriction. Demand is se t at one-fifth of the estimated five-year harvest, which is based on an estimate of the population of palms at a commercially viable age (Salgado C 2002; personal communi cation). Price remains unchanged from the current market scenario. The historical market scenario is, for all intents and purposes, a livelihood artifact that w ould likely be untenable in the present market and regulatory context. Nevertheless, this scenario provides a point of reference for future comparison of the benefits/costs of interventions base d upon product and proc ess standards.

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91 S3. The quality market scenario: In the previous two scenarios, the price paid per roll of fronds accounted for a percentage of waste associat ed with the customary harvesting practices. In this scenario, the higher price per roll reflects the premium presently being offered for delivery of a consistent weekly supply of quality (i.e., no waste) xate (E verett and Blankenship, personal communication). The total number of harvestabl e fronds calculated from the estimate of commercial-age plants is reduced by 20 percent, to account for the decrease in waste. An important assumption is that harvesters, through selective harvesting practices, will do the quality sorting. The harvest rate remains at one roll per day base d on the related assumption that harvesters will require as much time to collect 600 quality fronds as to collect 750 fronds containing 20 percent waste. The net effect is an increase to the demand, or maximum allowable harvest, of one roll per harvester per year. S4. The certified market scenario: Xate harvest in naturally o ccurring (versus cultivated) populations is regulated by Mexi can law NOM-006 (Appendix B), whic h requires that at least 20 percent of the mature plant population be left untouched to ensure repr oductive success and longterm population health1. The effect of this sustainability mandate over the short term is a reduction by 20 percent to the number of harvestabl e plants. In contrast to the quality market scenario, where quality restrictions were offset by increased harvest efficiency, the sustainability restriction results in a propor tional net decrease in total demand (or maximum allowable harvest). Price remains unchanged from the quality market scenario. The certification scenario likely most nearly approximates what might be a realistic standards-driven xate market in Soledad and the broader region. It is the only scen ario that provides a price incentive and/or 1 Neither this scenario nor the broader study aims to validate the ecological sustainability of the standards imposed by NOM-006.

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92 ensures market access, that addresses the buyers concern for a consistent offering of quality product, and that incorporates the states legal mandate for su stainable resource management. Household composition Household com position represents a facet of co mmunity diversity and is recognized as an important factor in the formation of household livelihood strategies (Cab rera et al. 2005). Two observations support the consideration of house hold composition in this analysis of palm commercialization and/or certification. First, market (or other) interventions may have differential effects on households in the communit y. In the ELP model, as in reality, household composition dictates resource av ailability (e.g., labor) as well as resource requirements (e.g., consumption). Thus, household composition can di rectly influence livelihood strategies through basic decisions, such as the amount of land to place under cultivation and whether to pursue nonfarm cash generating opportunities. As commercial xate harvest is a labor-consuming livelihood activity, participation is subject to the households overall resource availability and requirements. Second, consideration of household compos ition enhances our understanding of the broader (community-level ) feasibility of market interventions. Use of household types based upon composition allows for differential responses to be weighted by the actual number of households comprising each type, and then to be scaled up to the community level. Too often, estimates are made for an average household and then simply multiplied by the total number of households to get the community-level effect. Consideration of household composition generates a better estimate of the commun ity-level effects of market inte rventions a crucial figure in contexts where economy of scale plays a deciding factor. Four household stages are used in the ELP m odel (Table 6.5). Each modeled household is a construct developed using actual composition data from 25 Soledad households. The four household stages are: no children (HH I), young children (HH II), mixed-age children (HH III),

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93 and older children (HH IV). For each stage, the household composition used in the model is the average number of individuals, for each gender, of the following age groups: seniors, adults, adolescents, and youth. Averages are calculated from only the house holds classified within each particular stage. The baseline is a nuclear household; it contains parents and mixed-age children (HH III in Table 5-5). Fifteen (60 percent) of the 25 harvester households in Soledad are so classified. This seven person household is also consistent with the average Soledad household as measured by a community-wide diagnostic study (MIE 2004). Results of the ELP Model Livelihood (Economic) Results I hypothesized that certification positively af fects household livelihoods. In the ELP model, all p alm marketing scenarios including quality/sustainability certification produced livelihood benefits under either household objecti ve (Figure 5-3). Set to maximize year-end discretionary cash, that value more than doubled for all household compositions (Figure 5-3a). Set to minimize migration, the number of peri ods spent working outside of the community decreased for each of the three households for wh ich migration is necessary in the absence of palm harvest; for one of the three households (HH II), the option to harvest palm rendered migration unnecessary (Figure 5-3b). Household composition also affected live lihood outcomes. Year-end cash values were greatest for households with ol der (working) children (HH IV), followed by households without children (HH I), for which expenses were rela tively minimal. Under the minimize migration objective, households needed not migrate (HH I) or, through xate commercialization or certification, were able to eliminate (HH II) or nearly eliminate (HH IV) the migrations. The household with mixed-age children (HH III) inci dentally the most common continued to migrate at levels relatively close to their pre-commercia lization values.

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94 All household livelihoods were affected by the addition of quality standards and pricing (S3) as well as sustainability standards (S4). When the objective was to maximize year-end cash, that value was affected by the combined effects of increased price paid per roll (from S2 to S3) then by the sustainability limitations imposed on harvest (from S3 to S4). The relatively small differences in year-end household cash between the commercialization scen arios (II, III, and IV) were inconsequential compared to the overall increase in year-end household cash that occurred when households went from not commercializing fronds (SI) to a ny form of commercialization. When the objective was to minimize migration the marginal effects of quality and sustainability standards were even less pronounce d. For all three of the household compositions for which migration was necessary, the number of migration periods remained unchanged after the initial livelihood response to palm commercialization. I hypothesized that certification will benefit, or at least not disadvantage, the poorest households In the ELP, the poorest households were cons idered to be those for which the yearend cash value was the lowest or for which migr ation requirements were the highest. Under both objectives, however, xate commercialization and ce rtification benefited th ose households. In the case of year-end cash, certification benefits to the poorest two household t ypes were greater than to the two less poor (Table 6.6). In the case of migration, the re lative benefits did not clearly correspond with household status, yet certification conferred be nefits on all three of the households that pursued a migration strate gy when xate harvest was not an option. Market results I hypothesized that certification is viable with respect to supply and demand. Together, the two household objectives generated a probab l e range of palm harvest for each household type. Scaled to the community level, the results provided a reas onable picture of the communitys production capacity, or supply potential. Of particular intere st was the range of

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95 production under the certification sc enario (S4). This scenario mo st closely approximated the conditions of any future harvest, given the obser ved social, economic, and legal climate. At the low end of that range (estimated under the migr ation minimization strategy) Soledad households were likely to supply the market with about 432 rolls of palms in a year. At the high end (estimated by maximizing year-end cash) So ledad would supply the full 910 roll annual allowable harvest dictated by the management pla n. I conclude from these results that, given the opportunity, Soledad households could and li kely would commercialize between 47 and 100 percent of their allowa ble annual harvest. Sensitivity Analysis Sensitiv ity analysis was used to establish the effects of three factors on the model results: household expenditure, xate price, and palm population estimate. In any context, the elaboration of a livelihood system model necessitates approximation and assumption about livelihoods and livelihood activities. In th e ELP model, the estimate of incidental household cash expenditures was the least informed, due principally to time c onstraints and the univers al challenges inherent to collecting reliable household income and e xpense data. Because households can forego cash expenditures in difficult times, through reduced consumption and other procurement methods such as informal exchange, I chose to set househ old cash expenses at a low value: $US 9.2 ($MX 100) per week for the baseline household ( HH III), adjusted for others by household composition. It was unlikely that actual household e xpenditures were at a level below this value. Increasing household cash expendi tures in the model by 25 percen t affected the livelihoods only by reducing year-end cash by the equivalent, an nualized increase in expenditure, when households had the objective to maximize year-e nd cash. The sensitivity analysis was conducted under the quality/sustainability market scenario (S4). Xate harvest and income were unaffected by the change. In contrast, the increase in e xpenses under the objective to minimize migration

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96 led to an increase in xate harvest for all hous eholds. Soledads annual xate supply increased by 49 percent: from 432 rolls to 643 rolls (Table 5-7). Xate price is an important consideration both within the harvest communities and among those interested in market interventions. Prices in the ELP model reflected the historical and current amount paid for unsorted fronds (S1 a nd S2) and the price offered in the negotiation between the Soledad and a large xate buyer (S3 an d S4). Given that the low end of the Soledad supply range fell short of the annua l allowable harvest, it was reasona ble to consider the potential effects of a higher price. A price change, equiva lent to the increase in price from the unsorted harvest to quality harvest (S2 to S3), result ed in a price per roll of $US 12.7 ($MX 138). The sensitivity analysis was also run for the certified market scenario (S4). At the higher price, xate harvest remained unchanged and the household year-end cash increased by the cumulative amount of the marginal increase, when households had the objective to maximize year-end cash. Harvest levels under this objective were already at the maximum allowable level. However, the price increase led to a decreas e in xate harvest for all hous ehold types under the minimize migration objective. Soledads annual xate supply decreased by 16 percent: from 432 rolls to 362 rolls. Finally, estimates of Soledads total palm population affected the maximum possible, or allowable, harvests in the four, xate market scenarios. A 20 percent increase in the estimated total palm population resulted in an increase to the upper end of So ledads total supply: from 910 rolls to 1100 rolls, or from 18 percent to 21 pe rcent of the buyers expressed demand. The upper end of the supply range was determined by th e maximize year-end cash objective. Although unrealistic to expect population estimates to change substantially, such an effect might be achieved through enrichment planting. The total xate harvest under the maximize year-end cash

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97 objective would be affected similarly by reductions to the 20 percent waste estimate used in the quality market scenario (S3), or by reductions to the certificati on requirement (S4; NOM-006) to forego harvest on 20 percent of palms. Discussion Is certification of xate feasible with regard to extract or livelihoods and m arket fluidity? The results of the ELP model were contradi ctory. On one hand, Sole dad livelihoods improved with the opportunity to commercialize certified xate, characteri zed herein as quality fronds harvested at sustainable rates (per the standards legislated by NOM-006). Livelihoods improved regardless of the household objective. This ac ross-the-board improvement, under an imposed sustainable harvest regimen, supported the use of xate certification. On the other hand, Soledad households supplied merely 8 to 18 percent of the buyer-expressed demand of 100 rolls per week, or around 5200 rolls per year. In practice, it is difficult to e nvision a buyer who would respond positively to such a low order fulfillm ent rate. This result portended that xate certification, as well as the le ss-constrained commercialization, represent infeasible marketbased interventions in Soledad, given the pres ent state of the palm resource and prevailing market conditions. Yet despite the seeming contra diction between these two outcomes, together they reinforced important lessons learned from other efforts to integrate conservation and development objectives through commercial NTFP enterprises. Results of the ELP model echoe d the well-documented importan ce of market fluidity, or supply and demand parity, in certification e fforts (Panayotou and Ashton 1992; Neumann and Hirsch 2000; Ros-Tonen et al. 1995; Overdevest 2004). In Soledad, the estimated total palm population was inadequate to meet the demand expressed by the buyer, creating a disparity immediately recognizable as an obstacle to market interventions. In a different community, however, xate population estimates mi ght translate to potential supply levels that are much closer

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98 to expressed demand. A higher popu lation-driven estimate of suppl y might reinforce, or even encourage a different conclusion ab out the feasibility of market intervention. Results of the ELP model in Soledad demonstrated that decisions about market interventi ons must not be based solely on estimated population values. In Soledad, the buyers expressed demand and willingness to pay for higher quality palm fronds highlighted the fact that supply and dema nd parity must be scrutinized not only for quantity, but also quality, as the latter affects the former. Estimates from the Chinantla region suggested 20 percent waste (Tolen, personal comm unication), yet waste estimates from the forest concessions of El Petn, Guatemala were as high as 76 percent (Radachowsky and Ramos 2004). Moreover, the quality issue extends beyond the natu ral state of the resour ce, reflecting also the capacity of local harvesters and intermediaries to efficiently harvest, transport, and process fronds. Poor quality resulting from natural or proce dural deficiencies equally affects feasibility. The range of Soledads potential xate s upply, established through the use of the two household objectives, revealed perhaps the most important contribution of the Soledad ELP model to the conversation about NTFP certifica tion. Specifically, there is a need for supply estimates to be recognized as a function not onl y of the natural resource, but also of livelihood objectives and household circumstances, which are related to household composition. The range generated from the two objectives alluded to the unreliability of single estimates that fail to consider the households motivation and ability to harvest and deliver the resource to the market. The Soledad model clearly demonstrated that household considerations like quality, could influence the gulf between estimated and actual supply. Results of the sensitivity analysis demonstr ated that certain values in the ELP model influenced the low end of Soledads supply ra nge. To clarify, the low end of the range

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99 represented the supply generated when househol ds sought to minimize migration. Of the many values in the model, xate price was of particular interest. Under the minimize migration objective, price was negatively correlated with xate supply. Thus, a price premium generated by certification would have resulted in all households harvesting fe wer fronds and a smaller total supply at the low end of the range. Given the objective to maximize discretionary year-end cash, households harvesting behavior remained unchanged, as the allowable xate harvest constrained the activity. As a consequence, the ch allenge of closing the gap between the high and low end of the supply range was unlikely to be overcome through the use of price premiums. Depending on the household objective, price pr emiums might have benefited households minimizing migration by allowing them to harves t less and still meet household needs, which might have undermined the feasib ility of commercial activity. Sensitivity analysis also demonstrated the positive correla tion between the upper end of the community-level supply range and the estimate of the palm population, a figure that was unlikely to appreciably change over the short-term. Ultima tely, the short-term feas ibility of any market intervention depends, in large part on buyer flexibility with regard to the upper limits of the supply range. Over an extended time horizon, ho wever, palm populations may be subject to the influence of intensification. In some contexts, intensification (e.g., enhancement planting) might be appropriate and important stra tegy for increasing bene fits of a market-related intervention or, in the case of Soledad, increasing its potential viability (Michon and de Foresta 1998). However, intensification might also displa ce existing understory vegetation a nd, therefore, dire ctly conflict with biodiversity conservation ob jectives (Browder 1992). Decisions about NTFP intensification might ultimately be dictated by a communitys broader forest conservation or management strategy, provided that one exists.

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100 Like any modeling technique, the ELP model wa s an abstraction of an actual livelihood system. Model outputs (i.e., household livelihood strategies) were infl uenced by the use of approximations, averages, and assumptions. For example, resource requirements and yields for agricultural and NTFP production we re collected from three repr esentative households. While the data from these households were the best available, it was necessary in some cases to supplement them with information published in community diagnostic studies. And while the model was calibrated using the th ree representative households, m odel output likely deviated from actual household livelihood strategies. One important assumption in the ELP model wa s the requirement for equitable distribution of the palm demand among the 25 Soledad househol ds. This arrangement contrasted with an unmanaged supply strategy, one where no controls were imposed on household harvest levels. Two considerations supported the equitable distribution assumption. First, the social structure of the ejido and the related process of organi zing a group of households around palm harvest together implied a high degree of collaboration and equity among its members. While it was not certain that ejido leaders would evenly al locate demand among interested households (e.g., through the use of harvest quotas), the ejido d ecision-making process provided a precedent for such behavior. A second consideration rela ted to model mechanics and hypotheses. The allocation of harvest quantity among the 25 households was not important, given the greater need to interpret the feasibility of Soledads total xa te supply in the context of the prospective buyers expressed demand. The disparity between the high end of the supply range and the expressed demand suggested the more pressing issue facing Soledad might be the ability to coordinate harvest efforts and timing with nearby ejidos.

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101 Additionally, xate harvest in the ELP was distributed thr oughout the year, which reflected the buyers preference for a stable weekly supply to buffer existi ng supply variability. Structured as a year-round activity, Soledad was unable to meet the weekly minimum supply requirement. However, other arrangements might produce di fferent results. A seasonal harvest, one corresponding with the Easter demand peak, might se rve to concentrate harvest and thus increase weekly fulfillment. Using the estimated range of annual supply generated by the ELP model (432 910 rolls), Soledad could potentially supply the buyer with 100 rolls/week for a period of four to nine weeks. The feasibility of this approach would depend on the availability of household resources, namely labor, during th is period. Nevertheless, the opti on suggests an opportunity to be explored by the community and the buyer. Conclusions The ELP m odel and scenarios suggested that certificati on might produce beneficial livelihood outcomes, but the model revealed a li mitation common to all of the interventions. Three necessary conditions for th e feasibility of certi fication were hypothesize d: two related to extractor livelihoods and another related to mark et fluidity. Only the two livelihood hypotheses were supported. Two distinct model (household) objectives were used: 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. Although livelihood and xate supply outcomes differed between the two household objectives, all else being equal, their interpretation with respect to the tested hypotheses did not. First, certification of xate improved Soledad livelihoods. Second, certification of xate improved livelihoo ds for each of four household compositions used as a proxy for relative financial wellbeing. Third, livelihood improvements persisted, although they were diminished, as commercialization was constrai ned, first by quality standards and then by the incorporation of Mexicos NOM -006 population sustainability standards. These outcomes supported the notion that resource sust ainability and economic development are not

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102 mutually exclusive. Taken togeth er, these three findings provided support for the feasibility of xate certification. By contrast, the model revealed an unfavorab le discrepancy between Soledads xate supply (under either household objective) and the buyers expressed demand. This shortcoming represented a significant obstacle to the feasibility of xate certif ication in the community. In the model, Soledad households supplied only 8 to 18 percent of the expressed demand. This range reflected differences in household participa tion in harvesting that corresponded with the household objectives respectively, 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. A better understanding of house hold objectives, the relaxing of constraints, and adjustments to the models assumptions might narrow the ra nge of supply generated under the two household objectives. An important topi c for future research should be a better understanding of actual household objectives. For example, what conditions produce the figurative inflection point between households acting to minimize migration and maximize yearend discretionary cash? Leaving as ide discussion of the differen ce in (or range of) supply that resulted from the two model (household) objectiv es, the low levels of fulfillment portended that, irrespective of the observed live lihood and conservation benefits, xate certification in Soledad represented an infeasible strategy. Practical considerations shaped certain aspects of this st udy. One was the structuring of commercial xate harvest as a year-round livelihood activity. Othe r arrangements, such as a seasonal harvest, might represent feasible altern atives and should be explored further. Another aspect was the focus on a single community. Before interpreting the above re sults, therefore, it must be noted that Soledad de Juarez does not ex ist in isolation. Rather, it is one of several communities situated within a valley well endowed with Chamaedorea palms. The near

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103 proximity of other communities with the palm resource justifies a renewed, but tempered optimism for the feasibility of xa te certification in the region. Inter-community cooperation has the potential to enhance the feasib ility of the strategy, at least fr om the perspective of supply and demand parity. Cooperation might also enlarge the footprint of any positive conservation and development effects related to ce rtification. I conclude that So ledads xate commercialization (and certification) objectives would be best served by engaging nearby communities in a cooperative effort to augment regional supply, thereby decreasing the observed gap between supply and demand. In Soledad de Juarez, the broader Chinantla region, and beyond, the question of whether xate certification repres ents a feasible intervention rapidly leads to th e fundamental issue of supply and demand parity. In other words, c onversations about labeling and other market interventions should address rudimentary concerns for market fluidity as well as the typical discussions about sustainable rates of harvest and price premiums. Ulti mately, in the case of Soledad and the Chinantla region, the most challe nging question may be whether adequate social cohesion exists to allow communities to work in cooperation to positively influence the regions economy of scale. The ELP modeling process and th e model developed here could be useful in facilitating this conversation and in broader investigations of the production capacities of households and communities in the region.

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104 Milpa, Temp / Comun Milpa, Temp / Baja Milpa, Tonamil / Baja Maize, Transfer Frijoles, Temp / Comun Frijoles, Temp / Baja Frijoles, Tonamil / Baja Frijoles, Sell T Frijoles, Transfer Yuca Yuca, Sell Yuca, Transfer Chile /5 Chile, Sell T1 Chile, Sell T2 Jicama Jicama, Sell Palm Harvest, R1 Palm Harvest, R2 Palm Harvest, R3 Palm Harvest, T1 Palm Harvest, T2 Palm Harvest, T3 Collect Fuelwood /8 Collect Fuelwood, R2 Collect Fuelwood, R3 Collect Fuelwood, T1 Collect Fuelwood, T2 Collect Fuelwood, T3 Off-Farm Labor, R1 Off-Farm Labor, R2 Off-Farm Labor, R3 Off-Farm Labor, T1 Off-Farm Labor, T2 Off-Farm Labor, T3 Migration, Rainy /17 Migration, Tonamil /17 Buy Rice, R1 Buy Rice, R2 Buy Rice, R3 Buy Rice, T1 Buy Rice, T2 Buy Rice, T3 "Oportunidades" "Oportunidades" Ad.May. Tranfer $, R1 > R2 Tranfer $, R2 > R3 Tranfer $, R3 > T1 Tranfer $, T1 > T2 Tranfer $, T2 > T3 Tranfer $, T3 > YE Reproductive Act. RHS SOLUTIONSConce p t Unit hahahak g hahahak g k g hacostalk g hak g k g k g k g j or. j or. j or. j or. j or. j or. j o r j o r j o r j o r j o r j o r j or. j or. j or. j or. j or. j or.k g k g k g k g k g k g p esos p esos p esos p esos p esos p esos Conce p to 0.000.000.0000.000.000.00####00.03011.40.2796.14900.0007.62113.387.62113.38060.7 0000111111 2.962.960000001####123727123374480778418503100 ResourceTierra Ba j a, Tem p orad a ha 1111 0.30 0.30Tierra Ba j a, Tem p ResourceTierra Ba j a, Tonami l ha 1111 0.30 0.30Tierra Ba j a, Tona m ResourceTierra Comu n ha 11 0.40 0.00Tierra Comu n ResourceTierra Monte ha 0.00 0.00Tierra Monte ResourceLabor, R1 /1 j or. 676766661115137 256.4 197.0Labor, R1 /1 ResourceLabor, R2 /1 j or. 1616989893241117855 389.2 383.9Labor, R2 /1 ResourceLabor, R3 /1 j or. 2424484889161112519 122.8 120.2Labor, R3 /1 ResourceLabor, T1 /1 j or. 64663899161114137 206.4 195.3Labor, T1 /1 ResourceLabor, T2 /1 j or. 239819121117354 365.7 282.6Labor, T2 /1 ResourceLabor, T3 /1 j or. 1548321112318 113.6 90.3Labor, T3 /1 Resource Labor F, R1 /1b j or. 37 102.6 36.6 Labor F, R1 /1b Resource Labor F, R2 /1b j or. 55 155.7 55.2 Labor F, R2 /1b Resource Labor F, R3 /1b j or. 19 49.1 18.6 Labor F, R3 /1b Resource Labor F, T1 /1b j or. 37 82.6 36.6 Labor F, T1 /1b Resource Labor F, T2 /1b j or. 54 146.3 54.0 Labor F, T2 /1b Resource Labor F, T3 /1b j or. 18 45.4 18.0 Labor F, T3 /1b Resource Labor A, R1 /1c j or. 1 256.4 7.6 Labor A, R1 /1c Resource Labor A, R2 /1c j or. 1 389.2 11.0 Labor A, R2 /1c Resource Labor A, R3 /1c j or. 1 122.8 3.4 Labor A, R3 /1c Resource Labor A, T1 /1c j or. 1 206.4 7.6 Labor A, T1 /1c Resource Labor A, T2 /1c j or. 1 365.7 11.0 Labor A, T2 /1c Resource Labor A, T3 /1c j or. 1 113.6 3.4 Labor A, T3 /1c Resource Labor M A+J, R1 /1d j or. 151 153.8 152.7 Labor M A+J, R Resource Labor M A+J, R2 /1d j or. 178 233.5 231.4 Labor M A+J, R Resource Labor M A+J, R3 /1d j or. 125 73.7 73.7 Labor M A+J, R Resource Labor M A+J, T1 /1d j or. 141 123.8 123.0 Labor M A+J, T Resource Labor M A+J, T2 /1d j or. 173 219.4 217.2 Labor M A+J, T Resource Labor M A+J, T3 /1d j or. 123 68.1 68.1 Labor M A+J, T Accountin g Maize Acct. k g ( 1175 ) ( 1175 ) ( 1100 ) 1 0.0 ( 0.0 ) Maize Acct. Accountin g Maize Consum p tio n k g 191916 ( 1 ) ( 204 ) ( 204 ) ( 1008.7 ) ( 1208.4 ) Maize Consum p ti o Accountin g Fri j oles Acct. k g ( 900 ) ( 900 ) ( 900 ) 11 0.0 ( 0.00 ) Fri j oles Acct. Accountin g Fri j oles Consum p tio n k g 424242 ( 1 ) ( 22 ) ( 22 ) ( 109.0 ) ( 130.6 ) Fri j oles Consum pt Accountin g Yuca Acct. k g ( 450 ) 501 0.0 0.00Yuca Acct. Accountin g Yuca Consum p tionk g ( 1 ) ( 11.4 ) ( 11.4 ) Yuca Consum p tio n Accountin g Chile Acct, T1. k g ( 350 ) 1 0.0 ( 0.0 ) Chile Acct, T1. Accountin g Chile Acct, T2 k g ( 1783 ) 1 0.0 ( 0.0 ) Chile Acct, T2 Accountin g Jicama Accountin g k g ( 200 ) 1 0.0 0.00Jicama Accountin g Accountin g Fuelwood Acc t tercio ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 3 ) ( 182.0 ) ( 182.0 ) Fuelwood Acc t ConstraintRe p roductive Activ. y /n ( 1 ) ( 1.0 ) ( 1.0 ) Re p roductive Act. Constraint"O p ortunidades" ( 1 ) = ( 1.0 ) ( 1.0 ) "O p ortunidades" Constraint"O p ortunidades"-AdMa y ( 1 ) = 0.0 ( 0.0 ) "O p ortunidades"A ConstraintPalm Harvest, R1 /12b j o r 1 7.62 7.62Palm Harvest, R1 ConstraintPalm Harvest, R2 j o r 1 11.00 11.00Palm Harvest, R2 ConstraintPalm Harvest, R3 j o r 1 3.38 3.38Palm Harvest, R3 ConstraintPalm Harvest, T1 j o r 1 7.62 7.62Palm Harvest, T1 ConstraintPalm Harvest, T2 j o r 1 11.00 11.00Palm Harvest, T2 ConstraintPalm Harvest, T3 j o r 1 3.38 3.38Palm Harvest, T3 ConstraintOff-Farm, R1 /12 a j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, R1 ConstraintOff-Farm, R2 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, R2 ConstraintOff-Farm, R3 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, R3 ConstraintOff-Farm, T1 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, T1 ConstraintOff-Farm, T2 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, T2 ConstraintOff-Farm, T3 j o r 1 1.0 1.0Off-Farm, T3 ConstraintRice, R1 k g ( 4 ) ( 4 ) ( 1 ) ( 14.3 ) ( 21.4 ) Rice, R1 ConstraintRice, R2 k g ( 5 ) ( 5 ) ( 1 ) ( 21.4 ) ( 32.1 ) Rice, R2 ConstraintRice, R3 k g ( 2 ) ( 2 ) ( 1 ) ( 7.1 ) ( 10.7 ) Rice, R3 ConstraintRice, T1 k g ( 4 ) ( 4 ) ( 1 ) ( 14.3 ) ( 21.4 ) Rice, T1 ConstraintRice, T2 k g ( 5 ) ( 5 ) ( 1 ) ( 21.4 ) ( 32.1 ) Rice, T2 ConstraintRice, T3 k g ( 2 ) ( 2 ) ( 1 ) ( 7.1 ) ( 10.7 ) Rice, T3 CashCash, R1 p esos 358358 ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 180 ) 18 ( 490 ) ( 540 ) 1 ( 765.0 ) ( 765.0 ) Cash, R1 CashCash, R2 p esos 313313118340 ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 270 ) 18 ( 735 ) ( 810 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 1105.0 ) ( 1105.0 ) Cash, R2 CashCash, R3 p esos 00 ( 150 ) 0 ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 90 ) 18 ( 245 ) ( 270 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 340.0 ) ( 340.0 ) Cash, R3 CashCash, T1 p esos 358421033 ( 5 ) ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 180 ) 18 ( 490 ) ( 540 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 765.0 ) ( 765.0 ) Cash, T1 CashCash, T2 p esos 29804420 ( 5 ) ( 10 ) ( 116 ) ( 100 ) ( 270 ) 18 ( 735 ) ( 810 ) ( 1 ) 1 ( 1105.0 ) ( 1105.0 ) Cash, T2 CashCash, T3 pesos 00(116)(100)(90)18(245) (270)(1)1 (340.0) (340.0)Cash, T3 Cash Year End Cash pesos 1 0.08,503Year End Cas h Figure 5-1. Captured image of the ethnographic linear program struct ure in Microsoft Excel

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105 R1 R2 R3 T1 T2 T3 Figure 5-2. Asymmetric periods in Soledads dry (T) and rainy (R) seasons, created to allocate labor in the ELP model.

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106 A. B. Figure 5-3. ELP model output by scenario. A) household year-end cash under the maximize year-end ca sh objective. B) sum of household migration periods under the minimize migration objective.

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107 A. B. Figure 5-4. Annual household harvest days by sc enario. A) under the maximize year-end cas h objective. B) under the minimize migration objective.

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108 Table 5-1. Calendar of seasonal production ac tivities in Soledad de Juarez, Oaxaca. J 1 J 2 F 1 F 2 M 1 M 2 A 1 A 2 M 1 M 2 J 1 J 2 J 1 J 2 A 1 A 2 S 1 S 2 O 1 O 2 N 1 N 2 D 1 D 2 Ra i n y Solar (garden) Milpa, rainy Milpa, dry Beans, rainy Beans, dry Chile Yuca Jicama Xate harvest P e a k School Table 5-2. Resource requirements and yields fo r principal agricultural crops used in the Ethnographic Linear Program. Labor Cash Cost Yield (Days) ($US) (Kg/ha) Maize, rainy 107 62 1175 Maize, dry 102 60 1100 Beans 212 0 900 Chili peppers 281 612 2133 Yuca 89 0 450 Jicama 68 0 200 Table 5-3. General matrix for ELP model out put framed by household types and market scenarios. Household Types Xate Market Scenarios HH I HH II HH III HH IV ALL HH S1, current market A1 B1 C1 D1 E1 S2, historical market A2 B2 C2 D2 E2 S3, quality market A3 B3 C3 D3 E3 S4, quality/sustainability market A4 B4 C4 D4 E4 Table 5-4. Operational elements of xate market scenarios. Xate Market Scenario Concept Unit S1 S2 S3 S4 Price ($US/roll*) 8.90 8.90 10.65 10.65 Demand (Rolls/household/year) 0 45 46 36 *1 roll = 600 fronds

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109 Table 5-5. Household composition scenarios for Solead de Juarez, Oaxaca HH I HH II HH III HH IV Individual N = 3 N = 3 N = 15 N = 4 Senior, male 0 0 0 0 Senior, female 0 0 0 0 Adult, male 1 1 1 1 Adult, female 1 1 1 1 Adolescent, male 0 0 1 2 Adolescent, female 0 0 2 1 Youth, male 0 2 1 0 Youth, female 0 1 1 0 Table 5-6. Livelihood benefits unde r the quality/sustain ability market scen ario (S4), and in comparison to the current market scenario (S1), by household composition. HH I HH II HH III HH IV Year-end cash, S4 6624 5190 4652 7626 Percent change from S1 148% 444% 520% 123% Migration, S4 0.0 0.0 2.7 0.3 Percent change from S1 0% 100% -31% 86% Table 5-7. Sensitivity to selected factors of Sole dads potential range of xate supply (in rolls*) under the certified mark et scenario (S4). ELP Model Objective Function Minimize Migration Maximize Year-End Cash Basic model, S4 432 910 Household expenses + 25% 643 910 Palm price + 20% 362 910 Palm population +20% 432 1100 *1 roll = 600 fronds

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110 CHAPTER 6 SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Beginning in the late 1980s, comm ercializati on of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) was promoted as a strategy for integration of forest conservation and economic development objectives. For a variety of reasons, however, straightforward comme rcialization produced inconsistent results. NTFP cer tification emerged in the late 1990s as a second-generation commercialization strategy. Support for NTFP cer tification has waxed and waned and, despite early enthusiasm, certification re mains in its infancy. Neverthele ss, proponents hope certification represents a strategic intervention capable of integrating conservation and development objectives. This study accepted the possibili ty of successful integration of forest conservation and economic development and addressed the particul ar conviction that certification of xate ( Chamaedorea spp.) represents a feasible intervention toward that end. The study utilized a Zero-In approach (Pittaluga et al. 2004), effectively an invers ion of Vaydas (1983) method of progressive contextualization. It began with an examination of the integrated global palm procurement system, and then narrowed to an examination of harvester-household livelihood systems, within which xate extraction represents a single livelihood activity. Through this approach, this study reinforced many existing observations relate d to NTFP commercialization and certification, but also gene rated important new insights a nd considerations for future research. A literature review traced development of NTFP commercialization, and ultimately certification, as an intervention oriented towa rd the ideal of integrated conservation and development. The origins of NT FP certification lie in the rene wal of extractivism through the seringuero (rubber tapper) social movement in Amazonia. Neo-extractivism underwent a rapid

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111 metamorphosis into a more broadly app lied conservation and development strategy operationalized through NTFP commer cialization. Initially championed as a veritable panacea for the reconciliation of conservation and deve lopment objectives, commercial extraction of NTFPs met with numerous obstacles. The literature highlighted four genera l challenges to NTFP commercialization. Ecological concerns related to the potential for negative cons equences of commercialization with respect to NTFP populations, broader biotic comm unities, and greater ecosystems. Economic concerns related to potential failures of commercialization strategies stemming from such factors as supply and demand characteristics, calcula ted value versus net benefits, a nd economies of scale, to name a few. Socio-political concerns focused on the contextual elements of NTFP harvester groups and regions such as resource tenure and rights, effects on ge nder roles, and on the broader contribution of NTFPs to rural livelihoods. Fi nally, there were conc erns relating to the incompatibility of NTFP management with existing system s of forest management and potential obstacles to the changes necessary for comm ercialization to succeed. In practice, these challenges are interconnected. Most, if not all, of the cha llenges that emerged from th e early experiences of NTFP commercialization applied to NT FP certification. The need to establish clear standards addressing social and/or ecological sustainability represented an additional challenge unique to the latter. Early certification effo rts indicated that the approach might represent a viable strategy for only a limited subset of charismatic NTFPs (Guillen et al. 2002). Nevertheless, several reported and observed factors suggested that cer tification might be a feasible intervention for Chamaedorea palm fronds, or xate.

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112 First, certification represen ted an undeveloped niche mark eting opportunity through which existing palm extractors might insulate themselv es from trends experienced in conventional markets. An early market study (CEC 2002) conc luded that the market for conventional xate fronds was stable, or perhaps in early stages of contraction (i.e., d ecreasing demand) The perceived state of the market, coupled with nascent donor-driven economic development efforts directed toward palm cultivation in Guatemala and Mexico, suggested that extractors supplying the conventional market were due to see dimi nishing prices resulting from increasing supply. Second, extractors were feared to become the disproportionate bearers of the high costs of low prices: cultivated fronds are of a higher qua lity and uniformity and have lower production costs per unit than extracted fronds. Lower costs stemmed from greater economies of scale for cultivated systems, lower levels of waste, a nd lower transport costs. These comparative and competitive disadvantages to extractors were alr eady the reality for many frustrated communities unable to find buyers (or reasonable prices) for thei r consistent, but relatively small offerings of high quality xate. Any strategy perceived to confer advantage to the extractive systems, whether through market access or premiums, was worthy of consideration. The alternative was feared to be nothing short of the departure of commer cial xate extraction from the forest. Finally, certification was viewed as the only practical strate gy to capture the value of ecologically sustainable and/or socially res ponsible processes, and thereby mitigate the deleterious emphasis on high volumes and low margins typical of commodity markets and slowing the transition from extr action to cultivation. In xate extraction regions, which depend on natural populations, reduced palm abundance and quality were two symptoms of over-harvesting that had negatively affected the perceived valu e of extractive procurement systems. Harvesting pressure came from two directions: suppliers acting to ensure that demand could be fulfilled and

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113 extractors striving to maintain or improve th eir livelihoods. Stakeholde rs worried that the extractive procurement system was approaching the critical threshold where extraction is eclipsed by cultivation outside of the forest. History suggested that, without intervention, cultivation under modified fo rest or artificial shade c ould soon be the norm. These considerations, and the convict ion among practitioners that palm certification represented an appropriate intervention, highlighted the need for an integrated analys is of the feasibility of palm certification in extraction communities. This study departed from the literature through an analysis of the global xate system. The current integrated value chain and market were examined as a means to evaluate the feasibility of xate certification. I hypothesized that feasib ility (at any scale) depe nds on the attributes of certified supply and demand relative to the supp ly and demand for the conventional product in the global system. Specifically, the analysis focused on two objectives: 1) identifying the components of the integrated xate value chain and, 2) describing the dimensions of the integrated xate market. Prior to this study, negligible effo rt had been made to contextualize localized interventions into an integrate d, systems framework that consid ered the numerous and diverse xate procurement systems and markets. Information about the integrated value chain and market was collected through conversations with its component actors and other influential individuals using a modified rapid appraisal method ( sondeo ). The interviews, along with a ggregate national trade data and published research, were used to descri be and characterize the xate market. The analysis revealed a xate value chain that is extensive, trans cending numerous regions across national boundaries. U.S. importers prin cipally sourced palms from Mexico and Guatemala, the former supplying the vastly greate r share. Within Mexico, there were numerous

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114 supply regions located in several states. As w ith many NTFP chains, there was an evident and growing trend toward system intensification, via cultivation. The xate value chain was composed of a small group of influential actors, notably at the levels of national consolidators and U.S. importers. It was best characterized as oli gopsonistic, or comprised of a small group of influential actors. Historically, buyers maintained arms-length relations with extractors, the latter selling opportunistically to itinerant intermediaries who worked independently, or for established intermediate enterprises located in regional or national centers. Fo r this reason, actors in the xate value chain were vulnerable to many of the economic challenges identified in the NTFP commercialization and certification literature, namely the inability of suppliers to affect market relationships and terms of trade. The analysis further revealed an integrated xate market comprised of a large, mature conventional market and a significantly smalle r, yet dynamic certified market. Conventional fronds were an important component in the flor al industry throughout the year, while certified fronds were purchased primarily by church cong regations during the Easter season. The very existence of a growing market for certified xate heartened promoters and extractor communities alike throughout the region of extraction. The sales volume of certified xate, however, was several orders of magnitude lower than the volume of conventionally produced fronds. The largest U.S. importer stated that this discrepa ncy, and specifically the low overall quantity of certified xate, made virtually infeasible the necessary segregation of certified xate from conventional product in the supply chain. The salient challenges to palm certificati on that emerged from this analysis were economic. Suppliers considering cert ification stood to face substantial barriers to entry that stem from the maturity of the conven tional xate market and an oligopsonistic value chain comprised

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115 of a few dominant actors and regions. Barriers were likely to be more formidable for new harvesters (and harvesting regions) interested in entering the market to capitalize on the small, but growing certified market. They stood to b ecome even more imposing should established extractors of conventional xate determine that a shift to certification makes sense. A 2005 directsale arrangement between two FSC-certified community forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) and a major U.S. import er, coupled with the current push for xate certification by international acto rs such as Rainforest Alliance (in Guatemala and Mexico) and ProNatura (in Mexico), suggested that the shift to certificat ion scenario merits serious consideration. Moreover, seasonality of the certified market implied that suppliers would need to adjust their year-round activities in or der to accrue benefits only during the Easter season, when churches paid a premium for certified fronds. In most regions, xate was extracted throughout the year. Willingness to pursue certification for the seasonal, or any other, market would depend heavily, although perhaps not exclusively on twin factors: price premium and/or market access, mirror images with respect to economic benefit (Sedjo and Swallow 1999). It was noteworthy that the 2005 MBR agreement explicitly incl uded a quality standard, allowing the forest concessions to accrue the benefits of certification throughout the y ear, rather than merely during the Easter season. Additionally, the agreement formalized what had previously been an informal and indirect transacti on with the U.S. buyer. From the buyers perspective, there were significant transa ction costs to forging new relationships with suppliers. The procurement system relied on communities that were best characterized by under-developed tr ansportation infrastructure and socio-political systems unfamiliar to buyers. Restructuring the terms of trad e with existing partners appeared to be more

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116 attractive to buyers than forging new relations hips. Indeed, the 2005 MBR agreement with an established supplier stipulated a higher price for higher quality xate the higher price paid by the buyer ostensibly was offset by comparable reductions in non-marketable fronds. Finally, economy of scale repr esented a significant obstacle for actors throughout the value chain. The current demand for certified palms made segregation of eco-pal ms from conventional palms in the supply chain infeasible over the lo ng term. This observation echoed Overdevests (2004) assertion that strategies for certification of high-standard products and processes are often limited by the difficulty of constructing viable mark ets. For palms, the viability of a certified market appeared to be most constrained by na scent consumer demand. Nevertheless, this dark cloud over the horizon of xate certif ication had a silver lining. In the 2005 MBR agreement, quality requirement s represented what might be described best as a keystone standard that bridged th e gap between the short-term obstacle described above and the long-term success that might be possible with a more established, and sizable demand for certified xate. The atypical combina tion of a product standa rd (quality) and the process standards stipulated by FSC facilitated an intermediate step in the development of a market for certified xate. Specifically, certified xate was made available as needed to the certified market due to the hybrid product/proces s standards mandated in the MBR agreement. When viewed in light of the maturity of the conventional market the MBR arrangement highlighted an opportunity for an establishe d buyer to foster and perhaps even shape development of a small, yet growing niche mark et. The short-term costs of subsidizing this market may ultimately be offset by the long-term be nefits of rejuvenating commercial interest in what has been described as a pa ss commodity. Finally, as state institutions increasingly focus on sustainability guidelines for harves ting forest products, a trend observed both in Guatemala and

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117 Mexico, the extent to which certification faci litates state authorization for any form of commercial xate extraction might increase the willingness of both suppliers and buyers to embrace certification standards. Ultimately, the inclusion of quality standards in xate certification will likely increase th is likelihood that the intervention will represent a feasible step on the path toward integration of conserva tion and development obj ectives in extractor communities. An ethnographic linear program (ELP) model of the Soledad de Juarez livelihood system was developed to test two hypotheses related to extractor livelihoods and another related to market fluidity. The ELP model was constructe d from a foundational schematic livelihood model that was elaborated usin g a rapid appraisal, or sondeo in Chapter 4. Results were based on four xate marketing/management scenarios: current, historical, quality, and certified. The current scenario was characterized by the absence of a market. The remaining commercialization scenarios produced beneficial livelihood and conservation outcomes, but the model revealed a limitation common to all of the interventions. Three necessary conditions fo r the feasibility of certifi cation were hypothesized: two related to extractor livelihoods and another related to mark et fluidity. Only the two livelihood hypotheses were supported. Two distinct model (hous ehold) objectives were used: 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretio nary cash. Although livelih ood and resource use outcomes differed between the two household objectiv es, all else being equal, their interpretation with respect to the tested hypothe ses did not. First, commercializa tion of certified xate improved Soledad livelihoods. Second, commercialization of cer tified xate improved livelihoods for each of four household compositions, used as a pr oxy for relative financial well-being. Finally, livelihood improvements persisted, although they were diminished, as commercialization was

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118 constrained: first by the inclusion of quality standards, and then by the incorporation of Mexicos NOM-006 population sustainability standards. These outcomes supported the notion that resource sustainability and economic development are not mutually exclusive. Taken together, these findings provided support for xate certific ation as an intervention oriented toward integrating conservation a nd development objectives. By contrast, the model revealed an unfavorab le discrepancy between Soledads xate supply (under either household objective) and the level of demand expressed by an interested buyer. This shortcoming represented a substantial obstacle to the feasibility of xate certification in the community. In the model, Soledad households su pplied only 8 to 18 perc ent of the expressed demand. This range reflected differences in household participation in harvesting that corresponded with the househol d objectives respectively, 1) minimize migration and 2) maximize year-end discretionary cash. Leaving aside discussion of the differe nce in (or range of) supply that resulted from the two model (househ old) objectives, the low levels of fulfillment portended that xate certification re presented an infeasible strategy in Soledad, irrespective of the observed livelihood and conservatio n benefits described above. Practical considerations shaped certain aspects of this st udy. One was the structuring of commercial xate harvest as a year-round livelihood activity. Othe r arrangements, such as a seasonal harvest, might represent feasible alternativ es to be explored further. Another aspect was the focus on a single extraction community. Before interpreting the above re sults, therefore, it must be noted that Soledad de Juarez did not ex ist in isolation. Rather, it was one of several communities situated within a valley well endowed with Chamaedorea palms. The close proximity of other communities justifies a renewed, yet tempered optimism for the feasibility of xate certification in the region. Inter-community cooperation has the potential to enhance the

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119 feasibility of the strategy, at least from the perspective of su pply and demand parity. Cooperation could also enlarge the footprint of any positive conservation and development effects that might stem from certification. Consider ed in light of the positive re sults above, I concluded that Soledads palm commercialization (and certifica tion) objectives would be best served by engaging nearby communities in a cooperative effort to augment regional supply, thereby decreasing the observed gap between supply and demand. Reflection on the analyses of the global value chain and community livelihood systems generated three important summary conclusions pe rtaining to the certificat ion of xate. First, I conclude that the maturity of the conventional xate market offers limited potential for the development of new palm suppliers, or supply communities. Just as Homma concluded that increased cultivation would displace extraction (Homma 1992), in the mature xate market context, one characterized by stable demand, the development of new extraction communities will almost certainly displace existing communities that might be at a competitive disadvantage. In promoting commercial palm extraction in new communities, promoters are implicitly expressing preferences for those communities, ecosystems, cultures, etc., that should benefit from commercial extraction. If the ultimate goal is integration of conservation and development, it is uncertain whether the communities with co mpetitive advantage today represent those best suited to that end. The results from Soledad de Juarez clearly demonstrated that small producers face large challenges with respect to achieving econom y of scale. A second reasonable conclusion, therefore, is that conversati ons about labeling and other mark et interventions should address rudimentary concerns for market fluidity as we ll as the typical discus sions about sustainable rates of harvest and price premiums. Certainly the latter considerati ons are of critical importance,

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120 but without supply and demand parit y, questions related to how to ha rvest (rather than whether to harvest) are rendered moot. This co nclusion leads to the recommendation that the pressing concern for smaller producers (and external pa rtners) considering certification must be development of cooperative production networks, seasonal concentration of commercialization, or some combination of the two strategies. The existence of a nascent niche market for certified xate suggests supports consideration of the inte rvention in such contexts. Ultimately, however, only those communities able to work collectively or seasonally to achieve necessary economies of scale in the short-term will have the opportunity in the mediumto long-term of addressing and refining the ecological and social cons iderations inherent to certification. The experience of community forest concessi ons in Guatemalas Maya Biosphere Reserve led to a third conclusion, that e ffort to certify xate using proc ess-oriented standards (i.e., ecological sustainability or social justice) might benefit from the inclusion of quality (or product) standards. The call for a quality emphasis echoe s, but differs from, the quality conversation accompanying the development of the market for fa ir trade certified coff ee. With coffee, the combination of low product quality and low dema nd resulted, unfortunately, in the sale of 70 percent of fairly-trade d beans in the conventi onal coffee market (Bacon 2005). In contrast, the goal in the case of xate should be to get certified product into the conventional market: quality attributes are needed to sustain demand for certif ied xate because the market for certified fronds is seasonal. I recommend that certifiers consider incorporating quality as a keystone standard. Quality standards will benefit actors in the critical market development phase, during which demand for certified product is insufficient to ju stify the necessary, but costly, segregation of certified and conventional product in the value ch ain. Ultimately, quality standards will help to

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121 ensure that buyers equate certi fied xate with quality xate, a nd thus value certif ication throughout the year, during which the majority of time no retail demand exists for certified fronds. Important limitations to this study relate to its scope and analytical approach, and suggest themes for future research. First, the market for xate is truly global and exhibits dynamics that this study was unable to portray though the use of U.S. import data. The difficulty of accessing reliable data, coupled with time and re source limitations, precluded a more thorough consideration of emerging xate markets, part icularly those in East ern Europe. Anecdotal evidence suggested that this region repr esents a growth market segment for conventionally produced xate. Substantial increases in overall ma rket demand could potentially offset any negative price pressure that this study anticipated as a result of increased xate cultivation or the development of new extraction-oriented suppliers Similarly, a small, but growing market for organic flowers almost non-existent when this study began might represent an important and growing market segment for certified xate. The requirement of a single household obj ective function in linear programming represented a second limitation in the livelihood system component of the study. It is unlikely that household behavior can be accurately char acterized by a single operational objective, such as maximize year-end discretionary cash or m inimize migration. More over, the challenge of ascertaining a primary household objective wa s compounded by the need to juxtapose the request for highly subjective information (the household objective) w ithin a conversation focused on obtaining relatively obj ective livelihood data. More plainly stated: intra-household power dynamics (e.g., gender, age) could not be controlled for in an open household conversation about livelihood activities. The decisi on to use two objectives to create a range of possible harvest outcomes represented an attempt to mitigate the negative effect of the above

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122 limitations. This approach was practical, but ce rtainly imperfect. It was fortunate that, in Soledad, the palm population rendered unimportant the implication of household objective for the feasibility of certification. In other commun ities, however, the difference could prove to be critical. Therefore, a better understanding of ha rvester household objectives should be a priority in future research. Finally, national and global circumstances from 2007 2008 bring to the fore the importance of viewing xate certif ication within an even broader context. In Mexico, drug related gang violence along the gulf coast ha s disrupted the regional and, to a lesser extent, the national and international economy (BBC 2008). The gulf coas t transit ways are the principal trade route for xate, which is trucked from Guatemala City, Guatemala, through Veracruz, Mexico, and then to San Antonio, Texas. Disruptions to this trade route could have important implications for sourcing and routing decisions made by buyers, ther eby affecting the selec tion of suppliers and the cost-benefit calculations for both conventional and ce rtified product. Superimposed over this regional issue of instability is the global issue of energy costs. Rising fuel prices could dramati cally alter the viability of exte nsive xate procurement and thus the overall viability of the conventional xate ma rket. A future characterized by dramatically higher energy costs could have many outcomes, but may favor intensive cultivation in regions close to major trade routes. Alternatively, such conditions could favor a shift in the floral industry to other cut-greens amenable to produc tion within the region of sale. Whatever the future may hold, it is clear that practitioners acting locally, without consideration of broader contexts, undermine the feasibility of interven tions oriented toward forest conservation and economic development.

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123 APPENDIX A FSC CHAMAEDOREA ADDE NDUM MBR Forest Concession & Chamaedorea Certification4 Forest Stewardship Councils Principles and CriteriaPrinciple 1: Compliance with Laws and FSC Principles Forest management shall respect all applicable laws of the count ry in which they occur, and in ternational treaties and agreemen ts to which the country is a signatory, and comply with all FSC Principles and Criteria. All Chamaedorea exploitation operations should demonstrate agreement wi th the policy and practices of FSCs Principles and Criteria for Forest Management. The extraction and processing of Chamaedorea may invoke laws and regulations that are not normally covered by the typical SmartWood eval uation, for example the extraction of xate [ Chamaedorea] requires legal permission and licensure. In some cases existing conventions may exist or international treaties may apply, as clearly is the c ase with species in danger of extinction under the CITES treaty or other laws for national tenure and usufruct rights. The evaluato rs have to consult with relevant government agencies and other actors to verify if an operation is addressing in a responsible manner the legal requirements for the extraction, processing, and sale of Chamaedorea. Criteria: 1.1 Forest management shall resp ect all national and local laws an d administrative requirements. 1.1.1. Interviews with public servants, othe r involved or interested actors, and field observations, indicate that the FMO is m eeting the national and/or local environmental, labor, forestry, protected area, and other applicable laws such as: Protected areas law; Protected area policy; Non-timber products policy and xate norms; Conservation strategy of the MBR; Decree of the creation of the MBR; Norms for the granting of forest concessions; Norms and regulations of MAGA through OIRISA; CITES norms; International Convention on Biodiversity; Monitoring systems of the forest concessions; Xate exportation tariffs; Municipal codes; Work codes. 1.1.1.a. The Forest Management Operation (FMO) meets all the na tional and local laws for environment, labor, forestry, and protected areas, among others, in the extraction, processing, and commercialization of Chamaedorea. 1.1.1.b. The FMO meets the integrated management of resources granted under the concession in agreement with the clauses stipulated under the contract. 1.1.2. Any violation of the law by the part of the FMO is to be immediately addressed by the proper authorities. 1.2 All applicable and legally prescribed fees, r oyalties, taxes and other charges shall be paid. 1.2.1. The FMO will be up to date on the payment of taxes, forest rights, and freight, among others. 4 FSC Principles & Criteria in BLACK MBR additions in ITALICS Chamaedorea addendum in BOLD

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124 1.2.1.a. The FMO or Chamaedorea intermediaries will remain up to date on the payment of debts, license s, guides, taxes, and other fiscal requirements. 1.3 In signatory countries, the provisions of all binding interna tional agreements such as CITES, ILO Conventions, ITTA, and Convention on Biological Diversity, shall be respected. 1.3.1. The FMO will meet o demonstrate intent to meet applicab le international conventions, in accord with the scale of operation, 1.4 Conflicts between laws, regulations and the FSC Principles and Criteria shall be evaluated for the purposes of certificatio n, on a caseby-case basis, by the certifiers and th e involved or affected parties. 1.4.1. 1.4.2. 1.5 Forest management areas should be protected from illegal harvesting, settlement and other unauthorized activities. 1.5.1. 1.5.2. 1.6 Forest managers shall demonstrate a long-term commitme nt to adhere to the FSC Principles and Criteria. 1.6.1. 1.6.2. 1.6.3 Principle 2: Tenure and Use Rights and Responsibilities Long-term tenure and use rights to the land and forest resources shall be clearly defined, documented, and legally established. Chamaedorea palms are non-timber forest products important to rural populations and urban areas of Guatemala and other countries. Forest managers must always demonstrate sensitivity to local individuals dependency on Chamaedorea, as long as the use of which does not endanger the integrity of the forest. Forest managers may take proactive steps to improve community relations through improving understanding of xate use, permitting continued access to these resources. Nevertheless, a growing market demand, higher prices, or new populations can augment resource pressure. In such cases, the management may have to restrict access to the palms to those with traditional rights or in extreme cases, temporarily prohibit access, to protect the resource. Criteria: 2.1 Clear evidence of long-term forest use rights to the land (e.g. land title, customary rights, or lease agreements) shall be demonstrated. 2.1.1. 2.1.1.a. When outsiders are involved in the extraction of Chamaedorea they should obtain endorsement from the appropriate responsible party (owner, concessionaire, or lessee). This endorsement will need to be recognized by authorities prior to the guarantee of extraction license. 2.2 Local communities with legal or customary tenure or use rights shall maintain contro l, to the extent necessary to protect t heir rights or resources, over forest operations unless they delegate c ontrol with free and informed consent to other agencies. 2.2.1.

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125 2.2.2. 2.2.2.a. Extraction and commercialization activities for Chamaedorea are planned and/or with the participation and/or consent of individuals, groups, or communities with legal rights and consent over the area of the managed resources. 2.2.3. 2.3 Appropriate mechanisms shall be employed to resolve disputes over tenure claims and use right s. The circumstances and statu s of any outstanding disputes will be explicitly considered in the cer tification evaluation. Disputes of substantial magnitude invol ving a significant number of interests will normally di squalify an operation from being certified. 2.3.1. 2.3.2. 2.3.3. Principle 3: Indigenous People's Rights The legal and customary rights of indigenous peoples to own, use and manage their lands, territories, and resources shall be re cognized and respected. Certification efforts should attempt to minimize any potentially negative impacts of the market on use and traditional manageme nt of forests and forest products. The rights of indigenous peoples and locals to use Chamaedorea for subsistence needs must be protected. The certification of Chamaedorea should increase the local economy in a cultural and socially appropriate manner. Certification efforts should be a means to avoid circumstances which create conditions of dependency that undermine cultural integrity. Criteria: 3.1 Indigenous peoples shall control forest management on their lands and territories unless they delegate control with free and informed consent to other agencies. 3.1.1. 3.1.1.a. The consuetudinarios[sic] and traditional rights of indigenous peoples that possess, manage, or utilize Chamaedorea, have been recognized in a fair manner and clearly documented in writing. 3.1.2.a. In the case of delegation of the management of Chamaedorea to a third party, voluntary agreements exist with indigenous peoples in which the control and distribution of the benefits will be made through common agreement of the involved parties. 3.1.2. 3.2 Forest management shall not threaten or diminish, either directly or indirectly, the resources or tenure rights of indigeno us peoples. 3.2.1. 3.3 Sites of special cultural, ecological, economic or religious significance to indigenous peoples shall be clearly identified in cooperation with such peoples, and recognized and protected by forest managers. 3.3.1 3.3.1.a. The extraction of Chamaedorea should respect the potential religious and cult ural significant it may have for indigenous communities. The extraction of Chamaedorea should not be undertaken in sacred sites or areas of special significance for indigenous communities.

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126 3.3.2. 3.3.3. 3.4 Indigenous peoples shall be compensated for the application of their traditional knowledge regarding the use of forest spec ies or management systems in forest operations. This compensation shall be formally agreed upon with their free and informed consent b efore forest operations commence. 3.4.1 3.4.1.a. Indigenous communities should receive fair and adequate benefits any use of their name and imagry in the marketing of Chamaedorea 3.4.2. Principle 4: Community Relations and Workers' Rights Forest management operations shall maintain or enhance the long-term social and economic well-being of forest workers and local communities. The certification of NTFPs such as Chamaedorea has as objectives the increase and st abilization of economic resources based on the long-term use of forest resources. It is not feasible that on ly the proprietors of the enterprise receive the premium of ce rtified Chamaedorea, workers and local communities also should be beneficiaries, whenever possible. The resources and benefits generated by the management should be proportionally available to the local level. The active involvement and continue participation of these groups will help to promote the sustaina ble management in the long t erm, a primary objective of the certification of Chamaedorea Criteria: 4.1 The communities within, or adjacent to, the forest manageme nt area should be given opportunities for employment, training, and other services. 4.1.1. 4.1.1.a. The residents of local communities have priority in labor contracts for the extraction of Chamaedorea 4.1.1.b. The local communities have first preference for the Chamaedorea in the managed area over third parties. 4.2 Forest management should meet or exceed all applicable laws and/or regulations covering hea lth and safety of employees and their families. 4.2.1. 4.2.1.a. The salaries and other benefits (health, life insuranc e, retirement, working conditions, lodging, food) for the worker s involved in the extraction of Chamaedorea are consistent (not less than) national legislation. 4.2.2. 4.2.2.a. The technical methods, working conditions, and facilities for the extraction of Chamaedorea are sufficiently safe and sanitary for the workers and for final consumers. 4.2.3. 4.2.3.a First responders are available for workers in the Chamaedorea extraction camps or social security in the case of accidents. 4.2.4.

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127 4.2.4.a Safety equipment is used in the field during the extraction operations for Chamaedorea such as adequate footware and other considerations. 4.3 The rights of workers to organize and voluntarily negotiate with their employers shall be gua ranteed as outlined in Convent ions 87 and 98 of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 4.3.1. 4.3.2. 4.3.3. 4.4 Management planning and operations shall incorporate the resu lts of evaluations of social impact. Consultations shall be ma intained with people and groups (both men and women) dir ectly affected by management operations. 4.4.1. 4.4.1.a The FMO formally takes account of social impacts of Chamaedorea extraction on affected communities and workers. 4.4.2 4.4.3 4.4.4 4.5 Appropriate mechanisms shall be employed for resolving grie vances and for providing fair compensation in the case of loss o r damage affecting the legal or customary rights, property, resour ces, or livelihoods of local peoples. Measures shall be taken t o avoid such loss or damage. 4.5.1. 4.5.2. 4.5.3 4.5.4 Principle 5: Benefits from the Forest Forest management operations shall encourage the efficient use of the forest's multiple products and services to ensure economi c viability and a wide range of environmental and social benefits. The extraction of Chamaedorea can provide an array of social and economic bene fits at the local, regional, and international level. The intention of certification is to optimize the socio-economic potential of the species, to provide a higher and more certain economic yield for a given forest area to local communities and forest managers, without negative impacts on the local use of t he species. On par with timber extraction, the commercialization of Chamaedorea should continue rational market plans and solid financial investments to ensure long term viability, fo rest conservation, and stability of the local communities. Criteria: 5.1 Forest management should strive toward economic viability, while taking into account the full environmental, social, and op erational costs of production, and ensuring the investments necessary to maintain the ecological productivity of the forest. 5.1.1.

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128 5.1.1.a. When third parties harvest Chamaedorea, compensation to the FMO (cash, goods, services, or products) is negotiated among the FMO administrators and the commercial enterprises. Th is compensation is viewed as an incentive to the FMO to stimulate long-term forest management. 5.1.1.b Adequate equipment and methods of ex traction and transformation should be us ed to maximize the economic viability of the Chamaedorea extraction operation. 5.1.1.c. An activity plan, financial plan, and business pl an should exist and be in use for the extraction of Chamaedorea that considers all management and social costs as well as those associated with measures for mitigation. 5.1.2. 5.1.2.a. It is the responsibility of the FMO to know and docu ment the related costs to achi eve social, environmental, and operational costs provided by the management plan for Chamaedorea. These costs are to be used to make management decisions. 5.2 Forest management and marketing operations should encourage the optimal use and local processing of the forest's diversity of products. 5.2.1. 5.2.2. 5.2.2.a. The FMO promotes the use of commercially less well-known or utilized species of Chamaedorea. 5.2.3 5.2.4 5.2.4.a. The FMO promotes the processing and packaging of Chamaedorea by the participating communities. 5.3 Forest management should minimize waste associated with harv esting and on-site processing operations and avoid damage to ot her forest resources. 5.3.1. 5.3.1.a. The FMO, intermediaries, and processing centers optimi ze methods for the minimization of waste from extraction and sorting. 5.3.2. 5.4 Forest management should strive to strengthen and diversify the local economy, av oiding dependence on a single forest produ ct. 5.4.1. 5.4.2. 5.5 Forest management operations shall recognize, maintain, and, where appropriate, enhance the value of forest services and re sources such as watersheds and fisheries. 5.5.1. 5.5.2. 5.6 The rate of harvest of forest products shall not exceed levels which can be permanently sustained. 5.6.1.

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129 5.6.1.a. The intensity, frequency, and seasonality of extraction of Chamaedorea, by area and volume, is based on a combination of scientific studies, experiences, and local long-term knowledge, and is executed at a sustainable level. 5.6.2. 5.6.3. Principle 6: Environmental Impact Forest management shall conserve biological diversity and its associated values, water resources, soils, and unique and fragile ecosystems and landscapes, and, by so doing, maintain th e ecological functions and the integrity of the forest. The certified management of Chamaedorea should ensure the long-term ecological viability of populations of this product. Is management generally has less impact on the ecosystem than timb er management, but cautions should be made that the level of collection does not exceed the regeneration. Correct extraction techniques and incorporating the impacts of the elimination of Chamaedorea in the population structure shou ld ensure its long-term viability. Criteria: 6.1 Assessment of environmental impacts shall be completed -appropriate to the scale, intensity of forest management and the uniqueness of the affected resources -and adequately integrated into management systems. Asse ssments shall include landscape level considerations as well as the impacts of on-site processing f acilities. Environmental impacts shall be assessed prior to commen cement of site-disturbing operations. 6.1.1. 6.1.1.a. Environmental impact evaluations will include results of the commercial extraction of Chamaedorea 6.1.2. 6.1.2.a. Mitigation measures will be inco rporated and applied in th e extraction and pr ocessing (selection, packaging, and transport) of Chamaedorea 6.1.3. 6.2 Safeguards shall exist which protect rare, threatened and en dangered species and their habitats (e.g., nesting and feeding areas). Conservation zones and protection areas shall be established, appr opriate to the scale and intensity of forest management and t he uniqueness of the affected resources. Inappropriate hunting, fishing, trapping and collecting shall be controlled. 6.2.1. 6.2.1.a. All requirements stipulated by presiding institutions, local lists, and/or CITES will be met for the extraction of res tricted species of Chamaedorea. 6.2.2. 6.2.3. 6.2.4. 6.2.5. 6.3 Ecological functions and values shall be maintained intact, enhanced, or restored, including: a) Forest regeneration and succession. b) Genetic, species, and ecosystem diversity. c) Natural cycles that affect the productivity of the forest ecosystem. 6.3.1.

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130 6.3.1.a. The forestry and ecological justification for the prescribed management of Chamaedorea will be well documented, natural regeneration will be promoted, an d composition and structure impacts to Chamaedorea populations will be minimized. 6.3.2. 6.3.2.a. Will promote investigation of the impacts of extraction on associated species (wildlife). 6.3.2.b. The natural regeneration and succession of Chamaedorea will be maintained and/or increased, in all of the area Ander management. 6.3.3. 6.4 Representative samples of existing ecosystems within the lands cape shall be protected in their natural state and recorded o n maps, appropriate to the scale and intensity of operations and the uniqueness of the affected resources. 6.4.1. 6.4.2. 6.5 Written guidelines shall be prepared and implemented to: control erosion; minimize forest damage during harvesting, road construction, and all other mechanical di sturbances; and protect water resources. 6.5.1. 6.5.2. 6.5.3. 6.5.4. 6.5.4.a. Minimization of the impacts of extraction and transport of Chamaedorea on soil and water resources, especially on paths, access roads, and temporary camps. 6.5.4.b. Written guides shall exist to minimize the environmen tal impacts associated with th e extraction and transport of Chamaedorea. Field personnel will have knowledge of and use these guides. 6.5.5. 6.5.6 6.5.7. 6.6 Management systems shall promote the development and adoption of environmentally friendly non-chemical methods of pest management and strive to avoid the use of chemical pesticides. World Health Organization Type 1A and 1B and chlorinated hydroca rbon pesticides; pesticides that are persistent, toxic or whose deri vatives remain biologically active and accumulate in the food ch ain beyond their intended use; as well as any pesticides banned by interna tional agreement, shall be prohibited. If chemicals are used, pr oper equipment and training shall be provided to minimize health and environmental risks. 6.6.1. 6.6.1.a. To the extent possible, the use of chemicals in the forest and in the processing and transport of Chamaedorea will be avoided. 6.6.2. 6.6.3.

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131 6.6.4. 6.7 Chemicals, containers, liquid and solid non-organic wastes including fuel and oil sh all be disposed of in an environmentall y appropriate manner at off-site locations. 6.7.1. 6.8 Use of biological control agents shall be documented, min imized, monitored and strictly controlled in accordance with natio nal laws and internationally accepted scientific protocols. Use of genetically modified organisms shall be prohibited. 6.8.1. 6.8.2. 6.9 The use of exotic species shall be carefully controlled and actively monitored to avoid adverse ecological impacts. 6.9.1. 6.9.1.a. The introduction of exotic species of Chamaedorea into the natural forest is prohibited, save when justified socioeconomically and environmentally a when legislation permits. 6.9.2. 6.9.3. 6.9.3.a. Emphasis is placed on plantations and/or applied investigation of species of Chamaedorea native to the region. 6.9.4. 6.9.4.a. Where exotic species are planted, measures will be taken to minimize the environmental impacts on natural populations of Chamaedorea 6.10 Forest conversion to plantations or non-forest land uses sh all not occur, except in circumstances where conversion: a) ent ails a very limited portion of the forest management unit; and b) does not o ccur on high conservation value forest areas; and c) will enabl e clear, substantial, additional, secure, long term conser vation benefits across the forest management unit. 6.10.1. 6.10.1.a. Underbrush (sub-canopy) [Sotobosque] may not be eliminated for Chamaedorea enrichment activities, unless the enrichment is undertaken in areas of forest destined for agricul ture (according to studies of land-use management or the like). 6.10.1.b. Underbrush (sub-canopy) [Sotobosque] ma y not be eliminated for the establishment of Chamaedorea plantations in areas that for reason of other objectives or internal zoning such activity is prohibited. 6.10.2 6.10.3. 6.10.4 Principle 7: Management Plan A management plan -appropriate to the s cale and intensity of the operations -sha ll be written, implemented, and kept up to date. The long-term objectives of management, and the means of achieving them, shall be clearly stated.

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132 Management plans for Chamaedorea describing the objectives of management extraction areas, extraction norms and techniques; extraction should be used by FMOs or third parties. The levels and methods of extraction should be rationalized through the published literature, site-specific data and/or local knowledge. Intermediaries poorly trained can cause great damage to forest resources. The training of the worker is essential to the achievement of a good forest management plan and the impl ementation of correct extraction techniques in the field. Criteria: 7.1 The management plan and supporting documents shall provide: a) Management objectives. b) Description of the forest resource s to be managed, environmental limitations, land use and ownership st atus, socio-economic conditions, and a profile of adjacent land s. c) Description of silvicultural and/or other management system, ba sed on the ecology of the forest in question and information gat hered through resource inventories. d) Rationale for rate of annual harvest and species selection. e) Provisions for monitoring of fo rest growth and dynamics. f) Environmental safeguards based on environmenta l assessments. g) Plans for the identification and protection of rare, threatened and endangered species. h) Maps describing the forest resource base including protected areas, planned management ac tivities and land ownership. i) Description and justification of harvesting techniques and equipment to be used. 7.1.1. 7.1.1.a. The FMOs management plan will in corporate a specific management plan for Chamaedorea that should at least include: Management objectives; User rights for Chamaedorea and socioeconomic conditions for harvesters; Extraction areas (marked on a map); Measure, period, and quantity of palms for harvest, based on the number of extractable leaves and the establishment of best management practices and post-harvest practices; Description and justification of the quantity of Chamaedorea harvested, the technique of extraction and equipment to be used; Information resources that support the management activities for Chamaedorea (e.g. site-specific field data, local knowledge or published regional forest investigations and government regulations); Strategies to implement that ensure the natural regeneration of the species; Strategies for the management and protection of conservation areas. 7.1.2. 7.1.3. 7.1.4. 7.1.5. 7.1.6. 7.2 The management plan shall be periodically revised to incorp orate the results of monitoring or new scientific and technical information, as well as to respond to changing environmental, social and economic circumstances. 7.2.1. 7.2.2. 7.3 Forest workers shall receive adequate training and supervision to ensure proper implementation of the management plan. 7.3.3 7.3.3.a. Effective training programs on the extraction and commercialization of Chamaedorea will exist for the workers and/or participating local communities 7.3.4

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133 7.4 While respecting the confidentiality of information, forest ma nagers shall make publicly av ailable a summary of the primary elements of the management plan, in cluding those listed in Criterion 7.1. 7.4.1. 7.4.1.a. A public summary of the management plan will include aspects related to the management of Chamaedorea Principle 8: Monitoring and Assessment Monitoring shall be conducted -appropriate to the scale and in tensity of forest management -to assess the condition of the forest, yields of forest products, chain of custody, management activities and their social and environmental impacts. The internal monitoring systems are crucial for providing quality control for forest management operations, identification of social, ecological, economic, and operational challenges, and repor ting about exits or shortcomings of management interventions to resolve problems. In some management operations monitoring could be adequate, but extremely informal. Assessors could have to push for more formal monitoring systems and documentation, that which fi nally can serve to improve the quality and effectiveness of management. Criteria: 8.1 The frequency and intensity of monitoring should be determined by the scale and intensity of forest management operations a s well as the relative complexity and fragility of the affected environment. Monitoring procedures should be consistent and replicable over time to allow comparison of results and assessment of change. 8.1.1. 8.1.1.a. Extraction activities for Chamaedorea are monitored annual, including amon g other variables, silvicultural, environmental, socio-economic impacts. The results will be incorporated in the FMOs annual monitoring report. 8.1.2. 8.1.3. 8.2 Forest management should include the research and data coll ection needed to monitor, at a minimum, the following indicators : a) Yield of all forest products harvested. b) Growth rates, re generation and condition of the forest. c) Composition and observed changes in the flora and fauna. d) Environmental and social impacts of harvesting and other operations. e) Costs, productivity, and effici ency of forest management. 8.2.1. 8.2.1.a. A plan and design for peri odic monitoring and evaluation of Chamaedorea will exist. 8.2.2. 8.2.2.a. Information will exist on forest monitoring of Chamaedorea within which should in clude, among other things, abundance, number of total leaves, extractable leaves, extracted leaves, flowering, fruiting, apic al meristem, photosynthesis, regeneration, mortality, and recruitment. 8.3 Documentation shall be provided by the forest manager to enable monitoring and certifying organizations to trace each fores t product from its origin, a process known as the "chain of custody." 8.3.1. 8.3.1.a. The FMO and commercializing enterprises will ensure that volume and source data relating to the extracted Chamaedorea will be available in the forest, in transport, at processing centers, and control points.

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134 8.3.2. 8.3.2.a. Extraction licences, transportation rules, payment co nditions and other related documentation to extraction and transport must specify forest of or igin, date, and extracted species. 8.3.3. 8.3.3.a. Certified Chamaedorea will be clearly distinguishable from non-certified palms through the use of marks or seals, separate documents and records, and receipts that accompany, in all stages of processing and distribution and until the point o f sale or transport, that they are fr om the forest (until the forest door). 8.4 The results of monitoring shall be incorporated into the implementation and revision of the management plan. 8.4.1. 8.4.2. 8.5 While respecting the confidentiality of information, forest ma nagers shall make publicly av ailable a summary of the results of monitoring indicators, including those listed in Criterion 8.2. 8.5.1. Principle 9: Maintenance of High Conservation Value Forests Management activities in high conservation valu e forests shall maintain or enhance the a ttributes which define such forests. De cisions regarding high conservation value forests shall always be considered in the context of a precautionary approach. The management of Chamaedorea can contribute to the maintenance of High Valu e Conservation Forests. The actual definitions permit forests to be considered HVCF when providing basic need s to local communities, be it subsistence or maintenance of cultural identity. In such cases, Chamaedorea could be important in the determination of a high conservation value forest is considered from a social perspective. Criteria: 9.1 Assessment to determine the presence of the attributes consis tent with High Conservation Value Forests will be completed, appropriate to scale and intensity of forest management. 9.1.1. 9.1.1.a. To determine the specific status of a HVCF, Chamaedorea should be included as an elemen t in the social analysis section, covering the importance of the forest for the local communities (by definition d, of the HVCF provided by FSC). 9.1.2. 9.2 The consultative portion of the certification process must place emphasis on the identified conservation attributes, and op tions for the maintenance thereof. 9.2.1. 9.2.2. 9.3 The management plan shall include and implement specific measures that ensure the maintenance and/or enhancement of the applicable conservation attributes consistent with the precauti onary approach. These measures shall be specifically included in the publicly available management plan summary. 9.3.1.

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135 9.3.1.a. Chamaedorea management will not diminish the defining attributes that make the forest HCVF. 9.3.2. 9.3.3. 9.4 Annual monitoring shall be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the measures employed to maintain or enhance the applic able conservation attributes. 9.4.1. 9.4.2. Principle 10: Plantations Plantations shall be planned and managed in accordance with Principles and Criteria 1 9, and Principle 10 and its Criteria. W hile plantations can provide an array of social and economic benef its, and can contribute to satisfying the world's needs for forest products, they should complement the management of, reduce pressures on, and promote the restoration and conservation of natural forests. Criteria: 10.1 The management objectives of the plantation, including natu ral forest conservation and restoration objectives, shall be ex plicitly stated in the management plan, and clearly de monstrated in the implementation of the plan. 10.2 The design and layout of plantations s hould promote the protection, restoration an d conservation of natural forests, and n ot increase pressures on natural forests. Wildlife corridors, streamside zones and a mosaic of stands of different ages and rotation period s, shall be used in the layout of the plantation, consistent with the scale of the operation. The scale and layout of plantation blocks sha ll be consistent with the patterns of forest stands found within the natural landscape. 10.3 Diversity in the composition of plantations is preferred, so as to enhance economic, ecological and social stability. Such diversity may include the size and spatial distribution of management un its within the landscape, number and genetic composition of speci es, age classes and structures. 10.4 The selection of species for planting shall be based on th eir overall suitability for the s ite and their appropriateness t o the management objectives. In order to enhance the conservation of biological diversity, native species are preferred over exotic s pecies in the establishment of plantations and the restoration of degraded ecosystems. Exotic species, which shall be used only when thei r performance is greater than that of native species, shall be caref ully monitored to detect unusual mortality, disease, or insect outbreaks and adverse ecological impacts. 10.5 A proportion of the overall forest management area, appropriate to the scale of the plantation and to be determined in reg ional standards, shall be managed so as to restor e the site to a natural forest cover. 10.6 Measures shall be taken to maintain or im prove soil structure, fertility, and biological activity. The techniques and ra te of harvesting, road and trail construction and maintenan ce, and the choice of species shall not result in long term soil degradati on or adverse impacts on water quality, quantity or substantial d eviation from stream course drainage patterns. 10.7 Measures shall be taken to prevent and minimize outbreaks of pests, diseases, fire and invasive plant introductions. Integ rated pest management shall form an essential part of the management pl an, with primary reliance on prevention and biological control meth ods rather than chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Plantation management should make every effort to move away from chemical pest icides and fertilizers, including their use in nurseries. The use of chemicals is also covered in Criteria 6.6 and 6.7. 10.8 Appropriate to the scale and diversity of the operation, monitoring of plantations shall include regular assessment of pot ential onsite and off-site ecological and social impacts, (e.g. natural regeneration, effects on water resources and soil fertility, and impacts on local welfare and social well-being), in add ition to those elements addressed in princi ples 8, 6 and 4. No species should be pl anted on a large scale until local trials and/or experience have shown that they are ecologically well-adapted to the site, are not invasi ve, and do not have significant negative ecological impacts on other ecosystems. Special attention will be paid to social issues of land acquisition for plantations, especially the protection of local rights of ownership, use or access.

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136 10.9 Plantations established in areas converted from natural fo rests after November 1994 normally shall not qualify for certifi cation. Certification may be allowed in circumstances where sufficient evidence is submitted to the certification body that the manager/owner is not responsible directly or i ndirectly of such conversion.

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137 APPENDIX B MEXICOS NTFP POLICY NOM-006-RECNAT-1997 The 1997 Official Mexican Law NO M-006-RECNAT-1997 (SEMARNAT 1997) for mally established procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport, and storage of Chamaedorea palm fronds5 (Table B-1). References: 2.1. NOM-059-ECOL-1994 specifies those species and subspecies of wild terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna that are danger of extinc tion, threatened, rare, and subject to special protecti on, and establishes specifica tions for their protection, published in the Official Diar y of the Federation, 16 May 1994. 2.2. Procedures for the importation and exporta tion of wild and aquatic flora and fauna species, their products, and sub-products, as well as for the importation of forest products, are subject to the regulations of SEMARNAP, published in the Official Diary of the Federation, 31 July 1996. Select Procedures, Criteria, and Specifications: 4.1.1. In order to exploit palm fronds, th e owner or possessor of the corresponding property must present written notificati on before the Federal Delegation of the Secretary for the corresponding federal en tity, that will be annual or for a maximum period of 5 years. 4.1.6. Exploitation of palm fronds will rema in subject to the following criteria and technical specifications: I. Harvest may only be from plants of mature stature, identified by size and vegetative characteristics a ppropriate for each species. II. In the case of Chamaedorea palm, the adequate maturity for harvest will be determined by the following characteristics: a. Dark green coloring b. No significant damage (marked, spotted, slashed or eaten fronds) c. Free of infestation or sicknesses In general, foliage of larger size and best characteristics will receive the best price 5 Authors translation

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138 III. Harvest will be distributed even ly throughout the area of exploitation without interfering with a minimum of 20 percent of existing mature plants, so that these may continue to reproduce and propagate by seed. IV. During extraction, adequate tools must be utilized such that the terminal bud is not damaged. V. For each leave cut there must remain a part of the stem, from 3 5 cm, so as not to damage the stem. VI. The harvest intensity for each plan t must be a maximum of 75 percent of the existing fronds, including in this percentage the removal of dry fronds. VII. 3 4 fronds must remain in the part nearest to th e apical leaf. 4.1.8. Species under protected status will on ly be incorporated into the previous authorization when harvest conforms to the terms of the General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection and other applicable legal orders. Observance of the Law 7.1 Observance of this law is obligatory for those engaged in the harvest, transport, and storage of palm fronds from natural populations. Procedures for legal, commercial NTFP harvests Article 56 of the Regulations of the Genera l Law of Sustainable Forest Development (SEMARNAT 2005) outlines specific procedures for legal, commercial NTFP harvest. Article 56. Requests for authoriz ation for the extraction of non-timber forest products will be presented in the format dictated by the Secr etary and will include th e name and denomination or social affiliation of the interested party. When applicable, applications must include the registry information of the forest ry technician. The following items are to be included with the request: I. Original or certified copy of property title. II. Original or certified copy of the instrument that demonstrat es the right to undertake the requested extraction activities. III. In the case of ejidos or comunidades the original act of assemb ly that demonstrates the right to undertake the requested extraction activities. IV. A witnessed, written statement pertaining to the legal situation of the estate, including a description of any unresolved disput es with respect to the estate. V. A geo-referenced map indicating the locations where extraction activities will take place.

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139 VI. A simplified forest management program. Article 57 of the Regulations of the Genera l Law of Sustainable Forest Development further outlines the requirements for the simplif ied management plan required in Article 56. Article 57. Simplified management pl ans for non-timber forest products will include: I. For each species: I.1 General diagnostic of the physical characte ristics, biology, and eco logy of the estate. I.2 Analysis of previous extraction and the response of the resource to the treatments, with comparative data and actual populations. I.3 Use of the simplified forest management plan. I.4 Scientific and common names of the species as well as land area in hectares and annual extraction quantities in cubic meters, liters, or kilograms. I.5 Estimate of actual populations and rates of regeneration fo r the areas of extraction, according to the characteristics of reproduction and development of the relevant species. I.6 Definition and justification of the period of recuperation for the extraction areas. I.7 Criteria and technical speci fications of extraction. I.8 Promotion and cultivation practices to ensure the persistenc e of the resource. I.9 Measures to prevent and control fires. I.10 Description of prevention and mitigation measures for negative environmental impacts. I.11 When applicable, the name, denomination or affiliation, and registry information for the certified forestry technician respons ible for the developm ent of the simplified forest management plan. Cultivation of NTFPs does not require compliance with Mexicos forestry laws. It is important, therefore, to note that a gray area ex ists between extraction from primary forest and cultivation (Anta, personal communication). Spec ifically, harvest from intermediate systems, those difficult to classify as either forest or ag riculture, is not clearly c overed by the law and thus leaves an avenue for illicit exploitation. Finally, SEMARNAT is responsible for NTFPs while CONANP is responsible for Protected Areas. If the NTFPs are to be harvested from designate d protected areas administered

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140 by CONANP then permission must be requested from SEMARNAT. In such cases, SEMARNAT confers with CONANP to verify th at there is a manage ment plan. If CONANP authorizes the request, SEMARNAT can th en authorize harvest (Sanchez, personal communication).

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141 Table B-1. Official Mexican Regulations (NOMs) pertaining to the conservation, exploitation, and commercialization of NTFP (Garcia-Pena V 2001). Legislation Obligations Date of Publication NOM-002-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of Pine resins. 30 May 1996 NOM-003-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest soils. 05 June 1996 NOM-004-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest plant roots and rhizomes. 24 June 1996 NOM-005-RECNAT-1997 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of forest plant cuttings, stems, and complete plants. Exempts the exploitation of [candelilla] wax for which the NOM process is underway. 20 May 1997 NOM-006-RECNAT-1997 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of palm fronds. 28 May 1997 NOM-007-RECNAT-1997 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. 30 May 1997 NOM-008-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of tree crowns [cogollos]. 24 June 1996 NOM-009-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of latex and other vegetal exudates. 26 June 1996 NOM-010-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of mushrooms. 28 May 1996 NOM-011-RECNAT-1996 Establishes procedures, criteria, and specifications for the exploitation, transport and storage of mosses, clover, and ferns. 26 June 1996 NOM-059-ECOL-1994 Determines the species of wild flora and fauna, both terrestrial and aquatic, which are to be considered rare, endemic, threatened, in danger of extinction, and subject to special protection. 1994 NOM-060-ECOL-1994 Establishes the procedures, criteria, and specifications to mitigate the adverse effects imposed by the forest resource exploitation on soils, riparian zones, and bodies of water. 1994 NOM-061-ECOL-1994 Establishes the procedures, criteria, and specifications to mitigate the adverse effects imposed by the forest resource exploitation on wild flora and fauna. 1994 NOM-062-ECOL-1994 Establishes the procedures, criteria, and specifications to mitigate the adverse effects on biodiversity imposed by changes in forest and agricultural land uses. 1994

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142 LIST OF REFERENCES Allegretti, M. H. 1990. Extractive reserves: an alternative for reconciling developm ent and environmental conservation in Amazonia. In Alternatives to Deforestation: Steps toward Sustainable Use of the Amazon Rain Forest ed. A. B. Anderson. New York: Columbia University Press. . 1994. Policies for the use of renewable natural resources: th e Amazon region and extractive activities. In Extractivism in the Brazilian Amazon: Perspectives on regional development ed. M. Clusener-Godt and I. Sachs. Paris: UNESCO. AMS. 2007. Market News Portal Agricultural Marketing Se rvice 2007 [cited 27 March 2007 2007]. Available from http://www.ams.usda.gov/. Anderson, A. B. 1990. Deforestation in Am azoni a: dynamics, causes, and alternatives. In Alternatives to Deforestation: Steps toward Sustainable Use of the Amazon Rain Forest ed. A. B. Anderson. New York: Columbia University Press. , ed. 1990. Alternatives to deforestation: steps to ward sustainable use of the Amazon rain forest New York: Columbia University Press. Anderson, L. E., C. W. J. Granger, E. J. Reis, D. Weinhold, and S. Wunder, eds. 2002. The dynamics of deforestation and economic growth in the Brazilian Amazon UK: Cambridge University Press. Anderson, P. J., and F. E. Putz. 2002. Harvesting and conservation: are both possible for the palm, Iriartea deltoidea ? Forest Ecology and Management 170: 271-283. Angel, M. 2003. Soledad de Juarez, Diagnostico Comunitario. Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. Angelsen, A., and S. Wunder. 2003. Exploring the forest poverty li nk: key concepts, issues, and research implications. In Occasional Paper : CIFOR. Anta, S., R. M. Garibay V, and J. L. Pania gua. 1996. Politica forestal y conservacin de las selvas humedas en Mxico: el caso de la Chinantla Baja. In El Acceso a los Recursos Naturales y El Dearrollo Sustentable ed. H. Mackinlay and E. Boege: UAMAzcapotzalco, UNAM, INAH, y Plaza y Valdes. Arnold, J. E. M., and M. Ruiz Perez. 1998. Th e role of non-timber forest products in conservation and development. In Incomes from the Forest: Methods for the Development and Conservation of Forest Products for Local Communities ed. E. Wollenberg and A. Ingles. Bogor, Indonesia: CIFOR. . 2001. Can non-timber forest products match tropical forest conservation and development objectives? Ecological Economics 39(3): 437-447.

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143 Bacon, C. 2005. Confronting the Coff ee Crisis: Can Fair Trade, Or ganic, and Specialty Coffees Reduce Small-Scale Farmer Vulnerability in Northern Nicaragua? World Development 33(3): 497-511. Balick, M. J., and R. Mendelsohn. 1992. Assessing the economic value of traditional medicines from tropical rain forests. Conservation Biology 6: 128-130. Bartra, R. 1993. Agrarian structure and political power in Mexico Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. Original edition, 1974. BBC. 2008. Crime 'Damages' Mexico Economy (International Edition). BBC News 2008 [cited 04 September 2008]. Available from http://news.bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/am ericas/7597138.stm Belcher, B., M. Ruiz-Perez, and R. Achdiawan. 2005. Global patterns and trends in the use and management of commercial NTFPs: implicat ions for livelihoods and conservation. World Development 33(9): 1435-1452. Belcher, B., and K. Schrecke nberg. 2007. Commercialisation of non-timber forest products: a reality check. Development Policy Review 25(3): 355-377. Belcher, B. M. 1997. Commercialization of fo rest products as a tool for sustainable development: lesson from the Asian rattan sector. Dissertation, Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, Saint Paul. . 1998. A production-to-consumption systems a pproach: lessons from the bamboo and rattan sectors in Asia. In Incomes from the Forest: Me thods for the Development and Conservation of Forest Products for Local Communities ed. E. Wollenberg and A. Ingles. Bogor: CIFOR. . 2003. What isn't an NTFP? International Forestry Review 5(2):161-168. Belcher, B. M., and K. Schreckenberg. 2003. NT FP commercialization: a reality check. Paper read at World Forestry Congress, at Quebec, Canada. Bevan, B. 1938. The Chinantec; report on the centra l and southeastern Chinantec region. Mexico, D.F.: [s.n.]. Blowfield, M. 2001. Value Chains. In Issue Paper #2 London: Resource Centre. Bridgewater, S., P. Pickles, N. C. Garwood, M. Penn, R. M. Bateman, H. Porter Morgan, N. Wicks, and N. Bol. 2006. Chamaedorea (xate) in the greater Maya mountains and the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, Belize: an ec onomic assessment of a non-timber forest product. Economic Botany 60(3): 265-283. Browder, J. O. 1989. Fragile lands of Latin America: st rategies for sust ainable development Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

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144 . 1992. Social and economic constraints on the development of market -oriented extractive reserves in Amazon rain forests. In Non-timber products from tropical forests: evaluation of a conservation and development strategy ed. D. Nepstad and S. Schwartzman. New York: The New York Botanical Gardens. . 1992. The limits of extractivism. Bioscience 42(3): 174-183. Cabrera, V. E., P. E. Hildebrand, and J. W. Jones. 2005. Modeling the effect of household composition on the welfare of limited-resource farmers in Canete, Peru. Agricultural Systems 86: 207-222. Camarena M, R. A. 2005. Proyecto de comercializ acin de palma camedor. Distrito Federal, MX: CONAFOR. CEC. 2002. In search of a sustainable palm ma rket in North America. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Commission for Environmental Cooperation. . 2005. Churches celebrate 'eco-Palm' Sunday. TRIO . 2006. Churches lend support to 'eco-palm' harvesters. TRIO Clay, J. W. 1992. Some general principles and strategies fo r developing markets in North America and Europe for non-timber forest products. In Non-timber products from tropical forests: evaluation of a conservation and development strategy, ed. D. Nepstad and S. Schwartzman. Collinson, M. 2000. A history of farming systems research UK: FAO/CABI. CONAP. 2002. Xate ( Chamaedorea spp.): Situacin del sistema de recoleccin y exportacin y recomendaciones para un plan de trabajo: FIPA/USAID. Crook, C., and R. A. Clapp. 1998. Is market orient ed forest conservati on a contradiction in terms? Environmental Conservation 25(2): 131-145. Current, D. 2005. El mercado intern acional para el Xate: condicione s actuales, perspectivas para el futuro y apoyo a la conservacin de recu rsos naturales. Washington, DC: Conservation International. Current, D., E. Lassemo, and J. C. Cervante s. 2003. The potential market, and market and certification mechanisms for palms of the genus Chamaedorea Montreal: Commission for Enivironmental Cooperation. Current, D. A., and D. S. Wilsey. 2002. The market for the Chamaedorea palms in North America and Europe: opportuni ties for sustainable manageme nt and green marketing of the resource with improved benefits for local communities. Montreal: Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

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154 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH David W ilsey earned a Bachelor of Busine ss Administration from the University of Wisconsin in 1994. Several years living in and tr aveling the western United States, followed by several more working as a business analyst for Ta rget Corporation, cataly zed his return to the University of Minnesota to pursue a gr aduate degree in conservation biology. In 2001, he earned a Master of Science for research on nontimber forest products in northern Minnesota. During this period he also re ceived an internship grant from the Macarthur Foundation, an opportunity that led to his first experience abroad, in Chiapas, Mexico. A pair of consultancies for the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation complemented his graduate studies, enhanced hi s international experience, and served as an introduction to Chamaedorea palms. From 2002-2003 David served as a Peace Corp s volunteer in Ecuadors Sustainable Agriculture and Small Business Development program. In 2004, he commenced his doctoral studies in interdisciplinary ecology at the Univ ersity of Florida, re turning to the study of Chamaedorea palm fronds and focusing on the cont ribution of certification to forest conservation and economic development in the tropical forests of Mexico. Presently, David is an Assistant Extension Pr ofessor and Educator at the University of Minnesota, where his scholarship and teach ing focus on non-timber forest products and traditional natural resource management and utilization by Native American communities.