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Participatory Methodologies Applied to the Analysis of Tropical Cloud FOREST DEFORESTATION IN SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO



Participatory Methodologies Applied to the Analysis of Tropical Cloud FOREST DEFORESTATION IN SAN LUIS POTOSI, MEXICO



Bois Et Forets Des Tropiques 2013(318): 27-39



Tropical cloud forest is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world. In San Luis Potosi State, Mexico, during the last 35 five years 2,868 hectares of this forest cover have been removed. Within this context, this paper analyses the causes and likely alternatives to protect the last tropical cloud forest remnants through participatory research techniques such as workshops, participatory mapping, transects, semi structured interviews, and participant observation. The main causes driving forest removal are logging contracts, public subsidies to promote stock raising, land clearing for cultivation and selective logging. Although the environmental services rendered by tropical cloud forest are known, they are less appreciated than those provided by agriculture and stock raising activities. In addition, underdevelopment, poverty and land tenure problems are also detrimental factors of this ecosystem, which could disappear in the following years. Finally, this paper argues that the creation of community-based forest reserves seems to be the only feasible alternative for the conservation of this declining ecosystem.

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