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Coffee Production and Communal Forests in Honduras: Adaptation and Resilience in a Context of Change

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This study examines how export coffee production has posed challenges to a traditional common property regime in western Honduras, and the ways that the indigenous Lenca people are adapting to the new opportunities presented by expanding market linkages. Despite the spread of coffee plantations into mature pine-oak forests, the community has retained common property woodlots and grazing areas, and created a protected watershed in a cloud forest. The research draws on fieldwork conducted over a 14 year period. It encompasses a period of rapid expansion in coffee production (1994-1999), the coffee crisis of 1999-2003, and subsequent adjustments to changing market and climatic contexts.