Rights & Tenure in the News »
Indigenous community in Chile receives title to rare araucaria forest
A ceremony on December 13, 2007 granted land title to the Pehuenche community of Quinquen, Chile, ending a decades long struggle by the group to gain legal right to 22,000 acres of rare araucaria forests. "The official ceremony, held under ancient araucarias...was organized by the community of Quinquen with the participation of the organizations that have worked with the community on the lengthy land titling and land planning process." WWF Chile was on hand, having been part of the international struggle to secure the community's land rights. WWF Chile is hopeful that this success will bring attention to similar struggles that forest communities around the world face, and aid them in their fight for tenure and title.
The araucaria trees, also known as monkey-puzzle trees, date from the time of the dinosaurs, and can live up to 2,000 years. "Quinquen and other Pehuenche communities have maintained a traditional use of araucaria forests based on the collection of their large seeds or pinones, considered an emblematic case of sustainable forest use in Chile." However the Pehuenche community has had to fight for several decades for the right to inhabit and utilize the araucaria forests, as a logging company attempted to evict them in 1987 when a ban on logging araucaria was lifted. Although the forests were purchased from the timber company that owned them three years later in 1990, the lands were not transferred to the Pehuenche community until December 2007 because of a series of lawsuits and administrative obstacles.
The araucaria is now a natural monument, and logging of the tree is illegal again. Furthermore, the species is part of the "CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna) list, prohibiting its international trade."
Posted By Alexandra O'Brien at 9:12am on January 22, 2008
This blog may contain links to external websites. These links should not be construed as endorsements by Rights and Resources of the content present. They are provided for informational purposes only.