Núcleo de Estudos e Pesquisas Ambientais

Forest use and management in the Biosphere Reserve of Ciénaga de Zapata, Cuba: influence of human-forest interactions on current social and environmental chacacteristics.

Author: Arelys Sotillo Enriquez
Date of defense: 12/07/2017


Emílio Federico Moran (Presidente)

Lúcia da Costa Ferreira

Juliana Sampaio Farinaci

Cristina Adams

Teresa Cristina Magro


This research has as object of study the analysis of the relations established between the social and natural system within a Biosphere Reserve (RB) in Cuba, from the use of forest resources. The RB Ciénaga de Zapata is a complex scenario that presents valuable natural resources, where land ownership is fundamentally state-owned and presents centralized management by the state, which attempts to prioritize human well-being. It is intended to understand from an interdisciplinary approach the mechanisms of feedback between the social and ecological domains, to support the understanding of factors that prevent or facilitate the sustainable use of forest resources within the biosphere reserve. The study aims to identify and analyze the key factors that influence (negatively or positively) the use and sustainable management of the forest resources of RB Ciénaga de Zapata. Field surveys and data of forest management projects were used to analyze forest characteristics, as well as semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were applied to key actors related to forest management in the area to identify and analyze the functioning of institutional arrangements in the area. The results showed a forest with sequels of a prolonged logging, evidenced in its physiognomy and species composition. Also, it was verified that several of the design principles proposed by Ostrom (1990) to identify robust institutions in the management of Common Pool Resources are not fulfilled in the analyzed case, which is an obstacle to reach the sustainability in forest management.