This is a typical constitution for a community forest in Mexico. It is the central document setting out how the community governs itself and its land and resources. It covers issues such as:
- How the community assembly takes decisions
- The functioning of the community’s representative bodies (the management board and the surveillance committee) - how they are elected, what their responsibilities are, and how they are held accountable
- The different types of land within the community’s property – Common Use Area, individual/family parcels, and residential land
- How the Common Use Area (forest) is to be used, how decisions about it are taken, and how the use of it can be contracted to third parties
- What constitutes the community’s Common Funds, and how these Common Funds can be spent
- Penalties for non-observance of community rules
- The relationship between community rules and Mexican statutory law
- The acceptance and ejection of community members
- The transferral of community members’ rights to new people
- It may be useful for communities, NGOs, government and academics working to develop community forests in other regions.
Consejo Civil Mexicano para la Silvicultura Sostenible supported the community of San Antonio de la Laguna in the elaboration of this constitution. More information about their work with communities can be found on their website.