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centers, and better roads in their communities. Some groups also invested profits from

resin sales in infrastructure and property for the cooperative. Meeting houses were built,

trucks for hauling resin were purchased, and some groups even diversified their income-

generating activities. Examples of diversification include cooperative-owned stores,

firewood and charcoal production, and timber harvesting. Successful groups also began

offering credit or other additional benefits to their members. The most successful groups

expanded while other groups failed within a few years. There were many reasons for

failure. Among these were lack of support from COHDEFOR or municipalities,

logistical difficulties, and corruption within the cooperative leadership or supporting

agencies. Nearly all cooperatives went through crises in the first ten or fifteen years of

their existence. Some survived the crises, and some did not.

Forestry in Honduras underwent radical changes in 1992 when the Agricultural

Sector Development and Modernization Law was passed. Since its inception,

COHDEFOR had maintained a near monopoly in harvesting, processing, and exporting

lumber. In 1985, the monopoly on exports was repealed. The new law mandated further

reductions in COHDEFOR’s authority. State-owned harvesting and processing

companies were closed or privatized. Control of private and communal forests was given

back to land owners. COHDEFOR was downsized and the acronym AFE (State Forest

Administration) was added to COHDEFOR to emphasize its new role as merely the

administrators of the national forests. Management plans and annual operational plans

were required for all harvesting activities in national, communal, or private forests. Plans

in national forest were to be developed by AFE/COHDEFOR, but private and communal


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