all forestry activities within their unit. Each regional office and some unit offices have
SFS employees. Most unit offices are quite small and only have two or three employees.
Some of the weaknesses of AFE/COHDEFOR as an organization have already
been mentioned; they lack financial resources, material resources, and human resources.
Their scope of responsibility is broad, and the resources they have are not sufficient for
the job. These limitations are exacerbated by AFE/COHDEFOR’s reputation for
corruption and incompetence (Richards, 1996). Among agroforestry cooperatives, people
believe that AFE/COHDEFOR employees only cater to loggers or people with money.
Informants in Protección complained that their management plan had been awaiting
approval for three months, while loggers and sawmill owners received next-day service.
“They make things difficult for us. We travel all the way to the unit office, and they tell
us to come back the next day. They never make the loggers wait.” Cooperatives feel that
they are subject to greater scrutiny from AFE/COHDEFOR than the loggers as well. The
President of Cooperativa Guadalupe mentioned AFE/COHDEFOR policy regarding
invoices and harvests as an example. “When a harvest has more wood than the plan said,
we always report to COHDEFOR even if it’s only two cubic meters. Then we get
charged extra. [Emilio] (truck driver) has worked with lots of loggers. He says they
never report those things, and they even take extra on purpose.”
AFE/COHDEFOR’s treatment of the cooperatives is a source of frustration,
especially when they know that the rules are not the same for everyone. They also know
that following the rules puts them at a disadvantage because of the added costs of
operating within the law. An informant from Villa Santa said, “We follow the law and it
costs money. Then all the illegal loggers just go to the forest, cut down the trees and sell