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Forest Product Sale as Financial Insurance: Evidence from Honduran Smallholders

Briefing/policy papers

How do earnings from the sale of forest products help smallholders cope with unexpected cash needs? This paper investigates the conditions under which forest-dwelling families in the Honduran rain forest turn to forest products given that they often have other means to self-insure against illness, crop loss and other misfortunes. The study suggests that the sale of forest products offers an important fall-back during hard times, and is particularly important for young, land- and labour-poor households who may have few other ways of coping with financial crises. A number of recommendations for conservation and development policy follow from these findings.

Kendra McSweeney