This article explores the emergence of ecological citizenship in the Nicaraguan municipality of San Francisco Libre. After decades of dealing with economic, social and environmental risk, the inhabitants of the municipality’s communities began to enact a more empowering kind of citizenship by enrolling nonhumans including trees and legal texts in their struggles for development and justice. While this struggle is fraught with setbacks and complexities, it is apparent that those involved are beginning to move beyond nature-culture binaries, recognizing that political rights and ecological rights can and indeed must be simultaneously pursued. Drawing on fieldwork in the community and analysis of key documents, we outline the political responses and participatory processes engendered by economic and environmental risk that have taken place in San Francisco Libre in the past decade-and-a-half to frame the contours of a relational community forestry that enables a democratizing form of ecological citizenship to emerge.
- ecological citzenship, community forestry, climate change, Nicaragua