Bureaucratic barriers limit local participatory governance in protected areas in Costa Rica
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The importance of local participation in biodiversity governance was recently recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) through the incorporation of Indigenous Peoples' and Local Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs) as a protected area category. This paper explores what barriers ICCAs might face in their successful implementation within already existing protected area systems. I look at this issue in the context of the decentralisation of biodiversity governance in Costa Rica and examine the internal makeup of four different conservation areas within the National System of Conservation Areas. My findings suggest that it is not enough to enact legal reforms allowing and encouraging local participation. Successfully involving local participation requires attention to the class-based relationships within the protected area bureaucracy that create incentives (or not) to link with the local rural citizenry affected by these areas. In three out of four conservation areas, the dominant social class and urban-rural dynamics combined with a lack of accountability mechanisms have discouraged any real rural involvement and empowerment for decision-making. The strategy of the one area that succeeded at sorting these obstacles to incorporate local participation is described in detail.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.4103/0972-4923.110942
Publication InfoBasurto, Xavier (2013). Bureaucratic barriers limit local participatory governance in protected areas in Costa Rica. Conservation and Society, 11(1). pp. 16-28. 10.4103/0972-4923.110942. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/11474.
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Associate Professor of Sustainability Science
I am interested in the fundamental question of how groups (human and non-human) can find ways to self-organize, cooperate, and engage in successful collective action for the benefit of the common good. To do this I strive to understand how the institutions (formal and informal rules and norms) that govern social behavior, interplay with biophysical variables to shape social-ecological systems. What kind of institutions are better able to govern complex-adaptive systems? and how can societies (la