Stakeholder Perspectives: A Tool for Cooperative Coastal Resource Management in Xcalak, Mexico

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Orbach, Michael K

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The establishment of marine protected areas has become an important conservation tool in the effort to manage marine and coastal habitats. Many developing nations have decided to utilize this conservation mechanism in an effort to protect their relatively unexploited marine ecosystems. In several unique cases local communities have taken the initiative to protect their natural resources. The focus of my research is Xcalak, a remote fishing village located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. In 1995 the people of Xcalak initiated an effort to protect their reefs and coastal resources from the impending threats of development and overexploitation. Five years later the national marine park, Arrecifes de Xcalak (Reefs of Xcalak), was declared by the Mexican government. The primary objective of my project is to document this unique case of a community-based conservation effort and to promote future cooperative management of the area by identifying all stakeholder groups involved in resource management issues in Xcalak and revealing their interests in and goals for the area. In order to obtain the necessary information I performed a series of focus groups with different sectors of the Xcalak community along with qualitative interviews with representatives from involved government agencies as well as academic and non-governmental organizations. I propose a cooperative management regime for the marine park and hope the results of this research will serve as a link between the involved stakeholder groups and promote cooperation in future efforts to both develop Xcalak as a tourism destination and conserve its abundant and diverse coral reef habitat.





Wusinich, Dana C. (2002). Stakeholder Perspectives: A Tool for Cooperative Coastal Resource Management in Xcalak, Mexico. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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