Fuelling the tragedy of the commons in Indigenous Community Conserved Areas: A case study from the Southern Isthmus, Mexico

Monterrubio Solís, Constanza (2014) Fuelling the tragedy of the commons in Indigenous Community Conserved Areas: A case study from the Southern Isthmus, Mexico. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (Full text available)

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Summary This dissertation presents the first evaluation of a VCA in terms of its multi-scalar governance approach with reference to the principles of the ICCAs category and the CPR principles for institutional arrangements for sustainable natural resource management. The research techniques applied to develop this research included: (1) document revision on national legislation for protected establishment and management; (2) forty four semi-structured interviews with conservation practitioners at different administrative levels, as well as (3) direct observations, 32 semi-structured and unstructured interviews to conform an in-depth case study of the VCA of El Reten, in San Miguel Chimalapa, Oaxaca, Mexico. Devolution processes in El Reten were analysed in terms of the bundles of rights or powers that local community holds for natural resource management after the certification of El Reten and during its early implementation. The issues examined by these dissertation have explored for the first time who is entitled to “give” which powers back to local communities; the actual procedures that allow these approaches to be called community-driven when ICCAs can only retain “power” by conforming to externally defined criteria, and finally, if devolution is happening, the way “bundles of rights” - or powers - (Ribot and Peluso 2003) interact with external criteria for conservation. The case study of El Reten provides clear examples of the implications of the formalisation of a VCA over local governance structures. These decentralised approaches for conservation are also subject to elite capture and the trade-offs between the availability of economic resources and local autonomy, as well as between administrative efficiency and equity and legitimacy. The VCA in El Reten represents the ideal scenario for the tragedy of the commons (Hardin 1968), where the establishment of a VCA, the arrival of economic incentives and the overlooking of the local political context by conservation agencies is fuelling the tragedy instead of alleviating it. This dissertation shows this explicitly in the context of the newly developed VCA category in Mexico for the first time.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Uncontrolled keywords: Indigenous Community Conservation Areas, Common Pool Resource, Governance, Natural Resource Management
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2015 13:00 UTC
Last Modified: 01 Nov 2015 00:00 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48085 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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