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CHALLENGES TO ACTOR-ORIENTED ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE: EXAMPLES FROM THREE MEXICAN BIOSPHERE RESERVES

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ABSTRACT

This paper adopts an actor-oriented approach to identify and conceptualise common challenges to interactive environmental governance in three well-known Mexican biosphere reserves by analysing stakeholder support or resistance with regard to nature conservation, considering conflicting interests among actors. Certain tools that have recently been applied to establish multi-actor decision-making bodies to manage these problems are described and critically evaluated. In-depth interviews conducted with key actors over a three-year period show that opposing interests and actions hamper the development of integral and participative governance. Despite earnest attempts to conciliate deep-rooted conflicts among conservation-centred actors and other stakeholders interested in capitalising on natural resources for purposes of livelihood and profit, there is still a need for conceptual and strategic advancement to foster the effective and socially balanced management of protected areas in Mexico.

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