Delgado-Serrano M.M.

International Journal of the Commons 11(2): 969–991. DOI: 10.18352/ijc.792.

Abstract: Community-based management (CBM) has attracted much interest as a conservation and development strategy in natural resource-dependent communities in recent decades. However, most initiatives fail to achieve both objectives. The most analyzed CBM strategies in the literature include donor- and government- driven initiatives, but other types exist as well. The research objective was to identify the internal and external factors that influence the trade-offs between conservation and development in three internally driven CBM initiatives in Latin America: a long-term indigenous-based conservation strategy, the constitutional recognition of ancestral land rights of Afro-American communities and artisanal fisheries management. The results showed that livelihoods depend on natural resources, but none of the cases identified a balance between conservation and development. Community activities are not the primary cause of natural resource degradation. Conservation is supported by ethnicity and cultural values and is challenged by current development models and worldviews that push intensification of resource use and by power asymmetries. Internal pressures include limited rule compliance and enforcement authority to stop free-riding and unauthorized activities. Internal challenges for development include the lack of capacities, rigid rules and non-inclusive CBM, and the inertia and risk aversion that prevail in many communities. External challenges include the lack of economic incentives and compensation models that enable welfare opportunities linked to sustainable management.

Delgado-Serrano M.M., Vanwildemeersch P., London, S., Ortíz Guerrero, C., Escalante, R. and Rojas, M.

Ecology and Society 21(2):36.

Abstract: Local communities collectively managing common pool resources can play an important role in sustainable management, but they often lack the skills and context-specific tools required for such management. The complex dynamics of social-ecological systems (SES), the need for management capacities, and communities’ limited empowerment and participation skills present challenges for community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) strategies. We analyzed the applicability of prospective structural analysis (PSA), a strategic foresight tool, to support decision making and to foster sustainable management and capacity building in CBNRM contexts and the modifications necessary to use the tool in such contexts. By testing PSA in three SES in Colombia, Mexico, and Argentina, we gathered information regarding the potential of this tool and its adaptation requirements. The results suggest that the tool can be adapted to these contexts and contribute to fostering sustainable management and capacity building. It helped identify the systems’ dynamics, thus increasing the communities’ knowledge about their SES and informing the decision-making process. Additionally, it drove a learning process that both fostered empowerment and built participation skills. The process demanded both time and effort, and required external monitoring and facilitation, but community members could be trained to master it. Thus, we suggest that the PSA technique has the potential to strengthen CBNRM and that other initiatives could use it, but they must be aware of these requirements.

Delgado-Serrano M.M., Oteros-Rozas E., P., Ortíz Guerrero, C., London, S. and Escalante, R.

Ecology and Society 20(4):24.

Abstract: Several examples of community-based natural resource management in Latin American social-ecological systems exist
in which communities control the management of common-pool resources. Understanding community perceptions of the performance
of these systems is essential to involve communities in sustainable management strategies. In this analysis of three areas in Colombia,
Mexico, and Argentina, we analyzed the local perceptions of the social and environmental challenges faced by these social-ecological
systems and how these challenges and drivers affect their resilience. To do this, we combined prospective structural analysis to unravel
stakeholders’ perceptions of each system’s functioning along with network analysis to assess resilience. We identified external variables
as the most influential variables in the Colombian and Argentine cases. In the Mexican case, larger influence is exerted by internal
variables, particularly those linked to the governance system. The case study analysis revealed that the community-based natural resource
management approach needs external support and recognition to work effectively. In the Argentine and Colombian cases, megaprojects
were perceived as controllers with medium or strong influence but low dependence. The use of ancestral knowledge (Colombia), the
history of land use (Mexico), and the history of the artisanal fishery (Argentina) were all perceived as common challenges to communitybased
natural resource management. In terms of social-ecological resilience, framed within the three-dimensional model of the adaptive
cycle, all three social-ecological systems were considered to be highly connected and resilient but with different degrees of capacity or
cumulative potential.