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., Ramos, P. and Lasso Zapata, E.
WATER 9(7):535. DOI: 10.3390/w9070535.
Abstract: Ostrom’s design principles have been broadly used to analyse the governance of common pool resources. However, they are normally assessed as present or absent. We challenge this assumption by considering them as fuzzy sets where membership scores range from 0 to 1, because, in real situations, the design principles can be present at a certain level. We define categories to assess the level of membership and apply it to a single case study analysing how changes in water policy can affect the community-based management of the Water User Association of Mondomo (Colombia). In rural areas of Colombia, most water and sanitation services are provided by water user associations, wherein civil society has developed governance systems based on active citizen involvement and community-based management. Some of these associations have been operating for decades and are essential pillars of the local social fabric. However, recent changes in the country’s policy and legal framework threaten these long-lasting governance systems. The results show that most of the design principles would suffer important changes that undermine the governance system. Essential principles for sustainable community-based governance, such as the congruence of the rules with local conditions, the local monitoring and sanctioning capacities, the internalconflict-resolution mechanisms and the recognition of the rights to organize, are dramatically reduced after the policy implementation.
Delgado-Serrano M.M., Vanwildemeersch P., London, S., Ortíz Guerrero, C., Escalante, R. and Rojas, M.
Ecology and Society 21(2):36. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ES-08505-210236
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., Escalante R. and Basurto, S.
Journal of Depopulation and Rural Development Studies, 18:91-114. Special Issue on Community resilience, social capital and territorial governance. 10.4422/ager.2015.07
Abstract: The sustainable management of forests is a current pressing need. Many communities around the world manage common pool forests and base their livelihoods on forest products. The communitybased management of natural resources approach has been often considered as a suitable approach to govern the commons. However, the application of these principles does not simply lead to harmonise development and conservation. We explore the links between community-based management of natural resources and social-ecological resilience in a Mexican indigenous community by: 1) analysing the trade-offs between environmentally sound forest management and socio-economic sustainability; 2) identifying the local strategies to face local, national and international challenges and analysing how they contribute to the socialecological resilience; and 3) reflecting about how the current situation might affect future social-ecological resilience. The results showed that land and forests are sustainably managed from an environmental perspective, but current social and economic pressures, within and outside the community, represent a serious threat to the traditional common management and sustainability culture.