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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 133-146

A New 'Conservation Space'? Protected Areas, Environmental Economic Activities and Discourses in Two Yucatán Biosphere Reserves in Mexico

1 Department of Anthropology, Université Laval, Québec City, QC, Canada
2 Institut de recherche pour le Développement, UMR 228 ESPACE-DEV (IRD-UR-UAG-UM2) Nouméa, Nouvelle-Calédonie, Nouvelle-Calédonie

Correspondence Address:
Sabrina Doyon
Department of Anthropology, Université Laval, Québec City, QC
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.138409

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This article examines some of the local socioeconomic repercussions of two biosphere reserves on the Yucatán Peninsula-Ría Celestún and Ría Lagartos. We analyse aspects of the relationship that the residents of the six villages located within the two reserves have with their environment, by examining both the 'environmental economic activities' residents are involved in and their discourses on, and interpretations of, the notion of environment and the conservation precepts put forward by the biosphere reserves. Our research explores how the objectives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Man and Biosphere Programme, disseminated by biosphere reserves, are put into practice on the ground. In particular, we look at how environmental economic activities are experienced and practised without necessarily being accompanied by the integration, acceptance, and internalisation of conservation principles-and how these activities contribute, or fail to contribute, to the crystallisation of a new 'conservation space'.

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