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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 18  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 207-219

Dissonant Views of Socioecological Problems: Local Perspectives and Conservation Policies in Xochimilco, Mexico


1 Department of Zoology, Institute of Biology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico
2 Department of Ecology and Natural Resources, Faculty of Sciences, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City, Mexico

Correspondence Address:
Luis Zambrano
Department of Zoology, Institute of Biology, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico City
Mexico
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_19_72

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Social participation in the design and implementation of conservation policies has become increasingly relevant. Despite the recognition of the importance of local communities' perspectives in the design and implementation of conservation policies, participation mechanisms are usually deficient. Simplification of socioecological complexity in policy design has been documented as one of the most salient challenges limiting policies' success. We examined conservation policies, objectives and implementation in an urban wetland of high biocultural importance in Mexico City, and contrasted them with local community perspectives about the causes and solutions of socioecological problems in the wetland. We documented policies developed for the wetland conservation since 1989, and interviewed local inhabitants whose livelihoods depend directly on the wetland, governmental officials, and non-governmental organisations representatives. Our results showed that policies' design simplify complex socioecological reality in the Xochimilco wetland. This complex reality, as perceived by local communities, is not represented nor addressed by governmental programmes, which systematically avoid dealing with the most urgent processes linked to wetland degradation and have exacerbated local social asymmetries. This study emphasises the need to develop and evaluate policies through transdisciplinary strategies and participatory processes, which include all social actors involved, particularly those that depend directly on ecosystems.


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