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Between Preservation and ExploitationTransnational Advocacy Networks and Conservation in Developing Countries$
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Kemi Fuentes-George

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034289

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034289.001.0001

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Mexico and Biodiversity in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor

Mexico and Biodiversity in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor

(p.95) 3 Mexico and Biodiversity in the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor
Between Preservation and Exploitation

Kemi Fuentes-George

The MIT Press

This chapter introduces the Mexican Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MMBC), a terrestrial zone in the Yucatán Peninsula threatened by agro-industry and development. Here, a network comprised of domestic and transnational environmental advocates successfully lobbied for GEF funds for a conservation project called the Proyecto del Corredor Biológico Mesoamericano - México, but the members were unable to generate an intersubjective consensus. This lack of consensus negatively impacted project implementation and biodiversity management. Network members, local advocates, and policymakers could not agree on the spatial and social dimensions of what constituted globally important biodiversity, which led to dissent in identifying zones for investing project resources. Without authoritative scientific claims, policymakers selected zones for project activity that were described by local communities and transnational advocates as driven by vested political interests, being both scientifically unjustifiable and insufficiently attentive to the needs of marginalized rural populations. As a result, the first phase of the project was poorly managed, and described by several actors in civil society and policymaker groups as a failure. Further, poor management exacerbated environmental injustice, as the low income communities that needed investment and support to sustainably manage natural resources were instead further alienated from the project.

Keywords:   Mesoamerica, Environmental injustice, Natural resources, Consensus, Development, Biological corridor

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