The local community and preservation of biodiversity: Project cases from Central America and Mexico
The goal of this dissertation is to identify which factors lead to positive outcomes for biodiversity conservation in community-based development projects. Through this exploration, the following questions are answered: Does security of land tenure play a role in the outcomes of community projects? Does the involvement of non-governmental organizations in a local project lead to positive outcomes? Does the involvement of community members in the initiation and management of the project lead to positive outcomes? The topics of biodiversity, sustainable development, community, effectiveness, and non-governmental organizations are addressed to understand how they interact with community-based conservation projects.
Through four case studies of community development projects in Costa Rica and Mexico, this dissertation analyzes a set of independent causal variables, and combinations of those variables, to explore which lead to the most positive change for biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of projects. Case studies are compared through a ranking system and a process-tracing framework.
Practitioners, scholars, non-governmental organization and community leaders have little opportunity to learn why certain local projects are sustainable and effective at preserving biodiversity, while others are not. Sharing knowledge about which variables lead to effective outcomes in local projects will benefit those involved in the establishment and continuation of local conservation initiatives.
This dissertation establishes that local projects that include the combination of community initiation, community management, and community economic benefits lead to the most positive outcomes. It also finds that high land tenure security, combined with other independent variables, can lead to high conservation success. Findings from this dissertation are compared to a study conducted by the Biodiversity Conservation Network of local conservation projects in Asia.
Area planning & development;
0999: Urban planning
0999: Area planning & development
0326: Cultural anthropology