Local participation in biodiversity conservation initiatives: A comparative analysis of different models in South East Mexico

María Elena Méndez-López, Eduardo García-Frapolli, Diana J. Pritchard, María Consuelo Sánchez González, Isabel Ruiz-Mallén, Luciana Porter-Bolland, Victoria Reyes-Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


In Mexico, biodiversity conservation is primarily implemented through three schemes: 1) protected areas, 2) payment-based schemes for environmental services, and 3) community-based conservation, officially recognized in some cases as Indigenous and Community Conserved Areas. In this paper we compare levels of local participation across conservation schemes. Through a survey applied to 670 households across six communities in Southeast Mexico, we document local participation during the creation, design, and implementation of the management plan of different conservation schemes. To analyze the data, we first calculated the frequency of participation at the three different stages mentioned, then created a participation index that characterizes the presence and relative intensity of local participation for each conservation scheme. Results showed that there is a low level of local participation across all the conservation schemes explored in this study. Nonetheless, the payment for environmental services had the highest local participation while the protected areas had the least. Our findings suggest that local participation in biodiversity conservation schemes is not a predictable outcome of a specific (community-based) model, thus implying that other factors might be important in determining local participation. This has implications on future strategies that seek to encourage local involvement in conservation. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-329
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Community-based conservation
  • Local participation
  • Mexico
  • Payment for environmental services
  • Protected areas


Dive into the research topics of 'Local participation in biodiversity conservation initiatives: A comparative analysis of different models in South East Mexico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this