Community Action for Conservation: Mexican Experiences

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Co-edited by Luciana Porter-Bolland, Isabel Ruiz-Mallén, Claudia Camacho-Benavides, and Susannah McCandless, “Community Action for Conservation: Mexican Experiences” addresses some of the critical issues facing community-based conservation by reflecting on specific cases within Mexico. Case studies presented focus on the concept of “biocultural diversity”, which links linguistic, cultural, and biological diversity, as a central element of progressive conservation.

Click here for a preview, or to purchase the book.

In the foreword, Janis Bristol Alcorn highlights the two keys for successful conservation in the country: Mexican willingness to appreciate and support local diversity, and an understanding that future national resilience depends on maintaining local, self-generated resilience within supportive national frameworks. The publication’s collection of original stories and analyses of the Mexican experience with community-based conservation demonstrate possible outcomes when institutions respond flexibly to local conservation options that vary from place to place within the country.


There are three sections to Community Action for Conservation: Mexican Experiences.

  • Section One provides a general approach to the context of community-based conservation in Mexico. In one of the chapters, Victor M. Toledo, a Mexican ethnoecologist, situates his work at the local level within the complex realm of biodiversity conservation, providing descriptions of current management systems in which local beliefs, knowledge, and practices contribute greatly to the production and reproduction of biodiversity.
  • Section Two presents examples and reflections on diverse community initiatives for conservation that range from ICCAs to co-managed areas, and discusses issues affecting local participation in conservation. With emphasis on the southeast of Mexico, the four case studies included represent examples of some of the contested issues at stake in a region boasting both the highest ethnic diversity and the highest biodiversity in the country.
  • Section Three explores methodological approaches to understanding and strengthening community-based conservation; the three chapters within this final section cover measuring participation by local communities, community-based biodiversity monitoring, and tools for understanding children’s perceptions of community conservation.

Purchase of “Community Action for Conservation: Mexican Experiences” can be made online (individual chapters may also be purchased). Authors can also disseminate electronic copies for professional non-commercial research and classroom use. For inquiries, please contact Susannah McCandless (

Photo related to this piece on credited to Ortiz-Avila et al.