Conservation in Context: Establishing Natural Protected Areas During Mexico's Neoliberal Reformation
AuthorBreunig, Lydia Ann
AdvisorLiverman, Diana M.
Committee ChairLiverman, Diana M.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn the late 1980s and through the mid-1990s, Mexico underwent an enormous neoliberal transformation that affected almost every level of its economic, political, and social systems. Research has shown that rural and poor areas of Mexico have been particularly hard hit by these transformations. At the same point in time, Mexico established an unprecedented number of natural protected areas - national parks, biosphere reserves, wildlife reserves, and the like. Mexico is not alone in this transformation. Other "less industrialized" countries are also implementing these dual policies.While many working in the field of conservation in less industrialized regions assume little connection between their work in natural protected areas and the larger political economy, I argue that the two are interrelated and have compounding outcomes. The goal of this study is to understand the connection between these two seemingly incongruous policies. In addition, this study seeks to understand the process through which natural protected areas were territorialized and the outcomes of this territorialization process on landscapes and livelihoods within the larger context of Mexico's neoliberal reformation.To understand these questions, I look at Mexico as a case study at the national level as well as two more local case studies - the Loreto Bay National Park (LBNP) in Baja California Sur and Cuatro CiÃ©negas Wildlife Reserve (CCWR) in Coahuila, Mexico. Both areas support the neoliberal agenda, although in different ways. In addition, both are being reterritorialized so that nature is separated from society and treated as a marketable commodity through tourism or privatization. In addition, both have created uneven or patchy regional landscapes in which resources are more heavily extracted outside of reserves (due largely to neoliberal reforms) while inside the reserves small-scale production activities are limited.