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1 MULTI STAKEHOLDER PLATFORMS FOR CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN COMPLEX SOCIAL ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS By JEREMY JOHN RADACHOWSKY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2013
2 2013 Jeremy John Radachowsky
3 To the people who onservation, but actually do it
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I deeply thank my g raduate committee including Greg Kiker, Martha Monroe, Jon Dain, Lyn Branch, Jane Southworth, Grenville Barnes, and Brian Child for their consistent advice, support and honesty during my graduate career I thank all of the members of the Mesa Multisectorial and the villages of Carmelita and Uaxactn for their tremendous dedication and willingness to share their knowledge and opinions. I also thank my c olleagues and fr iends in Guatemala who repeatedly put their lives at risk for conservation. I thank Roan McNab, Victor Hugo Ram os, Erick Baur, and Nikolay Kazakov for input, support, and collaboration on C hapter 3 I thank Bayron Castellanos as well as Merrick Hoben, D avid Plumb, David Fairman and Larry Susskind of Consensus Building Institute for reviews and input on C hapter 4 Finally, I thank my f amily for supporting me throughout my Ph.D. I am especially indebted to my wife Susana, and my daughters Selva and Sierra, for allowing me to take the time to complete this manuscript and for distracting me just enough so as not to let me take academia too seriously Tropics P rogram, a National Science Foundation IGERT Program, The Environmental People, Prosperity, and the Planet Program, and a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant. A pproval for data collection was obtained through U niversity of Florida Institutional Review Board protocol #2006 U 971.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 C H A P T E R 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 13 Multi stakeholder Platforms for Adaptive Co management ................................ ..... 13 Dissertation Questions and Objectives ................................ ................................ ... 15 Dissertation Organization ................................ ................................ ........................ 16 2 MULTI STAKEHOLDER PLATFORMS FOR CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: GUIDELINES FOR PRACTITIONERS ............. 20 Multi stakeholder Platforms ................................ ................................ .................... 20 When Do Multi stakeholder Platforms Make Sense? ................................ .............. 21 Benefits of Multi stakeholder Platforms ................................ ............................ 22 Drawbacks and Challenges of Multi stakeholder Platforms ............................. 23 Preconditions for Successful Multi stakeholder Platforms ................................ 25 Guidelines for Practitioners ................................ ................................ ..................... 25 Identifying the Project I ssues and Scope ................................ .......................... 26 Stakeholder Analysis and Participant Selection ................................ ............... 26 Convening ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 29 Establishing a Governance Structure and Ground Rules ................................ 30 F acilitation ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 31 Relationship building and conflict management ................................ ......... 33 Supporting participation of disadvantaged groups ................................ ..... 34 Use of scientific and local knowledge ................................ ........................ 36 Decision making ................................ ................................ ......................... 37 Communications and information dissemination ................................ ........ 39 Monitoring, evaluation, a nd learning ................................ .......................... 40 Institutionalization and Sustainability ................................ ................................ 42 From Dialogue to Action: Effecting Change with MSPs ................................ .......... 43 3 F OREST CONCESSIONS IN THE MAYA BIOSPHERE RESERVE, GUATEMALA: A DECADE LATER ................................ ................................ ......... 49 Integrating Conservation and Development ................................ ............................ 49 Establishment of Forest Concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve .................. 52
6 The Maya Biosphere Reserve ................................ ................................ .......... 52 The Concession Granting Pro cess ................................ ................................ ... 53 Initial Conditions in Concessions ................................ ................................ ...... 55 Multiple use Management in Forest Concessions of the MBR ............................... 56 Timber Management ................................ ................................ ........................ 56 Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) ................................ .............................. 57 Other Forest Uses ................................ ................................ ............................ 58 The State of Forest Concessions in the MBR: A Decade Later .............................. 59 Governance ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 59 Ecological Integrity ................................ ................................ ........................... 61 Socio economic Impacts ................................ ................................ .................. 64 What Happened? Drivers of Success and Failure in Forest Concessions .............. 67 Lessons for Multiple Use Forest Management ................................ ....................... 70 4 CONFLICT, COMPLEXITY, AND CONSERVATION: ADAPTIVE CO BIOSPHERE RESERVE ................................ ................................ ......................... 81 Adaptive Co management ................................ ................................ ...................... 81 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 84 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 86 Maya Biosphere Reserve ................................ ................................ ................. 86 El Mirador ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 88 The top down approach to conservation and development .............................. 89 Beginnings of the Mirador Ro Azul Roundtable ................................ ..................... 91 Roundtable Structure and Coordination ................................ ................................ .. 93 Results of the Mirador Ro Azul Roundtable ................................ ........................... 96 Tangible Ou tcomes ................................ ................................ .......................... 96 Formalization and institutionalization of the roundtable ............................. 96 Regional planning ................................ ................................ ...................... 97 Tourism infrastructure and access ................................ ............................. 97 Capacity building a nd community organization ................................ .......... 98 Environmental protection and security ................................ ....................... 99 Lobbying and fund raising ................................ ................................ ........ 100 Process Outcomes ................................ ................................ ......................... 101 Pluralism and linkages ................................ ................................ ............. 101 Communication and negotiation ................................ ............................... 101 Decision making ................................ ................................ ...................... 102 Social learning ................................ ................................ ......................... 103 Intangible Outcomes ................................ ................................ ...................... 105 Social capital ................................ ................................ ............................ 105 Enhanced legitimization for policies and action ................................ ........ 106 Insights and Conclusions ................................ ................................ ...................... 106 Why Has the Roundtable Been Successful? ................................ .................. 107 Ongoing Chall enges ................................ ................................ ....................... 108 Maintaining communities involved and informed ................................ ...... 108 Building long term political support ................................ .......................... 109
7 Strengthening group empowerment through shared leadership .............. 110 Lessons for Managers ................................ ................................ .................... 110 5 CONCEPTUALIZING COMPLEX CONSERVATION ISSUES THROUGH COGNITIVE MAPPING ................................ ................................ ......................... 114 Conceptualization of Complex Problems ................................ .............................. 114 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 117 Conceptualization for Conservation Planning ................................ ................. 117 Stakeholder Analysis ................................ ................................ ...................... 118 Cognitive Maps ................................ ................................ ............................... 119 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 120 Study Site ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 120 Participant Selection ................................ ................................ ....................... 121 Cognitive Mapping ................................ ................................ .......................... 122 Step 1. Brainstorming components of the current situation ...................... 123 Step 2. Mapping the way individuals organize component s in their minds ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 123 Step 3. Creating a composite conceptual model (aka social cognitive map) ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 124 Organizing stakeholders according to their individual cognitive maps ..... 125 Structured Surveys and Participant Observation ................................ ............ 125 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 126 Individual Cognitive Maps ................................ ................................ ............... 126 Composite Conceptual Map ................................ ................................ ........... 126 A Taxonomy of Conservation and Development in Mirador Rio Azul, Guatemala ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 12 7 Placement of Clusters ................................ ................................ .................... 131 Satisfaction with Cognitive Maps ................................ ................................ .... 131 Cognitive Map Similar ity between Individuals ................................ ................. 133 Stakeholder Attributes and Cognitive Maps ................................ .................... 134 Sector ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 134 Scale of engagement ................................ ................................ ............... 136 Influence (self reported) ................................ ................................ ........... 136 Participation in Roundtable ................................ ................................ ...... 137 Position on Mirador Basin plan ................................ ................................ 137 Structural Differences between Group Cognitive Maps ................................ .. 138 ...................... 140 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 140 Comparison with Other Conceptualization Methods ................................ ....... 140 Logistical Considerations ................................ ................................ ................ 142 Methodological Considerations ................................ ................................ ...... 143 Outputs ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 144 Utility for Stakeholder and Conflict Analysis ................................ ................... 145 Cognitive Mapping in Conservation: Conclusions ................................ ................. 147 6 CONCLUSIONS ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 164
8 Multiple Use Management for Conservation and Development ............................ 165 Multi Stakeholder Platforms for Complex Problems ................................ ............. 166 Conceptualization of Complex Problems ................................ .............................. 168 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 171 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 188
9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2 1 Reported benefits of multi stakeholder platforms ................................ ................... 45 2 2 Reported drawbacks and challenges of multi stakeholder platforms ..................... 46 2 3 Preconditions for the successful implementation of multi stakeholder platforms ... 47 3 1 Initial conditions in forest concessions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve ................ 74 3 2 Management details for forest concessions of the May a Biosphere Reserve ........ 74 3 3 Governance indicators for forest concessions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve .... 75 3 4 Indicators of ecological integrity in forest concessions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 76 3 5 Socio economic conditions in forest concessions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 77 4 1 Comparison between conventional top down decision making before the Roundtable and the adaptive co management approach as practiced in the Mirador Rio Azul Roundtable ................................ ................................ ............ 112 5 1 Participation of different groups in cognitive mapping steps. ............................... 151 5 2 Clustering of 100 concepts used to describe conservation and development of Mirador Rio Azul National Park, Guatemala ................................ ..................... 152 5 3 Comparison of conceptualization methods ................................ .......................... 154 5 4 Composition of cognitive map clusters by sector ................................ ................. 155 5 5 Composition of cognitive map clusters by scale of engagement .......................... 155 5 6 Self reported level of influence by domain of engagement ................................ .. 155 5 7 Self reported level of influence by sector ................................ ............................. 155 5 8 Self reported level of influence by cognitive map cluster ................................ ..... 155
10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Typical steps in the development of multi stakeholder platf orms ........................... 48 3 1 Map of the Maya Biospher e Reserve in Petn, Guatemala indicating the different types of forest concessions of the Mul tiple Use Zone .......................... 78 3 2 Map of defores tation in the Maya Biosphere Reserve since its establishment in 1990 ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 79 3 3 Map of forest fire occurrence in the Maya Biosphere Reserve since its establishment in 1990 ................................ ................................ ......................... 80 4 1 Maya Biosphere Reserve a nd areas under the decision making influence of the Roundtable ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 113 4 2 Roundtable organizational structure ................................ ................................ ..... 113 5 1 Individuals from different sectors sorting cards to create cognitive maps ............ 156 5 2 Example of individual cognitive map with seven clusters ................................ ..... 157 5 3 Conceptual map of conservation and development in Mirador Rio Azul, Guatemala ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 158 5 4 Ranking of clusters by mean importance rating ................................ ................... 159 5 5 Stakeholders organ ized by similarity of cognitive maps. ................................ ...... 160 5 6 Map of stakeholder similarity by scale of influence ................................ .............. 161 5 7 Map of stakeholder similarity by self reported influence in the decision making process ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 162 5 8 Composite cognitive maps of conservation and development in Mirador Rio Azul, Guatemala according to a. development proponents, b. NGOs and government representatives, and c. community leaders. ................................ 163
11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy MULTI STAKEHOLDER PLATFORMS FOR CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN COMPLEX SOCIAL ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS By Jeremy John Radachowsky D e c ember 2013 Chair: Greg Kiker Major: Interdisciplinary Ecology In the pa st few decades, conservation and development issues have become more complex. Most large scale natural resource problems today are characterized by fragmented stakeholders, scientific messiness, uncertainty, conflicting risks, and dynamic social, economic, knowledge, and technological systems. There is a necessity for practical methods to reconcile conflicting understandings and interests between multiple actors and multiple potential uses for natural resources, in a way that considers this social and ecolo gical complexity. This dissertation analyzes the utility of multi stakeholder platforms (MSPs) and cognitive mapping as methods for adaptive collaborative multiple use management, using a complex and conflictive case from aya Biosphere Reserve (MBR) We review the literature to extract practical lessons central to the creation and maintenance of MSPs We analyze the history of multiple use forest management in 14 forest concessions in the MBR, concluding that multiple use forest management can balance conservation and development goals, under conditions of proper devolution of authority and local rights, technical and institutional capacity, economic viability, reconciliation between local and global interests, resilience of ecological processes and social institutions, and long term
12 commitment from external actors. The Mirador Rio Azul Roundtable, a multi stakeholder adaptive co management structure developed to reconcile land and resource use conflicts in the MBR fulfilled all of the defining characteristics of adaptive co management and produced substantial tangible and intangible results during its six years of existence confirming that MSPs can serve as important structures for adaptive co management C ognitive mapping was used to analyze t he mental constructs of 59 individuals from different sectors with regards to the conse rvation and development issues in the MBR The analysis organiz ed several hundred concepts into a palatable composite conceptual map with seven categori es, ranked according to their relative importance according to participants. Important differences in cognitive map structures were found between stakeholders by sector, scale of engagement, self reported level of influence, participation in the Roundtable and posi tion on development We conclude that c ognitive mapping may be a useful tool for adaptive co management, help ing positi on conveners, develop sha red understanding, and promote social learning.
13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Multi stakeholder Platforms for Adaptive Co m anagement Most early efforts to conserve natural resources were undertaken by authoritative decision making and the exclusion of humans from protected areas. However, such top down protectionist strategies have been largely ineffective outside the U.S. especially in areas of high human pressure (Holling and Meffe 1996). More recent attempts to incorporate humans in natural resource conservation, usually billed as participat ory approaches, have also received heavy criticism (Cleaver 1999, Schelhas et al. 2001, Berkes 2004). Many contend that they have been implemented incorrectly, not giving sufficient attention to the specific cultural and economic needs of individual commun ities (Chambers 2002, Mansuri and Rao 2004), and failing to create true participation and devolution of responsibilities to stakeholders (Murphree 2002). Others argue that economic development and conservation may be inherently incompatible (Redford and Sa nderson 2000). The general dissatisfaction with both exclusionary and early participatory strategies has left conservationists with a serious quandary: How can we make sustainable environmental decisions in systems influenced by complex soci al and ecologic al interactions? Recently, applied ecology has exhibited a major paradigm shift, with a new focus on holistic systems perspectives, the inclusion of humans within ecosystems, and participatory strategies for ecosystem management (Berkes 2004). In part, thi s shift is a response to growing recognition that ecosystems are not deterministic and homeostatic, but often express unpredictable or even chaotic behavior. At the same time, conservation has become more complex, with increased cross scale interdependence
14 between humans and the environment due to capital markets, new technology, and systems of governance (Folke et al. 2005). Salwasser (2002) argues that most large fragmented s takeholders, scientific messiness, uncertainty, conflicting risks, non linearities, and dynamic social, economic, knowledge, and technological systems. Furthermore, there is often latent or overt conflict and distrust of public institutions (Stewart et al. 2004, Haight and Ginger 2000). In order to deal with this complexity, environmental management has refocused on decision making processes that embrace uncertainty, social dynamics, and new governance structures. Adaptive co by which institutional arrangements and ecological knowledge are tested and revised in a dynamic, ongoing, self organized process of trial and precepts of adaptive management (Holling 1978, Walters 1986), wi th the acknowledgment that complex environmental problems require unprecedented levels of public participation (e.g. Fischer 1993, Lee 1993, Schelhas et al. 2001). Adaptive co management requires more than devolution of management rights; it requires the creation of flexible and resilient social networks (Folke et al. 2005). The five core components of adaptive co management (Plummer and Armitage 2007) are: adaptive capacity to evolve and change in light of feedback; social learning by which actions are d eveloped, tested, reflected upon, and revised, i.e., double loop learning, learning by doing; communication, i.e., sharing of information, shared understanding; sharing authority, i.e., power, between at least two groups of actors, usually, but not limit ed to, the state and civic actors and/or users; and shared decision making.
15 Multi Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) have been widely proposed as resilient ACM structures capable of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty inherent in modern conservation and sustainable development problems (e.g. Reed 2008, Armitage et al. making bodies (voluntary or statutory) comprising different stakeholders who perceive the same resource management problem, realiz e their interdependence for solving it, and come together to 9) Several examples demonstrate that MSPs can function as powerful structures for ACM, creating high quality, durable decisions, with emergent and spin off benefits far superior to top down management (e.g. Fischer 2000, Beierle 2002, Reed 2008). However, for every successful MSP process, there have also been many disappointments and failures (e.g. Manzungu 2002, Hirsch and Wyatt 2004, Faysse 2006, Reed 2008), and there are serious claims that MSPs can even lead to further inequity and manipulation of disadvantaged groups (e.g. Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). There is debate about the true utility of MSPs for ACM, the condi tions under which success is possible, and methods for achieving success (e.g. Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001, Faysse 2006, Plummer and Armitage 2007, Reed 2008). As Plummer and Armitage (200 7, p. 71) management is a relatively new conce pt around which an idealized narrative has formed with relatively little empirical evidence and even less evaluative experience Dissertation Questions and Objectives In t his dissertation I analyze multi stakeholder platforms as a method for adaptive co llaborative management, using Maya Biosphere Reserve. More specifically, I examine the questions: H ow can
16 practitioners promote adaptive co management in complex social ecological systems? When do multi stake holder platforms make sense? How can practitioners best conceptualize and communicate complex conservation and development problems? How do different stakeholders think about the same problem? Can very different stakeholders learn together and take action collectively? Dissertation O rganization Chapter 2 reviews the literature to examine the history of multi stakeholder platforms for natural resource management This literature review aims to extract practical lessons central to the creation and maintenance of successful MSPs, targeted toward conservation and development practitioners considering using MSPs for adaptive collaborative management. We highlight the potential benefits and drawbacks of MSPs, describe preconditions for success and review methodolo gical considerations for practitioners, from convening a MSP to ensuring its long term sustainability and effecting real world change. Chapter 3 provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of multiple use forest man where usufruct rights to timber and non timber forest resources were granted through concession agreements to twelve community organizations and two private timber companies in the late 1990s and early 2000s. After more than a decade, some concessions are successfully managing forests for multiple uses while others have had limited success or failed completely. This chapter provides a management unit based analysis and evaluation of the evolution of these fores t concessions. First, we present a critical assessment of the current state of ecological integrity, socio economic development, governance, and financing within each of the 14 forest concessions, using a series of quantitative and qualitative
17 indicators. Next, we categorize the different trajectories that the concessions have experienced, and describe the key biophysical, socio economic, and market events and drivers that may have influenced their outcomes. Lastly, we provide suggestions for the continued consolidation of multiple use forest management practices in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, and draw out lessons for reconciling different forest uses by multiple stakeholders elsewhere in the tropics. Chapter 4 describes and analyzes the Mesa Multisectorial, or Mirador Rio Azul Roundtable, an adaptive co management structure that emerged surrounding culturally significant regions In this chapter evaluate the ACM efforts using data from six years of participant observation, 84 structured interviews, and post meeting surveys. We describe the confluence of key events and actors that created the Mirador Rio Azul roundtable, evaluate its accomplishmen ts and ongoing challenges after six years of existence, and extract lessons that may be applicable to complex natural resource conflicts around the world. This case study supports existing theory claiming that adaptive co management can be a powerful manag ement structure with numerous emergent and spin off benefits far superior to top down management. We emphasize and elucidate several practical lessons central to the creation and maintenance of successful multi stakeholder processes, including: 1. Responsi veness to stakeholder core interests; 2. Proactive involvement of a range of voices; 3. Institutionalization from a place of authority; 4. Coordination at a practical level of getting things done; 5. Strong facilitative leadership; and 6. Preparation for p redictable surprises.
18 Chapter 5 tests cognitive mapping as a method for conceptualizing complex conservation and development issues and analyzing understandings of diverse stakeholders for ACM, and compares the results with conceptual models and stakehold er analyses developed using more traditional methods Using a combination of cognitive mapping (3CM) individual cognitive maps were created for 59 individuals from multip le stakeholder groups, ranging from officials of the central government to local community members. After multidimensional scaling and clustering of the 59 individual maps, a single two dimensional, seven cluster concept map was produced. We presented the composite map back to stakeholders and administered structured surveys to ass ess satisfaction with the model We compare the final composite model developed through cognitive mapping to other conceptual models developed through methods more commonly used b y conservation practitioners, and discuss the comparative advantages and disadvantages of each. For stakeholder analysis we use d system understandings, 2) examine the factors correlate with differences in positions on key issues The results describe the factors that best correlated with differences between ind sector, scale of engagement, self reported level of influence, and participation in the roundtable ), and relate conceptual model differences to difference in positions and interests. Finally, we discuss whether differences in conceptualization might determine differenc es in positions and vice versa. Conceptual mapping is useful for eliciting
19 aspects of an issue that participants find salient, analyzing stakeholders, understanding conflict, setting the stage for m ulti stakeholder processes, developing shared understanding, promoting social learning, and may ideally be used as one component of larger planning, management, or evaluation processes. In the conclusions section, we summarize how the case of Guat aya Biosphere Reserve demonstrates that multi stakeholder platforms can serve as a successful method for ada ptive collaborative management if implemented under the proper conditions. We summarize how tools for conceptualization can help facilitate shared p roblem understanding for ACM processes. Finally, we extract major conclusions representing key lessons from each of the three empirical research chapters of this dissertation.
20 CHAPTER 2 MULTI STAKEHOLDER PLATFORMS FOR CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINAB LE DEVELOPMENT: GUIDELINES FOR PRACTITIONERS M ulti s takeholder Platform s Multi Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) have been widely proposed as resilient social structures capable of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty inherent in modern conservation and sustainable dev elopment problems (e.g. Reed 2008, making bodies (voluntary or statutory) comprising different stakeholders who perceive the same resource management problem, realize their interdep endence for solving it, and come 199 9 MSPs can function as powerful structures for adaptive collaborative management, creating high quality, durable decisions, with emerge nt and spin off benefits far superior to top down management (e.g. Fischer 2000, Beierle 2002, Reed 2008, Radachowsky and Castellanos in press). However, for every successful MSP process, there have also been many disappointments and failures (e.g. Hirsch and Wyatt 2004, Faysse 2006, Manzungu 2002, Reed 2008), and there are serious claims that MSPs can even lead to further inequity and manipulation of disadvantaged groups (e.g. Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). There is debate about the true utility of MSPs, th e conditions under which success is possible, and methods for achieving success (e.g. Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001, Faysse 2006, Reed 2008). This literature review aims to extract practical lessons central to the creation and maintenance of successful MSPs and is targeted toward conservation and development practitioners who are considering using MSPs for adaptive collaborative management.
21 the potential benefits and drawbacks of such structures and describe preconditions for success. In the second section, we review methodological considerations and best practices for practitioners, from convening a MSP to ensuring its long term sustainability. In the final section, we discuss how MSPs can extend beyond dialogue and decision making to effect real world change. When Do M ulti s takeholder Platforms Make S ense ? Multi stakeholder partnerships aim to band institutions with different agendas together to participate in addressing common issues that may affect them or their stakeholders (Adam et al. 2007). Stakeholders can be defined as those who are affected by or ca n affect a decision (Freeman 1984), and participation can be defined as a process where individuals, groups and organizations choose to take an active role in making decisions that affect them (Wandersman 1981, Wilcox, 2003, Rowe et al. 2004). MSPs repres ent one method for stakeholder participation, among many approaches ranging from passive information dissemination to active stakeholder engagement. MSPs usually intend to promote active, empowered, and transformative stakeholder participation the most i ntense levels of engagement in most typologies describing participatory methods (e.g. Arnstein 1969, Beierle 2002, Okali et al. 1994, Michener 1998, Lynam et al. 2007, Rowe and Frewer 2000, Thomas 1993, Tippett et al. 2007). It is important to note that th ere is a wide amount of variation even among MSP approaches, and their effectiveness depends upon their appropriateness to any given specific context and the quality of implementation (Koontz 2005). Important defining characteristics of MSPs are: 1. Partic ipation of multiple, well defined stakeholder groups including state and non state actors, 2. Stakeholder groups and constituencies represented by designated representatives, and 3. Discussions
22 linked to decision and action (Faysse 2006, IUCN 2012). MSPs c an be permanent or temporary, depending upon their purpose. Short term MSPs are often created to manage conflict. Permanent MSPs are commonly set up to manage dynamic natural resource and sustainable development issues in a given geography over time, and a re often legalized (Faysse 2006). The use of MSPs has unique benefits, drawbacks, and utility in different contexts. This section analyzes the normative and pragmatic arguments for and against MSPs, with the intent of helping practitioners decide whether MSPs make sense or not for any particular situation. Note that empirical evaluations of MSPs are limited, so lessons should be interpreted cautiously for new situations (Webler 1999, Beierle 2002, Brody 2003, Blackstock et al. 2007, Reed 2008). Benefits of Multi stakeholder P latforms In the past few decades, conservation and development issues have become more complex, with increased cross scale interdependence between humans and the environment due to capital markets, new technology, and systems of govern ance (Folke et al. 2005). Most large characterized by fragmented stakeholders, scientific messiness, several types of uncertainty, conflicting risks, and dynamic social, economic, knowledge, and technolog ical systems (Salwasser 2002). From a pragmatic perspective, adaptive governance approaches such as MSPs have been promoted as a method of managing such complex social environmental problems (e.g. Brunner et al. 2005, Folke et al. 2005, Dietz et al. 2003, Djalante et al. 2011). Their participatory, long term, iterative and reflexive nature intends to find innovative and synergistic ways to pool resources and talents to jointly solve problems,
23 change policy, and improve implementation (Adam et al. 2007). S uch methods are purported to produce higher quality decisions, augment capacity, increase public trust and support for decisions, promote active implementation of agreements, and reduce costs. The same complexity and interconnectedness brings normative arg uments for participatory methods. Environmental decisions are often inextricably linked with the rights and livelihoods of local people, and participation is increasingly seen as a democratic right (Reed 2008). Stakeholder participation and MSPs are someti mes required by national and international policies. For example, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Millennium Development Goals, the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development, the World Summit on Sustainable Dev elopment Pla n of Implementation and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction all call for multi stakeholder processes and partnerships to improve coordination, analysis and advice on issues needing concerted action (IUCN 2012). It is argued th at participation brings inclusivity, equity, and democracy. Table 2 1 summarizes the pragmatic and normative arguments for MSPs. Drawbacks and Challenges of Multi stakeholder P latforms There are also pragmatic and normative arguments against MSPs. From a logistical standpoint, the creation and maintenance of MSPs entails great investment of resources and time as compared to unilateral management or simple public consultation, and the process can delay decisions and actions (Adam et al. 2007, Bojorquez Tapi a et al. 2004, Vedwan et al. 2008, Faysse 2006). Furthermore, MSPs rely heavily on strong facilitation and the capacity of members; if not managed well, lack of early progress can lead to consultation fatigue, and stakeholder satisfaction, morale,
24 and part icipation can quickly decline (Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000, Richards et al. 2004, Adam et al. 2007). Most normative criticisms are derived from debate about the capability of MSPs MSPs can remove barriers to communication, thereby promoting democracy, equity, justice, transparency and consensus building, leading to win win solutions (e.g. Hemmati et al. 2002). Others argue that power inequalities, conflict, and struggle can never b e eliminated and should be acknowledged as a natural part of any MSP process (Crespo 2005, Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001, Leeuwis 2000, Faysse 2006). Deeper concerns arise when MSPs may be used to mask or legitimize abuses of power, perpetuating inequities a Wollenberg 2001). Minority voices may be silenced through homogenization into participation in a MSP may precl ude stakeholders from pursuing their interests using other, more effective methods such as protest or lobbying (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Constituents of stakeholder groups may be imperfectly represented due to lack of organization and internal communi cation (Bickford 1999, Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001, Faysse 2006), and disadvantaged stakeholders may not have the capacity to meaningfully engage in highly technical debates (e.g. Fischer and Young, 2007, Faysse 2006). Many of these risks can be mitigated proactively by maintaining awareness of power dynamics and taking proactive preparatory measures. Table 2 2 summarizes the drawbacks and challenges of MSPs.
25 Preconditions for Successful Multi stakeholder P latforms MSPs require commitment and investment. I f conditions are appropriate and MSPs are managed well, benefits can far outweigh costs. However, if implemented under suboptimal conditions or if not managed well, MSPs may do more harm than good. The decision to initiate a MSP deserves serious considerat ion, and should be done so with full recognition of the inevitable challenges and potential consequences. process, and more as an always imperfect negotiation process, whose pos itive outcomes may outweigh the negative ones if challenges are adequately taken into Table 2 3 lists eight frequently cited preconditions for the successful implementation of multi stakeholder platforms. If any of these prerequisites cannot be guaranteed at the outset, measures should be taken to improve circumstances, or deliberation should be given as to whether to initiate a MSP. Even when MSPs are required statutorily, these criteria should be ensured to the extent possible. Guidelines for Practitioners Once the decision has been taken to implement a MSP, it is important to give deep thought to the methodology for its implementation. The development of a MSP is a dynamic and iterative learning process that must be adapted to particular conte xts and local know how. Therefore, the following guidelines should be conceived as fodder to induce reflection rather than as instructions. The steps in this section a re organized in an order typical in the ground up development of many MSPs. However, the order may
26 vary for different situations especially if the MSP is derived from an ongoing or existing process. Figure 2 1 shows the steps in a typical MSP Identifyin g the Project Issues and S cope Identifying the target problem for a MSP presents a circular conundrum. In order to identify stakeholders and design an appropriate MSP process, clear objectives must be defined, and the boundaries of the social and ecologic al system must be established (Reed 2008). However, in order to improve the likelihood that stakeholders will take ownership of the process and ensure that outcomes will be relevant to their needs and priorities, it is vital for stakeholders to participate from the outset in project identification and preparation (e.g. Mazmanian and Nienaber 1979, Stewart et al. 1984, Blahna and Yonts Shepard 1989, Gariepy 1991, Beltsen 1996, Chess and Purcell 1999, Johnson et al. 2004, Reed et al. 2006, Lynam et al. 2007, Reed 2008). whereby system boundaries and issues are identified and modified alongside s takeholders, and stakeholders are added as the analysis continues (Reed 2008). In practice, MSPs are often developed in response to urgent and complex issues that have reached an elevated level of conflict or impasse (Roloff 2008) such as in the case of t he Mirador Roundtable of Guatemala Process champions usually begin with a general idea of issues to be dealt with, which is refined with stakeholder input as the MSP is formalized. Stakeholder Analysis and Participant S election rimary asset (Butterfoss et al. 1993, Reed 2008). MSPs can involve many groups, some of the most common being civil society and
27 grassroots organizations, local communities, policy and decision makers, civil servants, private sector representatives, academ ics, consultants, development aid agencies, and the media. For complex issues it is impractical to include all stakeholders. Therefore, members must be carefully selected, ideally based on pre determined and well defined decision criteria (Reed 2008). Sta keholder analysis is useful for identifying and categorizing potential members, as well as describing their relationships. A wide variety of tools and approaches exist for stakeholder analysis. For example, to identify stakeholders, expert opinion, focus g roups, semi structured interviews, and snowball sampling are common methods (Reed 2009). For stakeholder classification, groups may be organized and diagrammed according to their level of interest, influence, power, or other characteristics (Reed 2009). Al ternatively, stakeholders can classify themselves according to their own criteria (Hare and Pahl Wostl 2002), or can be categorized according to their understanding of the problem through cognitive mapping To describe the relationships between stakeholders, social network analysis, actor linkage matrices, or knowledge mapping may be utilized (Reed 2009). Although stakeholder analysis is a useful tool, the decision on who should participate in a MSP is comp lex and should take into account several practical and collaboratively and perform needed tasks (Knoke and Wood 1981). When considering members, it is important to consider both their individual capacities and group dynamics. Coalition members must collectively have the skills, knowledge, and willingness to build an effective coalition infrastructure, work collaboratively with others,
28 and build effective programs (Foster Fishman e t al. 2001). Coalitions with a diverse membership are more likely to have such a diverse range of skills and knowledge (Foster Fishman et al. 2001). Many argue that MSP membership should be inclusive, bringing everyone to the table to focus on the issues u nder consideration (e.g. Adam et al. 2007, Hemmati et al. 2002). However, others argue for strategic decisions as to who should participate in negotiations and how each group should be treated (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Some stakeholders may be best se rved by working through existing alliances (Jakobsen 1998), and participation in an MSP need not preclude other methods of pursuing interests (e.g. lobbying, legal challenges, protests) (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Stakeholder representation is complex since groups are subject to unstable processes of self identification and representation and are not easily bounded, identified, or cohered (Bickford 1999, Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Lack of stakeholder group organi zation and poor communication between representatives and their constituencies can be major hurdles for disadvantaged and marginalized groups (Faysse 2006), especially when representatives are not elected, but are appointed by outsiders (Ribot 1999). Repre sentatives can be biased by personal perks and increased social status due to participation in MSPs, causing them to lose legitimacy as representatives, and creating conflict within communities (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). In practice, civil society org anizations often initiate and coordinate MSPs (Adam et al. 2007). Academics, researchers and consultants often serve as co facilitators,
29 advisors and researchers. Development aid agencies often provide financial support for MSPs. Due to their financial fle xibility and influence, private sector members can often provide seed capital to finance the implementation of agreed upon actions, and help leverage policy change (Adam et al. 2007). Convening Actors from any sector may convene MSPs. However, civil societ y organizations have generally demonstrated greater success than public sector actors at initiating and coordinating MSPs (Adam et al. 2007). Since most natural resource policy and management is overseen by state authorities, civil society organizations ar e better positioned to undertake objective assessments of issues, monitor governmental compliance with agreed upon commitments, and build consensus between governmental and private sector actors (Adam et al. 2007). Civil society organizations are also not subject to the same rate of personnel and policy turnover as governmental bodies, allowing MSPs to survive transitions between political administrations and maintain organizational continuity. However, the role of state versus civil society in MSPs should be context specific. Convening a MSP requires careful attention to politics and existing alliances. Typically, a respected individual or organization who is seen as a relatively neutral broker between more polarized parties can initiate the engagement pr ocess by contacting stakeholders individually, assessing their willingness to participate, and identifying potential obstacles to participation. Strategies to interest reticent stakeholders in participating include: building upon existing processes and all iances; using trusted surrogates to attract groups to the table; giving formal decision making
30 power to the MSP; or broadening the scope of negotiated elements so that all invited stakeholders may find something interesting for them in the negotiation (Fay sse 2006). Securing buy in from well respected leaders and convening from a place of authority can lend further credibility to a MSP effort (Roloff 2008). For example, a ceremony hosted by the President of Guatemala and his cabinet, to which all participants were invited (Radachowsky and Castellanos in press). In order to obtain face to face meetings with high level officials, development agencies or policy advisors may facilitate access for MSP champions (Adam et al. 2007). During the initiation phase of a MSP, momentum must not be lost or the entire process may be put at risk. Before initiating, funding should be secured at least for basic organizational costs, inaugural events, and one or two subsequent meetings. Once stakeholders have formally committed to the MSP, they may work together to identify additional sources of funding (Adam et al. 2007). Establishing a Governance Structure and Ground R ules The first working meetings s hould focus on discussing and agreeing upon the responsibilities should be elucidated for all participants, as well as guidelines for process procedures such as representa tion, dialogue, decision making, and conflict resolution (Foster Fishman et al. 2001). It is also important to develop clear procedures for adding members, allowing members to exit, or modifying the rules at a later point (Wollenberg et al. 2005, Ridder 20 06). Once draft statutes are agreed upon, participants may be required to commit publicly or in writing to membership rules and to working toward shared objectives (Adam et al. 2007). Accreditation of one or two named
31 representatives per organization can e nsure consistent participation of members with decision making authority (Radachowsky and Castellanos in press). MSPs can take a variety of forms with different levels of formality and linkages to existing institutions. MSPs are likely to have more influen ce if decision making authority is binding or linked to higher level state institutions (Bckstrand 2006, Steins and Edwards 1999, IUCN 2012). However, direct linkage to state institutions can restrict the independence and autonomy of a MSP and drive off s ome stakeholders (IUCN 2012). The ideal structure of a MSP depends on its membership, context, and objectives. MSPs should be adapted according to the time participants are willing to commit, which may vary by culture, as well as available resources (Reed 2008). Typically, for complex issues, it is best to separate structures for process management, technical analyses, and deliberation. A typical MSP structure includes a steering committee composed of high level representatives of all stakeholder groups or sectors, which oversees thematic orientation and progress of the MSP (Adam et al. 2007). A facilitating institution or secretariat may manage and facilitate the MSP process, organizing meetings and workshops, communicating with participants, and preparing meeting minutes and other documentation. Working groups are useful for doing background research, conducting studies and analyses, preparing briefing papers, developing action plans, and evaluating progress. Plenary meetings should be utilized as efficie ntly as possible for discussion and decision making. Facilitation The outcomes of a MSP depend inextricably upon the quality of its facilitation (Chess and Purcell 1999, Richards et al. 2004). Facilitators must have the character,
32 skills, experience, empa thy, vision, and adaptability to maintain positive group dynamics while leading the group to develop a shared vision and achieve targeted outcomes. Facilitators must be adept at building relationships, managing conflicts, empowering disadvantaged groups, m anaging difficult and dominating personalities, drawing out quiet individuals, helping participants share knowledge and perspectives, promoting openness to exploration of new ideas, directing open dialogue toward decision making, fostering reflection and l earning, and communicating within and outside of the MSP (Allen et al. 1994, Butterfoss et al. 1993, Butterfoss et al. 1996, Wandersman et al. 1997, Foster Fishman et al. 2001). Good facilitators empower participants to efficiently achieve tasks and goals, while upholding member satisfaction, commitment, and morale (Butterfoss et al., 1993; Butterfoss et al., 1996, Kegler et al. 1998, Foster Fishman et al. 2001). Facilitators may be existing members of a process or may be brought in from outside. Many argue that facilitators must be regarded as impartial, treating all participants equally while trying to level the playing field as much as possible to reduce power inequities (e.g. Adam et al. 2007, Hemmati 2002). However, others argue that facilitators should not try to be accepted as neutral brokers, but rather should clearly identify their loyalties and actively support weaker groups in their negotiations (e.g. Faysse 2006). ructure, stages, and pace, Development and enforcement of ground rules: Drafting statutes for discussion in early meetings and subsequently ensuring their compliance.
33 Deciding upon the type and level of formality o f meetings and activities: Choosing between formal presentations, facilitated group sessions, breakout groups, learning journeys, online discussions, training events, etc. Ridder (2006) provides a comprehensive discussion on selecting methods for collabora tion. Convening meetings: Deciding when and where meetings will be held, drafting agendas, inviting participants (perhaps through a host institution) Creating a physical space for participants to interact: Arranging the venue, seating, sound, food, projec tors, materials, etc. Facilitating dialogue and decision making: Maintaining healthy group dynamics, promoting divergent thinking and exploration of ideas, promoting convergent thinking to achieve decisions that everyone can live with. Deciding how to pres ent and share information: Use of tools and technologies (e.g. presentations, software, flipcharts), language, level of technical jargon, etc. Capturing, summarizing, and sharing progress: Communicating meeting summaries, news, milestones, and other inform ation within and outside of the MSP.adaptive capacity to evolve and change in light of feedback; Facilitators must be prepared to use a range of tools and adapt methods to the relevant stage in the process or to changing circumstances (Richards et al. 2004), and must always highly value the time that stakeholders voluntarily invest in the process (Reed 2008). By monitoring and reflecting on feedback from participants, facilitators may refine their skills and methods. However, there is no replacement for empathy, intuition, and experience, which can only be gained through practice (Richards et al. 2004). Relationship building and conflict management The creation of new and improved types of interaction among MSP members is both a practical necessity and a lasting benefit of MSPs. When relationships are properly cultivated and trust is augmented, stakeholder commitment, satisfaction, and involvement increases, and MSPs are more effective and efficient at acquiring resources, making decisions, implementing a greed upon actions, and ensuring long
34 term viability and sustainability (Butterfoss et al. 1996, Foster Fishman et al. 2001, Adam et al. 2007). Skilled facilitation is necessary to foster positive relationships between MSP participants as well as promoting relationships between MSP members and external actors (Foster Fishman et al. 2001). Facilitators can foster relationships in several manners. First, they can develop judgmental platforms for airing complaints, sharing ideas, and making decisio ns where all participants actively participate, feel heard, and develop a shared sense of purpose and unified vision (Foster Fishman et al. 2001). Conflict management is particularly important for conservation related MSPs since members often share a histo ry of dispute, disagreement, and misunderstanding over contradictory uses of natural resources and their management (e.g. B ojorquez Tapia et al. 2004 ). Besides formal meeting spaces, facilitators can create informal spaces for interaction such as coffee b reaks, meals, or after meeting cocktails where participants can have personal conversations without the pressures or expectations of large meetings (Adam et al. 2007, Radachowsky and Castellanos in press). Learning journeys, where participants travel toget her to sites relevant to the MSP, are particularly effective at promoting informal interactions and building trust. If such opportunities are provided and conflicts are managed, camaraderie and friendships develop between participants, eventually leading t oward a culture of collaboration and inclusiveness (Foster Fishman et al. 2001, Adam et al. 2007). Supporting participation of disadvantaged groups Special attention should be given to the inclusion and representation of disadvantaged groups. First, facili tators should recognize that involvement in a MSP may not be the best strategy for disadvantaged groups, and should not forcefully coerce
35 them to participate (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Second, since a truly level playing field is impossible to achieve in practice, facilitators should take active steps to improve the capacity and negotiating power of disadvantaged groups (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2002). Aside from ethical and normative arguments, disadvantaged groups may present legal challenges and delay or prevent implementation if not properly included in decision making (Cupps 1977, Coglianese 1999, Turner and Weninger 2005). Whenever possible, MSPs should respect local decision making structures and work with elected community representatives. However, it is important to be vigilant to ensure that there is two way communication between representatives and their constituencies and that the voice of underrepresented groups (e.g. women, children, elderly) is being expressed. One manner is to occasionally h old meetings in communities for wider input and more direct communication. Facilitators, advisors, students, or process monitors can also communicate individually with community members, or conduct formal surveys to assess community member understanding, e ngagement, and satisfaction with the MSP (e.g., Radachowsky and Castellanos in press). Facilitators should ensure that disadvantaged groups have the capacities to participate meaningfully in MSP discussions and decision making (Richards et al. 2004, Faysse 2006). Technical assistance and training can help build necessary skills and knowledge before initiating or during the implementation of a MSP process (Foster Fishman et al. 2001). Capacity building can help members feel valued and increase a iveness especially for long term MSPs (Faysse 2006, McMillan et al. 1995, Kegler 1998). MSPs may also provide other types of support to ensure
36 participation of disadvantaged groups. For example, facilitators may need to supply logistical and financial su pport, provide translation services, adapt methods for illiterate participants, offer letters of support, provide childcare services, or undertake other Fishman et al. 2001, Ridder 2006, Reed 2008). Use of scientific and local knowledge MSPs should emphasize two way learning between participants with very different knowledge and perspectives (Chase et al. 2004, Johnson et al. 2004, Lynam et al. 2007). This implies combining lo cal and scientific knowledge, assimilating perspectives, and developing joint understanding (Stringer et al 2006). When participants have vastly different backgrounds, worldviews, languages, and cognitive styles, developing a shared understanding requires more than information transfer. Participants must be willing to question the foundations of their knowledge and be open to new ways of thinking (Berkes 1999, Berkes and Folke 2002). Such transformative social learning requires time, patience, and excellen t facilitation. Scientific information is critical to informed decision making in complex systems (Chess and Purcell 1999, Johnson et al. 2004, Chase et al. 2004, Fischer and Young 2007, Tippett et al. 2007, Reed 2008). Often, expert advisors, consultants or coalition members conduct studies on the system being discussed or collect scientific information from other sources to inform the deliberation process. As with all information, scientific information can be presented and interpreted in many ways so metimes purposefully biased or misleading (Foucault 1980). Facilitators must ensure that participants either have the capacity to interpret such information independently and engage meaningfully in technical debates, or that information is presented and an alyzed in user friendly
37 formats. For example, models and maps may be used to help visualize processes or experts may be invited to debate the benefits and drawbacks of different options. Incorporation of local knowledge is equally vital for decision making in complex systems, as it provides qualitative information collected over long time series affording experiential and contextual information complementary to scientific information (Berkes and Folke 2002). By combining local with scientific knowledge, a M SP can empower local communities, make decisions adapted to the local culture and context, and develop management systems more likely to be implemented successfully (Reed 2008). Despite the benefits of making decisions using complete information, some part icipants may not wish to share their knowledge. Knowledge may be withheld for privacy reasons or due to distrust of other MSP members, as information can sometimes be used strategically against those who share it (Scott 1998, Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Decision making making authority and linkage with institutional policies and actions must be very clear. Some MSPs are tightly linked with institutional processes and decisions are binding and immediately taken up as policy. Other MSPs pro vide recommendations which authorities can choose to accept or not. Typically, the greater the level of decision making power, the more likely stakeholders will desire to participate and the more likely the MSP will have immediate impacts on policy and imp lementation (Bckstrand 2006, Steins and Edwards 1999, IUCN 2012). However, being linked to institutional processes may restrict the independence and flexibility of a MSP, subjecting it to the same rigid institutional requirements it was looking to replace (IUCN 2012). There are two major views on the purpose of decision making in MSPs. Many
38 value for all participants or that all participants can at least live with (Sus skind and Field different options, exploring the diversity of ideas and opinions (Dryze k 2000, Reed 2008). Aiming for consensus, it is argued, may stifle minority opinions, limit the diversity of ideas considered, force members to focus on negotiating positions rather than openly exploring the range of options, and lead the MSP to make decis ions on general principles or tangential topics rather than taking on the most difficult issues (Coglianese 1999, Edmunds and Wollenberg 200, van de Kerhof 2006). Some argue that limiting MSPs to deliberation and discussion may be necessary for urgent issu es since building agreements may be too slow to address pressing threats (Borrini Feyerabend 1996, Lee 1993, Coglianese 1999). Regardless of the decision whether to seek consensus or the level of linkage with making rules and procedures should be very clear. It is important that the facilitator tailor methods to the local context and objectives of the MSP, and that the methods help the group pursue a shared vision, jointly solve problems, and ultimately change policy and implementation. Decision support tools such as multi criteria decision analysis, scenario models, and visualization tools can help stakeholders analyze different options. When developing procedures, a facilitator should recognize that stakeholders wil l likely negotiate in other formal or informal spaces outside of the confines of the MSP (Faysse 2006), and that agreements may be temporary, requiring occasional adaptation (Stringer et al 2006).
39 Communications and information dissemination Communication among MSP members is critical for coordination, information sharing, problem discussion, collaboration, and process transparency (Mattessich and Monsey 1992, Wandersman et al. 1997, Foster Fishman et al. 2001, Plummer and Armitage 2007). Facilitators must develop and maintain an effective communication system in which members are able to freely share information and correspond with one another in order to maintain member satisfaction, commitment, and process effectiveness (Mattessich and Monsey 1992, Butter foss et al. 1993, Wandersman et al.1997, Kegler et al. 1998). Electronic communications such as e mail and mailing lists can be effective for keeping less engaged stakeholders up to date with progress, sending meeting invitations, or developing ideas (Adam et al. 2007). However, care must be taken to reach stakeholders with limited technological access or capacity, using other means such as telephone calls, physical letters, or community liaisons. Bulletins may be produced to document progress and milestone s. Web pages may serve as a repository for different kinds of information (bulletins, meeting agendas and summaries, statutes, etc.), but process managers should ensure that they have the staff time and commitment to maintain information up to date, and th at any sensitive information is password protected. Communication between MSP members and other external actors is also vital for increasing public awareness, disseminating progress and lessons, and advocacy and lobbying. Electronic dissemination of key social networks can be effective. For advocacy, presenting as a multi sector group to key officials, either in their offices or by inviting them to a MSP meeting, can be highly effective. The media print, radio and television can also be instrumental in
40 increasing public awareness and disseminating key messages (Adam et al. 2007). Journalists may be invited to meetings and events or even be employed part time to capture key information and translate it into in f ormation products for outreach. Media should only be invited if all members are in agreement and when unresolved or conflictive issues are not actively being debated (Ridder 2006). Monitoring, evaluation, and learning Monitoring, evaluation, and learning a re critical to the legitimacy, transparency, and adaptive management of MSPs. However, evaluation is complicated by the fact that no standardized evaluation criteria or data collection methods exist for MSPs and by their nature MSPs may have shifting goals and objectives since participants are encouraged to reflect upon and adapt their activities to dynamic systems. Furthermore, in MSPs, the line between process and outcome is often blurred (Plummer and Armitage 2007). In other words, the creation of a func tional space for dialogue and decision making (process) is a powerful achievement in itself because it creates both the conditions with which to solve immediate problems, and the resilience to learn, adapt, and preempt future problems (Gunderson and Hollin g 2002). In any adaptive co management process, the specific context, uncertainties, and objectives should be taken into account when selecting outcomes to be monitored (Plummer and Armitage 2007). Many argue that the evaluation of MSPs should be participa tory, whereby stakeholders select and apply evaluation criteria experimentally to monitor the outcomes of their decisions (Prabhu et al. 2001, Garaway and Arthur 2004, Blackstock et al. 2007, Armitage et al. 2008a). Participatory monitoring and evaluation can promote empowerment, conflict resolution, capacity building, collaboration, and mutual
41 accountability (Estrella 2000). Furthermore, by reflecting upon monitoring data, staying aware of shifting contextual conditions and adapting actions accordingly, MS Ps can be more successful at effecting change (Gray 1985, Mattessich and Monsey 1992, Fishman et al. 2001, Gunderson and Holling 2002). Similarly, monitoring can be useful for adapting facilitation me thods and correcting problems before they become serious or overt. For example, in Guatemala anonymous surveys were administered to participants after meetings to assess satisfaction with the deliberation and decision making proces s and to gather ideas for improving facilitation methods. However, despite widespread calls for participatory evaluation and learning in MSPs, most published evaluations of MSPs have been undertaken using criteria selected without stakeholder engagement ( Chase et al. 2004), and have focused more on the process than on conservation and development outcomes (e.g. Beierle 1999, ies, for monitoring MSPs and other participatory methods (e.g. Beierle 1999, Chess and Purcell 1999, Plummer and Armitage 2007). For example, process outcome measures may include indicators of communication, negotiation, capacity building, institutional de velopment, decision making, trust, conflict reduction, cooperation, empowerment, pluralism, linkages, and social learning whereas conservation and development outcomes may be measured objectives. The fact that learning goals, approaches, and outcomes must be tailored to specific objectives and contexts makes it difficult to standardize measures of success across
42 adaptive collaborative management processes (Armitage et al. 2008b). If monitoring is conducted by members or proponents of the MSP process, evaluators should be aware of personal biases in interpretation especially when professional careers depend upon successful negotiation processes and methodological approaches (Edmunds and enchantment with the MSP process and report outcomes as more significant than they actually are (IUCN 2012). In practice, it is sometimes difficult to differentiat e successes organizations. Institutionalization and S ustainability increase its likelihood of surv members and increasing credibility during the first stages and can be used during difficult times to remind participants of the benefits of collaboration (e.g. Butterfoss et al. 1993, Butterfoss et al. 1996, Roussos and Fawcett 2000, Wandersman et al. 1997, Radachowsky and Castellanos in press). MSPs also need to respond proactively to uncertainty, maintaining flexibility and adaptability (Armitage et al. 2008a), and MSPs should be prepared for changes in members and objectives over time (Mattessich and Monsey 1992). MSPs should foster capacity in emerging leaders in order to cultivate redundancy in leadership and fac ilitation in case key leaders are lost over time. Predictable changes of governmental administrations and turnover of public officials can also disrupt MSPs significantly. One way to buffer against such shocks is to maintain a majority of non governmental steering committee members. Civil society
43 members, private sector members, and advisors can serve as a stable core group to ensure continuity, attracting new officials and rebuilding the MSP structure once new administrations have taken power. Another way to transcend governmental transitions is to solicit inter institutional MOUs or letters of commitment during times of good political relations from the highest institutional level attainable. The long term sustainability of MSPs depends upon their institu tionalization in policy. In many cases, MSPs are seen by governmental institutions as competitors for power, or as untested entities with uncertain consequences. However, as participation is increasingly envisaged as a democratic right, policy environments are increasingly becoming more favorable to such participatory governance structures. One way to encourage institutionalization is to publicly recognize public officials and managers for their collaboration in collective achievements even if small in order to incentivize the desire for continued participation and institutional linkages. From Dialogue to Action: Effecting C hange with MSPs The main goal of MSPs is to effect changes in policy and implementation. MSPs can effect change in two ways: by impl ementing initiatives themselves, or by serving as catalysts to prompt other organizations and institutions into implementing initiatives (Adam et al. 2007). In either case, coalitions have been shown to be most effective when they have clear and realistic goals, when they work at a scale that matches the unique and meaningful way, adapted to local conditions and cultural values (Mattessich and Monsey 1992, Butterfoss et al.1993, Butterfoss et al. 1996, Wandersman et al. Fishman et al. 2001, Armitage et al. 2009, IUCN 2012).
44 Successful MSPs cultivate relationships with a wide range of external indivi duals and institutions, developing broad networks that enable greater access to human, et al. 1998, Roussos and Fawcett 2000, Foster Fishman et al. 2001). MSPs may dev elop relationships with key political operators and policy makers, facilitating direct influence in policy change (Foster Fishman et al. 2001). Alternatively, MSPs may create public demand for change, using media to disseminate key messages and increase pu blic awareness about policy issues. This can be especially effective at strategic times, such as during political elections, or when officials are under political pressure to find solutions that the MSP can offer (Radachowsky and Castellanos in press). MSP s must be flexible enough to recognize and take advantage of such opportunities. Entering into a MSP is a long term commitment. It is important to have realistic expectations and only to initiate if there is sufficient dedication for years of coordination and facilitation. Without wise and committed leadership, MSPs will inevitably fail. With excellent leadership and dedication, and under the right conditions, MSPs have a chance of effecting real change for conservation and sustainable development.
45 Table 2 1. Reported benefits of multi stakeholder platforms Benefit Details Ability to deal with complex problems Adaptive governance methods such as MSPs may be apt for managing complex social environmental problems with high uncertainty and multiple stakeholders (Brunner et al. 2005, Folke et al. 2005, Dietz et al. 2003, Djalante et al. 2011) Inclusivity and equity MSPs promote inclusivity and equity in policy and implementation through active participation, which is increasingly seen as a democrati c right and required by national and international policies (Martin and Sherington 1997, Adam et al. 2007, Reed 2008, Colfer 2005). Multiple information types and sources By providing higher quality information inputs from multiple viewpoints and sources, MSPs expand analytical capability, make research more robust, reduce uncertainty, and promote the development of focused and holistic action plans to address key issues (Adam et al. 2007, Reed et al. 2006, Olsson et al. 2004, Berkes 1999, Woodhill and Roling 1998). Capacity building MSPs can build capacity and empower stakeholders through training, experience, and the co generation of knowledge, providing an important platform for training upcoming leaders and experts (Adam et al. 2007, Greenwood et al. 1993, Okali et al. 1994, Macnaghten and Jacobs 1997, Wallerstein 1999). Improved relationships MSPs can help improve existing relationships and develop new ones, building ad versarial relationships into collaborative ones (Adam et al. 2007, Forester 1999, Leeuwis and Pyburn 2002, Pahl Wostl and Hare 2004, Stringer et al. 2006). Promote social learning MSPs can promote social learning by fostering the sharing of perspectives and promoting reflective deliberation, resulting in creative, innovative solutions, creating a joint sense of ethics, and building empathy for others including disadvantaged stakeholders (Adam et al. 2007, Blackstock et al. 2007, Stringer et al. 2006, Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Higher quality decisions MSPs can ensure that decisions are based on more complete information including a variety of ideas and perspectives and are taken through a fair and legitimate process. This enables interventions an d technologies to be better adapted to local socio cultural and environmental conditions, increasing the likelihood that local needs and priorities are successfully met (Fischer 2000, Beierle 2002, Koontz and Thomas 2006, Newig 2007, Reed 2008, Newig and F ritsch 2009). Increased public support for decisions Decisions that are perceived to be holistic and fair, accounting for a diversity of values, may promote a sense of ownership, be adopted more quickly and widely, and leverage commitment for action, motivating both leaders and laggards (Martin and Sherington 1997, Richards et al. 2004, Reed 2007, Adam et al. 2007, Reed 2008). Reduce implementation costs MSPs enable participants to leverage their financial resources through the support of a broad coalition (Adam et al. 2007, Reed 2008).
46 Table 2 2. Reported drawbacks and challenges of multi stakeholder platforms Challenge Details Investment of resources and time MSP processes can be costly in terms of resources and time, and external funding sources may be limited or difficult to access (Faysse 2006, Adam et al. 2007). Delayed decisions and action ambiguities and delay the decision making and decisive action (Bojorquez Tapia et al. 2004, Faysse 2006, Adam et al. 2007, Vedwan et al. 2008). Imperfect stakeholder representation Groups are not easily bounded, identified, or cohered (Bickford 1999), and group formation involves complex and unstable processes of self identification and representation (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Lack of stakeholder group organization and poor communication or fidelity between representatives and their constituencies can be major hurdles for MSPs especially for representation o f disadvantaged and marginalized groups (Faysse 2006). Reliance on strong facilitation MSPs rely heavily on the presence of a visible and active champion with strong negotiation and facilitation skills, who is accepted by all parties (Adam et al. 2007). Competition for power In MSPs, stakeholders are likely to compete with each other and it is possible that dominant individuals and groups can use such platforms to reassert control and power (Kothari 2001, Adam et al. 2007). Increased manipulation of d isadvantaged groups Participation in multi stakeholder negotiations may camouflage or legitimize abuses of power and inequity, and may preclude disadvantaged groups from using other, more effective means of promoting their interests (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Lack of capacity Stakeholders especially disadvantaged ones may not have sufficient expertise to meaningfully engage in highly technical debates (Faysse 2006, Fischer and Young 2007). Rather than embracing a diversity of views, the homogenization of disparate interests through consensus building may discourage minority perspectives from being expressed, reinforcing existing privileges and group dynamics (Nelson and Wright 1995, Cooke 2001, p. 19, Edmunds and W ollenberg 2001). Consultation fatigue Lack of perceived benefits and early progress can lead to stakeholder dissatisfaction, loss of morale, and a decline in participation. This is especially truly when multiple overlapping MSPs compete for stakeholder p articipation. MSPs can be slow to put together, but quick to fall apart (Wondolleck and Yaffee 2000, Richards et al. 2004, Adam et al. 2007).
47 Table 2 3. Preconditions for the successful implementation of multi stakeholder platforms Precondition Details Problem complexity must require strategic alliances between different actors MSPs should deal with inclusive or cross cutting issues for which the benefits of bringing multiple sectors together justify the costs (Adam et al. 2007, Newig and Fritsch 2009). Stakeholders must have a strong commitment to the targeted problem Stakeholders must be highly concerned about the target problem, with interests and goals dependent upon the issues being discussed (Foster Fishman et al. 2001, Koontz 2005, Newig and Fritsch 2009). Perceived benefits of participation must outweigh costs Participation in a MSP should provide clear incentives for all, adding value beyond that which can be achieved through individual efforts (Foster Fishman et al. 2001, Adam et al. 2007 ). Process must be perceived as legitimate and credible If a MSP is tainted in the eyes of key stakeholders at the outset as biased or illegitimate, it is extremely difficult to build credibility (Adam et al. 2007). Special attention should be given to s takeholder participation during project identification and preparation (Reed 2008). Strong facilitation and process champions must be guaranteed The outcome of any participatory process is far more sensitive to the manner in which it is conducted than th e tools that are used (Chess and Purcell 1999, Richards et al. 2004). MSPs require capable, experienced, and reputational facilitators, as well as champions, sponsoring institutions, and strong political support (Adam et al. 2007). Disadvantaged groups m ust not be put at risk groups. Disadvantaged groups should not be pressured into participating in MSPs, and should be allowed to consider alternative strategies to negotiation. If disadvantag ed groups do choose to participate, MSPs should not preclude them from using parallel negotiation methods, and careful attention should be given to their organization, representation, technical capacity, and negotiation capacity. Capacity building may be u ndertaken prior to convening a MSP or may be built into the process (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Participants must agree to work together Many tactics exist to attract reticent stakeholders to a MSP, but it is not always possible or desirable to coerce intransigent stakeholders. If key stakeholders are unwilling to participate, a MSP may be impossible. Resources must be available or attainable Funding is necessary to maintain long term processes; volunteerism is not sustainable (Adam et al. 2007).
48 Figure 2 1. Typical steps in the development of multi stakeholder platforms (adapted from Roloff 2007).
49 CHAPTER 3 FOREST CONCESSIONS IN THE MAYA BIOSPHERE RESERVE, GUATEMALA: A DECADE LATER Int e g r a t i n g C o n s e r v a t i o n a n d D e v e l o p m e n t In the past few decades, conservation activities have shifted radically from command and control strategies toward more inclusive, people oriented philosophies. This shift was instigated on the one hand by the growing recognition that strict protectionism was in many cases failing, leading to a loss in ecological and institutiona l resilience (Holling and Meffe 1996; Berkes 2004). On the other hand, it was recognized that rural communities are often the most impactful and impacted actors within natu ral systems (Western and Wright 1994; Folke et al. believe that incentive based, participatory strategies were the optimal solution to human environment conflicts (Ghimire and Pimb ert 1997). In the 1980s and 1990s, integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs), often taking the form of community based conservation or community based forest management, were extensively promoted as one such way to achieve conservation objec tives while improving the livelihoods of loca l stakeholders (Schelhas et al. 2001 ). By providing alternative sources of income directly linked to wellbeing of natural systems, it was argued, stakeholders would cease to utilize environmentally destructive practices for income and would protect the natural resources upon which their new livelihoods depended. Multiple use forest management was a logical strategy Reprinted with permission from : Radachowsky, J., Ramos, V. H., McNab, R., Baur, E. H., & Kazakov, N. (2012). Forest concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala: a decade later. Forest Ecology and Management 268 ,18 28.
50 for maximizing environmental and socio economic benefits by addressing both commercial and subsist ence needs through the extraction of timber and non timber forest product s (NTFPs) (Panayotou and Ashton 1992). However, despite many attempts to implement ICDPs for multiple use management worldwide and substantial investment from donor organizations, ver y few projects have achie ved their goals (Kellert et al. 2000; Barrett et al. 2001 2005 ; McShane and Wells 2004 ). Two arguments have been put forth to explain the wide spread failure of ICDPs (Berkes 2004). Some argue that economic development and conserva tion may be inherently incompatible in conservation projects (Redford and Sanderson 2000; Browder 2002; McShane and Wells 2004). Others contend that most ICDPs were implemented inadequately, failing to fulfill basic necessary conditions such as: devolution of authority and rights to local people, sufficient technical and institutional capacity, economic viability, fair distribution of revenue, reconciliation between local and global interests, and resilience of ecological processes and social institutions ( Adams and Hulme 2001; Barrett et al. 2005; Murphree 2002; McShane and Wells 2004; Robinson and Redford 2004; Sayer and Campbell 2004; S toian et al. 2009; Wells et al. 2004). ICDPs based upon multiple use forest management have also had to contend with the extra challenge of seeking compatibility among diverse forest uses and stakeholders, entailing technical, social, economic, and political implications (Guariguata et al. 2010), leading some to argue that industrial forest concessions are likely to be more efficient and effective than community based for est management (Karsenty et al. 2008).
51 Despite the challenges of integrating conservation and development goals, most conservation and poverty reduction efforts today include aspects of both (Ga rnett et al. 2007). Today environmental sustainability is conceptualized as an essential pillar of (Jensen 2010). Furthermore, the global challenges of poverty and environmental degr adation are projected to augment in the foreseeable future (Hillebrand 2008). For all of these reasons, there is increasing pressure for improved understanding of the drivers of success and failure in ICDPs, as well as practical lessons for their design an d imp lementation (Sayer and Campbell 2004; Campbell et al. 2010). extract lessons about the use of multiple use forest management for integrating conservation and development goals. In the Multiple Use Zone (MUZ) of the MBR, the usufruct rights to timber and non timber forest resources were granted through concession agreements to twelve community organizations and two private ti mber companies in the late 1990 s and e arly 2000 s. Severa l studies have documented the status and trends of the concession system in the MBR, generally concluding that community forest concessions have been a successful model for achieving both conservation and development (e.g. Gretzinger 199 8; Nittler and Tsch inkel 2005; Carrera et al. 20 04; de Camino and Breitling 2008 ; Bray et al. 2008). However, recent events, including the failure of several concessions, justify a deeper, updated analysis of concession performance. This paper provides an analysis of the evo lution of the MBR concessions over a period of more than a decade. First, we describe the concession granting process and
52 initial conditions in each of the 14 concessions, as well as the management practices utilized both for timber and non timber forest p roducts. Next, we present a critical assessment of the current state of governance, ecological integrity, and socio economic development in each of the forest concessions, using a series of quantitative and qualitative indicators. Subsequently, we provide a categorization of the different trajectories the concessions have experienced, with narratives describing the key factors that may have influenced their success or failure. Finally, we provide suggestions for the continued consolidation of multiple use forest management practices in the MBR, and draw out lessons for ICDPs elsewhere in the tropics. Establishment of Forest Concessions in the Maya Biosphere Reserve The Maya Biosphere Reserve Until the 1960 s, the lowland Petn region of northern Guatemala was home to only a handful of small forest villages and timber companies dependent upon the extraction of forest resources such as mahogany ( Swietenia macrophylla ) and chicle ( Manilkara zapota tree resin used to produce chewing gum). Due to its isolation the department was treated as a quasi independent state, largely ignored by national politics, and from 1959 to 1989 was governed by a para statal authority, Empresa de Fomento y Desarrollo Econmico de Petn (FYDEP), with the responsibility of stimulating colonization and economic growth. As a result of the program especially after the first road was opened to the region the population of the Petn increased by nine per cent annually (Fort and Grandia 1999) until the pressures of slash and burn agriculture and logging threatened to destroy the entire forest within thirty years, according to projections (Sader 1999).
53 In 1990, with encouragement from conservation and aid organizations, the Guatemalan gov ernment established the MBR in order to contr ol forest destruction (Sundberg 1998; Nittler and Tschinkel 2005). At just over two million hectares, the MBR territory, including conservation and sustainable use of natural and cultural resources in order to maximize the ecological, economic, and social 1992). The reserve is divided into three zones. The core zone (36% of the MBR) consists of national parks and biotopes and is reserved for scientific investigation and low impact tourism. The buffer zone (24% of the MBR) forms a 15 km wide band along the entire southern border of the reserve. The MUZ (40% of the MBR), includes 848,440 hectares in which sustainable, low impact land uses are allowed. The core areas are s periphery, leaving the MUZ to function as the de facto heart of the reserve in terms of maintaining large scale ecological processes (Figure 3 1). The Concession Granting Process The Guatemalan protected area service, CONAP, was created in 1989 less than one year before the MBR was established and for years lacked the capacity and experience to effectively manage such a large area. In the early 1990s, conflict escalated between local communities and state agencies due to the restriction of access to resources within the new protected area, and forest destruction contin ued unabated (Carrera and Prins 2002: Finger Stich 2003). The conflicts spurred CONAP to
54 initiate the option of sub contracting the management of MUZ units to third party organizations through forest concessions. year armed conflict. The 1996 Peace Accords mandated increased democratization, decentralization of power and resources, and participatory development, including the establishment and strengthening of participatory arrangements, such as cooperatives. The chapter "Agrarian Situation and Rural Development" called for increased access to land and the sustainable use of land resources, specifically requirin Guatemalan government) allocate to small and medium incorporated as natural resources management ventures, 100,000 hectares within multiple use areas for sustai 1996). As a result of the b ackfiring of command and control strategies, the requirements of the Peace Accord, and offers of financial support from USAID, CONAP prioritized the granting of forest concessions to organized community groups that had historically inhabited or extracted resources from the area. The six communities living within the MUZ were given the highest priority for concession rights to their areas of historical influence, buffer zone communities were given second choice, and after much controversy over their inclusion, two private timber companies were relegated to las t choice (Nittler and Tschinkel 2005). In order to apply for a concession, legally established community organizations were required to demonstrate historical use and/or capacity to manag e forest resources sustainably. Communities had to be well organized internally, and be accompanied by an NGO of their choice that would provide the technical skills needed to comply with
55 management requirements, such as elaborating management master plans annual work plans, and environmental impact analyses, developing financial management and forest protection skills, and attaining third party forest certification within three years. Concessionaires were also required to pay a modest per hectare lease fe e. Community concessionaires were permitted to manage all above ground forest resources including NTFPs and wildlife, whereas the industrial concessionaires were only allowed to manage timber. Forest concessions were granted for 25 year periods that are re newable assuming demonstrated compliance with contractual obligations. Initial Conditions in Concessions In total, 14 concessions (12 community and two industrial) were granted between 1994 and 2002, ranging from approximately 7,000 to 83,000 hectares, an d covering more than 500,000 hectares of the MUZ. The concessions can be categorized as follows: 1. Industrial c oncessions (2): Extended to private companies for timber management only, including La Gloria and Paxbn In these concessions, other parties may b e given extraction rights for NTFPs and wildlife. 2. Non resident community c oncessions (6): Granted to community organizations from the buffer zone of the MBR including Las Ventanas, Chosquitn, Yaloch, La Unin, Ro Chanchich and San Andrs Since the se c oncessions do not include existing communities there is no urbanization or agriculture within them. 3. Resi dent community concessions with forest based h istory (2): Centered around the communities of Carmelita and Uaxactn both established more than a centu ry ago as chicle harvesting centers. These communities have historically relied on income from NTFPs especially chicle, xate ( Chamaedorea spp.) palm fronds, and allspice ( Pimenta dioica ) (described below). 4. Resident community concessions with recent i mm igrants (4): Centered around communities established just before, or just after the establishment of the MBR including Cruce a la Colorada, La Colorada, La Pasadita and San Miguel Most inhabitants immigrated from other parts of Guatemala with agricultura l and cattle based economies.
56 Details on initial conditions in each of these categories are described in T able 3 1. Multiple use Management in Forest Concessions of the MBR Community forest management in the MBR has been a constantly evolving process since the first experimental concession was granted in 1994. In large part, changes have reflected new institutional and policy arrangements, technical support, changing market conditions, and learning by concession organizations and state authorities. On e key factor in this evolution was the creation of a second level umbrella association, Asociacin de Comunidades Forestales de Petn (ACOFOP) in 1995, to represent the interests of the community forest enterprises, especially in terms of capacity building evolved over time, and has been especially important for advocacy against threats to land tenure security (T aylor 2010). Dozens of international and Guatemalan NGOs have also played diff erent roles in supporting community concessions during the past 15 years. During the first decade of the concession experience, ACOFOP, accompanying NGOs, and the community forest enterprises received tens of millions dollars of external assistance from US AID and other sources. Timber Management At the outset, most of the focus on forest management was dedicated to timber. Though the local tree community is relatively diverse, only two precious hardwood species, mahogany ( S. macrophylla ) and Spanish cedar ( Cedrela odorata ), initially accounted for almost all of the commercially sold timber even though much of the forest had already been high graded More recently, secondary species such as Calophyllum brasiliense Bucida burseras Vatairea lundellii Aspi dosperma stegomeris Lonchocarpus castilloi Metopium brownei and Astronium graveolens have also been
57 marketed in increasing volumes. Even with the diversification of marketed species, harvest intensities in the MBR are among the lowest worldwide at 1.2 3 .0 m 3 /ha Harvest planning activities consist of 25 year management plans including concession wide forest inventories, 5 year harvest plans with more detailed inventories, and detailed annual operation plans (POAs) including a complete census of marketabl e species. Forest management techniques follow reduced impact logging guidelines such as planning of roads, skid trails, and landings, directional felling, liberation of lianas, and use of lightweight machinery (Putz et al 2008) with 25 40 year cutting cycles and post harvest silviculture in some cases. All concessions achieved F orest Stewardship Council certification by Smartwood in fulfillment of their contractual obligation. Initially, some community concessions sold standing timber and only participa ted marginally in harvesting operations, but gradually, as concessionaires gained technical capacity and access to capital, they participated in the entire processing chain including logging, milling, and transport. Many concessions bought their own sawmil ls and equipment. Several value added initiatives were implemented such as carpentry and processing of decking, parquet, and tongue and groove products ( Nittler and Tschinkel 2005). In 2003, the second level enterprise, FORESCOM, was created in order to co llectively process and market timber and finished products with the aim of negotiating better prices and contractual conditions. Forest management details are described in Table 3 2. Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) The forests of the MBR contain a relat ively high density of commercially valuable NTFPs, including xate palm fronds, chicle gum resin, and allspice. Xate is the local name for several species of forest understory palms of the genus Chamaedorea The
58 wilt resistant fronds are collected, sorted, and shipped to Europe and the United States where they are used in floral arrangements. Chicle is the processed tree latex of M zapota Chicle sap into a sack and later reduce the liqui d over a fire in camp (Reining et al. 1992). Most chicle produced by concessions has been exported to Japan. Allspice is the fruit of a native tree ( P. dioica ) with highly aromatic oils. Fresh fruits are removed from cut limbs or occasionally entire felled trees and later dried. Allspice has mainly been exported to Europe and the United States. During the lifetime of the concessions, xate sales have increased or remained stable, while chicle and allspice have experienced declines in commercialization due to market fluctuations and degradation of the resource base. Other NTFPs sold on domestic markets include: the seeds of the tree Brosimum alicastrum which are used in baked goods, Desmoncus spp. palm vines and Monstera spp. aerial roots which are woven into furniture, Sabal mauritiiformis palm leaves which are traditionally used as roof thatch, Aechmea magdalenae fibers used by artesans, as well as dozens of medicinal plants. Many NTFPs do not provide direct income, but redu ce the cost of living significantly by substituting commercial products. Other Forest U ses Several other forest uses complement and compete with timber and NTFP management. Subsistence hunting is practiced throughout most concessions, and an innovative co mmunity based Ocellated Turkey ( Meleagris ocellata ) sport hunting project has operated in three concessions since 2000 (Baur et al. 2011 ). Archaeological research and restoration has been undertaken in several concessions, providing local jobs. Tourism, es pecially focused on the ancient Maya archaeological sites of Uaxact n and El Mirador, has consistently been promoted in concessions However, large scale
59 tourism development plans have been a major source of conflict (Radachowsky and Castellanos in press ). Recently, a conservation agreement was drafted between conservation organizations and the Uaxactun concession to provide incentives for adherence to agricultural zoning and control of deforestation and forest fires, and another is being considered for Car melita. Payments to concessions for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) have been discussed for several years, but have not yet been implemented. Small scale traditional swidden agricultural techniques are permitted, and a f ew projects have promoted improved agricultural techniques. D evelopment and enforcement of internal norms and zoning for agriculture has been a complicated and conflictive issue. In resident forest concessions with recent immigrants large scale cattle ranc hing expanded despite legal prohibitions. Other illicit forest uses include human trafficking, marijuana cultivation, commercial hunting, archaeological looting, and land speculation. The State of Forest Concessions in the MBR: A Decade Later In this sect ion, we present a critical assessment of the current state of governance, ecological integrity, and socio economic development in each of the forest concessions, using a series of quantitative and qualitative indicators. Except where cited otherwise, data is derived from fforts during the past decade. Governance Of the fourteen forest concessions granted, only ten are still fully active. Two resident community concessions with recent immigrants ( La Colorada and San Miguel ) were cancell ed by CONAP due to contractual incompliance. The remaining two resident community concessions with recent immigrants ( La Pasadita and Cruce a la Colorada ) have not formally been cancelled, but CONAP has repeatedly suspended their
60 permission for annual harv ests conditioning future harvests upon fulfillment of preconditions demonstrating increased contractual compliance All of the failing concessions have experienced a similar pattern of rapid population increase and turnover, coupled with rampant illegal l and appropriations affecting between 30% and 50% of the concession areas. All four of these concessions have also been impacted by the establishment of large cattle ranches, some of which are owned by powerful families linked to organized crime. The combin ation of these processes has resulted in overt social conflict, violence, and a high rate of environmental crimes. For example, in 2008 NGO and governmental personnel encountered a clear cut of 1100 hectares in the La Colorada concession. The area had been deforested by a crew of 100 paid day laborers, and bordered a cattle ranch whose owner was rumored to be involved in organized crime. A CONAP survey revealed that o nly two of the original 42 families remained; t he rest had fled after illegally selling state owned forest tracts Soon thereafter, the concession was cancelled due to mismanagement, residents were evicted from the area all cattle ranches were removed from the area ranch infrastructure was destroyed and a control post manned by park guards, police, and army was installed in the former concession In the Cruce a la Colorada concession, conflicts between ranchers and community concession managers in 2010 led to death threats to concession members and c ulminated in the assassination of a community leader. The violence forced many villagers to leave the concession and instilled fear among those who remained further deteriorating any possibility of improving concession management.
61 In non resident concessi ons and resident community concessions with forest based histories, land appropriation and other environmental crimes have largely been controlled by concession managers However, several concessions have experienced severe financial management problems, i ncluding substantial commercial and tax debt. Poor financial management and lack of transparency have created internal conflict and threaten the sustainability of some concessions. Since the concessions are granted on state owned land, Guatemalan law stipu lates that concession members can legally be held liable both for financial mismanagement and back taxes. Governance indicators for the forest concessions are described in Table 3 3. Ecological Integrity In recent years, forest cover has been disappearing at an average rate of 1.18% annually within the MBR. Although much of the forest loss has occurred in the buffer zone (36% deforested since 1986), rates have also been increasing dramatically in national parks and in some parts of the M u ltiple Use Z one (F igure 3 2). The mean rate of deforestation in the 14 concessions was 0.45% annually between 2001 and 2009. However, there is a great deal of variability between concession types. The mean deforestation rate in the four resident concessions with recent immi grants was 1.54% per year as opposed to a mean rate of only 0.008% in the remaining 10 concessions. Deforestation rates have been highest in La Pasadita (2.31%), La Colorada (1.52%), San Miguel (1.31%), and Cruce a la Colorada (1.05%) due to land speculat ion and conversion for cattle ranches. Most deforestation in the remaining concessions has been related to small scale swidden agriculture. Forest fires show a similar spatial pattern (F igure 3 3 ) Historically, fire was not a part of the ecology of the Pet
62 reported in the region. However, fires started for clearing of agricultural fields and pastures or to sabotage protected areas now regularly escape and burn vast tr acts of forest, especially during El Nio events when the forest is exceptionally dry and susceptible. The effects of forest fires on understory microclimate increase the likelihood that they will burn again. Between 2000 and 2010, the mean annual number o immigrants, compared to a mean of only 1.3 hotspots per year in the remaining 10 concessions. Similarly, the mean annual area burnt was 925.7 ha, or 5.04% of resident concessions w ith recent immigrants, compared to a mean of only 225.6 ha per year, or 0.42% of the remaining 10 concessions. In a comprehensive study of logging impacts, Radachowsky et al. (2004) found that direct ecological impacts of timber management in the concessio ns are relatively minor. In general, logged areas showed slightly greater canopy openness, lower canopy height, a higher density of seedlings, and a higher density of dead fallen trees than unlogged areas. Of the large vertebrates, only the howler monkey ( Alouatta pigra ) was found at significantly lower rates in logged areas. Bird, butterfly, and dung beetle community changes appear to be driven mostly by the addition of new species in logged areas, rather than the exclusion of existing species. This eviden ce suggests that increased habitat heterogeneity caused by logging roads and gaps may attract new species, thereby increasing species richness without sacrificing forest interior specialists as has been found in other s tudies of low intensity reduced impa ct logging (Putz 2011). However, with the commercialization of other secondary species and increased harvest intensities, impacts may be more severe and should be re evaluated.
63 Some NTFPs have shown signs of overexploitation. For example, for many years x ate was harvested through a contractor system, in which independent businessmen financed collection camp costs and paid workers for xate based on volume harvested. Leaves were shipped to sorting houses in urban areas, where as many as 76% of leaves were di scarded due to poor quality (Radachowsky and Ramos 2004). Contractors and middlemen captured most revenue, and xate populations were declining rapidly due to overharvesting (Wilsey and Radachowsky 2007). For example, i n the Uaxactn concession, adult Chama edorea oblongata density decreased more than 2% and juvenile density by more than 13% in j ust one year (Radachowsky and Ramos 2004). Beginning in 2004, the market system was reformed with support from NGOs and CONAP, and today most xate extraction is manag ed directly by community forest enterprises through formal management plans. Xate harvesters are now paid accordi ng to the number of exportable fronds harvested, providing an incentive to leave unmarketable, but biologically productive, leaves on wild plan ts. In order to increase local capture of revenue, the selection and packing process is now conducted i n community sorting houses. I n 2008 several concessions attained F orest Stewardship Council certification for xate management. Chicle exports have under gone a dramatic decline during recent decades due to decreased demand, lack of available capital for harvests, and uncharacteristically dry conditions during some harvest seasons, which reduces the harvestable quantity of resin. No recent local studies hav e examined wild M. zapota populations, but Reining et al. (1992) estimate d that trees have a mortality rate of 5 10% with a 5 year tapping cycle. Allspice exports have also been heavily impacted by decreased demand, as well
64 as unpredictable supply since it is a masting species with fruiting dependent upon climatic conditions. The impacts of hunting are difficult to ascertain. Using transects, Radachowsky (2004) estimated densities of nine of the 11 most important game species within the MBR concessions. Four species showed significant negative relationships with human access: Crested Guan ( Penelope purpurascens ), Great Curassow ( Crax rubra ), Red Brocket D eer ( Mazama americana ), and W hite lipped P eccary ( Tayassu pecari ). Brocket deer densities were eight t imes lower in areas of high human access than in areas with difficult access, while large terrestrial bird densities were three times lower. A consistent negative relationship was observed between human access and game meat availability. In areas with diff icult access, as much as 90 kg/km 2 of game meat was recorded for the three game species considered (Guan, Curassow, and Brocket deer). In areas of high access, less than 25 kg/km 2 were available. These findings suggest that subsistence and commercial hunti ng have a tremendous impact on game species populations in the reserve. Such trends are worrisome for several reasons. First, the long term viability of wildlife populations under such high levels of human pressure is uncertain. Second, meat for subsistenc e is less available near communities, potentially threatening an important protein source for community members. Third, diminished prey bases increase predation pressure by top carnivores such as jaguar and puma on livestock and dogs, exacerbating human wi ldlife conflicts. Indicators of ecological integrity in the forest concessions are described in Table 3 4. Socio economic Impacts Within community forest concessions, economic activities are varied. In most concessions, the extraction and commercializatio n of timber and non timber forest
65 products are by far the most important economic activities. However, in community concessions with recent immigrants, cattle ranching and other agriculture are the main sources of income. Current estimates of aggregate ann ual revenue in the MBR are more than $13,000,000 (USD) from certified timber ( CONAP 2011a ; Radachowsky and Ramos in preparation; FRAME 2006 ; Rosales 2010 ). Harvest and management activities for timber and NTFPs have been reported to generate more than 3,000 jobs annually, representing more than 300,000 person days (Gustavo Pinelo pers. com.). In 2003 Chemonics International estimated that the average annual income per c oncession member was $1,140, including dividends and wages. This is equivalent to approximately six months of average income for rural Petn and entailed an average of only 39 days of labor (not considering time spent in organizational meetings). Benefits are distributed more widely throughout communities, including to non members, through day labor. For timber operations only, a total of 51,309 person days of labor were paid in 2003, worth approximately $360,000 (Chemonics International 2003). Most employ ment came from sawmill operations (55%), followed by harvest (29%), and pre harvest activities (16%). The revenue generated by NTFP extraction in the MBR is also substantial with estimates of $5,700,000 annually from xate alone (CONAP 2011b). Mollinedo (2 002) estimated that NTFP harvests in the community of Carmelita generate over $2,300 per family per year. In the community of Uaxact n, xate harvesting alone currently accounts for 32% of all reported income, not including the income derived from sorting a nd processing. Most importantly to the local economy, xate is available year round as a
66 backup income source when timber related and other employment options are unavailable. Furthermore, many non market NTFPs such as firewood, thatch palms, medicinal plan ts, and game meat are used locally, thereby reducing family expenditures. Agricultural practices vary dramatically across concession types. In industrial and non resident concessions, there is no agricultural use. In resident community concessions with fo rest based histories, small scale s widden agriculture and animal husbandry are practiced for local consumption In concessions with forest based histories, cattle ranching is restricted. Approximately 40 head of cattle currently exist within the Carmelita concession (one per 20 inhabitants), and there are no cattle in Uaxactun. In contrast, in community concessions with recent immigrants, there are an estimated 1,200 1,500 head of cattle, representing more than one cow per two inhabitants. In Cruce a la Col orada the only concession with recent immigrants that has continued legal forestry operations, 77% of income is derived from agriculture, and most inhabitants work as day laborers for wealthy absentee ranchers. This contrasts markedly from the resident co mmunity concessions with forest based histories, in which more than 60% of all income is derived from forest products and less than 5% from agriculture following historical livelihood strategies In the communities themselves private commercial ventures s uch as general stores, maize mills, and restaurants/bars also form an important part of the local economy. Approximately six percent of community members benefit directly from such small scale commercial enterprises. Additionally, tourism provides up to fo ur percent of
67 archaeological sites. It is impossible to quantify income derived from illegal activities, but illegal land sales, timber poaching, human trafficking, looting of ar cheological sites, and other prohibited activities provide significant revenues for some concession inhabitants especially in resident concessions with recent immigrants. Since no longitudinal studies have been undertaken, it is difficult to provide a qu A comparison of historically forest based versus recent immigrant resident concessions provides interesting insights on livelihood impacts. Forest based concessions h ave experienced annual population increases of approximately 2%, while immigrant concessions have increased at a rate of 9%. Basic Necessities Surveys (BNS) conducted in 2009 and 2010 using the methods of Davies and Smith (199 8 ) show ed that immigrant resid ent concession Cruce a la Colorada has a mean index of access to basic necessities of only 0.40, compared to 0.51 and 0.55 in the resident forest based concessions of Uaxactun and Carmelita. Many concessions, including non resident community concessions su ch as San Andrs, also provide social services including life insurance and emergency medical services for members, educational support and scholarships, and support for community infrastructure and events. Indicators of socio economic conditions in the fo rest concessions are described in Table 3 5. What Happened? Drivers of Success and Failure in Forest Concessions The concessions were not designed as a randomized experiment, and confounding factors prohibit simple attribution of different outcomes to concession types or models. For example, community concessions with recent immigrants tended to be smaller, were app roved earlier in the concession granting process, included private landholdings at the time of establishment, and are spatially auto correlated along a
68 route with historically unrestricted access. Still, the different concession types have experienced very distinct trajectories and several lessons can be extracted from their complex histories. In general, the two industrial concessions have retained strong internal governance. Timber management has been undertaken efficiently and responsibly, and one can as sume that they have been profitable with adequate financial management. Deforestation has been minimal, but since industrial concessionaires do not have control over NTFPs and cannot restrict access to third parties, some hunting, looting, and occasional f orest fires have occurred. The industrial concessions do not have the implicit goal of improving socioeconomic conditions for local people, but have produced jobs for some inhabitants of the reserve and nearby urban areas. The relative commercial success o f industrial concessionaires can probably be attributed to their history of commercial forest management, advanced capacity, plentiful capital, and the well developed model of private logging concessions. In the six non resident community concessions, def orestation and forest fires have likewise been minimal. Income from forest management has been significant, and most concessions are today highly capitalized, having invested in sawmills and equipment. However, one of these concessions has experienced seve re financial management problems, and although in extreme debt, continued to provide annual dividends to concession members. Non resident community concessions have had several advantages over resident concessions. The members have deliberately and volunta rily chosen to work together for a common goal. Since the concessions lack
69 villages, they have not had to deal with conflicts derived from agricultural re zoning or the disparate interests between concession members and non members. In the two resident com munity concessions with forest based histories, deforestation and forest fires have also been controlled adequately, although hunting continues to place pressure on wildlife populations. Forest management has provided significant income and social benefits to both concession members and non members. However, in both concessions, weak financial management and transparency have resulted in substantial debt and internal community conflicts. The development and application of norms for agricultural use within t he concessions has also been extremely difficult and increased intra community conflict. Due to their forest based histories and their position as entry points to major archaeological sites, these two concessions have received the most support from NGOs an d government, often serving as pilot communities for projects. Despite substantial progress, major challenges remain in order to improve local livelihoods and to ensure the sustainability of forest management operations. All four resident community concess ions with recent immigrants have experienced devastating ecological impacts due to the establishment of new, mostly illegal cattle ranches. The incursion of large ranchers has also resulted in increased poverty, essentially creating a system of serfdom for many inhabitants. Such colonization is probably due to several factors. First, many villagers were skeptical of forest management and felt pressured into accepting the concession model in order to remain in the area, in part because they came from other p arts of Guatemala with an agricultural background. A project attempting to zone agricultural use in the concessions
70 from 2003 to 200 5 stimulated land speculation, and was exacerbated by corruption within community organizations, as well as pressure from po werful external actors rumored to be linked to organized crime. The governance problems had a snowball effect, resulting in violent conflict and aggravating any attempts to keep the concession organizations running properly. Today, two of the four concessi ons with recent immigrants have lost their contracts, and it is very likely that the remaining two will also fail. L e s s o n s f o r M u l t i p l e U s e F o r e s t M a n a g e m e n t The experience from the MBR demonstrates that under some circumstances, multiple use forest management through concessions can f ulfill the goals of ICDPs by providing significant, sustainable income streams to concession members and protecting the natural resources upon which they depend. However, it also clearly demonstrates that improper concession management can lead to ecologic al degradation, increased poverty, and debilitated governance systems. The success of multiple use forest management in concessions depends upon the specific conditions and processes in each concession (Bray et al. 2008) Concession management is an ongoin g, adaptive process that must take into account both internal dynamics and external factors, and must bridge social, ecological, and economic domains. Five of the most frequently cited conditions for achieving conservation and development through multiple use management include: Devolution of authority and local rights; technical and institutional capacity; economic viability and distribution of revenue; reconciliation between local and global interests; and resilience of ecological processes and social ins titutions (Murphree 2002; Adams et al. 2004; McShane and Wells 2004; Barrett et al. 2005; Robinson and Redford 2004; Sayer and Campbell 2004;
71 Wells et al. 2004). Furthermore, Campbell et al. consensus that at the hea rt of achieving positive outcomes are a core of institutional issues involving landscape governance, trust building, empowerment, and good communication, all implying long term commitment by, and flexibility of, external actors In the MBR, all successf ul concessions have managed to fulfill most of these basic conditions, although some continue to face challenges. For example, poor financial management capacity and high turnover in concession management positions weaken institutional resilience in at lea st three of the ten remaining concessions. Discrepancies between the interests of different actors also threaten to undermine the concessions, although interests do not cleanly follow a global/local dichotomy. Large scale development projects, particularly concessions, have furthered uncertainty over land tenure security and resource rights, while also increasing distrust between co ncessionaires, national and international promoters, and governmental institutions. Poor governmental oversight and law enforcement, as well as a lack of timely and politically acceptable sanctions helped set the stage for a downward spiraling of governanc e and a culture of impunity in failing concessions. Governance problems in failing concessions spilled over into nearby concessions, instigating landscape level impacts. Market fluctuations, especially during the 2008 20 10 global economic downturn, had imp ortant impacts on concession revenues, but these were partially offset by increased product diversification including timber from secondary species, finished timber derivatives and NTFPs In retrospect, the goals of most conservation organizations and aid agencies may have been overly
72 optimistic and short institutional and political context. Several adaptive efforts have been undertaken to address weaknesses and mitigate threats in concessions. For Mesa Multisectorial also known as the Mirador Rio Azul roundtable, was developed to manage conflict and build consensus over conservation and tourism development in the eastern MBR. Inter institutional efforts have been stepped up to establ ish a series of control posts, recuperate illegally usurped areas, and increase law enforcement in the MUZ. Inter institutional efforts have also been strengthened to build financial management capacity and to restructure mechanisms for financial audits an d monitoring. Efforts also continue to diversify and add value to the current forest product portfolio. Lastly, conservation agreements have been drafted to allow conservation organizations to support concession management through clear contracts. The MBR provides several lessons for multiple use forest management elsewhere in the tropics: 1. In the MBR, community concessions whose members voluntarily and willingly chose to obtain and manage forest concessions together have experienced the greatest success and least internal conflict. In the case of some resident concessions with recent immigrants, locals were coerced into obtaining forest concessions in order to retain their right to settle in the area. These concessio ns have failed completely. In resident concessions with forest based histories, only some villagers decided to partake in concession management, and in some cases tension between concession members and non members continues to affect concession performance Successful concession management depends upon voluntary association and decision over whom one goes into business with. 2. Concessions as businesses: External actors dedicated enormous effort and or forestry planning and operations in the MBR. However, very little attention was given to business
73 auditing and sanctions. Today, poor financial management practices and acqui red debt may be the greatest threat to concession sustainability. 3. Diversification and resilience: Concessions with greater product diversification have been less susceptible to market uncertainties. C oncessions with diversified sources of income including NTFPs (especially xate ) and sport hunting could more easily weather market fluctuations for individual products. 4. The myth of self financing: In the MBR, forest management has helped to cover the majority of the costs of conservation in concessions including patrols and fire prevention and control However, in areas with extreme governance issues, even efficiently managed timber concessions may require subsidies in order to mitigate threats and outcompete illicit forest uses. In the MBR, conservatio n organizations have co financed community forest management through clear agreements that provide conservation incentives and technical support, regular compliance monitoring, and multiple sector participation. Especially as other environmental services a re integrated into markets, such overlapping conservation financing mechanisms may become increasingly important to community forestry. 5. Long term commitment and flexibility: External actors must be careful not to be overly optimistic and recognize that ICDPs often require a long term commitment on the order of decades, with flexibility for adaptive management. Spaces for inter sector dialogue and consensus building can help d irect and ensure complementarity of investments, as well as promote social learning and help evaluate success from a variety of perspectives.
74 Table 3 1. Initial conditions in forest concession s of the Maya Biosphere Reserve Industrial Concessi ons (N=2) Non resident Community Concessions (N=6) Resident Community Concessions with Forest Based History (N=2) Resident Community Concessions with Recent Immigrants (N=4) Year contracts granted Range 1999 1997 2002 1997 2000 1994 2001 Year certified Range 2001 2003 1998 2004 1999 2001 1999 2005 Year contracts expire Range 2024 2022 2027 2022 2025 2022 2026 Concession area (ha) Mean 66,152 32,514 68,678 17,098 Range 65,755 66,548 12,218 64,973 53,797 83,558 7,039 22,067 Number of members Mean N/A 129 167 69 Range 27 342 109 224 39 122 Number of beneficiaries Mean N/A 708 916 380 Range 149 1881 600 1232 215 671 Area per member (ha) Mean N/A 339 433 275 Range 190 668 373 494 154 460 Table 3 2 Management details for forest concession s of the Maya Biosphere Reserve Industrial Concessions (N=2) Non resident Community Concessions (N=6) Resident Community Concessions with Forest Based History (N=2) Resident Community Concessions with Recent Immigrants (N=4) Area under timber management (ha) Mean 60,933 23,414 53,349 13,101 Range 58,899 62,967 9,189 44,633 34,152 72,545 4,800 17,621 Area under strict protection (ha) Mean 6,856 9,092 13,725 1,768 Range 6,856 2,985 31,894 9,314 18,135 1,100 3,497 Mean annual harvest area (ha) Mean 1,882 680 400 472 Range 1,800 1,963 360 1,120 400 80 705 Annual harvest volume, primary species (m3) Mean 2,494 857 820 231 Range 2383 2606 647 1015 719 922 68 428 Annual harvest volume, secondary species (m3) Mean 2,689 553 364 302 Range 2383 2996 317 1079 246 482 120 382 Harvest intensity (m3/ha) Mean 2.8 2.1 3.0 1.1 Cutting cycle (years) Mean 27.5 30.8 40.0 35.0 Range 25 30 25 40 40.0 25 60 Number of paid forest rangers Mean 9.0 3.7 5.5 3.0 Range 6 12 2 8 4 7 0 6
75 Table 3 3 Governance indicators for forest concessions of the Maya Biosphere Reserve Industrial Concession s (N=2) Non resident Community Concessions (N=6) Resident Community Concessions with Forest Based History (N=2) Resident Community Concessions with Recent Immigrants (N=4) Concession Contract Status all active all active all active (one with conditions) 2 cancelled, 2 suspended Certification Status all active all active all active 2 suspended Financial management and Transparency N/A 3 good, 2 medium, 1 poor 1 medium, 1 poor 2 poor, 2 cancelled Level of internal conflict low low medium extremely high Percentage of concession area affected by land grabbing Mean 2.5% 0.0% 5.0% 45.0% Range 0 5.0% 0% 5% 30.0 50.0% Estimated number of cattle, 2009 Mean 0 0 25 475 Range 0 0 0 50 150 1000 Registered environmental crimes Mean 3.0 0.8 6.5 18.0 Range 0 6 0 3 6 7 10 22
76 Table 3 4 Indicators of ecological integrity in forest concession s of the Maya Biosphere Reserve Industrial Concessions (N=2) Non resident Community Concessions (N=6) Resident Community Concessions with Forest Based History (N=2) Resident Community Concessions with Recent Immigrants (N=4) Annual deforestation 2001 2009 (ha) Mean 3.1 0.7 17.3 268.7 Range 1.3 5.0 0.2 2.4 17.2 17.5 92.2 433.8 Percent of concession deforested annually Mean 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Range 0.00 0.01% 0.00 0.01% 0.02 0.03% 1.05 2.31% Annual number of fire hot spots 2000 2010 Mean 1.4 0.8 2.7 16.8 Range 1.3 5.0 0 4.5 2.1 3.3 6.7 31.5 Area burnt annually (ha) 1998 2010 Mean 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Range 17.7 285.3 0.0 1353.8 18.1 580.3 204.2 1311.7 Percent of concession burnt annually Mean 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% 0.00% Range 0.03 0.43% 0.00 2.61% 0.02 1.08% 2.90 6.97% Fragmentation (km edge/km2 area) Mean 0.02 0.05 0.22 3.47 Range 0.01 0.03 0.01 0.10 0.19 0.24 2.43 4.90 Mean distance from permanent roads (km) Mean 19.5 27.0 14.7 3.5 Range 16.2 22.8 12.1 45.4 13.1 16.2 2.3 4.7
77 Table 3 5 Socio economic conditions in forest concession s of the Maya Biosphere Reserve Industrial Concessions (N=2) Non resident Community Concessions (N=6) Resident Community Concessions with Forest Based History (N=2) Resident Community Concessions with Recent Immigrants (N=4 ) Estimated mean socioeconomic level N/A medium medium poor Primary sources of income Timber Timber Xate palm, Timber Cattle ranching, Agriculture, Timber Estimated population per community 2010 Mean N/A N/A 1,237.5 702.6 Range 803 1672 380 1095 Annual population increase 2006 2009 Mean N/A N/A 1.7% 9.2% Range 1.3 2.1% 5.7 11.8% Percentage of residents who are direct beneficiaries of the concession Mean N/A N/A 74.2% 40.6% Range 73.7 74.7% 40.6 61.5% Percentage of members who are women Mean N/A 13.2% 39.4% 16.4% Range 0 23.7% 36.6 42.2% 4.2 29.9%
78 Figure 3 1. Map of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Petn, Guatemala indicating the different types of forest concessions of the Multiple Use Zone (shaded polygons).
79 Figure 3 2. Map of deforestation in the Maya Biosphere Reserve since its establishment in 1990. In the concessions, impacts have been es pecially severe in the resident community concessions with recent immigrants, including Cruce a la Colorada, La Colorada, La Pasadita and San Miguel
80 Figure 3 3. Map of forest fire occurrence in the Maya Biosphere Reserve since its establishment in 1990. As with deforestation, fire impacts hav e been especially severe in the resident community concessions with recent immigrants, including Cruce a la Colorada, La Colorada, La Pasadita and San Miguel
81 CHAPTER 4 CONFLICT, COMPLEXITY, AND CONSERVATION: ADAPTIVE CO MANAGEMENT Adaptive Co management Most early efforts to conserve natural resources were undertaken by authoritative decision making and the exclusion of humans from protected ar eas. However, such top down protectionist strategies have been largely ineffective, especially in areas of high human pressure (Holling and Meffe 1996). More recent attempts to incorporate humans in natural resource conservation, usually billed as particip atory approaches, have also received heavy criticism (Cleaver 1999, Schelhas et al. 2001, Berkes 2004). Many contend that they have been implemented incorrectly, not giving sufficient attention to the specific cultural and economic needs of individual comm unities (Chambers 2002, Mansuri and Rao 2004), and failing to create true participation and devolution of responsibilities to stakeholders (Murphree 2002). Others argue that economic development and conservation may be inherently incompatible (Redford and Sanderson 2000). The general dissatisfaction with both exclusionary and early participatory strategies has left conservationists with a serious quandary: How can we make sustainable environmental decisions in systems influenced by complex social and ecolog ical interactions? Recently, applied ecology has exhibited a major paradigm shift, with a new focus on holistic systems perspectives, the inclusion of humans within ecosystems, and participatory strategies for ecosystem management (Berkes 2004). In part, t his shift is a response to growing recognition that ecosystems are not deterministic and homeostatic, but often express unpredictable or even chaotic behavior. At the same time, conservation has become more complex, with increased cross scale interdependen ce
82 between humans and the environment due to capital markets, new technology, and systems of governance (Folke et al. 2005). Salwasser (2002) argues that most large characterized by the complexity, fragmented stakeholders, scientific messiness, uncertainty, conflicting risks, and dynamic social, economic, knowledge, and technological systems described by social Further more, there is often latent or overt conflict and distrust of public institutions (Stewart et al. 2004, Haight and Ginger 2000). In order to deal with this complexity, environmental management has refocused on decision making processes that embrace uncerta inty, social dynamics, and new governance structures. Adaptive co arrangements and ecological knowledge are tested and revised in a dynamic, ongoing, self organized process of trial and al. 2002). The concept combines precepts of adaptive management (e.g. Holling 1978, Walters 1986), with the acknowledgment that complex environmental problems require unprecedented levels of public participation (e.g. Fischer 1993, Lee 1993, Schelhas et a l. 2001). Adaptive co management requires more than devolution of management rights; it requires the creation of flexible and resilient social networks (Folke et al. 2005). The five core components of adaptive co management (Plummer and Armitage 2007) are: adaptive capacity to evolve and change in light of feedback; social learning by which actions are developed, tested, reflected upon, and revised, i.e., double loop learning, learning by doing; communication, i.e., sharing of information, shared underst anding; sharing authority, i.e., power, between at least two groups of actors, usually, but not limited to, the state and civic actors and/or users; and
83 shared decision making. Multi Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs) have been widely proposed as resilient ACM structures capable of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty inherent in modern conservation and sustainable development problems (e.g. Reed 2008, Armitage et al. making bodies (voluntary or statutory) comprising different stakeholders who perceive the same resource management problem, realize their interdependence for solving it, and come together to 9) Several exampl es demonstrate that MSPs can function as powerful structures for ACM, creating high quality, durable decisions, with emergent and spin off benefits far superior to top down management (e.g. Fischer 2000, Beierle 2002, Reed 2008). However, for every success ful MSP process, there have also been many disappointments and failures (e.g. Manzungu 2002, Hirsch and Wyatt 2004, Faysse 2006, Reed 2008), and there are serious claims that MSPs can even lead to further inequity and manipulation of disadvantaged groups (e.g. Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). There is debate about the true utility of MSPs for ACM, the conditions under which success is possible, and methods for achieving success (e.g. Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001, Faysse 2006, Plummer and Armitage 2007, Reed 20 08). As Plummer and Armitage (2006) explain, management is a relatively new concept around which an idealized narrative has formed with relatively little empirical evidence and even less evaluative experience In this paper, we critically ev aluate the Mirador Rio Azul Multi sector Roundtable complex and conflictive history and quickly attained a scale and scope seldom seen in
84 the world of natural resource manage ment. Specifically, the Mirador Roundtable is characterized by: 1. Significant participation of several societal sectors 2. Consensus based decision making 3. An expansive geographical area (>800,000 ha) and wide range of range of issues (e.g. tourism, infrastruc ture, security, natural resource management) 4. Involvement of high level officials (e.g. Two Presidents of Guatemala, government ministers, NGO Directors) 5. Power to decide upon the allocation of tens of millions of dollars, and 6. More than six years of consis tent stakeholder participation w ith tangible results in tourism development, environmental security, and community development. This paper is divided into four sections. First we describe methods for data collection and evaluation. Second, we describe the confluence of key events and actors that created the Mirador Rio Azul Roundtable. Third, we describe the roundtable structure and evaluate its accomplishments and ongoing challenges after six years of existence. Finally, we compare empirical observations t o ACM theory and extract practical lessons and insights applicable to complex natural resource conflicts around the world. Methods It is difficult to standardize measures of success for ACM since approaches and desired outcomes vary according to specific p roject objectives and contexts (Armitage et al. 2008). By their nature MSPs may also have shifting goals and objectives, with unclear boundaries between process and outcomes (Plummer and Armitage 2007). Furthermore, it is sometimes difficult to differentia te successes due to a MSP from
85 MSPs and other participatory methods, derived from theory an d case studies (e.g. Beierle 1999, Chess and Purcell 1999, Plummer and Armitage 2007). To evaluate the results of the Mirador Rio Azul Roundtable, we utilized Plummer indicators of success: 1) Tangible outcomes; 2) Process outcomes, and 3) Intangible outcomes, each with various sub categories. Tangible outcomes included measurable impacts on ecological and social development goals Process outcomes included indicators of collaboration pluralism, negotiation, decision making, and social learning Intangible outc omes included indicators of social capital and legitimization for policies and actions The primary author participated directly in more than 50 meetings and events related to the roundtable between 2006 and 2013, observing and documenting meeting dynamics interactions between participants, progress, and outputs. To measure perceptions of the r oundtable and the decision making process, in November and December 2007 structured surveys with five point responses and open ended questions experience with the issues attitudes towards others, influence in decision making hope for favorable outcomes, and satisfaction with the decision making proce ss were administered to 84 individuals selected based u pon their participation in the r oundtable, decision making authority, potential impact of decisions, and special expertise or knowledge. These included 32 representatives of 29 formal member institutions of the roundtable including government Institutions, academic institutions, organize d community groups, NGOs, and the private sector, as well as 27
86 community leaders and members from Carmelita and 25 from Uaxactn the villages likely to be most affected by decisions. Due to high rates of illiteracy, inter views were administered orally, with a response rate of 100%. Participants were promised confidentiality following a protocol approved by the University of Florida Institutional Review Board (#2006 U 971). In addition, surveys were administered to participants after meetings in August 20 07, October 2007, July 2009, Dec ember 2010, and Dec ember 2011 to assess satisfaction with the deliberation and decision making process and to gather ideas for improving facilitation methods. Background Maya Biosphere Reserve Until the 1960 s, the lowland P etn region of Northern Guatemala was home to only a handful of small forest villages and timber companies dependent upon the extraction of forest resources such as mahogany and chicle (chewing gum) resin. Due to its isolation, the department was treated a s a quasi independent state, largely ignored by national politics, and governed by a p arastatal authority Fomento y Desarrollo Economico de Petn (FYDEP), with the responsibility of stimulating economic growth. In the 1970 s and 80 s, the policy began to ta ke effect Following the first paved road into the area, immigrants swarm ed to the region from other parts of Guatemala with an individualistic frontier mentality. During the height of the civil war, Petn was seen as a place where land was free and where one could escape from the law and lawlessness of the highlands. For over thirty years, the population of the Petn increased nine percent per year (Fort and Grandia 1999). Slash and burn agriculture and lo gging was projected to destroy the entire forest in less t han thirty years (Sader 1999).
87 In 1989 the Guatemalan park service, CONAP, was created. The following year, the Guatemalan government established the Maya Biosphere Reserve, a two million ha area co vering half of Petn vestiges of the ancient Maya civilization (Figure 4 1). The goal of the reserve was to preven t ecological disaster by balancing economic activity and conservation. The reserve was divided into three zones, including strictly protected areas, a buffer zone, and a multiple use zone. Later, as a response to w eak institutional capacity, agrarian refor m at the end of the 36 year civil war, and grassroots opposition to the initial conservation approach applied by CONAP, management of the multiple use zone was contracted to third party organ izations through concessions. The centerpiece of the reserve was a bold new model for participatory natural resource management the community forest concession. Resource and management rights to large swaths of forest, ranging from 5,000 83,000 ha, were devolved in legally binding 25 year contracts to organized commu nity groups that had previously inhabited or extracted resources from the region. In order to build capacity, improve negotiating power on international markets, and fend off external threats from oil companies and mega infrastructure projects, the communi ty organizations banded together to form a second level association, Asociacion de Comunidades Forestales de Petn (ACOFOP). International NGOs promoted community forest management in the concession s, largely supported by USAID. At the height of funding, a t least eight conservation NGOs shared the two million ha workspace. Despite 15 years of work and tens of millions of dollars of investment,
88 illegal colonization, deforestation, fire, looting, hunting, and narco trafficking continue unabated in many areas of the reserve, especially in the two western National Parks, Sierra de l Lacandon and Laguna del Tigre. Community forest management has shown mixed success. Some concessions have remained free of fire and deforestation while others share the uncontrolled c orruption and devastation rampant in the western parks (Radachowsky et al. 2012) El Mirador El Mirador, an archaeological site at the heart of the Maya Biosphere Reserve, was the center of a great pre classic civilization that reached its apogee approxim ately 2,000 years ago (350 BC 150 AD). The site is potentially the earliest city state in the Hansen, pers. com.). El Mirador was a large, complex city with numerous monume ntal structures, including the largest pyramid in the world as measured by volume. It was the center of a kingdom of at least 26 other major cities, interconnected by a series of raised highways and united by a similar snake king icon. The site has been fe atured in National Geographic Magazine and several documentary films, and inspired the film Today, the Mirador area consists of a mosaic of protected areas including a national park, community and industrial forest concessions, and biological corridors. Despite its globally renowned cultural and biological importance, most of El Mirador has yet to be excavated or developed for tourism. Currently, visitors to El Mirador must either hike two days through difficult and muddy forest trails from th e villages of Carmelita or Uaxactn, or charter a helicopter from Guatemala City to reach the site. Tourism infrastructure is inadequate for large numbers of visitors and is in poor condition. The site is visited by approximately 2,000 tourists per year, b ut development
89 fold to more than 200,000 tourists annually, providing gross annual revenue of $320 million (Dardn 2007). The top down approach to conservation and development In 2000, Mirador archaeologist Richard Hansen and the Global Heritage Fund ering a 2 10 000 ha triangle shaped region containing El Mirador and all of its known Maya pr e classic satellite sites. Jeff Morgan, Executive Director of Global opportunity, like Yellowstone, to establish a 600,000 acre roadless wilderness and archaeological pre 2004, unpublished report). The proposal included a $10 million plan for protection, archaeological restoration, and infrastructure development. After Hansen and powerful Guatemalan private sector allies lobbied the central government, Guatemalan Presi dent Alfonso Portillo was convinced to support the proposal and a governmental decree w as passed by Congress in 2002. The proposal immediately created great uproar with community organizations, industrial loggers, and conservationists due to unclear and overlapping resource jurisdictions. T he proposed res erve threatened to violate the forest concession contracts to utilize and profit from forest resources. Conser vationists worried that the proposal would open up protected areas law s to manipulation by interest groups It was not clear who would make decisions about development or how benefits would be distributed. A vicious legal and publicity battle ensued, durin g which conflicts between archaeologists, investors, communities,
90 conservationists, and government institutions escalated. The Association of Forest Communities teamed with industrial concession managers and lawyers from the Center for Social and Environme ntal Legal Action (CALA S) to demand the decree be review ed in Constitutional Court. Finally, in May 2005, under the Berger administration, the new park was deemed unconstitutional because it overlapped a previously recognized protected area. The decree was rescinded H owever, the fallout of conflict persisted, including a total breakdown in trust between local communities and Mirador proponents, and divisive community dynamics in the village of Carmelita since some community members had allied with and rece ived internationally driven efforts at protection and management and local autonomy was palpable. For years, the only dialogue concerning development of the Mirador Basin took place in the courtroom. At planning meetings it remained a n unspoken elephant in the room ever present but seldom acknowledged due to political consequences. Meanwhile, agricultural conversion backed by powerful drug traffickers looking to launder money and control territory moved deeper into the forest along t he proposed development route. When the government began negotiations for a $34 million Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) loan for regional development in 2005 discussion could no longer be avoi ded. The central government created a special office in the Secretary for Coordination of the Presidency (SCEP) to deal with issues related to development in Petn with special emphasis on coordinating the IDB loan. SCEP employed several Latin American co nsulting firms to help draft plans. Subsequent government sponsored
91 planning meetings were met with great local resistance, despite efforts at stakeholder inclusion. Many complained that the multi stakeholder participation was just a ploy to manage conflic ts and increase legitimacy for pre designed development plans without any devolution of power. The Association of Forest Communities even video recorded meetings to secure legal evidence for potential future litigation. Rather than assuaging tensions and c reating a unified vision, the top down process backfired and exacerbated latent conflict. Beginnings of the Mirador Ro Azul Roundtable Authoritative decision making and top down government led planning efforts had failed, and it was clear that a new stra tegy was needed. A stakeholder analysis conducted in 2005 by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason University outlined process recommendations for stakeholder engagement and collaborative planning (Cobb, S., M. Goodale, D. Stillwagon, O. Kreimer, J. Portilla, and G. Tapia, unpublished report). Yet leading such a process entailed great personal and institutional risk that few wanted to take on. Even the role in implementing the recommen dations. However, a recently established local NGO with close ties to Wildlife Conservation Society, Asociaci n Balam found itself in a unique position to assume a leadership role. First, Balam had been created with the mission of conservation and develo pment of Mirador R o Azul National Park; thus it was territorially committed to the area at the center of the controversy. Second, the organization was relatively small and young, and had signed an agreement with the park service for pre investment as a first step in co
92 Castellanos, was a native of Petn Department with a dynamic personality and cross sector experience. Castellanos and colleagues at Wild life Conservation Society contacted multiple key stakeholders in the region through individual meetings and phone calls to determine if they would agree to participate in discussions regarding potential collaborative decision making surrounding El Mirador. Members of the Association for Natural and Cultural Heritage (APANAC), a group of wealthy and well connected Guatemalan businessmen with interests in the conservation and development of El Mirador, embraced the idea of the roundtable APANAC had previousl y donated a fully equipped usurped by a few community members amidst internal disputes. Realizing the complexity of top down development, they used their influence with P resident Oscar Berger to convince the upper echelons of the government that participation could help resolve the stalemate affecting plans for the area. In turn, SCEP began playing a major role in convening the diverse governmental representatives and help ed organize a formal inauguration. On October 25, 2006, bomb sniffing dogs swept through the conference room of the Guatemala City Radisson. The President was running late and the room was filled with nervous stakeholders. Community members from Uaxactn and Carmelita, Archaeologist Richard Hansen, NGO directors, ACOFOP, businessmen, and numerous other organizations and individuals with interest in the zone waited anxiously. Finally, President Oscar Berger and several ministers entered to a standing ovatio n. After watching presentations describing the natural and archaeological wonders of the
93 Mirador Rio Azul zone and the precepts of the soon to be inaugurated roundtable, representatives of 26 organizations, including the President himself, signed a letter of good intention, detailing the intent of the group to work collaboratively toward the balanced conservation and development of the region. Roundtable Structure and Coordination To allay public distrust and fears of process manipulation, the roundtable st ructure was designed in a participatory fashion with all 26 member organizations. The first few monthly meetings focused heavily on developing mutually agreed upon statutes and methods for decision making. Bayron Castellanos drafted an eight page document containing 31 articles outlining the r guiding principles, rules of membership, methods of coordination, dialogue and decision making, as well as incorporation of roundtable decisions into institutional commitments. He facili tated the first meetings with major logistical support from SCEP. multi faceted experience and civil society status allowed him to navigate between sectors, simultaneously helping to build trust between members and create confidence in Balam a After a number of initially tense meetings, roundtable members revised and approved the statutes by consensus. According to the statutes, the roundtable for dialogue and analysis among sectors in search of a common agenda for conservation and development in the zone; 2. To create integrated planning instruments to help coordinate current and future activities; 3. To support administrators in ordering and maximizing current and future investments; and 4. To promote projects that
94 The statutes stipulate that the highest leadership level of the roundtable should consist of a five party executive committee representing several societal sectors: the executive branch of government (SCEP), the two governmental institutions with legal authority over the MBR (CONAP and the Institute for Anthropology and History, IDAEH), the Ass ociation of Forest Communities, and a civil society c oordinating secretary, Asociaci n Balam. The executive committee is responsible for defining meeting agenda s and coordinating activities. The roundtable consists of monthly plenary meetin gs in which all members participate. At least five plenary meetings have been held annually since 2006, with discussions ranging from topics such as security and governance to infrastructure development and internal community conflicts. There were also occ asional special meetings, with participation of the President of the Republic and ministers. Sub groups, ommissions with more regular meetings were created to deal in depth with technical themes such as Mirador access, security, community dynamics, a nd drafting of the new Master Plan for the park. All interested parties from the roundtable may participate in commission meetings, and results are reported in plenary meetings, where all decisions are taken. Decisions must be made by consensus among all m embers. Membership to the roundtable is open. However, all member organizations must be formally accredited, with a named repres entative and an alternat e with decision making authority. New organizations can gain membership by submitting a letter of inten t, naming representatives and being accepted by consensus a mong existing members. As of 2013 nine new organizations have joined the roundtable for a total of 35 member organizations. Currently, the roundtable consists of 7 governmental
95 institutions, 4 m unicipal governments, 8 community organizations, 13 NGOs, 2 private com panies, and one university ( Figure 4 2). The roundtable is also supporte d by collaborating organizations with no direct stake in its outcomes. The United States Department of the Inter ior assist ed with technical aspects of infrastructure design, interpretation, community organization, and master plan drafting. The staff of the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) and a graduate student at the University of Florida (the authors of this pap er) supported and advised the roundtable roundtable as well as monitorin g and evaluating the process. After much analysis about whether to employ a local or non local facilitator an d consideration of potential candidates, the executive committee decided that no ideal candidate existed. Instead, a self organized facilitation team emerged from roundtable members and supporters, with coordination from Balam. T h e facilitation team attemp ted to publish all meeting minutes, proposals, and budgets on a basic webpage but later opted for the development of bulletins and e mails to keep participants informed. From the outset, it was clear that community outreach would be important to the succe ss of the roundtable Initially, t he roundtable employed three community members full time to communicate basic information about the roundtable and the proposals being discussed to the two communities most impacted by development decisions Carmelita and Uaxactn. However, community liaisons were perceived by some community members to be biased or unproductive Consequently, e xtensionists with commun ity development expertise from the central urban area of Petn were employe d and occasional meetings with roundtable members were held within the communities
96 The abovementioned structure was developed to: Create the reality and the perception of a fair a nd balanced process (multi sector executive committee, consensus decisions) Build legitimacy by institutionalizing the roundtable from a place of authority (formal inauguration) Ensure participation of members with decision making authority (accreditatio n) Allow broad and multiple types of participation (commissions, outreach) Increase transparency and proactive information sharing (web page, outreach) While this structure has distinct advantages, it has also created process challenges. Below we descri be the power of the roundtable structure to produce both tangible and intangible results, and follow this with discuss ion of the ongoing hurdles and costs of coordinating such a participatory process. Results of the Mirador Ro Azul Roundtable Tangible O ut comes Formalization and institutionalization of the roundtable As mentioned above, the roundtable was formalized as a new institutional structure. Internally, this was achieved with a letter of intent, statutes, and accreditation of members. In order to gi ve the structure legal stature, the roundtable members made a consensus decision to seek a CONAP resolution, writing and signing a letter and sending a commission to lobby at a high level meeting in Guatemala City. CONAP emitted a legal resolution recogniz ing the roundtable on July 5, 2007 with a mandate to coordinate activities in the zone. In discussions about whether to further formalize the roundtable through a higher level governmental decree, members realized that the 17 year old law creating the Maya Biosphere Reserve (decree 5 90) contained a clause stipulating the creation of a coordinating committee for the reserve that had never been
97 realized. The roundtable instigated the conception of the coordinating committee which itself has served as a spac e for aligning institutional actions, and couch ed roundtable activities within the legally recognized entity. Regional planning When the roundtable began, the master plan for Mirador Rio Azul National Park had expired and needed renewal to comply with the law regulating protected area management The roundtable created a commission to begin work on a new master plan and organized a joint learning trip to El Mirador to give participants a realistic understanding of the area. During discus sions, it became clear that the zone had three sites, and the Center for Conservation St Biotope. For the first time, IDAEH, CONAP, and CECON agreed to integrate their master plans in a joint planning effort. They held a structured evaluation of former master plans, created an integrated work plan for developing a master plan, and raised $30,000. The strategic planning process consisted of more than a dozen workshops which were intertwined with roundtable meetings. The new legally binding master plan, including zoning and regulations for development, w as published in 2009. Tourism infrastructure and access Poor access and lack of infrastructure severely limit tourism development in El Mirador. However, infrastructure development, especially of access routes, has always been an extremely controversial is sue. Tourists traditionally traveled to the site with mule tours, primarily benef iting local communities, and p roposals for other modes of mass transit created uncertainty about the future distribution of benefits as well as
98 ecological and archaeological i mpacts. To address these concerns and avoid decision making stalemate, the roundtable first created and approved plans for essential, non controversial structures in and en route to El Mirador, enabling quick construction of park guard houses, bathrooms, a nd interpretive signs. For the more difficult issue of access, a commission was formed in order to analyze suggested options such as roads, a small gauge train, bicycle trails, mule trails, airplanes, and helicopters according to a formal multi criteria de ruled out construction of any new roads one of the major latent fears that had caused distrust among roundtable members for years Civil engineers from DOI assessed the ecological impacts an d construction costs of each option in a technical report. Finally, as with the master plan, roundtable members jointly secured funds to develop a tourism development plan. Numerous workshops involving more than 300 people resulted in a stepwise developmen t plan oriented primarily toward nature tourism and adventure trekkers, as well as a limited number of high end visitors via helicopter tours. The plan respected the norms and zoning of the master plan, calling for a first stage of basic infrastructure dev elopment including camps and trail improvement to slowly increase the number of trekkers without altering the historic means of access. Capacity building and community o rganization The two communities most central to management decisions in the Mirador Rio Azul zone are Carmelita and Uaxactn the only two entry points for overland tourist access to El Mirador. Outreach activities were directed at these communities to inform community members of the roundtable objectives, structure, and decisions. Howev er, due to fractured relationships within the communities and continued distrust of outside proposals, building community organization and trust were major challenge s In order to
99 improve representation and administrative capabilities, roundtable members p rioritized strengthening internal cohesion and local governance structures. Balam hired a community extensionist to work full time in Carmelita, helping to organize community groups, coordinate proposals for community development, and provide clear communication between community members, NGOs, and the roundtable Since tourism is subject to shocks and uncertainty, the roundtable support ed communities in a broad range of areas. Community Developm ent Councils were strengthened, with several projects successfully funded and implemented, contributing procedures and profitability of community based forest concessions were i mproved through the implementation of periodic audits, training of supervisory accountability committees, and the implementation of debt reduction plans in community organizations. Control and protection activities were improved by strengthening critical c ontrol checkpoints, providing basic equipment (e.g., generators, solar panels, GPS units, radios, digital cameras ) and implementing a unified patrol form. Thirty community members were trained and certified as tourist guides through a local training insti tution the tourism cooperative equipped, and celebrated in Carmelita to improve village aesthetics while promoting community cohesion. Environmental protection and security Although the roundtable was conceived around tourism development disputes during early meetings it became clear that problems with environmental protection and regional security could undermine both conservation an d development Proponents and opponents of Mirador development agreed to prioritize t he creation of an environmental protection strategy based upon two major lines of activities: 1) increasing institutional
100 presence, and 2) strengthening the justice system. The roundtable endorsed a $2 million proposal to the UK Department for Internationa l Development (DFID) that was subsequently funded and implemented by a consortium of roundtable members. Since 2008, governmental capacity and efficacy has been improved through training of CONAP, IDAEH, CECON, natural resource police, and justice system officials in protected areas laws and natural resource protection. Six permanent Protection and Control Centers were established and multi institutional patrols were increased with army, police, and CONAP park guards. Monitoring capacity for threat detect ion was improved using over flights, remote sens ing automatic cameras, and information management tools. These actions resulted in the recuperation of 123,000 hectares of misappropriated state land, which was largely in the hands of illegal ranchers. More than 10,000 head of cattle were voluntarily removed from illegal ranches in the MBR due to fear of confiscation. Forest fires and deforestation from 2010 2012 were far lower than the historical average, and wide scale reforestation is being observed for the first time ever in the MBR. Furthermore, there has been increased efficacy of justice system, including improved inter institutional coordination and injunctions against illegal ranches. Lobbying and fund raising The roundtable has elevated the profile of the Mirador Rio Azul zone and successfully used its influence for political lobbying and fundraising. The roundtable has been able to inf luence the definition, prioritiz ation, and coordination of investments in the MBR raising more than $9 million dir ectly and supervising the allocation of a $34.1 million Interamerican Development Bank loan and Global Environment Facility matching grant. The roundtable itself has been funded by WCS, US DOI, DFID, The Critical
101 Ecosystem Partnership Fund, and Flora Family Foundation In July 2008, President Colom publicly launched a government project called Cuatro Balam (Four Jaguars) centered on sustainable development of the El Mirador area, and named a presidential delegate with specific instructions to coordinate inve stments with the roundtable roundtable declarations have helped set the stage for policies enabling community conservation incentive agreements and a REDD+ initiative. Process O utcomes Pluralism and linkages The structure of the Mirador Rio Azul Roundtabl e brings together multiple types of stakeholders, including high level government officials, local government, civil society organizations, private businessmen, academics, donors, and campesinos representing a divers ity of interests and worldviews The ro undtable has also created connections across multiple scales by linking leaders at the regional, national, departmental, municipal, and village level, each with some autonomy over management decisions and actions, but also with some shared and overlapping responsibilities. These cross scale linkages have led to discoveries of shared goals and opportunities, eventually producing synergies between donors, politicians, and local managers. The most poignant example of such a synergy was the development and fund ing of the abovementioned strategy to improve governance along the route to Carmelita, a region dominated by illegal ranching and rampant forest conversion. Communication and negotiation The roundtable is predicated on the principle of respectful dialogue. As such, facilitators have focused on promoting equity and efficiency of discussion to arrive at universally acceptable proposals. However, striking the correct balance between
102 maintaining a diversity of inputs by allowing all members to voice opinions an d feel heard, and keeping meetings concise and productive has been a major challenge. Facilitators allow more opportunity for participants who do not speak and have used timers and colored cards to limit interjections of dominating individuals. Of 30 roundtable members s ampled in post meeting surveys on four separate occasions from 2007 2011, 96 97% consistently reported that they had opportunities to express their opinions, with the remaining 3 4% reporting little or no opportunity. When asked whether all members had equal opportunity to express their opinions during meetings between 73% and 100% of after different meetings. The wide variation likely evidences variability in discussion dynamics between meetings. Besides meeting s, i nformal conversations during coffee breaks, lunch, and other spaces have been vital to sharing knowledge and building relationships. Decision making The roundtable statutes state that decisions must be reached by consensus among members, raising facili tation challenges to adequately balance power between participants with very different backgrounds, experiences, and capacities. Issues are usually brought to decision after thorough technical analyses, presentations, and debate, when there is apparent wid espread support. Of surveyed roundtable members in 2008, 67% felt that their ideas were incorporated fairly well in decision making. However, while about 75% of NGO and government members reported incorporation of ideas only 38% of community members felt that their ideas were being taken into account. This discrepancy of perceived equity between community members and other roundtable members was also reflected in fairness of the decision making process and resultant decisions. Approximately 90% of NGO and government members felt that the
103 decision making process was fair, while only 50% of community members responded favorably. Similarly, 100% of government officials and 88% of NGO members felt that the resultant decisions would be fair, while only 50% of co mmunity members responded so. In response to these results, process managers aimed to increase and enhance community outreach activities. Interestingly, reported perceived power showed the opposite pattern. Nearly 90% of members of all sectors reported a f air to strong ability to influence decisions. However, while 73% of NGO members and 57% of government 100% of community members reported such power. The perceived blocking po wer within communities is likely the product of empowerment due to successful obstruction of previous projects promoted by powerful actors including oil exploration, road building, and the development of the Mirador Basin Special Protected Area. Over the y ears, perceived decision making fairness has remained stable, with 0 8% of participants reporting dissatisfaction in post meeting surveys. Social learning Social learning is a complex and difficult to measure concept Reed et al. ( 2010) argue that to be considered social learning, a process must: (1) demonstrate that a change in understanding has taken place in the individuals involved; (2) demonstrate that this change goes beyond the individual and becomes situated within wider social units or comm unities of practice; and (3) occur through social interactions and processes between actors within a social network. The greatest evidence for social learning in the roundtable may be demonstrated by the collective shift in understanding, focus of dialog ue, and subsequent adaptive measures regarding security Even though the roundtable was founded to resolve
104 conflicts over tourism development, after several meetings it became clear that governance and environmental security were more urgent to conservatio n and development than tourism The shift in objectives represented a joint learning experience blending local field experience and knowledge, conceptual and theoretical ideas, and varied interests and motivations, and deeply changed collecti ve and individual understanding of the situation, as well as behavior. Tourism discussions were postponed in o rder to attend security issues proposals were written to obtain funds to address security and governance and planned actions were reoriented. In fact, the Interamerican Development Bank loan was overhauled to better reflect this new focus. Interestingly, t hese changes in understanding and behavior within the roundtable quickly extended to a shift in understanding beyond the roundtable For examp le, the narco ganadera roundtable meetings occupation backed by wealthy individuals involved in organized crime. The phenomenon an d the term became popularized through numerous media outlets, and is now understood by the general public throughout Guatemala. When participants were asked an open ended question about what they had learned through participation in the roundtable 61% men tioned that they had a better understanding of the roles and interests of other roundtable members, and 55% responded that they had broadened their knowledge of the situation and its context. Sixty percent of participants responded that different roundtabl e members had different underlying understandings of the situation. However 88% of surveyed members felt
105 that the other members understood their interests. When aske d the open ended roundtable members learned anything as a group? 58% of participants responded that they had learned the importance of dialogue and consensus building and 39% responded that they had learned that they could get more done through teamwork than alone. Intangible Outcomes Social capital In 2008, 67% of participants reported that their involvement in the roundtable had led to improved personal relationships with other roundtable members, while 33% reported no change. Several participants reported that the roundtable had led to new friendships even among members of formerly polarized groups. Furthermore, 85% of roundtable members reported that they were collaborating with other r oundtable members outside of the roundtable meetings. Although many of these collaborations began before the creation of the roundtable several notable collaborations were a direct result of dialogue and relationships created through the roundtable In ge neral, 81% of roundtable members reported a relatively high level of trust in other roundtable members. It is noteworthy to mention that a significantly smaller proportion of community members reported trust of other participants (67%) than NGO employees ( 81%) and government employees (89%). Conver sely, 100% of community members, 94% of NGO employees and 89% of government employees reported that they were willing or very willing to share their knowledge Participants from all sectors unanimously reported a willingness to negotiate other conflictive issues with roundtable members.
106 Enhanced legitimization for policies and action The roundtable has created greater oversight, accountability, and transparency of decision making and policy implementation. Nearly 95% of members reported hope that the roundtable would lead to a desirable outcome this level of reported hope has remained consistent in post meeting surveys over six years. Expectations for public support of roundtable decisions varied between sectors One hundred percent of government officials, 94% of NGO members, and 75% of community members who participated in the roundtable reported expectations of relatively high levels of public support A survey of 50 community members from Uaxactn and Carmelita showed that 75% of village members were satisfied with the decision making process, 15% had no opinion, and 10% were unsatisfied. Among roundtable members, greater than 85% of participants have consistently responded that they were satisfied or v ery satisfied with the roundtable in post meeting surveys. Insights and Conclusions Development of El Mirador is a complex and conflictive problem, not unlike many natural resource problems around the world. For several years, proponents of top down decisi on making and management of El Mirador were backed by the unwavering political support of the presidency, members of congress and tens of millions of dollars. However, their efforts were thwarted at the planning stage, resulting in little on the ground pro gress and an increase i n social tension and conflict. The roundtable an adaptive co management structure was a n attempt to reconcile the conflict caused by top down management and served as an antidote to decision making stalemate ( Table 4 1) Despite challenges, it has produced substantial tangible and intangible results, and still survives six years later.
107 Below we: 1) identify factors contributing to the roundtable 2) e xamine major ongoing challenges, and 3) list practical lessons for man agers promoting ACM in other contexts. Why Has the Roundtable Been S uccessful? We identify nine critical points to the successes of the roundtable : 1. Favorable preconditions: Overt conflict had led to crisis and impasse in the face of pressing threats from r anching and drug trafficking encroachment, 2. Responsiveness to stakeholder interests: All parties perceived foreseeable tangible benefits from successful negotiation with respect to underlying concern s. 3. Proactive involvement of a range of voices: The process was designed to be inclu sive, representative, and fair a nd was perceived to be so by 83 % of roundtable participants and 82% of non participating community members 4. Institutionalization from a place of authority: Formal institutional recognition and the participation of two presidents and high level institutional directors helped legitimize the roundtable Participation at meetings has been very high, and participants have had decision making ca pacity to act on behalf of their organizations. 5. Coordination at a practical level of getting things done: The roundtable has worked at a geographic scale that matches the area of interest for stakeholders. 6. Strong facilitative leadership: The roundtable ha s had strong leadership with legitimate convening power, including a single bridging organization responsible for coordination and direction from a multi sector executive committee. Key personalities were able to bridge the gap between stakeholders with ve ry different backgrounds and to maintain a link between the interests of the group and political interests of those in power. 7. Preparation for predictable surprises: The roundtable facilitation team has constantly monitored attitudes and opinions in order to provide reflexive process management and to quickly identify and actively address the issues most important to its members. 8. Ability to build long term political support: The roundtable has survived political transitions, spanning three governmental adm inistrations. 9. Access to funding : The roundtable has been able to raise money for its own operation s and for implementation of agreed upon actions
108 Ongoing C hallenges Adaptive co management is an evolving problem solving process, with continuously changing challenges (Olsson et al. 2004, Carlsson and Berkes 2005, Folke et al. 2005). The literature has often highlighted obstacles such as power asymmetries among stakeholders, insufficient commitment of resources, negative group dynamics, and information asymme tries. However, the greatest o ngoing challenges to the roundtable include communit y representation and centralized roundtable leadership Maintaining communities involved and informed Adequate community representation and communication lie at the core of successful ACM efforts (Plummer and Armitage 2007). However, groups are not easily bounded, identified, or cohered (Bickford 1999), and group formation involves complex and unstable processes of self iden tification and representation (Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). Lack of stakeholder group organization and poor communication or fidelity between representatives and their constituencies can be major hurdles for MSPs especially for representation of disadva ntaged and marginalized groups (Faysse 2006). From the roundtable based understanding among communities regarding the purpose of the roundtable and the mechanisms for influencing its activities. Given the scarcity of collaborative decision making structures in Latin America and low levels of public trust in authority, it was critical for the roundtable tangible impacts that can ing meaningful progress by working with community organizations has been hampered by internal community conflict, organizational weakness, and perceived illegitimacy of local governance structures. For example, the mayor of Carmelita was elected by a small fraction of village members at
109 an impromptu meeting. He was later also elected president of the community cooperative, further centralizing authority to an individual whose power was already perceived as unrepresentative by a large sector of the community By working through existing structures, it was difficult to gain widespread acceptance of roundtable outreach activities, especially since the mayor appointed his daughter in law as the local roundtable point person. Roundtable organizers have attempted to compensate for internal power imbalances by employing outreach technicians from outside the community, focusing on universally beneficial activities, holding meetings in neutral locations, investing extra effort to reach out to marginalized groups, and actively helping to manage conflicts. Building long term political support A second issue vital to the roundtable and to multi stakeholder efforts in general, is preparing for and surviving political transitions. When multi stakeholder decision making effo rts are tied to political tides, a change in leadership can dissolve the institutional support needed to implement key group agreements and decisions. The roundtable used several strategies to insulate itself from politica l transitions, which brought in ne w president s and new leadership of all the governmental institutions participating in the roundtable First, organizers attempted to represent public interests that superseded those of particular parties and devolve leadership to the grassroots level. Seco nd, the roundtable institutionalized its work within a permanent agency, CONAP. Lastly, members lobbied key political champions of several major parties during and after presidential election s including congressmen and presidential candidates. Despite the se efforts, governmental transition s were tumultuous. Several founding roundtable members were lost as their institutional appointments expired. New
110 appointees entered without the same level of understanding and buy in, and in some cases rejected the round table as a project from the era of the former administration. Other appointees asked to postpone meetings until they had time to understand the issues and establish positions, creati ng a long lag between meetings. Facilitators invested a great deal of effo rt in bringing new government officials up to date and convincing them that the roundtable was a non threatening and useful endeavor. Strengthening group empowerment through shared leadership Collaborative decision making efforts often require the impetu s of unique leaders with a vision of ways for diverse parties to work more effectively together. In the case of the roundtable knowledge and cultural sensitivity to motivate a broad se t of stakeholders who typically do not join forces to collaborate However, a disproportionate burden of leadership and coordination has fallen to the shoulders of Balam and Castellanos to bring this leadership to bear. In part, this is because the level o f skill required to manage a multi stakeholder process is not easily cultivated. The centralization of leadership and coordination has not caused major problems yet, but for the roundtable to succeed in the long term, leadership will likely need to be furt her decentralized. Lessons for M anagers Although the context of the Mirador Rio Azul roundtable is unique, several principles are universal. This case study confirms the basic precepts of adaptive co management theory, emphasizing that: Processes that are inclusive, representative, and perceived as fair can produce more effective, transparent, and legitimate results than top down management for problems with high social complexity
111 Facilitators must attend to both group process and outcomes to ensure that decisions are perceived as fair, informed, and wise and that results benefit key constituencies quickly and in significant ways Organizers must be alert and flexible in order to quickly identify and address surprises
112 Table 4 1. Comparison between conventional top down decision making before the roundtable and the adaptive co management approach as practiced in the Mirador Rio Azul Roundtable Business as Usual (pre roundtable ) Adaptive Co Management ( ro undtable ) Goal Technically viable plans Technically, socially, and politically viable plans Primary client Few powerful actors (Political leadership, foreign interests, business associates) Several societal sectors, with multi level representation Role of public participation Provide occasional input and advice Build shared understanding and agreement Decision making protocol Financial and political influence, litigation Seek unanimity among among all societal sectors, settle for overwhelming agreement Dialogue between disputants Infrequent and antagonistic More frequent, collaborative, and constructive Tangible outcomes Fundraising, archaeological restoration and investigation (other advances limited by social rejection of unilateral development plans) Master plan, infrastructure construction, stakeholder capacity building, environmental protection, fundraising Intangi ble outcomes Distrust and frustration Identification of shared interests, improved relationships, increased trust, hope, public support Political Support Support of Presidents Portillo, Berger Support of Presidents Berger, Colom
113 Figure 4 1. Maya Biosphere Reserve and areas under the decision mak ing influence of the roundtable Figure 4 2. Roundtable organizational structure
114 CHAPTER 5 CONCEPTUALIZING COMPLEX CONSERVATION ISSUES THROUGH COGNITIVE MAPPING Conceptualization of Complex Problems In the past few decades, conservation has become more complex, with increased cross scale interdependence between humans and the environment due to increased population pressure, capital markets, new technology, and systems of governance (Folke et al. 2005). Most large scale natural resource problems today are characterized by conflicts between stakeholders, scientific messiness, several types of uncertainty, conflicting risks, and dynamic social, economic, knowledge, and technological systems (Salwasser 2002) Increasingly, natural resource issues involve multiple stakeholder groups at local, national, regional, and international scales with very different interests, positions, and manners of conceptualizing issues. At the same time, the stakes of biodiversity conservation and development are greater than ever, scale problems (Adams et al. 2004). Increased complexity complicates conservation and development in two important ways. First, complex problems have lots of parts making it difficult to simultaneously conceptualize the breadth of interconnected issues. Second, complex problems have lots of perspectives including stakeholders with very different worldviews and cognitive styles, creating numerous distinct ways of understanding and conceptualizing the same problem. This increases the possibility that conflicting positions on environmental issues may be caused by inco mpatible understanding, not just incompatible interests.
115 One of the greatest challenges to achieving functional conservation decisions is creating a foundation of shared problem understanding. should be made as simple as pos p. 475). However, f inding the most useful balance between conceptual complexity and simplicity is no easy task. Decision making takes place within the subjective worldviews of different individuals and social syste ms. By ignoring the social complexity of controversial or conflictive conservation problems, scientifically robust plans often become impotent to effect real world change and can be overshadowed by reactive, political decisions. However, understanding the complexity of stakeholder dynamics can be challenging since groups are subject to unstable processes of self identification and representation and are not easily bounded, identified, or cohered (Bickford 1999, Edmunds and Wollenberg 2001). This chapter us es a real world example to test cognitive mapping as a method for conceptualization and stakeholder analysis for complex conservation and development issues. It explores the following key questions: How do different stakeholders conceptualize complex prob lems in their own minds? Can cognitive mapping provide useful conceptual models of complex issues and complement or replace traditional conceptual modeling techniques? correlate with the stakeholder group they belong to, or othe r factors such as scale of engagement, perceived personal impact of decisions, self reported level of influence, or positions on issues ? How much of conflict is due to incompatible interests, and how much is due to different underlying understandings of th e problem? To answer these
116 questions, we use cognitive mapping techniques and structured surveys in a complex ors that correlate conceptual models correlate with differences in positions on key issues. The background section describes conceptualization and stakeholder analysis met hods traditionally used in conservation planning a nd introduces cognitive mapping The methods section describes the techniques used to elicit and analyze cognitive maps from the wide range of stakeholders involved in conservation and development of the M irador Rio Azul area of the Maya Biosphere Reserve. The re sults section describes the data, presents the resultant composite cognitive map describes a taxonomy of the components of conservation and development in Mirador Rio Azul as org anized by different stakeholder, presents a model organizing stakeholders according to their understanding of the problem, analyzes the stakeholder attributes that correlate with individual cognitive maps, describes composite maps of the problem according to different stakeh identify other individuals with similar or differen t understandings of the system. We compare the final composite model developed through cognitive mapping to other conceptual models de veloped through methods more commonly used by conservation practitioners, and discuss the comparative advantages and disadvantages of each. The discussion presents a critical analysis of the utility of cognitive mapping as a tool for conceptualization and conflict analysis in complex conservation and development processes around the world.
117 Background Conceptualization for Conservation Planning complex conservation problem s, their carefu l organization, articulation, and negotiation is especially vital (Stewart et al 2004) Conceptualization is a first step at explicitly recognizing a pluralism of understandings. The term "structured conceptualization" defined steps which yields a conceptual Trochim 198 9, p. 2 ). Many methods have been created from diverse disciplines for structured conceptualization. For example, in public policy analysis brainstorming, assumptional analysis, classificational analysis, hierarchy analysis, and synectics have been utilized (Dunn 1981). Cognitive anthropologists use multiple structured methods for sorting, ordering, and testing reliability of concepts (Weller and Romney 1988). With roots in systems engineering, has been used for a variety of complex problems including environmental issues In applied conservation, prac titioners have increasingly use d conceptual diagrams for conservation planning, organizational analysis, monitoring, communication, and establishing institutional memory O rganizations such as the Biodiversity Support Program, Foundations of Success, The N ature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, and World Wildlife Fund have embraced c onceptual models (Margoluis et al 2009) and they have been incorporated as the first step of the f Conservation
118 (CMP 2007) including the Miradi open source adaptive management software for conservation projects (Miradi 2007) Conservation organizations have most commonly used threats based conceptual models, whereby conservation targets, threats, and other factors are organized into influence diagrams, results chains, logframes, decision trees, or other models by n workshop settings with varying types of participation. Despite increased integration of social dimensions into conservation planning during the past decade most approaches still tend to emphasize ecological considerations (Biggs et al 2011). Although some approaches have attempted to allow individuals to freely structure models for climate change risks (2007)), most approaches still base conceptual mode ls on existing structured frameworks. For example, Open Standards methods confine users to categorize concepts a targets, direct threats, indirect threats, and interventions. Stakeholder Analysis Stakeholder analysis is also a very common step in conservat ion planning since it is useful for identifying and categorizing actors, and describing their relationships. A wide variety of tools and approaches exist for stakeholder analysis. For example, to identify stakeholders, expert opinion, focus groups, semi st ructured interviews, and snowball sampling are common methods (Reed 2009). For stakeholder classification, groups may be organized and diagrammed according to their level of interest, influence, power, or other characteristics (Reed 2009). Alternatively, s takeholders can classify themselves according to their own criteria (Hare and Pahl Wostl 2002). To describe the relationships between stakeholders, social network analysis, actor linkage matrices, or knowledge mapping may be utilized (Reed 2009). Another a pproach to stakeholder
119 or issue at hand (Lowe and Lorenzoni 2007 ) Cognitive Maps From the distinct disciplines of evaluation and planning and cognitive psychology, Troc him and Linton (1986) and Kearney and Kaplan (1997) independently arrived at remarkably similar methods for understanding complex systems from the perspectives of different stakeholder groups. Kearney structured stepwise processes that include: 1) generation of concept statements through brainstorming; 2) sorting of statements using cards; and 3) representation of statements in the form of cognitive maps using multidimensional scaling and cluster analysis. The between those objects representing conceptual similarity. Cognitive maps are especially powerful because th internal representation of a concept domain consistent with current theory of cognition map reproduces the way he or she understands a problem an important part of the basis upon which he or she makes decisions. Individual cognitive maps can be analyzed and compared for a variety of purposes: to organize information, to identify gaps in knowledge, or to compare stakeholder perspectives (e.g. Kea rney and Bradley 1998, Kolb and Shepherd 1997, Michalski 1997). For complex problems with diverse stakeholders, individual cognitive maps can be negotiated into group concept maps ideal for consensus building and planning (Kane and Trochim 2007, Trochim et al 2004).
120 maps with arrows between concepts depicting directional relationships, (e.g. Hobbs et al. 2002, Ozesmi and Ozesmi 2003), allow quantitative analyses that can be as useful as many empirically parameterized quantitative models (Coyle 2000). Cognitive mapping has been used extensively in operations research, management science, business, health care, and education (e.g. Axelrod 1976, Bauer 1975, Brown 1992, Carley and Palmquist 1992), but has been underutilized in natural resource management ( Pahl Wostl 2007 Biggs et al 2011 Jones et al 2011, Lynam and Brown 2011 ). Methods Study Site El Mirador is a major arch aeological site at the heart of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Northern Guatemala, with several monumental superstructures including the largest pyramid in the world as measured by volume (Richard Hansen, pers. com.). The site has been featured in National Geographic Magazine and several documentary protected areas including a national park, community and industrial forest concessions, and biological corridors. Despite its glo bally renowned cultural and biological importance and its potential for tourism, most of El Mirador has yet to be excavated or developed and is a two day hike from the nearest village. Even with tens of millions of dollars of conservation investments since the establishment of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in 1990, the area is subject to intense threats including illegal land invasions, forest fires, narcotics trafficking, human trafficking, looting, hunting, and poaching. In 2002, a group of archaeologists pr oposed the establishment of the Mirador Basin Special Protected Area, a 526,000 acre park encompassing portions of existing
121 protected areas including Mirador Rio Azul National Park, several community forest concessions, and two industrial forest concession s. The proposal was passed by Congress and immediately created great uproar with community organizations and conservationists due to unclear and overlapping resource jurisdictions. A vicious legal and publicity battle ensued, during which conflicts between archaeologists, investors, communities, conservationists, and government institutions escalated. Finally, in May 2005, under a new governmental administration, the new park was deemed unconstitutional and the law was rescinded. On Oct. 26, 2006 all maj or actors in the conflict agreed to participate in ongoing multi sector roundtable discussions to help decide how development of El Mirador should proceed. The roundtable is an open forum for discussion and decision making, consisting of 34 member institut ions with members from the central, local, and departmental governments, international and national NGOs, academia, the private sector, and local communities. Monthly plenary meetings are held for discussion, dialogue, and decision making. Many issues are discussed including development, access, tourism, regional development, natural resource management, the role of private investors, co management, community organization, security, and governance. Stakeholders have very different worldviews, interests, and values. This cognitive mapping study was conducted as part of the facilitation of the roundtable, with the intent of helping to create and communicate a shared understanding of the problem scope. Participant Selection A total of 84 study participants were interviewed between November 2007 and January 2008 based upon their participation in the roundtable, decision making authority, potential impact of decisions, and special expertise or knowledge (Table 5 1).
122 These included 29 of the 32 formal member institutions of the roundtable at the time representing: 1. Government Institutions, 2. Academic institutions, 3. Organized community associations and groups, 4. Non governmental organizations and projects, and 5. Private sector. Participa representatives, a Colonel in the Guatemalan Army, owners of some of the largest businesses in Guatemala, a USAID official, the archaeologist in charge of the Mirador project, and a Presidential appointee charged with overseeing regional development. In addition to formal members of the negotiation process, I surveyed c ommunity members from Carmelita and Uaxactn the villages likely to be most affected by decisions in the Mirador Basin. In each community I selected key community leaders, including present and past members of the executive committees of the concession and of the sub municipal government, as well as a representative sample of the general population. Due to high rates of illiteracy, some vi llagers were unable to complete the cognitive mapping portion of the interview because concepts were conveyed on cards with words. Except for illiterate interviewees, the response rate was 100%. In order to be aware of any potential bias introduced by my own theoretical constructs and preconceptions, I also subjected myself to the same cognitive mapping and survey methods. Cognitive Mapping T he cognitive mapping process consisted of the following three steps: 1. Brainstorming components of the current situat ion 2. Creation of individual cognitive maps using card sorts and importance ratings 3. Creation of a composite conceptual model using a multi stage analysis
123 Step 1. Brainstorming components of the current situation In order to assure that participants were working with the same concepts and to minimize researcher interpretation, a list of concepts was solicited in a preliminary survey. The survey included a freelist of components, in which participants were asked to m ake a list of the components or factors surrounding the issue of development i n the El Mirador Rio Azul zone. The survey was administered through e mail and in person for those who could or did not respond to the e mail request. From 29 responses, the sur vey generated 299 components, which were subsequently combined to minimize redundancy without dismissing any concepts. Each of 100 final non redundant concepts was printed on an index card for Step 2. Step 2. Mapping the way individuals organize component s in their minds In order to create cognitive maps, we incorporated components of the structured conceptual content cognitive map (3CM) method of Kearney and Kaplan (1997) and the concept mapping method of Kane and Trochim (2007). First, in individual inte rviews, participants were asked to think about how they might explain their own view of the management of the Mirador Basin to someone unfamiliar with the situation. Then they were given a complete set of 100 cards from the brainstormed concepts and blank cards on which they were invited to add any new concepts that might help them describe their views. Participants were asked to select only the concepts they found useful for explaining their own view and to organize the cards into piles in the way that mad e the most sense to them. They were asked to label each group of cards with a descriptive word or phrase. Finally, participants were asked to point out the components of the problem that they considered very important. It was made clear that importance
124 cou ld entail a positive or negative connotation. Each concept was rated for importance in the following manner: 1. concepts not selected were given a value of zero, selecte Step 3. Creating a composite conceptual model (aka social cognitive map) Clustering individual maps into comp osite conceptual models is a three step process including: 1. Multi dimensional scaling, 2. Hierarchical cluster analysis, and 3. Calculating average importance ratings per cluster. 1. Multi dimensional scaling was used to create a two dimensional graphical r epresentation of similarity between concepts. Individual card sorts were recorded in a binary co occurrence matrix of ones and zeros denoting each of the individual binary matri ces produced a single matrix representing similarity of concepts (i.e., the number of times each concept was included with every other concept) according to the group. Thus, the matrix values ranged from 0 (concepts never sorted together) to 59 (concepts w hich all respondents grouped together). This similarity matrix was scaled in two dimensions using PROXSCAL (Kruskal and Wish 1978, Busing et al. 1997). The final product was a spatial representation, or map, of all 100 concepts as points positioned along t wo orthogonal dimensions, with conceptually similar concepts positioned close together and conceptually distinct concepts far apart. 2. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to categorize clusters of statements into conceptually similar groups. The X and Y coordinates that resulted from multi (Ward 1963). The final number of clusters (N=7) was chosen based upon an examination of the cluster dendrogram, taking into consideration the mean number of clusters in the individual card sorts (7.62; 7.22 after removal of one extreme outlier with 30 clusters). 3. Importance ratings were calculated for each cluster in order to assess its overall contribution to the problem domain. Mean cluster ra tings were calculated by each cluster. Due to the scale of rating responses, mean importance values could range from 0 (not important) to 1 (very important). Mean importance rat ings per concept are given in Table 5 2.
125 Organizing stakeholders according to their individual cognitive maps occurrence ma trices using the Jaccard similarity index. If two individuals sorted many of the same cards together, they received a higher similarity value. Next, we used the Jaccard index values to create a between individual similarity matrix, and repeated the aboveme ntioned scaling and cluster analyses to help visualize and categorize stakeholders by their cognitive map similarity. Unpaired T tests were utilized to test for differences between stakeholder tions and participation in roundtable meetings and other events several years before and after the study period. Structured Surveys and Participant O bservation Analyses of cognitive map similarity are complemented by participant observation and responses to structured survey s The primary author participated directly in more than 50 meetings and events related to the roundtable between 2006 and 2013, observing and documenting meeting dynamics, interactions between participants, progress, and outp uts. To measure perceptions of roundtable members structured surveys with five point responses and open ended questions regarding making, hope for favorable outcomes, and satisfaction with the decision making process were administered to 84 individuals concomitantly with the cognitive mapping exercise. Participants were promised confidentiality following a protocol approved by the University of Florida Institutional Re view Board (#2006 U 971).
126 Results Individual Cognitive Maps Fifty nine individual cognitive maps were recorded and analyzed (Figure s 5 1 and 5 2 ). The number of concepts used in individual sorts ranged from 29 to 100, with a mean of 83.7. Twelve responde nts used all of the cards and only one individual added additional concepts. These were noted for further discussion, but were not incorporated into the mapping analyses. Despite instructions to select only meaningful cards, some respondents used concepts that they were clearly not completely comfortable with. It is unclear whether these were variations of concepts that were part of their own understanding, or if respondents expanded the limits of their cognitive constructs as they considered the component s presented before them. The number of categories in the individual maps ranged from 3 to 30. Composite Conceptual Map After multidimensional scaling and clustering of the 59 individual maps, a single two dimensional, seven cluster concept map was produced (Figure 5 3). Multidimensional scaling produced very low stress (normalized raw stress = 0.059) and concordance among individual cognitive maps. The concepts that caused the greatest amount of stress, or alternatively, which were sorted most differently by different consistency between different management units est degree of
127 Each of the seven clusters was assig ned a title based on its contents and seven clusters, listed in order of mean reported importance (mean importance ratings in parentheses) were: 1. Resource protection (0.57) 2. Community development (0.55) 3. Planning and administration (0.52) 4. Tourism development (0.52) 5. Coordination and communication (0.51) 6. Direct threats (0.49) and 7. Weaknesses (0.48) ( Figure 5 4). Each of these clusters is explained b riefly in the following section. Interestingly, all of the In other words, of all 100 components, respondents agreed best on the conceptual placement of components that represented direct threats to conservation and development. The interpretation of dimensions, or map axes, is often not straightforward in fewer dimensions. However, in the two dimensiona l map, dimension 1 (the x axis) seems to correlate with some measure the left side of the map normally hold positive connotations, and were frequently sorted in individual on the right were typically a common criterion for categorization of problem components based on goodness. Dimension 2 is more difficult to interpret, but may be related to level of abstraction, immediacy, or tangibility. A Taxonomy of Conservation and Development in Mirador Rio Azul, Guatemala Cluster 1: R esource protection The items in Cluster 1 were ranked most the important by respondents. The most highly rated concepts in the cluster are all related
128 (referring to archaeological si cluster also includes concepts denoting the rights to resources, non timber forest product extraction, and forest concessions, reflecting the legal devolution of management rights and responsibiliti es through forest concessions. Biodiversity, water, and water treatment are also included in this cluster, indicating a conceptual link between the most basic elements of conservation and their protection. The high ranking of concepts related to protection and security reflect a widely recognized crisis in regional governance and law enforcement. Cluster 2: C ommunity development Cluster 2 includes all components that a weakness. Although this cluster ranked second in mean importance ranking, the the most important of all 100 conceptual link between communities and mechanisms to ensure their co nnectivity to both information and economic benefits related to development. Cluster 3: P lanning and administration Cluster 3 includes all components related to planning, administration, training, and distribution of benefits. The highest rated component the expired master plan the legal document outlining management and administration
129 demonstratin g the historical regional dependence on foreign aid and expectations of its combi nation of these seemingly distinct concepts suggests a conceptual tie between the rules of administration and the flow of resources. In other words, the Master Plan and its rules of administration depict the way benefits are distributed among stakeholders. Cluster 4: T ourism development Cluster 4 consists of concepts directly This suggests that archaeol ogical sites may be perceived as more central to tourism development than biological resources. Access, one of the most controversial issues in the roundtable, is also included in tourism development due to the current difficulty in transporting large numb typically associated with planning and administration, were also clustered with tourism development, probably due to their integral role in tourism administration. Cluster 5 : C oordination and communication Cluster 5 includes several general concepts related to coordination, communication, and decision making such as
130 entral part of coordination and decision making it is also clustered roundtable Cluster 6: T hreats Cluster 6 contains a list of 17 direct threats to Mirador Rio Azul. This cluster had the highest level of agreement among respondents, perhaps due to the fact that threats analysis is a common part of many planning exercises, the widely publicized information on threats, or the common interpretation and categorization across cultures and cognitive styles. In order of decreasing importance, the listed Cluster 7: W eaknesses Cluster 7 contains 15 concepts that refer to weaknesses of the various managing institutions, including government, communities, referring to divisive dynamics in socially fractured communities. This concept is closely r disinterest and pessimism in communities change of government/political instability
131 institutional capacity to complete functions objectives established by law ajority of other concepts in this cluster refer to general weaknesses and conflicts of interests over resources rumors fears individual interests lack of trust influential groups leadership not representative of the area manipulation of power/public opinion Placement of Clusters In addition to the grouping of concepts into clusters, interpretation of the relative position of c lusters can also provide insight into the collective understandings. In general, the pattern of the composite map shows community development and tourism development at one extreme and direct threats and weaknesses at the opposite extreme. Resource protect ion, planning and administration, and coordination and communication are placed between these poles and seem to mediate the conceptual dissonance between forward thinking and positively perceived concepts and the threats and weaknesses that hold them back. Alternatively, this can be interpreted as a perception that resource protection, as well as planning and coordination efforts, are being pulled by two distinct pressures: development on one side, and existing threats and weaknesses on the other. Satisfac tion with Cognitive Map s The results of the cognitive mapping exercise were presented in a workshop as part of the national p five p articipants were given 20 minutes to explore three large and slightly different composi te conceptual models on the meeting room wall, and were surveyed afterward to ascertain their perceptions of the different models. One composite model was the model described above including
132 the responses from all 59 respondents; the other two composite m odels represented second level subgroups with the greatest conceptual similarity as categorized through the cluster analysis, including the responses of 42 respondents (mostly roundtable members) in one subgroup and 17 respondents (mostly n on roundtable co mmunity members) in the other responded that they understood them well or very well, 56% responded that they understood them somewhat, and 8% re sponded that they understood them little or very littl e. When asked ow well do the models responded that they represented their idea s well and 42% responded that they How much do the model s help you to that they helped much or very much, while only 8% responded little or very little. There was no clear response pattern according to stakeholder type. When asked the open ended question, that the understanding points of view s about the situation. exity. In general, the maps seemed to raise an awareness of the breadth and pluralism of understandings surrounding the El Mirador development issue, but seemed too complex to provide an easily understandable or useful framework for organizing the issues. In hindsight, a simple taxonomy with accompanying figures as included in Figure 5 3, Figure 5 4, and Table 5 2 may have provided a more useful framework for analysis and planning.
133 Cognitive Map Similarity between Individuals Figure 5 5 shows the composite stakeholder map, locating each of the 59 interviewees in a two dimensional plane according to the similarity of their individual cognitive maps. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, individual maps were categorized and assigned to groups with similarly st ructured cognitive maps. The first level of clustering separated maps of mostly non leader community members with little involvement and knowledge of the issues or the decision making process ( scattered across right of map) from community leaders, NGO, and government officials with more influence and direct participation in negotiations (blue, green, and yellow, on left of map). Whereas community members not directly involved in the negotiation process showed wide variation in map structure and thus dispers al on the composite stakeholder map, there was a higher degree of accordance among actors with greater involvement in the decision making process, though this was not a universal trend. Among those more directly involved in negotiations, the next division resulting from the hierarchical cluster analysis separated a group of nine individuals including all of the Mirador Basin project proponents and a handful of community members, several of whom also showed support for tourism development (yellow, extreme l eft on map), from Mirador Basin project opponents (blue and green). Finally, among project opponents, there was a distinct division between maps of community leaders (blue) and NGO and government officials (green). Centrist s, including NGO and government officials participating in the r oundtable (green) were located at the center of the map, with the highest degree of accordance. This indicates that their maps were middle of the road and overarching in nature In general, r o undtable members (circled on map) had a higher degree of accordance than
134 community members who did not participate in the r o undtable. In fact, non r oundtable community members were scattered throughout the map, including at the extreme margins, showing the greatest level of dissimilarity from other maps. Interestingly, all four of the surveyed individuals who were involved with convening and facilitating the roundtable (asterisked on map) were located in a very tight group in the very center of the map, wit hin the centrist cluster. Stakeholder Attributes and Cognitive Maps cognitive maps and stakeholder attributes such as sector, scale of engagement, self reported level of i n fluence, participation in the r oundtable, and positions on key issues. These attributes were highlighted as key axes of stakeholder differences for the Mirador issue through an analysis conducted in 2005 by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolutio n (ICAR) at George Mason University (Cobb, S., M. Goodale, D. Stillwagon, O. Kreimer, J. Portilla, and G. Tapia, unpublished report). Sector Of the co gnitive map clusters in Figure 5 5 the development proponent cluster is composed of 56% local community members, 22% government representatives, and 22% NGO representatives (Table 5 4 ). The centrist cluster is composed of 53% NGO representatives, 26% government representatives, and 21% local community members. The community leaders cluster is composed of 83% local community members and 17% NGO representatives, all of which represent community based organizations. In the non participating community member cluster, 76% are local community members, 12% government representatives, and 12% NGO representatives.
135 Ov erall, within sector maps were significantly more similar than maps between sectors (unpaired T test, P < 0.05). The differentiation of cognitive maps by stakeholder sector is clearly evident in Figure 5 5 where NGO and government members are tightly clus tered at the center of the axes, and community members dispersed around the perimeter. Mean inter group similarity was highest between NGO members and other showed such wide variatio n that mean similarity between NGO and government sectors similarity among community member maps themselves (mean Jaccard index = 0.12). The wide variation in community memb er maps is likely the result of widely varying levels of participation, leadership, and influence among community respondents. As seen in Figure 5 5 there is a large difference between community members not in leadership po sitions and community leaders/ r oundtable members, whose maps are more similar to NGO and government. members and 67% of government representatives responded that they understood well or very well, as opposed to only 46 % of community members. Similarly, no NGO members reported that they had little or very little understanding, as opposed to 11% of government representatives and 12% of community members who reported so. The discrepancy in self reported level of understand ing between community members and other sectors suggests that the dissimilarity in cognitive map structures among community members may be due to little involvement in and understanding of regional conservation and development issues.
136 Scale of engagement The scale of engagement, or domain of influence, refers to the resolution of the stakeholder's sphere of influence, ranging from local (i.e. within a community), regional (Petn Department), national (Guatem ala), to transnational. Figure 5 6 shows the scal e of engagement of individuals within each cognitive map cluster. As would be expected, the centrist cluster and the development proponent cluster both contain a significantly greater percentage of transnational and national level actors than the community leader or non participating community member clusters, which are composed entirely of actors with local or r egional level influence (Table 5 5 ). Given that the domain of influence within the centrist cluster and th e development proponent cluster are similar and significantly wider than the community based clusters, it is logical that the former two groups might have greater power and influence, as well as a wider base of experience to draw from when conceptualizing the situation. The development proponent cluster contains the most adamant transnational and national level actors who were pressuring for the Mirador Basin project, whereas the centrist national, and transnatio nal levels of influence. Influence (self reported) responses using a five point Likert scale ranging from Figure 5 7 shows the self reported level of influence in the decision making process of individuals within each cognitive map cluster. Self reported influence shows a similar pattern to scale of engagement, with high levels of self reported influence within the centrist cluster and
137 the development proponent cluster, and extremely low levels of influence among non leader community members. However, several integrants of the community leader cluster reported high levels of influence in the decision making process. Self reported influence is highly correlated w ith scale of engagement (Table 5 6 ). Interestingly, stakeholders with high levels of self reported influence are concentrated on the left side of the map, suggesting th at the axis along dimension 1 may reflect different cognitive map styles among individuals with perceived decision making influence or power. Participation in Roundtable Maps of r oundtable members were significantly more similar to each other than to maps of non r oundtable individuals (unpaired T test, p < 0.001).This is not surprising since surveyed non r oundtable members were all local community members with widely scattered and dissimilar cognitive maps. However, it does elicit questions as t o whether pa rticipation in the r oundtable, experience, or time spent thinking about the issues correlate with cognitive map structure and similarity. For example, it is notable that nearly all communit y leaders participating in the r oundtable have cognitive maps very similar to NGO and government representatives, and that community leaders have distinctly different maps from community members not in leadership positions. It is not clear whether having certain cognitive map structures predispose s individuals to prosper in community leadership positions or whether cognitive map structures are a result of experience and/or interactions with NGO and government officials. These questions merit further analysis and research. Position on Mirador Basin p lan There is a clear co plan and their cognitive map struct ures. It is notable that among r oundtable members,
138 almost all individuals fall into three clusters. Members of two of these clusters ( centrists and community leaders) oppose the Mirador Basin project and are clustered around the center of the map along the x axis (dimension 1). Yet, as mentioned previously, all proponents of the Mirador Basin project fall to the extreme left of the composite stakeholder map, wi thin the development proponent cluster. Structural Differences between Group Cognitive Maps Figure 5 8 shows the composite cognitive maps for each of the major gro ups represented in the Mirador r oundtable: 1. development proponents, 2. centrists and 3. c ommunity leaders. Each of these maps represents the best fit two dimensional graphical representation of summed individual cognitive maps from each cluster, with conceptually similar concepts positioned close together and conceptually distinct concepts far apart. Category titles were assigned based upon the titles given by respondents in card sorts, and maps were rotated and transposed in order to facilitate visual comparison. A composite map was not created for community members not directly involved in ne gotiations due to the extremely wide variation in individual map structures. All maps share some similar features. For example, the contents and relative t he concep ts with the greatest degree of congruence between respondents were related ral groups, indicating that most stakeholders conceptualize a similar relationship between natural resource management, threats to those resources, and the indirect threats an d
139 obstacles that drive natural resource and livelihood degradation. Furthermore, concepts with coordination, negotiation, administration and the Mirador Roundtable were consistently distant from threats, perhaps indicating collective agreement that tourism development and coordination between actors are positive since threats are clearly viewed negatively. There are also important distinctions between the three group maps. For example, development proponents place community development and organization concepts within the category of coordination and negotiation. Centrists placed community relat ed concepts in a similar location, but as a much tighter group with its own category. The community leader map, on the other hand, places community development at its center, including positive and negative aspects of community proponent map are a series of el ements related to governance weaknesses, such as centrist map are concepts relat values and The three maps also differ in terms of the placement of concepts relating to coor dination, negotiation, and the r oundtable. Development proponents placed
140 negotiation near tourism development, forest concessions, indirect threats, and power. Centrists values and strengths Community leaders placed the r oundtable between tourism development, com munity organization, and indirect threats. In general, it seems that the three groups varied most in terms of their perception of institutional and governance structures surrounding conservation and development. Stakeholder Perception of other Stakeholders In the survey accompanying t he cognitive mapping exercise, r oundtable member s were asked to list the other r oundtable members who saw the situation similarly and differently from them. I calculated the similarity between the maps of each re spondent and the individuals they named as most similar or different (i.e. the distance between the respondent and the identified individuals on the composite stakeholder understandings reflected the true distance between cognitive maps well. T he mean map similarity between r oundtable members and actors they viewed as having similar visions was 0.197 as measured by the Jaccard index. Map similarity between respondents and a ctors they perceived as having different views was significantly lower (mean Jaccard index = 0.157, P = 0.001). This further reinforces the hypothesis that cognitive maps represent real, structural differences in conceptualization between stakeholders, and that the stakeholders themselves are aware of these conceptual differences. Discussion Comparison with Other Conceptualization Methods In this section, we compare the cognitive mapping results with two other initiatives aimed at conceptualizing the complexity of the Mirador issue an interview
141 based conflict assessment approach, and a threats based conceptual modeling process conducted in a workshop setting, typical of open standards methods for the practice of conservation All three conceptualizat ion exercises were conducted within a period of three years one just before the 2006 establishment of the roundtable, and one immediately after the cognitive mapping effort in 2008. The conflict assessment conducted in 2005 by the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR) at George Mason University utilized fif ty four semi structured site visits, institutional visits, government and community meetings to organize the issues and positio ns of different stakeholders and develop guidelines for collaborative planning (Cobb, S., M. Goodale, D. Stillwagon, O. Kreimer, J. Portilla, and G. Tapia, unpublished report). The study was commissioned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to help decide wheth er or not TNC should play a convening role in conflict management and collaborative planning for conservation and development in the area. The qualitative assessment identified s ix substantive dimensions common to different stakeholders that were deemed a ble to encompass all facets and positions, allowing us to disentangle and deal with specific issues without losing sight of their interrelations These included conservation, development, archaeology, decision making effectiveness, internal organizations, and tourism. Stakeholders were mapped and their positions described along each of these dimension s allowing the identification of points of contention and areas of common ground. The analysis concluded that conservation organizations should not attempt t o play a convening role in developing a participatory process, but rather should serve as technical experts.
142 In 2008, conceptual models were also developed as part of the development of the Master Plan for Mirador Ro Azul National Park, utilizing the Con servation Action Planning methodology developed by The Nature Conservancy. The purpose of the exercise was to provide a situational analysis for each of 12 conservation target s in order to better explore potential strategies for their conservation. Thirty nine stakeholders from different sectors were convened in a workshop setting, and were asked to use colored note cards to identify and map pressures, threats, actors, motivations, and opportunities for each of 12 natural, cultural, and socioeconomic conser vation elements that had been prioritized in a previous workshop. Participants analyzed and negotiated the maps in small groups, and later presented their results back to the plenary for feedback. The final product consisted of one diagram per conservation target, depicting a logical chain of direct and indirect threats, as well as identification of key actors and their motivations. All three methods were useful for conceptualizing the situation. All described the complex situation by organizing it into 6 7 conceptual categories and in every case, the methods were used as decision making tools for ongoing processes. However, each method had distinct benefits and drawbacks, methodological considerations, and produced different output products ( Table 5 3 ). Logistical C onsiderations A major drawback of cognitive mapping and threats based conceptual models is that participants must be literate. This limits assessment and interpretation to the literate population, something that may cause significant bias since illiterate, or partially literate, people may have quite different ways of conceptualizing issues. This limitation could have been avoided in the cognitive map exercise by reducing the concepts to nouns
143 that could be visualized, but too many nuanced items would have been lost. The semi structured interviews of conflict assessment, on the other hand, can be conducted with illiterate and semi literate respondents. A second challenge is the time the cognitive map exercises takes to collect and analyze data. W orkshop based conceptual modeling can be done much more quickly than the other methods. However, group efforts can also entail logistical drawbacks, such as high costs associated with transporting and hosting participants and the reticence of many individ uals especially the most marginalized to participate in workshop settings alongside technical and thematic example, 100 3x5 inch note cards require a space of ap proximately four square meters for comfortable sorting. This is slightly larger than most large tables, meaning that sorts must often extend across several surfaces or be done on the floor. When done outdoors, a single wind gust can quickly destroy an enti re sort. Fewer concepts smaller cards, and tape can overcome these challenges however Methodological C onsiderations All three strategies produce a similar list of concerns, but only the cognitive mapping exercise provides a sense of participant agreemen t on that list, and has the potential of uncovering alternate perspectives. Combining individual sorts into a single composite conceptual model also raises some serious philosophical and practical questions. Multidimensional scaling, cluster analyses, and mean importance ratings ress and goodness of fit measures provide some index of between stakeholder differences, but finer analyses
144 could produce interesting insights. One option is to use scaling techniques that take into account indiv idual differences (e.g. PROXSCAL, Busing et al. 1997), constrain ing the analysis with stakeholder parameters that may correlate with the structure of their conceptual understandings. Another option is to present different composite maps to respondents and ascertain satisfaction with each, as in this study. Conceptual models developed jointly in workshop settings are also exposed to several potential biases, including a proclivity for individuals to censure opinions or cede to others due to power asymmetries especially in conflictive situations. Int erview based conflict assessments are also subject to biases inherent in conducting interviews for qualitative research. Outputs Perhaps the biggest difference between the three methods was the type of product generated Cognitive mapping elicits, organize s, and categorizes components of issues, producing a conceptual map and taxonomy of concepts useful for understanding how different stakeholders understand the issues. Threats based duce influence diagrams of conservation targets, threats, and other factors useful for identifying strategies and opportunities for conservation and threat reduction. Interview based conflict assessments produce stakeholder analyses and conflict narratives useful for organizing issues and understanding positions according to different stakeholders and developing guidelines for conflict management and collaborative planning. Depending on the specific purpose and context of a conceptualization exercise, one or a combination of these methods may be ideal. For example, cognitive mapping may be used to elicit and categorize concepts which may later be developed into influence dia grams using open standards methods.
145 Utility for Stakeholder and C onfli ct A nalysis manner of conceptualizing issues has extremely important implications for consensus building a nd conflict management. In this study, all project proponents shared similar cognitive maps at the extreme left of the composite stakeholder map whereas project opponents had more widely varying cognitive maps at the center and right of the composite map. involvement in the decision making process, the greater his perceived understanding of the issues, the greater his self reported level of influence, and the more similar his cognitive map is to other stakeholders. The correlations between cognitive maps and an innately similar cognitive style or worldview that leads them to share similar cognitive maps and positions? Or are positions and cognitive maps developed over time through social interactions or joint learning? In other words, do cognitive maps determine positions, do positions determine cognitive map structures, or do other factors determine both cognitive map structure and positions? Perhaps more importantly for consensus building, can promoting greater mutual understanding of an issue help stakeholders come to agreement on positions and resolve disputes? Cognitive maps may also give insight into power dynamics. This study found that community members have very dissimilar cognitive map structures, potentially due to their limited involvement in and understanding of regional conservation and development issues. Community members in general als o had a very low perceived capacity to influence decision making. Conversely, the development proponent cluster contained the most adamant transnational and national level actors who were
146 pressuring for the Mirador Basin project, with very high levels of p erceived influence. national, and transnational levels, also with high levels of perceived influence. Despite an apparent disadvantage in terms of knowledge and power by community members in general, community leaders participating in the roundtable had greater understanding of the issues, greater perceived influence, and cognitive maps more similar to other roundtable members than to non roundtable community members. T similar to roundtable members through the process of sharing similar experiences and social learning, or do some individuals have a distinct capacity for conceptualization tha t predisposed them to community leadership positions? Can cognitive maps be used to identify potential leaders? Similarly, all process facilitators and conveners shared very similar cognitive maps at the very center of the composite stakeholder map. This s uggests that the conveners shared a broad understanding of the issues, overlapping fairly evenly with all other stakeholders. Whether this is a factor that made these individuals capable and desirable as conveners, or whether this shared understanding was developed through interactions with other stakeholders during the convening and facilitation process is an interesting question with potentially important ramifications for multi stakeholder processes. Are some individuals with centrist understandings pred isposed to be better able to serve as intermediaries for negotiation, or do facilitators develop holistic problem understandings over time? These questions merit further investigation.
147 Co g nitive Mapping in Conservation: Conclusions In recent years, natural resource conservation has experien ced a major paradigm shift, with a new focus on holistic systems perspectives, the inclusion of humans within ecosystems, and true participatory strategies for ecosystem management (Berkes 2004). Management is increasingly being seen as an adaptive, collab orative learning process (e.g. Pahl Wostl 2007, Gunderson et al 1995, Holling 1978, Holling and Meffe 1996, Levin 1999, Berkes et al 2003, Lee 1993). Furthermore, the to pa rticipatory action research, g roup and scenario modeling, and the development of better techniques for analysis of qualitative models (Coyle 2000, Wolstenholme 1999). These philosophical changes require the use of new tools and strategies for conservation, many of which can be adapted from other disciplines Cognitive mapping is one useful tool for conceptualizing complex conservation and development problems. The example map created for Mirador Rio Azul visually describes a complex conservation and develop ment situation in its entirety, although in general terms. It clearly defines the outer limits of the problem scope and organizes several hundred of the original concepts into a conceptually manageable number of seven categories. Despite its generality, th e map also leads to several insights about This holistic representation is an important first evaluative step that fits neatly into further planning efforts and aids communication. One strength of the con ceptual cognitive map is the relatively hands off approach to analysis and interpretation. The map, cluster analysis, and importance ratings are created through simple analytical techniques for combining multiple responses. This
148 creates a level of credibil ity, legitimacy, and ownership of the assessment that other qualitative assessment techniques often lack (Susskind et al 1999). This method can be especially useful for consultants who wish to provide an impartial and neutral first description of a conflictive problem. For the purposes of this paper, interpretation of the map and final clusters was undertaken by a single r esearcher. However, analysis and discussion among stakeholders can provide an opportunity for richer interpretation. In this study, we opted to conduct individual interviews rather than producing individual cognitive maps in a group setting. This allowed us to combine cognitive mapping with other structured and unstructured interview questions. Although this and talk with individual respondents about more contentio us issues. The mapping exercise involves physical movement of both researcher and respondent, producing a sense of joint creation rather than confrontation. It often led to humor, light heartedness, and openness in the rest of the interview that would not have been possible if the contentious questions had been asked first. In addition to conceptualization of issues, t his case study shows that cognitive mapping can also be a useful tool for stakeholder and conflict analysis The cognitive mapping exercise between concepts, including differences in mental constructs between stakeholders by sector, scale of engagement, self reported level of influence, participation in ongoing negotiations, and p ositions on key issues. It also highlights the fact that differences between conflicted stakeholder groups are correlated not only with differences in positions on issues, but also with differences in underlying conceptualization of the
149 problem at hand. Th ese insights are useful for identifying potential sources of conflict and defining methods for promoting shared understanding and initiating conflict management activities. Cognitive mapping results provide additional, complementary information to more tr aditional conflict analyses. Rather than focusing solely on interests and positions, cognitive mapping focuses on understanding, and provides a basis for promoting shared understanding. Furthermore, whereas narrative based conflict assessments depend upon researcher interpretation and sense making, cognitive mapping is relatively hands off, except for the final interpretation of maps. Rather than a researcher interpreting the differences between individual cognitive maps, as in this study, it might be usefu l to have stakeholders themselves reflect upon raw cognitive mapping outputs and promote group interpretation. This could promote triple loop learning, causing stakeholders to reflect deeply about the underlying reasons for differences between actors, unde rstanding and even challenging deep set values and beliefs. As conservation and development problems become increasingly complex and multi scalar, involving vastly different stakeholders, tools such as cognitive mapping that explicitly evaluate problem un derstanding may become an increasingly important part of adaptive co management. Conceptual mapping may ideally be used as one component of larger planning, management, or evaluation processes. It is a very good front end tool for defining a problem domain and eliciting its components (Yampolskaya et al 2004), which can then be woven into influence diagrams or logic models. Perhaps more importantly, cognitive mapping is helpful for setting the stage for multi stakeholder
150 processes for adaptive co managemen t and adaptive governance by positioning conveners, developing shared understanding and promoting social learning
151 Table 5 1. Participation of different groups in cognitive mapping steps. Roundtable Members Two Communities Researchers Total Community Leaders Community Members Brainstorm of Components 21 3 4 1 29 Cognitive Mapping 32 10 16 1 59 Structured surveys 32 10 42 1 8 5
152 Table 5 2. Clustering of 100 concepts used to describe conservation and development of Mirador Rio Azul National Park, Guatemala, including mean importance ratings (0= unimportant, 1=very important). Cluster ID Concept name Rating Cluster 1: Resource Protection (Mean importance rating score = 0.57, normalized raw stress = 0.060) 89 security 0.66 82 protection of natural resources 0.64 81 protection of cultural resources 0.64 17 forest concessions 0.60 33 natural resource rights 0.57 7 biodiversity 0.51 71 natural heritage 0.55 45 extraction of non timber forest products 0.53 5 water 0.48 97 treatment of waste water and solid waste 0.37 Cluster 2: Community Development (Mean importance rating score = 0.55, normalized raw stress = 0.079) 34 community development 0.69 64 community organization 0.66 66 community participation 0.60 92 outreach 0.59 58 community leadership 0.58 16 communities 0.55 44 expectations of benefits from development 0.53 27 costs of organizing participatory processes 0.42 69 private sector participation/investment 0.42 37 diffusion of information about the zone 0.41 Cluster 3: Planning and Administration (Importance rating score = 0.55, normalized raw stress = 0.077) 75 management plan/master plan 0.64 40 environmental education 0.62 13 training 0.61 3 administration 0.61 6 international support/interest 0.60 83 financial resources 0.57 38 distribution of benefits 0.56 41 the future of inhabitants 0.56 14 co administration of the area 0.53 20 knowledge of the zone 0.52 84 human resources 0.44 65 regional pride 0.43 Cluster 4: Tourism Development (Mean importance rating score = 0.52, normalized raw stress = 0.053) 23 control and vigilance 0.67 98 tourism 0.64 70 cultural heritage 0.59 53 tourism infrastructure 0.59 1 access 0.58 78 quality and potential of tourist attractions 0.58 12 capacity for managing tourists 0.58 61 market for tourism 0.55 91 tourism services 0.54 86 archaeological restoration 0.53 80 promotion 0.53 39 duration of tourism visits 0.48 76 business plan 0.48 10 carrying capacity for tourism 0.46 4 administration of biological corridors/Lechugal 0.46 100 zoning 0.44 43 equipment for management 0.43
153 Table 5 2. Continued Cluster ID Concept name Rating Cluster 5: Coordination and Communication (Importance rating score = 0.51, normalized raw stress = 0.047) 25 coordination between institutions 0.62 67 participation in the roundtable 0.62 95 decision making 0.62 54 intentions of roundtable members 0.56 57 the roundtable 0.56 99 vision of the state/political will 0.53 68 participation of Municipal government 0.52 24 coordination of the roundtable 0.52 47 lack of a unified vision 0.51 21 consensus 0.49 15 communication between stakeholders 0.49 85 representation of key stakeholders 0.48 2 accreditation of roundtable participants 0.46 90 selection of issues to deal with 0.43 79 democratic processes 0.42 22 consistency between different management units 0.41 73 people who dominate meetings 0.40 36 cultural differences between stakeholders 0.39 Cluster 6: Direct Threats (Mean importance rating score = 0.49, normalized raw stress = 0.036) 51 impunity/lack of law enforcement 0.64 50 environmental impacts 0.58 52 forest fires 0.57 56 invasions/selling of land 0.55 32 depredation of natural resources 0.55 11 institutional capacity to complete functions 0.54 26 corruption 0.54 88 archaeological looting 0.53 30 deforestation 0.53 93 illegal logging 0.50 31 demand for land 0.47 28 expansion of the agricultural frontier 0.47 8 hunting 0.46 62 narcotics trafficking 0.43 29 population growth/immigration 0.42 74 landing strips/airports 0.41 48 natural phenomena (global warming, etc.) 0.36 96 trafficking of persons/illegal migration 0.33 Cluster 7: Weaknesses (Mean importance rating score = 0.48, normalized raw stress= 0.074) 18 community conflict 0.59 63 objectives established by law 0.53 9 change of government/political instability 0.53 19 conflicts of interests over resources 0.52 42 focus only on El Mirador 0.50 77 poverty 0.49 55 individual interests 0.48 46 lack of trust 0.48 94 fears 0.47 35 disinterest and pessimism in communities 0.44 60 manipulation of power/public opinion 0.44 87 rumors 0.39 49 influential groups 0.38 59 leadership not representative of the area 0.38
154 Table 5 3. Comparison of conceptualization methods Cognitive Map Threats Based (TNC/CAP) Interview based conflict assessment (ICAR) Purpose To understand different understanding of issues; elicit, organize and categorize components of issues To analyze situational context in order to identify strategies for conservation and threat reduction To organize issues and positions according to diff erent stakeholders and develop guidelines for collaborative planning Category Selection Stakeholders (with researcher interpretation) Conservation organizations, fixed categories Conflict management consultants Data Collection method Interviews/ individual card mapping Workshops/ group card mapping Individual semi structured interviews Time required Weeks to Months Days Weeks to Months Product(s) Conceptual map/ taxonomy of concepts/ stakeholder map Hierarchical influence diagram of conservation targets, threats, and other factors Narrative of conflict/ stakeholder analysis/ organization of stakeholder positions Resultant Categories in Mirador example 1. Resource protection 2. Community development 3. Planning and administration 4. Tourism development 5. Coordination & communication 6. Direct threats 7. Weaknesses 1. Conservation targets 2. Pressures 3. Threats 4. Actors 5. Motivations 6. Opportunities 1. Conservation 2. Development 3. Archaeology 4. Decision making Effectiveness 5. Internal Organizations 6. Tourism
155 Table 5 4 Composition of cognitive map clusters by sector Cluster Community sector Government sector NGO sector Development proponents 55. 6% 22.2 % 22.2 % Centrists 21.1 % 26.3 % 52.6 % Community leaders 83. 3 % 0.0 % 16. 7% Non participating community 76.5 % 11.8 % 11.8 % Grand Total 56.1 % 15.8 % 28.1 % Table 5 5 Composition of cognitive map clusters by scale of engagement Cluster Local engagement Regional engagement National engagement Transnational engagement Development proponents 44.4 % 22.2 % 22. 2% 11.1 % Centrists 21.1 % 31.6 % 26.3 % 21.1 % Community leaders 83.3 % 16. 7% 0.0 % 0.0 % Non participating community 76.5 % 23.5 % 0.0 % 0.0 % Grand Total 54.4 % 24. 6% 12.3 % 8.8 % Table 5 6 Self reported level of influence by domain of engagement Domain of engagement Very little influence Little influence Some influence Much influence A lot of influence Local 12.9% 12.9% 58.1% 16.1% 0.0% Regional 0.0% 15.4% 46.2% 30.8% 7.7% National 0.0% 0.0% 66.7% 16.7% 16.7% Transnational 0.0% 0.0% 25.0% 50.0% 25.0% Grand Total 7.4% 11.1% 53.7% 22.2% 5.6% Table 5 7 Self reported level of influence by sector Sector Very little influence Little influence Some influence Much influence A lot of influence Community 12.5% 12.5% 56.3% 18.8% 0.0% Government 0.0% 14.3% 28.6% 42.9% 14.3% NGO 0.0% 6.7% 60.0% 20.0% 13.3% Grand Total 7.4% 11.1% 53.7% 22.2% 5.6% Table 5 8 Self reported level of influence by cognitive map cluster Cluster Very little influence Little influence Some influence Much influence A lot of influence Non participating community 23.5% 17.7% 52.9% 5.9% 0.0% Community leaders 0.0% 16.7% 50.0% 33.3% 0.0% Development proponents 0.0% 11.1% 55.6% 22.2% 11.1% Centrists 0.0% 0.0% 56.3% 31.3% 12.5% Grand Total 7.4% 11.1% 53.7% 22.2% 5.6%
156 Figure 5 1. Individuals from different sectors sorting cards to create cognitive maps. ( Photos courtesy of author )
157 Figure 5 2. Example of individual cognitive map with seven clusters ( Photos courtesy of author ).
158 Figure 5 3 Conceptual map of conservation and development in Mirador Rio Azul, Guatemala. Individual concepts are numbered circles. Labels can be found in Table 5 2
159 Figure 5 4 Ranking of clusters by mean importance rating. Bars show the maximum and minimum rating values for components within each cluster. Mean rating for individual concepts are given in T able 5 2.
160 Figure 5 5 Stakeholders organized by similarity of cognitive maps.
161 Figure 5 6 Map of stakeholder similarity by scale of influence, from local (smallest circles), to transnational (largest circles).
162 Figure 5 7 Map of stakeholder similarity by self reported influence in the decision making process. Larger circles represent greater self reported influence.
163 Figure 5 8 Composite cognitive maps of conservation and development in Mirador Rio Azul, Guatemala according to a. development proponents, b. NGOs and government representatives, and c. community leaders.
164 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS Reconciling conservation and development goals may be the greatest challenge facing humankind today In fact, we have reached a crisis of u nfathomable proportions, wherein the environmental impacts of development now threaten the global climate, food and water security, human and ecos ystem health, and the continued survival of myriad species, including our own. At a global scale, we continue to fail at achieving a functional balance between conservation and development goals, in part due to the complexity of negotiating between multipl e actors with different interests and worldviews no longer pertain only to the environmental sector but rather to every societal sector, and therefore require unprecedented levels of public participation Adaptive c o management recognizes the need for wider public debate and analysis of such complex issues and incorporates dialogue and collaborative decision making Scientific or technical analyses are only part of the process In fact, a daptive co management is imbued with a sense of humility about the limitations of extrapolating current scientific knowledge to untested future scenarios In practice, f unctional models of purposeful adaptive co management a re rare. M ulti stakeholder p latforms for dialogue and decision making around complex environmental issues likely pr ovide the most commonly applied approximation to the precepts of ACM Although MSPs have been widely proposed as adaptive co management structures capa ble of dealing with the complexity and uncertainty inherent in modern conservat ion and sustainable development problems t here are few case
165 studies documenting successful examples. Furthermore, t here is a necessity for practical methods and tools to reconc ile conflicting understandings and interests between multiple actors and mult iple potential uses of natural resources. Through analysis of the case of Guat his dissertation demonstrates that a multi stakeholder platform can serve as a successful method for ada ptive collaborative management. Several conclusion s can be extracted from this case study about the use of MSPs for adaptive co management and multiple use forest management Below, I focus on four major conclusions representing key lessons from each of the empirical research chapters of this dissertation. M ultiple Use Management for Conservation and Development As described in chapter 3, the Maya Biosphere Reserve h as served as a testing ground for multiple use forest management in community and industrial forest concessions for more than a decade. Different concessions experienced very different trajectories, ranging from abject failure to qualified success, leading to the conclusion that multiple use forest management can balance conservation and development goals, but only under specific conditions. Some key requisites for successful management include d evolutio n of authority and local rights, techn ical and institutional capacity, economic viabil i ty and distribution of revenue, reconciliation between local an d global interests, resilience of ecological pr ocesses and social institutions, and long term commitment by, and flex ibility of, external actors. Until 2006, there was no explicit process for a daptive co management of the Eastern MBR, and it could be argued that government and civil society institutions lacked the flexibility and resilience to analyze and make judicious decisions about the failing concessions Decisions were taken too late and r eactively to avoid their collapse.
166 Poor governmental oversight and law enforcement, as well as a lack of timely and politically acceptable sanctions helped set the stage for a downward spiraling of governance and a culture of impunity in failing concession s. Governance problems in failing concessions spilled over into nearby concessions, instigating landscape level impacts. Some concessions temporarily weath ered the storm, but weaknesses such as poor financial mana gement capacity, high turnover in concession management positions and conflict caused by differing positions on mass tourism development continued to threaten the persistence of even the most resilient concession organizations If not for the adaptive efforts to mitigate these threats developed and promoted through MSPs such as the Mirador Rio Azul roundtable it is likely that more concessions would have failed. Among the recommendations for successful multiple use forest management, perhaps the highest ranking are long term commitment, flexibility for adaptive management and the creation of s paces for inter sector dialogue and consensus building M ulti S takeholder P latform s for Complex Problems Chapter 4 describe s and analyze s the Mirador Rio Azul Roundtable, a MSP that helped promote dialogue, decision making, and partnerships between stakeholders with very different experiences, capacities, worldviews, and understandings, including community members, government agencies, conservation groups, and private sector represen tatives The r oundtable fulfilled all of the defining characteristics of adaptive co management : adaptive capacity to evolve and change in light of feedback; social learning by which actions are developed, tested, reflected upon, and revised; communication (sharing of information, shared understanding); sharing of authority
167 between the state and civic actors; a nd shared decision making. The r oundtable attempt ed to reconcile the conflic t caused by top down management, and despite challenges has produced substantial tangible and intangible results during its six years of existence The r oundtable contributed to a reduction in threats to natural and cultural heritage and improvements in local livelihoods. Collective actions led to the return of 123,000 hectares of misappropriated state land, improved efficacy of the application of environmental legislation, reduced illegal activity, improvements in delivery of social services, reduced forest loss from fire, improvements in tourism development, and increased revenue s from community forestry. The r oundtable incorporated purposeful processes for learning and changed actions over time according to new information and discussion. The r oundtable was also able to help reverse some of the most pressing internal threats to conces sion management, serving as a space for management of overt conflicts and supporting i mprovement of management procedures of com munity based forest concessions through the implementation of periodic audits, training of supervisor y accountability committees, and the implementation of debt reduction plans in community organizations Although the r oundtable represents but one example, it confirms that at least in some cases, MSPs can serve as important structures for adaptive co man agement of multiple competing resource uses with diverse stakeholder interests, positions, and understandings Some of the reasons that the r oundtable was successful include favorable preconditions, r esponsive ness to stakeholder interests, p roactive inv olv ement of a range of voices, i nstitutionalizat ion from a place of authority, c oordination at a
168 practical level of getting things done, strong facilitative leadership, p reparat ion for predictable surprises, a bility to build long term political support, and a ccess to funding. The chapter is clear that e ntering into a MSP should not be taken lightly, and that success is far from guaranteed It is important to have realistic expectations and only to initiate if there is sufficient dedication for years of coordi nation and facilitation. Without wise and committed leadership, MSPs will inevitably fail. With excellent leadership and dedication, and under the right conditions, MSPs have a chance of effecting real change for conservation and sustainable development. T he results of this dissertation demonstrate that such partnerships require ongoing investment and commitment and present continuous challenges, but may represent the most viable method for adaptive collaborative management in complex social ecological syst ems. Conceptualization of Complex Problems Chapter 5 addresses a major challenge of reconciling complex prob lems with multiple stakeholders t hat different individuals may have very differen t underlying understandings of the same problem The chapter uses cognitive mapping as a tool for conceptualizing the complex conservation and development problem surrounding conservation and development in the Eastern Maya Biosphere Reserve and tests the utility of the tool for adaptive co management processes The ex ample map created for Mirad or Rio Azul visually describes the complex conservation and development situation, clearly defining the outer limits of the problem scope and organizing several hundred concepts into a conceptually manageable number of seven cate gories. The map lends associations between concepts, and ranks concepts according to their relative importance to participants. The method does not require the same level of researcher
169 interpretation as other conceptual modeling or narrative approaches to describing a problem, thus lending credibility, legitimacy, and ownership of the assessment that can be useful for individuals who wish to provide an impartial and neutral first description of a conflictive problem. The study also found important differences in mental constructs of the problem between stakeholders by sector, scale of engagement, self reported level of influence, and participa tion in the r oundtable. Perhaps most importantly, there was a strong correlation development. The study found that community leaders participating in the roundtable had cognitive maps more similar to other roundtable members than to non roundtable community mem bers. It also found that process facilitators and conveners shared very similar cognitive maps at the very center of the composite stakeholder map. These findings elicit the questions: Do some individuals share an innately similar cognitive style or world view that leads them to share similar cognitive maps and positions? Are positions and cognitive styles developed over time through social interactions or joint learning? Are some individuals predisposed to leadership or facilitation positions, and can such predisposition be determined by cognitive maps? In other words, do cognitive maps determine positions, do positions determine cognitive map structures, or do other factors determine both cognitive map structure and positions? Cognitive mapping results pro vide additional, complementary information to more traditional conflict analyses. Rather than focusing solely on interests and positions, cognitive mapping focuses on understanding, and provides a basis for promoting shared understanding. This could promot e triple loop learning, causing stakeholders to
170 reflect deeply about the underlying reasons for differences between actors, understanding and even challenging deep set worldviews. The chapter concludes that c ognitive mapping is a useful tool to set the st age for multi stakeholder processes for adaptive co management by positioning conveners, developing shared understanding, and promoting social learning. T he development of holistic representations of very complex problems through cognitive mapping is an im portant first evaluative step that aids communication and fits neatly into further planning efforts. This case study also shows that cognitive mapping can be useful for stakeholder analysis in complex conservation and development problems. As conservation and development problems become increasingly complex and multi scalar, involving vastly different stakeholders, tools such as cognitive mapping that explicitly evaluate problem understanding may become an increasingly important part of adaptive co manageme nt.
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188 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Jeremy Radachowsky holds undergr aduate and graduate degrees in ecology and evolutionary biology, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary e cology. He has worked extensively in Central and South America on community ecology, ecological monitoring, conservation biology, adaptive management and natural resource governance In recent years, his interest shifted to the application of social science in conservation, developing and utilizing tools to improve multi stakeholder negot iation and collabo ration to achieve conservation objectives. Jeremy is currently Assistant Directo r for Latin American and Caribbean Program.