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July 1999 Issue
The Geographical Review
July 1999, Vol. 89 (3), pp. 364-390
LOCAL PEOPLE AND CONSERVATION IN MEXICO'S EL VIZCAINO BIOSPHERE RESERVE
Keywords: Baja California, biosphere reserves, community-based conservation, ecotourism, fisheries, Mexico.
It is increasingly clear that local participation in conservation endeavors is not only critical but also highly problematic. El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve in Baja California Sur, Mexico, is examined to study the difficulties involved in translating community-based conservation rhetoric into on-the-ground nature-protection efforts. This case illustrates how inhabitants of a reserve are marginalized by the very conservation process meant to en gage them as key actors in promoting natural-resource protection. It also highlights recent attempts to enhance local participation in reserve endeavors through collaborative efforts among field staff, nongovernmental organizations, and area residents.