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Landowner perceptions about conservation in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, Mexico Valencia, Cecilia 2007

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LANDOWNER PERCEPTIONS ABOUT CONSERVATION IN THE SIERRA OCCIDENTAL OF JALISCO, MEXICO. by Ceci l ia Valencia B.Sc. (Biology), University of Guadalajara, 2001 A THESIS S U B M I T T E D IN P A R T I A L F U L F I L M E N T OF T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF S C I E N C E in The Faculty of Graduate Studies ( F O R E S T R Y ) T H E U N I V E R S I T Y OF B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A August 2007 © Ceci l ia Valencia, 2007 ABSTRACT This thesis examines current environmental and land-use circumstances in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, Mexico, as well landowners' perceptions about conservation, environmental change, and both existing and proposed initiatives to achieve conservation in the region. The forests in this region have been identified as important sources of water, and the region is one of the world's biodiversity 'hotspots.' Yet deforestation and land degradation threaten these values. Federal government land-use and conservation policies were reviewed, as were existing forest and agricultural programs in effect in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco. Owners of forested and agricultural lands in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Interviewees identified deforestation, fires, and agricultural and pastoral practices as some of the direct causes of environmental change. They also identified a number of ways to improve conservation. Although interviewees were pessimistic about the problems, they were more aware about the problems in the region than expected, and they are wi l l ing to conserve their lands. The main driver for landowners to conserve their lands is the economic benefit that conservation practices could provide. I found that the failure to adequately conserve forests, water, and biodiversity is associated with agricultural and pastoral policies and programs that compete with conservation, a lack of sufficient incentives for landowners to conserve their lands, a lack of law enforcement, a lack of local (state and municipal) conservation strategies, and the federal government's lack of attention to the needs and perceptions of local governments and landowners when developing policies and programs. Based on these results, what landowners need in order to conserve their lands are economic benefits, technical assistance, and more presence from authorities in the forests (law enforcement). In particular, the federal Environmental Services Program (PSA) , aimed at conserving targeted areas, is effective but insufficient. Interviewees suggested that this program must be extended in area and time. Furthermore, interviewees suggested that local mechanisms should be developed in order to complement the P S A federal program. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT. ii TABLE OF CONTENTS......... iii ACKNOWLEGEMENTS. vi DEDICATION vii 1 INTRODUCTION. /. 1 1.1 The issue 1 1.1.1 Deforestation and environmental degradation in Mexico 1 1.2 Research goals and objectives 3 1.3 Landownership in Mexico 4 1.4 Governance of land and resources in Mexico 5 1.5 Federal environmental policy in Mexico ;. 6 1.5.1 P R O A R B O L '. '., 9 1.5.2 Program of Payment of Environmental Services (PSA) 9 1.6 Federal agricultural programs in Mexico 11 1.6.1 P R O C A M P O 11 1.7 Sierra Occidental of Jalisco (SOJ) 12 1.8 Thesis outline ; 14 2 METHODS. 16 2.1 Case Study 17 2.2 Selection of Interviewees 17 2.3 Data Analysis 20 3 RESULTS. 22 3.1 General observations 22 3.2 Perceptions about forest change 23 3.3 Perceptions about other environmental change 27 3.4 Perceptions of the need for conservation 29 in 3.5 Perceptions about existing institutions, policies, and programs related to conservation 31 3.5.1 B iosphere reserve proj ect 33 3.5.2 Environmental Services Program 34 3.6 Perceptions about how to improve conservation....; 36 3.6.1 Law enforcement 36 3.6.2 Fire control 36 3.6.3 Incentives and technical support from government 37 3.6.4 Restoration programs 38 3.6.5 Stakeholders' organization 39 3.6.6 Landowners' involvement 39 3.6.7 More control from municipalities 39 3.6.8 Regional Planning 40 3.6.9 Environmental Services Program 40 3.7 Other findings 41 4 DISCUSSION ..43 4.1 Reasons for forest change and failure to conserve 43 . . 4.1.1 Current policies and programs , • 43 4.1.2 Lack of institutional capacity 50 4.2 Socio-economic context 52 4.2.1 Lack of stakeholder organization 53 5 CONCL USIONS AND RECOMMENDA TIONS. 55 5.1 Reforming and improving current policies and programs 55 5.2 Diversifying the rural economy 56 5.3 Redefining the role of forest consultants 58 5.4 Redefining the approach of protected areas 58 5.5 Improving the Environmental Services Program (PSA). 59 5.6 Improving fire control and prevention 61 5.7 Decentralization and economic support to local institutions 62 5.8 Improving governmental capacity ! 64 6 FURTHER RESEARCH. 68 IV REFERENCES 69 APPENDICES . 74 APPENDIX 1: List of government ministries in Mexico. . 74 APPENDIX 2: Branches of the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNA T) and Forestry Programs within them 75 APPENDIX 3: National Commission of Protected Areas Categories. 76 APPENDIX 4: IUCN Protected Areas Management Categories 77 APPENDIX 5: Subprogram Payment for Environmental Service Program. 81 APPENDIX 6:1949 Decree of Protected Area, and 2002 Agreement of Rectification. 82 APPENDIX 7: Note from local news paper 89 APPENDIX 8: Diagrammatical representation of the case units 90 APPENDIX 9: Interview Script 91 v ACKNOWLEGEMENTS I would l ike to thank my research supervisor Dr. Paul Wood for believing in this project, and for his immeasurable patience, support, and guidance during my graduate years. I would also l ike to thank to the rest of my thesis committee members, Dr. Rob Kozak and Dr. Sarah Gergel in the Faculty o f Forestry, for their support and insights for this thesis; and to David Fraser my external examiner. I also want to thank the C O N A C Y T (Mexican National Counci l of Science and Technology) for sponsoring my graduate studies. I am also very thankful to all my interviewees who participated in this research, and offered their valuable time and insights, and to the members of the Forestry Committee of the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco for providing valuable information and support; especially to Alfredo Zepeta, Juan Jose Fajardo, and Fernando Guitron. Thanks also to C O N A F O R (National Commission of Forestry), INE (National Institute of Ecology) and F I P R O D E F O (Trust Fund for Forest Development in the State of Jalisco), for providing valuable information. O f course, none of this could have been possible without the moral and financial support o f my family: my dad Francisco, my mom Magdalena, my brother Francisco, and my sister Carmen. A special mention also goes to David Flanders for his moral support, patience, and editorial advice. Thanks to Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez for his support on the field work. A lso thanks to Taina Uitto, Kate Kirby, Paula Si lva, Juan Blanco, and Manfred Meiners for their insights on this thesis. Last but not least, thanks to the rest of my friends who have made my graduate years memorable. V I DEDICATION This thesis is dedicated to my parents Francisco and Magdalena. Vll 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 The issue. Forest areas in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco have been identified by the Mexican federal government as high priority for water and biodiversity conservation. These areas are privately or communally owned, and mechanisms are required to ensure that the private and communal landowners conserve specific, identified, high-priority areas. At present, the national forestry commission of the federal government has a short-term (five year) program for compensating landowners who conserve these targeted lands. In the long term, however, alternative mechanisms are required because the federal government cannot afford to continue paying compensation to these landowners beyond five years. At the same time, even with compensation, landowners may be motivated to deforest or otherwise degrade the targeted lands for the purpose of short-term economic gain. This thesis examines current environmental and land-use circumstances in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, as well landowners' perceptions about conservation, environmental change, and both existing and proposed initiatives to achieve conservation in the region. 1.1.1 Deforestation and environmental degradation in Mexico. Mexico is a priority region for global conservation, ranking among the top five countries of the world for endemism of both vascular plants and vertebrate species (Mittermeir et al. 1998). Its plant diversity exceeds that of the United States and Canada combined (CONAFOR2001). However, Mexico's biodiversity is highly threatened due to forest fragmentation, natural habitat loss and degradation, pollution, unsustainable and illegal land and resource use, collection and trade of plants and wildlife, and global climate change (US Agency for International Development 2002). The constant degradation of forest ecosystems is 1 related in part to policies and practices that have exercised tremendous pressure on forest resources, and in some cases, they have led to its excessive exploitation ( C O N A F O R 2001). Deforestation is a major problem in Mexico, estimated conservatively at 1.2% per year (Al ix-Garcia et al. 2005). The consequences o f deforestation include: erosion; floods; sedimentation o f lakes, hydraulic works, and rivers; reduction in the recharge of watersheds; reduction in soil productivity and fertility; negative impacts on biodiversity, and increased incidences of fires, and insect and disease damage ( C O N A F O R 2001). The loss of forests is also accompanied by a loss of many valuable services that forests provide, such as regulation of hydrologic flows, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation (Myers 1997). In turn, deforestation and land degradation can lead to negative socio-economic consequences and could increase poverty in the long-term. Brandon et al. (2005) argue that the rural poor in particular might have less economic alternatives when soils erode; water quantity and quality are diminished; and forest resources disappear. According to Munoz et al. (2005), the main driver of deforestation in the country has been land-use changes to produce crops and feed cattle. According to the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity ( C O N A B I O ) , fires are one o f the major factors transforming ecosystems in Mexico, mostly caused by the lack of control of agricultural burns (slash-and-burn system) 1, though some are intentional. The Wor ld Bank (1995) argues that this degradation of natural resources can be attributed to the collective tenancy of Mex ico 's forests. In a similar manner, Taylor (2003) argues this Mexican collective tenancy is a variation of Garrett Hardin's (1968) version of the "Tragedy of the Commons." 2 Certainly, few landowners have incentives to manage them in a way that might be considered sustainable (Payne 2002). Munoz et al. (2005) argue 1 Slash-and-burn agricultural systems are characterized by the alteration of cropping and fallow phases, when secondary vegetation grows (Metzger 2003). It is considered to be well adapted to tropical climates and soils and accessible to small farmers because of its low cost (Fearnside 1989). According to Metzger (2003), it is sustainable when fallow periods allow for the restoration of organic matter and nutrient losses that occur during the cropping phase. However, fallow periods have been reduced in most slash-and-burn systems as population density has increased. 2 that, even in cooperative forms of land ownership such as ejidos and communal property (see below), individuals tend to promote their own interests over those of the community as a whole. On the other hand, Deininger (1999) argues that deforestation is linked to poverty through the absence of alternative economic opportunities that will lead poor people to undertake activities with very low marginal returns to labour, including unsustainable exploitation of marginal lands. Individuals may be unable to make minimum investments in natural resource improvements or the enhancement of the quantity and quality of the natural resource base and thus may be driven toward a process of environmental degradation. 1.2 Research goals and objectives. Conservation initiatives in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco have largely failed. Although mapped forest areas in the region have been identified by the Mexican federal government as high priority for conservation, these areas are privately or communally owned, therefore mechanisms are required to ensure that the private and communal landowners conserve these high-priority areas. At present, the federal government has a short-term (five year) program for compensating landowners who conserve the targeted lands. In the long term, however, alternative mechanisms are required because the federal government cannot afford to continue paying compensation to these landowners. At the same time, without compensation, the landowners may be motivated to deforest or otherwise degrade the targeted lands for the purpose of short-term economic gain. The overall goal of this thesis is to ascertain landowners' perceptions and responses to a combination of government policies and socioeconomic circumstances in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco so as to identify obstacles to and opportunities for forest, water, and biodiversity conservation. 2 In his "Tragedy of the Commons," Hardin states that only state regulation or privatization can preserve common resources because rational use by individuals leads inevitably to environmental degradation. 3 The more specific research objectives are: 1. to ascertain landowners' perceptions about the degree of forest and environmental change in the region, and factors that contribute to them; 2. to ascertain landowners' perceptions about forest, water, and biodiversity conservation in the region; 3. to ascertain landowners' perceptions and responses to the role of government and to policies and programs that affect conservation in the region; 4. to explore landowners' perceptions about how to improve conservation in the region; and 5. to recommend some mechanisms that could help to improve conservation in the region. 1.3 Landownership in Mexico Land ownership in Mexico represents a unique pattern of land tenancy that facilitates private and communal property. These characteristics derive in part from the Mexican Revolution of 1910, which resulted in a process of land reform that re-distributed land tenancy. Landless villages received title to lands expropriated from private hacienda owners, and expanses of government land were offered to agrarian communities. As a consequence, landownership is a mosaic of tenancy that includes ejidos, communal lands, individual properties,3 and federal and state lands (Environmental Law Institute 2003). Ejidos and communal lands are both collectively owned. Ejidos consist of individually owned parcels of land that, together with a common area, form a unit of land ownership, but with the caveat that individuals on an ejido can transform their individual parcels into 3 Private property is denned by the College of Mexico (2005) as the right someone has or receives in order to use and dispose the land for him or her self at will, exclusively within the limits allowed by the law; Communal property is defined by the Mexican Representatives Chamber (2003) as lands which belong to one or several communities where the control of the land is made by the communal assembly, which is elected by the traditional authorities, the land does not have the characteristics of private property, and it cannot be sold to anyone external to the community; and ejidal property, which is an institutionalized form of landownership where government confers to a group of persons a portion of land and these persons can exploit and work the land, obtaining its benefits (College of Mexico 2005). 4 private property. Communal lands, by contrast, are solely owned by a collection of cooperating individuals and the land cannot be transformed into private parcels (Mexican Representatives Chamber 2003). Approximately 70% of Mexico is forested land, 80% of which is owned by agrarian communities (ejidos and communal lands), 15% by private owners and the remaining 5% belonging to the nation ( C O N A F O R 2001). O f the 80% owned by agrarian communities, 63% are ejidos and 37% are communal lands (Mexican Representatives Chamber 2003). These forms of landownership are recognized under the Mexican Constitution (1917). Mexican law, however, strictly limits the amount o f property a private person, whether individual or organization, may own. 4 Furthermore, natural resources are considered to be an issue of national security (Environmental Law Institute 2003), and therefore environmental legislation must be respected even on private lands. 5 1.4 Governance of land and resources in Mexico. The basic structure of the Mexican-government is a "representative, democratic and federal republic." 6 The 1917 Constitution provides for a federal republic with powers separated into independent legislative, executive, and judicial branches. In addition to its usual law-making powers, the legislative branch (i.e., Congress) occasionally delegates some legislative power to the president. A s a result, the president can issue executive decrees in certain economic and financial fields. The Congress is composed o f a Senate and a Chamber of Deputies. Senators are elected to six-year terms. Deputies serve three-year terms. In the lower chamber, 300 deputies are 4 This limit is a function of the productive nature of land, and varies from a limit of 800 ha for agricultural land to a maximum of the amount of land necessary to maintain 500 head of cattle for grazing or forestry land. The latter amount varies according to soil fertility; from 500 ha in fertile zones to over 20,000 ha in desert zones (Environmental Law Institute 2003). Constitutional Article 27 from the Mexican Constitution (1917) states that: "Within a population center, no one ejidatario can hold more than the equivalent of 5% of the total of the ejido". 5 Constitutional Article 27 from the Mexican Constitution (1917) states that: "At any time the Nation has the right to impose public interests to private property (all types of landownership), so as to regulate the use of natural resources for the benefit of the society". 6 This statement is set forth under Article 40 of the Political Constitution of the United States of Mexico (1917). 5 directly elected to represent single-member districts, and 200 are selected by a modified form of proportional representation from five electoral regions created for this purpose across the country. The 200 proportional representation seats were created to help smaller parties gain access to the Chamber (U.S. Department of State 2007). The Mexican Constitution establishes areas o f federal and state competency. In some areas, however, federal and local jurisdictions overlap, as is the case for environmental regulation. 7 The coordination of federal and local efforts is achieved through federal legislation and associated guidelines, and by compacts made among the various authorities. Federal laws are mandatory in the entire Mexican territory, while state and municipal laws are only binding in the issuing state or municipality involved (North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation 2003). In agreement with the federal and state laws, municipalities are able to participate in the creation and management of their territorial reserves and regional plans. Municipal governments also authorize and control land-use within their municipal boundaries (their territorial jurisdictions). 8 According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2003), the federal requirement for coordination among governments with overlapping jurisdiction results in complex and unclear distribution of environmental responsibility across levels of government and in limited local authority to take action in natural resource protection. 1.5 Federal environmental policy in Mexico. The Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources ( S E M A R N A T ) is the government agency that creates environmental protection policy in Mexico (see Appendix 1 for a chart that shows the relationship among various government ministries). The S E M A R N A T attempts to balance economic, social, and environmental objectives. 7 Constitutional Article 124 from the Mexican Constitution (1917) states that: "Any powers not expressly conferred by this Constitution to federal officials are understood to be reserved to the States." 8 Constitutional Article 124 from the Mexican Constitution (1917). 6 Specifically, The General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection9 ( L E E G E P A ) , enacted in 1988, has been the foundation for environmental policy o f the country ( S E M A R N A T 2001) (see Appendix 2 for a chart that shows the branches o f S E M A R N A T and the forestry programs within them). The main strategy to protect biological conservation in Mexico has been the establishment o f protected areas. According to the National Commission of Protected Areas ( C O N A N P ) , 22,275,672 mi l l ion hectares are designated as protected areas 1 0 under federal law ( L E E G E P A ) , which is 11.3 % of the Mexican territory. Protected areas are subject to special regimens of protection, restoration, and development according to the categories established in the L E E G E P A ( C O N A N P 2007). These categories include: (a) Biosphere Reserves, 1 1 (b) National Parks, (c) Natural Monuments, (d) Areas for Natural Resources Protection, (e) Areas for Flora and Fauna Protection, and (f) Sanctuaries (see Appendix 3 for specifications). These categories rely on the I U C N Protected Areas categories (see Appendix 4). According to C O N A B I O (2006), although protected areas are very important for conservation, they do not guarantee long-term, representative, and viable proportions of Mexican's biological her i tage. 1 2 The role o f private land conservation in public protected areas is especially significant in Mexico, as people own a very high proportion of land in protected areas. Unl ike other countries in the world, the government of Mexico does not expropriate and acquire land for its protected area system. Although the S E M A R N A T , through the National 9 In accordance with Article 11 of the General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Protection (Ley General del Equilibrio Ecologico y la Protection al Ambiente), as far as environmental issues are concerned, the federal government may enter into coordination agreements or compacts with the states or the federal district in order for them to take on specific duties. 10 Protected areas are the main environmental policy instrument in the Country and have more jurisdictional power for biodiversity conservation (CONANP 2007). They are defined as terrestrial or aquatic portions within Mexican territory that represent different ecosystems where its original environment has not been strongly modified (LEEGEPA 1998). These are created through a presidential decree, and alternatives allowed within these areas are established under the LEEGEPA (through Protected Areas Regulation Document and Specific Management Programs for each Protected Area), and according to Ecological Programs. 11 Biosphere reserves are sites recognized under UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme which innovate and demonstrate approaches to conservation and sustainable development. They are under national sovereign jurisdiction, yet share their experience and ideas nationally, regionally and internationally within the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. There are 507 sites worldwide in 102 countries (UNESCO 2007). 12 According to the CONABIO (2006), studies reveal that 11 of the 75 ecoregions defined for the country do not include any protected area. 7 Commission of Protected Areas (CONANP) agency in charge of protected areas, has the power to acquire lands within decreed natural protected areas, the state generally lacks the budget to do so, and the government favours the model of mixed public/private areas13 subject to restrictions on the uses of private land (Environmental Law Institute 2003). Private lands inside a protected area are subject to The General Law of Ecological Balance and Environment Protection and are required to respect the management programs established in the protected area. 1 4 Compensation is rarely offered to landowners in these programs. In addition to protected areas, LEEGEPA also requires individuals or companies conducting exploitative or land-use change activities to have an authorized environmental impact assessment. Forest harvesting initiatives are required to have a sustainable forestry management plan. Both must be approved by SEMARNAT prior to such activities,15 and both instruments are enforced by the PROFEPA (Environmental Protection Agency). 1 6 Furthermore, under the auspices of the National Constitution (1917), the Mexican Chamber of Deputies enacted the National Water Law in 1992. Its aim is to regulate the use, management, distribution, and control of water, as well to improve its quality and quantity, and to promote its sustainable use. In addition, in 2003 the General Law of Sustainable Forest Development was added to the LEEGEPA by the Congress of the United States of Mexico. This law guides the regulation, development, conservation, protection, and management of the forest ecosystems within the country. Besides regulatory instruments, the Mexican environmental policy includes a series of programs that subsidize conservation and restoration activities. These include policies 13 Article 47 of The LGEEPA states the following: "In the establishment, administration and management of natural protected areas, the Secretary is to promote the participation of its habitants, property owners or possessors, local governments, indigenous tribes, and other social organizations, public and private, with the objective of bringing integral development of the community and assure the protection and preservation of the ecosystems and their biodiversity." 14 Article 44 of the LGEEPA states that "The owners or holders of other rights over land, water and forest located inside natural protected areas shall conform to the modalities that pursuant to this Law, are established by the decrees through which those areas were created, as well as to other previsions contained in the management program and in the corresponding ecological zoning plans". 15 The sustainable forestry management plan includes extraction limits and fragile conservation areas before initiating any timber extraction operations (Munoz et al. 2005). 8 which promote plantations and other commercial forestry operations, help build harvesting capacities among forest-owning communities, and directly invest in reforestation (Munoz et al. 2005). 1.5.1 PROARBOL Proarbol is an umbrella program under the auspices of C O N A F O R that orchestrates various forest-related subprograms, including subprograms responsible for forest reforestation, restoration, fire prevention, forest health, combating poverty, forest development, and increasing forest productivity. Subprograms responsible for forest conservation, including biodiversity and water conservation in forested lands, are also included under the Proarbol umbrella ( C O N A F O R 2007) (see Appendix 2 for more detail of these subprograms). This program provides direct payments to landowners, employment opportunities in forest activities, training, and technical assistance. O f special note, forest planning on forest lands, including those on ejidal, communal, and private lands, is conducted by forest consultants. Consultants are hired to develop harvesting plans and forest regional plans. These consultants are paid either by landowners or on a cost-sharing basis in which the government ( C O N A F O R ) provides a percentage of the consultants' fees and the landowners pay the remainder (Operation rules o f Poarbol 2007). This program also provides support to develop community-level agreements that favour organization among landowners. 1.5.2 Program of Payment of Environmental Services (PSA) The Program of Payment for Environmental Services ( P S A ) 1 7 started on 2003, and is one of the subprograms under the auspices of Proarbol. This subprogram provides direct payments to forest landowners (ejidal, communal, and private) i f they conserve their forests. Specifically, this subprogram compensates for water and biodiversity 16 Article 28 LGEEPA. 9 conservation, carbon sequestration, and promotes agroforestry plantations (see Appendix 5 for details o f this subprogram). In particular, the Payment for Hydrological Environmental Services Program ( P S A H ) 1 8 was designed to provide economic incentives to avoid deforestation in areas where water problems are severe, and where commercial forestry could not cover the short to medium term costs of switching to agriculture or cattle ranching. Forests associated with the supply of water to communities receive high priority. This program consists of direct payments 1 9 to landowners with well-conserved forest cover. Payments are made for watershed conservation, management, and restoration. These annual payments take place within a five-year term, once the government confirms that forest lands under this program have accomplished the established goals. If deforestation has occurred, landowners wi l l not receive payment. This program is funded through an earmarked percentage of the federal fiscal revenue derived from water tax fees, creating a direct link between those who benefit from the environmental services and those who provide them (Munoz et al. 2005). The price o f the PS A H was determined by the opportunity cost of keeping a forest. In particular, it was estimated from the price o f growing corn per hectare per year (Munoz et al. 2005). When developing the program, it was a core objective to benefit those lands which were at greater risk from land-use changes, where landowners are not obtaining income from their forests. This means that forest owners who already had a sustainable timber operation were excluded because they were less l ikely to make use changes on their lands (Munoz et al. 2005). According to Munoz et al. (2005), the strategy proposed by the National Institute o f Ecology (INE) includes further program development to include individual municipalities through a series o f local environmental services markets. These would be 17 PSA is the acronym for 'Programa de Servicios Ambientales'. 18 PSAH is the acronym for 'Programa de Servicios Ambientales Hidrologicos'. 19 US$36.4 per hectare in cloud forests, and US$27.3 per hectare for all other forests (CONAFOR-operation rules 2007) 10 complementary, allowing municipal governments to target areas of secondary importance to the federal program, but of primary interest to municipalities. 1.6 Federal agr icul tural programs in Mex ico . Simultaneously, the federal government has agricultural programs aimed at assisting landowners. However, these programs may compete with the ability of landowners to conserve their forests. The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing, and Food ( S A G A R P A ) is Mexico 's agency that creates agricultural policy for the country, and its budget for promoting agriculture and pastoral activities is two times bigger than other federal program budgets aimed at promoting environmental services ( C O N A B I O 2006) 2 0 . In addition, almost two-thirds of S A G A R P A ' s budget is devoted to agricultural and pastoral subsidies to promote rural development ( U S D A 2004). Ampl i fy ing these subsidies are agricultural subprograms that include the omission o f taxes on agrochemicals, and the subsidy to the prices and tariffs o f energy generators (gasoline, diesel, electric energy) to promote agriculture and pasture product ion. 2 1 According to C O N A B I O (2006) these factors have further contributed to water overexploitation and contamination, and environmental degradation in the country. 1.6.1 P R O C A M P O The Program of Direct Support for the Countryside ( P R O C A M P O ) was launched in 1993, and was originally designed to provide transitional assistance to Mexican producers with direct cash payments during the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement ( N A F T A ) and the elimination o f guaranteed prices for basic staples ( U S D A 2004). Procampo is restricted to a list of producers 2 2 who cultivate legal crops on eligible 20 Excluding the National Commission of Water (CNA), the budget for agriculture is 8.3 times bigger than the environmental one, which includes forestry, biodiversity conservation, regulatory and normative policy, inspection, and hydraulic research (CONABIO 2006). 21 Energy Law for Farm Lands (2002). The aim of this law is to promote rural development in the country through incentives for agricultural and pastoral activities to i n c r e a s e t n e i r productivity and competitiveness with other countries. .22 Eligible land is defined as having been cultivated with corn, sorghum, beans, wheat, barley, cotton, safflower, soybeans, or rice in any of the agricultural cycles in 1993 (USDA 2004). 11 lands, or is restricted to a list of specific livestock, forestry, or ecological projects. Payments 2 3 are made on a per hectare basis ( S A G R A P A , 2003). Funding for P R O C A M P O was expected to continue for ten years, until 2003, and then decline over an additional five years until the program's termination in 2008 ( S A G R A P A 2003). To encourage alternative crop production, P R O C A M P O would continue to provide area support payments to growers who decided to change from program crops to alternative crops or livestock, forestry, ecological, and aquaculture activities throughout the fifteen-year phase-out period. 1.7 Sierra Occidental of Jal isco (SOJ) . The Sierra Occidental o f Jal isco 2 4 is part of the Sierra Madre Occidental ecoregion defined by the Wor ld Wi ld l i fe Fund (WWF) (2001). This ecoregion occurs along a rugged mountain range running from Rio Grande de Santiago, in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, north through the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua, and into southern Texas and the Madrean Sky Islands o f coniferous forests. This ecoregion is very large and encompasses the intersection of temperate and tropical influences ( W W F 2001). According to W W F (2001), the Sierra Madre Occidental boasts some of the richest biodiversity anywhere in North America. Twenty-three different species of pine and about 200 species o f oak reside within the Sierra Madre Occidental's pine-oak forests. Many distinctive species have evolved here as a result of the landforms, altitude, temperature, and rainfall. According to Conservation International (2005), this region is part of a biodiversity 'hotspot.' However, overharvesting of the forests in this area since the early 1900s has caused the extinction o f several species. Little information is published regarding deforestation and environmental degradation in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco. However, it is common knowledge that deforestation is 23 For spring-summer 2004, PROCAMPO payment rates equaled 1,120 pesos (about US$102) per hectare for producers with less than 5 hectares and 935 pesos (about US$85) per hectare for all others; for fall-winter 2004-05, the payment rate was 935 pesos per hectare for all producers. 24 SOJ is one of the twelve regions of the State of Jalisco defined by the State Commission for Development Planning (COPLADE), now Secretary of Planning (2007). This region includes the following municipalities: Atenguillo, Ayutla, Cuautla, Guachinango, Mascota, Mixtlan, San Sebastian del Oeste, and Talpa de Allende (State Plan 2000-2007). 12 occurring in this region at the same rate as in the rest of the country. According to C O N A B I O (2004), one of the main causes of deforestation in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco is the land-use change to agricultural lands, and overgrazing by livestock, mining, and wildlife trafficking. The federal government ( C O N A B I O and C O N A F O R ) has identified and mapped forested areas in SOJ as high priority for conservation. These areas have the same pattern of landownership (ejidos, communal lands, individual properties) as in the rest of Mexico. Confl icting views have emerged in SOJ over how best to protect forests, water, and biodiversity in these areas. One view supports the establishment of a biosphere reserve, 2 5 while the opposing view primary held by local landowners, argues that the biosphere reserve would have too many restrictions on land-use. Recently (May 2007), a local newspaper published an article that suggested the State government (through the S E M A D E S ) and the federal government (through the C O N A N P ) would l ike to start enforcing an unrelated protected area that was originally established (on paper) by a Presidential decree in 1949 2 6 that involves part of Sierra Occidental of Jalisco (Publico 2007; see Appendix 7 to view this article). If enforced, this protected area would extend beyond the State of Jalisco. The portion that would include the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco would include approximately 300,000 ha. A t the time of writing, it is unknown what strategy wi l l be undertaken in order to protect this area. A t present, a couple of c iv i l organizations are helping to protect natural resources in SOJ : (a) the Forestry Regional Committee, and (b) the Regional Fire Committee. The Forestry Regional Committee arises from the Law of Sustainable Rural Development, which stipulates that the federal and state government should promote the 25 Several conservation initiatives by the federal government and academia have taken place in this region, such as the request made in 1994 to the president of Mexico by a professor from the Botanical Institute of the University of Guadalajara to decree this region as a protected area (SEMADES 2000). In 2002, the SEMARNAT made several visits to the region in order to promote a biosphere reserve (the proposed area to be protected was 400,000 ha) (SEMADES, 2000). However, local governments and most landowners from de region did not support this proposal. 26 Decree of protected area from 1949, and rectified on 2002 with the category of Area for Natural Resources Protection (SEMARNAT 2002). See Appendix 6 for specifics of these decrees. 13 creation of Sustainable Rural Development Committees to encourage producers and rural society to define regional priorities, and to plan and distribute resources. 2 7 The Regional Fire Committee arises from the Law of Sustainable Forest Development, which stipulates that forest landowners and forest consultants in charge of forest management programs must participate in fire prevention and fire suppression. 2 8 Few landowners (7 landowners) from the region are currently participating in the Payments for Services Program ( P S A H and C A B S A ) , although more applied to P S A . However, according to C O N A F O R (2006) the latter did not qualify because they were not in the eligible areas. 1.8 Thesis outline. In Chapter 1,1 state the problem related to conservation in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, then give a short perspective for deforestation and environmental degradation in Mexico, state my research objectives, explain the importance to create mechanisms to ensure that private and communal landowners conserve this high priority area, and then introduce contextual information on the topic gleaned from a literature review. I describe the pattern o f landownership and governance of land and resources in the Country and explain how these relate to conservation. Next, I describe environmental and agricultural policies and programs and how these have furthered to deforestation and environmental degradation in Mexico. Last, I introduce to the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco and highlight its importance for biodiversity conservation. In Chapter 2,1 summarize the research methods. This project is consistent with grounded theory and relied on semi-structured interviews. I outline the research design and methodological framework, interview design, and data analysis methods. I present the results of my interviews in Chapter 3. This chapter begins with general observations followed by six sections dealing with specific themes that emerged from interview questions: interviewees' perceptions about principal forest change; perceptions 27 Established in Article 24 of the Law of Sustainable Rural Development (2001). 14 about other environmental change; perceptions of the need for conservation; perceptions about existing institutions, policies and programs related to conservation; perceptions about how to improve conservation; and other findings that are relevant to this research. In Chapter 4,1 discuss the significance of these results to the factors leading to the failure to conserve forests, water, and biodiversity in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, and explore some mechanisms to improve conservation of these resources in the region. In Chapter 5,1 make some concluding remarks and give some recommendations to improve conservation in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, and support them with related studies that have been done on the topic. Finally, in Chapter 6,1 discuss the opportunities for further research that would allow for a more complete view of the whole picture of the case of conservation in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco. Established in Article 124 of the Law of Sustainable Forest Development (2003). 15 2 M E T H O D S This chapter explains the methods that were used in this research. I interviewed owners of forested and agricultural lands in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco using qualitative methods 2 9 because my purpose was to elicit in-depth insights and to acquire information richness from a smaller set of participants (Creswell 1998: 14; Zikmund, 2000: 55). I used purposive sampling to select both specific landowners and the areas o f land in which they reside. This thesis did not involve hypothesis testing. Instead, I used a case study approach combined with a method known as 'grounded theory ' 3 0 to generate emergent theories (Creswell 1998: 34). Because I am exploring and explaining landowners perceptions about governmental policies and landowners' socio-economic circumstances using a grounded approach, and because I am not testing any methods for any theoretical framework such as ecosystem services, common property resources, rural economy, among others; reference to the theoretical literature and other case studies was not necessary for this study. Section 2.1 describes the choice of case studies (i.e., units of land within the Sierra Occidental). Section 2.2 describes the selection of interviewees, and section 2.3 describes how the analysis o f the data was undertaken and how the interview results were interpreted from the raw data stage to the final research results. 29 Qualitative research is a process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore social or human phenomena. The researcher builds a holistic and often complex picture, analyzes words, reports detailed views of informants, and conducts the study in a natural setting (Creswell 1998: 14). According to Mason (2002), qualitative research is characteristically exploratory, fluid and flexible, data-driven, and context-sensitive. 30 The grounded theory approach begins with observations rather than hypothese and seeks to discover patterns and develop theories from the ground up, with no preconceptions, although some research may build and elaborate on earlier grounded theories. Theories are generated solely from an examination of data rather than being derived deductively (Babbie 2004: 372). 16 2.1 C a s e S t u d y This project is consistent with exploratory case study research. 3 1 I therefore provide a case description of landowners' perceptions about conservation in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco (SOJ). The jurisdictional units of analysis were four municipalities 3 2 : (a) Atenguillo, (b) Talpa de Allende, (c) Mascota, and (d) San Sebastian del Oeste. These municipalities are part of the eight municipalities embedded in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco which was the meta-level case study or focus of the thesis. I used purposive sampling 3 3 to select these municipalities, because these were the most relevant for this study. They encompass almost all forests of the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco. N o main differences were found among the four municipalities; therefore I treated the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco as one case study versus to separately analyzing four embedded studies. 2.2 Se lec t i on o f In te rv iewees I interviewed landowners on a purposive (i.e., nonprobability) sampling basis, in which I chose landowners who own forested and agricultural land in the in theNSierra Occidental of J a l i s c o . 3 4 A s an initial target, ten individuals were initially interviewed in each of the four jurisdictional units (municipalities), with the intention o f adding more interviewees i f a 'saturation p o i n t ' 3 5 had not been achieved. Saturation was achieved within ten interviews in each municipality and therefore no further interviews were required. In total 31 An exploratory case study is aimed at defining the questions and hypothese of a subsequent study or at determining the feasibility of the desired research procedures (Yin 2003: 5). According to Creswell (1998), a case study is an exploration of a "bounded system" or a case (or multiple cases) over time through detailed, in-depth data collection involving multiple sources of information rich in context. 32 In Mexico, the term 'municipio' can be translated into English as 'municipality.' But municipalities in Mexico refer to the combination of towns plus some surrounding semi-natural areas that, in the case of this thesis, can encompass forested and agricultural lands. The approximate equivalent in Canada or the US would be a 'regional district' or a 'county.' 33 Purposive sampling is a type of non-probability sampling in which you select the units to be observed on the basis of your own judgment about which ones will be the most useful or representative (Babbie 2004). 34 Part of these areas have been identified by the CONAFOR and CONABIO as high priority areas for conservation. However the specific landowners have not been identified. In the case for P S A ( P a y m e n t f o r Environmental Services Program)' landowners have to make sure that their land s are on the eligible m a p p e d a r e a s from CONAFOR in order to apply to this program. 35 The term 'saturation point' refers to the point at which no new information is forthcoming from the latter few interviews, leading to the assumption that no new information would be forthcoming with the addition of more interviews. 17 forty interviews were conducted for the project. From those ten individuals from each municipality, five were private landowners, and five were either ejidal or communal landowners36 (see Appendix 8 for a diagrammatic representation of the case units). From the forty interviewees selected thirty-seven were males, and only three were women. The reason of this is because fewer women own land in this region, and because only few are participating directly on agricultural, pastoral and forestry activities in the region. I selected interviewees within these areas of concern by approaching the Forestry Committee of Sierra Occidental of Jalisco and asking which landowners were participating at the Environmental Services Program (PSA), and also those who were not but owned forested and agricultural areas in the SOJ. However, the list provided by the Committee did not work in all cases; therefore by snowball sampling,37 I selected the rest of the interviewees. Recruitment of individuals for participation in the study followed procedures approved by the University of British Columbia's Behavioural Research Ethics Board.3 8 I contacted interview candidates by making personal contact with them and gave them letters of initial contact and explained the purpose of the study to them. These letters explained the purpose of my research, and the role of interviewees as part of the research process. The letters emphasized that potential interviewees were free to decline to participate in the interview or to discontinue the interview at any time. If interviewees agreed at that moment to be interviewed I started the interview, and if they agreed but could not answer the interview at that moment, then we arranged an appointment and scheduled the interview at a mutually convenient time. I recorded all the interviews to allow for detailed transcription and data analysis. Verbal consent to be interviewed was recorded on a tape recorder at the beginning of each interview. Semi-structured interviews were used, as compared to a questionnaire or survey, because landowners were likely to raise issues that I would not be able to anticipate. I also 36 Only one community (communal land) was identified within the four municipalities. 37 Snowball sampling refers to a variety of procedures in which "additional respondents are obtained from information provided by the initial respondents" (Zikmund 2000: 476). 18 wanted to explain something that requires an in-depth understanding of complex phenomena, which more superficial methods such as questionnaires are jess l ikely to achieve because they are limited to questioning participants about the suite o f issues or phenomena that conform to researchers' preconceived expectations (Mason 2002:65). Semi-structured interviews are designed to elicit people's knowledge, views, understandings, interpretations, experiences, and interactions which are meaningful to their social reality (Mason 2002). A l l interviews covered three main topics, and through open-ended questions, I provided opportunities for interviewees to offer helpful insights that could further my understanding of the situation (see Appendix 9 for the interview script that served as a basis for discussion). The topics covered in all interviews were: • What interviewees perceived about land degradation and about the conservation of forests, water, and biodiversity in the region. • What interviewees perceived to be the reasons for land degradation in the region and how this could be prevented. • What interviewees perceived about the Payment for Environmental Services Program and how this could be improved. Discussion centered around numerous land-use practices, institutional programs, and agricultural and conservation policies, both current and proposed. Open-ended questions were more useful because the range of responses was not known in advance (Zikmund 2000: 415). Further, respondents were free to offer insights into the topic that were "uppermost in their minds" (Zikmund 2000: 415), thereby reflecting "the flavour of the language that people use" (Zikmund 2000: 416). 38 The Behavioural Research Ethics Board issued the Certificate of Approval for this project (H06-0086) on 13 February 2006. 19 2.3 Data Analysis For integrating the data, the semi-structured interviews were first recorded and then transcribed. A t the analysis stage, I used grounded theory, 3 9 to determine the themes that emerged from the opening questions. To analyze the data and initiate its classification, I labelled it and broke it down (Babbie 2004:377). For the first stage, I classified the interviews by type of landownership (ejidal, private and communal), and then classified them by question. For the second stage, I made intuitive observations about each question, and marked off and/or labelled any cohesive quotation i f any information was of my interest. In particular, I looked for particular quotations that stood out, as suggested by Seidman (1998:109ff). These were quotations that were repetitive; unique and interesting; were told in a striking manner or highlighted a dramatic incident; and were surprising (unanticipated results). In order to reduce the database (transcripts) to a small set of themes, I examined the transcripts through an "open c o d i n g " 4 0 process (Creswell 1998: 150). Cross-sectional and categorical indexing 4 1 analysis was used to give a descriptive sense o f what each section of text was about (Mason: 151). To get a systematic overview of my data, and to have a clear idea o f its coverage and scope, I indexed the data cross-sectionally (Mason: 152). This helped to locate and retrieve issues, topics, information, and themes that did not appear in an orderly or sequential manner in the data, or in a manner that was easily visible or accessible (Mason: 153). This also helped me to decide what was relevant to develop my 39 Grounded theory consists of open, axial and selective coding and provides a procedure for developing categories of information (open coding), interconnecting the categories (axial coding) building a "story" that connects the categories (selecting coding), and ending with a discursive set of theoretical propositions (Creswell, 1998). 40 Open coding phase is the process of reducing the data base to a small set of themes or categories that characterize the process or action being explored in the grounded theory study (Creswell 1998: 151). In open coding, the codes are suggested by the researcher's examination and questioning the data. During open coding, the data are broken down into discrete parts, closely examined, compared with similarities and differences, and questions are asked about the phenomena as reflected in the data. Through this process, one's own and others' assumptions about phenomena are questioned and explored, leading to new discoveries (Babbie 2004:377). 20 understanding o f interviewees' perceptions. For example, once I had concluded that an interviewee was discussing a cause for deforestation, I would specify whether the cause was policy or socio-economic related. Because I found no major differences among municipalities and only minor differences among landownership type and type o f production sector, I aggregated the results to provide an overall case-study description. A t the final stage, I identified the categories of interest and began exploring the interrelationships of these categories (Creswell 1998: 151). 41 These could simply take the form of serial indexing categories, inserted as subheadings at the relevant points in text-based data, giving a descriptive sense of what each section of text is about (Mason: 151). 21 3 RESULTS 3.1 General observations In general, interviewees were very open and friendly. Some were thankful for being selected to participate in this project and appreciated the fact that I was asking them about their views on conservation and forestry issues in the region. The majority o f interviewees were also very keen to learn about the results of my research. Interviewees were more aware about the problems in the region than I had expected, were interested in the issues, and showed a sense of optimism about the region's future. Some were pessimistic, however, and think that solutions to the region's problems are too difficult and complex to achieve. Despite the fact that I interviewed landowners with different socio-economic characteristics, their answers were similar in almost all cases. Some differences were found by type of landownership and type of production sector, which I w i l l describe at the end of this chapter. During the interviews, people often drifted from one topic to another; however, I have organized their responses into general themes to distinguish these topics. Themes are often related to one another, and almost all of the problems described emerge from the same root causes, which wi l l be discussed later. 22 3.2 Perceptions about forest change This section describes what interviewees described as the main changes that they have observed in the forest and the causes of these changes. M o s t 4 2 interviewees have observed major loss in forest cover over the past few decades. According to all interviewees, the main activity causing forest loss is fires. They mentioned that techniques used to control fires are not effective. One interviewee said: Deforestation is caused by several factors. One of them, which I think is the most important, is fire, or the lack of effective control offorest fires. The main cause of fire reported by interviewees is the agricultural practice of slash and burn, which takes place on agricultural lands and sometimes occur on the slopes of mountains. This kind of agricultural practice consists of burning the land to prepare it for crop planting (mainly corn and grass for livestock). Agricultural producers use fire to clear the soil so that they can plant more easily. But fires often migrate into nearby forests. One interviewee said: Fires have caused a very high percentage of these changes in the forest, including agriculture on the slopes. This kind of agriculture has taken the forest because this is where fires start. Agriculture producers are supposed to follow the federal provision 015 from S E M A R N A P 4 3 , which regulates fire use in forested and agricultural lands, and establishes the specifications, criteria, and procedures for social and government participation in the detection and suppression of forest fires. However, some agricultural producers ignore fire-use regulations, mainly because of a lack o f concern or because the regulations are not enforced by the authorities. The fires therefore spread from agricultural to forested lands. One interviewee described the way agricultural producers avoid the fire-use regulation, thereby causing fires in the forest: "Most" in this thesis refers to the majority of interviewees, while "some" refers to the minority. However, we must be cautious in this thesis about quantitative interpretation of qualitative results. 43 Mexican Official Norm NOM-015- SEMARNAT/SAGAR (19997). This norm regulates fire use and suppression on forested lands. 23 Agricultural producers never respect the 015 fire-use regulation, which says that you have to let the authorities know when you are burning, and make a common agreement with your neighbours in order to prevent the spread of the fire, create a 3 metre fire break, burn at night or early morning according to the wind conditions and being helped by your neighbours. Instead, what they do is just burn so they do not have to do more work; when all the mountain is burned, there will only be flat land to seed... Even though there is a fire committee in the region that is meant to bring together all stakeholders, almost all interviewees agreed that there is still a lack of effective organization among different levels of government, institutions, and landowners, and that there is not enough money for fire control. In addition, all efforts are concentrated in fire suppression instead of giving more attention to prevention. One interviewee explained this situation: In this region there is the fire committee that has been working for about 25 years, but its action has been very limited because of the lack of resources. Basically this committee does not have resources and support from government or other institutions in order to prevent fires. Although annual burning of agricultural systems was identified as an important source o f forest loss, the deliberate conversion of forested land to agricultural land was another activity mentioned by many interviewees as a cause o f forest loss. Agricultural lands consist basically o f corn plantations and grass plantations for feeding livestock. One interviewee said: The forest is being destroyed because of the land-use change from forest to agricultural lands. Some interviewees mentioned that land conversion was in part caused by agricultural incentives from the government. They were referring to the governmental program, P R O C A M P O 4 4 (Farmers Direct Support Program), which was meant to support small-44 PROCAMPO was designed to provide assistance to producers with direct cash payments during the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) (USDA 2004). However PROCAMPO is restricted to a list of producers (SAGRAPA 2003). 24 scale farmers before crop planting, encouraging them to convert forested land to agricultural lands. One interviewee said: Agriculture producers received economic incentives from government to seed grass (PROCAMPO); therefore they cut their forests to [make room for agricultural] seed. If the government hadn't provided this incentive, the forest would be different now. Another reason mentioned by some interviewees as a cause o f land-use conversion from forest to agricultural lands is that poor landowners find agricultural lands more valuable than forested lands. Overharvesting of timber is yet another cause of forest loss according to many interviewees. In turn, overharvesting is related to six problems. First, forest policies give a lot o f power to forest consultants who are paid according to the amount o f harvested wood volume, and the forest industry is interested in large volumes of wood. Existing legislation therefore favours over-exploitation over conservation. One interviewee said: Here is the main problem: forest consultants are paid by volume extracted, and industrials are interested in the volume, therefore they adjust the amount offorest harvesting to their own interests, instead of to forest conservation. The second problem is the lack of control by government authorities. Landowners, in particular, felt that the lack o f control is a big concern. They mentioned that, in general, authorities do not go to the forest to do inspections and consequently do not get to know the region. Instead, they manage forests from their offices, and as a result, they make inappropriate decisions regarding forest resources. They tend to give a lot o f freedom to landowners to harvest whatever they want. One interviewee explained this situation: Due to the forest policies in the country, the lackof concern from authorities, and because of the lack of control over the forests, there are areas completely destroyed in this region. Control over forests is made on the pavement and not in the forests... as long as supervision and law enforcement by authorities is not done in the forest, we will never stop doing bad things. Third, some interviewees pointed out that the existing policies are not appropriate for forest conservation because they do not take into account other services that forests 25 provide. One interviewee mentioned that timber that has been extracted is from natural forests, and that the forest industry and landowners undertaking harvesting plans are harvesting very old and big trees, without thinking about other services that could be provided: There is extensive and intensive extraction of wood, with no control, resulting in systematic destruction. They are taking big and old trees from tropical zones, and unfortunately society and national policies see the forest only as a wood producer. A fourth problem is the lack o f monitoring, plantation, and rehabilitation programs after harvesting the forest. Harvesting in this area tends to be selective and relies on natural regeneration, and as one interviewee explains, the forest industry and some landowners do not care about reforestation: People harvest the forest and then they do not keep track of the harvested area. There is no culture about forest restoration after harvesting and there is a lack of interest from the forest industry in planting commercial trees in order to stop harvesting older trees. Fifth, some interviewees also mentioned that forest loss is caused by road construction, such as roads for connecting towns or roads for access to forested areas for harvesting. The main problem here is that authorities and road builders do not use the best construction and restoration practices. One interviewee said: The road from Mascota to Puerto Vallarta was constructed in a negligent way; cliffs were completely destroyed. Finally, a lack o f concern about forests was reported as a major factor in the failure to conserve forests. Interviewees said that the government authorities who are responsible for forests are unconcerned, as are some landowners. 2 6 3.3 Perceptions about other environmental change. In this section, I describe other environmental changes interviewees have detected in the region during the past few decades. The most important is water scarcity. Water scarcity is also one of interviewees' most major concerns. Almost all interviewees have detected an important reduction in the water supply in the region. One interviewee said: If water supply was 100% 26 years ago, now we have less than 50%. This is due to agriculture, fires, pests, and bad forest management practices. Interviewees mentioned that this reduction has been caused by agriculture and forestry practices and especially by the loss of forests. One interviewee mentioned that fires that cause forest loss are the major problem causing water scarcity because forests absorb water: Water scarcity is caused by forest fires because forests work as sponges to capture water, so if we lose forests, then water scarcity increases... We have noticed that when there is a fire in the forest, water flows down faster and land cannot absorb the water any more. Another cause of water scarcity mentioned by nearly all interviewees is climate change. They have detected several changes in the weather in the past few decades. The main change in the weather is a reduction of rain during the rainy season and an increase in the temperature (hot and dry weather). According to some interviewees, rivers and creeks used to have water all year long, and weather used to be milder. However, now seasons are drier and warmer. One interviewee said: The environment is getting much drier and warmer every year, there is disarrangement in the rainy season. Before, an agriculture producer could tell that it was going to rain just by watching the clouds, but now is hard to tell. Another change related to water in the region, according to some interviewees, is water contamination, which according to them is caused because of the use of pesticides in agriculture that are spread over the watersheds, and because of the pouring of human and mining waste into water bodies. One interviewee said: 27 The silliest thing we did was to pour human waste into the springs. We thought we would never run of water, but now we are suffering the consequences with water scarcity and contamination. Another interviewee explained how the use o f pesticides in agriculture is polluting the water bodies in the region: Those people who have flat lands, they burn them, then seed them and they spread a lot of pesticides in order to inhibit the grow of other grasses different from the crop they are seeding, and then all that pesticide goes to the river when the first rains come. Fertility loss is another environmental change and a concern for landowners. Some interviewees mentioned that their crop production has declined; therefore they have to use more fertilizers in order to improve their crops. The main cause o f fertility loss is deforestation, and agricultural practices, including fires and the use of pesticides. Some interviewees mentioned that deforestation is causing land degradation and erosion, lowering agriculture production. One interviewee said: What is changing the soil layer is fires and the inadequate use of land; the intensive use of agrochemicals in agriculture. A coffee producer explained how deforestation is causing land degradation, thus the quality of agricultural products is declining: We do not have the same quality in coffee production. Due to deforestation the mountains are washing up, they do not have the organic matter they used to have, and therefore agricultural production is not the same quality anymore. Another environmental change detected by interviewees is an increase in soil erosion in the region, which according to some interviewees has been caused by over-grazing. Overgrazing, in turn, impedes the natural regeneration of forests. One interviewee mentioned that the combination o f fires and over-grazing has caused a lot of damaged in the region: This region has been highly affected by over-grazing and fires; everything is about fires: fires destroy the vegetative layer, so when animals graze on 28 burned areas they damage the sod even more, impeding natural regeneration, causing erosion. Biodiversity loss is another change that has been detected by interviewees. Some interviewees mentioned that several wildl i fe species have either decreased or disappeared altogether, and that the number of species has also decreased in the past few years. They used to see animals more easily and now it is hard to see them. One interviewee said: Some years ago we used to see deer, squirrels, and different species of birds not far away from the roads or our houses; however, now we have to walk up to the mountains in order to find wildlife. There used to be more diversity. Another interviewee said: Wolves used to come down to eat the cows, but it has been 10-15 years since they went extinct. 3.4 Perceptions of the need for conservation First of al l , I found that there is confusion regarding conservation among almost all interviewees. Even though all landowners said it is important to conserve forests, water, and biodiversity in the region, some of them equate conservation with preservation. Therefore, they think that conservation would bring with it a lot o f restrictions in land use, would increase poverty, and would cause social problems. When asking an interviewee i f he thinks it is important to conserve forest in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco, he said: It depends what you mean with conservation. If you mean conservation as sustainable management I agree, but if you mean conservation as not touching the forest and people having to leave I disagree. Even though interviewees think there is a need for conservation, there is a concern about which strategy would work best in this region. They mentioned that usually the government makes plans for conservation in the office and not in the field, and therefore conservation strategies in this region have failed. One interviewee said: 29 / agree with conservation, but they (government and academia) have to plan first how to conserve. There are many things they say need to be conserved, but they plan from their offices and here in the field things are very different. Almost all interviewees mentioned that there is a need to develop a conservation strategy in the region in order to conserve forests. Several reasons were mentioned for forest conservation, but the most important was for water conservation purposes. The majority of interviewees mentioned that forests absorb rain water. In particular, they mentioned that the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco is the principal provider/supplier of water for the lower lands, such as the city of Puerto Vallarta, as well for the lower lands that produce agricultural products at Bahia de Banderas. One interviewee said: In terms of water, there is no doubt that these mountains [the Sierra Occidental ofJalisco] are the water supplier for Bahia de Banderas. Another interviewee said that i f control over fires is not addressed, then the decrease in water wi l l continue in the region: / agree with conservation. Because if we let the forests get burned and we get run out of trees... how are we going to capture water? Other interviewees mentioned that forest conservation in this region is needed because there are only a few areas remaining in the country like this, with natural forests and a high diversity o f plants and fauna. Another reason mentioned is that conservation is needed for restoration purposes; they think that there are many areas destroyed by fires and agriculture that have to be restored. Some mentioned that this region is at risk because o f the lack of an effective strategy for conservation. Some landowners recognize how important this region is in terms of biodiversity. One interviewee even mentioned that there is a high level of endemism and recognized the importance of developing mechanisms or strategies to improve conservation: Improving conservation in this area is very important, because several studies have proved that the number of plants and animals is good enough to consider this area as a high biodiversity area, even though the forests are being destroyed they are still finding new species. 30 Another said: This region is at risk, is one of the few areas remaining in the country with big areas with conifers and endemic species. However the forest industry is working in these areas, therefore it is important to implement a conservation strategy. Several interviewees mentioned that they are conserving their forests even though they are not required to do so. Some even have management programs for harvesting that have been approved by the government, but they do not want to harvest trees anymore. They are aware of the importance of forest conservation in terms o f water and biodiversity conservation. Several interviewees have even selected areas for biodiversity and water conservation purposes. One interviewee said: / am taking care of certain zones from my lands; I am not harvesting the forest there even though I have the government's approval to do so. But I am not interested in harvesting in these areas anymore; instead I want to conserve these forests for water and wildlife. Another said: The government is just about to approve a harvesting project; however there are areas where we want to conserve. Those areas up in the mountain where we have the spring. We do not want to touch those forests. 3.5 Perceptions about existing institutions, policies, and programs related to conservation When asking interviewees what they thought about the role of institutions that work in the forests o f the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, their opinions were divided; some landowners mentioned that the role of government has been insufficient, while a few mentioned that their role has improved. However, the majority o f interviewees agreed that much needs to be done for improving forest management in the region. 31 One of the major concerns mentioned by the majority of interviewees is the lack o f institutional capacity. In general interviewees believe that local authorities do not understand the forestry sector, and that there is a lack o f qualified personnel in the government who can monitor and make the right decisions about forests in the region. One interviewee said that local authorities think local people involved in the forestry sector are not fol lowing environmental legislation and are responsible for forest loss. But this attitude, they explain, is mainly because the authorities do not understand the sector: Authorities do not know what is happening with forest resources including timber and non-timber products. They do not have qualified personnel; instead they have a person who was elected to run the agricultural and forestry commission in the municipality, who is just a small agricultural producer. So what kind of decisions can he make... ? They think that we forest harvesters are bad and that we are responsible for deforestation and forest loss. Another perception of some interviewees is that natural resource management, planning, and decision-making are still centralized. Some interviewees mentioned that they are never taken into account when programs, policies, and projects are developed, even though they are the owners of the forests, and thus the principal actors, and should manage and take care o f the forest in coordination with the government. Some interviewees detect forest policies as impositions from the federal government. One interviewee said: The sustainable rural development legislation and the forest development legislation are impositions from the government. We do not know what they are for or how to apply them. Another interviewee said: Usually natural resource protection is centralized. Sometimes local authorities are not able to make decisions because only the federal government has this power. Regarding the Regional Forestry Committee (RFC) that is made up of all stakeholders in the region (landowners and all levels of government), and promoted by the federal and state government, many interviewees mentioned that it is working well and that it is a 32 good place for all stakeholders to discuss issues of interest, and a good place for increasing and encouraging organization among all stakeholders. It is also a place where other institutions can provide information about programs and projects to landowners from the region. With the current civil organizations (e.g., Regional Committee of Forestry) that are emerging, we might start progressing. This could take us to a better understanding of forests, because those civil organizations are promoting environmental education and help people to open their eyes; that way, they are less easy to manipulate. Another issue revolves around forest consultants. The majority o f interviewees mentioned that consultants have a lot o f power and that they basically control forests in the region. One interviewee said that consultants are seen as institutions for many landowners because the government has given them a lot of power: Federal and state authorities gave a lot of power to consultants and that power should lie only in government. Therefore many landowners now perceive consultants as institutions, or as government, and not as consultants. Another issue related to consultants mentioned by some interviewees is that consultants usually fol low their own interest and not those of the landowners'. One interviewee said: Everything relies on consultants, and unfortunately not all consultants are honest. The majority of them follow their personal interests and not the forests'. 3.5.1 Biosphere reserve project A s expected, the biosphere reserve project was a controversial topic for many interviewees. Most interviewees disagreed with the project, while just a few agreed that this would be a good strategy to achieve conservation in the region. Almost all interviewees perceived this project as a threat and mentioned that it would have brought about too many restrictions in land-use, which could have caused more poverty and social problems in the region. Some interviewees mentioned that the biosphere reserve project 33 is. a form of land expropriation, but without any economic incentive and representing too much responsibility. One interviewee said: The Biosphere Reserve Project was not good for me because I as many other people live from the forest. So, if they decree the Biosphere Reserve and you own land in it, it is as if they are taking your land away, but you would still have to pay to take care of it... Another interviewee said: / disagree with the Biosphere Reserve Project because we know that if there is a Biosphere Reserve, you couldn't do anything on your land; you are the landowner, but cannot use it. Another mentioned that the project was politicized and did not take into account the opinions of local governments and landowners. Some interviewees mentioned that the project failed because they did not involve landowners in the planning process of the project. One interviewee said: And what about us? When did they ask for our opinion? They managed the project from above, from government, and they were never interested in the people of the region. 3.5.2 Env i ronmenta l Services P rog ram Almost all interviewees mentioned that the Payment for Environmental Services Program (PS A H ) , initiated by the National Commission of Forestry, is a good mechanism to achieve conservation in the region. Many of them also agreed, however, that there are a lot of things to be done in order to maintain and improve the P S A H . A l l interviewees agreed that this program wi l l help to conserve water, forests, and biodiversity in the region. A l l interviewees agreed that this is a good incentive for landowners to stop deforestation and to encourage landowners' participation in conservation. One of the issues that emerged when I asked interviewees what they thought about this program was that the criteria for eligibil ity is inaccurate and unfair. Some interviewees mentioned that the selection o f the eligible areas was polit icized, and only benefits powerful groups from the region. One interviewee mentioned: 34 This program is a good start and initiative from the federal government, however I think that the selection of eligible areas was made from public opinion and that they placed more weight on what some groups from important cities such as Puerto Vallarta wanted. This was the way they established who would benefit from the environmental services payments. Another issue that was mentioned by some interviewees was that not everybody can access this kind of program. Even i f they are eligible, usually those who have access and get benefits from this kind of program are only those people who have more influence on government or people with more education or economic resources. One interviewee said: Very often, communities who own the forests cannot access this kind of program due to their cultural and educational limitations. In general people with higher levels of education are those who have access to these programs and incentives because they are more in contact with politicians and decision-making. Almost all interviewees mentioned that this program should be extended in area and timeframe, and that municipalities and states should get involved in the program in order to ensure the sustainability of the program, and to ensure that the program is successful at protecting and sustaining forests and water bodies. Some interviewees also mentioned that the market for environmental services should expand, and that institutions in charge of the program should find more partners in order to do this. One interviewee mentioned: This program should be permanent among nations, states, and municipalities in order to ensure sustainability of the water and air quality... The environmental services markets are limited. Seems like people in charge haven't contacted municipal, state, and international institutions. For some interviewees who are harvesting their forests, the amount paid for environmental services is not enough for them because the amount paid is dependent the amount one producer could get in one year o f corn production, instead of on the amount they could get from wood products. One interviewee said: Government is paying mx$400 per hectare; however for those who harvest cloud forest, that price is not enough; we could get much more money from 35 harvesting the trees than from receiving environmental services payments. The price is very low for this kind of forest. Another concern emerged from interviewees about this program is the lack o f monitoring after landowners receive payments. Some interviewees mentioned that some people who receive payments do not fol low the rules of the program or do not reinvest the money that they receive in conservation of their lands. One interviewee said: / have noticed that many landowners receiving environmental services payments think that payment is a complete income for them, and do not realize that they have to invest it in the forest. 3.6 Perceptions about how to improve conservation 3.6.1 Law enforcement Interviewees had many ideas about how to improve conservation in the region. But overall, interviewees mentioned that improving the enforcement of environmental laws was the most urgent need. The majority of interviewees said that authorities have to increase control over forests, such as fire control and regulating harvesting, agricultural, and pasture activities. They mentioned that authorities should punish people who are not fol lowing legislation in order to make them understand the importance o f forest conservation. When asking one interviewee about how to improve conservation in the region he said: We [landowners] need the presence of authorities; we need sanctions (penalties). Authorities have to apply policies and punish people. When people notice that authorities sanction for real, then people will become more cautious and will prevent causing damages to the land. Why? Because they will hit us where it hurts: our pockets. 3.6.2 Fire control Control over fires was another urgent need discussed by the majority o f interviewees; they mentioned that control over fires would help to improve conservation in the region 36 enormously. Several ideas emerged from the interviews regarding how to control fires. These include: (a) regulating the slash and burn, and annual burning practices by organizing and scheduling burning activities by landowners in order to have more control over them; (b) improving the efficiency of fire crews when a fire is happening; (c) having more control over access to the forest, so authorities can detect people causing fires; (d) including people from the ejidos on the fire crews; (e) creating partnerships and agreements among landowners based on the surface area of their lands in order to improve organization and reduce fires; (f) more financial support from institutions to the Fire Committee; and (g) improving efforts and investing more on fire prevention instead of focusing only on fire fighting. One interviewee said: There is a lot to be done in order to improve fire control in the region. We should have a long-term fire prevention and control plan for prevention and combat with qualified personnel and more financial support. 3.6.3 Incentives and technical support from government Many interviewees also mentioned that in order to achieve conservation, institutions should help landowners either with economic incentives or technical assistance. One interviewee mentioned: As long as institutions support and help landowners with incentives and technical support, conservation could be achieved in the region. Several interviewees mentioned that government should arrange other mechanisms that include incentives to encourage landowners to conserve their forests. For instance, a couple of interviewees mentioned that because some mountains from the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco are the water provider for cities such as Puerto Vallarta, Mascota, and Talpa de Allende, as well for agricultural producers in the lowlands, landowners who own forests in the highlands should be compensated for maintaining their forests and because they are providing water to users in the cities and to agriculture to the lowlands. One interviewee mentioned: We [landowners in the highlands] produce water for agricultural producers and cities in the lowlands, so they should pay us in order to conserve our forests, so they can have water for their cities and their agricultural products. 37 Others mentioned that i f government or other institutions would pay a fair price to landowners who are harvesting the forests, then landowners would stop harvesting. According to many interviewees, technical support is an important need in order to improve conservation in the region. They mentioned that they need assistance to learn how to improve conservation and how to manage their lands. One interviewee said: We need orientation from technicians, agronomists etc. We need support to learn how to protect our lands. Environmental education is also an important issue detected by interviewees in order to improve conservation. Some interviewees mentioned that, above al l , landowners need more environmental education in order to understand the importance of forests, soils, and the environment. Some interviewees mentioned that diversifying the economy would help to prevent forest loss and improve conservation because with new economic activities the economy in the region would rely not only on agriculture and forestry. Some interviewees mentioned that activities such as ecotourism could help alleviate poverty and increase the quality of l ife of landowners, while at the same time conserve forests. Another idea mentioned by some interviewees is that o f planting trees for commercial use in those places where the slope is very steep and deteriorated. That way, landowners could restore the land while eventually being able to harvest some of the planted trees. One interviewee said: / think ecotourism is going to save this region. This region is beautiful and has a huge potential for ecotourism. 3.6.4 Restorat ion programs Another issue mentioned by several interviewees is the need for restoration programs on damaged areas in order to improve conservation in the region. They mentioned that watershed restoration programs, including plant and tree plantations to restore the soil w i l l help to reverse the damage caused to the land by human activities. One interviewee said: We need watershed management programs in order to improve soils in the region. 38 3.6.5 Stakeholders' organization In order to improve conservation, almost all interviewees agreed on the importance o f organization among landowners, and among all levels o f government (federal, state, and municipal). They mentioned that communication among stakeholders is fundamental in order to protect the land. They mentioned that, by being organized, they could get financial support from institutions, which could then be applied in a better way and conservation could improve. One interviewee said: Organization and communication among landowners with any kind of landownership type is very important in order to take more advantage of the economic support. If we all had a common agreement, if we all were together and had more communication, things would work better. Ideas are better when we all work together, when we see what is working better for one. [i.e., when neighbours learn from one another]. 3.6.6 Landowners' involvement In order to improve conservation, many interviewees mentioned the importance o f landowners' involvement and participation in conservation, such as participation in fire control, reforestation, and inspection activities. Some interviewees also mentioned that conservation mechanisms and programs should take into account landowners' needs. One interviewee said: A better use of natural resources could be achieved if forest protection would take into account people's and users' needs. 3.6.7 More control from municipalities Another topic mentioned by some interviewees is that municipalities should be more involved in natural resources management due to their proximity to the resource and their better understanding o f the local needs and problems. Some interviewees mentioned that municipalities should coordinate among each other at the regional level so they could make local decisions instead applying centralized impositions from the federal government. One interviewee said: 39 Municipalities have eyes and ears everywhere, therefore they should be • responsible for natural resource protection. With a municipal or regional structure we could achieve better protection. 3.6.8 Regional Planning Several interviewees mentioned that planning at the regional level is an important key to achieving conservation. Some mentioned that it is necessary to have a complete picture o f the region in order to determine zones for certain land-use or conservation initiatives. We need a regional study that specifies land-use and conservation zones, instead of looking to individual studies from a small portion of land. Several interviewees also mentioned that the Regional Forestry and Fire Committees need more financial support and more participation and involvement from landowners in order to be effective. Wi th these civ i l organizations landowners can more easily receive technical and financial support from government and other institutions. One interviewee said: The ideal is to enforce the civil organizations such as the Fire Committee. That way the state and federal government can say: here is one or two million pesos for training fire crews, for prevention, to hire qualified personnel, etc. 3.6.9 Environmental Services Program Interviewees mentioned that the main way to improve the Environmental Services Program is to extend the program in time and in area, and to develop parallel Environmental Services Programs at the local and regional levels. Some interviewees mentioned that agricultural producers and tourist industry from lower lands should pay forest landowners producing water on the upper lands. Together, the C O N A F O R program plus income from environmental service markets might ensure conservation. One interviewee said: / think this program should last longer and under other mechanisms, I think CONAFOR is insufficient, there should be more local institutions participating. There should be a direct exchange among producers and users. 40 Another interviewee said: / think this program could work better at the local and regional level because in the case of Sierra Occidental the direct user is Bahia de Banderas. There should be a direct exchange between producers and users. Some interviewees mentioned that after the five-year contract between landowners and C O N A F O R , institutions, including municipalities should negotiate and develop mechanisms that benefit forest landowners, as their forests are the water producers for agricultural and tourist areas in the lowlands. One interviewee said: Municipalities and landowners should get organized and negotiate among themselves. For instance the municipalities above Puerto Vallarta should say to Puerto Vallarta: I will clean the water for you, I will send it clean to your creeks, but you have to help me to do that. How? Maybe through taxation payments. 3.7 Other f indings In this section, I wi l l describe other findings that are relevant to understand and improve conservation on the region. Interviews revealed that not all ejidatarios are receiving economical benefits when harvesting their forests. When asking an ejidatario i f his ejido was undertaking a harvesting program, he said: My ejidp is harvesting our lands, however some of us do not know where that money is going, we [some ejidatarios] have not received a cent from that wood extracted. Interviews also revealed that some times forest contractors renting ejidal lands do not pay a fair price to ejidatarios for the wood extracted. One interview said: / used to work for the owner of the mill who was renting our ejidal lands to harvest our forests. I used to cut the threes of our land for them; however the price they paid for our wood was very low. There is a conflict between agriculture and pasture producers versus landowners harvesting their forests. Interviews revealed that agricultural producers think that the 41 main factor of deforestation is wood extraction, while wood producers think that the main cause of deforestation is land conversion from forested lands to agriculture and pastoral lands. One interviewee (agriculture producer) said: The forests are being destroyed by the forest industry. In this town there are three mills harvesting wood all year long. They are responsible for deforestation in the region. Another interviewee (forestry producer) said: Land conversion from forested lands into agricultural and pastoral lands is what is causing deforestation in the region. Besides, fires from agricultural bums spread to forested lands, causing a lot of damage. 42 4 DISCUSSION In this section, I discuss some of the factors leading to the general failure to conserve forests, water, and biodiversity in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco, and explore some mechanisms to improve conservation of these resources in the region. Section 4.1, analyzes current land-use policies and discusses how these lead to forest, water, and biodiversity loss, and Section 4.2 analyzes the socio-economic context o f the region, and how this affects resource conservation. 4.1 Reasons for forest change and failure to conserve 4.1.1 Current policies and programs The results of this study suggest one of the main causes of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco is the inadequacy of, or the lack of policies and programs that prevent land conversion, burning, and overharvesting. Even though the National Development P l a n 4 5 for Mexico highlights the importance of protecting natural resources, there is a lack o f coordination between agricultural and conservation policies and programs. Furthermore, it seems that P R O A R B O L , the subsidiary program responsible for forest reforestation, restoration, fire prevention, forest health, forest development, increasing forest productivity, and forest conservation (including biodiversity and water conservation in forested lands), is not sufficient to encourage the majority o f landowners to conserve their lands in these targeted areas for forest, water and biodiversity conservation. The result is further environmental degradation. Federal agricultural, forest, and conservation policies First, existing agricultural and conservation policies are in conflict. On one hand, agricultural pol icy has promoted land-use change in order to increase agricultural 45 National Development Plan 2007-2012. 43 production in the country and to help alleviate poverty in rural areas 4 6 . A t the same time, environmental policy tries to promote land regulation and conservation in the same areas, by trying to mitigate the damage that these agricultural policies cause. In this manner, environmental institutions and policies are trying to prevent and reverse the damage that has arisen from agricultural policies. Second, agricultural planning policies often allocate lands to be used for agricultural and pastoral purposes in areas that are more appropriate for conservation or maintained as forest land. A principal purpose of these agricultural planning policies is to alleviate poverty. But by inappropriately locating agricultural and pastoral lands, the result is to perpetrate poverty because these lands are not suitable for agriculture. A t the same time, these misallocations compromise areas that would be more suitable for sustainable forest harvesting, or for the conservation o f forests, water, and biodiversity. And in the long run, a failure to conserve forests, water, and biodiversity in these areas wi l l only exacerbate poverty. Third, incentives for forest conversion are stronger than incentives for conserving forests, biodiversity, and water. Aside from some federal environmental programs 4 7 , the current governing system in Mexico discourages private landowners from conserving forested lands, protecting watersheds and biodiversity, and implementing more suitable land management practices. P R O C A M P O , the government program which provides monetary incentives for agricultural and pastoral production still represents the best option for eligible landowners. P R O C A M P O was supposed to expire in 2008, but the former president announced that it wi l l continue. However, it is unclear how this program wi l l continue. It is clear that in order to be effective, adjustments to this incentive need to be made and more effective policies are required to balance land-uses aimed at agricultural production and environmental conservation. There is an urgent need for federal government to 46 These policies include PROCAMPO and other subsidiary agricultural programs that include the omission of taxes on agrochemicals, and a subsidy on the prices and tariffs of energy generators (gasoline, diesel, electric energy) to promote agriculture and pasture production. 47 PROARBOL (CONAFOR 2007). 44 coordinate agricultural and conservation policies, given the rates of deforestation, overharvesting, and other practices that degrade the land. According to the interviews, landowners still prefer agricultural programs mainly because the lack of economical incentives that conservation provides. Sustainable forestry and conservation activities do not yet represent a viable option for them; there are too few economic incentives. The majority of interviewees expressed willingness to participate in conservation i f it were to offer economic benefits to them. However, landowners at present receive few immediate economic benefits by supplying environmental services associated with conservation, and consequently, tend to undersupply them in favour o f more lucrative land-use practices that further to degrade the environment. Therefore, sufficient economic incentives are required to encourage landowners to adopt sustainable practices. Some landowners in the region already conserve their forests (for water protection and biodiversity conservation) or maintain land-uses compatible with conservation even though they are not required to do so or they not receive economic benefits. They are aware of the environmental importance of protecting some areas for conservation. To ensure that these landowners maintain their conservation efforts, there is a need to establish where those conservation efforts are taking place and to support those landowners. Identifying those communities that are compatible with conservation, and engaging and supporting them through incentives to keep conserving could lead to the development of direct mechanisms for conservation over the long term. Fourth, the results suggest that boundary conflicts (land tenancy over lapping) 4 8 are preventing people from accessing government programs. It is important that this issue is resolved in order to promote conservation programs and incentives. 48 Many conflicts arose from the land reform during the Mexican revolution of 1910, as a result of the implementation itself, together with conflicts that had been inherited from the past. In 1992, Article 27 of the Constitution was amended, as was the Agrarian law. The reform of Article 27 was followed in 1993 by PROCEDE, a programme aimed at regulating the tenure of land by defining clear property rights for the millions of peasants in ejidos and agrarian communities and by providing them with proper titles to these rights (FAO 2002). 45 Fifth, the role of forest consultants, based on some interviewees' responses, has been a major factor that leads to deforestation in the region. Ostensibly, their role is to provide technical support for management planning and act as political liaisons between landowners and municipal, state, and national level institutions. However, some consultants make management plans according to their own interests, since they are paid according to the amount of harvested wood volume. The forest industry is interested in volume as wel l , so the harvesting programs that are made by some forest consultants are aimed at maximizing forest harvesting, thereby creating a conflict-of-interest between the personal interests of the forest consultants and the forest industry on the one hand, and environmental priorities on the other. However, it is also important to note that, according to some interviewees, some consultants in this region have played a more positive role in that they follow local needs and promote sustainable practices. Nevertheless, the interviews suggest that the government has1 given them excessive implementation power, which places them in a conflict-of-interest situation that leads some of them to take the control over decision-making in the region. Contact with forest consultants is generally only possible for wealthier landowners, and only those landowners who have contact with them have a voice in the recommendations and plans. The extent to which forest consultants promote conservation and sustainable forestry, therefore, is largely influenced by and benefits accrued only a small portion of the region's elite. There is a need to deeply analyze the role that forest consultants play in forest planning and decision-making in the region. Redefining their unmonitored authority is necessary in order to avoid the problems mentioned above. The method of paying them should also be redefined; perhaps paying them a fixed rate or with added incentives for conservation practices. There is also a need to increase the political strength o f landowners in interacting with government, non-governmental organizations, private industry, and consultants. The Regional Committee of Forestry could be a good opportunity to empower landowners' 46 institutional capacity because this committee includes members from all levels of government, industry, and private and communal landowners. Federal Protected Area (Biosphere Reserve) The results of this study suggest that the federal attempt to establish a Biosphere Reserve in the region was politicized and centralized. It did not take into account local governments and landowners' interests or perceptions, and the project was lacking land-use alternatives and economic incentives to compensate proposed land-use restrictions. Interviewees were almost unanimously opposed to the Biosphere Reserve proposal partly because they were not consulted and partly because o f their fears o f uncompensated restrictions on their lands. Establishing restrictive regulations over the use of natural resources for conservation purposes and without adequately consulting local people is unlikely to be successful. This is a well known phenomenon wor ldwide. 4 9 The designation of a Biosphere Reserve in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco is simply another example o f this phenomenon, and its lack o f landowner support should not be surprising, especially given that the lands under consideration are private or communal. A measure of its success or failure is the continuing loss o f forests, water supplies, and biodiversity in the area, as documented in this thesis. In this case, the results make it clear that policymakers should consult with local governments and landowners regarding their preferences and dependency on resources rather than devise strategies based on broad assumptions. In addition, adequate economic incentives must be offered to communities in order for federal policies to be adhered to at the local level. The interviews reveal that there could be several approaches to address conservation that might be more suitable for this region. Landowners suggested a number of options in which natural resources could be conserved more efficiently. 49 The dominant ideology of conservation policies and practice has been that people are bad for natural resources. Therefore in the past, many conservation programs have excluded people and discouraged all forms of local participation. This style of conservation has neglected local people, their knowledge and their management systems, their institutions and social organisation, and the value to them of wild resources. The cost of conservation has been high. Social conflicts 47 The promotion of more sustainable economic activities in the region, such as ecotourism, is a potential activity according to landowners. In this manner, the economy of the region would not exclusively rely on agricultural, pastoral, and forestry activities. In addition, the potential to bring tourism from Puerto Vallarta to this region is feasible due to the recent construction of the Puerto Vallarta-Mascota road 5 0 , and the high number o f tourists visiting the area. Federal Environmental Services Program According to interviewees, the Environmental Services Program (ESP) is a good way to help promote conservation in the region. However, in its current form, it is insensitive to local interests; it appears that the government cannot afford to maintain it in the long-term; and as a stand-alone policy, it provides insufficient incentive for landowners to conserve their forests in most cases. The program's failure to accommodate local interests starts with the selection o f sites that could be eligible for funding. The criteria for selecting the sites follows only broad federal interests. State and municipal governments, and probably landowners themselves, need to participate in the selection process for the program to be successful. And of those sites that would be eligible, not all landowners interviewed had heard about the program. This is mainly attributable to the program's reliance on forest consultants to promote the program, and some consultants had not done so. This suggests that government employees should be engaged in the promotion of this program. The interviews revealed that landowners require compensation that is sufficient from their individual perspectives. Although the idea of compensation is an accepted strategy for landowners, existing compensation is insufficient to help all landowners. Foregoing the benefits that their forests provide represents large opportunity costs for landowners, and compensation would need to be competitive with these costs before they would be wi l l ing to conserve their forests. The ESP payment amount is based on corn production have grown in and around protected areas, and conservation goals themselves have been threatened (Pimbertand Pretty 1995). 50 This road is approximately 100 km long from Mascota to Puerto Vallarta. The estimated duration of the trip by car is around 1.45 hr. However, it is worth mention that more investment is required in order to improve the conditions of this road. u 48 prices, which is inadequate because forest landowners can sell their timber for higher prices given the valuable species (e.g., caoba) in the region. From a forest conservation perspective, federal agricultural policy provides landowners with a perverse incentive; it provides financial incentives for landowners to convert their forests to agricultural lands. A mechanism to locally generate additional and perhaps sufficient money for forest-derived environmental services could be developed in the region. For example, formal agreements between areas of water production and areas o f consumption would l ikely promote conservation. The city o f Puerto Vallarta represents a good opportunity for this region to implement such mechanisms because this city is dependent on water from the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, and the maintenance of a water supply, in turn, depends on the conservation o f forests. In this manner, more landowners could benefit, more area could be incorporated into the federal conservation sites, and the program could be more feasible in the long-term. The results also suggest that the best way to improve the environmental services program is to extend its duration and spatial coverage. The ESP only requires landowners to conserve for a 5-year period, which is insufficient for long-term forest, water, and biodiversity conservation. State and municipal policies Interviewees called for a regional conservation strategy because the federal policies (those of C O N A F O R and C O N A B I O ) are not working; landowners are not sufficiently conserving their forests, water sources, and biodiversity despite these policies. Instead, interviewees argued that state and municipal governments need to have an increased role in conservation because they are in the best position to know what is needed at the local level and should be able to better engage landowners in participatory decision-making. A t the state level, the government of Jalisco developed the Plan to Establish Land-Use Territory in the State, the Sustainable Law for Rural Development o f the State, and the Forestry State Plan, but there is not a clear conservation strategy at this level of government, and the implementation of these policies is impeded by lack o f funds and lack of integration. 49 Municipal governments lack the technical and financial capacity for implementing federal conservation strategies and policies, and for establishing priority conservation areas despite their better understanding of local needs and problems. A s mentioned in the introduction, the environmental policy implementation in the country lacks an adequate capacity-building at state and municipal levels, and reflects an unclear distribution o f environmental competency across levels of government. The results o f this thesis make it clear that the needs and priorities of local governments and landowners must be incorporated when developing policies, programs, and incentives. There is an urgent need, therefore, for the federal government to reinforce the state and municipal governments' respective capacities to develop strategies for conservation that respond to local needs and address local socio-economic contexts, and that allow local government and landowners to select and designate conservation areas according to their own priorities. When developing a conservation strategy, it is important that local communities in the region participate. The interviews conducted in this study reveal that community members have detailed knowledge of specific sites and know which are necessary for water and biodiversity conservation. The national government has a broader vision over natural resources. Therefore, conservation on a larger scale needs to be based on vertical partnerships between government levels and the mutual accountability o f local communities and the nation. 4.1.2 L a c k of institutional capacity In addition to a lack of effective programs, incentives, and policies, a lack o f institutional capacity and effective law enforcement over forests further contribute to environmental degradation in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco. The results suggest that the most urgent issue to be addressed in the region is law enforcement and the corresponding need to increase the presence of authorities in forests. Interviews show that landowners support more governmental control over forests and in preventing further contributions to deforestation - i.e., fires, unsustainable agricultural practices, overharvesting, and road construction. 50 According to the current legislation, this duty corresponds to the P R O F E P A ; however, its capacity and presence in the region has been minimal due to inadequate funds and the lack o f a decentralization strategy to share functions and encourage local authorities to participate in natural resource protection. Besides its budget shortfall, P R O F E P A only monitors areas that have forest authorized management plans. Many forests do not have authorized management plans and are not monitored by authorities. It is in these forests where most of the illegal forest harvesting is taking place. Therefore, in order to protect natural resources in the region, there is an urgent need to amend current legislation and build local capacities in order to have control over all forests in the region. Combined with the lack of P R O F E P A ' s capacity, there is also a lack of coordination between the different levels o f government (federal, state, and municipal). This creates confusion and misunderstanding about the roles and duties of each entity regarding land control, resulting in further environmental degradation in the region. There is a need to improve enforcement o f environmental legislation by enhancing the human and financial capacity o f P R O F E P A and by fostering partnerships with local authorities and landowners. Interviews suggest that human-induced fires are the largest contributor to forest loss, and environmental degradation in the region. There is an ineffective strategy for fire prevention; most attention is focussed on fire suppression instead of fire prevention. Fire policy is ignored by landowners, and authorities do not enforce them; instead, fires are encouraged for crop production. B y failing to punish agricultural producers whose slash and burn fires spread to forested lands, institutions are encouraging them to continue these practices. Governments must take responsibility and enforce environmental legislation, prohibiting uncontrolled agriculture fires. The fact that the federal government controls natural resources in Mexico discourages local authorities and communities from participating in their protection. Here again, evidence points to the critical importance of improving local governmental capacity in order to reinforce natural resource protection. Local c iv i l organizations such as the Regional Committee o f Forestry and the Fire Committee can also help rectify this failure to reinforce federal policies and legislation. The results of this study reveal that adequate local conservation awareness exists, as does a willingness from communities to participate in the protection of natural resources. B y consolidating and enhancing the coordinated management capacity o f existing local c iv i l organizations, the federal government can begin to effectively achieve conservation. 4.2 Socio-economic context The socioeconomic context in the region must be considered when addressing deforestation, water scarcity, and biodiversity loss in the region. A s mentioned previously, poor landowners find agriculture and pasture more valuable than forested lands, even when forested lands are not suitable for those practices. The interviews also suggest that landowners with less economic resources usually do not have access to technology or professional consultation to manage their lands in an efficient and sustainable manner. Instead, they continue with traditional agriculture and pastoral practices that cause soil degradation and deforestation. Sustainable forestry operations and forest conservation projects are long-term projects requiring investment. Poor landowners, however, are unable to invest in improvements to agriculture and forest production. For these landowners, there is a need to provide technical advise about sustainable forestry and conservation and to provide incentives that can compete with the revenues that they receive from existing non-sustainable practices. There is a clear need for government to provide assistance to these people in order to foster economically and environmentally sustainable practices and at the same time to improve livelihoods in the region. Inequity among landowners is another factor creating social conflict, making organized cooperation among landowners difficult. 52 First, there is an internal ejidal conflict. Even though current legislation promotes equality within ej idos 5 1 , the results suggest that sometimes wealth generated from forests harvesting on communal lands is distributed unequally among ejidatarios. This discourages ejidatarios from participating in common projects, such as conservation and forestry programs. There is a need for government to ensure that all ejidatarios are receiving economical benefits from land-use programs in order to promote equity and encourage landowners to participate in conservation programs. Second, the landowners interviewed also suggest that, in addition to the internal conflicts within ejidos, there is also inequity between ejidos and private landowners. Sometimes when renting their lands to private sector forestry contractors, ejidatarios only receive a small fraction of the harvested timber's value, and they participate only as wage labourers. Therefore, to promote social equity there is a need for governments to build technical and economic capacities among ejidos so they themselves can manage and benefit from their forest resources independently o f the forest sector's elite contractors. 4.2.1 L a c k of stakeholder organization The lack of stakeholder organization also inhibits conservation initiatives in the region, furthering deforestation, biodiversity loss, and water scarcity. Even though landowners are aware of the importance of conservation, initiatives appeared to have failed because landowners and government administrators are not unified and clear about suitable approaches for the region. This strengthens the argument for increased stakeholder engagement and organization. C i v i l institutions such as the Regional Committee of Forestry (RCF) have organized landowners to facilitate communication between local groups and other institutions, promote democratic decision-making, and encourage equitable distribution of resources among landowners. A t the R C F meetings, land-use problems are presented and discussed, and institutional initiatives are promoted to landowners. These meetings are a good 51 Constitution Article 27 from the Mexican Constitution (1917) states that: "The general assembly is the supreme organ of the ejidal or communal center, within the functions that the law establishes. The ejidal representative, who is elected democratically in the terms of the law, is the organ of representation and is the person in charge to execute the resolutions of the assembly". 53 mechanism to ensure that local demands are taken into account in order to develop new and more efficient conservation policies in a participatory manner. It should be the government's role to promote wide scale landowner participation and organization in these public engagement exercises. 54 5 C O N C L U S I O N S A N D R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S The results of this research suggest a number o f options to improve forest, water, and biodiversity conservation in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco. It should not be presumed that I am making final recommendations; nevertheless, this study demonstrates that even in places such as Mexico, where conservation may be viewed as very challenging to implement, opportunities still abound. There is substantial willingness from landowners to participate in conservation efforts, and there is evidence from related studies that conservation could be improved given the current socio-economic circumstances of this region. However, more research is needed in this region in order to have a better understanding of the problems, and to develop specific mechanisms for conservation in the region. This wi l l be discussed on the last chapter of this thesis. A result of my findings, therefore, I offer the following recommendations: 5.1 Reforming and improving current policies and programs. A major finding o f this thesis was that existing agricultural policies and programs compete with conservation. If the Mexican government's overall objective is to conserve forests, water, and biodiversity in this region, then logically speaking, policies and programs need to be working in harmony. In particular, incentives for landowners must be consistently directed toward conservation. Brandon et al. (2005) present a similar argument. Referring to Mexico in general, they argue that policy reforms are needed to support rural livelihoods without compromising biodiversity. Financial and other forms o f support must be directed to lands with a high capacity to meet rural agricultural demands, and simultaneously, disincentives are needed to discourage crop production on land that perpetuates poverty while compromising biodiversity. 55 Therefore, I recommend: Recommendation 1: • For those landowners who are currently receiving payments for growing crops on low-productivity, deforested land, P R O C A M P O should offer to replace these payments with sufficiently attractive payments for reforesting agricultural lands that are of high conservation value. For lands not within the P R O C A M P O program, and given that reforestation and ecological restoration are expensive, I further recommend that: Recommendation 2: • Agricultural lands located in areas that have high conservation value should be converted back to forested lands through reforestation and ecological restoration techniques. Landowners should be compensated for their losses, and the federal and state governments should assume the costs of this work. Recommendation 3: • For agricultural lands in high conservation value areas, the government should reconsider its policies of providing tax breaks on agrochemicals and of providing subsidies for agricultural landowners' access to energy sources. 5.2 Diversifying the rural economy The results of this thesis suggest that current pastoral and agriculture practices in this region contribute to deforestation, water scarcity, and biodiversity loss, and that more sustainable economic activities should be promoted in this region. These findings are consistent with other studies. Brandon et al. (2005), suggest that agriculture wi l l never provide secure livelihoods in sites with low agricultural productivity. Investments in alternative sources o f income (e.g., direct support for management of high-biodiversity areas, tourism, agroforestry) is l ikely to provide more secure futures without compromising biodiversity. 56 In the social context of Mexico, according to Klooster and Masera (2000), natural forest management for timber, other products, and ecological services represent a necessary compromise for forest conservation. They state that community-based forestry has made impressive gains in Mexico. Successful examples of forest conservation and restoration contrast with general patterns o f deforestation. Forest-related jobs and revenue serve as incentives for forest-dwelling communities to conserve local forests. Managed forest offer the promise of both income and biodiversity protection (Bray et al. 2003). Cusak and Dixon (2006) argue that ecotourism bring benefits to local communities while protecting natural ecosystems. On the other hand, McKenz ie (2007) argues that alternative tourism (ecotourism, cultural or heritage, adventure, and nature tourism), is not without drawbacks. Because of the close contact between guest and hosts, it can lead to more severe changes in local culture, and it often takes place in more ecologically sensitive locations, where there is potential for greater damage. Furthermore, Borgerhoff et al. (2007) state that in many cases, profits from ecotourism are distributed unequally among the community members and could be captured by local elites. Therefore, to be sustainable, ecotourism projects must be carefully managed so that visitors do not damage isolated natural areas and cultures, and projects must be continually monitored to ensure they are run sustainably (Cusak and Dixon 2006). In consequence of my findings and those of related studies, I recommend that: Recommendation 4: • Sustainable forestry, community-based forestry, agroforestry, and forest certification should be promoted by governments, in order to help ensure forest conservation in the region. Recommendation 5: • Governments should promote and provide landowners assistance in developing sustainable ecotourism in this region, especially given its proximity o f Puerto Vallarta and its high potential for attracting ecotourists. 57 5.3 Redefining the role of forest consultants Landowners suggested that the government has given forest consultants excessive power to design and recommend forest plans. Government authorities, however, fail to conduct site-level inspections. Also, consultants are paid according to volume extracted. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that the role of consultants and the basis for paying them should be reformed. I recommend that: Recommendation 6: • Government authorities should increase their presence in the forests and conduct forest assessments and site inspections on the ground to ensure that plans designed by consultants are consistent with the economic and conservation goals of the region in general and for each specific forest area. They should consider forest consultants' recommendations carefully. Recommendation 7: • The payment mechanism to forest consultants should be conservation-oriented. Instead of paying them according to the wood volume extracted, they should be paid with a fixed rate and perhaps with added incentives for conservation in order to avoid overharvesting. 5.4 Redefining the approach of protected areas Given that landowners suggested that a biosphere reserve could bring about too many restrictions on land-use, and that their interests have not been taken into account in this process, I conclude that establishing restrictive regulations over the use of natural resources and the failure to involve local governments and landowners, conservation is unlikely to be successful in this region. Brandon et al. (2005) argue that the establishment of new reserves in Mexico requires a solid understanding of the social context for their establishment and appropriate mechanisms for landowner participation. According to them, building on such information, it is possible to design reserves that are integrated into the landscape and that support, rather than detract from, local livelihoods. The failure to do this will likely 58 lead to losses of biodiversity and will undermine support for conservation at local levels, and therefore national and international levels. On the other hand, Newborn et al. (2004) suggest that we will not be able to achieve conservation in private lands i f we do not seek a comprehensive approach to conservation that integrates incentive-based tools with land-use planning, and recognizes the larger context of property rights and land-use policies. They suggest that incentive-based approaches are needed as additional options for promoting the conservation of natural habitats on private lands. Therefore, I recommend that: Recommendation 8: • Policymakers should consult with local governments and landowners regarding their preferences and dependency on resources before establishing a conservation . strategy or a protected area in the region. Recommendation 9: • Adequate economic incentives and compensation should be offered to landowners in order for governments to implement land-use restrictions on private, ejidal, or communal lands. 5.5 Improving the Environmental Services Program (PSA). Landowners suggested that the Environmental Services Program (PSA) does not sufficiently compensate them for conserving water and biodiversity because (a) the existing selected areas are not sufficiently extensive; and (b) the amount of payment is not sufficient to deter those landowners who want to harvest timber. According to Langholz et al. (2000), i f policymakers want to promote private conservation, they must learn which incentives are most valued by landowners, and they must consult with landowners regarding their preferences and most pressing needs. Governments need to determine what additional incentives would appeal to landowners and what tradeoffs they would be willing to make in exchange, rather than devise incentive packages based on assumptions. 59 Therefore, I recommend that: Recommendation 10: • Governments (federal, state, and municipal) should enter into contractual agreements with owners of targeted forests with the objective of conserving these forests by preventing harvesting in them. Landowners preferences should be asked about their needs and preferences, and compensation packages should match the opportunity costs of not harvesting. Recommendation 11: • Local governments (state and municipal) and probably landowners should select eligible areas that have not already been selected by the federal program (PSA) and that are of local interest for conservation. Landowners pointed out that nearby towns and cities (e.g.. Mascota, Puerto Vallarta, and Talpa de Allende) and agricultural lands take water from the forests of this region, and they suggested that cities and agricultural producers should pay forest landowners for water production. Evidence from other countries show that payments made by private companies or municipalities to landowners for conserving their lands is beneficial in the long-term for both local economies and water conservation. For example, Costa Rica's largest brewery signed an agreement in 2001 with Costa Rica's government to promote forest conservation and regeneration in the recharge areas of the aquifer used by the company. Cerveceria Costa Rica (Costa Rica's brewery), uses ground water for the production of beer, bottled water, and fruit juices. However, the company was concerned that groundwater sources in the valley, where the company is located, were being affected by reduction in the recharge zone caused by land conversion and pollution. The brewery company therefore pays the government an amount over seven years, and then landowners receive the full amount to conserve their forested lands (Miranda et al. 2003). Another successful example in this country is the watershed protection project paid by a public company owned by three municipalities in Heredia, Costa Rica. This company 60 provides electricity, potable water, public lighting, and sewerage services to the region. They raised the potable water tariff in 1999 in order to compensate forest landowners for the services their land use provides to water users (Miranda et al. 2003). In a nearby region in Jalisco, the Chamela region, Mass et al. (2005) identified general issues regarding the delivery of ecosystem services. They argued that ecosystem processes and services are closely related in that region, and that dealing with trade-offs is unavoidable. According to them, these services occur mainly between provisioning and regulating or supporting services, such as tourism. Therefore I recommend that: Recommendation 12: • The towns and cities that take water from this region (e.g.. Mascota, Puerto Vallarta, and Talpa de Allende), and agricultural lands, should redirect tax money to helping forest landowners conserve their forests. Interviewees pointed out that the promotion of the Environmental Services Program relies mainly on forest consultants, and that not all landowners know about this program. It seems reasonable to conclude that the government should be engaged in the promotion of its own program. I recommend that: Recommendation 13: • Government employees should be engaged in the promotion o f the Environmental Services Program (Programa de Servicios Ambientales). 5.6 Improving fire control and prevention. According to the interviewees, fires are the main cause of deforestation in the region, and thereby water scarcity and biodiversity loss. In turn, fires can be attributed to the lack of concern from some agricultural producers who ignore fire regulations and to a lack of law enforcement. Pimber and Pretty (1995) suggest that when incentives end or regulations are no longer enforced, long-term protection may then be compromised. Pretty and Smith (2004) argue that rules and sanctions give individuals the confidence to invest in the collective good, 61 knowing that others wi l l also do so, and sanctions ensure that those breaking the rules know they wi l l be punished. Nayar and Ong (1995), state that besides economic incentives, regulations play an important role in encouraging changes in behaviour. Therefore I recommend that: Recommendation 14: v • Governments should take responsibility and enforce environmental legislation so as to prevent the escape of uncontrolled agriculture fires. Penalties for violators should be sufficiently stiff so that they serve as a deterrent. Recommendation 15: • Government should provide more fire prevention education to landowners, as well as financial and technical support, so as to help prevent the escape o f agricultural fires. . 5.7 Decentralization and economic support to local institutions. According to Gomez-Pompa & Kaus, (1999), the Mexican federal government has developed conservation policies and programs without understanding or accommodating local needs and aspirations, while the O E C D (2003) states that these policies have not been accompanied by adequate capacity building at state and municipal levels, leading to the failure to achieve conservation goals. Therefore, conservation planning and implementation must occur as part of comprehensive planning efforts that consider local, regional, and national development strategies (Brandon et al. 2005). Furthermore, there is growing evidence from the land sector to show that when people are well connected in groups and networks, and when their knowledge is sought, incorporated into planning and implementation decisions regarding conservation and development activities, then such decisions are more l ikely to sustain stewardship and protection over the long term (Pretty and Smith 2004). In a related manner, Wilshusen et al. (2002), suggest that participation through co-management partnership or community-based management would increase local vil lagers' stakes in nature protection and thereby more effectively empower communities 62 to conserve natural resources. They argue that by strengthening local social institutions and local communities, successful partnerships for conservation and development can be formed. Pretty and Smith (2004) suggest that in order to protect whole regions, government agencies need to bring people together to deliberate on common problems and to form new associations capable of developing and sustaining practices that result in common benefits. They argue that governments need to realize that forests cannot be protected without the willing involvement of local communities, and that agencies need to allocate responsibilities for protecting and improving degraded land to local organizations. Interviewees offered similar perspectives. They suggested that the federal government does not have sufficient operational and economic capacity to ensure conservation or to support local conservation incentives. Local governments (state and municipal) might be more effective, especially if they were to work in concert with landowners and civil organizations such as the regional fire and forestry committees. Therefore, I recommend that: Recommendation 16: • The federal government should reinforce the state and municipal capacities to develop a conservation strategy that corresponds to local needs, that addresses the local socioeconomic context, and that allows local governments and landowners to select and designate conservation areas according to their own priorities. Recommendation 17: • Local governments (state and municipal) should investigate mechanisms to generate funds to support conservation initiatives. 63 Recommendation 18: • The regional fire and forestry committee should be sufficiently supported by governments, and landowners' participation in these committees must be strongly encouraged. Recommendation 19: • The political strength of landowners in interacting with government, non-governmental organizations, private industry, and consultants should increase by strengthening the authority of the regional forestry committee. 5.8 Improving governmental capacity The results of this study suggest that government support and law enforcement are crucial for effective conservation. Such support includes: a) enhancing the existing legislation for natural resources protection; b) enforcing legislation; c) providing financial incentives to landowners conserving their lands; and d) supporting landowners through technical assistance. According to Wilshusen et al. (2002), institutional capacity is essential to long-run sustainable management o f natural resources. According to Pretty and Smith (2003), government agencies play a critical role in bringing people together to help form groups and engage them in conservation. Antinori and Bray (2005) argue that governments may want to begin developing specialized forms of legislation and support that meet the special needs of forest communities, and to allow them to achieve their potential for equity, social stability, and better environmental management o f local forest resources. Consequently, I recommend that: Recommendation 20: • Technical advice regarding sustainable practices and conservation should be provided to landowners by authorities. 64 Recommendation 21: • The presence of authorities in the forest should increase in order to enforce the law and have more control over forests in the region. Recommendation 22: • Enforcement of environmental legislation should be improved by enhancing the human and financial capacity o f P R O F E P A and by fostering partnerships with local authorities and landowners in order to protect natural resources in the region. Some landowners suggested that they are not participating in conservation programs because their lands overlap. 5 2 Brandon et al. (2005) argue that conflicts o f boundary demarcation, internal divisions associated with conflicts around social organization, and conflict of interest over management represent threats to the management o f communal lands in rural Mexico. Therefore I recommend that: Recommendation 23: • Government should resolve historical and outstanding land tenancy issues among landowners in order for people to access to conservation programs. Interviews suggested that some landowners in the region are conserving their lands even though they are not required to do so. According to Gomez-Pompa & Kaus (1999) small local actions might seem insignificant, but in sum, they may hold the basic building blocks for developing conservation programs. Therefore, I recommend that: 5 2 See footnote 47 on page 45. 65 Recommendation 24: • Government should identify landowners conserving their lands voluntarily and support them financially and technically in order to help secure their long-term commitment to conservation. According to the interviews, in general, only those landowners with economic resources are receiving benefits from forest harvesting, and the distribution of benefits from harvesting among ejidatarios are not equitable. These observations are consistent with Antinori and Bray (2005) who argue that it can be easy for political elites in the forest communities to manipulate and dominate the General Assembly and thus carry out what they call "covert privatization" o f the enterprise. They argue that the community's overall governance structure may not be strong enough i f local elites dominate the political sphere. Therefore I recommend that: Recommendation 25: • Government should ensure that all ejidatarios are receiving economic benefits from conservation programs in order to promote equity and encourage landowners to participate in conservation programs. Recommendation 26: • Government should help to build technical and economic capacities among landowners (mainly low income landowners) so they can manage and benefit from their forests resources independently from the forest sector's elite contractors. Overall, I conclude that forest, water, and biodiversity can be conserved in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco i f agricultural and forest policies are reformed so as to make them consistent with conservation; i f landowners are given opportunities to participate in pol icy changes that affect them; i f state and municipal governments are sufficiently 66 empowered and involved in conservation efforts; and i f environmental policies are enforced. 67 6 FURTHER RESEARCH Now that I have elucidated landowners perceptions and responses to their socioeconomic circumstances in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco, this study creates opportunities for further research. On the whole, the results and discussion raised in this study can serve as the basis for further inquiry using different approaches. This applies to studies that include comparisons between different theoretical frameworks, and comparisons with other case studies in other parts o f the world that could contribute to find mechanisms for conservation that can be adapted to this region. This would allow for a more complete view of the whole picture o f the case of conservation in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco. Furthermore, the results described in this thesis represent only one set of views, those of landowners, of the many possible perspectives on issues in the Sierra Occidental o f Jalisco. Therefore it would be helpful i f future researchers were able to obtain the perspectives o f different stakeholder groups in the region, such as workers, government employees, academics, and women, among others. Further studies are also needed to analyze in more depth my recommendations, and determine what would be more suitable for this particular region. 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"The World's Forests and their Ecosystem Services. " In G . Dai ly (ed.), Nature's Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems. Washington: Island Press. Mason J . 2002. (2 n d edition). Qualitative Researching. London, Great Britain: Sage Publications. Nayar R. J . , and Ong D . M . 1995. Developing countries, development and conservation of biodiversity. International law and the Conservation of Biodiversity. K luwer Academic Publishers, London, U K . 71 Newborn D., Reed S., Berck P., and Merenlender A . 2005. Economics and Land-Use Change in Prioritizing Private Land Conservation. Conservation Biology 19 (5): 1411-1420. North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, 2003. Summary of Environmental Law in Mexico. Publications and Information Resources From agree/summaryenviro law/p ublication/mx01.cfm?varlan=english#intro. Accessed October 2005. Norma Oficial Mexicana. 1997. NOM-015- SEMARNAT/SAGAR. Uso de Fuego en Terrenos Forestales y Combate de Incendios Forestales. Mexico. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 2003. OECD Environmental Performance Previews, Mexico. Paris, France:OECD. Payne R. 2002. Community Forestry and the Politics of Agrarian Reform in the Chimalapas, Oaxaca. Sustainable Forestry 15: 95-112. Publico 2007. Jalisco Retoma la Proteccion de 300 mil hectdreas. Publicado el 14 de mayo de 2007. Guadaljara, Jalisco, Mexico. Pimbert M.and Pretty J . 1995. Parks, People and Professionals: Putting 'Participation" into protected Area Management. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, International Institute for Environment and Development, Wor ld Wide Fund for Nature, Discussion Paper 57. U N R I S D , Geneva. Pretty J . , and Smith D, 2004. Social Capital in Biodiversity Conservation and Management. Conservation Biology 18 (3): 631-638. Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2007-2025. 2007. Mexico. From 2007-2012.pdf. Accessed May 2007. 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The Program of Direct Support for the Countryside (PROCAMPO). From Accessed M a y 2007. I U C N 1994. The I U C N Protected Area Management Categories. Gland, Switzerland. From info3.p df. Accessed May 2007. United States Department o f Agriculture. 2004. Mexico: Policy. Economic Research Service. The Economics of Food, Farming, Natural Resources and Rural America. From Accessed May 2007. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. 2007. Biosphere reserves: reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with economic development. See Accessed May 2007. United States Agency for International Development. 2002. Biodiversity and Tropical Forest Conservation, Protection, and Management in Mexico. Report submitted to the United States Agency for International Development. A R D - B i o F o r IQC Consortium and Grupo Darum. 118-119. From docs/PNADEl45.pdf . Accessed October 2005. U.S. Department of State. 2007. Background note .Mexico. From http://www.state.g0v/r/pa/ei/bgn/35749.htm. Accessed October 2005. Wilshusen P., Brechin S., Fortwangler C , and West P. 2002. Reinventing a Square Wheel: Critique of a Resurgent "Protection Paradigm" in International Biodiversity Conservation. Society and Natural Resources 15(1): 15-40. Wor ld Bank. 1995. Mexico: Resource conservation and forest sector review. Report 13114-MW. Washington, D C : Natural Resources and Rural Poverty Operations Division. Worldl i fe Fund. 2001. Ecoregion profile. Sierra Madre Occidental Pine-Oak Forests. See Accessed October 2005. Y i n , R.K. 2003. Case-Study Research- Design and Methods ( 2 n d ed.). Appl ied Social Research Methods Series, Volume 5. California: Sage Publications. Zikmund, W. 2000. Exploring Marketing Research (7 t h ed.). U S A : The Dryden Press. 7 3 APPENDICES APPENDIX 1: List of government ministries in Mexico. (Source: Gobierno de Mexico, E l Portal Ciudadano del Gobierno Federal, Poder Ejecutivo 2006) Presidency • Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fishing, and Food ( S A G A R P A ) • Secretariat of Communication and Transport (SCT) • Secretariat of National Defence ( S E D E N A ) • Secretariat of Social Development ( S E D E S O L ) • Secretariat of Economy (SE) • Secretariat of Public Education (SEP) • Secretariat of Energy (SENER) • Secretariat of Public Function (SFP) • Secretariat o f Governance (SEGOB) • Secretariat o f Property and Public Revenue (SHCP) • Secretariat o f the Agrarian Reform (SRA) • Secretariat of Mexican Armed Marine ( S E M A R ) • Secretariat o f the Environment and Natural Resources ( S E M A R N A T ) • Secretariat o f Health (SS A ) • Secretariat of Public Security (SSP) • Secretariat o f Tourism ( S E C T U R ) • Secretariat o f Work and Social Prevision (STPS) • Attorney General' s Office of the Republic (PGR) State Companies • Federal Commission o f Electricity (CFE) • Mexican Petroleum ( P E M E X ) 74 A P P E N D I X 2 : Branches of the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and Forestry Programs within them. (Source: SEMARNAT/CONAFOR 2007) Secretariat of the Environment and Federal Delegations Regional Delegations Environmental Protection Agency National Commission of Water National Commission of Forestry Proarbol Program National Commission of Protected Areas National Commission for the U s e and Forest Planning and Organization Regional Forest Studies Production and Productivity Forest Harvesting Forest Conservation and Rehabilitation Reforestation Soil Restoration Increasing the Competitive Level Equipment and Infrastructure Mexican Institute of Water National Institute of Ecology 75 APPENDIX 3 : National Commission of Protected Areas Categories. (Source: C O N A N P 2007) Biosphere Reserves: They are representative areas of one or more ecosystems nonaltered by the action o f humans or areas that require to be preserved and to be recovered. They inhabit representative species of the national biodiversity, including endemic species and threatened or in danger. National Parks: Areas with ecosystems that have scenic beauty. They have scientific, educative, recreation, and historical value. Its aptitude is for tourism, or for other analogous reasons of general interest. Natural Monuments: Areas that contain one or several natural elements with unique character: esthetic, historical or scientific. These require a regime of absolute protection. They do not have the variety of ecosystems nor the surface necessary to be included in other management categories. Areas for Natural Resources Protection: They are areas destined to the preservation and protection o f soi l , hydrographic river basins, water, and natural forest and land resources of preferably forest aptitude. Areas for Flora and Fauna Protection: Areas established in places that contain habitats where the flora and fauna preservation, existence, transformation, and development depend. Sanctuaries: Areas established in zones with flora or fauna richness or whit the presence of species, subspecies or habitat with restricted distribution. They include gorges, fertile valleys, grottos, relicts, caverns, sinkholes, topographic or geographic units that require to be preserved or protected. 76 APPENDIX 4: IUCN Protected Areas Management Categories. (Source: I U C N 1994) The IUCN Protected Area Management Categories Introduction Twenty years ago, I U C N developed a preliminary system of protected area management categories. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the I U C N Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas (now known as the World Commission on Protected Areas - W C P A ) , reviewed these, the IVth Wor ld Parks Congress in Caracas confirmed a number of changes, and the I U C N General Assembly approved them in 1994. They were published as I U C N Guidelines in the same yeari. The W C P A definition of a protected area, and of the six associated management categories o f protected areas, are given below: Definition A n area of land and/or sea especially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity, and of natural and associated cultural resources, and managed through legal or other effective means. § Category la: Strict nature reserve/wilderness protection area managed mainly for science or wilderness protection — an area of land and/or sea possessing some outstanding or representative ecosystems, geological or physiological features and/or species, available primarily for scientific research and/or environmental monitoring. § Category lb: Wilderness area: protected area managed mainly for wilderness protection - large area of unmodified or slightly modified land and/or sea, retaining its natural characteristics and influence, without permanent or significant habitation, which is protected and managed to preserve its natural condition. § Category II: National park: protected area managed mainly for ecosystem protection and recreation - natural area of land and/or sea designated to (a) protect the ecological integrity o f one or more ecosystems for present and future generations, (b) exclude exploitation or occupation inimical to the purposes of designation of the area and (c) provide a foundation for spiritual, scientific, 77 educational, recreational and visitor opportunities, all of which must be environmentally and culturally compatible. § Category III: Natural monument: protected area managed mainly for conservation of specific natural features - area containing specific natural or natural/cultural feature(s) of outstanding or unique value because of their inherent rarity, representativeness or aesthetic qualities or cultural significance. § Category IV: Habitat/Species Management Area: protected area managed mainly for conservation through management intervention - area o f land and/or sea subject to active intervention for management purposes so as to ensure the maintenance o f habitats to meet the requirements of specific species. § Category V: Protected Landscape/Seascape: protected area managed mainly for landscape/seascape conservation or recreation - area of land, with coast or sea as appropriate, where the interaction of people and nature over time has produced an area o f distinct character with significant aesthetic, ecological and/or cultural value, and often with high biological diversity. Safeguarding the integrity o f this traditional interaction is vital to the protection, maintenance and evolution of such an area. § Category VI: Managed Resource Protected Area: protected area managed mainly for the sustainable use of natural resources — area containing predominantly unmodified natural systems, managed to ensure long-term protection and maintenance of biological diversity, while also providing a sustainable flow o f natural products and services to meet community needs. Categorisation by Management Objective Protected areas are categorised according to their primary management objective. Further explanation: This type o f classification system serves a number of valuable purposes as it: § Emphasises the importance of protected areas; § Demonstrates the range o f purposes protected areas serve; § Promotes the idea of protected areas as systems rather than units in isolation; § Reduces confusion of terminology; § Provides an agreed set of international standards; § Facilitates international comparison and accounting; and § Improves communication and understanding. § Assignment to a category is not a comment on management effectiveness. This distinction is often overlooked. For instance, where Category II areas are poorly managed, there is a temptation to re-classify them as Category V areas. This is not the intent of the I U C N guidelines, which categorise by management objective. There are, in fact, two questions § "What is the aim of management?" leading to assignment o f a category § "How well is the area managed?" leading to an assessment of management effectiveness. § The I U C N categories system has been designed for global use. The guidance is therefore broad and general rather than being prescriptive and specific. The system should be interpreted flexibly. Because it is based on broad guidelines, regions or countries should interpret them for their own applications. § There are hundreds of different national names for protected areas. The I U C N guidelines are not intended to result in the re-naming of these reserves. § A l l categories are equally important and equally relevant to conservation. It should be noted, however, that some countries may not contain the potential for using all categories. § The categories imply a gradation of human intervention, ranging from effectively none at all in the case of some Category I areas, to quite high levels of intervention in Category V areas. Since Category V I was added to the system later it does not fit neatly into the general pattern, but lies conceptually between III and IV. § A s the system is based on management objective, it is essentially neutral about the managing agency or landowner. More particularly, there is no presumption that any category wi l l be owned or managed by the State Categories represent a compromise between the needs and situations of different countries. They are not a perfect fit for all areas, but serve as a guide for interpretation and application at the regional and national levels. Further, no classification system is perfect, and its value really depends not so much on whether each protected area can be 'allocated' to one of the six categories without doubt or difficulty, but on whether the objectives o f categorisation are met. Experience since the publication of the 1994 guidelines suggests that this process has certainly led to 79 increased assessment of the roles of protected areas, and better informed debate about how protected areas with different roles and objects relate one to another. The current project - Speaking a Common Language - seeks to provide an analysis of the way in which the categories have been applied and suggestions for further guidance on their application in the future. i Anon (1994); Guidelines for Protected Area Management Categories , I U C N and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U K 80 APPENDIX 5: Subprogram Payment for Environmental Service Program subprograms. (Source:CONAFOR 2007) I Hydrological Services (PSAH) Environmental Services Program (PSA) T Carbon Sequestration Biodiversity Protection (CABSA) I Agro forestry Systems (CABSA) 81 APPENDIX 6: 1949 Decree of Protected Area, and 2002 Agreement of Rectification. (Source:CONANP 2007) 03-08-49 D E C R E T O que declara Zonas Protectoras Forestales y de Repoblacion las cuencas de alimentation de las obras de irrigation de los Distritos Nacionales de Riego, y se establece una veda total e indefinida en los montes ubicados dentro de dichas cuencas. A l margen un sello con el Escudo Nacional, que dice: Estados Unidos Mexicanos.-Presidencia de la Republica. M I G U E L A L E M A N , Presidente Constitutional de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, a sus habitantes sabed: Que con apoyo en el parrafo 4° del articulo 2 reformado de la Ley Forestal vigente, y C O N S I D E R A N D O : P R I M E R O . - Que es necesario, en bien de la agricultura nacional, tomar las medidas de protection indispensables para que los Distritos de Riego que ha creado el Gobierno Federal se vean libres de las amenazas que constituyen, para sus obras, los acarreos de detritus por las aguas, ocasionados por la erosion de los suelos de las cuencas hidrograficas respectivas, que vienen a azolvar los vasos, disminuyendo su capacidad de almacenamiento; S E G U N D O . - Que para lograr los fines mencionados es necesario conservar la cubierta vegetal de las mencionadas cuencas; reconstruirla ali i donde ha sido destruida o establecerla en donde no ha existido, pues solo de esa manera se lograra, aparte de mantener en las mejores condiciones las obras de irrigation, asegurar debidamente su funcionamiento y lograr el maximo rendimiento de las inversiones que el Gobierno Federal ha venido haciendo para aumentar nuestra production agricola con la ampliation cada vez mayor de las zonas irrigables. Por las consideraciones anteriores y con fundamento en la fraction I del articulo 89 constitutional he tenido a bien expedir el siguiente D E C R E T O : A R T I C U L O 1°.- Se declaran Zonas Protectoras Forestales y de Repoblacion las cuenc as de alimentation de las obras de irrigation de los Distritos Nacionales de Riego, y, por consiguiente, se establece una veda total e 82 indefinida en los monies ubicados dentro de dichas cuencas. A R T I C U L O 2°.- Para los efectos del articulo anterior, la Sec retaria de Recursos Hidraulicos hara el sefialamiento del perimetro de alimentation de las cuencas hidrograficas de cada uno de los Distritos de Riego, para determinar la superficie de las zonas vedadas, y lo comunicara a la Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia para que esta, por conducto de las autoridades forestales, haga las notificaciones correspondientes a los interesados de los predios comprendidos dentro de las propias cuencas hidrograficas. A R T I C U L O 3°.- E l aprovechamiento de maderas muertas, plagadas y enfermas se autorizara de acuerdo con la Ley Forestal vigente, concediendo los permisos a las personas fisicas o morales que, acreditando debidamente sus derechos para efectuar la explotacion, garanticen a juicio de la Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia, que no haran uso indebido de los permisos que se les otorguen. A R T I C U L O 4°.- La explotacion de los montes para la obtencion de productos indispensables al consumo local, que no pueda satisfacerse con las maderas a que se refiere el articulo anterior, se concedera previo estudio realizado al efecto por el Servicio Forestal Oficial o por Ingenieros Forestales Postulantes autorizados, en los terminos del articulo 260 del reglamento de la Ley Forestal vigente, quedando bajo el control tecnico de la Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia. A R T I C U L O 5°.- L a resinacion de los montes de pino, se autorizara unicamente en los casos en que la explotacion se efectue con apego estricto a los metodos mas modernos que garanticen la conservation de dicha riqueza. A R T I C U L O 6°.- A partir de la notification a que se refiere el articulo segundo transitorio queda cancelada de pleno derecho toda la documentation en vigor expedida para las explotaciones maderables existentes. A R T I C U L O 7°.- Las solicitudes de autorizacion de las explotaciones a que se refieren los articulos 3° y 4° no se admitiran a tramite si no son presentadas conjuntamente por el propietario, usufructuario o poseedor y el explotador o contratista , para los efectos de asegurar la responsabilidad solidaria a que se refiere el articulo 65 de la Ley. Las explotaciones de que se trate seran exclusivamente para el consumo local, y a tal efecto no se expedira documentation forestal alguna para movil izacion de los productos fuera de las respectivas areas de consumo. ARTICULO 8 ° . - Los delitos o faltas que se cometan en la zona vedada, seran sancionados con el duplo de las penas que se aplicarian a los responsables sin la existencia de la veda, de conformidad con lo dispuesto en el articulo 2 ° reformado de la Ley Forestal en vigor. ARTICULO 9°.- La Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia procedera a realizar los trabajos de forestacion o de reforestation indispensables para llenar los fines de este decreto, ya se trate de regiones que deban protegerse mediante masas arboladas, como de aquellas cuyos suelos, por razones tecnicas, deben solamente ser recubiertos de vegetation arbustiva o herbacea, especialmente de pastos. ARTICULO 10.- Las erogaciones que se tengan que hacer con motivo de los trabajos senalados, seran cubiertas por el Consejo Nacional Forestal, con cargo al Fondo Forestal, segun lo previsto por la Ley Forestal vigente en sus articulos relativos, y por la Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia, de conformidad con los Presupuestos de que anualmente dis ponga. ARTICULO 11.- En los terminos de la Ley Forestal y de su Reglamento , se hara del conocimiento de los propietarios de los predios afectados por la creation de las Zonas Protectoras a que se contrae el presente decreto, a efecto de que den cumplimiento a las disposiciones contenidas en el articulo 10 reformado de la citada ley. TRANSITORIOS: ARTICULO PRIMERO.- La Direction General Forestal y de Caza ordenara la inmediata suspension de todos los cortes de apeo que se esten efectuando en la zona vedada y dispondra que las Agendas Generates del ramo procedan a recoger toda la documentation forestal que este en poder de los explotadores a virtud de sus respectivos permisos. ARTICULO SEGUNDO.- Todos los que, por cualquier titulo, tengan existencias de productos forestales dentro de la zona vedada, estaran obligados a manifestarlas, indicando sus especies, volumenes y lugares en que se encuentren, dentro del improrrogable termino de quince dias, contados a partir de la fecha en que la autoridad forestal les notifique que sus predios estan comprendidos dentro de las cuencas alimentadoras, segun los datos que proporcione la Secretaria de Recursos Hidraulicos. Estas manifestaciones las haran por escrito, a la Agenda General de la Secretaria de Agricultura y Ganaderia y a la Direccion General Forestal y de Caza. La omision de las manifestaciones se sancionara con la multa minima en los terminos de los articulos 2°, 62 fraccion X V I I y 63 reformados de la Ley Forestal. A R T I C U L O T E R C E R O . - E l Servicio Forestal Oficial procedera a la inmediata practica de visitas de inspeccion a los montes, aserraderos, patios, depositos y puntos de concentracion de productos forestales, para comprobar que los mismos fueron explotados de acuerdo con los permisos concedidos, levantando actas en donde se haran constar las existencias de productos en bruto y elaborados. Las discrepancias por exceso encontradas en las existencias amparadas legalmente, y las halladas por el personal de dicho servicio, seran sancionadas de acuerdo con los articulos 62 y 63 reformados, de la Ley Forestal vigente, excepto en los casos de delitos, en que se haran las denuncias procedentes a la Procuraduria General de la Republica. A R T I C U L O C U A R T O . - Las existencias de productos maderables de que puedan disponer libremente los interesados, no podran movilizarse de sus lugares de concentracion fuera del monte, ya sean patios, aserraderos o depositos, mientras no esten extraidos del monte los desperdicios, a satisfaccion del Servicio Forestal Of ic ial , y para tal efecto, gozaran de un plazo maximo de ciento veinte dias contados a partir de la fecha en que se les haga la notificacion a que se refiere el articulo segundo transitorio. La autoridad forestal proporcionara la documentacion indispensable para la extraccion de los productos existentes en el monte y su movil izacion hasta los lugares de concentracion. Extraidos del monte los desperdicios, se expedira a los interesados, la documentacion forestal indispensable para el transporte o reembarque de sus existencias. A R T I C U L O QUINTO. - Si transcurrido el plazo de ciento veinte dias a que se refiere el articulo anterior, no se han extraido del monte todos los productos, y especialmente los desperdicios, el Servicio Forestal Oficial procedera a hacer la extraccion a costa de los interesados, y hara efectivo el gasto que se haya erogado por este motivo, mediante el aseguramiento de las existencias a que se refiere el articulo anterior, las que seran puestas a disposicion de las autoridades fiscales para su remate, por medio del procedimiento economico coactivo, 85 para lograr el resarcimiento del gasto y hacer efectiva la multa que se imponga en los terminos de los articulos 2°, 62 fraction X V I I y 63 reformados de la Ley Forestal, por no haber hecho la extraction en el plazo mencionado. A R T I C U L O S E X T O . - Este decreto entrara en vigor al dia siguiente de su publication en el "Diario Of ic ia l " . Dado en la residencia del Poder Ejecutivo Federal, en la ciudad de Mexico, Distrito Federal, a los ocho dias del mes de junio de mi l novecientos cuarenta y nueve.-Miguel Aleman.-Rubrica.-El Secretario de Agricultura y Ganaderia, Nazario S. Ortiz Garza.-Rubrica.-El Secretario de Recursos Hidraulicos, Adol fo Orive Alba.-Rubrica.-El Secretario de Gobernacion, Adolfo Ruiz Cortinez.-Rubrica. 8 (Primera Section) D I A R I O O F I C I A L Jueves 7 de noviembre de 2002 A C U E R D O p o r el q u e se r e c a t e g o r i z a n c o m o areas de p r o t e c t i o n de recu rsos n a t u r a l e s , los t e r r i t o r i os a que se re f ie re e l D e c r e t o P r e s i d e n c i a l de f echa 8 de j u n i o de 1949, p u b l i c a d o e l 3 de agosto d e l m i s m o af io . A l margen un sello con el Escudo Nacional, que dice: Estados Unidos Mexicanos.-Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. V I C T O R L I C H T I N G E R W A I S M A N , Secretario de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, con fundamento en los articulos 32 Bis de la Ley Organica de la Administration Publica Federal; 45, 46 fraction V I y 53 de la Ley General del Equil ibrio Ecologico y la Protection al Ambiente; septimo y octavo transitorios del Decreto que reforma, adiciona y deroga diversas disposiciones de la Ley General del Equil ibrio Ecologico y la Protection al Ambiente, publicado en el D i a r i o O f i c i a l de l a F e d e r a t i o n el dia 13 de diciembre de 1996; lo . , 2o. y 5o. de la Ley Forestal; 4o. y 5o. fracciones I y X X V del Reglamento Interior de esta Secretaria, y C O N S I D E R A N D O I. Que el Plan Nat ional de Desarrollo 2001-2006, en el apartado denominado Area de Desarrollo Social y Humano sefiala que la politica ambiental se orientara a hacer compatible el proceso general del desarrollo con la preservation y restauracion de la calidad del ambiente y la conservation y el aprovechamiento sustentable de los recursos naturales; I I . Que el Programa Nacional de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales 2001-2006 indica que, durante el siglo X X , la tasa de crecimiento de uti l ization del agua ha sido mas de dos veces superior a la del crecimiento de la poblacion, situation que ha llevado a considerar su condit ion y abasto como uno de los problemas globales mas importantes de nuestros tiempos. Asimismo, que en el pais se util izan 72.2 mi l millones de metros cubicos anuales de agua, siendo la principal actividad consumidora la agricultura de riego; I I I . Que la deforestation, degradation ecologica y el cambio de uso del suelo forestal para actividades agropecuarias, representan hoy en dia una amenaza para la persistencia 86 de los ecosistemas y la biodiversidad, en particular de especies endemicas y prioritarias, asi como para el mantenimiento de procesos ecologicos que generan servicios ambientales, como la recarga de mantos acuiferos, el reciclado de nutrientes, conservation del suelo y captura de carbono; IV. Que para dar cumplimiento al articulo septimo transitorio del Decreto que reforma, adiciona y deroga diversas disposiciones de la Ley General del Equil ibrio Ecologico y la Protection al Ambiente, publicado en el Diario Oficial de la Federation el dia 13 de diciembre de 1996, es necesario continuar con el proceso de recategorizacion de las areas naturales protegidas que cuentan con una categoria distinta de las que contempla la vigente Ley General del Equil ibrio Ecologico y la Protection al Ambiente; V. Que en tratandose de las reservas forestales, reservas forestales nacionales, zonas protectoras forestales, zonas de restauracion y propagation forestal y las zonas de protection de rios, manantiales, depositos y en general, fuentes para el abastecimiento de agua para el servicio de las poblaciones, de conformidad con lo previsto por el articulo octavo transitorio del Decreto a que se refiere el considerando anterior, corresponde a la Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales realizar los estudios y analisis que sean necesarios para determinar si las condiciones que dieron lugar a su establecimiento no se han modificado y si los propositos previstos en el instrumento mediante el cual se declaro su constitution, corresponden a los objetivos y caracteristicas senalados en los articulos 45 y 53 de la Ley General del Equil ibrio Ecologico y la Protection al Ambiente; VI. Que por estimarse necesario, en bien de la agricultura nacional y para tomar las medidas de protection indispensables para que en los distritos de riego que ha creado el Gobierno Federal se mitiguen adecuadamente las amenazas que constituyen, para sus obras, los acarreos de detritus por las aguas, ocasionados por la erosion de los suelos de las cuencas hidrologicas respectivas, asi como la reduction en la recarga de los mantos acuiferos, mediante Decreto Presidential de fecha 8 de junio de 1949, publicado en el Diario Oficial de la Federation el dia 3 de agosto de ese mismo aiio, se declararon Zonas Protectoras Forestales y de Repoblacion los terrenos que conforman las cuencas de alimentation de las obras de irrigation de los Distritos Nacionales de Riego; VII. Que la Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas, organo desconcentrado de esta Secretaria de Estado, ha realizado los estudios y analisis con base en los cuales se ha determinado que las condiciones que dieron lugar al establecimiento de las zonas protectoras forestales a que se refiere el considerando que antecede, no se han modificado sustancialmente; Jueves 7 de noviembre de 2002 D I A R I O O F I C I A L (Primera Section) 9 VIII. Que de los estudios y analisis aludidos en el considerando que antecede se desprende que los propositos previstos en el Decreto Presidential de fecha 8 de junio de 1949 corresponden a los objetivos senalados en la fraction V I del articulo 45 de la Ley General del Equil ibrio Ecologico y la Protection al Ambiente, y que por sus caracteristicas dichas zonas protectoras forestales son congruentes con lo que estipula el articulo 53 del ordenamiento juridico de referenda, y IX. Que los estudios, analisis y delimitation topografica, materia de este instrumento, se encuentran a la disposit ion de los interesados en las oficinas de la Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas, sita en Camino al Ajusco numero 200, tercer piso, colonia Jardines en la Montana, Delegation Tlalpan, 87 codigo postal 14210, Mexico, Distrito Federal, y ademas pueden ser consultados en la pagina electronica de la Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales en el sitio de Internet, por lo que he tenido a bien expedir el siguiente: ACUERDO Articulo Primero.- Para los efectos del articulo octavo transitorio del Decreto a que se refiere el considerando cuarto de este instrumento, se recategorizan como areas de proteccion de recursos naturales, los territorios a que se refiere el Decreto Presidencial, senalado en el considerando sexto. Articulo Segundo.-. E l presente Acuerdo no modifica en forma alguna las disposiciones contenidas en el Decreto Presidencial mencionado en el articulo que antecede, en consecuencia este instrumento tiene como unico objetivo que en lo sucesivo se aplique la normatividad prevista en las disposiciones juridicas vigentes. Articulo Tercero.- Cuando se determine la necesidad de modificar las disposiciones contenidas en el Decreto Presidencial materia de este instrumento, la Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales realizara los estudios tecnicos justificativos que correspondan y los dara a conocer a los interesados en terminos de lo dispuesto en el articulo octavo transitorio del Decreto a que se refiere el considerando cuarto de este Acuerdo. TRANSITORIO Unico.- E l presente Acuerdo entrara en vigor al dia siguiente de su publication en el Diario Oficial de la Federacion. Dado en la Ciudad de Mexico, Distrito Federal, a los veinticinco dias del mes de octubre de dos mi l dos.- E l Secretario de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, Victor Lichtinger Waisman.- Rubrica. APPENDIX 7: Note from local news paper (Source: Publico 2007). 06 lunes 14 de Mayo de 2007 Jalisco retoma la proteccion de 300 mil hectareas L a secretaria de Medio Ambiente para el Desarrollo Sustentable de Jalisco, Martha Ruth del Toro Gaytan, anuncio el comienzo de una nueva estrategia de conservation de ecosistemas acordada con la Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (Conanp), que lleva, como primer paso, a retomar la proteccion de mas de 300 mi l hectareas de las cuencas media y baja de los rios Ameca y Bolanos, protegidas nominalmente desde 1949. Se trata del decreto "que declara zonas protectoras forestales y de repoblacion, las cuencas de alimentation de las obras de irrigation de los distritos nacionales de riego, y se establece una veda total e indefinida en los montes ubicados en dichas cuencas", el cual fue firmado por el presidente Miguel Aleman Valdes el 8 de junio de 1949; dicha superficie, que en Jalisco rebasa 300 mi l hectareas, fue recategorizada a "areas de proteccion de recursos naturales" por decreto aparecido en el Diario Oficial de la Federacion, el 7 de noviembre de 2002, por lo cual, tienen plena vigencia legal. Pero Del Toro Gaytan reconoce en entrevista, que debera trabajarse fuerte en campo para que dichas areas sean efectivamente protegidas; tambien, admitio que pese a sus grandes dimensiones, resultan insuficientes para conservar una representation completa del valioso patrimonio natural del estado. Es por ello que tambien se retomaran entre ambas instancias de gobierno (la Semades y la Conanp) los proyectos de protection de las montanas de la costa de Jalisco, los cuales traian fuerte aliento hasta 2000, y que fueron frustrados por el gobierno de Francisco Ramirez Acuna. Porque haria falta salvar valiosos bosques y selvas en Cabo Corrientes, Talpa, Tomatlan y L a Huerta, muchos de ellos metidos ahora en una dinamica "desarrollista" que pone en predicamento la permanencia de sus especies. "V ino aqui a Jalisco el doctor Ernesto Enrkelin [director de la Conanp], y platicamos en forma amplisima de todas las nuevas reservas que vienen ya de manera inminente; tuvimos acuerdos muy importances, como el de ese decreto de proteccion de cuencas de 1949, que originalmente incluso permitia vedas; toda esta area de proteccion que nos dan casi 300 mi l hectareas que se sumarian a la esfera de proteccion que ya tenemos [de 205 mi l hectareas]; incluye todo lo que llaman el anfiteatro, por la forma que tiene la selva cercana a Puerto Vallarta y que se une en un mismo ecosistema a la region Sierra Occidental; ya estamos en coordination y en unos dias mas estaremos firmando un esquema de participation entre municipio, estado y federacion, Las areas de conservation de recursos naturales, los rios Ameca y Bolanos E l tema ecologia. Publico. Guadalajara. Agustin del Castillo 89 APPENDIX 8: Diagrammatical representation of the case units. Municipal i ty Private Communal or Ejidal Environmental Services Program Total Atenguillo 5 5 0 10 Talpa de Allende 4 2 4 10 Mascota 5 5 0 10 San Sebastian del Oeste 5 5 0 10 Total 40 90 A P P E N D I X 9: Interview Script Interview Script Research Study: Conservation Initiatives in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco: Landowners' Perceptions. Primary Investigator: Dr. Paul M. Wood, Associate Professor, Forest Resources Management. Co-investigator/Interviewer: Cecilia Valencia, MSc Candidate, Forest Resources Management. Behavioural Research Ethics Board Approval: 13 February 2006; Certificate o f Approval number H06-0086. Thank you for consenting to participate as an interview subject in this research study. -Refer to the letter of initial contact explainine objectives, confidentiality, etc.- I am going to ask you to respond about twenty-five questions, in three general topic areas. Some of these questions are open-ended, which means you might take as much time as you like to answer them, and some other questions are specific, which means that you may take less than a minute to answer them. At the end of the interview, you will also have the opportunity to provide additional comments or information, at your discretion. As part of the interview process I would like to be tape recording our discussion and taking notes. Only discussion arising from the formal interview session will be tape-recorded. All information will be considered "on the record" unless you clearly indicate that you would like to be "of the record". Please fell free to ask any question you might have at any time during the interview. Do you agree with this? -If yes, start tape recording and ask them again the same question-Interviewee number: Gender: [A] I will start with some general questions: 1. How old are you? 2. Where do you live? 3. Do you own the land where you live? 4. What do you do for l iving? 5. Is your work in your own land? 6. How long have you been doing this work? 91 7. Have you ever held another type of job? 8. What kind of job? [B] I will ask you some questions about water and biodiversity conservation in the region. "The Sierra occidental has been identified as a very important area for water and biodiversity." "1. Do you agree with this statement? Why yes or why not? "It is important that forests in the Sierra Occidental of Jalisco are conserved" 2. Do you agree with this statement? Why yes or why not? 3. Have you seen changes in the forest while you have been l iving here? What kind of changes? 4. Do you think these changes are affecting the water supply in this area? 5. Do you think these changes are affecting the water quality in this area? 6. Do you think these changes are affecting biodiversity? How? "If forests would be protected in this area" 7.1 Who do you think w i l l benefit most from this protection? Why? 7.2 Who do you think wi l l not benefit from this protection? Why? 7.3 Do you benefit from forests? How? [C] I will also ask questions about land degradation in the region, and how these could be prevented. 1. Do you think land degradation is a problem in the region? Why yes or why not? 2. What activities do you think lead to land degradation in the region? What about deforestation? 3. How do you think this land degradation could be prevented? 4. What do you think landowners wi l l need to protect their lands? [D] Finally, I would ask you some final questions about the Payment for Environmental Services Program. 1. How familiar are you with this program? 2. What do you think about this program? 3. Do you know how to apply? 4. Do you think this program could help to prevent land degradation in the region? 92 5. D id you apply? [if 'no'] 5.1 Why did you not apply? 5.2 Do you intent to apply? [if 'yes'] 5.3 Are you receiving payments? 5.4 From which program are you receiving payments ( C A B S A - P S A H ) ? 5.5 Why are you participating? 5.6 How satisfied are you with this program? 5.7 How do you think it could be improved? 5.8 Would you like to see it last for more than 5 years? [if 'yes' but not qualify] 5.9 Do you know why you did not qualify for it? 5.10 For which program ( C A B S A - P S A H ) ? 5.11 W i l l you try again? When? 5.12 Do you plan to change what you did in order to qualify? 6. Would you be wi l l ing to participate in a state or municipal program like P S A ? 7. Do you think that would work better in this region? 8. Do you think of any program that could work in the region in order to conserve? That completes my list of questions. If there are any comments you would like to add, regarding earlier questions or just in general, please feel free to do so. Thank you again for your time and effort! It is greatly appreciated. If you are interested in the results of this research study, I would be happy to send a follow-up communication at a later date to keep you informed of related publications and presentations. 93 


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