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Down to earth: practical applications of ecological economics; final program and abstracts Local participation in the national system of protected areas Sistema nacional de Areas Protegidas in Costa Rica: concerting means to overcome controversies at the conservation area of the Osa Peninsula, Brunca Region

by Camacho, A; Pérez, A.C; Consejo de la Tierra, San José (Costa Rica); IICA, San José (Costa Rica); International Society for Ecological Economics, Washington, DC (EUA); Universidad Nacional, Heredia (Costa Rica); 3. Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Ecological Economics San José (Costa Rica) 24-28 Oct 1994; Vartanián, D.
Publisher: San José (Costa Rica) 1994Description: p. 97-98.ISBN: 92-9039-251-7.Subject(s): AREAS SILVESTRES PROTEGIDAS | CONSERVACION DE LOS RECURSOS | COSTA RICA | PARTICIPACION CAMPESINA | PENINSULA DE OSA | REGION BRUNCA | RESERVAS NATURALES | COSTA RICA | NATURE RESERVES | RESOURCE CONSERVATION | CONSERVATION DES RESSOURCES | COSTA RICA | RESERVE NATURELLESummary: The National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) of Costa Rica, envisages the protected areas as multiple use territories, to administer biodiversity conservation and guarantee development. However, uneven changes in then use of the territory, rapid landscape and ecosystem tranformations in buffer zones and subregional contexts are threatening the SINC and challenge long term sustainability. In the Osa Peninsular (OP) of Costa Rica ACOSA has been a focus of social, economic, political and environmental controversy. Regional and local development planning strategies conflict with the demands of local groups for accessing limited natural resources, democratic participation and developing survival strategies. In regards to the model of participation in the SINAP, a central argument of this paper is that classical premises for rational participation has been renewed by a rethoric of alternative self development, controlled by field professionals sponsored by a third party called non-profit-environmentally sound NGO's. These empowered external actors have the responsibility to facilitate, animate, manipulate, guide the participation of all others and also, to bridge environment/development interrelations. They have rebuild communication power networks between local groups throughout excluding "conflicting demands", such as golf mining and logging, while specialized micro-sectoral coordinations are still a bureaucratic venture. The new scenarios of social action are framed in rational scientific approaches and managerial devices linked to the globalization of the environmental problems and innovative private forms of accumulation. Over the past three decades the trends for local development trnaslated symbolic meanings of the rural egalitarianism of the past, into modern strategies of development and political practices of concealment. Thus, participation moved from a relative autonomy of local politics, self-reliant use of local resources and attention to local demands, to economic growth implementations concerned with public welfare. This also involved national political party cooptations and expanding formal bodies of consultation aiming at improving productive organizations through institutional channels. Such conditions facilitated the creation of the SINAC and the inclusion of environmental issues in national plans, although highly dependent on external economic flows. That technically controlled process of peoples participation for sustainable development segregated the SINAC from agrarian developments and contrast with the traditional roots of civil democracy. Costa Rican democracy evolved on the basis of favorable ecological conditions which provided a substantial material base for self-reliant socioeconomic basis of human reproduction, spatial integration and temporary resolution of social tensions. Sustainable development implementations remain controversial. State action is not applied uniformly and has underestimated local initiatives by given priority to the economy of biodiversity and ecotourism, lead by mixed managements between public institutions and national-international NGO's which introduced new competitive technologies. Still local people are often portrayed as the "destructive force, albeit capable of finding power on unwritten laws" and public bureaucracy viewed as a "complacent force", lacking of capacity to respond efficiently to policy innovations and privatization. Such technically centralized provision to mobilize resource tend to disrupt the sense of locale, exclude genuine initiatives, block the organic capacity of local people to envisage endogenous alternatives to improve their livelihoods and reduces the prospects for the future.
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The National System of Protected Areas (SINAP) of Costa Rica, envisages the protected areas as multiple use territories, to administer biodiversity conservation and guarantee development. However, uneven changes in then use of the territory, rapid landscape and ecosystem tranformations in buffer zones and subregional contexts are threatening the SINC and challenge long term sustainability. In the Osa Peninsular (OP) of Costa Rica ACOSA has been a focus of social, economic, political and environmental controversy. Regional and local development planning strategies conflict with the demands of local groups for accessing limited natural resources, democratic participation and developing survival strategies. In regards to the model of participation in the SINAP, a central argument of this paper is that classical premises for rational participation has been renewed by a rethoric of alternative self development, controlled by field professionals sponsored by a third party called non-profit-environmentally sound NGO's. These empowered external actors have the responsibility to facilitate, animate, manipulate, guide the participation of all others and also, to bridge environment/development interrelations. They have rebuild communication power networks between local groups throughout excluding "conflicting demands", such as golf mining and logging, while specialized micro-sectoral coordinations are still a bureaucratic venture. The new scenarios of social action are framed in rational scientific approaches and managerial devices linked to the globalization of the environmental problems and innovative private forms of accumulation. Over the past three decades the trends for local development trnaslated symbolic meanings of the rural egalitarianism of the past, into modern strategies of development and political practices of concealment. Thus, participation moved from a relative autonomy of local politics, self-reliant use of local resources and attention to local demands, to economic growth implementations concerned with public welfare. This also involved national political party cooptations and expanding formal bodies of consultation aiming at improving productive organizations through institutional channels. Such conditions facilitated the creation of the SINAC and the inclusion of environmental issues in national plans, although highly dependent on external economic flows. That technically controlled process of peoples participation for sustainable development segregated the SINAC from agrarian developments and contrast with the traditional roots of civil democracy. Costa Rican democracy evolved on the basis of favorable ecological conditions which provided a substantial material base for self-reliant socioeconomic basis of human reproduction, spatial integration and temporary resolution of social tensions. Sustainable development implementations remain controversial. State action is not applied uniformly and has underestimated local initiatives by given priority to the economy of biodiversity and ecotourism, lead by mixed managements between public institutions and national-international NGO's which introduced new competitive technologies. Still local people are often portrayed as the "destructive force, albeit capable of finding power on unwritten laws" and public bureaucracy viewed as a "complacent force", lacking of capacity to respond efficiently to policy innovations and privatization. Such technically centralized provision to mobilize resource tend to disrupt the sense of locale, exclude genuine initiatives, block the organic capacity of local people to envisage endogenous alternatives to improve their livelihoods and reduces the prospects for the future.

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