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Private development-based forest conservation in Patagonia: comparing mental models and revealing cultural truths

Christopher Serenari, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
M. Nils Peterson, North Carolina State University
Yu-Fai Leung, North Carolina State University
Paulina Stowhas, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tim Wallace, North Carolina State University
Erin O. Sills, North Carolina State University


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Private protected area (PPA) conservation agents (CA) engaging in development-based conservation in southern Chile have generated conflict with locals. Poor fit of dominant development-based conservation ideology in rural areas is commonly to blame. We developed and administered a cultural consensus survey near the Valdivian Coastal Reserve (RCV) and Huilo Huilo Reserve (HH) to examine fit of CA cultural truths with local residents. Cultural consensus analysis (CCA) of 23 propositions reflecting CA cultural truths confirmed: (1) a single CA culture exists, and (2) RCV communities were more aligned with this culture than HH communities. Inadequate communication, inequitable decision making, divergent opinions about livelihood impacts and trajectories, and PPA purpose may explain differences between CAs and communities. Meanwhile, variability in response between and within communities may reflect differing environmental histories. Private protected area administrations might use CCA to confront cultural differences and thereby improve their community interactions.

Key words

Chile; cultural consensus; development; mental model; private protected area

Copyright © 2015 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087