"Las apariencias engañan"Conservación, sociedad local y relaciones de poder: el caso de Caño Negro (Costa Rica)

  1. Escalera Reyes, Javier
  2. Cáceres-Feria, Rafael
  3. Diaz Aguilar, Antonio Luis
AIBR: Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana

ISSN: 1578-9705

Year of publication: 2013

Volume: 8

Issue: 3

Pages: 369-394

Type: Article

DOI: 10.11156/AIBR.080306 DIALNET GOOGLE SCHOLAR lock_openDialnet editor

More publications in: AIBR: Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana


Although today there is a general agreement about the involvement of local people in the processes of conservation and sustainable development, this participation is far from materialize, or presents significant deficiencies. Ethnographic research carried on over three years in Caño Negro (Costa Rica) provides evidence about how the mystification of the idea of community, understood, naive or self-interestedly, as a homogeneous and egalitarian social organization becomes a key factor in explaining the shortcomings and even failure of conservation models that supposedly have the participation of such communities, because they do not take into account power relationships present in any human reality. This mystification is an obstacle for conservation, and may even contribute to the accentuation of certain processes of deterioration and degradation of ecosystems and, even worse, it could work against a well understood sustainability, because it is contributing in the generation and / or deepening existing inequalities within these "communities". To avoid this it is necessary a deep knowledge of the systems of power relations of local populations, for what Anthropology offers good possibilities, and a firm commitment for real and effective participation of the local population.

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