The political ecology of land-use change

Affluent ranchers and destitute farmers in the Mexican Municipio of Alamos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the interactions between the environment, political and economic policies, and changes in land use and land quality by focusing on one region in northwest Mexico where dramatic transformations have occurred since the early 1970s. A political ecology approach is used to examine the nature and causes of environmental change at different scales of analysis, to address the importance of meanings assigned to ecological systems, and the effect of human-environmental interactions on natural resources. The objective of the study is to uncover the different circumstances under which farmers and ranchers have affected environmental change and how land-use decisions interact with political, economic, and environmental drivers through history. An emphasis is placed on the complexity of interactions between drivers and on understanding differences in perspectives between large-scale commercial ranchers, more diversified small-scale farmers and ejidatarios, bureaucrats, and environmentalists. The study concludes that strategies for reducing deforestation and developing reasonable community-based plans that promote sustainable livelihoods must consider the local and external causes of deforestation, the difficulty of environmental monitoring, and intraregional differences in environmental and socioeconomic parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Organization
Volume63
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004

Fingerprint

environmental policy
farmer
land use
interaction
driver
cause
ecological system
economic change
Economic Policy
livelihood
natural resources
Mexico
monitoring
history
community
economics
Political Ecology
Farmers
Land Use Change
Interaction

Keywords

  • Buffelgrass
  • Deforestation
  • Farming
  • Mexico
  • Ranching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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