Changes in the Socio-Ecological System of a Protected Area in the Yucatan Peninsula: A Case Study on Land-Use, Vegetation Cover, and Household Management Strategies

Martha Bonilla-Moheno, Coral Rangel Rivera, Eduardo García-Frapolli, Fernanda Ríos Beltrán, Celene Espadas-Manrique, Filippo Aureli, Bárbara Ayala-Orozco, Gabriel Ramos-Fernández
2021 Land  
Protected areas (PA) are effective means for protecting biodiversity, but less is known about their effect on the social-ecological system (SES). Using a semi-experimental approach and a descriptive case study based evaluation, we analyzed the effect of a PA in the Yucatan Peninsula on land-cover and household resource management strategies in time and space (before and after the PA establishment; inside and outside its limits). To assess the changes of land-use practices in the areas
more » ... g the communities inside and outside the PA, and their change over time (from 2003 to 2015), we used remote sensing analysis and semi-structured interviews. Our results show that after the PA was established, the forest increased and agricultural plots decreased inside and to a lesser extent outside the PA. However, fires reduced the area of old-growth forest and increased young secondary forest, highlighting the system's vulnerability to uncommon events. Resource management strategies were also affected: while inside the PA households tended toward specializing on tourism, outside the PA household strategies implied a diversification of productive activities. Overall, the establishment of the PA proved to be an effective tool to promote forest recovery and prevent deforestation in the regions surrounding the communities both inside and outside the PA.
doi:10.3390/land10111147 fatcat:5jmw5j765fcqnggocf36aadxna