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1 July 2008 Multicriteria Evaluation of Wildlife Management Units in Campeche, Mexico
Gabriela García-Marmolejo, Griselda Escalona-Segura, Hans Van Der Wal
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Since 1997 the Mexican government has promoted Management Units for Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wildlife (UMAs) on private and community lands as an economically attractive mean for the conservation of biodiversity. To date, compliance of UMAs with stated sustainability goals has not been evaluated. Thus, we designed multicriteria evaluation framework based on the stated objectives of the national UMA program and applied it to a sample of 6 UMAs operating in peasant communities near or in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve in Campeche, Mexico. Evaluation criteria covered thematic areas of environment, economy, social development, and laws and rules. We formulated 15 criteria with 29 indicators, and 133 verifiers. Data for the verifiers were based on direct observation, interviews with key actors in the peasant communities, participation in regional meetings, scrutiny of government reports, and databases. We calculated sustainability indexes by weighting, summing, and standardizing verifiers to percentage scales, and aggregating to the successive higher hierarchical levels of the evaluation framework. We found an average overall sustainability index of 45.7% for the UMAs evaluated. Scores were highest for the environment thematic area (55.2%), followed by economy (43.4%), social development (42.3%), and laws and rules (41.7%). We observed particularly low indicators for management strategies, habitat monitoring, environmental education, and knowledge of wildlife laws. We conclude that the contribution of UMAs to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity could be improved by a number of actions. These include developing wildlife management educational programs with a strong environmental legislation component, the correct enforcement of wildlife laws, and creating country-wise links among academic and governmental institutions promoting the work with regional and national wildlife experts.

Gabriela García-Marmolejo, Griselda Escalona-Segura, and Hans Van Der Wal "Multicriteria Evaluation of Wildlife Management Units in Campeche, Mexico," Journal of Wildlife Management 72(5), 1194-1202, (1 July 2008).
Published: 1 July 2008

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