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Common Property, Conflict, and Participatory Management in the Galapagos Islands

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Heylings, Pippa; Cruz, Felipe
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1670
Sector: Social Organization
Water Resource & Irrigation
Region: South America
Subject(s): IASC
common pool resources
conflict resolution
participatory management
marine resources
Abstract: "The long-term sustainable management of the Galapagos Marine Reserve has been threatened in recent years by severe, even violent, multi-stakeholder conflicts at both local and national level over the management and exploitation of the marine resources. "Conflict analysis proposed that, by managing the Reserve as if it were common property, mechanisms for long- term conflict management could be institutionalised. The drafting of a Special Law for Galapagos opened up the possibility for a change in the legislative framework for the marine reserve. The Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station promoted the design of a collaborative management system for the Marine Reserve. Through a participatory planning process focused on the revision of the management plan for the Reserve, a multi-sectoral representative team has succeeded in gaining local credibility, consensus and solidarity on key marine management issues. These provide the basis for a collaborative management model and have been included within the recently approved Special Law for Galapagos (1998). There is a long road ahead with locally controversial decisions to make which could threaten stakeholder solidarity. Informed and active participation in the process is still dependent on a minority, although influential, in each sector. The revision of the management plan is the first stage in a much longer process of the implementation of a collaborative management system for Galapagos Marine Reserve. "This paper aims to analyze the methodology for conflict analysis and facilitation being used in the Galapagos Islands which draws on the principles of a combination of approaches including third-party consultation, interactive problem-solving, common property management, community-based conservation, environmental education, participatory management in protected areas and fisheries co-management. It emphasises the highly contextualized nature of the intervention and raises several key questions including the importance of a) an appropriate legal framework, b) the process and joint problem-solving nature of the intervention, c) how to develop effective representation of members of a multi-sectoral team in order to maximise the possibility of community-level commitment to solutions, d) the appropriate institutional model for particpatory management."

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