Anti-Democratic Processes in Mexico's Environmental Policy and their Relation to Inequality and Deterioration of Natural Resources: The Case of the Montes Azules and Lacantun Biosphere Reserves, Chiapas

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"This work begins by considering that the main problem that inhibits an efficient conservation policy in the Lacandon forest, a region that includes the Montes Azules and Lacantun Biosphere Reserves. This problem derives from the fact that Mexican environmental policy has evolved in general terms without taking into account the local populations found within the biosphere reserves. One of the main effects of this type of public action is that it restricts the local populations access to a part of their natural resources, which in turn represents one their few sources of income. Given this type of policy action, the local population has reacted by resisting environmental policies, causing in some cases a negative environmental impact in the reserves. For this reason, we consider that the anti-democratic way in which these policies are applied, provoking conflicts, is having an effect on the policies efficiency, given that such restrictive or prohibitive measures have not been and are not sustainable in the long term when they are imposed in a unilateral fashion; furthermore, they have an impact on perpetuating the inequality amongst local inhabitants. Given this situation, the main idea to be explored is how the conditions of citizenship deficit and the authoritarian environmental policy, which is inconsistent with a democratic state and the rule of law, a reflection of Mexico's democratic limitations, make mid and long-term natural resource conservation and sustainable development difficult, as well as aggravating the inequality experienced by the inhabitants of the Montes Azules and Lacantún biosphere reserves."
conservation, environmental policy, governance and politics, sustainability