Lessons on Local Socio-Environmental Systems and Rural Producers’ Local Visions to Inform on Public Policy for Latin America

Periodo de realización: 1900/01/01 al 2020/01/01

Tipo: Capítulo de libro

Resumen: "This chapter aims to present a synthesis of learned lessons on Local Socio-Environmental Systems (LSES) and rural producers’ local visions regarding the regimes complex’s effects on indigenous and rural productive systems present in Latin American (LA) territories. The majority of the studied territories have important biophysical reserves of water, minerals, and forests, like the Mayan area and the Amazon, which are inhabited by indigenous and traditional peoples. We used a transdisciplinary approach as well as Bonfil-Batalla’s cultural control theory to categorize territories according to the sources of rural producers’ key local resources and their capacity for decision-making regarding these resources in seven LA countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, and Mexico). The LSES’ main components are the Political-Economic Group (PEG), the Socio- Academic Group (SAG), and the Group of Producers (GP). All of them interact, mediated by asymmetric power relations, at territorial landscapes. Although differ- ent territorial dynamics were observed in different countries, our results show that current public policies promoted by social, environmental, educational, and law regimes are based on approaches that break with local visions of rural development. Moreover, a predominant model of interaction among the PEG, GP, and SAG was found in the studied LSES. In this model, the interaction among actors is driven by PEGs—as they determine the laws and market conditions imposed to control rural production processes located in the territory’s landscapes. This model results in a reduced action by the GPs who experience conditions of exclusion, marginalization, poverty as well as a deterioration of their landscapes. In some case studies, the GPs increased their actions’ margin by developing collaborative partnerships with the SAG, which eventually generate collective action initiatives and/or innovation niches related to territorial autonomy and well-conserved landscapes. Moreover, among the cultural control processes findings, few examples of “appropriated territory” and “autonomous territory” are identified whereas the most common findings were “imposed territories” and “alienated territories,” which reinforce the dominant role of PEGs. Lastly, we provide public policy recommendations that are informed by both, decades of research in LA rural territories and lessons learned from the case studies analyzed. These recommendations are rooted in post-development thinking"

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