Identification of indices affecting local capacity for community conservation action in Peten

Nikolay Kazakov

For local communities to be able to actively and successfully participate in conservation they need to have a capacity to do that. Therefore, building local capacity for community conservation action (LCCCA) has become an important and urgent part of the community-based conservation paradigm. Many international conservation NGOs are investing a great amount of resources in local community capacity building interventions. Unfortunately, no comprehensive conceptual structure of LCCCA has been developed so far. Without a clear definition of what local capacity is and a practical model of the factors affecting LCCCA and their interrelationships, many of these efforts fall short of their declared goals and objectives. Lack of developed indices to measure LCCCA precludes precise assessment of community needs in capacity building, comprehensive planning of their interventions and meaningful measuring of results for reporting and adaptive management purposes. The project used a case study research design to identify and measure factors affecting LCCCA in all resident community forest concessions in the Multiple Use Zone of the Maya Biosphere Reserve.