Protected areas and biodiversity conservation

Robert Fletcher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter reviews the rise of and challenges faced by protected areas (PAs) aimed at biodiversity conservation throughout Latin America over the past half century in particular. It charts a similar process throughout the region whereby a global campaign championed by international environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and financial institutions (IFIs) helped to inspire and fund the establishment of nationwide systems of PAs. While these PAs were initially administered predominantly in classic “fortress” fashion, in recent decades this approach has been complemented by introduction of a community-based conservation (CBC) strategy that seeks to enlist local residents as stakeholders and decision makers, introducing a series of market-based instruments (MBIs) including ecotourism and payment for environmental services (PES) to generate revenue to support this. More recently, this approach has been intensified by the rise of “post-neoliberal” politics in a number of societies that pursues a better integration of environmental and developmental concerns. Yet this has been challenged by the expansion of raw material extraction driven in large part by expanding trade relations with East Asia and elsewhere. As a result, protected areas have become key sites of renewed contestation between forces of conservation and extraction. The chapter discusses these developments and their implications for the future of biodiversity conservation in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Latin American Development
EditorsJ. Cupples, M. Palomino-Schalscha, M. Prieto
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781351669696
ISBN (Print)9781138060739
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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