WIT Press

Environmental Policy For Sustainable Development And Biodiversity Conservation: A Case Study Involving The Exploitation Of Beaucarnea Recurvata


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M.L. Osorio-Rosales & A. Contreras-Hernández


The government agenda for sustainable development in Mexico is based on national priority issues and international agreements for environmental management, most notably regarding biodiversity conservation. This priority is refl ected in government policies and programs that seek to implement strategies of management and biodiversity conservation at a national scale. One of the most important environmental programs in the last decade has been the Management Units for the Conservation of Wildlife (UMA, for its Spanish acronym). UMAs promote the conversion of conventional production into multiple systems that contribute to the conservation of species and habitat restoration, facilitate the legal production of biodiversity in rural nurseries, generate employment and additional income, and contribute to the sustainable management of natural resources. Under this government scheme, landowners and users of biodiversity are integrated into the management of 16% of the national territory although the environmental impacts and socioeconomic repercussions of the scheme are still under evaluation. To illustrate the local implementation of the UMA, in this chapter we present the case study and overall strategy of conservation and use of the species Beaucarnea recurvata Lemaire (Nolinaceae), an endemic species of ornamental importance offi cially listed in Mexico as ‘threatened’. A biological and ecological diagnosis was carried out and training workshops held covering various production and dissemination activities. We review the operation of the UMA for B. recurvata and analyze the achievements and sustainability challenges of the project. Keywords: Environmental legislation, integrated management, management units, threatened species, tropical dry forest.


Environmental legislation, integrated management, management units, threatened species, tropical dry forest