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Hybrid, public and private environmental governance: The case of sustainable coastal zone management in Quintana Roo, Mexico

Baker, Susan ORCID:, Ayala-Orozco, Bárbara and García-Frapolli, Eduardo 2020. Hybrid, public and private environmental governance: The case of sustainable coastal zone management in Quintana Roo, Mexico. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 27 (7) , pp. 625-637. 10.1080/13504509.2020.1722764

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Coastal zones (CZ) are social-ecological systems where rapid forms of economic development are disrupting the existing patterns of relationships, raising challenges for governance. Institutional flexibility, broad participation, multilevel governance, and adaptability have been identified as critical conditions for the governance of social-ecological systems. While the importance of agency, through the substantive participation of private actors in rulemaking, has been researched, there is a need to examine the dynamics involved in, and consequence of, hybrid governance arrangements. An empirical study is presented of hybrid governance, involving federal and local government and locally based private actors from civil society organizations, environmental non-government organizations and local business interest associations, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The CZ of Quintana Roo is facing pressures from economic development, mainly tourism, with consequences for water pollution and fisheries. Through qualitative, mixed methods, we found that a thick network of private actors has mobilized to play an important role in environmental management and to act in collaboration with the State. Multiple rationales account for this development, including high levels of environmental awareness, particularly with respect to water pollution, while the lack of institutional capacity also motivates state actors to seek partnerships. While private governance is emerging, our data reveal a complex case, where private actor mobilization seeks to promote better regulations, to share data and resources, and to improve implementation capacity within the public administration. Hybrid governance contributes to effective environmental governance of the CZ. However, this can also risk state retreat from its public responsibilities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1350-4509
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 January 2020
Date of Acceptance: 23 January 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 04:48

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