Diverse values and a common utopia: Insights from a participatory art-based plural valuation experience in Xalapa, Mexico

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Plural valuation of nature is key for inclusive and fair sustainability policies. Although there is a growing awareness of the importance of incorporating multiple values of nature in decision making, inclusive processes of this type are rare, limited to consultations, or have little transparency regarding their translation into public policy. Especially in nature conservation schemes such as protected areas, the integration of values from local communities is much needed. In this article, we analyze the experience of the Forest Stewards Network in Xalapa, Mexico, to show how plural valuation and the recognition of the inseparable link between the values of nature and the values that shape social organization can contribute to environmental decision making. We present the method of collective creation of utopias by drawing-telling as a practice to elicit and integrate multiple values in decision-making processes. We applied a participatory art-based plural valuation approach, structured in five stages: (1) a collective diagnosis of the problem(s), (2) creating individual utopias through drawings and narratives, (3) integrating values in collective utopia, (4) strategic planning, and (5) collective action. This method led to significant results in relation to learning, values, decision making, and action, fostering mutual understanding and diversity as principles for a more horizontal organization. We conclude by highlighting the importance of learning and experimenting around inclusive decision-making processes at all levels, as well as the significant contributions of grassroots organizations to this matter.

ZeitschriftCase Studies in the Environment
Anzahl der Seiten19
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 24.02.2021