Lessons learned and challenges for environmental management in Colombia: the role of communication, education and participation strategies

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Environmental management has increasingly focused on promoting social engagement in biodiversity and ecosystem services conservation as a way to foster sustainability. However, a critical challenge that still remains is the adequate implementation of strategies of communication, education, and participation (CEPA) oriented to reconnect the social and ecological dimensions in the systems. This study analyzed the main features and types of CEPA implemented by the Colombian Regional Autonomous Corporations in environmental management projects that consider ecosystem services. We found a variety of CEPA focused on a wide range of stakeholders. Communication and education were the most frequently implemented in the projects. Within communication, spreading information about the projects was the most common, while education focused on instrumental training of local communities. Participation, the less frequently implemented, mainly aimed to ensure government and decision-makers involved in the initial phases of the projects. We conclude that there is a need to increase and improve education strategies in conservation projects to make decisions based on critical and reflective thinking, and foster the engagement of a broader set of stakeholders in the processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126281
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank all the staff from the RAC and the Environmental Ministry in Colombia who supported us with the collection of the annual reports. The authors are also grateful to the two anonymous reviewers whose comments improved the quality of this paper. Amanda Jiménez-Aceituno would like to acknowledge support from the “Sida funded Guidance for Resilience in the Anthropocene: Investments for Development (GRAID)” project at the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Sweden. Daniel Rozas appreciates the support provided by ANID through the Fondecyt project 11200733 and the ProFondecyt-UCT 2019PF-DR-06. Aracely Burgos-Ayala was supported by the Fundación Universitaria Juan de Castellanos, Colombia, the scholarship “Pasaporte a la Ciencia 2019” within the Scientific Colombian Program (Reto-país “Uso sostenible de la biodiversidad, desar- rollo económico y competitividad“) and, Erasmus+ “Europass Mobility”. All authors are grateful to their families for being patient and understanding with the high demands of time and energy required to produce this (and other) publication. Open access funding provided by Stockholm University, Sweden.

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