Date: December 31, 2016
Although few conservation organizations have embraced rights-based approaches, mounting evidence is showing the efficacy of securing the rights of indigenous and traditional peoples as a conservation strategy. At the same time, it is clear that when establishing protected areas and enforcing their rules conflicts with the rights of local peoples, biodiversity is often lost as a consequence.
Mesoamerica has the highest concentration of rights-based approaches in the world; the recognition of indigenous and community rights across the region has produced many important experiences and achievements in preserving biodiversity that hold many lessons for conservation efforts around the globe. This paper summarizes the conclusions of a series of case studies on concrete experiences in rights-based conservation in Mesoamerica.