Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 581–592 | Cite as

Influence of community-based natural resource management strategies in the resilience of social-ecological systems

  • Maria del Mar Delgado-Serrano
  • Elisa Oteros-Rozas
  • Isabel Ruiz-Mallén
  • Diana Calvo-Boyero
  • Cesar Enrique Ortiz-Guerrero
  • Roberto Ivan Escalante-Semerena
  • Esteve Corbera
Original Article


Different social-ecological systems around the world are managed under community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) strategies. This paper analyses how CBNRM strategies influence the resilience of social-ecological systems to the disturbances they face, drawing upon the experience of three Latin American cases (two in Mexico and one in Colombia). The cases differ in their CBNRM approach and in the time these governance systems have been in place. By using a mixed-method approach, we review the socio-ecological history and describe each CBNRM characteristics. We then assess their resilience to socioeconomic and environmental disturbances through a set of indicators. We found that CBNRM strategies influence positively and negatively resilience and that internal decisions might address important threats. On the positive side, the social-ecological systems with longer tradition of CBNRM and more local buy-in of commonly agreed objectives appear to be more resilient to environmental challenges. But, internal governance factors such as power imbalances, poor income distribution, and gender inequities linked to CBNRM undermine resilience and foster out migration. Finally, communities appear to have limited capacities to cope with external disturbances such as global drivers of change or national policies that negatively affect their social-ecological resilience.


Adaptation Environmental challenges Global change Rural communities Social-ecological systems 



This research was funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission in the frame of the projects “Community-based management of environmental challenges in Latin America- FP7-ENV2011-282845 COMET-LA” and “Assessing the effectiveness of community-based management strategies for biocultural diversity conservation- FP7-ENV-2011-282899 COMBIOSERVE”. EC acknowledges the financial support of the UAB-Banco de Santander Talent Retention Programme and EOR acknowledges the Andalusia Talent Hub postdoctoral program. We also acknowledge the collaboration of the people in the Community Council Alto y Medio Dagua (Colombia), Santiago Comaltepec (Mexico), and Once de Mayo (Mexico) in the research. IRM acknowledges the financial support of the Spanish government’s Research Agency through a “Ramón y Cajal” research fellowship (RYC-2015-17676).

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
corrected publication October/2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria del Mar Delgado-Serrano
    • 1
  • Elisa Oteros-Rozas
    • 2
    • 3
  • Isabel Ruiz-Mallén
    • 4
    • 5
  • Diana Calvo-Boyero
    • 5
  • Cesar Enrique Ortiz-Guerrero
    • 6
  • Roberto Ivan Escalante-Semerena
    • 7
  • Esteve Corbera
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural EconomicsUniversidad de CórdobaCórdobaSpain
  2. 2.Social and Participatory Action Research GroupUniversidad Pablo de OlavideSevillaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource ManagementUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  4. 4.Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3)Universitat Oberta de CatalunyaBarcelonaSpain
  5. 5.Institute of Environmental Science and TechnologyUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  6. 6.Pontificia Universidad JaverianaBogotáColombia
  7. 7.Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MexicoMexico CityMexico

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