Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Proceso y métodos de evaluación integrada participativa de degradación en agroecosistemas semiáridos. Un caso de estudio en un área protegida en el trópico seco nicaragüense

Federica Ravera, David Tarrasón, Pilar Andrés Pastor, Rafael Grasa


The integrated and participatory assessment processes are a good methodological and operational framework for decision making, facing to complexity on environmental issues when agro-ecosystems are highly dynamics and unpredictable to changes and there are plural and conflictive interests. This paper aims to investigate the potencial for such interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to develop a comprehensive and constructive multiscale and multiobjetive process of land degradation assessment in semiarid agro-ecosystems. Since the overall process is still on going, the research, applied to a case study in Nicaragua, describes and reflects on the experience through the first two years of work. The article argues that the integration between scientific and lay knowledge allows facing the uncertainties and ignorance in understanding complex systems and main processes of change, to propose and validate research hypothesis and to lead to both accurate and relevant assessment of land degradation. The participatory approach, using methods from a variety of disciplines, attempts to capture the plurality of relevant actors, with different objectives, values and representations of future, in order to assure quality of the process. Finally, the paper illustrates the usefulness of scenario analysis to explore the “arenas” of conflicts and negotiation between researchers, actors and decision makers on alternative management and development policies options.

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