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Urbano (Concepción)

Print version ISSN 0717-3997On-line version ISSN 0718-3607

Abstract

MUNOZ-LOBOS, Camila; VASQUEZ, Alexis  and  CORTES-DONOSO, Erika. THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERMENTS IN THE GOVERNANCE OF WETLAND PROTECTION: THE CASE OF THE PICHICUY WETLAND, CHILE. Urbano (Concepc.) [online]. 2020, vol.23, n.42, pp.98-111. ISSN 0717-3997.  http://dx.doi.org/10.22320/07183607.2020.23.42.08.

Wetlands are ecosystems that are disappearing, mainly due to urban and industrial activity and their vulnerability to the effects of climate change. In Chile, regulations and initiatives for their protection have been created, which are conditioned by the influences, interests and interrelationships of the players involved in the governance system. This research analyzed the case of the wetland located in Pichicuy, currently administrated by the Municipality of La Ligua. It researches in greater depth the role of local governments in the governance of wetland protection, considering the participation of the network of players from different spheres and territorial scales. Mixed methods of social research were used to analyze the influence, interests, types of relationship and centrality measures using the Analysis of Social Networks and the UCINET 6 platform. The local government of La Ligua performs, through its Environment Department, roles that are relevant for the governance of the wetland: (1) gaining political support to manage and implement actions about the wetland, (2) acting as an intermediary between the players from different spheres of society, and (3) leading alliances with higher-scale players. These roles are strengthened by the support and resources provided by the players of the network with high interest and influence in the protection of the wetland. However, there are challenges in municipal dynamics, for example, the need to more strongly attract and involve the Municipal Council, since it has a great influence on local government decisions. It is relevant to strengthen governance for the protection of wetlands in small and rural locations, for which the local government must play a very important role, for example, through institutional recognition of the wetland and facilitating the participation of players at a local scale.

Keywords : Municipal management; governance; social players; protection; wetlands.

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