Landscapes, memories and water. Narratives, perceptions and policy-making on land and water in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Abstract

This report focuses on situations where policy-makers and science fail to take into account people's sets of perceptions and the particular history of a region. The report draws on evidence from the Monteverde area in Costa Rica, where a large study is currently being conducted to determine the links between cloud forest and water flows, as well as the socio-economic impacts and market opportunities associated with changes in land use. While the combination of both studies will provide important base information to inform a possible negotiation system among stakeholders downstream and upstream to improve watershed management, it remains unclear what their own perceptions are when it comes to understanding relations between land use and water, and what are the main drivers of land use changes according to local history.

The report has three components:

  1. A detailed review of the different stakeholders and economic activities in the study area

  2. A narrative analysis, which collects information from local stakeholders, especially from the remaining pioneer settlers in the area and their descendants, and investigates the historical settlement pattern of land use changes and its relation to water resources. It also provides information about future trends of land use changes in the Monteverde area.

  3. An analysis of the local perceptions and beliefs of the relation between land use and water, following the concept of \"mother statements\" suggested by Calder. The information from this study will contribute to the design of land use scenarios dependent on the support of the different stakeholders within the watershed.

Citation

Landscapes, memories and water. Narratives, perceptions and policy-making on land and water in Monteverde, Costa Rica, 62 pp.

Landscapes, memories and water. Narratives, perceptions and policy-making on land and water in Monteverde, Costa Rica

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