Journal of
Soil Science and Environmental Management

  • Abbreviation: J. Soil Sci. Environ. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2391
  • DOI: 10.5897/JSSEM
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 264

Full Length Research Paper

Adoption of soil conservation practices through knowledge governance: the Mexican experience

Helena Cotler
  • Helena Cotler
  • Centro de Investigación en Ciencias de Información Geoespacial Mexico.
  • Google Scholar
Maria Luisa Cuevas
  • Maria Luisa Cuevas
  • Centro de Investigación en Ciencias de Información Geoespacial Mexico.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 28 September 2018
  •  Accepted: 12 November 2018
  •  Published: 31 January 2019

Abstract

Top-down and centralized soil conservation programs have caused low adoption of sustainable practices. The adoption is a multistage and adaptive process that relies on the management of local knowledge. The results of 61 surveys were analyzed in order to systematize experiences of soil knowledge governance involving social organizations and farmers. Soil knowledge governance was done mainly through the sharing of experiences among farmers. This path resulted both in the strengthening of existing institutions and in the creation of new associative forms and rules. The incentives for farmers to maintain soil conservation practices went beyond the financial ones and reflected the diversity of their views and expectations: eating healthy food, diversifying agricultural production, and improving their social position in the community. The increased adoption of soil conservation practices that resulted from this approach led to the rethink the kind of public policies that would better help soil conservation in Mexico.

Key words: Public policy, soil conservation, soil knowledge governance, sustainable land management.