The importance of context: Integrating resource conservation with local institutions

Raul P. Lejano, Helen M. Ingram, John M. Whiteley, Daniel Torres, Sharon J. Agduma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article focuses on the manner by which resource management regimes, often conceived far away from their areas of application, are integrated into the local institutions, practices, and social structures of a place. This process of contextualization may be especially critical where, for reasons of resource scarcity, remoteness, or system complexity, the state cannot engage in effective program management. The thesis of the article is that if the program is to be sustainable, contextualization may be necessary and, moreover, can induce profound changes in the form and function of the original program. This process can lead to a type of governance that operates through webs of social relationships rather than hierarchical and bureaucratic lines of authority. We use this mode of analysis to show how a unique and viable species conservation program evolved on the Turtle Islands, Philippines, how the process of contextualization transformed it, and why it all unraveled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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