The role of civil society organisations in climate change governance: lessons from Quintana Roo, Mexico

by Susan Baker, Bárbara Ayala-Orozco and Eduardo García-Frapolli

29 Nov 2021
Journal of the British Academy
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Abstract: To examine the role of civil society organisations (CSOs), including non-governmental environmental organisations, in climate governance, a case study approach in the coastal zone of Quintana Roo, Mexico is utilised. Focus groups with key stakeholders, in-depth face-to-face, and online interviews were employed to examine key actor perceptions of climate change risk and their involvement in climate governance, across scale. Participation by CSOs is shaped by a variety of factors, including constitutional arrangements, regulatory regimes, administrative traditions and structures, and a wider set of beliefs about moral responsibility and the exercise of civic duty. CSO participation across multilevel governance scales provides an array of inputs to help address climate vulnerabilities in the coastal zone of Quintana Roo. Especially under conditions of weak administrative capacity and corrupt government, certain enabling institutional conditions are needed. This creates complex contexts in which CSOs emerge, networks develop, alliances are formed, and barriers to effective participation endure.

Keywords: Non-governmental organisations, environmental NGOs, multilevel governance, participation, climate vulnerabilities, coastal zones.

Article posted to the Journal of the British Academy, volume 9, supplementary issue 10 (Climate Policy, Regulation and Governance)

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