Analyzes an initiative that connects protected areas from Mexico to Central America. Concludes that governments and citizens need closer cooperation in designing development programs to create biological corridors and provide economic opportunities.

Executive Summary

The Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC) is a regional initiative launched in Central America and southern Mexico that aims to conserve biological diversity while fostering sustainable development. Its particular significance lies in the scope and complexity of its goals and the wide range of institutions and social actors it involves.

These characteristics give the MBC great promise; however, they also present major challenges that will have to be addressed if the initiative is to have a positive impact on the region. Most centrally, the initiative's success requires the development of a shared vision of its goals and functions -- a vision that recognizes the divergent needs at stake and identifies the common interest all regional actors share in achieving ecological and socioeconomic sustainability. The ability to build trust and confidence among various stakeholders of the MBC will, in the end, determine its fate.

This paper aims to contribute to the building of such a vision, not by prescribing solutions, but by raising issues and suggesting processes within which these issues can be addressed.