Eugenio Eibenschutz, Francisco Galindo, Jesús Mario Siqueiros, Francisco Javier Solorio, Carlos Alberto López


Background: Practices such as the establishment of monocultures, the use of herbicides and overgrazing in tropical cattle ranching have led to deforestation and soil degradation in extensive areas of natural vegetation, causing local and global environmental consequences. In the state of Yucatán, different actors have created initiatives to avoid these consequences through the design, dissemination and implementation of sustainable practices among cattle producers. Objective: This paper seeks to understand how the structure of institutional networks affects the dissemination of sustainable livestock practices for the management of water, soil, biodiversity, forage and animals, which favor a transition to sustainability for the livestock sector in Yucatan. As a case study, the project coordinated by the Universidad de Yucatan for the establishment of intensive silvopastoral systems (ISPS) is analyzed, particularly the scope of the project to transform the practices of livestock farmers in the state of Yucatan and the role played by institutions linked to livestock issues to promote or obstruct this transformation. Methodology: The research was carried out by means of interviews with actors identified by their position in the different institutions linked to cattle raising. The multilevel perspective (MLP) was used to classify the different actors involved in the categories of landscape, regime or niche, according to their institutional powers in cattle ranching issues. An institutional network analysis was also carried out and a computer simulation was run using a random walker to identify the most frequent routes and connections between nodes. The nodes of the network represent the institutions mentioned during the interviews. Results: Secretaría de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural (SADER), Secretaría de Desarrollo Rural (SEDER), Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (UADY), Unión Ganadera Regional General de Yucatán (UGRGY), Unión Ganadera Regional del Oriente de Yucatán (UGROY) as well as The Nature Conservancy (TNC). Implications: The statistical analysis shows little communication among nodes and the paths that allow the different actors to interact generally pass through a few of them with greater centrality. Conclusion: The faculties of each institution are designed for a vertical execution of public policies that leaves many actors without the possibility of participation particularly when existing programs have a short-term vision that hinders innovation and the achievement of a specific sustainability goal.


Sustainability; Institutional networks; Innovation; Socio-technical systems; Cattle producers.

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