Paper by Silvia Olvera-Hernandez, M. Azahara Mesa-Jurado, Paula Novo, Julia Martin-Ortega, Aylwyn Walsh, George Holmes, and Alice Borchi.

Blog post by Associate Editor Patricia Balvanera.

This blog post refers to an article that is not yet published. To read the full Plain Language Summary of the paper, please click here.

Forum Theatre in El Piru, in Chiapas, Mexico.
Photo credit M. Azahara Mesa-Jurado

The interface between people and nature can be multilayered and many of these layers may be invisible to the external observed. Artistic tools allow to explore some of the most subtle and internal layers of this interface.

Forum theatre is a great way to explore local people’s values in environmental governance. Power imbalances among stakeholders with different gender, age, position in society can be revealed and navigated through this performance art-based method. By making visible on stage the different embodied layers of their interactions with nature and among each other, the participants can see their own conflicts from a different perspective and discuss ways to address them.

The recently paper published by Silvia Olvera-Hernández and collaborators is a fantastic journey to the Lacandon forest in south Eastern Mexico. This amazing forest is being quickly wiped out as a result of agricultural expansion and eco-tourism seems to be a way to reconcile people’s livelihoods and biodiversity conservation. Yet, the multiple challenges faced to operationalize this approach are surfaced as the local stakeholders bring them to stage and navigate them.