Mauricio Hernandez-Estrada


+52 1 (999) 9471021



Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán
Doctorado Institucional en Ciencias Sociales, Calle 31 y 35-A Carretera Antigua a Chuburná, CP 9720, Mérida, Yucatán, México

PhD Project Title

Environmental degradation viewpoint from governmental policies and tourism activities in Yucatán´s natural protected areas

Abstract of PhD Thesis

Framework of this research links development, ecotourism and environmental degradation from political ecology. Topic is located within Natural Protected Areas (NPA) where tourism activities are related to environmental degradation from a social science perspective.

The problem is focused on environmental degradation of water resource in Ria Celestún related to tourism services of boat rides. Local agents are involved in a complex set of knowledge, practices and rational drivers about environmental conservation in contexts with private interests, power relationships, information, institutions, economic market integration and historical facts, among other elements. Tourism practices of boat rides in Ría Celestún show different linkages to policies, agents and interests about environmental conservation. Public policy configuration of the NPA plus other governmental supports for boat rides’ providers in Celestún frame their perspectives regarding environmental conservation and local knowledge.

Within the “political ecology of conservation” perspective (theoretical framework) local agents linked to tourism and other economic activities in NPA experience market integration in different forms; however, one way to analyze its effects is related to their income profile and their household dynamics. Following a narrowed perspective of market integration within economics of conservation, therefore, there is a possibility to understand how tourism activity is located under state-directed conservation practices but also facing multifactorial market integration where income profile is complemented through several economic activities as well.

The objective of this research is to know the influence of governmental policies on boat rides’ providers towards their knowledge in the conservation of water resource in Ría Celestún.

This research is important in realizing how development affects local knowledge on environmental conservation in local communities in Yucatán, Mexico, through specific public policies and rational drivers around sustainable development.

Mixed methods research is considered for this project.


Dr. Javier Becerril

Research Interest

Sustainable Development, Political Ecology, Public Policy

Educational Background

2012 - 2014

Master’s in Comparative Public Policies, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO), Mexico

2001 - 2005

Bachelor’s in Political Science and International Relations, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE), Mexico

Professional Experiences

2015- 2018

Public Policy Analyst at the National Institute of Transparency and Access to Public Information, Government, Mexico.

2011 - 2014

Research and program evaluation analyst at the Superior Audit Office, Government, Mexico.

Social / Political Activities

  • Founder of “JADE Propuestas Sociales y Alternativas al Desarrollo”, NGO based in Yucatán, Mexico / Promoting local/community projects and human rights
  • Co-founder of “Laboratorio de Innovación Democrática”, NGO based in Guadalajara, Mexico / Promoting participation, citizenship and democracy
  • Member of Amnesty International
  • Experience abroad as freelance and volunteer in Morocco

Awards / Scholarships

  • CONACYT-Mexico for studies in public institutions