Defending the Land of the Jaguar

[ Latin American Studies ]

Defending the Land of the Jaguar

A History of Conservation in Mexico

By Lane Simonian

The first panoramic history of conservation in Mexico from pre-contact times to the current Mexican environmental movement.



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6 x 9 | 342 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-77691-3

Mexican conservationists have sometimes observed that it is difficult to find a country less interested in the conservation of its natural resources than is Mexico. Yet, despite a long history dedicated to the pursuit of development regardless of its environmental consequences, Mexico has an equally long, though much less developed and appreciated, tradition of environmental conservation.

Lane Simonian here offers the first panoramic history of conservation in Mexico from pre-contact times to the current Mexican environmental movement. He explores the origins of conservation and environmental concerns in Mexico, the philosophies and endeavors of Mexican conservationists, and the enactment of important conservation laws and programs. This heretofore untold story, drawn from interviews with leading Mexican conservationists as well as archival research, will be important reading throughout the international community of activists, researchers, and concerned citizens interested in the intertwined issues of conservation and development.

One. The Magical and the Instrumental: Nature in the Pre-Hispanic World
Two. The Spanish Resolve: Conserving Resources for the Crown
Three. Conservation during Unfavorable Times: Independent Mexico until the Revolution
Four. Miguel Angel de Quevedo: The Apostle of the Tree
Five. Conservation for the Commonweal: The Cárdenas Years
Six. The Waning of Conservation: 1940–1970
Seven. Against the Tide: The Conservationists’ Crusade
Eight. For Humankind and Nature: The Pursuit of Sustainable Development
Nine. Reconsidering: Mexican Environmental Policy
Ten. The Green Revolution: The Mexican Environmental Movement
Appendix One. The Political History of Mexico from Independence to Revolution
Appendix Two. Mexican Presidents, 1911–1994
Appendix Three. Chronology of Conservation in Mexico

"Simonian has provided us with a history of conservation in Mexico that will be a standard text for some time to come. It is concise and well-written and, because it makes a complex topic easily accessible, it will be widely used by teachers as well as specialists and activists."
—American Historical Review