International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Timothy J. Downs, D.Env.


This paper endeavors to explore the link between dysfunction in governance systems and persistent challenges to sustainable development in the illegal gold mining region of Madre de Dios, Peru. Through the use of stakeholder narratives, field observations and literature review, four questions were examined: 1) What are the existing social and environmental conditions in the case study area? 2) What are the existing relationships amongst stakeholders, and how do these illustrate dysfunction of the existing system of governance? 3) What gaps and/or deficiencies in the existing system are revealed by stakeholder narratives, and what are their visions for an alternative system? 4) What kind of integrative, multi stakeholder, sustainable development planning is called for in this context, and what capacities need to be built to accomplish this? Using stakeholder engagement processes, transition management and co-production of knowledge, recommendations and capacities are provided for each major stakeholder. The work is a first step toward a new integrative sustainable development approach, and will add to the knowledge base not only on this case study region, but to broader sustainable development practices elsewhere as well.



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