While studies of the commons have devoted significant attention to understanding how to prevent the overuse of common-pool resources, the study of how common-pool resources or public goods are produced or created has received far less exposure. We draw on the case of the Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG) in Costa Rica to identify several attributes influencing their ability to co-produce ‘biodiversity conservation.’ The identified attributes at the ACG are (1) a clear and inspiring vision internalized by the staff; (2) practice-based learning opportunities; (3) high organizational “contextuality”; (4) long-term financial and administrative autonomy; and (5) a diversity of cross-scale linkages to access resources. We discuss how these attributes interact and create a dynamic system for adaptive governance of biodiversity conservation and why they might be absent at other protected areas in Costa Rica.


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