Event: Financing for Sustainable Development in Africa

Time: Fri 1st November 2019 at 9 a.m. – 11.00 a.m. (coffee will be served before the event)
Venue: Think Corner (Stage), University of Helsinki (Yliopistonkatu 4, Helsinki)
Organisers: Finnish Society for Development Research, FINGO, Development Studies (University of Helsinki), UniPID, and the Finnish Development Policy Committee
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/385209179049967/
Streamed online: https://www.helsinki.fi/fi/unitube/video/21249

Africa’s prominence as the main development partner of Finland and the European Union is becoming ever more evident. Within the past five months, both the Government of Finland and the new President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, have announced that they will start drafting respective new Africa strategies. With the importance of Africa and financing for sustainable development on the rise, we want to ask: Is there a shared vision between the EU, Finland and Africa on development financing? Where is the geographic and sectoral added value of Finland’s and EU’s development financing in Africa? How can we ensure that the financing strengthens democratic principles and respects human rights? Where private sector financing can and should be leveraged? What is the role of civil society organizations in this puzzle? How to effectively bridge development research and the new policy initiatives?

The event invites academics, policy and decision makers and civil society representatives to debate how the future relations between Africa and Finland and the EU should evolve.

PROGRAMME

09:00 Welcoming words

09:05 Africa on the rise in Finnish Foreign Policy
Johanna Sumuvuori, State Secretary to the Minister for Foreign Affairs

09:20 The EU-Africa Puzzle: Reflections from the Africa Platform
Paul Okumu, Head of the Secretariat, Africa Platform

09:45 Financing for Sustainable Development and Partnerships in Africa – Panel discussion

  • Saara-Sofia Sirén, Member of Parliament and Vice-Chair of the Development Policy Committee
  • Gutu Wayessa, University lecturer, Development Studies, University of Helsinki
  • Leena Vastapuu, Visiting researcher, Tampere Peace Research Institute
  • Jannika Ranta, Senior Adviser, Confederation of Finnish Industries
  • Katja Ahlfors, Director, Unit for Development Policy, Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland
  • with comments from Johanna Sumuvuori and Paul Okumu

The panel discussion is moderated by journalist Reetta Räty. The seminar will be held in English.

You can find the speakers’ bionotes from the FB-event details (https://www.facebook.com/events/385209179049967/)

Registrations by 29th October: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/100565/lomake.html

Views from the field: Pachamama is crying – Climate Change in the Peruvian highlands

by Anna Heikkinen

(The following is a repost from Anna’s blog; the original post can be found here)

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Children sitting in front of the glacier Huaytapallana in the Natural Reserve of Junín, in the Central Andes of Peru.

By July, the Mantaro River Valley had turned all yellow. The transition had happened slowly. One morning I was standing on the terrace of my appartment in Huancayo, looking at the surrounding mountains. All that had been covered with different shades of green when I had arrived few months ago, had now transformed into dry, lifeless colors of yellow.

It had not rained for weeks. Last time it rained, it came down as a furious thunderstorm. In the mountains, the thunderstorm feels so powerful. It seems to be born behind the mountains, crawling slowly on the top of the mountain peaks and then spreading its anger down by the slopes to cover all the valley. The sound of the thunder runs through your bones. The concentrated energy in the air makes your body shake. At the peak of the thriller – the sky breaks down and bursts out an outrageous rain that can last for hours.

The thunder scenery is magical and scary at the same time. You feel so tightly connected to the power of nature and realize that at the end, it will always be superior to you.

In the Andean cultures, it is believed that humans, animals and nature are all one and that there are no divisions between these Earth Beings. If Pachamama, the Mother Earth is hurt, all the beings will go through its suffering. When you go walking to the highlands, before taking off you make a short ceremony for Apus, the mountain God. It is considered as a kind gesture to ask Apus for its permission to visit its mountains and for its protection for your journey. Nature, with its all different Earth Beings are valued and treated with respect.

In the Andean cultures, it is believed that humans, animals and nature are all one and that there are no divisions between these Earth Beings. If Pachamama, the Mother Earth is hurt, all the beings will go through its suffering.

On a one crispy Saturday morning in July – an expedition crew consisting of me, Dr. Armando Guevara Gil and our friends Don Cirilo and Don “Chalaca” from a nearby local community of Santa Rosa de Ocopa – was heading to explore highland lakes feeding the Achamayo River.

The red shades of sun were rising behind the mountains as our car was slowly climbing uphill on a rocky serpentine road. As we got higher, we could see the grass covered with white sheet of frost and feel in our lungs how the air had become freezer to breath.

A clear sun light was shining on our path as we began our walk surrounded by the sceneries of endless puna. The frozen grass was shuffling under our feet and the small mountain flowers growing tightened to the ground were waking up. We could hear echoes of dogs barking somewhere far away. Cirilo told that they came from the alpaca-herds’ camps.

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Expedition crew in the highland punas of the Achamayo River Valley.

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By the lake Taptapa with Don Cirilo and Don Chalaca. Photo: Armando Guevara Gil.

We had sat down by the lake Chaluacocha to have some snacks when suddenly the sky turned all grey and a snappy gust of snow began to whip the ground. Our local friends said teasingly that Pachamama had gotten angry because we had been so eager to head to the punas that we had forgotten to make the payment to Pachamama.

In the middle of the snowstorm, we decided to make a short ceremony, sharing some of our fruits and bread with Pachamama. Don Cirilo gave a short speech to ask for good weather and thank Pachamama to permit us to visit its lands, lakes and mountains.

Ten minutes later the sky started to brighten and the snow was gone.  We were joking that our presents had managed to calm down the anger of Pachamama.

“Rationally thinking” our little ceremony probably did not have the power to change the weather. But it forces you to reflect upon, how we tend to forget that after all, we are all just shortly passing visitors in our common home – the Earth. And the least we should do is to show respect and gratitude to our host.

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Having a rest in between walking with Don Cirilo. Photo: Armando Guevara Gil.

Drastic changes in weather is not something uncommon in the highland punas, located in the altitude of 5,000 m above sea level. In the highlands, the flow of air is influenced by the mountains. This can cause rapid changes at micro scale. Though, Don Cirilo and Don Chalaco told us that it was quite rare that it would rain or snow at this time of the year.

In the Peruvian Andes, there have typically been very marked shifts between rainy and dry periods. Usually it rains regularly between December and April whereas from May onwards until November the rain remains almost absent.

For centuries, the farmers in this region have been used to live, sow and harvest according to these shifts. Now the regular climate patterns are changing. The highland farmers that  interviewed, told me that they didn’t know anymore when they should sow or harvest. In recent years, their yields had often been destroyed due to lack or excess of rain. Last year in many parts of Mantaro River Valley, the farmers had lost their entire harvest due to harsh night frosts. As one farmer put it: “farming in the highlands has become a risky business.”

The way people in the highlands describe their environments and farming practices is often almost poetic. They would often tell me how “my little corn is suffering from the burning sun” or “our poor river is dying”. When I was asking, what does water mean for the communities, a very common answer was as the following one: “without water we cannot live, neither our cows, without water everything dies.”

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A farmer and the cattle in the community of San Jose de Quero.

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The Cunas River flowing through the community of Usibamba.

These conversations reveal the relationship the highland communities have with the nature. Natural resources bring literally bread to their table. But nature for them is more than just a livelihood. It is a way of living and a way of being in a coexistence with and by the rules of the nature.

Last year in many parts of Mantaro River Valley, the farmers had lost their entire harvest due to harsh night frosts. As one farmer put it: “farming in the highlands has become a risky business.”

Unlike us – sipping our cappuccinos comfortably in a cozy café and speculating the latest scientific findings about rising temperatures or melting glaciers somewhere far away – for the Andean farmers, climate change has become an everyday reality. They feel the burning sun on their faces while working the whole day in their chacras, sowing corn, potato or quinoa. They wait desperately for the rain for their plants to grow. And hope that the unexpected rains won’t burst to ruin their harvests left on the fields to dry.

Besides the changing climate narratives of the local people, physical studies show that the climate in the Mantaro River Valley has changed in the last decades. Just as people told me about “plants burned by frosts or sun” or “the insane rains” – the climate studies indicate clear evidence of declining rain, rising temperatures and more frequent extreme weather events.

Scientists have also found that climate change is deepening the inequalities between the poor and wealthy nations. Countries in the so-called global south, that have contributed least in global warming are the ones who are now suffering the biggest economic losses caused by it. At individual level, the poor are often the most vulnerable to climate change due to lack of resources or living in ecologically and politically fragile regions.

It is paradoxical, that those who least exploit the nature are the ones that must bear the heaviest consequences. In the worst case, the farmers have no other options than leave their homes. In his book Environmental Refugees: Climate Change and Forced Migration ,Professor Teófilo Altamirano writes that the number of current climate migrants around the world is approximately 50 million and by 2050 the number is estimated to rise up to 150 million.

Countries in the global south, that have contributed least in global warming are the ones who are now suffering the biggest economic losses caused by it. At individual level, the poor are often the most vulnerable to climate change due to lack of resources or living in ecologically and politically fragile regions.

Altamirano reminds that most of migration due to climate is not voluntary. For example, in the rural Andean societies, there often exists a spiritual and emotional bound to the living environment and the community. The land, the animals, the fields and the surrounding nature have a strong religious and cultural value. When climatic conditions force one to leave, these cultural, symbolic and spiritual dimensions of life must be left behind. In the cities, the migrants often face discrimination due to their rural or ethnic backgrounds – making the vulnerable populations even worse off.

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Don Cirilo telling Dr. Armando about “the untouchable pond”. One of the community members had seen a dream that a bad spirit lives in the waters. Ever since water of the pond have not been used for any purpose. “There are waters that simply cannot be touched”, Don Cirilo explains.

The past week was an official Climate Week. The young and ambitious climate activist, Greta Thunberg, has given emotional yet serious speeches in New York, urging politicians around the world to act upon climate emergency. Thousands of people around the world, from Helsinki to Sydney, were marching on the streets to express their concern on the miserable state of our Planet and the insufficient rehabilitation actions.

It is empowering to see, how the global community requiring for a change in status quo is expanding. Most importantly, these people are giving a voice for the most vulnerable populations in front of climate change – the ones who bear most of the climate weight but who are seldom heard.

Editorial: Global Climate Emergency: after COP24, climate science, urgency, and the threat to humanity

Development Studies Professor Barry Gills and Leeds Beckett University Sociology Professor Jamie Morgan have published an urgent editorial about the global climate crisis in the journal Globalizations.

The abstract is below, and the full article is free to read, here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14747731.2019.1669915

Global Climate Emergency: after COP24, climate science, urgency, and the threat to humanity

by Barry Gills & Jamie Morgan

This Special Editorial on the Climate Emergency makes the case that although we are living in the time of Global Climate Emergency we are not yet acting as if we are in an imminent crisis. The authors review key aspects of the institutional response and climate science over the past several decades and the role of the economic system in perpetuating inertia on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Humanity is now the primary influence on the planet, and events in and around COP24 are the latest reminder that we live in a pathological system. A political economy has rendered the UNFCCC process as yet a successful failure. Fundamental change is urgently required. The conclusions contain recommendations and a call to action now.

Environmental Emergency: Demanding for Urgent, Radical Transformations

Environmental Emergency: Demanding for Urgent, Radical Transformations

“Here at the University, we take part in multidisciplinary research relating to the environment and the multiple crises currently happening within it, and we want to use our platform and expertise as researchers to take and demand for urgent action.

We are living in a time of environmental emergency created by human actions. It is clear that out ways of life, especially here in the Global North, are not aligned with the carrying capacity of our common home planet, the Earth. Solving the environmental crises should be today’s political priority. What is at stake is life itself, both human and non-human. As important as individual choices can be, the changes that are needed are far bigger in scale, and must be enacted through the political system. We need structural, wide-ranging transformations in order to tackle the climate crisis in a socially just way, and we need them now.”

With these words, Development Studies PhD candidate Sanna Komi opened a silent vigil for the environmental emergency on Friday. The event was arranged by Development Studies in cooperation with Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science HELSUS, The University of Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS), The Student Union’s Environmental Committee and the Elokapina initiative as a part of the Global Climate Strike week. After the opening speech, a silent moment of 11 minutes was held to mark the 11 years that we have according to last year’s Intergovernmental Planetary Climate Committee’s (IPCC) report to tackle climate change before it’s impacts become irreversible and truly catastrophic. The silent moment was followed by the sound of a bell as a call for action, and short speeches from representatives of the different organisers as well as University of Helsinki students.


Professor of World Politics Teivo Teivainen reading University of Helsinki rector’s letter of support for the event (pictures courtesy of Saana Hokkanen)

This action is accompanied by an open letter to the Prime Minister of Finland and the Mayor of Helsinki, in which we demand for radical and urgent policy initiatives to tackle this emergency.

You can sign the letter here: http://chng.it/dYWyrmnD


Associate professor of Development Studies Markus Kröger urging for sanctions on Brazilian goods due to the ongoing burning of the Amazon and other Brazilian rainforests. (pictures courtesy of Saana Hokkanen)

We would like to thank everyone who came to show their support, and encourage everyone to take action during this climate strike week, which will culminate in climate marches in different Finnish cities on Friday 27.9.

Throughout the week, Elokapina is arranging focused demonstrations and workshops:

Monday 23.9.: The Red List Reading, where the entire list of 2700 endangered species in Finland is read 4 times during the day: https://www.facebook.com/events/2695678497110594

Monday 23.9.: Nonviolent direct action training: https://www.facebook.com/events/2409273232675241

Tuesday 24.9.: Climate anxiety workshop with Panu Pihkala: https://www.facebook.com/events/1564048937063293

Friday 27.9.: Climate Strike March

Helsinki: https://www.facebook.com/events/929882457363184/

Tampere: https://www.facebook.com/events/974490042916201/

Turku: https://www.facebook.com/events/2233521740091425/

Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Katy Machoa

Plurinacionalidad: Mujeres Amazónicas de Pastaza y Nankints – Plurinationality: Amazonian Women from Pastaza and Nankints

(the presentation will be in Spanish; written translation in English)

Date: Thursday, August 15th
Time: 12:00-13:00
Venue: Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344

ABSTRACT: A través de la experiencia organizativa en el que irrumpen las mujeres amazónicas de Pastaza y Nankints en un escenario adverso en donde el estado moderno/colonia/capitalista se encuentra legitimado expongo tanto las estrategias resistencia como las de dominación que son ejercidos sobre estos procesos organizativos para el debilitamiento del autogobierno y autonomía territorial. En este escenario políticamente desfavorable para la lucha social, las mujeres amazónicas con su pedagogía trazan el camino de la defensa territorial. En este contexto, sostengo que la plurinacionalidad tiene un doble carácter. Por un lado en la Constitución en el que aparece lejana, inalcanzable, inclusive como sin vida, y por el otro es dinámica y vital cuando es tomada, interpretada, codificada, apropiada y reapropiada por las experiencias de la defensa del territorio.

Through the organizational experience in which Amazonian women from Pastaza and Nankints break into an adverse scenario where the modern / colonial / capitalist state is legitimized, I expose resistance and domination strategies that are exercised in organizational processes for self-government and territorial autonomy. In a politically unfavorable scenario of social struggle, Amazonian women use their pedagogy toi trace the path of territorial defense.
In this context, I argue that plurinacionality has a double character. On the one hand, in the Constitution it appears distant, unattainable, and lifeless, and on the other it is dynamic and vital when it is interpreted, codified, specifically and re-appropriated by the experiences of the territorial defense.

BIOGRAPHIA:

Katy Machoa, de la nacionalidad kichwa amazónica de Shamato, como ex-dirigente de la Mujer de la CONAIE (2014-2017), lideró la defensa de los derechos humanos y colectivos a través de la campaña Resistir es mi derecho, por la defensa del territorio a nivel nacional e internacional. Dentro de sus esfuerzos se incluye la defensa del sistema intercultural bilingüe SEIB y el libre acceso a la educación superior para la juventud de los pueblos y nacionalidades del Ecuador. Katy ha terminado su Maestría en estudios Latinoamericanos en la UASB y actualmente colabora en el proyecto de investigación de la Academia de Finlandia Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia (2018-2022).

Katy Machoa is part of the Kichwa Community of Shamato. As a former leader of the Women of the CONAIE (2014-2017), she led the defense of human and collective rights through the campaign Resistir es mi derecho [Resist is my right], participating in the struggle of indigenous women for the defense of the territory nationally and internationally. She is active for the defense of the intercultural bilingual education system and the free access to higher education for the youth of the peoples and nationalities of Ecuador. Katy holds a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Quito, and currently works in the research project of the Academy of Finland Goal 4+: Including Eco-cultural Pluralism in Quality Education in Ecuadorian Amazonia (2018-2022).

Views from the field: Mondanna blog

One of the best parts of Development Studies is the opportunity to live and work with people in different types of communities all over the world. Anna Heikkinen, University of Helsinki Development Studies PhD Researcher, invites you to follow her experience and insights from her field work in the Andes mountains researching water governance in Peru. Her field diary provides fascinating and eloquently written insights into living and researching in the Central Andes of Peru.

Read more here: Field study diaries from the Peruvian Andes

Event: Mining and Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic – Panel Discussion

Date: Tuesday, May 28th
Time: 17:00-19:00
Venue: Think Lounge (upstairs in the Think Corner, Yliopistonkatu 4, 00100 Helsinki

Event description:

The collision between mining and indigenous lifeways is heating up in the Nordic region. Permits are currently pending to expand mineral extraction in Sápmi, the Artic region spanning four national governments (Finland, Norway, Russia and Sweden), which is home to indigenous Sami peoples. Mining has already increased in the Barents region of Sápmi, and likely to soon be in issue also in Finland. How this collision is managed over the next decades may well be decisive for the future of indigenous lifeways in the Artic.

Meanwhile, similar collisions, with similar stakes, are raging also elsewhere in the Arctic (and across the globe). The localized responses of indigenous peoples around the world to the pressures of mining are widely diverse, and take place in hugely complex configurations. This public event will bring together and engage representatives from various stakeholder groups and sectors, including the mining industry, indigenous peoples, government, and civil society organizations – with experiences and examples shared also from other regions in the Arctic (Canada, Sweden, Norway, Greenland). What can we in Finland learn from experiences elsewhere in the Arctic, so as not to repeat the same mistakes? How does Finland’s mining law meet these and other challenges? What would be the impact of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) (between the EU and Canada) on Europe’s only indigenous people, based on experiences elsewhere? Who has the final rights and power to veto or approve a mining claim on Sámi territory?

With this panel discussion, we hope to evoke the complexity and messiness of real-world processes, whilst finding conflict-free ways forward. The aim of the event is to give space to reflection on the experiences and accomplishments of evolving political strategies from a comparative perspective.

17.00-17.05 – Welcome and Opening Words – Jeremy Gould, Professor Emeritus in Anthropology, University of Helsinki

17.05-17.15 – What does research have to say about the legal rights, processes and impacts of new mining ventures on indigenous territory? A brief overview summarizing findings and discourse in the scientific literature – Mark Nuttall,

Professor and Henry Marshall Tory Chair of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Canada

17.15-18.00 – PANEL DISCUSSION

Moderator: Aili Pyhälä, Adjunct Professor, Lecturer in Development Studies, University of Helsinki

Panelists:

Mark Nuttall – Professor of Anthropology, University of Alberta, Canada

Anne Nuorgam – University of Lapland; Member of Saami Parliament (Finland)

Terho Liikamaa – Director of TUKES Mining Centre

Heta Heiskanen – PhD, Tampere University, ALL-YOUTH STN project

Päivi A. Karvinen –Finnish Ministry of the Environment

18-00-19.00 – Q&A – from the floor

Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Charles Gore

Brown Bag Seminar on Reading and Writing UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report
Tuesday 11th June
12-13
Unioninkatu 35, 3rd floor, room 344

ABSTRACT: Global reports written in international organizations, such as UNCTAD, UNIDO, UNDESA and ILO, offer a useful and often neglected source of information, research and policy analysis on developing countries and the international system.

Based on my experience as lead author and director of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report from 2000 to 2012, this seminar will provide an inside look at how these reports are written and also how to read them.

Some of the key findings in the sequence of LDC Reports from 2000 to 2010 will be used as examples. These covered issues such as: capital flows to LDCs; poverty trends in LDCs; PRSPs; the relationship between trade and poverty; the HIPC initiative; STI and knowledge for development; aid effectiveness and the problem of ownership; development governance; progress towards MDGs; and the effectiveness of international support measures for least developed countries.

BIOGRAPHY: Charles Gore is a Visiting Scholar in Development Studies in the University of Helsinki from January to June 2019. He is an Honorary Professor in Economics at the University of Glasgow, a Research Associate in Global Studies at the University of Sussex, a Non-Resident Senior Research Fellow at UNU-WIDER and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK). Between 1999 and 2008, he was team leader and principal author of UNCTAD’s Least Developed Countries Report, and from 2008 until 2012 he was Special Coordinator for Cross-Sectoral Issues, directing research on Africa and on least developed countries in UNCTAD.

Originally trained in economic geography, he has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D., based on two years fieldwork in Ghana, from Pennsylvania State University. He was a Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Wales from 1976 to 1991, and during that time he wrote Regions in Question (Methuen 1984, re-issued 2011 in Routledge Revivals), and worked as a consultant for UNCTAD on why landlockedness is a development problem and what to do about it. In the 1990s he worked more closely with UN agencies in Geneva, writing chapters for UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report (1994, 1997, 1998), and managing two multi-country research projects – one (in UNCTAD) on lessons of East Asian development for Africa, and another (in the International Institute for Labour Studies, ILO) on the global applicability of the concept of social exclusion.

His academic publications examine the nature of the explanations, normative judgements and discursive narratives which underpin international development practice. Topics addressed include: how geographic space is linked to development in explanations of regional development; methodological nationalism and the misunderstanding of East Asian development; the nature of the Washington Consensus; Amartya Sen’s concepts of entitlement and capability; and the romantic violence of the MDGs. He is currently working on a history of how the idea of poverty went global in the 1970s, which is part of a broader examination of the concept of global goals.

New Book: Kaakkois-Aasia – Talous, ympäristö ja yhteiskunta

This is the first Finnish-language multidisciplinary textbook on contemporary Southeast Asia, focusing on the region’s societal change, development, economies, cultural diversities and environmental issues. The book is published by Gaudeamus and edited by Erja Kettunen. Three of the eight authors are from our discipline: Mira Käkönen, Anu Lounela and Anna Salmivaara.

More information: https://www.gaudeamus.fi/kaakkoisaasia/

For online purchase: https://kauppa.gaudeamus.fi/sivu/tuote/kaakkois-aasia/2450984

Short descripition in Finnish: Kaakkois-Aasian taloudellinen ja kulttuurinen merkitys on alati vahvistumassa. Kaakkois-Aasia – Talous, ympäristö ja yhteiskunta on ensimmäinen suomenkielinen alueen nykykehitystä esittelevä teos. Se pureutuu alueen talouteen, ympäristöön ja yhteiskuntaan sekä piirtää kuvan monikulttuurisesta ja poliittisesti kirjavasta mutta myös dynaamisesta ja keskinäiseen yhteistyöhön pyrkivästä maailmankolkasta. Teos on tärkeää luettavaa alueen maiden parissa työskenteleville ja kaikille Kaakkois- Aasiasta kiinnostuneille.

Event: Brown Bag Lunch Seminar with Tristan Partridge and Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros

Double Brown Bag Seminars on indigenous communities and conservation in Ecuador and Colombia on Wed 22 May at 11:00 until 13:00, Unioninkatu room 344
Tristan Partridge (UAB-ICTA): Indigenous community conservation in highland Ecuador: mobilizing the commons and ‘Buen Vivir’
Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros (Bologna and Santo Tomas): Dialogues between knowledge systems (indigenous territoriality / western territoriality) in rainforest beyond capitalism.

Tristan Partridge

Abstract
In highland Ecuador, efforts to protect landscapes and sustain livelihoods have been strengthened by renewed political organizing. This includes action at the local level (recovering shared resources and managing the commons) and nationally (engaging with constitutional rights to ‘Buen Vivir’ or ‘Harmonious Living’). Based on ethnographic fieldwork with the indigenous community of San Isidro, this paper explores how commons resources have been repurposed to meet contemporary community needs and to facilitate cooperation with neighbouring communities. These actions further facilitated successful protest movements against the local expansion of agro-industrial plantations and in defense of Buen Vivir – with repercussions for how we think about links between the commons, conservation, and political mobilization.

Tristan Partridge is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ICTA Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) working on environmental justice and indigenous political action. He received a Ph.D. in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh and has conducted fieldwork in Ecuador, the UK, India, and the US. Through projects on land and water rights, energy, and community organizing, his research examines the use and extraction of natural resources and the uneven distribution of related socio-ecological impacts. He is an affiliated Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

url: https://ictaweb.uab.cat/personal_detail.php?id=4074
twitter: @TristanPartridg

Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros

Abstract

This presentation focuses on the knowledge of indigenous territoriality in rainforest and its importance for the provision of global goods such as biodiversity, public health and food security. In developing countries national forestry policies and private investment still pursue the maximisation of timber and mineral resources productivity, rather than investing in carbon neutral goods or in cultural ecological heritage. This presentation shows how shifting cultivation in agroforestry represents an empirical use of connectedness, showing how it can lead toward a collaborative perspective of values on human-nature relationship to solve contemporary problems related to forestry management. These practices are common enough to be called principles, evidence of these systems is common in Asia, Africa and South America. The circulation of knowledge across multiple levels of governance require new methodologies and new modes of governing resources.  

Nidia Catherine Gonzalez Pineros is a research fellow in innovation on governance and climate change at the School of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy & Universidad Santo Tomas, Colombia. Her work focuses on global environmental politics, local governance and REDD+, the role of innovation and institutional change in developing countries in the current post-2015 negotiating process, with a regional specialism in Latin America. She holds a PhD from the Johannes Gutenberg of Mainz, Germany (2005) in Philosophy and Political Science, and a BA from National University of Colombia(2000) in Political Science. She joined University of Bologna in 2014 with 8 years’ experience of academic and policy research in South America and Europe. She is fluent in Italian, German and Spanish, and publish her work in these languages. Her research interest lies in understanding how local and global environmental governance can bridge to solve trans-national environmental problems, and how strategic resources in developing countries can be used to explore alternative mechanisms of regulation including intergenerational rights and new environmental policy instruments. Much of her recent work also explores how socio-technological innovation and institutional transformations produce and reproduce power relations, boundaries / synergies in the global South with implications for “new earth system governance”. She is interested in the empirical dimensions of these dynamics, especially inter scalar innovation processes.