Project

Integrating ecological and cultural histories to inform sustainable and equitable futures for the Colombian páramos

Goal: The aims of the project are to: (1) examine the socio-ecological system of páramo habitat in Boyacá and Cundinamarca; (2) determine the value of biodiversity in this system to local communities and wider society; and (3) predict the response of páramo ecosystems to
environmental change and anthropogenic pressures, including social and political change, in order to inform the development of a sustainable and equitable future for the páramos, and for the communities dependent on these ecosystems.

The project particularly emphasizes how history, socio-political context and culture contribute to the current patterns of use of the ecosystem, and how this affects potential future opportunities for new governance systems for the páramo.

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Project log

Hanne Cottyn
added a research item
This article proposes a historical, multispecies and ontological approach to human-wildlife conflict (HWC) in the Colombian páramos. Focusing on the páramos surrounding the capital city of Bogotá, we reconstruct the historically changing relationship between cattle-farming campesino communities and the Andean bear, Tremarctos ornatus. Using ethnographic and historical research methods, we conceptualise this relationship as embedded in localised landscapes and multispecies assemblages, in which scientists, conservation practitioners, water infrastructures, public environmental agencies, and cows participate as well. This article demonstrates that in-sufficient attention to the practices and relationships of historically marginalised humans and non-humans in the management of HWCs contributes to new dynamics of exclusion and friction, and can reduce the effectiveness of conservation programmes. We conclude that opening up conservation to the interests and knowledges of local communities is imperative in moving towards more historically informed, pluralistic and effective conservation strategies.
Hanne Cottyn
added a research item
Afiche del 20 Festival Campesino de Arte Paramuno, 7 de noviembre 2020, Bogota. El festival es una iniciativa del proyecto "Integrating ecological and cultural histories to inform sustainable and equitable futures for the Colombian páramos" coordinado por la Universidad de York y desarrollado en colaboracion con Instituto Humboldt; el colectivo Almanaques Agroecologicos; colectivo Tierra Libre; y el Restaurante Cultural Casa de Citas (Bogota).
Hanne Cottyn
added a research item
Capitulo en el Almanaque Agroecologico Gran Sumapaz acerca del papel de la historia ambiental para llegar a una concepcion "mas-que-humana" de los paisajes de paramo. Open access
Adrián Villaseñor
added an update
In this project, we are all about interdisciplinarity! Our team of historians and anthropologists are already working in the Chingaza, Guerrero, and Cruz Verde-Sumapaz complejos trying to understand the different versions of páramos and how they have been constructed through history.
Meanwhile, the team of Biologists are processing data on plants, birds, and mammals distributions to check how they will be affected by climate change.
I am interested in initiatives that help protect the páramo and how they interact and conflict with livelihood objectives. At the moment, I am looking into private nature reserves, their effectiveness, and the motivations for private actors to invest in conservation.
We are all working closely together to inform each other's work, and to contribute to our overall research questions, which I will be posting soon.
 
Adrián Villaseñor
added a project goal
The aims of the project are to: (1) examine the socio-ecological system of páramo habitat in Boyacá and Cundinamarca; (2) determine the value of biodiversity in this system to local communities and wider society; and (3) predict the response of páramo ecosystems to
environmental change and anthropogenic pressures, including social and political change, in order to inform the development of a sustainable and equitable future for the páramos, and for the communities dependent on these ecosystems.
The project particularly emphasizes how history, socio-political context and culture contribute to the current patterns of use of the ecosystem, and how this affects potential future opportunities for new governance systems for the páramo.