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Andean communities in the face of global change: Risks, uncertainties and opportunities for transformation

Resilience 2014 - Resilience and Development: Mobilizing for Transformation

This session has resulted in a Special Issue on Resilience in the rural Andes published in the journal Regional Environmental Change.

Session chairs: Diana Sietz (Wageningen University, The Netherlands) and Giuseppe Feola (University of Reading, United Kingdom)

Location and time: Le Corum, Montpellier, Room Joffre 1-3, Wednesday 7 May 2014, 11:30-12:30 (details) and 14:30-15:30 (details).

Type of session: Speed talks with 3 presenters each 5 min followed by 20 min of discussion in smaller groups and 10 min wrap-up of discussions.

Session abstract: Andean communities are considered to be among the most vulnerable to multiple environmental and socio-economic stressors, such as trade liberalisation and climate variability, which are projected to further increase in the future. Operating in the dynamic high mountain context, Andean communities have used sophisticated strategies to manage risks and seize opportunities. However, it is unclear to what extent these strategies contribute to the communities’ resilience under the pace and magnitude of current environmental and socio-economic variability and future change. This session aims to discuss the ecological and social processes that shape the resilience of Andean communities in the face of regional and global change. Since research on these topics has gained importance in the Andes during the past decade, we deem it appropriate to engage in a critical debate of insights and future research directions. In particular, this session aims at shedding light on the following questions:
  • What type of changes and adaptation, including reactive or anticipatory actions, take place?
  • What factors shape a community's resilience to regional and global change?
  • Which entry points of transformational change can be identified to foster sustainable interactions between human population and ecosystems?
Thus, this session will stimulate debate within the theme of "Analysing and promoting change and transformation". It will provide a platform to discuss concepts, tools, case studies and development scenarios. In particular, we invite empirical contributions that engage with the evolution of Andean socio-ecological systems in the context of weather risks, glacier dynamics, land use, biodiversity and institutional changes. Examples of successful resilience building and analyses of failure are particularly welcome. Moreover, we are interested in studies addressing the importance of agency, uncertainties and scales as well as comparative analyses that reveal similarities and differences in the development paths of socio-ecological systems. Overall, this session opens up possibilities for reconsidering the role of local communities in facilitating transformation and subsequently for redefining research priorities. It is an attempt to strengthen the international scientific network investigating resilience and transformation in the fragile high mountain context of the Andes.

Quechua Farmers' Innovation for Resilience, Vanesa Ramos Abensur, Asociacion para la Naturaleza y el Desarrollo Sostenible [abstract]

Modeling Farmer community resilience to crop pests in the tropical Andes, Francois Rebaudo, IRD, UMSA [abstract]

Examining Conservation and Adaptation: Asociación Ecosistemas Andinos (ECOAN) and the Indigenous Communities of the Vilcanota, Caitlin Doughty, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies [abstract]

Family mountain farming between melting glaciers, an Andean metropolis and the world market – A case study from the Cordillera Real in Bolivia, Dirk Hoffmann, Bolivian Mountain Institute [abstract]

Local livelihoods and vulnerabilities to climate change in the Andean Region, Harry Diaz, University of Regina [abstract]

Dynamics of institutional change to multiple exposures in smallholding communities in the Colombian Andes, Giuseppe Feola, University of Reading [abstract]

Speakers unable to attend:
Building resilience to climate change in the tropical Andes - A transformative strategy to increase resilience and adaptive capacity
, Tomas Lindemann, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations [abstract]

Vulnerability and resilience of smallholder farming systems in the Peruvian Altiplano, Victor Mares, International Potato Center [abstract]