Wednesday 7
Andean communities in the face of global change : Risks, uncertainties and opportunities for transformation - Part B: “Institutions and agency”
Diana Sietz, Giuseppe Feola
› 14:30 - 15:30 (1h)
› JOFFRE 1-3
Andean communities in the face of global change: Risks, uncertainties and opportunities for transformation - Part B: “Institutions and agency”
Diana Sietz  1@  , Giuseppe Feola@
1 : Wageningen University  (WUR)

Session format:

Speed talks with 4 presenters each 5 min followed by 20 min of discussion in smaller groups and 10 min wrap-up of discussions. In preparing this session, we invite all presenters to share an extended abstract or manuscript (3000-8000 words) by 20 April 2014 to enable a constructive discussion. We have a preliminary agreement to guest-edit and publish those contributions that fulfill international quality standards in a special feature of the Regional Environmental Change Journal. To facilitate the distribution of findings in the Andean region, an edited book in Spanish language is envisaged.


Session abstract:

Andean communities are considered to be among the most vulnerable to multiple environmental and socio-economic stressors, such as climate variability and trade liberalisation, which are projected to further increase in the future. Operating in dynamic high mountain contexts, 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 will 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 will address 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, empirical contributions will be presented 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 receive particular attention. Moreover, presentations will address 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.

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