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The Indigenization of knowledge and power in the Peruvian Amazon : a case study for socio-environmental participatory monitoring processes in Aerija and Huao communities.

Martín, Aurora Eloisa LU (2016) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20162
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The Amazon has always been a strategic region because of its rich variety in natural resources. Its global interest is spreading across levels and scales, influenced by the increasing demand for fossil fuels and biodiesel and the threat of climate change. Neoliberal practices continue privatizing and exploiting the Amazon´s resources regardless the Indigenous communities’ interests. These communities are losing control over their territory and facing socioenvironmental problems while their knowledge is being neglected. This is not only a crucial issue for the Indigenous communities, but for the rest of the humanity, as they share the potential to envision other possible paradigms beyond capitalism which comprises human-environment... (More)
The Amazon has always been a strategic region because of its rich variety in natural resources. Its global interest is spreading across levels and scales, influenced by the increasing demand for fossil fuels and biodiesel and the threat of climate change. Neoliberal practices continue privatizing and exploiting the Amazon´s resources regardless the Indigenous communities’ interests. These communities are losing control over their territory and facing socioenvironmental problems while their knowledge is being neglected. This is not only a crucial issue for the Indigenous communities, but for the rest of the humanity, as they share the potential to envision other possible paradigms beyond capitalism which comprises human-environment interconnections and collective property regimes. The aim of this thesis is to be part of the current discussion on the inclusion of different knowledge in sustainability science while giving voice to the Indigenous communities. The case study is set in Atalaya, center of the Peruvian Amazon, where I carried out two participatory research workshops in Aerija and Huao Indigenous communities and thirteen interviews with members from the Subregion, CSOs, local experts and comunerxs. With a Feminist Political Ecology perspective and adopting Lukes´ three-dimensional power concept, I analyze the suitability of socio-environmental participatory monitoring processes for reducing conflicts, balance power relations and foster sustainability in Aerija and Huao communities. I consider three aspects in order to discuss the suitability of a SEPM process: 1) compatibility between Indigenous knowledge and sustainability 2) Aerija and Huao socioenvironmental conflicts 3) underlying power relations. The findings show: compatible characteristics between Indigenous cosmologies and knowledge with sustainability, the socioenvironmental problems ranging from climate change and deforestation to livelihoods threatened, culture loss and women oppression, and the existence of uneven power relations between the communities and the State, the timber companies and the invaders, among other actors. Hence, SEPM becomes a suitable tool for Aerija and Huao acknowledging the local context, the multi-actor condition and the strengths and weaknesses of these communities. It can integrate the community knowledge, construct a shared environmental visualization and understanding of their territory, empower women in the community, and work as a management and advocacy tool for exercising more control over their territory, and potentially, foster sustainability. However, it also has some limitations and assumptions which have to be considered. (Less)
Abstract (Spanish)
El Amazonas siempre ha sido una región estratégica debido a su gran variedad y abundancia de recursos naturales. Este interés está siendo influenciado por la creciente demanda de combustibles fósiles y biodiesel, y la amenaza del cambio climático. Diferentes políticas neoliberales continúan comodificando, privatizando y explotando los recursos naturales del Amazonas sin tener en cuenta a las comunidades Indígenas que viven allí. Las comunidades están perdiendo el control sobre su territorio y enfrentándose a problemas socio-ambientales mientras que sus saberes y tradiciones están siendo ignorados. Esto no es sólo una cuestión crucial para las comunidades Indígenas, sino también para el resto de la humanidad, ya que comparten el potencial... (More)
El Amazonas siempre ha sido una región estratégica debido a su gran variedad y abundancia de recursos naturales. Este interés está siendo influenciado por la creciente demanda de combustibles fósiles y biodiesel, y la amenaza del cambio climático. Diferentes políticas neoliberales continúan comodificando, privatizando y explotando los recursos naturales del Amazonas sin tener en cuenta a las comunidades Indígenas que viven allí. Las comunidades están perdiendo el control sobre su territorio y enfrentándose a problemas socio-ambientales mientras que sus saberes y tradiciones están siendo ignorados. Esto no es sólo una cuestión crucial para las comunidades Indígenas, sino también para el resto de la humanidad, ya que comparten el potencial de visualizar otros paradigmas más allá del capitalismo con una mejor comprensión de la relación entre la sociedad y el medio ambiente, y regímenes de propiedad colectiva en la gestión de su territorio. Esta tesis tiene por objetivo ser parte de la discusión actual sobre la inclusión de diferentes saberes en la ciencia de la sostenibilidad al tiempo que da voz a las comunidades Indígenas. El caso práctico se establece en Atalaya, centro del Amazonas peruano, donde se realizaron dos talleres de investigación participativa en las comunidades de Aerija y Huao y trece entrevistas con miembros de la Subregión, la municipalidad, tres organizaciones Indígenas, expertos/as locales y comuneros/as. Adoptando una perspectiva de ecología política feminista y el concepto de poder tridimensional de Lukes, esta tesis analiza la idoneidad de un proceso de monitoreo participativo socio-ambiental (SEPM) para contribuir a la reducción de los conflictos socio-ambientales, equilibrar las relaciones de poder y fomentar la sostenibilidad en las comunidades de Aerija y Huao. Se consideran tres aspectos para discutir la capacidad de los SEPM en este contexto: 1) la compatibilidad entre la cosmovisión y los saberes Indígenas con los principios de la sostenibilidad 2) los conflictos socio-ambientales percibidos y existentes en las comunidades de Aerija y Huao 3) las relaciones de poder subyacentes. Los resultados muestran la existencia de características compatibles entre las cosmologías y conocimientos Indígenas con la sostenibilidad. Segundo, diversos problemas socio-ambientales que van desde los efectos del cambio climático y de la deforestación, la amenaza de sus medios de vida, la pérdida de la cultura y la opresión de las mujeres. Y tercero, la existencia de relaciones de poder desiguales entre las comunidades y el Estado, las comunidades y las empresas madereras y los invasores, y entre los comuneros y comuneras. Por lo tanto, SEPM se convierte en una herramienta pertinente para Aerija y Huao reconociendo el contexto local, la condición de múltiples actores y las fortalezas y debilidades de estas comunidades. Tiene la capacidad de integrar el conocimiento de la comunidad, construir una visualización compartida del medio ambiente y una mejor comprensión de los cambios e impactos en su territorio. Además, con una perspectiva de género e interseccional puede contribuir a empoderamiento de la mujer en la comunidad, mientras funciona como una herramienta de gestión participativa para ejercer un mayor control sobre su territorio y promover la sostenibilidad local. Sin embargo, también tiene limitaciones y retos que han de ser considerados. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Martín, Aurora Eloisa LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20162
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
participatory monitoring, sustainability science, indigenous knowledge, power relations, feminist political ecology
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2016:034
language
English
additional info
This research has been partially funded by CESAL.
id
8893928
date added to LUP
2016-10-26 22:55:53
date last changed
2016-10-26 22:55:53
@misc{8893928,
  abstract     = {The Amazon has always been a strategic region because of its rich variety in natural resources. Its global interest is spreading across levels and scales, influenced by the increasing demand for fossil fuels and biodiesel and the threat of climate change. Neoliberal practices continue privatizing and exploiting the Amazon´s resources regardless the Indigenous communities’ interests. These communities are losing control over their territory and facing socioenvironmental problems while their knowledge is being neglected. This is not only a crucial issue for the Indigenous communities, but for the rest of the humanity, as they share the potential to envision other possible paradigms beyond capitalism which comprises human-environment interconnections and collective property regimes. The aim of this thesis is to be part of the current discussion on the inclusion of different knowledge in sustainability science while giving voice to the Indigenous communities. The case study is set in Atalaya, center of the Peruvian Amazon, where I carried out two participatory research workshops in Aerija and Huao Indigenous communities and thirteen interviews with members from the Subregion, CSOs, local experts and comunerxs. With a Feminist Political Ecology perspective and adopting Lukes´ three-dimensional power concept, I analyze the suitability of socio-environmental participatory monitoring processes for reducing conflicts, balance power relations and foster sustainability in Aerija and Huao communities. I consider three aspects in order to discuss the suitability of a SEPM process: 1) compatibility between Indigenous knowledge and sustainability 2) Aerija and Huao socioenvironmental conflicts 3) underlying power relations. The findings show: compatible characteristics between Indigenous cosmologies and knowledge with sustainability, the socioenvironmental problems ranging from climate change and deforestation to livelihoods threatened, culture loss and women oppression, and the existence of uneven power relations between the communities and the State, the timber companies and the invaders, among other actors. Hence, SEPM becomes a suitable tool for Aerija and Huao acknowledging the local context, the multi-actor condition and the strengths and weaknesses of these communities. It can integrate the community knowledge, construct a shared environmental visualization and understanding of their territory, empower women in the community, and work as a management and advocacy tool for exercising more control over their territory, and potentially, foster sustainability. However, it also has some limitations and assumptions which have to be considered.},
  author       = {Martín, Aurora Eloisa},
  keyword      = {participatory monitoring,sustainability science,indigenous knowledge,power relations,feminist political ecology},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {The Indigenization of knowledge and power in the Peruvian Amazon : a case study for socio-environmental participatory monitoring processes in Aerija and Huao communities.},
  year         = {2016},
}