Marine Litter on Mediterranean Beaches Triples in Summer

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) analyses and quantifies the waste generated by tourists in eight islands of the Mediterranean as part of the European BLUEISLANDS project.

Mapping the Urban Vitality of Barcelona

Researchers at the UAB have mapped Barcelona and and 9 surrounding towns using a new methodology based on urbanism activist Jane Jacobs' ideas on how cities should be configured to become vital spaces: 25% of the area is classified as having high vitality.

ICTA-UAB Gathers Worldwide Experts on Degrowth and Environmental Justice

ICTA-UAB is organizing the fifth edition of the Summer School on Degrowth and Environmental Justice from June 24 to July 6.

Agricultural intensification not a “blueprint” for sustainable development

Social and ecological results of increased agricultural intensification are not as positive as expected.

Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10

Today is World Environment Day. Environmental conflicts should not be seen as disruptions to smooth governance, fixable with market solutions, technology or police bullets.

Green urban planning must consider social equity criteria

Cities that do not include social equity criteria into their political strategies to make their urban environment greener and more ecological will not achieve long-term sustainability and risk creating green enclaves only for the social elite.

The ICTA-UAB alerts of a new invasive Asian beetle pest in Catalonia that kills mulberry trees

A study by researcher of the ICTA-UAB and the Department of Agriculture Víctor Sarto i Monteys has identified in the province of Barcelona the presence of a species from Asia that could spread through Europe.

More than 120 ICTA-UAB researchers addressed environmental challenges at a symposium, especially those arising from global and...

The Institut of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) organized its 1st Spring Symposium with the aim of addressing some of the main environmental and sustainability challenges.

Low-carbon energy transition requires more renewables than previously thought

A new study by ICTA-UAB analyzes the impacts on lifestyles of substituting fossil fuels for cleaner energies.

Are Farmers Who Belong to Local User Associations Better Adapted to Climate Change?

Droughts, floods and high temperatures derived from climate change are not the only threats that farmers with irrigated crops must face.

Climate Change Threatens World's Largest Seagrass Carbon Stores

Shark Bay seagrass carbon storage hotspot suffers alarming losses after a devastating marine heat wave, according to a study led by ICTA-UAB researchers.

Amazon's indigenous people hunt animals feeding in areas contaminated by oil spills

A study by the ICTA-UAB and the UAB Department of Animal Health and Anatomy demonstrates that the main species hunted by the indigenous popoulations of the Peruvian Amazon ingest water and soil contaminated with hidrocarbons and heavy metals.

The new Planttes app warns of allergy risks in different urban areas

The Planttes application is a citizen science project which aims to encourage people to identify and locate on a map the existence of allergy-causing plants and indicate their phenological state.

Global climate treaty easier to negotiate if guided by Human Development Index

A study by ICTA-UAB concludes that agreements against climate change would be more attractive to rich countries if they were analyzed taking into account the Human Development Index, instead of GDP.

New Project to Link Extreme Weather Events, Atmospheric Biodiversity and Human Health

A new ICTA-UAB project led by researcher Jordina Belmonte will study the effects of extreme meteorological events on the biological biodiversity present in the atmosphere in order to predict changes in the environment and possible affectations on human health.

ICTA-UAB’s success: five ERC grants in two years

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been awarded five European Research Council (ERC) grants in two years, which is about ten per cent of all ERC grants arriving in Catalonia over the period from the end of 2015 to the end of 2017.

Scientists Alert of Swift Degradation of Marine Ecosystems and Grave Consequences for the Planet

A book edited by researchers from the ICTA-UAB, the UB, the CNRS and the IEO addresses the concept of "animal forest" and highlights the importance of the role seas and oceans have in combating climate change.

Research to study the health effects of forests

The ICTA-UAB, CREAF and the "la Caixa" Bank Foundation recently presented the project "Healthy Forests for a Healthy Society".

Launch of the Alliance of Severo Ochoa Centres and Maria de Maeztu Units of Excellence

​ The Secretary of State for R&D+i, Carmen Vela, chaired the kickoff meeting of the new Severo Ochoa and Maria Maeztu Alliance of Excellence.

New ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide'

The new ICTA-UAB 'Welcome Guide' it is at your disposal now. With this document, we aim to help you discover the basics of the PhD programme, ICTA-UAB’s structure, etc.
EEI SEMINAR: “Critical reflections on Indigenous people’s knowledge and disaster risk management in Australia: a rapid evidence review” by Dr Kim Spurway

Date: 2018-04-04

EEI SEMINAR: “Critical reflections on Indigenous people’s knowledge and disaster risk management in Australia: a rapid evidence review”

Speaker: Dr Kim Spurway, University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia
Moderator: Dr Sonia Graham

Day: Wednesday, 4 April, 2018
Time: 12.30h
Room: Z/023


The use of Indigenous peoples’ ecological knowledge is currently being proposed as part of the solution to challenges encountered in the public policy domain of disaster risk management, both within Australia and globally. Although there is a dearth of information about this topic, a substantive body of evidence from natural resource management (NRM) can provide lessons for Australian disaster risk management. The NRM literature highlights the importance of broadening the current framing of natural disasters as discrete extreme weather events that can be managed and controlled through the imposition of technocratic planning processes. The NRM literature shows that Australian Indigenous peoples integrate natural disasters into a wholistic understanding of the natural environment that reflects worldviews based on ‘caring for country’. There is also the issue of evidentiary legitimacy: Indigenous perspectives need to be more evident in terms of designing research, contributing to the research process and authoring papers in order for this evidence to be valid. In addition, the use of Indigenous peoples’ knowledges has numerous challenges emerging out of a long history of colonialism and exploitation of Indigenous peoples by the Australian settle state that need to be resolved. However, disaster risk management agencies have the chance to learn from the experiences of natural resource management and decolonise their approaches to working with Indigenous communities and engage them in equitable and fair relationships.

Kim Spurway worked as a researcher and project manager in humanitarian action and development projects in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. During her time as a humanitarian-development practitioner, Kim managed health projects and surveys on the impact of landmines and unexploded ordnance in post-conflict communities. After 13 years working on development and humanitarian projects, she returned to Australia to complete her PhD on evidence use in humanitarian emergencies and natural disasters. Kim now works as a lecturer in development studies and policy studies in the School of Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. Her current research focuses on critical approaches to understanding the social impact and consequences of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. She is particularly interested in the role of situated knowledge and practice as well as the interplay of vulnerability and resilience in humanitarian emergencies and disaster risk reduction. Kim has worked on several research projects investigating community-based approaches to disaster risk management, the impact of urbanisation on disaster vulnerability and the lived experience of food insecurity among Australian Indigenous people with disability. She is currently completing a systematic review on the use of Indigenous knowledge by Australian disaster management agencies and co-authoring a book on addressing risk in research practice.

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