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In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

Members of an irrigation community doing maintenance work in an acequia de careo (irrigation canal built at the top of the mountain) to improve the circulation of water for irrigation and human consumption.

Neolithic vessels reveal dairy consumption in Europe 7,000 years ago

Pottery from the site located in Verson (Francia) analysed during the research (Picture by Annabelle Cocollos, Conseil départemental du Calvados ou CD14 publicada en Germain-Vallée et al.

Mapping out the impacts of pollution upon Indigenous Peoples worldwide

Sulphur mine in Ijen, Java, Indonesia. Picture by Joan de la Malla.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

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Encuesta: El rol del verde residencial durante el confinamiento por el brote de COVID-19 en España

El grupo de investigación BCNUEJ ( del ICTA-UAB ( y del IMIM ( está realizando un estudio sobre el papel del verde residencial (vegetación interior, en balcones, en terrazas, cubiertas verdes, jardines particulares, etc.

ICTA-UAB shares protective material with hospitals

ICTA-UAB is since last Monday 16 March 2020, an Institute with Restricted Access. Most of the laboratories are empty, the Scientific and Technical Services are closed, only the basic services are working and most of the people is working and staying at home.

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Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

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Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

What elements and characteristics should forests have to influence human health?

Despite the increasing interest of the scientific community and society towards the potential of forests as a source of human health, the existing scientific literature does not allow for a coherent relationship between the type of forest and different health variables.

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Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

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Victoria Reyes-García receives an ERC Proof of Concept grant linked to the LICCI project

Victoria Reyes-García ICREA Research Professor at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the 76 top researchers that will receive ERC Proof of Concept grants.

ICTA-UAB demands the UAB to reduce number of flights

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New assessment finds EU electricity decarbonization discourse in need of overhaul

It’s well known that the EU is focusing its efforts on decarbonizing its economy.

Mining waste dumped into Portmán Bay continues to release metals into the sea 25 years later

The waters of the Mediterranean Sea continue to receive dissolved metals from the mining waste deposited in Portmán Bay (Murcia) 25 years after the cessation of mining activity.

A new ICTA-UAB project to assess the impacts of micro- and nano-plastics in the tropical and temperate oceans

A new project led by ICTA-UAB researcher Patrizia Ziveri is one of five projects selected for funding by the Joint Programming Initiative Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans (JPI Oceans).

Big data reveals extraordinary unity underlying life’s diversity

Limits to growth lie at the heart of how all living things function, according to a new study carried out by ICTA-UAB researchers  .
MdM SEMINAR SERIES - “Community Resistance and Collective Action in the Context of Illicit Economies”, by Maria Alejandra Vélez

Date: 2019-10-02

MdM Seminar Series


Title: “Community Resistance and Collective Action in the Context of Illicit Economies”

Speaker: Maria Alejandra Vélez, Universidad de los Andes

Date: Wednesday, October 2nd 2019
Time: 12.30h
Venue: Room Z/033

The capacity of local communities to organize and resist has been understudied in the specialized literature on illicit crops and ignored in policy debates. We study the onset and expansion of coca crops in the collective territories of rural afro-Colombian communities in the Pacific region of Colombia, a global biodiversity hotspot. We analyze the extent to which community organization and resistance can explain differences in the presence and expansion of illicit crops in these territories.
Following a mixed-method approach, we analyzed satellite imagery of coca crops in the Pacific region to define our sample. Then we conducted semi-structured interviews with leaders from twelve Community Councils -autonomous governance organizations for the collective territories- to understand the dynamics of illicit crops. Further, we conducted household surveys in three Community Councils with different levels of community organization and presence of coca crops.
Our results suggest that community organization -an expression of social capital- does explain differences in the expansion of illicit crops by enabling (or hindering) different forms of resistance. Results also show that resistance is more effective when the interests and strategies of leaders and communities align, particularly when leaders are able to articulate a discourse that permeates many spaces in the everyday life of the community, notably the rules to manage the commons. From this, we argue that the effectiveness and sustainability of resistance significantly depend on three interrelated factors: (a) the legitimacy and influence of leadership on the community, (b) the specific normative values with which social capital is infused, and (c) the ability to create synergies among the different levels of grass-root-community organizations.

Directora del Centro de Estudios sobre Seguridad y Drogas (CESED), profesora asociada de la Facultad de Economía de la Universidad de los Andes y miembro fundador del Centro de los Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible para América Latina y el Caribe (CODS). Es economista de la Universidad de los Andes y Ph.D. en Economía de los Recursos Naturales de la Universidad de Massachusetts, Amherst. Fue Profesora Asociada del área de Sostenibilidad Socio-Ambiental en la Facultad de Administración de la Universidad de los Andes (2008-2019), investigadora post-doctoral en CRED (Center for Research on Environmental Decisions) de la Universidad de Columbia, NYC (2006-2008) y profesora visitante en el Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe de la Universidad de Duke, Durham, NC (2013). Su investigación se enfoca en la gobernanza y el diseño institucional para el manejo de recursos naturales en comunidades rurales. Actualmente estudia los diseños de sistemas de pagos por servicios ambientales, el impacto de la propiedad colectiva en las comunidades afrocolombianas en la Costa Pacífica y las dinámicas de expansión de los cultivos ilícitos en el Pacífico Colombiano. 

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