ICTA-UAB economist Joan Martínez Alier wins the Balzan Prize for Environmental Challenges

Economist Joan Martínez Alier from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology  of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the winners of the 2020 Balzan Prize in the category of "Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and Humanities".

Indigenous People Essential to Understanding Environmental Change

An international research involving ICTA-UAB scientists shows how local and indigenous knowledge can help manage ecosystems and wildlife.

New publication in the MAGIC project takes a critical look at circular economy

With the world’s attention focussed on COVID-19, issues that were in the forefront of public concern just a few months ago seem to have magically disappeared.

Economic Benefits of Protecting 30% of Planet’s Land and Ocean Outweigh the Costs at Least 5-to-1

First-of-its-kind report involving ICTA-UAB researcher shows the global economy is better off with more nature protected.

ICTA-UAB awarded the "María de Maeztu” Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been accredited a Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Proyecto experimental de agricultura urbana, local y tradicional en Sabadell

El ICTA-UAB y el Ayuntamiento de Sabadell constituyen la comunidad FoodE, que reúne a todos los actores implicados en el sistema de producción alimentaria de la ciudad y en esta iniciativa.

What do we breathe when in the forest?

For the first time, a study characterizes the forest chemistry of the air under the canopy of a Mediterranean holm oak forest and detects maximum concentrations in July and August.

Catalonia's Scientific Contributions to Fighting Covid-19

Sixty ICREA researchers, including Isabelle Anguelovski of the ICTA-UAB, lead more than a hundred research activities on Covid-19.

Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care


Computer Platform Gives Visibility to Catalonia's Small Villages

A research team from the UAB, in collaboration with the Association of Microvillages of Catalonia, has created a Geographic Information System (GIS) for Active and Sustainable Hamlets (GISASH), which gathers information on the state of and services offered by the more than 330 municipalities in Catalonia with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

Environmental justice defenders victims of violence and murder

Grassroots movements halt environmental degradation in up to 27% of environmental conflicts worldwide, according to a study by the ICTA-UAB.

Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change impacts

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.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

A study involving more than 20 specialists in conservation ecology and ecological economics highlights the contradiction between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

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.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

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

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.
ICTA-UAB researcher Federico Demaria publishes Pluriverse

Date: 2020-01-28

It is a large inventory of alternative practices to "development" as a predominant way of life in today's society

The current planetary crisis has taken on a civilizational dimension. Never before have so many crucial aspects of life failed simultaneously, and never before have expectations about the future been so uncertain. Against this background, it is necessary to set aside the prevailing concept of “development” as progress and look for alternatives that respect and nurture life on Earth. This is the main idea that has led ICTA-UAB researcher Federico Demaria to publish the book “Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary”, coordinated with researchers Ashish Kothari, Ariel Salleh, Arturo Escobar and Alberto Acosta. 

Given the dominant Western development model adopted by people across the world, the new book “Pluriverse: A Post-Development Dictionary” presents a stimulating collection of over 100 essays on transformative alternatives to the currently dominant processes of globalized development, including its structural roots in modernity, capitalism, state domination, and masculinist values.

In the post-development imagination, ‘development’ would no longer be the organizing principle of social life. The book presents worldviews and practices from around the world in a collective search for an ecologically wise and socially just world. “At a time in which development is unquestionable, there are many peoples of the world challenging it and living in a different way”, explains Federico Demaria.

It also offers critical essays on a number of false solutions that those in power are proposing in an attempt to ‘greenwash’ development. “The book is a criticism of the reformist proposals that come from the 1980s such as sustainable development that, after three decades, we can say has failed in its objective of promoting the sustainability of life”, adds Demaria.

Pluriverse speaks to a confluence of economic, socio-political, cultural, and ecological visions. It is a broad transcultural compilation of concrete concepts, worldviews, and practices from around the world, challenging the modernist ontology of universalism in favour of a multiplicity of possible worlds. “Development is the current universe, and the book presents a pluriverse”, the author says. Therefore, the book is intended to re-politicize the ongoing debate over socio-ecological transformation by providing a guidance to its multi-dimensionality.

The book follows the structure of an encyclopedia, with short 1000-word entries for each of the key terms. It refers to concepts such as conviviality, decline, direct democracy or social ecology. “Some of them are not known and we should incorporate them into our language, a vocabulary to discover how we want to live”, Demaria points out. The 120+ contributors to the volume include activists, academics, and practitioners, with a wealth of experience in their respective fields of engagement such as Vandana Shiva, Serge Latouche, Wolfgang Sachs, Silvia Federici, Nnimmo Bassey, Gustavo Esteva, Katherine Gibson, Maristella Svampa and many more. 


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