Local solutions to environmental challenges in Latin America

21 February 2012 | News story
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The University of Córdoba, with the support of the IUCN National Committee in Spain and others, is conducting research on good practices developed in local communities in Colombia, Mexico and Argentina. 

The COMET-LA research project (Community-Based Management of Environmental Challenges in Latin America) aims to identify and analyze local solutions developed to prevent and resolve tensions arising from the use of natural resources, including ecosystem services, due to environmental and climatic changes.

The current development model is causing a series of unprecedented environmental challenges, including climate change. Facing these challenges and how to manage them is one of the most relevant questions that researchers are trying to solve.

Effects of global problems are often felt locally, especially in communities that traditionally base their livelihood on natural resources and now face declining stocks, changes in property rights or increasing the competition for the use of resources. This is the reason why many good conservation practices are carried out locally, and the project will investigate local capacity to reach these local solutions. 

NGOs and researchers will work together on 3 different case studies: water management and biodiversity in Colombia, forest management in Mexico and coastal and marine management in Argentina. Comparative methods will be used to characterize the current and future state of the ecosystems, sustainable governance models and local scenarios for future changes and challenges. The results will help shape a potentially useful tool for local communities facing environmental changes. 

The project aims to present scientific knowledge to local communities facing environmental problems, so that in each country of study (Colombia, Mexico and Argentina) universities will work closely with social organizations. In total there are seven research institutions (3 Latin American and 4 European, including UCO), 3 NGOs in Colombia, Mexico and Argentina, and the Spanish Committee of IUCN as a global organization.

The project is funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission.


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