I’ve spent the last week in Colombia visiting the ESPA ASSETS project and meeting with community members from one of their research sites in Leticia, which sits on the bank of the Amazon River on the borders of Colombia, Peru and Brazil.
It was a privilege to visit the area and see the grandeur of the Amazon forest and river, but most importantly, to meet with members of communities from all three countries who depend upon the Amazon for their livelihoods and well-being.
ESPA, as a global research programme, is generating new knowledge and understanding of how communities, like the ones that I met, make difficult decisions about the way in which they interact with their ecosystems, trying to balance their current needs and aspirations with those of their children and future generations.
I was able to walk through the forest with members of the Manilla Amena community in Colombia and hear first-hand about their traditional approaches to shifting cultivation and the ways in which they used to ensure that the forest was managed sustainably to protect their food and water sources, as...Read more
Earlier this month, the ESPA Deltas project was invited to a UNESCO workshop on the applications of sustainability science to their Asian Pacific activities.
A number of presentations were given by UNESCO themselves with high level representation from Paris which gave a strong sense of the significance that is applied to this field of research.
ESPA Deltas was invited to present as a case study with specific reference to the three critical components of the project, namely, environment/ecology, socio-economics/economics and government/governance - and more specifically the integration of these three.
The meeting was of particular interest as in ESPA Deltas we have been developing ideas on how we best promote tools and approaches that could be transferable to other socio-ecological systems.
This includes systems dynamics approaches and work in such areas as scenario development. The central aim of this is to provide decision makers with the tools, in a format they themselves have specified, to enhance decision making in what is a rapidly evolving, complex and highly integrated context.
There was some debate regarding the...Read more