Mónica Amador-Jimenez, Pablo Andres Ramos Baron, Solveig Richter | 2024

Complementary ways of seeing “the Nature”: Integrating varieties of knowledge practices in the management of local environmental conflicts in Colombia

In: Environment and Security, Volume 2, Issue 1, 47-74

The complex pathways of armed conflict and its consequences for ecosystem transformations and environmental change have been well established in the literature. However, despite recent progress in this subject area, there is still a lack of integrative transdisciplinary research in this context, limiting our potential to fully understand the scalar interwoven processes of armed conflict, societal transformation, and ecological consequences. We address this desideratum by suggesting an alternative way of understanding the dynamics of environmental peacebuilding (EP) that integrates local narratives about “nature” and “conflict” with “real-world” data. By this, we aim to first foster a transdisciplinary heuristic linking environmental and earth system science with political ecology and social science. Second, we base our heuristic on a decolonial understanding of knowledge production, thus integrating complementary ways of seeing from above and from below into an interactive and relational practice of knowing. Our paper is based on research and intervention projects, combining both statistical and quantitative human geographical data with ethnographic field research to understand deforestation. With this paper, we hope to encourage academic discussions on alternative ontologies and epistemic practices and inform contextualized EP efforts.

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