COmmunity-based Management of EnvironmenTal challenges in Latin America
Human development is leading to unprecedented environmental challenges, including aquatic systems, biodiversity systems, forest systems and marine and coastal systems all within the context of climate change. How to respond to these challenges is a key research question. Although the problems are global, their effects are felt locally, especially by the communities that traditionally base their livelihoods on natural resources.
Initiatives to increase public awareness and to put in practice measures to improve good conservation and management practices are thus best done at a local level. Research is needed to better understand local capabilities to encourage and support potential locally-owned solutions and to increase the awareness of policy makers to local-global interactions. Latin America is home to an outstanding stock of natural resources, most of them traditionally managed by local communities. But at the same time these resources are under increasing pressures.
Community-based management of environmental challenges in Latin America (COMET-LA) will identify sustainable community-based governance models for the management of natural resources that could be used in different social-ecological systems in a context of climate change and increasing competition for the use of these resources. A partnership has been created to enable the interaction of CSOs, (Civil Society Organizations) policy makers and research organizations, sharing local and scientific knowledge and contributing to a better knowledge of problems and potential solutions for current and future sustainable management of natural resources. This “co-learning” may also be used to characterize current and future ecosystem states, sustainable governance models and locally-tailored scenarios for future changes and challenges. Research outcomes can be synthesized and up-scaled to deliver a potentially useful tool to other local communities facing current environmental challenges. Additionally, it is essential to provide evidence-based information and decision-taking orientations to policymakers at local, national and supranational levels.