AIGO juana Del Carmen
congresos y reuniones científicas
Biocultural approaches to revalue waterscapes: (dis)encounters in Wallmapu-Patagonia
Workshop; 9th INTERNATIONAL GRAVEL-BED RIVERS: Processes, resilience and management in a changing environment; 2023
Institución organizadora:
Universidad Diego Portales; Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; Universidad of Lincoln
Our research work together with Mapuche communities that live in different river basins in Wallmapu (indigenous territory) seeks to understand the relationship between societies and bodies of water from a transdisciplinary perspective. By using a biocultural approach, we recognize river basins as complex socio-ecological systems, where the relations of interdependence between people and water prevail. These relationships are strongly based on people’s perception of water and nature and the relationship they have sustained through generations as biocultural memory. We have applied mixed qualitative and quantitative methodologies, including participatory mapping and monitoring tools, seeking to highlight the practices and perceptions of the Mapuche communities in their relationship with water bodies. Our experiences include careful trust-building, complex scenarios of meetings, dialogues and coexistence of multiple ways of learning-doing. They also reveal disagreements between multiple realities and normalized ways of conducting traditional scientific research and/or management-conservation plans in waterscapes where indigenous voices are ignored or deemed hierarchically less important or valid. Much of this research and management has been guided by an extractive imprint and conception of nature as an object and provider of natural resources. Through our applied experiences in Wallmapu, we have identified common ground to reinforce the importance of biocultural approaches to study and relate with waterscapes. We propose to shift the attention towards a genuine evaluation of the possibilities and limitations that emerge within academic and state institutions, when it comes to wanting to go beyond the dialogue of knowledge systems.