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Community Talks

Community Talks is a monthly webinar where experts from Flanders and abroad can meet and share their knowledge & academic research.

With this platform, we aim to build sustainable research connections and increase local (societal) impact through knowledge sharing on a global scale.

26 July (11 - 12 AM) - Breaking barries in the prevention of adolescent pregnancies for in-school students in Kirehe district (Rwanda) - Nadja Van Endert, UCLL & Univesité de Rwanda

27 September (11 - 12 AM) - Climighealth: How climate change, migration and health interact - 
Ilse Ruyssen & Charlotte Scheerens, UGent

25 October (11 - 12 AM) - Diabetes detection and monitoring in Bukavu (DR Congo) - Joris Delanghe, UGent & Justin Cikomola, Antoine Kishabongo, Université Catholique de Bukavu


"Todos por Chaparri”: socio-environmental justice and community empowerment in the Chaparri Nature Reserve, Perú

28 June 2023 (2PM - 3PM CET)

In Peru, as well as in other Latin American countries, the challenge of balancing the goals of nature conservation with those of sustainable socio-economic development remains a topic of intense and passionate debate. Fervent calls for socio-environmental justice oppose a long history in which modernization has been associated with extractivist logics and practices that have irreversibly damaged nature and the peasant and indigenous world. Protected areas, alongside various other approaches and instruments for nature conservation, are at the heart of a complex debate in which the contemporary human-nature relationship is questioned.

In this community talk, we will delve into the multifaceted aspects of the Chaparri Ecological Reserve, which stands out as the first private protected area established and governed by a peasant community in northern Peru. We will explore significant landmarks, achievements, challenges, and social innovations that have made Chaparri a symbol of inspiration for activists, conservationists, academics, and other actors involved in the intersection of social and environmental issues. From our participatory action research project, carried out in partnership with the local community and other relevant actors, we highlight the pressing need for increased awareness and knowledge regarding the complex dilemmas and critical junctures faced by protected areas, such as Chaparri. Furthermore, during this community talk, we will engage in critical reflection on the need for socially sensitive cooperation and solidarity networks with vulnerable territories and communities. However, it is crucial to acknowledge the inherent limitations, constraints, and challenges associated with establishing and maintaining such multi-actor international collaborations.

Website of the project: https://ees.kuleuven.be/project/chaparri 

Vera Flores-Fernández, PhD researcher, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Division of Geography & Tourism, KU Leuven

Prof. Dr. Constanza Parra, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences, Division of Geography & Tourism, KU Leuven

Prof. Dr. Elke Hermans, School of Transportation Science, UHasselt

Prof. Dr. Pieter Van den Broeck, Department of Architecture, Planning & Development Unit, KU Leuven

Please register here to attend to this Community Talk

Check out our previous talks

Climighealth: How climate change, migration and health interact.

Cancelled: “As the TEAM collaboration is currently engaging in fieldwork, the Community Talk will be delayed till September 27 which will allow to showcase key results from the project.”

Climighealth: How climate change, migration and health interact.

CliMigHealth’s vision is to render a broad societal impact by generating knowledge on the interactions between climate change, migration and health(care). Ultimately, the goal is to better adapt to, mitigate and prepare for current and future effects of climate change; to have a greater understanding of the role of migration and its impact; and to develop resilient, inclusive and responsive health systems. 


Prof. Ilse Ruyssen & Charlotte Scheerens, UGent


Improving women's health in Peru with the support of higher education institutions, women and local authorities


PhD Sandra Condori

Sandra performed her Bachelo studies in Peru then she studied a master in molecular biology at Belgian Universities of Brussels, Leuven, and Antwerp. She started a Ph.D. within the framework of the MELiSSA project (Micro-Ecological Life Support System – European Space Agency) in collaboration with the University of Mons (Belgium) and the Belgian Nuclear Research Center (SCK-CEN). After her promotion in 2016, Sandra joined the Lebeer Lab in 2018 as a postdoctoral researcher. She focuses on vaginal microbiome on developing projects for capacity building in developing countries, such as Peru and Cameroon.

PhD student Josiane Kenfack

Student at University of Yaounde - Cameroon. Institut De Recherches Medicales Et D'etudes Des Plantes Medicinales (IMPM) - Centre de Recherches sur les Maladies Emergentes et Re-emergentes (CREMER). She is a team member of the Rose Leke project in Cameroon

Short content

Speaking openly about vaginal health is taboo in Peru, and public attention to intimate female care has been neglected for decades.

For instance, during the present pandemic, several primary health care centers shut down gynaecological consultations, affecting women suffering from vaginal infections.

With the current Laura 2.0 project, we aim to create a national (in Peru) and international research network investigating on vaginal health by actively engaging several key stakeholders from society and academia.

Moreover, Laura 2.0 is developing research capacities in Peruvian researchers and more importantly, it is involving (for the first time in Peru), citizens (women) in science, via a citizen science project inspired by the Belgian Isala project (https://isala.be/en).

Looking for more ?

Missed out a Community Talk, check our YouTube channel

Are you interested in getting in touch with one of our speakers? Or looking for more info on a particular project? Or even interested in presenting your own project?

Contact us at communitytalks@vliruos.be

Change towards an e-portfolio is not easy, it is a long learning process. But progress is even more satisfying when working on it together.

Olive Tengera, University of Rwanda

Finally we took the time and energy to bring all information together and present to a broader public

Leo Van Audenhove (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)

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