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