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(Re)making Governance project

Ecologies on the Edge

 

The Ecologies on the Edge Research Programme brings together scholars from the social and natural sciences, including sociology, anthropology, ecology, law, geography and political science to investigate key processes affecting vulnerable ecologies in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Arctic. It builds on several interdisciplinary research clusters at York University and is a joint initiative of YCAR, the York Centre for International and Security Studies and the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability.

A summary of the project is available here.

The research team submitted a SSHRC-MCRI letter of intent in January 2009 and was successful in obtaining an MCRI development grant later that year. A workshop was held at York University in July 2009 and included scholars from across Canada. In 2011, research team was awarded funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for “Changing Frontiers of Ecological Knowledges: A Critical Dialogue of Asian Ecologies on the Edge,” an Asia-focused workshop.

2011.2012

In 2011, Professor Vandergeest (Geography) and Shubhra Gururani (Anthropology) received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for an Asia-focused workshop that will be co-hosted by YCAR and IRIS. “Changing Frontiers of Ecological Knowledges: A Critical Dialogue of Asian Ecologies on the Edge” will explore changing practices and discourses of environmental knowledges and governance, both locally and globally. Asia is a significant site for these ecological and social transformations, a place where we can understand changing forms of ecological knowledge and environmental management in diverse, globally important, and fragile ecologies.

The two-day day interdisciplinary workshop on 12-13 October 2011 will include scholars and industry experts from Asia, Europe and North America with expertise in social and ecological change in the mountains, coastal zones, grasslands and forests of Asia.

Their papers will address how new strategies of documenting, monitoring and evaluating environmental change have led to a proliferation of ecological knowledge in Asia. Key questions for the workshop include: 1) who has access to diverse kinds of ecological knowledge; 2) how this knowledge reshapes how communities who live in fragile ecologies participate in decision-making about these ecologies and; 3) how new forms of ecological knowledge shape environmental management.

The workshop will: take stock of current research on the production, circulation and use of ecological knowledge, with particular attention to how access to this knowledge is organized and how it is used in decision-making; assess how new information technologies are re-organizing community access to resources and decision-making; identify ways of moving environmental management toward practices that are more democratic and inclusive of local populations; and define potential new areas of collaborative research that will form the basis of future research proposals.

The organizing committee intends to make the papers available online as well as selecting the best papers to be submitted to an academic press as an edited book. It is hoped that this meeting will be the first step in further developing a collaborative research programme through partnerships with the key institutions represented by workshop participants. 

For more information, visit the Workshop website.

Participants at the October 2011 workshop

In Fall 2010, Professor Vanderrgeest applied for an Insight Development Grant iunder the aegis of the EoE entitled “New Ecological Knowledge and Governance in Fragile Asian Environments: Preliminary Research on Environmental Impact Assessments and Ecocertification.”

2009.2010

The research team submitted a SSHRC-MCRI letter of intent in January 2009 and was successful in obtaining an MCRI development grant later that year. A workshop was held at York University in July 2009 and included scholars from across Canada.


Researchers:

YCAR Associates involved with the research programme include: Faculty Associates Peter Vandergeest (Geography), Shubhra Gururani (Anthropology), Robin Roth (Geography) and Susan Henders (Political Science) as well as Research Associate Melissa Marschke (University of Ottawa) and and Graduate Associates Keith Barney (Doctoral Candidate, Geography) and Vanessa Lamb (Doctoral Candidate, Geography).


Contact Information:

For more information, please contact Professor Peter Vandergeest at ycar@yorku.ca.


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