In a series of interviews on the lead up to COP26 in Glasgow, we are chatting with academics whose research is focused on sustainability and tackling climate change.
Dr Allan Gillies is a Lecturer of Global Economy in the School of Social & Political Sciences. His research on the lead up to the COP26 conference focuses on how natural habitat restoration and biodiversity protection are interwoven with socio-environmental justice.
Could you briefly describe the main topics/themes of this event, which research areas does it cover? And how does it relate to the COP26 agenda?
In this panel, we explore how agendas of natural habitat restoration and biodiversity protection may be interwoven with peacebuilding efforts and issues of socio-environmental justice. The panel speaks directly to the UK COP26 Presidency campaign theme of safeguarding and restoring natural habitats and ecosystems to preserve the planet’s biodiversity. It will introduce attendees to debates around cutting-edge socio-legal innovations on biocultural rights and the rights of nature. We localise international environmental debates in the context of Chocó, where demand for gold fuels armed conflict and the destruction of the environment. These global forces not only hold catastrophic consequences for the planet’s biodiversity and ecosystems, they threaten the survival of Afro and indigenous communities in Chocó.
- Mo Hume – Professor of Latin American Politics, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow
- Maryury Mosquera – Secretary of the Technical Committee of The Guardians of the Atrato
- Viviana Gonzalez – Lawyer at SIEMBRA, Colombia
- Alejandro Perez – Programme Manager at Caritas Colombia
- Martha Rubiano – Secretary-General of Caritas Norway
How do you think the attendees can enhance their knowledge and engagement with the topic before the event? Any sources of interest to read before the event?
We have a number of resources that attendees can use before the event.
- Background to the research: https://www.colombiariverstories.com
- Siembra’s website here: https://www.centrosiembra.org/
- ABColombia’s website: https://www.abcolombia.org.uk/
- Background and articles on T622:
What do you hope the outcomes of this event to be? Is it simply educational or with the purpose of influencing the policy-making process, etc?
The event is an opportunity for our research partners to engage with policymakers, practitioners, and the general public during the COP negotiations. It aims to raise awareness of the socio-environmental crisis in Chocó and support the advocacy efforts of local communities.
How can attendees follow up after the event and engage with the topics raised?
People can show their solidarity with the people of Chocó by getting involved in our Rios Solidarios project. The Ríos Solidarios project is for people from anywhere in the world to create artwork which sends messages of love and solidarity from their river to the communities of the Atrato river in Chocó, Colombia. The project aims to raise awareness of the socio-environmental devastation affecting the Atrato and the communities who live there. Through the creation of artworks, the project will forge and strengthen networks of solidarity, centred on an understanding of rivers as the lifeblood of communities across the globe.
Rivers of Peace: the rights of nature, biodiversity conservation and peacebuilding in Chocó, Colombia is happening on Wednesday, 3 November 2021 from 17:30-19:30 at the Hunter Halls, University of Glasgow.
If you’re interested in attending in person please visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/rivers-of-peace-biodiversity-and-peacebuilding-in-colombia-tickets-190972583137?aff=ebdsoporgprofile or livestreaming via YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-sdkXb_EI5fCRJApZcSBYw/videos
Part of the COP26 activities at the College of Social Sciences, University of Glasgow