"Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State" presented by Ashwin Ravikumar
The Faculty Colloquium Series for 2019-20 presents a lecture titled "Conservation Coalitions of the Future: From Landscape Approaches to a Pro-Indigenous Environmental State" presented by Ashwin Ravikumar, assistant professor of environmental science.
"In this talk I will present new evidence concerning how ‘quality of life plans,’ tools designed to
improve indigenous people’s well-being while supporting conservation in and around
communities, have delivered on their promises in the Peruvian Amazon. In order to assess this,
I worked with a small team to carry out focus groups and semi-structured interviews with
community members, NGO professionals, and government actors working in the Ampiyacu Apayacu watershed and adjacent protected area in the Peruvian Amazon region of Loreto. Our
results show that while community members view quality-of-life plans in a largely positive light,
they do not generally use them to assert their priorities to outside actors, and see them as
conflated with other conservation and sustainable land use initiatives. I present three major
barriers for communities in using quality-of-life plans in the manner that they were intended.
Despite these issues, community members expressed that after going through the process of
creating quality-of-life plans and other activities related to managing their regional conservation
area, they no longer allow private loggers, miners, fishers, and hunters to enter their territory,
and no longer deal with them commercially. With the available evidence, though, we cannot
causally link quality-of-life plans to these changes.
Taking this analysis a step further, I ask whether quality-of-life plans can serve communities in
leveraging funds from large external conservation programs. Specifically, I examine how the
Peruvian National Forest Conservation Program’s conditional cash transfer initiative has worked
to improve people’s well-being as defined in their quality-of-life plans. I find that the Program
has not supported priorities that were found in quality-of-life plans, and has instead generated
concerning dynamics that may undermine the effectiveness of conservation. I argue that the
Program’s current approach is in fact disrupting the local subsistence economy that ultimately
favors conservation, compromising the long-standing culture of reciprocal labor and noncommodified production systems. It therefore risks undermining the existing tools of political
organizing including quality-of-life Plans. Despite these issues, I suggest some ways forward for
the Program, and argue that State initiatives may still be able to alleviate some of the barriers to
community empowerment through quality-of-life plans."
Faculty Colloquium events are sponsored by a group of faculty colleagues who meet informally with the purpose of supporting and promoting the College’s commitment to faculty research. Colleagues interested in joining this endeavor are welcome and should contact us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Faculty, staff, and members of the administration are cordially invited to attend these presentations.
It's beginning to look a lot like a Holiday Craft Fair! Over twenty members of the Amherst College community will be showing their artisan crafts just in time for the gift giving season. Come warm up with a cup of hot chocolate and goodies while you browse one-of-a-kind art made by Amherst staff and associates. This event is hosted by the Employee Council.
Abstract: Secondary organic aerosol, or SOA, forms in the atmosphere through the oxidation of volatile biogenic compounds. The majority of the oxidation mechanisms involve small molecules, such as ozone, in the initial stages of the chemistry. Our group studies the formation of SOA through photochemical mechanisms, where electronically excited molecules play the role of the oxidizing agent. We use a laser-based, ambient pressure photoelectric charging method to monitor the decay of aerosol phase triplet photosensitizer molecules. The results bridge the gap between aerosol phase measurements, which are normally steady-state, and bulk-phase, transient absorption measurements. They also demonstrate how the morphology of particle phase systems can control the chemistry.
Guest artist Jumatatu Poe joins the Department of Theater and Dance to present BIG BODY: Experimental J-Sette Performance Workshop.
J-Sette, also known as Bucking, is a performance style popular in the Southern United States, practiced widely among majorettes and drill teams at historically Black colleges and universities, and also among teams of primarily queer men who compete at gay clubs and pride festivals. The workshop focuses on bombastic performance energy, complex relationships to rhythm and music, movement precision, group dynamics, and discovering joy in flesh and community. Participants will explore how the performance of J-Sette creates expectations around attention and accountability to a community, and how it positions leadership.
Jumatatu Poe is a choreographer and performer based between Philadelphia and NYC. He produces dance and performance work with idiosynCrazy productions, a company he founded in 2008 and now co-directs with Shannon Murphy.
All bodies are encouraged to participate, regardless of previous training or ability.