A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Archive/Archivo: LASA 2022 Virtual Congress - Sessions' Abstracts

LASA Environmental section -  Virtual Congress May 5-8

Polarización socioambiental y rivalidad entre grandes potencias

Socio-environmental polarization and rivalry between great powers

La sección Ambiente patrocina dos talleres y una mesa redonda, y copatrocina un panel con la sección México. También apoyamos como sección, otros dos eventos de miembros de la sección.

Thie Environment Section is sponsoring two workshops, and a round table, and co-sponsoring a panel with the Mexico section. We also woudl like to show the section's support for two other events of section members.


1. WORKSHOP I // TALLER I - patrocinado por la sección Ambiente:

Emerging Issues in Latin American Environmental Research

Abstract: For over 10 years, the Environment Section has organized a large panel focused on our member's newest research, "Emerging issues in Latin American environmentalism." In collaborative format, the panelists briefly present their research. This format includes a majority of informal or semi-formal presentations, where participants are encouraged to briefly (5-10 minutes) share their current research, without a paper, to enable discussion, feedback, questions, and dialogue These presentations are used as a strategy to stimulate discussion among the entire section. In this way, the speakers and audience join in sharing their ongoing latest questions, observations, and projects. This valued tradition has enabled the members of the Environment Section to not only keep up on the latest research, but forge interdisciplinary connections, and widen our Latin American networks.

Resumen: Desde hace diez años, la sección de medioambiente ha organizado un gran panel enfocado en la investigación más reciente de nuestros miembros, "Temas emergentes en el ambientalismo de América Latina". En formato colaborativo, los panelistas presentan brevemente su investigación. El formato incluye una mayoría de presentaciones informales o semi-formales, en las que se anima a los participantes a compartir brevemente (de 5 a 10 minutos) su investigación actual, sin que sea una ponencia, para permitir así la discusión, los comentarios, las preguntas y el diálogo. Estas presentaciones se vuelven una estrategia para estimular la discusión entre las y los integrantes de la sección. De esta forma, los panelistas y la audiencia se unen, compartiendo las preguntas que desarrollan actualmente, así como sus observaciones y proyectos. Esta tradición probada ha permitido a los miembros de la Sección de Medioambiente, no solamente estar al tanto de lo más nuevo en investigación, también ha permitido forjar conexiones interdisciplinarias y ampliar nuestras redes Latinoamericanas.


Session Organizer & Chair: Maria Alessandra Woolson; Maria.Woolson@uvm.edu

Presenter 1: Marcela López-Vallejo Olvera; 
Presenter 2: Bernardo Bolaños;
Presenter 3: Waleska Sanabria-Leon; 
Presenter 4: Beatriz Hernández-Pérez;
Presenter 5: Diego A. Melo & Ximena González Serrano,
Presenter 6: Lorena De la Puente Burlando;
Presenter 7: Alejandro Retamal; 
Presenter 8: Peter May

2. WORKSHOP II // TALLER II - patrocinado por la sección Ambiente:

Emerging Issues in Latin American Environmental Research


Session Organizer: Maria Alessandra Woolson; 
Chair: Lidia Ivonne Blasquez Martinez;

Presenter 1: Samuel Johnson; 
Presenter 2: Linda Etchart; 
Presenter 3: Delmy Tania Cruz Hernandez;
Presenter 4: Paul Merchant;
Presenter 5: Nathalia Paola Bonilla Cueva; 
Presenter 6: Georgina Vega Fregoso; 
Presenter 7: Isabella Alcañiz;
Presenter 8: Joao Lisboa

3. ROUND TABLE // MESA REDONDA - patrocinada por la sección Ambiente:

Extractivism, Agribusiness, and the complex dimensions of social (in)justice.

Despite the social and ecological impacts of resource extraction, the harnessing of such resources continues to feature prominently in the economic development strategies of Latin America. This Round Table will feature five presentations that will address a range of major food chain extractive industries in the Amazon region, such as palm oil and soy, and extraction of timber in Central America, to explore their related socio-environmental impacts. They will discuss related social (in)justice issues from a variety of perspectives, including: a view of the systematic damages to the most vulnerable populations in contact with these industries, matters of governance at various scales from local to transnational within a global political economy, extractivism-driven violence and criminality, and a novel feminist political ecology approach that addresses unequal gender relations in affected communities.


Presenter: Mark Ungar, Graduate Center, CUNY; 
Presenter: Diana Cordoba, Queen's University; 
Presenter: Nírvia Ravena Sousa, CAAS, Brazil and Federal U. of Pará;
Presenter: Mariana Ribeiro Porto Araujo, Oregon State University;
Presenter: Susane Cristini Gomes Ferreira, Federal U. of Pará; 

Session Organizer: & Chair Maria Alessandra Woolson; 


4. INTERSECTION PANEL // PANEL ITERSECCION - patrocinada por las secciones Ambiente y México:

"Capitalist "Green" Transitions? Extractivism, Embodied Territories and Nature's Rights"

ABSTRACT: In 1972, the Club of Rome published the document "The limits of growth", and for the first time questioned the paradigm of modernizing development, which through industrialization and economic growth had been assumed to guarantee the eradication of poverty. Shortly after, the oil crisis would touch the raw nerve of human dependence on fossil fuels as the basis of the technological and economic model, along with a multitude of negative externalities of socio-environmental nature. Today, at the dawn of depletion of these energy sources and the imminent threat of climate change and social collapse, the energy transition has become an imperative for large transnational corporations and states, who continue to seek alternatives to maintain and increase their level of dominance, and by using "clean" energy sources guarantee the perpetuation of the economic system. This is also a response to pressures and questions from civil society about the socio-environmental consequences that have made this era the Capitalocene. However, and contrary to expectations due to interrogations of their social-environmental viability, this "green energy imperative" has given new impetus to extractivism. Through the exploration and extraction of new raw materials such as lithium, the construction of megaprojects and the dispossession of the original peoples of their territories to build fields for the production of wind and solar energy or appropriate their water resources. Through case studies in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru and Chile, this panel will present different perspectives of this paradoxical energy transition process in Latin America.


1.. Buen Vivir with Chinese characteristics: motives behind the decision to build the Coca Coca Sinclair dam in Ecuador
Author: Linda Etchart; Kingston University London
2. Socio-environmental impact of strategic metals mining for the energy transition
Author: Sol Pérez Jiménez; Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
3. Positioned for consensus: Market-based approaches, civil society, and the role of the state in Chile's coal phase-out
Author: Beatriz Hernández-Pérez; Universidad Diego Portales
4. El Acuerdo de Escazú como un nuevo espacio de disputa socioambiental
Author: César Gamboa; Derecho Ambiente y Recursos Naturales
5. ¿Emociones en movimiento, o movidas por las emociones? La resistencia cotidiana a las empresas mineras canadienses en Chiapas, México.
Author: LinaMar Campos Flores; Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Iztapalapa

Session Organizer: Maria Alessandra Woolson; University of Vermont
Chair: Lidia Ivonne Blasquez Martinez; Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana- Lerma


5. ROUND TABLE // MESA REDONDA - oraginzada por miembros de la sección:

Mujeres diversas en paisajes neoliberales entre la toxicidad y la resistencia

El objetivo de la mesa es ubicar los nodos de toxicidad neoliberal y las resistencias protagonizadas por mujeres en territorios de sacrificio en America Latina. La mesa discutirá́ las afectaciones hacia la vida de mujeres, comunidades y territorios que provocan los escenarios de toxicidad neoliberal que se han multiplicado en Latinoamérica, así como también evidenciaremos las diversas insurgencias y resistencias femeninas que hacen frente a estos territorios de sacrificios desde una mirada de la ecología política feminista interseccional.


• Presenter & Chair: Nathalia Bonilla. Maestrante en antropología. FLACSO- Ecuador y miembro de Acción Ecológica.  
• Presenter & Organizer: Dra. Delmy Tania Cruz Hernández. Centro de Investigaciones sobre Mesoamerica y la Frontera Sur de Chiapas (CIMSUR-UNAM). 
• Presenter: Dra. Lisset Coba. Flacso Ecuador. Departamento de Sociologia y Género. 
• Presenter: Lorena Rodríguez Lezica. Departamento de Sociología, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República. Doctoranta en estudios agrarios
• Presenter: Rebeca Arguedas Ramírez. UNED Costa Rica. Máster en Estudios Latinoamericanos. 


6. PANEL - oraginzado por miembros de la sección:

Climate migration in Latin America: Geopolitics and socio-environmental vulnerability

Chairs & Presenter: Bernardo Bolaños (UAM, Mexico City)

The 6th IPCC assessment report, dated August 9, 2021, reviews 14 thousand recent scientific articles on global environmental change. Therefore, it constitutes a reliable meta-analysis to model the future (as opposed to isolated climatological models). Although the report does not directly address the issue of environmentally-induced human displacement, it does allow estimating the probable mobility of billions of people throughout this century. In particular, this document projects the increase of droughts in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, the Amazonian countries and Chile, as well as the absence of these in Canada and most of the United States. This anticipates the continuity of migratory flows towards North America and the emergence of others towards the Andean areas (affected, however, by the melting of glaciers). The report also shows the increase in heat waves that will make life difficult in very humid hot cities (particularly in the Gulf of Cortez and the Gulf of Mexico).
Environmentally induced migration is a central issue in contemporary geopolitics. Great powers strategically define vulnerability to climate change. Adaptation aid is granted based on political considerations of the donors, including incoming migratory flows. This panel will discuss all the above mentioned issues, with emphasis on migration to North America.

Forced migration from Central America to Mexico: between the impunity of criminal violence and the invisibility of natural disasters

Presenter: Alethia Fernández de la Reguera Ahedo, IIJ – UNAM

Climate change, natural disasters and environmental degradation have recently been identified by UNHCR as the cause of massive internal and international displacement (Parra, 2020) as they directly or indirectly damage people's lives and food systems. Sometimes climate change affections result from a series of decisions whose consequences are evident many years later. Migration patterns in Central America have recently changed from labor to forced migration as a result of both criminal violence and climate conditions. In November 2020, after Hurricanes Eta and Iota devastated entire communities in Honduras, a new caravan of displaced people arrived to the Mexican border. Taking into account that environmental degradation can be a slow process affecting labour markets and social life or a sudden destruction of housing and land, in the past five years, the narratives of migrants highlight criminal violence over climate as the main driver for migrating. This article analyses the narratives of Central American migrants in Mexico to reflect on the complexity of the interrelation between climate conditions, violence and displacements. Despite environmental migration being on the agenda of international organizations, and considered in the 2018 Global Compact for Migration, there is still a lack of international consensus in the determination of environmental reasons as the cause of migration (Casillas, 2020). This article also reflects on the urgency of including climate refugees in the 1951 Convention on Refugees as a benchmark to address the complexity of how structural violence is embedded in forced migration.