Thinking with Rivers for Environmental Peacebuilding: Community Strategies for the Defense of Four Rivers of the Magdalena-Cauca Macrobasin in Colombia

Network Project

The project Thinking with Rivers for Environmental Peacebuilding gathers diverse local and international research groups investigating socioecological conflicts in rivers in Colombia. We got together to strengthen the environmental peace-building processes developed by riverine communities of the rivers La Miel (Caldas), Sogamoso (Santander), Dormilón, and Nechí (Antioquia).

In Colombia, rivers are spaces for the reproduction and sometimes destruction of life. On the one hand, they are in constant socio-ecological transformation, as a result of phenomena such as the armed conflict, the extractivist development model, inequalities, etc. On the other hand, they are territories of life where riverside communities. Thus, our main aim is to advocate and research the social appropriation of citizen participatory mechanisms and socio-legal strategies for the transformation of socio-environmental conflicts.

At IRI THESys, Laura Betancur Alarcón, doctoral researcher of the Water Security for Whom? (W4W) project leads this initiative by collaborating with local organizations of the Sogamoso River, one of the dam-controlled rivers investigated by the W4W project.

‘Thinking with Rivers for Environmental Peacebuilding’ is supported by the German-Colombian Peace Institute (CAPAZ) and carried out by IRI THESys, the Colombian universities: Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Universidad de Caldas, and UniClaretiana; the NGO Instituto Popular de Capacitación (Colombia); and Wageningen University (The Netherlands).


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