Colombia River Stories:improving socio-environmental understandings for building sustainable peace

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Social & Political Sciences

Abstract

Colombia is in the process of transitioning from one of the most protracted civil conflicts in the world to peace. However, one of the major societal issues for post-conflict transitions in Colombia is how to ensure the inclusion and participation of vulnerable and marginalised groups in transition processes so that their knowledges, abilities and capacities are represented, and so that they can influence post-conflict development. This raises questions of how innovative community- engaged and participatory processes can achieve greater inclusivity in peace building processes. It also raises the question of how different conflict actors can be encouraged and facilitated to articulate their knowledge and experience of conflict in ways that enable their actions to be explained to one another, and that support a shift from narrow understandings of the causes of conflict based on personal experience to more expansive understandings that are based on collective experiences.
In this research, we focus on riverine communities along the Atrato River - the main artery of Choco. These communities have been deeply impacted by armed actors who are engaged in widespread, illegal alluvial gold mining which is a key factor in their forced displacement and the loss of traditional, sustainable livelihoods. Despite a 2017 Colombian Constitutional Court ruling to empower riverine communities with 'bio-cultural rights' that protect their land title and livelihoods, they remain marginalised. They struggle to make their voices heard and to influence and inform peace building processes. This marginalisation has also been experienced by the river itself, whose voice has been silenced through the abandonment of state-sponsored environmental monitoring programmes at the height of the conflict. As a result, the effects of conflict and alluvial mining on the form and function of the river, and the impacts of these on interactions between armed actors, the river, and the communities it sustains are poorly understood. This will only be addressed if marginalised voices of communities and the river are articulated and amplified so that their knowledges, abilities and capacities can be integrated into sustainable peace building processes. Achieving this is the primary aim of this project.
Conceptually, our project builds on a key emphasis of peace processes worldwide: the capture and re-telling of testimony so that conflict actors can better appreciate the complexities of the conflict in which they are engaged, and the inter-relationships and feedbacks between their actions, and those of others, which fuel the conflict. Such knowledge is a fundamental precursor to the development of sustainable and feasible strategies for peace. The project is structured and designed to elicit, analyse and co-produce testimonies as an integrated 'river story', sourced from multiple participants and perspectives - including marginalised human actors and the river itself. The project therefore uses an innovative and multi- disciplinary methodology that brings social scientists and natural scientists together - integrating their research methods and techniques to capture human stories through community-level, participatory research and the river's story through field- based scientific monitoring and environmental reconstruction and mapping. The story books that are produced, and the policy briefs that they underpin, will be the vehicles through which policy-makers are bought into dialogue with the marginalised voices of both riverine communities and the river itself, and thorough which they improved understandings of the key actors and drivers of conflict in Choco' and the priorities and strategies for sustainable peace building, will be gained.

Planned Impact

The project will develop a series of 'River Stories' to exploit the timeliness of the Colombian Constitutional Court Ruling T- 622, which recognises the River Atrato as a bearer of rights and calls on both communities and the state to be its 'Guardians'. The ruling identifies the rights of communities to physical, cultural and spiritual survival, guaranteeing their traditional livelihoods. The ruling calls on the Colombian state to ensure the rights are enforced - and it demands that local people are empowered to manage their river properly and demand the proper implementing of the ruling. We will work with the Ministry for Environment and Development, international NGOs and specialist networks to improve the processes of sustainable peace building in Colombia, particularly with Afro-Colombian communities. Our impact strategy is directly informed through the co-produced priorities formulated through longstanding relationships with Colombian and UK partner organisations.
Our pilot research in Chocó in August 2017 highlighted that a key challenge facing riverine communities is the effect of non-regulated alluvial gold mining, which undermines both livelihoods and security. However communities face a lack of available, accessible and reliable data on how the socio-environment has been affected by alluvial gold mining and conflict. This research will inform their strategies to engage with state and international actors to push for the rehabilitation of their environment and the development of sustainable peace.
The project targets populations at local, regional, national and international level. By having communities and practitioners as partners, we also locate impact at the centre of the research model so that fresh understandings that are generated can be fed directly into, and influence, policy debates. Knowledge created by the research will have usable implications beyond the case study sites. Three main impact strategies will be developed:
1.Co-production with comunities of a range of outputs targeted at different decision makers and available in different formats in order to democratise of the voices that are captured, shared, amplified and integrated during reconciliation and peace building processes.
2.Capacity Building: We will build capacity among community members alongside the Atrato River in environemtal monitoring technquies so that they can act as 'Guardians' of the river (as mandated in Court Ruling T-622) and thus ensure a more inclusive and sustainable transition to peace.
3.Communication of river stories, which has the dual purpose of raising awareness among different constituencies of the interconnected challenges to peace in Choco' with regard to the wider socio-environment and ensuring that the voices of Afro-Colombian communities in Choco' are included processes of sustainable peace building. Research outputs will inform communities' strategies to engage with state and international actors to push for the rehabilitation of their environment and the development of sustainable peace.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Rivers play a central role in the culture, economy and social life of the people of Chocó. However, gold mining linked to the country's long-running internal conflict has caused devastating social and environmental damage along the river Atrato. Communities' success in securing that the Atrato gains legal recognition as a subject of rights (T-622) marked a significant step forward in socio-environmental protection. However, a major challenge to implementation is the lack of robust scientific data on the state of the river. Our key findings/activities:
1. Multiple interviews and workshops with key stakeholders in policy communities in Colombia, as well as inhabitants of the two municipalities of Rio Quito and Medio Atrato, uncovered fresh insights into individual and community knowledges of the conflict ecosystem in Chocó over time.
2. All new mining areas have been mapped from satellite imagery for the period 2008 - 2019 - primarily from Sentinel 1 radar imagery that can penetrate cloud cover. Using satellite radar imagery from ESA's Sentinel-1a and Sentinel-1b satellites we can detect the locations of gold mining dredges, the associated areas of deforestation and excavation at weekly intervals. Analysis of changes in the location of the area-weighted centroids of the new mining areas through time identifies a clear pattern in the spatio-temporal dynamics of the mining. Their trajectories show mining originated in the upper catchment and moved progressively downstream over the analysis period.
3. New and context appropriate citizen science methodology generated community led data sets to monitor river health. Our partner, Pastoral Social, ensures sustainability by embedding in its public health programme. This builds capacity among riverine communities in recognising how different elements of river health are linked (using the model of a functional pyramid) as well as providing clear tools on monitoring river health and environmental change. We have trained volunteers in river monitoring techniques. Training materials (manual and videos) are available to all participants (and online).
4. Mining has had a dramatic impact on the form of river channels in mining related areas and suspended sediment constitutes a major pollutant (deeper research needed). The relationship between the river and its flood plain has been fundamental changed and disconnected. Comparative analysis of the Rio Quito channel pre mining (circa 1980) and post mining shows a fundamental change in the character of the channel. The pre-disturbance, single-thread meandering channel has been replaced by a multi-thread channel in all reaches of the 90km-long main channel. Connected channel lengths have increased by more than 2.5 times in the most disturbed reaches with in excess of 2 channel bifurcations per km of channel observed. This increases vulnerability of communities to flooding (and drought).
Together these different data sources are in the process of being cross analysed and validated within communities. These will be curated to form 'river stories' to provide accessible data to groups who advocate for the Atrato's rights.
Exploitation Route A key impetus for this research is to co-produce accessible data for communities to advocate for the rights of their river. To this end:
1. CARITAS declared the Atrato an emblematic case for their Colombia Working Group (04/2019-2021). Partners Caritas Colombia, SCIAF and ABColombia are using our research findings in their advocacy programmes. They are developing education and awareness building initiatives (to which we are contributing through our citizen science component) and developing international awareness raising activities around the specific case of the Atrato River. We provided both overview reports and video testimonies to advocacy teams.
2. We secured funding for a River Guardians' delegation to Europe: we organised workshops in Glasgow and Nottingham, and meetings at the UK, Scottish and EU parliaments, with key governmental and civil society bodies to raise awareness of and advocate for the implementation of T-622 and the on-going Humanitarian crisis in Chocó.
3. We met, provided advice and shared data with the Colombian Ministry of Environment (feeding into the development of a River Restoration Action Plan).
4. We met and shared data with the Environmental Ombudsman in Colombia and now sit on the Expert Committee to advise the organisations charged with implementing T-622.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL https://chocoriverstories.org/
 
Description Our impact strategy is directly informed through our relationships with Colombian and UK partner organisations. Raising awareness and capacity at a community level: In January 2019, we facilitated a number of workshops in Chocó to develop our citizen science programme with communities along the Atrato River. The research team trained volunteer community members in basic techniques to monitor river health in two municipalities and have been successful in collecting weekly data since April 2019. In Rio Quito, the newly trained team tested drinking water samples for the presence of coliform bacteria, presented findings to the community and were able to offer guidance on boiling water etc. This element of our research has been embedded into the public health programme of the local Pastoral Social (Caritas Colombia). In addition to workshops in communities, an online video training course and written training manual in Spanish have been developed and are publically available on the project website and youtube. Raising awareness at a national (Colombia) level: We continue to develop our relationships with national and international organisations to feed into advocacy to demand the implementation of Constitutional Court Ruling T-622. Members of the research team have held a number of targeted knowledge exchange meetings with both governmental and non-governmental organisations in Colombia. We have formally fed into the implementation of the Ruling T-622 through our assessment of the baseline study and the review of the River Restoration Action Plan and revisions were made in response to our recommendations. Raising awareness at an international (Europe) level: We developed a series of targeted advocacy activities to inform, support, and increase the impact of actions coordinated by the CARITAS network (Colombia Working Group) and local river guardians in support of the River Atrato as an emblematic case. In October 2019, we organised workshops in Glasgow and Nottingham, and meetings at the UK, Scottish and EU parliaments. We met key governmental and civil society bodies in London, Brussels and Paris to raise awareness of and advocate for the implementation of T-622 and the on-going Humanitarian crisis in Chocó. The Minister for Equalities and Older People cited our research in the debate on international Human Rights day at the Scottish Parliament.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Letter to Minister in response for draft T-622 Action Plan
Geographic Reach South America 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
URL https://www.abcolombia.org.uk/colombia-river-stories-letter-to-minister-murillo/
 
Description Letter to T-622 Scientific Advisory Board in response to T-622 Action Plan
Geographic Reach South America 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
 
Description River Stories Project Team appointed to T-622 Advisory Board
Geographic Reach South America 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description University of Glasgow - ESRC IAA Fund
Amount £13,600 (GBP)
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2020 
End 09/2020
 
Description University of Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Flexible Fund
Amount £13,400 (GBP)
Funding ID GKE221 
Organisation University of Glasgow 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2019 
End 09/2019
 
Description University of Nottingham ESRC Impact Accelerator Account Mode A
Amount £2,480 (GBP)
Organisation University of Nottingham 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2019 
End 11/2019
 
Description Jesus Collaboration 
Organisation University of Cartagena
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Reciprocal visits by research staff Email and Skype meeting exchange Hosting a visiting PhD student
Collaborator Contribution Selection of student to send to Glasgow Analysis of samples Contribution of senior staff time to collaboration
Impact Hosting a visiting student from Cartgena £75,000 SFC GCRF award with activities ongoing.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Sola collaboration 
Organisation The Technical University Ibadan
Country Nigeria 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Hosted visiting researchers Organised and hosted thematic workshops
Collaborator Contribution Provided data and communicated information
Impact £11,000 SFC GCRF project which is ongoing.
Start Year 2019
 
Description A River with Rights? Stories of struggle for biocultural rights in the Colombian armed conflict 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 80 people attended a public lecture on processes of struggle for biocultural rights in the Colombian armed conflict. Testimonies were shared by Colombian Human Rights Defenders who work along the Atrato basin. The talk was followed by general discussion, and the porject PI received multiple emails afterwards to request further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-river-with-rights-stories-of-struggle-for-rights-in-the-colombian-arm...
 
Description A River with rights? Interrogating spaces for socio-environmental resistance in Chocó, Colombia 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Mo Hume presented paper on research at the Annual Association of Geographers in Washington DC. The paper sparked questions and discussions afterwards and Hume was invited to give a further talk in UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.aag.org/galleries/conference-files/AAG_2019_DC_print_program.pdf
 
Description Article for PHYS.ORG online newsletter about the preliminary fieldwork and mapping of illegal giold mining by the Colombia River Stories project team 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Article for PHYS.ORG online newsletter about the preliminary fieldwork and mapping of illegal giold mining by the Colombia River Stories project team, aimed at the general public, particularly secondary school students.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://phys.org/news/2018-09-aim-colombia-illegal-gold.html
 
Description Article for The Drouth - 'Humanitarian Crisis, Dignity and Hope on the Río Atrato' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An article written for the launch of The Drouth's new website, primarily aimed at engaging public audiences at a national level.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.thedrouth.org/humanitarian-crisis-dignity-and-hope-on-the-rio-atrato-allan-gillies/
 
Description Bang to Rights - Rights Lab Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A workshop bringing the Atrato River Guardians and the Nottingham Rights Lab researchers together to explore the potential of future research and finding opportunities. Attended by 20 rights lab researchers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Bang to Rights MSc workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 35 MSc Environmental Leadership and Management students attended a workshop and lunch with three Atrato Guardians visiting the UK - sparking questions and discussions around the role of environmental rights and raising awareness of the issues presented by the Atrato River.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Bang to Rights Public Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact An evening public lecture attended by ~65 members of the general public and University from across the Nottinghamshire region. Presentations by Nick Mount, Todd Landman and the Atrato River Guardians (visiting from Colombia) aimed at raising awareness and debate around the intersections of violence, conflict, environmental rights and gold mining in the Atrato.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://chocoriverstories.org/bang/
 
Description Bete River Health and Citizen Science Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact River health workshop in Bete. Introduced community to concepts of river health and engaged community in the production of 'rich pictures'. Capacity building delivered in equipment and methods for undertaking citizen science water quality monitoring.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Blog for LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre - 'From Bolivian cocaine to Colombian gold, low-level involvement in illicit economies is often driven by poverty and marginalisation' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog for LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre on the relationship between illicit economies (such as illegal gold mining), conflict and development. The blog aimed to engage public interest in the research, as well policymaker, NGO and academic audiences. It has been shared widely on social media platforms.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/latamcaribbean/2019/04/05/from-bolivian-cocaine-to-colombian-gold-low-level-...
 
Description CAFOD roundtable 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact A round table between the project team, Atrato Guardians and practitioners / academics examining the case of the Atrato and exploring opportunities for future collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Capacity building instructional videos for river health monitoring 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Series of short videos training people in river health monitoring. Used as a training resource for communities participating in Citizen Science (after face to face workshops)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-sdkXb_EI5fCRJApZcSBYw
 
Description Citizen Science Workshop Pilot UTCH 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 8 members of the UTCH Limnology Research Group attended a pilot of the citizen science workshop to be run in the Bete and Paimado communities. Delivered 'rich picture' of river health and raised questions about how communities could be engaged to monitor river health.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Coliform testing - Paimado 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Coliform testing of Paimado water supply and reporting of results to community. Community leaders in Paimado had raised concerns about the safety of their drinking water supply and requested that we test it. We did so, finding high coliform counts and were able to advise the community of the importance of boiling their drinking water - especially for vulnerable groups.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description European Commission DEVCO meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with DEVCO staff focused on Colombia and Latin America with objective of lobbying European Commission for action in pressuring Colombian Government to support the peace deal and implement T-622 in full.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Geographical Association Lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact 150 A-level students and teachers attended the Nottingham Branch Autumn Geographical Association Lecture that explored the potential of environmental rights in the context of the Atrato River. An extensive discussion followed with a number of follow up emails from students asking for more information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/education/events/2019-20/ga-20nov.aspx
 
Description IDEAM Hydrology Team Event 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Workshop at IDEAM to examine data needs and availability for effective hydrological / water quality monitoring and modelling of the Atrato in the context of T-622 ruling. Resulted in development of data sharing agreement and raised debate about whether the current river / water quality monitoring programme is adequate for the T-622 ruling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Invited talk 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited presentation at the University of Strathclyde Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

'Fingerprinting the Hydrosphere: The power of stable isotopic tracers'

Presentation to c. 50 academics (mainly staff with some further students)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description MASS Doctoral Training Programme Water Challenge 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact An 8-week challenge engaging PhD students from the Leverhulme MASS DTP in capacity building in the area of rainfall-runoff modelling as a part of socio-environmental research. Developed skills in the use of distributed hydrological modelling software, GIS and overcoming the challenges of modelling in sparse data contexts.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mathematics/prospective/research/mass/mass.aspx
 
Description Meeting with BEIS staff including UK PACT Colombia Lead 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with key BEIS staff focused on Colombia with objective of lobbying UK Government for action in pressuring Colombian Government to implement T-622 in full.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Colombian Ombudsman team with responsibility for follow up on T-622 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Research team members attended a series of meetings with the Ombudsman's office in Bogotá and shared preliminary research findings. This has resulted in our membership of the Expert Committee to advise on the implementation of T-622.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with FCO Latin America staff 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with key FCO staff focused on Colombia with objective of lobbying UK Government for action in pressuring Colombian Government to implement T-622 in full.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Frances Fitzgerald MEP 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Raising the case of the Atrato, the Colombian peace process and the T-622 sentence with Frances Fitzgerald MEP (ex-Irish justice minister). Objective of bringing a resolution to the European Parliament.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Irish Ambassador to Colombia, HE Alison Milton 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Mo Hume met with HE Alison Milton, Irish Ambassador to Colombia, to inform her about the context in Chocó. She asked various questions about the research and has requested follow up information. The meeting was useful to facilitate further meetings with Irish MEPs at the EU parliament in October 2019 to encourage parliamentary questions around the situation of Human Rights in Colombia. Frances Fitzgerald MEP has requested further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Matt McCarthy (MEP) aides 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting to lobby MEPs to raise questions about / propose resolution in support of the peace process and T-622 sentence in the European Parliament
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with Minister Christina McKelvie, Scottish Government 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Research team members together with River Guardians and HUman Rights Defenders from Colombia attended meeting with Minister Christina McKelvie to raise awareness about humanitarian crisis in Chocó, Colombia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12422&mode=pdf
 
Description Meeting with the Defensoría del Pueblo 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with three representatives of the Defensoría del Pueblo, working on the rights of indigenous and ethnic groups in Chocó. The aim of the meeting was to share information about the research project and explore ways of collaborating to support the implementation of T-622. The Defensoría offered ongoing support to the project and were very keen to see the results of the study.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with the UK Permanent Representation to the EU 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with representatives from UK, German and Finnish permanent representations to the EU with the objective of raising awareness about the Atrato ruling and the Colombian peace process.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting with the UK Permanent Representation to the EU, Germany and Finland 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Team members, together with River Guardians and partner organisation representatives, met representatives from the permanent delegations of UK. Denmark and Finland to raise awareness about Court Ruling T-622 and the Humanitarian Crisis in Chocó. After presentations, the diplomats asked questions and requested further information.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Mongabay Video - Toxic River 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Provided expertise to, and appeared in, Mongabay's Toxic River video released online on 10th October 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://news.mongabay.com/2019/10/toxic-river-mining-mercury-and-murder-continue-to-plague-colombias...
 
Description Newspaper article: A river of life, a river of death 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Article that explores the socio-economic drivers of conflict on the Atrato basin in Colombia in one of the main Scottish Sunday papers. The article is based on an interview with two Human Rights Defenders who were visiting Glasgow to engage in advocacy around humanitarian crisis in Chocó, Colombia. Research team provided background information and translation for the journalist.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/a-river-of-life-a-river-of-death/
 
Description Paimado River Health and Citizen Science Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact River health workshop in Paimado. Attended by school children, their teachers and members of the community council. Built capacity in the understanding of river health and its causes and effects. Generated a team of citizen scientists to undertake water quality monitoring.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Paimado community council workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Workshop to explore initial findings from community river water sampling and analysis (citizen science).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Paper delivered at University of Strathclyde: Natural Resources Governance, Conflict and Socially Committed Futures A Conversation between Latin America and Europe 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Mo Hume gave a paper at Natural Resources Governance, Conflict and Socially Committed Futures: A Conversation between Latin America and Europe at the University of Strathclyde. around 70 people attended and links were made with environmental scholars and activists. Follow up communications have suggested potential for further research collaboration.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.engage.strath.ac.uk/event/612
 
Description Participation in Tierra Digna Diploma - Socio-environmental Activism 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I took part in a training workshop run by NGO Tierra Digna with 20 community leaders in Chocó, Colombia. The workshop addressed socio-environmental activism. As part of this, I introduced the participants to the key themes of our research project, and we discussed how the results of the study might inform their activism.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Participation in advocacy project led by Caritas Colombia on the Atrato River: Atrato: Un rio con derecho a vivir 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Team members shared preliminary research findings in the form of a report and provided video/written testimonies to inform the advocacy campaign of CARITAS Colombia on defending the rights of Atrato.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://especiales.caritascolombiana.org/quibdo-rio-atrato/
 
Description Poster presentation at the 2018 Geological Remote Sensing conference (GRSG2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This was a Poster presentation with a brief (3-minute) summary to the audience. The poster summarises the history and extent of illegal gold mining in the Choco study region, the uses of satellite remote sensing to detect and monitor the illegal mining and associated deforestation, and the preliminiary findings with regard to the Colombia River Stories project. The audience was mainly remote sensing professionals, academics and postgrad research students, including representatives of extractive industry companies (e.g. Shell, Rio Tinto, Anglo American). From the audience questions and comments, many were impressed with the River Stories objective of linking with local communities and seeking to build local capacity in using freely available remote sensing data and GIS freeware to produce maps that helped to strengthen community resilience.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.grsg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/GRSG-AGM-and-Conference-Abstract-Book-2018-081218...
 
Description Presentation at the annual conference of the Geological Remote SEnsing Group, Frascati, Italy. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation on the remote sensing findings of the Choco River Stories project, at the annual conference of the Geological Remote SEnsing Group, at ESA / ESRIN Frascati, Italy, 12 Dec 2019; an audience of c. 80 people with questions and discussion after my presentation.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.grsg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/GRSG2019_Programme_draft_V8.pdf
 
Description Presentation to Understanding Insurgencies workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact I presented early-research from the Colombia River Stories project to the research consortium Understanding Insurgencies (approx. 20 academics and practitioners). This resulted in new contacts for the project and an invitation to join the consortium.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://understandinginsurgencies.exeter.ac.uk/tag/glasgow/
 
Description Press release 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact A press release and short article on the project were developed with our partner SCIAF and published on the University of Glasgow Website and in the Scottish newspaper, The National
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/news/peopleprojects/headline_604768_en.html
 
Description Project Blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Blog for the School of Geography, University of Nottingham
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/geography/2018/08/28/the-real-rumble-in-the-jungle-violence-conflict-g...
 
Description Project Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Project website www.chocoriverstories.org
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019
URL http://www.chocoriverstories.org
 
Description Project team response to Atrato Restoration Action Plan 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Project response to the Action Plan published in response to the T-622 ruling.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project website blog - 'Chocó's rubbish and the rights of nature' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog describing Gillies' fieldwork experiences in Chocó, published on the project website to encourage engagement with our research. The project website had 683 visitors in 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://chocoriverstories.org/portfolio/blog/
 
Description Project website blog - 'Communities monitor river health on the Atrato' 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Team blog describing citizen science programme activities, published on the project website to encourage engagement with our research. The project website had 683 visitors in 2019.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://chocoriverstories.org/portfolio/blog/
 
Description Publication of Colombia River Stories Letter to Minister for Environment, Colombia, on ABColombia webiste 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact The Colombia River Studies team wrote a letter to the Colombian Minister of the Environment, Luis Gilberto Murillo, regarding the situation in the Atrato River in Chocó. In the letter, four key questions around the approach and methods that underpin the Environmental Action Plan were identified, and suggestions on how to improve on these were outlined, highlighting the need to ensure that experiences and lessons learned from previous similar projects will be considered in efforts to devise an effective plan and avoiding possible pitfalls.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.abcolombia.org.uk/colombia-river-stories-letter-to-minister-murillo/
 
Description SCIAF blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact I collaborated with Mo Hume on a blog for SCIAF raising awareness of the human rights crisis in Chocó and the research project. The blog has been shared on the social media channels of the project and SCIAF.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.sciaf.org.uk/news/278-the-struggle-for-human-rights-in-choco-colombia
 
Description Seminario Internacional sobre dinámicas socio-ambientales de los ecosistemas del Chocó biogeográfico 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 100 people - students, civil society representatives, local community leaders, national academic experts and research teams - attended the first international seminar on socio-environmental dynamics of the ecosystems of Chocó, at which there was a formal launch of the Colombia River Stores Project.
PI Hume and Co-I Teeuw presented research project overview and some initial findings.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.utch.edu.co/portal/es/noticias/2012-la-utch-desarrolló-conversatorio-sobre-sobre-dinámic...
 
Description TUC Meeting with Guardians and Project Team 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Meeting with key TUC staff focused on Colombia's peace process with objective of understanding how the TUC can help pressure the Colombian Government to implement T-622 and ensure ILO Convention 169 is being adhered to.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description UTCH Limnology Research Group - Citizen Science Discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact The UTCH Limnology Research Group attended a discussion exploring how citizen science could be used to monitor river function. This sparked debate around the opportunities and barriers to citizen science in Choco communities and the exchange of experiences of working with communities to undertake environmental monitoring in the Atrato Basin.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description UTCH Student Training 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Training workshop on the field collection, calibration and analysis methods for quantifying suspended sediment concentration in river water.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description University of Cartagena, Colombia, Seminar on sustainable geothermal development and envrionmental impacts of mining 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact I was invited to provide a seminar to ca. 50 postgraduate and undergraduate pupils from the university (and some staff) on hydrogeological investigations and my active research. Much interest was generated and we are now exploring the possibility of hosting visiting students from the University of Cartagena on these subjects.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description University of Nottingham Vision Magazine Feature - Gold's Devastating Price 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Colombia river stories featured in the University of Nottingham 'Vision' Magazine - its main outward-facing research publication issued annually. The magazine has a wide distribution and readership and is distributed to external organisations, University partners and the media.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/vision/gold-devastating-price
 
Description Workshop on River Rights at University of Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact One day interdisciplinary workshop, bringing together academics, policy makers and third sector to discuss rights of nature, through the lens of the Atrato case. Part of a series of events to raise awareness of the Atrato case in Europe.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_678538_en.html
 
Description Workshop with Nigerian researchers to share knowledge in socio-enviromental impacts of gold mining. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Research team presented findings and lessons learned from Colombia to a group of Nigerian researchers who were visiting the University of Glasgow around the socio-environmental impacts of gold mining. There was significant debate and we are exploring the possibilities of collaborative, comparative research.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://cradall.org/content/sfa-february-newsletter-glasgow-strengthens-ties-africa