Environmental histories and interdisciplinary perspectives on resilience in the tropical Andes workshop

02.06 - 03.06.2021  
Contact person:
J.F. Franco-Gaviria, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The PAGES-supported workshop "Environmental histories and interdisciplinary perspectives on resilience in the tropical Andes" will be held online from 2-3 June 2021.

The sessions on both days run from 13:00-17:00 UTC.

This meeting was originally planned to be an in-person meeting in Bogota, Colombia, in August 2020, and then February 2021.


This is an open virtual workshop. This event will also include breakout activities with a limited capacity of 40 participants.

The topic covers environmental history, resilience, and adaptability of socio-ecological systems in the tropical Andes over the past 10,000 years, including prehistory and recent history.


Over the past decade, the resilience and adaptive processes of socio-ecological systems to environmental change have become central to discussions about the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources such as forests. Resilient systems are those that can continue their core functions in the face of rapid, and often unexpected, change (Walker et al. 2004).

To understand the resilient capacity of complex systems such as the Andean ecosystems requires two elements i) an interdisciplinary analysis of ecological and social processes through different spatial and temporal scales, and ii) the innovative articulation of quantitative and qualitative methods around historical milestones.

The current environmental crisis requires that measures of mitigation, adaptation, and restoration develop a complex framework by involving multiple variables, actors and contexts that could have influenced ecological degradation but also restoration at different moments in history. Scientific response to these problems requires elaborate innovative perspectives informed by interdisciplinary approaches, as we will develop in this workshop. This initiative offers an academic encounter and formation of an academic research network on environmental transformation in the tropical Andes with participation of policymakers that work directly on ecological restoration.

The present initiative seeks to:

- Study the magnitude and duration of environmental changes and their potential impact on humans and ecological processes in Andean ecosystems.
- Build an interdisciplinary academic network on understanding of the factors that have contributed to the resilience of the Andean ecosystems.
- Produce policy-relevant information through the understanding of long-term environmental change and their effects in social and ecological resilience.

Who can attend?

This workshop invites the research community of anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, paleoscientists, and others with an interest in environmental history to participate in discussions about past environmental changes and their effects on socioecological resilience and climate change in the tropical Andean ecosystems.


This workshop aims to improve our understanding of past environmental change and their effects on socio-ecological resilience in Andean ecosystems, integrating different disciplines and data sources. These objectives integrate human sociocultural practices and long-term environmental changes through paleoecology and ecological history. Also, this interdisciplinary integration will develop a methodological framework on the use of diverse archives to understand ecosystem resilience and inform future management constructed by participants of the workshop. These elements will consolidate a network of researchers that will continue the dialogue and diffusion to different publics concerning topics of environmental transformation in the Andes, their resilience capacity and the generation of policies for its restoration.


Information on how to register, and the deadline to register, will be provided as soon as possible.


The workshop will consist of two sessions in two days. Each day will focus on a specific topic related to environmental history and interdisciplinarity and have a similar structure.

The four-hour workshop will include an open introductory talk, an open panel discussion with three panelists and one moderator, a closed discussion in breakout rooms, final synthesis, and a poster session.

2 June, 13:00-17:00 UTC: Drivers of Environmental transformation in the Andes during pre-historic and historical times.

3 June, 13:00-17:00 UTC: Environmental History to understand contemporary socio-environmental challenges.

Keynote speakers

- Prof. Henry Hooghiemstra, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam
- Prof. Sonia Archila, Department of Anthropology, Universidad de los Andes


- Prof. Andres Etter, School of Environmental and Rural Studies, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana.
- Dr. Dunia Urrego, College of Life and Environmental Science, University of Exeter.
- Dr. Katherine Mora, School of Social Sciences, Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia.
- Dr. Francisco Javier Aceituno, Department of Anthropology, Universidad de Antioquia.
- Dr. Olga Lucia Hernandez, Research leader of Sustainability in Urban-Rural Landscapes, Research Institute of Biological Resources Alexander von Humboldt.
- Dr. Herman Amaya, Director of the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Boyacá (CORPOBOYACÁ).
- Dr. Juan Carlos Berrio, Department of Geography, University of Leicester.

Further information

Please contact the workshop organizers Juan Felipe Franco-Gaviria: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Mónica Amador: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.