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Worlding resilience in the Doña Juana Volcano-Páramo, Northern Andes (Colombia): A transdisciplinary view

Abstract

We present a transdisciplinary perspective for multiple actors interested in disaster-risk-reduction strategies in inhabited volcanoes, based on the novel approach of complexity and collaborative research. Our reflection is based on an ongoing research process that puts into dialogue scientific knowledge and local knowledge from Andean campesino communities inhabiting the Doña Juana Volcano-Páramo in the Latin American tropics. These local communities have experienced historically complex social, economic, and environmental conflicts in their territories; currently, most of them live in the buffer zones of the National Natural Park Doña Juana-Cascabel, which is part of Colombia’s national system of natural protected areas. We address inhabited Andean volcanoes as complex systems, which combine multi-temporal and spatial processes that allow for the emergence of nonlinear and heterogeneous social and ecological interdependencies. By transgressing disciplinary boundaries, we see an opportunity for building horizontal dialogues with communities inhabiting active volcanoes, understanding resilience, and eventually developing situated and collaborative disaster-risk-reduction strategies. The resulting vision is proposed as a fundamental methodology in settings such as south-western Colombia, marked by convoluted social dwelling patterns, and unequal biosocial and socioeconomic histories. Detached from positivistic and victimising perspectives, we seek to build knowledge on the antecedents, inheritance, persistence, and preservation of systems, ultimately enabling response-abilities for decision-making. The motivations, knowledge, and self-organisation capacities of the volcano inhabitants bring about new possibilities of doing locally while thinking globally. The transdisciplinary research approach allows us to situate our exchanges with the local community, and envision future collaborative paths towards promoting community-oriented forms of appropriation and transformation of a volcanic lifeworld.

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modified from Pardo et al. (2019). The DJVC is located in south-western Colombia (inlet), as the result of the Nazca Plate subduction under the South American Plate. The System Complex consists of three central volcanic edifices (Santa Helena, Ancestral Doña Juana, and Old Doña Juana), and three Holocene lava-dome complexes (Young Doña Juana, El Filo, and Totoral). The last eruption cycle (1897–1936 CE) was produced by the Young Doña Juana lava-domes, and mainly affected the town of Las Mesas. It is important to reinforce that to the northeast; the products of Doña Juana are interstratified with products sourced at the neighbouring Ánimas volcano (Agualongo and Young Animas external lithosomes). Modified from Pardo et al. (2019)

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Code availability

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Acknowledgements

This ongoing research is founded by the Vice-Chancellor of Research at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). We thank Silvia Restrepo for believing in the process and helping to materialise it as a Research Portfolio on Historical Ecology and Social Memory at Universidad de los Andes. In addition, funding was also obtained from the Patrimonio Autónomo-Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento para la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación Francisco José de Caldas, under the grant agreement No. 164-2019. This project would be impossible without the help of the Don Tomás Bravo’s family, Guido Gallardo, Ricardo Villota, Manuel Chávez, the staff at Doña Juana-Cascabel National Natural Parks during the entire process, particularly Leonardo Martínez, Guillermo A. Ordóñez, and Richard Muñoz. We also thank Bernardo Pulgarín (Servicio Geológico Colombiano), and the staff from the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Pasto and the Banco de la República of Pasto (Nariño). Last but not least, we thank the community of Las Mesas for their patience and trust in the collective research process. Tiziana Laudato is greatly thanked for the final English writing editorial process. We also thank Guido Giordano and an anonymous reviewer who extensively contributed to improve the final version of this manuscript.

Funding

This ongoing research is founded by the Vice-Chancellor of Research at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia). Funding was also obtained from the Patrimonio Autónomo-Fondo Nacional de Financiamiento para la Ciencia, la Tecnología y la Innovación Francisco José de Caldas, under grant agreement No. 164–2019, Colombia.

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Pardo, N., Espinosa, M.L., González-Arango, C. et al. Worlding resilience in the Doña Juana Volcano-Páramo, Northern Andes (Colombia): A transdisciplinary view. Nat Hazards 107, 1845–1880 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-021-04662-4

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Keywords

  • Collaborative research
  • Complexity
  • Learning communities
  • Resilience
  • Socio-ecological systems
  • Transdisciplinary research
  • Tropics
  • Volcano-Páramo