Environmental Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean: Developing Frameworks for Sustainable and Equitable Natural Resource Use’ (ENGOV) is a collaborative research project between Latin American and European researchers funded by the European Commission. ENGOV focuses on the obstacles and possibilities for sustainable production systems that can generate both economic development and a more equitable knowledge input and distribution of benefits across ethnic, socioeconomic and gender lines in order to decrease poverty, exclusion, and environmental degradation in the region.
ENGOV addresses a range of important aspects and actors shaping environmental governance in Latin America and the Caribbean. It focuses on recent initiatives proposed by the state, private and civil society groups addressing multiple goals of sustainability, social justice, and local development.
Latin America and the Caribbean hosts nearly half of the world’s tropical forests, one quarter of the world’s potential arable land, one third of freshwater reserves, and a range of important mineral reserves. At the same time, the region accounts for one third of the world’s carbon emissions from land use changes, and faces increasing vulnerabilities due to climate change such as flooding, landslides, hurricanes, drought, pest outbreaks and glacier retreat. In this context where natural resources play a key role in the local livelihood and national economy, new initiatives from social movements, national governments, and private business have emerged as ways to fight the persistent inequalities, social injustices, and unsustainable production. How those initiatives have developed, and whether or not they represent tangible solutions for the environmental and social challenges remain to be answered. ENGOV addresses these questions through an integrated perspective, bringing the Latin American voice to the front.
Who this concerns?
Environmental governance is a relevant topic to a large range of stakeholders, including academics, state agencies, civil society organizations, and private companies. The members of the ENGOV consortium keep close contact with those stakeholders in order to build and exchange knowledge and to facilitate translation of empirical findings into policy suggestions for improved governance in the region. In addition, ENGOV welcomes collaboration with the media as a way to improve awareness of environmental challenges and opportunities in Latin America and the Caribbean among the non-academic audience in the region and overseas.
The ENGOV project goes beyond academic development to be also influential in environmental governance in Latin America and the Caribbean through direct or indirect engagement with policy-makers. Through active participation of the Latin American partners, ENGOV brings a perspective from the “South” to address governance challenges of sustainable and equitable natural resource use. In addition, ENGOV engages a new generation of social scientists in an international research network.