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Date(s) - April 3, 2024
9:30 am - 10:30 am


In Latin America, democracy has been thwarted by extractive regimes that exclude many populations (indigenous and afro-descendent populations in particular) from environmental decision-making and from enjoying the benefits of natural resources while they degrade the environment in ways that disproportionately harm frontline communities. At the same time, these processes undermine the wellbeing of people around the world through biodiversity and climate change crises. Through transdisciplinary dialogue and action, the Just Social Ecological Transition in Latin America Program (JSET-LA) fosters a community that centers a more democratic research praxis by responding to and working with engaged practitioners, community members, and scholars from Latin America. In this panel, we reflect on the lessons learned within the first year of the Program, about the importance of, opportunities for, and challenges to center justice in social-ecological and sustainability focused action.


Andrea Baudoin Farah, Assistant Professor, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University
Andrea Baudoin Farah is an interdisciplinary ecologist with multiple research interests around questions of change and transformation of socioecological systems in rural and indigenous lands. The geographic focus of her work has mostly been the Andes-Amazon. Her current research explores the impacts of land use change and climate change on livelihoods and wellbeing in the Llanos de Moxos wetland complex in the Bolivian Amazon, a biocultural landscape increasingly connected to global commodity chains. She is assistant professor at the Ecosystem Science and Sustainability Department at Colorado State University and co-director of the Just Social-Ecological Transitions in Latin America Program.

Joel Correia, Assistant Professor, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University
Joel Correia is a human-environment geographer who investigates how landscape change and natural resource governance shape societal inequalities manifest as climate and environmental injustice in Latin America. Correia’s research currently focuses on indigenous territorial management and land rights, legacies of settler colonialism, expanding agrarian frontiers, political ecologies of infrastructure, and relationships between biocultural diversity, climate change mitigation, and conservation. Correia is an assistant professor at Colorado State University in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Department where he is co-director of the Just Social-Ecological Transitions in Latin America Program and principal investigator for the Climate and Environmental Justice Futures Collaborative.

Marcela Velasco, Associate Professor, Political Science, Colorado State University
Marcela Velasco is an associate professor of political science at Colorado State University. She teaches courses in comparative and environment politics, and her research centers on local governance in multiethnic municipalities in Colombia. Her current work includes collaborative research with indigenous and Afro-Colombian organizations in Colombia’s Pacific Coast, a multiethnic region affected by high levels of violence.

Ryan Finchum, Director, Center for Protected Area Management, Colorado State University
Ryan Finchum is director of the Center for Protected Area Management at CSU. The Center focuses on capacity sharing programs for people involved in protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures around the world. Finchum has developed and implemented communities of practice, seminars, and other capacity-sharing events for over 17,000 people from 100 countries. His primary area of interest is developing impactful, sustainable capacity-sharing programs that bring together ideas and inspiration from around the world. When designing programs, he focuses on both the tangible (importance of sharing and developing technical skills) and intangible (the individual confidence that people have to take action) benefits of capacity-sharing and development.

Paula Cepeda, Ph.D. Student, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Colorado State University
Paula Cepeda is a Ph.D. student in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resources Program at Colorado State University. Her expertise lies in the conservation of non-timber forest products and sustainable resource utilization in the Colombian Andes. Currently, she is passionately engaged in research on conservation strategies and climate change adaptation for campesinos in Colombia during the post-conflict period.