Language and Nature: Natural Resource Management

  • Date:
  • Time: 2-4pm
  • Seminar Room 1, LHRI - 29-31 Clarendon Place, University of Leeds
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You are warmly invited to the fourth session of “Language and Nature” seminar series of this semester. In this session, Jon Lovett from University of Leeds and Julia Touza-Montero from University of York will talk about “Natural resource management”.

Jon Lovett, School of Geography, University of Leeds: Giving Spirits and Controlling Ancestors

This talk explores the nuanced complexities of the institutional economics of natural resource management and presents a challenge to linguistics for looking for the language that describes them. In a classic paper contrasting the economics of hunter-gatherers and agriculturists, the anthropologist Nurit Bird-David described a fundamental dichotomy between a system based on a ‘giving spirit’ and that of a ‘controlling ancestor’, which represent different types of values. In community-based natural resource management these values intertwine and are also part of hierarchies of control and access rights. Examples are used to present the basic taxonomy of these hierarchies as developed by Elinor Ostrom, and an economics-linguistic research agenda proposed.

Julia Touza-Montero, University of York : Bottom-up adaptation and vulnerability in the context of environmental hazards: a case study of coastal communities in the Colombian Caribbean.

Colombia has been seriously affected by El Niño-La Niña, and the impacts on coastal ecosystems and the communities that they support have been particularly severe. These communities live in, interact with, and depend on the coastal lagoon ecosystems. Thus, the ecological and social importance of the mangroves and associated coastal lagoons, the poor living standards of its communities, its racial composition and the range of threats it faces from both sudden and slow-onset environmental hazards, compounded by socio-economic and political difficulties, makes the areas particularly well-suited as exemplar systems for understanding the communities’ adaptation strategies to increasing climatic threats. The talk will describe how communities perceive how they are impacted by, and how they are responding to the variation of climatic conditions, showing that their capacity to respond to environmental stressors is short term, bottom up, and unplanned, and therefore does not reduce vulnerability.

All welcome!

Language and Nature 8 Dec 2017_Jon Lovett