PhD Seminar - Narratives of adaptation for future-oriented conservation

If you'd like to join via Zoom for the webinar, please register here.

Setting aside areas of land, water, or sea to conserve biodiversity and natural resources in the long-term, is a common practice worldwide. Under the Post 2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the Convention of Biological Diversity is planning to expand by at least 30% the protection of areas of land and sea of global relevance for biodiversity and its contribution to people. Protected areas provide a range of benefits for society and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals, making a case for interdisciplinary work beyond the traditional focus on just protecting biodiversity.

Conservation of biodiversity has traditionally been concerned with preserving and restoring biodiversity, ecosystems services, and unique landscapes under relatively stable climates. Climate change is already affecting ecosystems functionality and the supply of ecosystem services, bringing new and inevitable social-ecological transformations, where traditional conservation approaches may no longer be appropriate.

Claudia Munera-Roldan's research is an invitation to rethink the ‘how and why’ of conservation strategies under climate change, question the purpose of conservation programs, and the practical implications of climate change for conservation strategies. She applied theoretical perspectives of social change and futures thinking approaches, to understand how ecological change is perceived and anticipated, influencing adaptation options in Australia, Colombia, and South Africa.

This seminar will discuss the narratives of adaptation shaping conservation policies in the three countries, documenting the diverse understandings of adaptation and expectations for managing protected areas under climate change. The research examines the cultural, political, and historical contexts framing climate adaptation narratives in these countries and how such narratives influence the implementation of adaptation. The findings can inform future-oriented practices to assess and implement processes of adaptation and address the transformational challenges to build resilient, just futures for nature and people.

PS: a ‘lighter’ preamble of the research can be found in the link below, come to the final seminar to find out how it finishes!


About the Speaker

Claudia Munera-Roldan's career started as a conservation biologist in her native Colombia. But she has always been curious about the implications of social-ecological change in decision-making and the social and livelihood impacts of environmental conservation and sustainable development initiatives. While living and working in Central America, Claudia transitioned towards social sciences and interdisciplinary studies, and then did a Master on World Heritage and Cultural Projects for Development in Italy.

Claudia's career has been a long but rewarding journey working in climate change adaptation, environmental governance, agribusinesses, ecotourism, and sustainable development projectsin Latin America, and recently Australia and South Africa. This experience has provided her with a broad perspective to understand the applicability of global trends at the local level, while linking science and policy.

In 2016 Claudia moved to Australia as a Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow at the Australian National University to work with the Conservation Futures project (implemented in Colombia). Her role was to map knowledge systems influencing environmental governance, support the co-design of future-oriented adaptive governance for natural resources management, to enable strategic thinking and collective learning options to navigate global changes. Claudia started her Ph.D. in 2018, and since 2017 she has been an active member of the Transformative Adaptation Research Alliance (TARA).

Claudia is also a keen birdwatcher and pretends to be a Chocolatier when Ph.D. studies allow.