Policymakers and communities facing environmental challenges side by side
COMET-LA is a research project financed by the 7th framework programme of the European Commission, analyzing community-based management of environmental challenges in Latin America. Its epistemological approach is based on the conviction that the production of new knowledge requires inputs from different sources. Therefore, this whole project has been developed around a 'learning arena' in which researchers from different disciplines, civil society organizations, local authorities and communities, and policy makers have worked together, sharing knowledge. In this way, we have identified the factors that define bottom-up models of governance in sustainable socio-ecological systems in water, forest, biodiversity and coastal and marine area management, working in 3 case studies from Mexico, Colombia and Argentina.
The development of this research has produced a wide variety of lessons learned. Different theoretical and methodological approaches have been applied and adapted to working at the local level and, more importantly, have been adapted to be used by communities.
COMET-LA reaches its end having gathered a wealth of knowledge and experience. The aim of this Policy Conference is to share these results with politicians, authorities, other local communities and the scientific community, but especially with those decision and policy-makers determining the fate of natural resources. We aim to generate a lively discussion not only on the results of the project, but more importantly on its future consequences. We will talk about the issues that have emerged during the construction of knowledge with local communities, hoping to generate attention and enthusiasm about the need to continue expanding this approach and its implications towards other parts of Latin America.