IJC#9: Magical realism, water and power with Valentina Fonseca Cepeda

Listen to a conversation that Frank van Laerhoven had with Valentina Fonseca Cepeda .

Together with Daniel Castillo-Brieva, Luis Baquero-Bernal, Luz Angela Rodríguez, Eliane Steiner, and John Garcia-Ulloa, Valentina co-authored a recent IJC publication entitled Magical Realism for Water Governance Under Power Asymmetries in the Aracataca River Basin, Colombia, an article on wetlands, water and conflict in the Ciénaga Grande de Santa Marta wetland complex in Colombia.

As many wetlands worldwide, this system is characterized by its high biodiversity and various livelihoods that are closely linked to water. Unfortunately, also as many wetlands worldwide, this system is vulnerable to and affected by many threats and conflict. Valentina and her colleagues unravel and examine this case employing a mix of methods that include a hydrological analysis, semi-structured interviews, and role-playing.  

With a background in ecology, Valentina’s work focuses on local communities, more in particular the use of traditional ecological knowledge for the governance of natural resources.  Valentina is affiliated with The Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia, teaching on the governance of socio-ecological systems, among other thing.  At the same time, she works with the NGO ONF Andina where she helps designing and implementing participatory methods with institutional actors and community members to analyze ecosystem services and value chains with the purpose of co-creating alternative scenarios.

In case you want to learn more about topics akin to the topic discussed in this episode, we suggest you check out some of the other titles in the International Journal of the Commons that look at water, power and conflict: