Skip to main content

OBSERVATORY OF THE DYNAMICS OF INTERACTIONS BETWEEN SOCIETIES AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE AMAZON

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ODYSSEA (OBSERVATORY OF THE DYNAMICS OF INTERACTIONS BETWEEN SOCIETIES AND ENVIRONMENT IN THE AMAZON)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-12-31

The Amazon is one of the most diverse terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in the world and plays a major role in the regulation of global climate. Although the impact of land transformation on the local to regional climate are still in debate, changes in precipitation are already observed in the most deforested regions of the Amazon and could partly explain the rapid succession of extreme hydrological events (droughts and floods) in the last decade. These changes directly affect human populations, in particular the most vulnerable, which have limited resources for catastrophe prevention and post-disaster recovery. Moreover, although poverty alleviation strategies have been implemented by the Brazilian Government for several decades, most rural populations still have little access to public policies. In this context, there is a need to engage with stakeholders and decision makers to build methodologies and tools that can support the elaboration of management plans that integrate the social, environmental, politico-economic and human health dimensions. The ODYSSEA project responds to this need by building the scientific fundaments and tools of an innovative multi and interdisciplinary observatory to monitor and assess dynamic interactions between Amazon societies and environments as a basis for policy development. Building on past and on-going bilateral research projects, the ODYSSEA project brings together several networks of international and Brazilian researchers which all have long-term experience of environmental and social research in the Amazon, to acheive the following specific objectives: 1-To analyze retrospectively the interactions between environment and society and their evolution in the last two decades. In particular, to characterize the feedbacks between environmental changes and social organization, practices of rural populations and to analyze the consequences of these changes on human health; 2-To assess different adaptation strategies with local actors, with respect to their impacts on the environment, household vulnerability and health, building prospective scenarios and identifying how public policies could promote more sustainable adaptations to changing conditions; 3-To share knowledge among partners to achieve a collective representation of the socio-environmental dynamics and promote the development of integrative methods and participatory tools to support public policies design; 4-To foster social learning through researcher interaction with society in order to understand stakeholder expectations from research, to build knowledge with them, to properly formulate useful end-user products, and to make this knowledge public; 5-To promote new skills and enhance career prospective for Brazilians and Europeans through their involvement in an innovative research project and through the organization of workshops and training.
"The observatory conception is inseparable from an approach that places learning at its center: the observatory is a tool that favors the learning process. To enable the scientists to find common interests and discuss them with social actors, a conceptual framework and methodology were built gradually for cross comparing the different sites involved in the Odyssea project. -In April 2016, researchers were invited to build a first mind-mapping of the main concepts. At the 2nd meeting (Nov 2016), we defined the first concepts for a common framework, addressing why and how to compare sites. -In September 2017 in Bélem, we brought together representatives from several sites, to discuss the terms of a partnership and start identifying the main themes that they would like to contemplate within an observatory of social-environmental changes. Our methodology aims to progressively build with the social actors the stakes of change, the forms of adaptation and the ways for them to be more pro-active in this. -In April 2019, the training of 21 community researchers was held in Santarém (Pará). It was attended by researchers from the ODYSSEA/INCT ODISSEIA network and representatives of the Social Actors' Unions of Santarém, Belterra and Mojuí dos Campos. The meeting provided the co-construction of the questionnaires that will be applied by the community researchers themselves. -In July 2019, another workshop took place in Santarém on the first results of the data campaign. The first results of the research were presented by themes and discussed together among all participants. Based on these discussions, hypotheses were raised, paths for future data analysis and possible strategies and channels for communication of the research. -The final meeting took place in Brasilia on Oct 2019: learnings of the ODYSSEA project. The first day was dedicated to an assessment of the results, concluding with project researchers groups work on the perspectives. On the second day, an institutional closure brought together official representatives with civil society actors from all the states of the legal Amazon and researchers around a main question ""How to mobilize science to respond to the challenges of societies in the Amazon?"". Social actors debated how our research can contribute to the challenges that the observatory will have to face."
The Amazon region has been facing rapid changes, due to deforestation, climate change, demography, leading to environmental disruption and increasing populations vulnerability. To understand these changes and enable local populations to maintain and consolidate their livelihoods, we mobilized a network of more than 100 researchers, European and Brazilian, to build an Observatory of Socio-environmental Dynamics, together with the INCT ODISSEIA, financed by Brazil. 5 sites were selected, to analyse a diversity of situations across the Amazon: the Northeast of Pará, Santarem, Manaus, the BR 163 and the border with French Guiana.
To be relevant for society, our observatory follows citizen science principles, combining data production with a strong social mobilization. We developed in particular a pilot observatory in the region of Santarém. We empowered young community leaders and they collected information from 544 families in 62 communities. Based on this data, we are discussing with the community representatives what strategies they can implement to help populations adapt to changes.
Mainly based on remote sensing, scientists collected data in the 5 sites and developed monitoring tools to assess floodplain hydrology and aquatic biodiversity, forest type and structure and evaluate the efficiency of protected areas, assessed the links between land cover and local rainfall regimes and followed intensification of agriculture and water resource use. In particular, ODYSSEA collaboration supported a pan-tropical assessment of biodiversity and the future of hyperdiverse tropical ecosystems, published in Nature (Barlow et al. 2018), covered by multiple news agencies.
ODYSSEA also contributes to the dissemination of knowledge by participating in the construction of a platform that will enable to analyse the implementation of Sustainable Development Objectives at the municipal level in Amazonia. Our first policy analyses show strong interdependency between policy instruments, often leading to contrary effects. To answer citizen demands, it is necessary to reconsider how to bring actions and policies to work together and not one against another.
this is the ODYSSEA folder presenation (part recto) to present the objectives and the partners
This is the ODYSSEA folder presentation (part verso) to present each project´s objectives in detail