Sixteenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability

  • 2020 Special Focus - Sustainability Lessons in the "Global South": Priorities, Opportunities, and Risks
  • 29–31 January 2020
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile & University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Conference Themes

The Sixteenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability features research addressing the following annual themes.

  • Theme 1: Environmental Sustainability
  • Theme 2: Sustainability in Economic, Social and Cultural Context
  • Theme 3: Sustainability Policy and Practice
  • Theme 4: Sustainability Education
  • 2020 Special Focus - Sustainability Lessons in the "Global South": Priorities, Opportunities, and Risks

2020 Special Focus - Sustainability Lessons in the "Global South": Priorities, Opportunities, and Risks

Much of the sustainability literature focuses on the Global North and on issues salient to policy makers in developed countries, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and ozone depletion. By contrast, comparatively little is written on environmental issues in the Global South, which is rich in sustainability experiences and lessons learned in natural resource conservation, and where many of the challenges are being faced on a daily basis with limited financial and human capital resources. In Latin America, Africa, and much of Asia, communities struggle on a daily basis with environmental hazards as varied as land degradation, drought, salinization, and lack of access to fresh drinking water. ‘Land grabs’ drive deforestation and biodiversity loss, while across the Global South, conflicts between communities, firms, and the state for resource rights and access present risks to livelihoods and life, which in turn are highly uneven according to localities, socio-economic groups, ethnicity, and gender.

A variety of creative thinking and imaginative responses to such challenges can be found across the Global South. Communities are organizing to defend their neighborhoods, forests, and land from incursions by property developers, poachers, and business corporations. A plurality of different visions of environmental justice and social justice have flourished based on gender rights, indigenous peoples’ rights, and rights of nature. Within Latin America, the Andean notions of buen vivir (good living) has found expression in the constitutions of Ecuador and Bolivia.

The question of how the sustainability lessons garnered in the Global South can contribute to the transformative social changes necessary to promote sustainability on a global scale, and define short-, medium-, and longer-term priorities, will be considered at the Sixteenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability in Santiago, Chile. We warmly welcome proposals for papers, workshops, interactive sessions, posters, and exhibits on this theme and on all dimensions of sustainability. The conference will appeal to scholars, social activists, business people, and policy makers.

Plenary Speakers

The Sixteenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field.

Maisa Rojas

Maisa Rojas

Director, Chilean Centre for Climate Science and Resilience (CR)2; Researcher, Millennium Nucleus on Paleoclimate; Associate Professor, Department of Geophysics, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Carolina Schmidt

Carolina Schmidt

Minister of the Environment, Government of Chile

Joseluis Samaniego

Joseluis Samaniego

Director, Human Settlements and Sustainable Development Division, UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

Conference Co-Chairs

David Humphreys

David Humphreys

Professor of Environmental Policy, The Open University, United Kingdom

Jonathan Barton

Jonathan Barton

Associate Professor, Institute of Geography, and Associate Researcher, Centre of Sustainable Urban Development, Pontifical Catholic University, Santiago, Chile

Maria Fragkou

Maria Fragkou

Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

2020 Advisory Committee

  • Jessica Budds, Senior Lecturer in Geography and International Development, School of International Development, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
  • Waldo Bustamante, Deputy Director, Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS), Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • Jorge Gironas, Principal Researcher, Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS), and Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Engineering, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile
  • María José Molina, Executive Director, Centre for Sustainable Urban Development (CEDEUS), Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago, Chile

Conference Partners

Pre-Conference Tour: Urban Water Management in Santiago

This tour will discuss the challenges of urban water management in the context of a ‘megadrought’ and extreme events in the Andean Piedmont. Three locations have been chosen to reveal the complexity of these management challenges. At each location, the intention is to discuss particular issues through various installations.

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Conference Dinner: Punto Ocho

Located on the top floor of the Cumbres Lastarria Boutique hotel, Punto Ocho has two terraces offering a 360° view of the neighborhood. Guests are invited on a trip through the flavors of Patagonia, highlighting Chilean products with a wide variety of fish and seafood from the coasts as well as meats from southern Chile.

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