Research 2012

Montreal, Quebec, Canada
110th Annual Meetings of the American Anthropological Association
Anthropology and Environment Section
Patricia Jean Hammer and Flor de Maria Barreto Tosi
Center for Social Well Being
Mountains of Trash: Community challenges in the face of
non-biodegradable waste in the Andes

Prior to 1990 both industrial production and household consumption of non-biodegradable goods were minimal in Peru where each family is responsible for the management of daily waste. To date, the accumulation of petroleum-based plastics and other toxins is evident throughout the country, highlighted by the lack of enforcement of environmental measures at all levels of government. An analysis of rural community strategies to confront the issue focuses on the highland case of a Quechua hamlet in north central Peru where farmers have organized to bring to light and protest the presence of a toxic garbage dump on a hill above their fields and homes, imposed by the nearby urban municipality without prior consent from surrounding residents. In response, the community has called upon the local school, public defender’s office and civic action research association (Center for Social Well Being) to lend guidance and legitimacy to claims of environmental contamination that directly impacts health and agriculture. The social dynamics of the process underway are elucidated, with emphasis on the significant roles of women to protect family and environmental well being, as well as the compromised positions of community representatives who are discouraged by the municipality from waging formal complaints. This presentation demonstrates the required articulation of government, civic and community forces as a potent strategy to express, examine and enforce Environmental Rights of agricultural communities in the Andes.

Key words: action research, environmental rights, Andes

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Lima, Peru: Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
Organized by the Graduate Programs in Environmental Development and Anthropology
Lecture series
Ecosalud and Ecosyndemias:
Dialogue among Social, Medical and Environmental Sciences

Invited Speaker,  September 9th , 2011
Patricia Jean Hammer, Ph.D., Director
Center for Social Well Being

Culture and Climate Change in the Callejón de Huaylas:
From Taki Onqoy to Alternative Development 

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Posted on: September 22, 2017admin