For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!
Environmental Governance and Justice in Latin America

Environmental Governance and Justice in Latin America

Type of group

Funded project

Area focus

Latin America


Barbara Hogenboom


Michiel Baud
Rutgerd Boelens
Fabio de Castro
Bibiana Duarte Abadia
Barbara Hogenboom
Tatiana Roa Avendaño
Carolina Valladares Pasquel

External partners

Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR-UvA); Alliance for Water Justice; Various Latin American universities (in consortia); Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Wageningen University and Research (WUR)

Links within ARTES

Research Group Commons in Latin America

Research programme

The senior researchers and PhD candidates of this group work on issues of environmental governance, natural resource struggles, water justice and environmental justice, and alternative pathways in Latin America. They aim to improve our knowledge of the complex and often conflictive ways in which society-nature relations and natural resource use are shaped in Latin America. Besides collaboration within the group, they work in networks, alliances and projects with researchers and local stakeholders from various countries. The EU-funded ENGOV project (2011-2015) aimed at understanding how environmental governance is shaped in Latin America. In ENGOV and in other research of the group members, local case-studies are combined with a study of the wider social, cultural, political, historical and economic setting at different scales. In the recent projects AGENTS and LFFU and individual studies special attention is paid to the co-creation of alternative pathways in Latin America: local initiatives for more inclusive, participatory, autonomous and environmentally sustainable ways of using natural resources, studied and developed by social and academic actors.

Achievements 2014-2017

ENGOV ( was a collaborative research project funded by the European Commission (2011-2015). It had ten research partners from latin America and Europe and was coordinated by CEDLA. The project focused on the obstacles and possibilities for sustainable production systems that can generate both economic development and a more equitable knowledge input and distribution of benefits across ethnic, socioeconomic and gender lines in order to decrease poverty, exclusion, and environmental degradation in Latin America. The project’s central objective was to understand how environmental governance is shaped in Latin America and to develop a new analytical framework for environmental governance in the region.

Aims 2018-2021

LFFU and AGENTS (see below) are the two main funded (international) projects for the moment, involving a range of research activities, meetings and publications. All members of this Research Group also meet periodically in so-called terrace meetings to discuss academic papers and activities, engaging also with MA students (UvA and WUR) and visiting fellows. In addition, the group organizes conference panels and seminars, and continuous to explore opportunities for external funding.

Current projects

  • AGENTS (Amazonian Governance to Enable Transformations to Sustainability) is a collaborative research action funded by the NORFACE–Belmont Forum Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) programme (2018-2021), composed of six partner organizations from Brazil, USA, The Netherlands and Sweden.

  • LFFU - This project co-funded by WOTRO-NWO analyses, develops and shares successful strategies and arguments on ‘Leaving Fossil Fuels Underground’ (LFFU) emerging from Africa and Latin America at multiple levels of governance. 

  • RRING – Responsible Research and Innovation Networking Globally - is a collaborative research project funded by the Horizon2020 Programme (2018-2021).

Recent output

  • The ENGOV books Environmental Governance in Latin America (Palgrave 2016) and Gobernanza Ambiental en América Latina (CLACSO 2015, also available in Portuguese) edited by Fabio de Castro, Barbara Hogenboom and Michiel Baud are Open Access and available online. Click on the book titles to download the Open Access versions.

  • Rutgerd Boelens, Water, Power and Identity: The cultural politics of water in the Andes:  Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management (2015). 

  • Rutgerd Boelens, Cristina Yacoub and Bibiana Duarte-Abadía, Agua y Ecología Política. El extractivismo en la agro-exportación, la minería y las hidroeléctricas en Latino América (Quito: Abya-Yala, 2015): 310.

  • The Extractive Imperative in Latin America, special issue edited by Murat Arsel, Barbara Hogenboom and Lorenzo Pellegrini, The Extractive Industries and Society 3, no. 4 (2016), including "The extractive imperative in Latin America," The Extractive Industries and Society 3, no. 4 (2016): 880-887.

  • Carolina Valladares and Rutgerd Boelens, "Extractivism and the rights of nature: governmentality, 'convenient communities', and epistemic pacts in Ecuador," Environmental Politics 26, no. 6 (2017): 1015-1034.

Valorization activites

Each of the funded projects organizes a series of socially and politically relevant events and (online) publications (see project websites). For the work on water justice, the Alianza Justicia Hídrica is an important network for co-creation and dissemination of knowledge, including also videos. In addition, environmental governance and justice are recurrent themes in the CEDLA lectures series and Dialogues with Civil Society.