Women’s Participation in Water Management – Comparing the Peruvian Andes and Canada’s British Columbia Water Basin

Alexandra Carlier

My personal relationship with water has taken me from Europe to the Americas and now to writing these lines from Vancouver, Canada and the office of CIRDI.

I was born in the warmth of Bolivia’s Santa Cruz de la Sierra and grew up in Brussels. After more than 10 years of fieldwork in Peru, I now live in Lima, where I have lectured at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru for three years. In addition, I have consulted for different national and international public and private institutions.

My fieldwork for past 12 years has been in glacial and non-glacial watersheds in the Peruvian Andes, focused on the relationship between IWRM, environmental management in mining contexts, resolution of conflicts and climate change. The central axis of my research is to promote the well-being of the Indigenous peoples and the rural and urban peasant communities in the Peruvian basins.

In mid-2016, I started collaborating with CIRDI as a consultant, supporting the development of the IWRM project in Peru. Since then, I have been able to deepen the relationship between water, mining, citizen participation and gender.

In Vancouver, I am part of a research project that focuses on strategies for political participation by women in a central Andes peasant community related to environmental management and large-scale mining. This study was inspired and informed by the role of women in two events hosted by CIRDI’s Integrated Water Management Project in Peru: the Third Participatory Environmental Monitoring Workshop and the Gender, Water and Mining Conference.

Alexandra Carlier, Cordillera Real, La Paz, Bolivia

I extend my thanks for a Mobility and Research grant from the Vice-rectorate for Research, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP) with support from CIRDI and the University of British Columbia.

I hope my stay in Vancouver will allow me to compare my research findings in Peru with different dimensions of women’s participation in water management in the British Columbia basin. In addition, I hope that this study will serve to guide political processes that reduce the vulnerability of women in mining contexts in Peru.

About the Researcher

Alexandra Carlier is an anthropologist and archaeologist with a PhD from the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the Free University of Brussels. She specializes in the study of water resources and high-Andean agricultural systems management in ancient and contemporary Peru. Today she is dedicated to identifying and analyzing multiple social processes related to the integrated water resources management (IWRM) in a context of climate change.

Published August 22, 2017

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