Sócio-cultural responses to climate change in the Azores islands
The project focuses on the ways in which entrepreneurs and change agents in their respective organisational fields understand their commercial, technological, political and social options, build alliances and mobilise power, conceptually/culturally frame climate challenge issues, and formulate strategies to solve them (or fail to do so). Researchers in our consortium will help to define the specifics of the climate challenge, island vulnerabilities.
Several initial questions relating to technological, governance, and cultural innovations in the Azores, which will be discussed in the workshops and consultations, concerning issues focusing on innovation in these three above mentioned areas:
a) The use of geothermal energy as replacement for current fossil fuel based sources;
b) Changes in regulatory conceptions and methods related to land planning; or related to the restructuring of linkages to national as well as EU institutions.
c) Cultural arena: Some key agents appear to view the Azorean environment and nature as a particular, unique Azorean resource – which calls for planned governance. Does this indicate a shift in cultural perspectives? Also there appear to be spontaneous new approaches to, and conceptions of, environmental issues through grass roots movements and activities (including local networks and NGOs (non-government organizations) that may include religious groups, school and parents associations, etc.
There is also the necessity to explore ways to relate and integrate natural science inputs (ex. scenarios from IPCC coordinated with data from local scientists) with social/humanist contributions such as the dimensions of our research idea indicated above Such needs are to be met through workshops and one consultation trip. The former workshops are meant to bring together an assortment of experts on islands studies that through network and exchange of information might contribute to build a research design for Azores. The first workshop is to take place in the Azores and the second and closing workshop in Lisbon. In between it is planned a visit trip to Stanford where two young social scientists are to establish contact with experts in relevant issues to the study, as well as do library research.
CIES-IUL - Centre for Research and Studies in Sociology
Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade dos Açores