From April 20–24, two students from the RLC Campus Valdívia received full scholarships to participate in a research-action programme at the RLC Campus in Córdoba, together with Right Livelihood Award Laureate and RLC Coordinator Prof. Raúl Montenegro.
Luz Marcela Pérez and Stepfanie Puerta, both students of the RLC programme Human Scale Development and Ecological Economics, presented their research linked to the topic “revitalización de culturas indígenas y la problemática de los glaciares andinos” (revitalization of indigenous cultures and the problem of Andean glaciers).
In another meeting with Prof. Raúl Gómez, Vice-Dean, and Prof. Patricia Altamirano, Rector of the University, the students shared their research findings on environmental degradation and pollution, the continuous and destruction of native cultures, and proposed collaborative actions between the RLC Campuses in Valdívia and Córdoba; in particular, through interdisciplinary participatory research on the role of indigenous communities in contesting the destruction of ecosystems such as the moors and glaciers caused by mining companies.
From May 16–18, 2019, PhD student Barbara Siegenthaler from the RLC Campus Córdoba received a full scholarship to participate in an RLC workshop and excursion programme at the RLC Campus Valdívia. During a one-day Human Scale Development workshop with Chilean RLC students, Right Livelihood Award Laureate Juan Pablo Orrego gave a series of lectures on the privatisation of Chile’s water rights, the consequences for the indigenous Pehuenche community and the defence of their right to remain in their ancestral territory.
On a separate event, Juan Pablo Orrego spoke at the RLC “Dialogues on Human Scale” panel discussion titled “Rivers and Watershed under Threat”, together with RLC Valdívia Director and Right Livelihood Award Laureate Prof. Manfred Max-Neef. In connection to this event, Barbara met with RLC stipend recipients Luz Marcela Pérez and Stepfanie Puerta to discuss the latest developments in the planning of joint activities with the RLC Córdoba concerning glacier protection, rivers and water basins.
During the last day of the programme, Barbara participated in a full-day field trip to the Riñihue lake, together with RLC students and RLC coordinator Christian Henríquez. During meetings with the territorial defence council of Los Lagos and members of local organisations, Barbara learnt about the citizen’s resistance to the Colbún Hydroelectic project on the San Pedro River.