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NCCR North-South - Research Partnerships for Sustainable Development

Thank you for visiting the website of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South. The NCCR North-South programme formally ended in June 2014.

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South America

Regional policy brief South America No. 7
Property rights in the Peruvian Amazon: encouraging preservation or degradation?

Environmental degradation in the Amazon is a fundamental problem that the Peruvian state must do its part to address. It must also do more to protect the livelihoods of indigenous people who depend on local forest resources. Balancing these environmental and human-rights goals will require the Peruvian state to reform the country’s property regime, steering away from privileging private interests over the public good. This policy brief makes the case for introducing a robust, responsive state regulatory system, careful zoning of territory, and close monitoring of resource use in the Amazon to safeguard nature, people’s livelihoods, food security, and principles of social equity.

Download (Spanish / PDF 382 KB)

Regional policy brief South America No. 6
Local knowledge: a key input for sustainable development in the Andean region

Local knowledge is crucial to both human development and environmental conservation. In the Andes, local populations mainly rely on their own knowledge to ensure their livelihood. This knowledge is current and dynamic, and it responds to broader socioeconomic and environmental changes by measures of cultural resistance and adaptation. Yet local knowledge is also vulnerable, and merits efforts to strengthen it. As this policy brief argues, combining local knowledge and so-called scientific knowledge – especially in development projects – can lead to innovative solutions to the socio-environmental challenges facing Andean communities in our globalized world.

Download (Spanish / PDF 1.5 MB)

Regional Edition South America No. 5
Making co-management work in protected areas with indigenous peoples in Bolivia and Peru

Sustainable and equitable management of biodiversity in protected areas inhabited by indigenous peoples is often a challenge. It requires an intercultural dialogue based on local norms of resource use and indigenous knowledge. Economic incentives to preserve biodiversity must be able to compete with income from illegal activities such as logging, mining, and land trafficking. And, as this regional policy brief shows, special care is required to ensure that regulations and policies on conservation and resource extraction do not overlap and contradict each other.

Download (English / PDF 626 KB)
Download (Spanish / PDF 480 KB)

Regional Edition South America No. 4
Women, citizenship, and well-being in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia

Women’s fundamental role in the construction of well-being in communities is unquestionable. As individuals and as citizens, many of their practices at the micro level (their bodies, homes, neighbourhoods) and macro level (nationally) are focused on defending their families’ well-being. But women’s citizenship and ability to exercise it do not always reflect their imperative role. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, women have made some political gains since the 1990s, but their impact has been insufficient. To effectively strengthen women’s citizenship in Bolivia, the diverse groups and organisations involved must better coordinate their efforts, establish strong and inclusive networks, and arrange joint actions.

Download (Spanish / PDF 491 KB)

Regional Edition South America No. 3
Biosphere reserves and extractive industries: towards a new sustainability agenda

Without global standards for extractive industry development in biosphere reserves, attention tends to be limited to fire-fighting and individual cases rather than allowing for structured learning processes. This brief suggests a more ambitious policy agenda that recognises the magnitude of extractive industry challenges as well as the site diversity at stake. Biosphere reserves often combine both protected areas and areas without protection status creating a need for differentiated standards and mitigation mechanisms. Such standards could embrace a “green” focus on environmental sustainability as well as a social equity agenda in relation to human rights, benefit-sharing, and consultation.

Download (English / PDF 516 KB)
Download (Spanish / PDF 516 KB)

Regional Edition South America No. 2
Secondary school and poverty: Strategies for inclusive education

This Spanish-language policy brief explores strategies to enhance secondary school enrolment in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Dropping out of school is strongly linked with poverty. Improving families’ living conditions and ending youth labor are crucial to increasing secondary school enrolment. Strategies such as the “Asignación Universal por Hijo” – a sum of money given to parents for each child in secondary school – have also proven to be efficient. But NCCR North-South research conducted in the Reconquista Area in Buenos Aires also showed that the education provided in secondary schools often does not match youths’ needs. The policy brief recommends improving infrastructure in schools as well as using languages and teaching methods that are better adapted to local youths’ realities.

Download (Spanish / PDF 983 KB)

Regional Edition South America No. 1
Resilience to natural disasters: saving lives and properties

Rural and urban communities in Bolivia face multiple natural disaster risks. This first regional policy brief draws attention to La Paz, a city in need of better risk management. It examines how risk management can be improved by focussing on people's resilience and linking individuals, households, and neighbourhood associations with urban policies.

Download (Spanish / PDF 1.52 MB)

Policy Briefs

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The NCCR North-South is hosted by the University of Bern
and funded jointly by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation