Hosted by the Nottingham branch of the Geographical Association - School of Education and School of Geography
Presented by Dr Nick Mount, Rights Lab Associate Professor of Hydroinformatics, University of Nottingham
The Atrato River catchment is one of the most important biodiversity hotspots in the world, and one of the most at risk at the hands of illegal gold mining, and the violence and poverty that drives it. It flows through a region plagued by armed conflict, forced displacement, state abandonment, corruption and racism. But there is hope. In 2016 the Afro-Colombian communities of the Atrato took their river’s case to the Colombian Constitutional Court, arguing that their biocultural rights were being infringed by the destruction of the river. The success of their case has generated a globally significant ruling that recognizes the Atrato as a bearer of its own rights which must be upheld in order to protect the bio-cultural rights of the riverine communities. It has also resulted in community members taking on the difficult and dangerous role of becoming the river’s legal guardians. In this lecture, Dr Nick Mount will draw on his experiences over the last three years in which he has worked with the guardians and riverine communities of the Atrato to support their efforts to defend their rights and those of their river.
Nick Mount works as part of the Law and Policy programme, with a focus on socio-environmental approaches to slavery and conflict. He is currently working on the Choco region of Colombia, where slavery and child labour is endemic in communities impacted by armed actors who are engaged in widespread, illegal alluvial gold mining. He is uncovering the fundamental intersection between armed conflict, illegal environmental exploitation, and slavery within the Chocoan communities. His broader expertise is the understanding, analysis and management of hydrological and river systems.
School teachers are encouraged to bring A level students.
Refreshments will be provided after the lecture and there will be an opportunity for informal conversation with University Tutors.
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Save the date: further Geographical Association events will take place on 22 January 2020 and 18 March 2019.