We welcome Brazilian PhD fellow Luciana Lima

The international research "The sociopolitical face of the climate crisis and extreme events: a study with the ecovillages of São Paulo and Bavaria" is carried out in the Doctoral Program in Environment and Society at the Center for Environmental Studies and Research [NEPAM] at the State University of Campinas [UNICAMP], in Brazil, since March 2022, headed by the PhD Student Luciana Lima, advised by Dr. Leila da Costa Ferreira and Dr. Ana Maria Heuminski de Ávila. Since the beginning, the project has received public financing from the Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de São Paulo [FAPESP], one of the largest public funding agency for research and innovation in Brazil [FAPESP Access Link].

Only in the State of São Paulo, nine ecovillages and two catalytic institutions participate in the researcher's technical visits for interviews, monitoring of socio-environmental and political dynamics, in addition to satellite remote sensing of the ecovillage's internal and external landscape. From 2024, based at the Zentrum für klimaresilienz and under the technical supervision of Prof. Maria Angela Backhouse, Luciana will start the second stage of the research with the German communities and the institutions that catalyzed the German ecovillage movement. The objective of the work is to investigate how the communities and territories are incorporating climate change and the impacts of extreme events into their lifestyle and in the use of the land cover.

The effects of climate change do not affect everyone equally. The situation worsens where there is low capacity to adapt due to restricted resources, changes in land use and, urbanization and real estate speculation policies, the developmental economy of agribusiness and the poor access to safe and clear information. The local experiencing allows risks, previously intangible and invisible, to materialize into concrete impacts, where humans visualize their vulnerabilities and figure out the challenge of adapting and resilience to a planet in metamorphosis.

From the perspective of the impacts of extreme events, Germany has been one of the countries that has suffered them in the European Union, mainly in relation to droughts, heat waves, excessive precipitation with consequent floods and land displacements. Recent studies also indicate the need to reinforce climate adaptation and governance agendas in small German cities, in addition to intensifying the exchange of knowledge and experiences between civil society and research institutes. Considering this scenario, the investigation aims to analyze not only the context of risks and impacts, but also the conditions for mitigating them and finding means of adaptability and resilience to collaborate with human groups and territories in strengthening their social, cultural, economic, and natural systems. The costs of research and visits will be borne by the project, and the results and products will be shared freely with interested parties and society.

A call has been opened publicly on the Global Ecovillage Network, in its European subsidiary, inviting Bavarian communities to join the research. This phase involves the structuring of field research, which will start in April with the visits to social agents.