DOLLY CRISTINA PALACIO , Researcher – Social processes, territories and environment group, Centro de Investigaciones sobre Dinámica Social, Universidad Externado de Colombia, [email_address] RAFAEL HURTADO , Professor – Departamento de Fisica, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, [email_address] SOCIAL-NETWORKS TO DEFEND BOGOTÁ’S WETLANDS: A PARTICIPATORY POLICY BUILDING EFFORT OF URBAN PROTECTED AREAS
Protected Areas (PA), historically speaking, have been identified with and defined as part of the rural and wilderness public policies People’s participation on conservation of urban protected areas and public policy making is relatively new in many political contexts and, particularly, in Latin America.
First, we want to underline the key role played by the relationships between residents and wetlands. Specifically, showing residents’ actions to defend and preserve these natural areas, which resulted in their organization and alliance with governmental and non governmental actors to achieve their goal. Secondly, we want to illustrate this process by applying conceptual and analytical tools from Social Network Analysis –SNA - that facilitates the study of collective action. OBJETIVES
The information used for this study was gathered through a research of the network of community organizations called ‘ Red de Humedales de la Sabana de Bogotá’ (RHSB) , carried out between 2001 and 2003; the participation on consensus seeking processes in policy making from 2004 to 2005; and the involvement in the writing committee of the policy’s final document in 2005-2006. The methodology combined qualitative and quantitative research methods such as direct and participative observation, structured interviews with actors, SNA for exploring and identifying social structure and dynamics (Wasserman and Faust, 1994; Borgatti, Everett and Freeman, 2002), and discourse analysis.
Urban expansion and Wetlands’ problems at present
Wetlands and residents’ organizations Cabildo Verde de Soacha W. Neuta Corgualí W. Gualí - Tresesquinas AMVIDA (en formalización) W. Capellanía Fundación La Tingua W. Santa María del Lago ASINUS W. El Burro (Tintal) Fundación Humedales El Tintal W. El Tintal Fundación Torca - Guymaral W. Torca - Guaymaral ADESA W. Jaboque La Tibanika Fundación Ambiental W. Tibanica AUNAR W. Tibanica Corpomilenio W. Juan Amarillo Centro Mixto de Conserv. Ambiental W. Juan Amarillo JAC Niza W. Córdoba Fundación Humedal La Conejera W. La Conejera Residents’ Organizations Wetlands
Residents organizations network for defending wetlands in Bogotá
Institutional affiliations of the network for defending wetlands in Bogotá
Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, Alcaldía Mayor, EAAB, CAR, Tribunal de Cundinamarca, Alcaldías Locales, Policía, Bomberos, Juzgados, Organismos de Control del Estado, Instituto Distrital de Cultura y Turismo, Instituto Distrital de Recreación y Deporte, Instituto de Desarrollo Urbano, RHSB, Colegios Vecinos, Departamento Administrativo del Medio Ambiente, Comunidad Perimetral, Juntas de Acción Comunal, Aseo Total, LIME, Grupos Ecológicos Locales, Urbanizadores Locales, ABO, Planeta Paz, Red Paz, Fundepublicos, Ecofondo, Comité Técnico de Humedales de Bogotá, Predios Aledaños, Universidades, Contratistas del Estado, Paz Verde, City TV, Jardín Botánico de Bogotá, Comité Pro-árbol, Juntas Administradoras Locales, Corpotibabuyes, Fundación amigos del planeta, Biblioteca el Tintal, Maloka, Embajada de Alemania, FIDAT, Empacor RHSB’s Institutional and social milieu
Network of the institutional and social milieu of the network for defending wetlands in Bogotá
Conejera ’s resident testimony <ul><li>In 1992, I came to live next to the La Conejera wetland in the Compartir-Suba neighborhood. I and my family discovered the existence of this wetland. we found a unique landscape, characterized by the presence of water, clumps of rushes, varied vegetation, a lot of birds and guinea pigs. But all this was being destroyed. Hundreds of tip-up lorries were unloading debris and there were several bulldozers pushing them into the wetland. We immediately took the decision to work on reversing this deterioration. </li></ul><ul><li>We formed an Ecological Committee, made a diagnosis and formulated a plan of action. We started implementation in October 1993. With the passage of time, we came close to other wetlands (1995) and met people involved with them. Their problems were similar to ours, so we invited them to learn about our experience to motivate them to defend their wetlands. We later promoted the creation of a Network. </li></ul>
<ul><li>When I was 11 or 12 years old, I visited the La Vaca wetland for the first time. It was very beautiful, with abundant fauna. Then, from 13 to 14, I visited the El Burro wetland several times and it was still very rich in wild species. That was in the decade of the 1980s. Later, at University, I started work for the La Florida wetland, as a research assistant, to learn about wetlands scientifically, researching Tingua Bogotana and other species that inhabit these wetlands, their importance, but also their problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Later, I and fellow students formed a group to defend the wetlands. We came to the La Conejera , and, together with the team of local residents, we started to work on its recuperation. Then I had the opportunity to work for the Juan Amarillo wetland and for those of Burro and Techo with the El Tintal foundation. </li></ul>El Tintal’s resident testimony
<ul><li>One of the leaders of AUNAR, in Tibanica’s wetland, told us his story. He and his neighbors were people struggling to retain their houses that were built illegally at the margins of the Tibanica’s wetland. In 1998 local authorities started to recover those areas in order to develop public parks on them, Juan Amarillo and Tibanica were included in this plan. Both areas were highly depressed sites of the city with a very poor population that made their houses themselves without urban norms or legal permissions. </li></ul><ul><li>They bought terrains that were sold by illegal sellers as urban soils but were rural in the urban planning. They built their houses without titles or registration of the property. In the new urban project they were to be removed from their houses. As a result, they began to organize themselves and search for solutions. They knew Conejera’s experience and asked for help to join the proposal to protect wetlands as natural areas, but not as public parks, as well as to support their claim for the right to be relocated with a new housing program. </li></ul>Tibanica ’s resident testimony
Restoration models of resident’s organizations and environmental local authorities’
Wetland’s restoration model of the Mayor in 2001
The process took two years and the document states the agreement of constructing “a dynamically oriented document, self regulated by collaborative monitoring by all actors involved, under the purpose of making Bogotá’s wetlands a network of protected areas, recognized as natural and cultural heritage of the city and committed to the human development of its citizens” (DAMA, 2006:22). Bogota’s Wetland Policy Ceremony