My background in forestry and experiences in Latin America (Mexico, Paraguay and Chile) with forest-dependent communities draw on the essential understanding that biocultural diversity conservation is only achievable by involving indigenous or rural groups who live in or near conservation interests.
I aim to promote collaborative applied research in order to revitalize local ecological knowledge, especially traditional food systems as an essential component of cultural heritage, to enhance governance and promote cultural landscape conservation and food sovereignty. I strongly believe on the positive impacts that acting locally can achieve.
Global pressures on natural resources are constantly growing as a consequence of limitless of consumption and population growth. As a consequence, social dilemmas emerge such as displacements, poverty, language loss, detachment from land, nutritional transitions and health problems. This is occurring–despite how valuable cultural landscapes can be for many indigenous communities and rural families in sustaining ways of life and thinking.
Due to rapid “development” and biocultural homogenization processes occurring in both Chile and Latin America, there is an urgent need of researchers and professionals to attend these global issues that require an interdisciplinary approach. Since 2009, after the completion of my undergraduate degree, I have sought different local and international experiences that have helped me to see not only the trees but also the forest (or the bigger picture).
Antonia was recently awarded the 2014-2015 Darrell Posey Fellowship for Ethnoecology and Traditional Resource Rights for Master students, that supports the last phase of her MSc research that explores the relationships between food sovereignty and accessibility to forests for Mapuche families inhabiting the Andean temperate forests of southern Chile. Through her research she is committed to highlighting the importance of the right to access forest ecosystems and wild edibles for indigenous people as a means of maintaining traditional food systems, the continuity of knowledge transmission and social cohesion. Her project has also received the support of the Rufford Small Grants for Nature Conservation and the Namkoong Family Fellowship. [Updated January 2014]