Friday, April 12, 2024 - 12:00pm - 1:15pm
Skillman Library, Gendebien Room
Holly Moulton

Transformative climate change adaptation planning that addresses marginalized populations is increasingly critical for the globe’s most vulnerable countries. In 2021, Peru became the first country in Latin America to incorporate both gender and an Indigenous peoples’ platform into its national climate change adaptation plan. Peru has simultaneously increased its mining production of critical minerals like copper to address the global push to mitigate climate change through the green energy transition. The dissonance between equity-focused adaptation planning and extraction that occurs largely in Indigenous territories is understudied in the adaptation literature. This is especially pertinent for Indigenous women, whose unique embodied connection to territory is doubly disrupted by climate change and extractive activities. This paper uses the case study of national adaptation planning in Peru to analyze the tension between adaptation that addresses Indigeneity and gender and the increased “extraction imperative” to mitigate climate change through green technology. Based on a thematic analysis of Indigenous women’s organizations’ speeches, interviews, and policy recommendations—as well as planning documents from the Peruvian state and multilaterals—Professor Moulton shows that Indigenous women leaders in Peru are drawing on embodied claims to territory and resistance to extraction to re-make adaptation planning into a space that centers Indigenous sovereignty. Ultimately, the state’s vision of adaptation fails to account for ongoing sources of violence against Indigenous women, such as mining, that undermine adaptive capacity. I conclude that efforts to mainstream gender and Indigeneity into adaptation planning must foreground sovereignty to avoid maladaptive outcomes from extraction.

Sponsored by: 
Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Environmental Sciences and Studies, and Lafayette Arts and Technology Grant