Work streaming / mainstreaming gendered land use and land cover change (GLUCC) : Afro-descendant communities in the Pacific Region of Colombia

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This dissertation addresses gender dimensions of Land Use and Land Cover Change (GLULCC) in the last few decades in a collective land titled to Afro-descendant communities in the Pacific region of Colombia, South America, and examines socio-economic and political signifiers affecting land use decisions, rights, and responsibilities. It shows how contrasting but complementary subfields of investigation, Political Ecology and Land Use Science, have contributed ontological, epistemological and practical scholarly works to help better understand the Gender Dimensions of Land Use and Land Cover Change (GLULCC). Historical and current information on environmental, socioeconomic and settlement processes provided a comprehensive portrait of the study area. The remote sensing process (a mainstream method for identifying land use and land cover change) helped exploring the spatial setting of land cover/use, and to reflect on the opportunities and constrains of the steps undertaken during this procedure under the lenses of researching their gendered dimensions. Statistical analyses on both census data (secondary data) and survey sample data (fieldwork data) allowed to establish a set of three groups of gendered land uses, namely, women-akin, men-akin, and gender-blind uses. Exploratory statistics, pairwise correlations, and binary and multinomial logit regression models helped to reassert the latter gendered categories’ assertions. A concluding narrative perspective of GLULCC seeks to further contribute to work streaming/ mainstreaming what I consider may be a scholarly-fertile research line. It hopes to bond, with another perspective, previous theoretical, spatial and quantitative outcomes, under the lenses of the practical experience of fieldwork, which also by way of participatory observation and semi-unstructured interviews brought to the researcher (me) valuable insights and information besides the previous outcomes. Empirical evidence allowed identifying gender-based time allocation, resource-use power relations, and reproductive strategies. Finally, the found rearrangement of settlement spaces and production systems provides practical indications that women´s role on LULCC is well beyond the establishment of small gardens and orchards, or the collection of fuel wood to provide for their families. In contrast, inside this collective title, women’s decisions/strategies have also restructured settlement patterns, and thus, land use dynamics of larger areas at heterogeneous spatial and temporal scales.