Climate Change Perception and Responses of Grassroots Environmental Activists in Mexico City.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Alice POMA, UNAM, Mexico
In Mexico City (CDMX), the effects of climate change (water stress, heat waves, accompanied by periods of environmental risk and floods caused by extreme rains) are joined by the effects of the urban development model. Even when these effects do not last long and do not become disasters, they can affect people’s quality of life. When people live with these changes, they begin to assign them meanings in an individual and collective process.

The presentation’s goal will be to introduce the first steps in a research project, the aim of which is to explore the local dimension of citizens’ perception and response to climate change in CDMX in greater depth.

Through in-depth interviewers with members of four citizen committees that defend the territory, this project aims to explore: how these subjects perceive the problem and the solutions proposed at different levels of the government, as well as the subjects’ response to the problem.

The choice to involve citizens organized in the defense of the territory is based on the idea that these actors play a central role by working in the area, helping to disseminate information, ideas, values and pro-environmental practices at local level. Their experience, furthermore, demonstrates the contradictions between the official discourse against climate change and the unsustainable development model that continues to be encouraged in Mexico City.

The qualitative method and the ethnographic work will make it possible to analyze the socio-cultural processes that are at the heart of understanding climate change and the solutions for dealing with it, as well as people’s different responses. Their understanding may be useful for promoting adaptation strategies and increasing resilience at local level.