Villarrica hosted meeting “Volcano, Energy and Community”

Wednesday, 09 de November

The activity sought to promote communication among people from Araucanía, researchers and local authorities.

One of the main purposes of the meeting “Volcano, Energy and Community” was approach volcanoes from different perspectives and experiences. The activity took place on November 3rd, at the Villarrica Campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

The meeting was open to the public and included three panel discussion that were focus on energy, tourism and the historically bond between local people and their volcano. In order to cover these issues, several parties were invited: representatives of the Mapuche Territorial Council of Pucón, the National Emergency Office, the Ministry of Energy, the University of Chile and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, among others.

During this activity the conversation also addressed the challenges of community integration in energy projects, by sharing local experiences and projects from communities of northern and southern Chile.

The “Volcano, Energy and Community” meeting was organized by the Andean Geothermal Center of Excellence (CEGA), along with the Millennium Center for Energy and Society Research (NUMIES), the Centre for Local Development and the Center for Intercultural and Indigenous Research (CIIR).

Sofia Vargas, researcher from the Geothermal and Society area, says the objective was the integration of various points of view: “We wanted to generate this discussion in Villarrica because it brings together actors who have different views on volcanoes. We will count with the participation of Mapuche communities living around the Villarrica volcano, and also the experiences of tour operators and researchers who observe and study volcanoes in the region. The meeting sought to have a social focus, so we did not want it to was an academic meeting. We wanted to include representatives from different sectors”.
Francisca de la Maza, CIIR`s Deputy Director, explains that the meeting was an opportunity to talk with people who are directly involved in these issues: “This means sharing in a more balanced context than scientific knowledge is normally used to. It is an opportunity for researchers to contribute to knowledge dissemination, as an ethical duty, for more equal information and communication conditions, where the contribution of the subjects it is valued and recognized”