Barbanza Ecosocial Laboratory
The Barbanza region is an outstanding territorial area characterized by population dispersion and a wide variety of uses and forms of land management, which makes it highly resilient. This fact highlights the importance of developing an experimental research and action project that amplifies strategies to improve the environmental and economic sustainability of this area.
The Barbanza Ecosocial Laboratory isa project that looks at the past and present of the local communities to promote the sustainable use of the future. It is a pioneering project in the State, as there is no other laboratory that combines science and society and is oriented to research and practice in eco-agro-innovation .
The project proposal arises from the coincidence of visions of recovery of inhabited natural spaces between the Banco Santander Foundation and Fundación RIA, which seek environmental conservation and ensure the provision of ecosystem services. At the same time, sustainable and productive management of the territory by the communities is promoted through the strengthening of agricultural and fishing based economies.
The work of the Fundación RIA during the last three years has allowed to reach a broad knowledge of the territory of the Ria de Arousa and the actors who live, work and study this place. The generation of an alliance with the University of Santiago de Compostela, through the HISTAGRA group, is the continuation of a relationship initiated in previous processes and with which it is intended to articulate an innovative research-action proposal through the creation of the Laboratorio Ecosocial do Barbanza.
The approach of this initiative raises questions regarding environmental conservation policies and strategies: Is it possible to protect a territory when relations with the people who inhabit it are eliminated? Are protectionist policies a guarantee of ecosystem protection? Can we find concepts such as "circular economy", "waste recovery" or "sustainable use of resources" in the historical forms of territorial management?
Banco Santander Foundation
Comarca del Barbanza
Staff and collaborators
Histagra- Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
The aim of the Barbanza Ecosocial Laboratory is to articulate and strengthen eco-agro-innovative proposals that respond to the bioregion in which the project is located, at the same time that it is based on a whole set of knowledge, both historical and current, with which to propose more sustainable alternatives for the future.
Agro-livestock farming communities have historically managed the territory from organic perspectives. This know-how is intrinsically related to the provision of ecosystem services; however, there are few occasions in which thinking about natural capital includes the actors involved in the management of the territory.
It is necessary to generate spaces for citizen-academia interaction from which to combine research and action methodologies. The mission of the Laboratorio Ecosocial do Barbanza is to become an initiative that facilitates innovation ecosystems, betting on the interaction between academia and society to become a sort of nursery for eco-agro-innovative projects.
The Barbanza Ecosocial Laboratory, which is not necessarily a physical space, but rather a way of doing, in addition to being a research project, should welcome proposals that are characterized by the frameworks that identify Innovative Productive Experiences, practical expressions of eco-agro-innovation processes.
Areas of analysis.
The research aims to identify how much of what took place in the past can be a seed for the future and how we can relate the knowledge of experts and citizens to improve the capabilities of a territory. In addition, this phase should serve to build trust and weave alliances with key actors in the territory and enable active participation in the action phase. It has two main components:
The research will make it possible to map the historical management of the territory. That is to say, to look at the past to find formulas that, even with the current ways of life, can be replicated in the present and future. This mapping will be carried out through the detailed analysis of 3 case studies corresponding to communal spaces in Barbanza: the communities of Baroña, Froxán and Brañas de Laíño.
The comparison is articulated through the listening methodology, introducing mechanisms for the participation of the local residents themselves through interviews and community events.
The development of this first phase will allow us to build an "atlas of sustainable uses" that gathers the lessons learned through the case studies and proposals that can be replicated today, derived from the historical management of the territory and other ideas that can serve as an example and motivation for citizens.
In this link you can consult the research advances of the Laboratorio Ecosocial do Barbanza, the events carried out or the incorporation of audiovisual content to our dissemination channels. Click on the green buttons to filter the displayed publications by category.
The living memory of the neighbors, collected through more than thirty interviews.
During the second phase, Action, the process is articulated through the following questions: What processes identified in the territory can be developed? What new initiatives can be implemented in the territory? or How can we help in the scalability of processes so that they have a greater impact and level of sustainability?
The action phase involves the implementation of seed projects, a series of actions selected during the first phase with the help of an advisory board. The seed projects will receive technical and financial support for their implementation and their evolution will be monitored throughout the year. The aim is to evaluate the social, environmental or economic impact of the actions, with the objective of extracting lessons and compiling them in different publications as examples to be replicated in other locations.
The team developing the seed project "Máis ca leña" (More than firewood).