Climate UEA



Championing indigenous communities & climate justice

Senior Lecturer in Environment & Development
School of International Development
Research Group Member, Global Environmental Justice


A sociologist from Venezuela, Iokiñe Rodríguez uses local environmental knowledge and participatory action-research to help resolve environmental conflicts and achieve environmental justice in Latin America.

Part of our Global Environmental Justice Group, her work on environmental conflict transformation focuses on issues of local history, local knowledge, power, environmental justice, equity and intercultural dialogue. This has led to her building local and institutional capacity to transform environmental conflicts in Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia.

Iokiñe Rodríguez is also co-founder of ‘Grupo Confluencias’, a consortium of Latin American conflict resolution practitioners, researchers and institutions who develop processes for environmental conflict transformation.

“My climate research focuses on environmental (in)justice dimensions, covering issues such as local environmental history and knowledge, politics of knowledge, indigenous territorial governance, cultural revitalisation and intercultural dialogue.”

My Story

“I’m committed to making research a tool for social transformation by engaging with power asymmetries in environmental management. I seek to revitalise and strengthen local communities and make environmental knowledge and management systems more visible.

I’m passionate about making my research relevant and useful to indigenous and local people, through tools and outputs that can contribute to revitalising their culture, such as participatory videos, talking maps and community-authored books.

I’ve also worked extensively on indigenous knowledge and uses of fire in forest-savannah ecosystems in Venezuela and Guyana and on intercultural approaches to fire management.”

Key Projects

  • INDIS – The Indigenous Sustainable Development project aims to understand the ways indigenous communities on three continents have responded to changing, and sometime extreme environmental conditions in terms of their wellbeing and ecosystems. Their knowledge of sustainable development and climate mitigation and adaptation can inspire innovations and social, economic and environmental policies.
  • Eureka Educativa: School, territory & post-conflict - this project aims to build a local culture of peace in South Tolima, Colombia, developed through schools. Teachers, schools and community leaders from four municipalities are all involved with the design and development of a pedagogical strategy for peace-building and territorial development. The project uses action-research to make visible the experiences that children, teenagers, teachers, parents and community leaders have had with the armed conflict and an increase in environmental conflicts (some of which have links to climate change) and the different local strategies they have developed over the years to deal with such conflicts.

Thinking Without Borders

“The climate crisis cannot be addressed adequately from the perspective of any single discipline. We need experts from natural sciences, engineering and social sciences to enter into dialogue with one another.

We also need to push the boundaries towards transdisciplinary research. To integrate other forms of knowledge and plural perspectives and approaches in climate research.”


Discover More

UEA Profile

Key publications

The Conversation: Bolivia: contribution of indigenous people to fighting climate change is hanging by a thread

The Latin American decolonial environmental justice approach

Challenges to intercultural democracy in the Plurinational State of Bolivia: case study of the Monkoxɨ peoples of Lomerío

A perspective on radical transformations to sustainability: resistances, movements and alternatives

Linking wellbeing with cultural revitalization for greater cognitive justice in conservation: lessons from Venezuela in Canaima National Park

On the Road to Freedom - The history of the Monkoxɨ of Lomerío

The forest is our life, our home

Speaking of fire: reflexive governance in landscapes of social change and shifting local identities

Burning, Fire Prevention and Meanings of Landscape among the Pemon, Gran Sabana, Venezuela: toward an Inter-Cultural Approach to Wildland Fire. Management in Neotropical Savannas