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Les vulnérabilités liées à l'eau dans les páramos colombiens et vénézuéliens

Abstract : The population in many tropical mountains is currently highly exposed to water-related risks (pollution and scarcity), which are increasing notably with the development of intensive agriculture. Through the study of four rural communities in the Colombian and Venezuelan páramos - specific altitude ecosystems of the northern Andes - this work questions the relationship between the effectiveness of collective action and the decrease of vulnerabilities related to water. The approach is based on an analysis of the social construction of the risks and adaptability of rural communities. The methodology rests on 191 semi-structured interviews as well as direct and participant observation with farmers and the different participants in the agricultural world and environmental management. Finally, the data processing is based on a content analysis, along with a more detailed study of the discourse through the IRaMuTeQ tool. This work shows, on the one hand, that water pollution is often neglected by farmers, since it constantly evades profane representations; it is also denied due to the economic stakes involved. A contrario, scarcity is a deeply established social construct, the result of standards related to a common representation of water as an economic resource. This is why farmers are prone to reduce their vulnerability to irrigation water scarcity rather than to the one related to pollution of the resource. This work shows, on the other hand, that the adaptation to the risk of scarcity is a powerful driving force of collective action, especially when it is regulated by a set of complex, negotiated and modifiable rules. However, the difficulties of managing health and environmental risks prove that reducing pollution risks is far from being a common goal. And whereas rural communities line up to protect water catchment points at high altitude, the vulnerability is systematically shifted downstream of the watersheds. Regaining the water quality of the páramo is therefore a challenge for a wide variety of participants (state institutions, environmental associations, water managers, farmers ...). Nonetheless, the Colombian and Venezuelan public authorities still have too little impact on the management of pollution of agricultural origin. It is in this context that some interesting initiatives and experiences come out locally or via other non-institutional actors.
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David Leroy. Les vulnérabilités liées à l'eau dans les páramos colombiens et vénézuéliens. Géographie. Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017TOU20128⟩. ⟨tel-02385987⟩

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