Digital conservation in the Pantanal

This project comprises a study at the interface of digital technological innovation and natural resource conservation. It takes the Brazilian part of the Pantanal (a complex of savannah wetlands with an area of 320,000 km2 in the upper reaches of the Paraguay River) as a case study of a socio-ecological system faced with numerous threats, including agricultural intensification, urban growth, and hydro-power schemes that affect the water cycle of the system. The main research questions are whether digital innovation influences the adaptive capacity of socio-ecological systems, and whether digital technologies can lead to higher levels of social inclusion and empowerment by a wider number of social groups, particularly those in remote areas under pressures of environmental change. Building on a conceptual frame of political ecology this interdisciplinary project seeks to develop new, theoretically-informed and empirically tested perspectives. It will do so through collaboration with stakeholders in exploring what technological innovation may offer for the understanding, management and governance of the Pantanal and beyond.