A Question of Environmental Justice
Within the Ayuquila River basin, there is a fertile valley where the main economic activity is intensive production of sugar cane. A sugar mill began operations in this valley in 1972.
In the watershed, the economic benefits from development are not evenly spread. Some upstream communities have profited from the intensive, export agriculture including sugar cane, watermelon and tomatoes.
The downstream communities have fared less well and rely on subsistence farming, livestock, and fisheries. At the same time, water pollution from the sugar mill and untreated sewage from the upstream communities have had negative impacts on the quality of life downstream.
A Model for Other Communities
Saving the Ayuquila River tells of the struggle to improve the environmental quality of this important river system. It shows how government officials and university researchers worked with the local communities to help resolve the environmental disputes and promote widespread cooperation.
You can get an overview of the main issues through an engaging short documentary film. Or you can learn more by exploring the geography and history of the river, and by listening to the conflicting perspectives of local people. Uncover the links between local and global events. For those who want to look deeper, there is an online archive of research papers with detailed scientific data.
Using this e-Case Study
This learning resource can be used in classroom as well as in online learning programmes within the fields of environmental studies, political science and sociology.
By grounding learning in a real-life case, learners can appreciate the relevance of scientific knowledge in solving current environmental problems, thus significantly increasing their capacity to apply in their careers the skills acquired in the classroom.
Designed to serve the needs of a diverse audience ranging from the general public to graduate students.
Design and Technology
An interactive timeline and detailed map of the region are used to display movies, images and background information. The combined use of html and Flash technologies allows a rich user experience and the ability to explore detailed content on specific topics.
The innovative use of Flash video ensures that both the documentary and video excerpts can be seamlessly integrated with other types of content. This learning resource has been designed to run on any learning management system.
Eduardo Santana, Salvador Garcia Ruvalcaba and Luis Manuel Martinez from the University of Guadalajara, and Sergio Graf, former Director of the Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve.
Copyright United Nations University and the University of Guadalajara. Some Rights Reserved.
e-Library of Case Studies and Documentaries