The opportunity to research in Peru has been an unforgettable lesson in implementing cross-cultural knowledge exchange through the co-creation process.

Working under the direction of PUCP’s Dr. Patricia Urteaga Crovetto, Professor of Law and Director of the Faculty of Law’s master’s degree in human rights, Juliana Hayden investigated the use of co-creation in water research and integrated water resource management (IWRM) in Peru’s Northeastern Amazon and Northern Andean Highlands. As well, she considered co-created governance strategies for the regulation and monitoring of extractive industry in these regions.

Peru is home to significant mineral and metal reserves. It is the largest gold producer in Latin America and the second-largest producer of silver, copper, and zinc in the world.[1] Vast mineral resources and lithium are found throughout the Northern Andes, while petroleum fields are primarily located in the Northeastern Amazon.[2] Despite their natural water resources, the country’s Andean and Amazonian regions face water scarcity due to the degradation of water quality and quantity, a direct consequence of the mining industry’s exploration and exploitation of minerals and hydrocarbons.[3]

While at PUCP, Juliana reviewed controversial incidents over the course of the past two decades, wherein local and indigenous communities in mining hotspots protested over environmental damages, specifically water contamination and disregard for their water access rights. The literature shows attempts to rectify these social fissures by the State and various mining companies have repeatedly resulted in piecemeal, short-term, solutions.[4]


The research visitation at PUCP made it possible for Juliana to work alongside Professor Urteaga Crovetto for their critical appraisal of two major case studies which presented the unique element of co-created research and legal strategy. Their assessment of both case studies revealed the use of the co-creation of knowledge, research materials, and legal strategy between indigenous and local community stakeholders from Andean and Amazonian provinces and PUCP’s team of senior and early career legal and anthropology researchers. Reviewing doctrine and prior fieldwork environmental observations, data collection methods, and interview transcriptions, Juliana and her Professor found that utilizing policy theory’s assemblage approach, when its contents were co-created with communities, could most effectively merge aspects of indigenous law, principles of IWRM, and Peru’s constitutional law as the basis for legal action vs. negligent mining corporations, such as Buenaventura.[5] To date, the pair’s research collaboration has resulted in two publications (under-review and in-press) and was the subject of Juliana’s presentation at the Water Security and Climate Change (WSCC) 2023 Conference hosted by the University of Cuenca.


Following the completion of her research stay, Juliana and Professor Urteaga Crovetto are excited to continue their exploration into how co-creation can serve as a tool to better regulate and monitor extractive industry. Within the framework of the ECO_CARE Network’s ongoing projects and new initiatives, they look to expand their research into designing co-created assemblage approaches to water disputes in EU and LATAM transboundary contexts.

[1] Cortes-McPherson, D. (2020). Peru: Curtailing smuggling, regionalizing trade. Global gold production touching ground: Expansion, informalization, and technological innovation, 135-149 & Bamber, P., & Fernandez-Stark, K. (2021). Innovation and competitiveness in the copper mining global value chain: developing local suppliers in Peru. Inter-American Development Bank, Discussion Paper, (855).

[2] Marconi, P., Arengo, F., & Clark, A. (2022). The arid Andean plateau waterscapes and the lithium triangle: flamingos as flagships for conservation of high-altitude wetlands under pressure from mining development. Wetlands Ecology and Management30(4), 827-852 & Rosell-Melé, A., Moraleda-Cibrián, N., Cartró-Sabaté, M., Colomer-Ventura, F., Mayor, P., & Orta-Martínez, M. (2018). Oil pollution in soils and sediments from the Northern Peruvian Amazon. Science of The Total Environment610, 1010-1019.

[3] Lynch, B. D. (2018). Water and power in the Peruvian Andes. In The Andean World (pp. 44-59). Routledge.

[4] Salem, J., Amonkar, Y., Maennling, N., Lall, U., Bonnafous, L., & Thakkar, K. (2021). An analysis of Peru: Is water driving mining conflicts?. Resources Policy74, 101270 & Pérez-Rincón, M., Vargas-Morales, J., & Martinez-Alier, J. (2019). Mapping and analyzing ecological distribution conflicts in Andean countries. Ecological Economics157, 80-91.

[5] Sosa, M., & Zwarteveen, M. (2018). Questioning the effectiveness of planned conflict resolution strategies in water disputes between rural communities and mining companies in Peru. In The Water Legacies of Conventional Mining (pp. 160-177). Routledge.


This blogpost can be cited as Juliana Hayden, The opportunity to research in Peru has been an unforgettable lesson in implementing cross-cultural knowledge exchange through the co-creation process, December 29, 2023.