Perils and Opportunities of Digitalization for Environmental Justice during the Climate Crisis

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Climate change and the development of the digital era are two fundamental realities of our time, which intersect in multiple ways, bringing both challenges and opportunities.

TEDIC, in alliance with the Kuña Aty Women’s Committee of Táva Guaraní and the Terraformation Institute of Chile, has been working on the development of a project that intersects these domains: What are the opportunities and challenges that the advancement of digitalization brings to our environment? How do we reduce the effects of the climate crisis? What is the contribution of rural communities to rethink practices that accelerate the deterioration of our environment? How do we achieve a digital transition from a digital justice perspective?

This initiative centers the needs and priorities of rural communities in the digital transition, focusing on the intersection of environmental justice, climate change, digitalization, and gender equality.

At the heart of this project are the rural communities in Paraguay. This country is grappling with the devastating impact of climate change and excessive industrial exploitation due to soybean cultivation and intensive livestock farming. The project highlights the experiences and solutions of rural communities, especially women, who bear the brunt of these global challenges.

We believe that collective and intersectional work provides practical tools for the realization of objectives on a small and large scale, which is why we have joined the Kuña Aty Women’s Committee of Táva Guaraní, a group of women organized since the 90s to promote the improvement of the economic and social situation of their community, and to encourage the production of self-consumption and income items for food sovereignty and the implementation of measures that aim to conserve the community’s natural resources.

Their experience conveys a deep understanding of the unique challenges of climate change and digital transformation in a context like Paraguay. Their perceptions, contributions, and collaborative work with TEDIC shape this project to imagine a “fair digital transition” that is both sustainable and effective and can be replicated in other locations, national or regional.

This project is designed as a collaborative effort to avoid the common pitfalls of imposing externally defined solutions without joint construction among all parties. Instead, we prioritize locally defined needs, addressing them through collective decision-making and adopting a nuanced understanding of the power dynamics inherent in urban-rural relationships.

A Digital Transition Thought Out by Its Protagonists

The first critical moment of the project was the phase of research and joint identification of the needs and priorities of the Táva Guaraní community around technology and environmental justice.

These days of collective dialogue with the companions allowed us to nourish ourselves with knowledge in a common way and to advance in the development of the subsequent activities of the project, which included a series of digital security workshops, the development of a website for the organization, the development of digital security videos in guaraní, and a podcast recording workshop that resulted in 3 episodes of a series they titled “Ñe’e ñembohasa”, “Pass the voice”, in Spanish. 

The main idea and objective of all these contents was always the development of local and community skills for the preservation of the peasant identity in a digital transition and the search for the women of the Táva Guaraní community to find themselves participating in digital environments autonomously, safely, being the protagonists of this transition, if they so wish.

We are pleased to have been part of all these stages of collective construction. We wish all these resources can be disseminated, replicated, and re-used locally and internationally to advocate for a fair digital transition and raise awareness about the realities faced by rural communities in our region.

We will continue to build collectively to raise awareness about the intersections of environment, technology, and social justice while strengthening awareness about digital security in other rural communities.

The launch of this project represents a desire for a future where digitalization and environmental justice are intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship. A future in which rural communities are empowered to leverage the digital sphere for climate justice. A future in which the voices of those communities most affected by climate change are amplified and heard. 

Check out what we produced together!

Digital security videos in guaraní


Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

An article on connectivity and digital appropriation for climate resilience in rural areas

This document, written by Paz Peña, aims to understand how the digital transition, in a context of twin transitions, should be thought of from climate justice because, otherwise, the furthest behind in digitization, who are also the most suffer the ravages of the climate and ecological crisis, they will once again be forgotten.

This project is made possible with the support of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).