C. Julián Idrobo

Research Chair, Indigenous Approaches to Environmental Management
South Slave Research Center (Fort Smith)


Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Manitoba

Research statement

I am a recent settler and an interdisciplinary scholar with a strong commitment to building more sustainable and socially just environmental management research and practice. I work in collaboration with Indigenous peoples and local communities to understand, visualize and mobilize the contribution of indigenous approaches to environmental management to biodiversity conservation, wellbeing and livelihoods in the context of research and decision-making. My research understands human-environment relations from a biocultural diversity perspective that acknowledges the role that culture, history and place play in the ways humans interact with diversity, from species to ecosystems. I also employ political ecology and environmental justice as lenses to examine how diverse manifestations of power influence people's access to biocultural diversity in their territories, including the benefits they draw from it. Social wellbeing is instrumental to comprehend individual and social aspirations and how these shape conservation, planning and decision-making processes. 

I follow decolonial, participatory and action-oriented research methodologies and employ mixed, participatory and emergent methods. I have designed and undertaken community-based research with Indigenous and local partners in the Eastern Canadian Arctic, Southeast Coastal Brazil and the Colombian Pacific Coast.

I also love outdoor sports, cycling and cooking and am a loving husband and the father of Ashly Elena. 


Current and recent projects:

Designing a Great Slave Lake Fishery by Northerners for Resilient Futures in the NWT. In partnership with the Natural Resources Institute (University of Manitoba), Arctic Research Foundation and Mitacs [2021 – Ongoing]

Cree land use and knowledge component of the Comprehensive Research Program on Coastal Habitat of James Bay (Northern Quebec). Funded by the James Bay Cree Nation Government [2019 – ongoing]

Territories that won’t be left behind: re-imagining planning and development in the Colombian Pacific. Funded by: Research Vice Chancellor Office, Los Andes University. [2017 – 2020]


Significant Contributions

Dawson, N. M., B. Coolsaet, E. J. Sterling, R. Loveridge, N. D. Gross-Camp, S. Wongbusarakum, K. K. Sangha, L. M. Scherl, H. Phuong Phan, N. Zafra-Calvo, W. G. Lavey, P. Byakagaba, C. J. Idrobo, A. Chenet, N. J. Bennett, S. Mansourian, and F. J. Rosado-May. 2021. The role of Indigenous peoples and local communities in effective and equitable conservation. Ecology and Society 26(3):19.
https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-12625-260319  - Read More HERE

Idrobo, C.J., D.M. Gómez, and Olga Corzo (Forthcoming). Transdisciplinarity, decolonization and blue justice: Researching wellbeing and development in the Colombian Pacific Coast. Blue Justice for Small-Scale Fisheries (edited by S. Jentoft and R. Chuenpagdee).  

Turner, K.L., Idrobo, C.J., A. Desmarais, and A.M. Paredo. 2020. Food sovereignty, gendered economies and everyday practice. Journal of Peasant Studies  https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2020.1786812

Idrobo, C.J., and D.M. Gómez. 2019. Visions of Planning, Alternatives to Development and Wellbeing in the Colombian Pacific (original in Spanish). Video Documentary (32’ long). Los Andes University, Bogotá.  https://youtu.be/FfEBt_7nhZ0  

Idrobo, C.J., and D. Johnson. 2020. A social wellbeing perspective on coastal livelihood transitions and adaptive preferences on the Atlantic Forest Coast of Brazil. Maritime Studies 19(1): 67-79.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40152-019-00140-7

Fonseca, V., C.J. Idrobo, and S. Restrepo. 2019. The changing chagras: Traditional Ecological Knowledge transformations in the Colombian Amazon. Ecology and Society 24(1): 8. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10416-240108

Idrobo, C.J., I.J. Davidson-Hunt, and C.S. Seixas. 2016. Produced natures in the Atlantic Forest Coast of Brazil: The construction of the Caiçara in conservation and tourism discourses. Local Environment 21(9): 1132-1150. https://doi.org/10.1080/13549839.2015.1075479