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Young Scientists Conference: June 20-22, 2024

Voices of the Global South on the Anthropocene: Archaeological, Historical and Ancestral Perspectives

The current era, known as the Anthropocene, signifies a period where our species exerts a profound influence on Earth’s systems. While geologists pinpoint the Anthropocene’s formal commencement in the 1950s, the origins and drivers of this epoch have deep and often unequal historical underpinnings and consequences. Archaeology, history, and palaeoecology increasingly underscore the diversity of impacts of long-term human-environment interactions on contemporary ecosystems, which might, in turn, trigger Earth system feedbacks on a variety of different temporal scales.

To shed light on these complexities, we are assembling young scholars together with a panel of specialists from diverse backgrounds, equipped with a multifaceted methodological approach. Our mission is to underscore how dialogue between archaeology, history, palaeoecology, and indigenous knowledge can yield insights into relationships between human land use, environmental stewardship, and the Earth system across space and time. Crucially, by ensuring the inclusion of these perspectives, with a particular emphasis on the Global South and its scholars, we endeavor addressing long-term questions regarding the impact of past Anthropocene dynamics on the Earth to inform the present and better predict the future.

Our goal is to present case studies and viewpoints from across the Global South to create the foundation for a collaborative, multi-authored Assessment Report. We plan to submit this report to the Convention of Parties (COP) 30 meeting in Brazil in 2025. We believe this can also serve as a platform for often marginalised voices. By doing so, we aim to provide a practical, tangible framework for combining historical perspectives, local science and Indigenous analysis to advocate for a more equitable and sustainable Anthropocene trajectory.

Our team is dedicated to curating content here that has inspired us in our pursuit of local voices and perspectives on the Anthropocene.