Silvia Olvera


Hello, my name is Silvia, I am from Mexico, and my career is in the field of sustainability and rural development with a focus on fostering female participation in sustainable economic activities in the Lacandon Rainforest, in Chiapas, Mexico. 

My background is on Social Anthropology and my master's degree is in Science in Natural Resources and Rural Development. I have worked for almost 8 years with peasant women in rural communities at the southern border of Mexico. I worked as an independent consultant at the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO), topics about sustainable productive activities on rural households and rural microfinance projects with peasant women. Working in rural communities, I realized that women are usually kept outside of environmental decisions in their communities. Even when they are present in the decision-making processes their participation is eclipsed by some men. This is even worse with women and men without land tenure because they are not part of these processes.  

Now, I am in the first year of my PhD program at the School of Earth and Environment, at the University of Leeds. The research I am working on is titled “Performing fundamental values as an emancipatory mechanism to fostering inclusive participation in environmental governance". 


Research interests

The aim of this research is to extend the knowledge base about power structures ingrained in environmental governance processes that allow discrimination and exclusion of certain people’s values from environmental decisions. The objective is to develop understanding about people’s values on environmental governance, using an intersectionality perspective. Critical performance-based methods will be implemented allowing local people to share and discuss their fundamental values on environmental governance; to then analyse how these values are playing on environmental decisions reflecting or perpetuation power structures. As well, these methods will be analysed as a mechanism to activate shared values frames on environmental governance, and their effects on emancipatory processes and as inductors of broader social transformations on natural resource management.

Environmental governance, Values, Intersectionality and Critical performance-based methods.

Research groups and institutes

  • Sustainability Research Institute
  • Environment and Development