Environmental history and forest history

This line of research intends to make a historical analysis of the current situation of forests in their economic, social, political, institutional, and ecologic and environmental facets. We attempt to give a synthetic, reasoned and multi-causal vision of its various issues over the period spanning the 19th and the 20th centuries, which leads to a study of the changes in the ownership regime, the analysis of the multiple uses of forests and their evolution over time, the understanding of how they are interwoven into the agricultural and industrial system, and the conflicts generated around these aspects. All of this will be done bearing in mind, at all times, the relevant political processes, economic situations, and environmental factors that act as constraints.

For its part, environmental history studies social systems from the point of view of their co-evolution with natural systems, paying special attention to the constraints that the latter impose on the development of the former and to the impact of social actions on their environment. The purpose of environmental history is, therefore, to reinterpret the past in terms of sustainability, unravelling the relationship that societies establish with nature over time and tracing historically the origins of the environmental crisis that we are living today. This approach becomes, then, an essentially practical one, as through the study of the socio-ecological transformations of the past it also intends to guide the future switch from the current industrial model to a relationship with nature that is not only environmentally but also socially sustainable.