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Dr. Bibiana Vilá

Bibiana Vilá

Principal Researcher
CONICET: National Research Council
Bibiana Vilá MEP Grulac

Principal Researcher of the National Research Council CONICET. Argentina
Professor (Titular) National (Public) University of Lujan.
Visiting Professor National (Public) University of Jujuy.
Midori Prize winner 2014 CBD/AEON

Founder and member of the research group VICAM: Vicuñas, Camelids and Environment.

Research projects
1) Wild vicuñas´ (Vicugna vicugna) conservation and sustainable use: Biological and social aspects. Building scientific and local capacities of good practices for conservation and local development. Interdisciplinary research programme for the conservation and sustainable use of wild vicuñas under a scientific framework including local knowledge (ILK) dialogues.
Started in 2013 and continues until today
Includes lines of ethnobiological research, participatory research with ILK components

2) Camelids (llamas and vicuñas) and the pastoral system of the Puna of Jujuy, interdisciplinary approaches with local (ILK) participation.
It started in 2018 and continues until today
Includes lines of ethnobiological research with ILK components

PhD theses siupervised

1) Etoecological studies of vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) in relation to their sustainable management in wilderness, in the Laguna de Pozuelos Biosphere Reserve. PhD student Yanina Arzamendia. University of Córdoba, Argentina.

2) Spatial ecology of vicuñas, Vicugna vicugna: Interactions with domestic livestock in the Laguna Blanca Reserve, Catamarca, Argentina. Student: Mariela Borgnia. National University of Lujan Co-director.

3) Environment and cultural diversity. A proposal to approach complex global problems in the didactics of natural sciences. Student: María del Carmen Maimone. National University of Lujan.
4) Analysis of the natural vegetation dynamics of the puna jujeña in relation to domestic and wild ungulates and their impact on desertification. Student: Verónica Rojo. Doctorate in Agrarian and Forestry Sciences. National University of La Plata.

5) Camelids, pastoralism and andean resilience in Jujuy. Analysis within the framework of the nature contributions to people NCP. Student Rocio Julián. Doctorate in Natural Sciences. National University of Jujuy. Started in 2018. Director

6) The vicuña´s fiber, a Puna´s ecosystem service. Scenarios and complexities in the comercial chain. Student Hugo Lamas. Doctorate in Agronomics Sciences. National University of jujuy. Started in 2018. Co-director.


BOOKS as author co-author or editor (Written in Spanish)

1) Caravans of the high altiplano.
2) Domestication: Shaping nature.
3) The vicuña: Manual for its conservation and sustainable use. Book for local communities capacity building.
4) Do you want to know what Camelids are? Children's collection: QS.
5) South American Camelids.
6) Guidelines for a plan for the conservation and sustainable use of vicuñas in Jujuy, Argentina.
7) Research, conservation and management of vicuñas. MACS Project.
8) The vicuña: treasure of the altiplano. An environmental education guide for ILC.
9) Camels without hump.
10) Vicuña footprints for environmental education in adobe schools.

More than 20 chapters in several books.
More than 40 Papers in International Journals. Five listed below.
a) Vilá B.L. 2015. The camelids as components of the biocultural heritage of the Andes. Revista Rúbricas, 6 (9): 40-51. Universidad Iberoamericana de Puebla. Mexico. In Spanish. (ILK)
b)Yacobaccio H. and Vilá B. 2016. A model for llama, Lama glama domestication. Anthropozoologica, 51 (1), 5-13. Museum of Natural History. Paris. In English.
c) Vilá B. and Arzamendia Y. 2016. Participatory construction (ILK) of an environmental calendar in Santa Catalina, Jujuy, Argentina. Ethnobiologia14 (3). pp: 71-83. Mexico. In Spanish.
d) Arzamendia Y. Carbajo A. and Vilá B. 2018. Social group dynamics and composition of managed wild vicunas (Vicugna vicugna vicugna) in Jujuy, Argentina Journal of Ethology, 36 (2) 125-134
e) Vilá B. 2018. In the brink of extinction: Llama caravans arriving at the Santa Catalina fair, Jujuy. Journal of Ethnobiology, 38 (3): 372-389. (ILK)

Research networks

Latin American Society of Ethnobiology (SOLAE)
Argentine Focal Point of the Latin American and Caribbean Network of Women in Science.
National Advisory Commission for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity (CONADIBIO)
IUCN. SSC. GECS (South American camelids Specialist group). SULI. CEC.

Teacher for Environmental courses
Description of the courses (in Spanish) are accessible in

More than 45 conferences in national and international congresses. Some listed below.
2015 The camelids as part of the biocultural heritage of the Andes. Plenary Conference First International Symposium on Biocultural Heritage of Mexico and Latin America. Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla. Mexico.

2016. Women and environment. Ideas of ecology and feminism in conservation. Inaugural Conference at the meeting "Empowering Women in Nature Conservation: Argentina and Beyond". University of Buenos Aires (UBA) and Women for Wildlife Network (WfW) .FCEN. CABA.

2016. Conservation and management of vicuñas in Santa Catalina, Jujuy. A project of scientists and communities: Dialogues of knowledge. In Communication, Education and Public Awareness (CEPA) Fair, at the Conference of the Parties Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of the United Nations. December 8. Cancun, Mexico.

2016. The biocultural heritage of peoples and the academia in Latin America , side event at the Conference of the Parties Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) of the United Nations. December 9, Cancun, Mexico.

2018. Inaugural conference: The caravans of the altiplano: llamas and their shepherds, in an ancestral trip that arrives at Santa Catalina. JAES. Argentine Conference of Ethnobiology: Sharing roads. Humahuaca Argentina.

More than 125 papers presented in Congresses.

In 2017 and 2018 listed below:
Vilá B.L, Arzamendia Y. and Rojo V. 2017. Intercultural dialogues about camelids and the environment in Santa Catalina, Jujuy. V Latin American Ethnobiology Congress Quito Ecuador.

Tartaglia M.B, Julian R.F. and Vilá B. 2018 Traditional andean fair in Santa Catalina, Jujuy. Livelihoods and interchanges. XVI Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology. Belém do Pará, Brazil.

Vilá B. 2018. Llamas, Vicunas and the vulnerability of pastoral livelihoods in the Andean highlands, NW Argentina. XVI Congress of the International Society of Ethnobiology. Belém do Pará, Brazil.

Vilá B. 2018. Environmental education and biodiversity in the schools of the Puna. Southern Altiplano Workshop. Tilcara, Jujuy, Argentina.

We (VICAM) have a permanent dialogue with the Cooperativa agroganadera de Santa Catalina one communal organization.
The Management Plan for the vicuñas of Santa Catalina is a joint construction between the cooperative and VICAM, with contributions from science (VICAM) and from indigenous and ancestral knowledge (ILK)

We are permanently working with communities (ILC), schools and the general public and media.
I have participated as adviser and presenter in TV programme "Natural Resource" (Channel 7) and we produced several videos that are broadcast on public television.
They can be seen in:
Most are in Spanish but there are some subtitled

Science-policy interface

2017-current. Representative member of CONICET in thematic axis 3: "Awareness, dissemination and education on Biodiversity" of the National Biodiversity Strategy of CONADIBIO (National Advisory Commission for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Biological Diversity), of the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development of Argentina. Res 0697-17 of April 12, 2017.

2011- current. Representative member of CONICET in the Committee for the Sustainable Development of the Mountain Regions of the Argentine Republic, Mountain Partnership FAO. Res 2562/16 of August 10, 2016.

2009-2016. Scientific Coordinator of the Advisory Committee on Biodiversity and Sustainability (Cabys), of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation (MinCyT). Res 228/12. (04/19/2012).

2010. Member of the Technical Advisory Commission with the objective of preparing the Provincial Plan of Conservation and Management of the Vicuña. Secretary of Environmental Management and the Directorate of Environmental Policies and Natural Resources of the province of Jujuy Res. 128/2010 / SGA.

Technicar reviewer for CITES. 11th COP CITES. Nairobi. Kenia. 2000. Prop 11.27. Prop 11.28. 2002. 12th COP CITES. Santiago. Chile. Prop 12.12. Prop 12.13. Prop 12.14. 2002.
Technical advisor to Fish & Wildlife Service. USA. RIN 1018-AE04 “Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Reclassification of certain vicuña populations from Endangered to Threatened with a Special Rule. Federal Register, 67. (104). 37695-37723.

Member of the official delegation of the government of Argentina in the International Vicuña Convention in different roles, as member, responsible for the delegation and scientific adviser in an uninterrupted form since 2009.

Communication to policy-makers (please indicate type of communication (*), title and date of event or activity, policy sector(s), geographic scope)
In VICAM we are permanently interacting with the authorities of environmental management and policies. We wrote the book "Guidelines for a plan for the conservation and sustainable use of vicuñas in Jujuy, Argentina" as a response to a request from the environmental authorities of the Province of Jujuy. This book was the basis for the Vicuña Management Law sanctioned the following year.

In 2003, we were the first research group to carry out wild vicuñas management (chakus) with animal shearing, along with an indigenous association.
We contribute to the sustainable use of the species and its conservation maintaining high standards of animal welfare in the captures.
From that moment on, the entire management policy of the species in the country is in some way influenced by our publications, training and design of management techniques

Global assessment-MEP task force/expert group member
Values assessment-MEP task force/expert group member
MEP-MEP member
Effectiveness of the assessment process-MEP task force/expert group member
Values task force-MEP task force/expert group member