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S Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice

Chair: Nikko Casil

Contributions: Morteza Honari, Fransisco Padilla

Dabaters: Eva Ekehorn, Eduardo Acosta, Nikko Casil



Environmental Justice - Presentation Session Part 1


Presentation from Morteza Honari: "Ecology of Sustainability:
 Managing Changes in a Changing World"



‘Ecology of Sustainability’ will present on my experience in life and work across contrasting ecosystems from the central desert of Iran to the tropical forests of Australia; from the metropolitan cityscape of Tehran to the academic garden of Ann Arber, the University of Michigan; and from the University of Edinburgh in the ancient capital of Scotland, to the meticulously planned capital city of Australia, Canberra.

These physical settings are as diverse as the cultural halos in villages, tribes, cities, deserts, forests, mountings, and valleys.

It was me living and working in such a vast different places and cultures, have to live and work and communicate and be a part of their ecosystems.

With an academic background in geography, anthropology, culture, health and the environment, coming from a family of teachers, poets, and social activists, finding myself conducting research, writing and publishing books and papers in two languages, lecturing and teaching, and planning television and radio interviews.

All these pasts have left traces in my mind and in my understanding the concepts and human ecology and of the human.

This presentation is to share my experience of the concepts of health, culture, human settlements, environments and development through the window of human ecology.


Presentation from Fransisco Padilla: "Recognition of Cultural Diversity in International Cooperation: only words?"



Today we celebrate cultural diversity, however when it comes to knowledge or to the transfer of knowledge and expertise from one part of the word to the other, often we tend to hold on to western knowledge and to the transfer of it from the west to non-western cultures and environments. This tendency can often be found within international cooperation for development. International cooperation for development and science itself aren't far away from each other, since often within development projects we find the transfer of scientific knowledge.
Therefore, this behavior can be explained by implementing a post-development-perspective. Among many things that post-development-theory criticizes about international initiatives for development, there is the western dichotomy of developed and underdeveloped. This dichotomy on one hand legitimizes a linear model of development, where the western standard lies at the top and other development paradigms are like previous steps. On the other hand, the developed-underdeveloped-dichotomy also builds the foundation for the dominance of western knowledge and often marginalizes non-western knowledge, that shows a different human-nature-relation. This dichotomy builds a barrier for a true recognition of cultural diversity in knowledge and its transfer within international cooperation for development or even for investigation. In order to truly celebrate cultural diversity, it's time for a multipolar model of development and knowledge.


Environmental Justice - Presentation Session Part 2 - Discussion



Presentations turned out

Contribution from Eduardo Acosta: "The power of the ancestral philosophy of Alli kawsay (Buen Vivir) in the indigenous movements of Colombia - Ecuador vs. the exclusion by the big mining development, contribution to the Rights of Mother Nature from the global south in middle of climate change"

The purpose of this research is to present the urgency of listening to indigenous
epistemologies of Sumak Kawsay (in kichwa language: Buen vivir-Good Living) and also to accompany the care/defense of the biodiversity-rich indigenous territories of the Andean region. As a research question: How is the anthropocene affecting the indigenous territories and with it the threats of the epistemologies of the Sumak Kawsay/Buen vivir? This ethnographic research has been carried in the last 7 years, in Republics of Colombia and Ecuador, in Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca CRIC, and The Indigenous Confederation of Ecuador CONAIE. Theoretical references: epistemology of indigenous communities, indigenous intellectuals. The anthropocene affects considerably the species of flora and fauna, the glaciers, water reserves, páramos understood as places where the water is born for the species. With it the territories Pan Amazonas region of native communities are strongly affected in their cosmovision to know. Due to its high impact in high mountain areas, climate change affects the melting of glaciers, strong droughts, seasonal changes for food production, water shortages and with this the displacement of animals and indigenous people and with it affects their traditions and cosmovisions due to geographical relocation and spatial - socio-cultural changes. Ethnographic work is used: interviews, participant observation, and documentary analysis. Key to comment how from the epistemologies, their spirituality's, indigenous cosmovision, the elders (grandparents and grandmothers) announce that if there is no respect for the species on earth comes catastrophe, which from modern science is already evident.


Contribution from Nikko Casil: "Intersectionality as a Global Framework for Environmental Justice"

In this paper, I argue that intersectionality must become the fundamental framework for Global Environmental Justice. I explore how climate change is disproportionately impacting poor and marginalized communities and that various social structures of oppression tend to compound with each other leading to unequal experiences of the environment. I begin by discussing concerns on environmental inequality and the dangers of economic and technocentric policies for climate change. Following this, I will discuss political challenges to intersectionality as a framework not only in environmentalism but also in larger social justice works. Intersectionality provides a rational explanation for why it is not incidental that there is higher infant mortality in Black communities; that people of color live in areas of poor environmental regulations and protection; that women of color tend to work in toxic facilities of clothes and manufacturing—all these declare a significant pattern of systematic and systemic social dynamics that undergird the compounding and intersectional nature of environmental injustice.