89 research outputs found

    Coastal sand mining of heavy mineral sands: Contestations, resistance, and ecological distribution conflicts at HMS extraction frontiers across the world

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    Coastal sand mining for metals involves extraction of heavy mineral sands (HMS), which are sedimentary deposits of dense minerals that accumulate in coastal environments. HMS are localized concentrations of ores such as ilmenite, rutile, leucoxene, and iron, which are sources of metals such as titanium, zircon, iron, sillimanite/kyanite, staurolite, monazite, and garnet. The applications of these metals range from everyday products such as ceramics, paint, and pigments, as well as technologically advanced applications in the airline, shipbuilding, medicine, and defense industries. HMS extraction implies strip mining of coastal areas, which are often unique biodiversity ecosystems, or fragile ecosystems built up on sandy soils or dunes. The loss of such spaces has impacts such as loss of biodiversity and habitats, salt-water intrusion into agricultural lands and increased exposure to sea level rise. As a result of the serious ecological and socioeconomic transformations at such extraction frontiers, these operations cause resistance movements across the world. This article identifies and documents 24 cases of resistance against such operations. It presents the first comprehensive database and analysis of HMS related ecological distribution conflicts

    Ecologia politica

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    La collana Ecologia Politica nasce dalla volontĂ  di pensare la crisi ecologica in termini immediatamente politico-filosofici. La crisi della natura, infatti, non Ăš esterna all’economia, alla societĂ , alla politica; ne Ăš semmai il volto estremo, il sintomo inaggirabile, l’ingiunzione cui non ci si puĂČ sottrarre procrastinando. AndrĂ© Gorz fu tra i primi a pensare la questione ambientale nella sua non-autosufficienza, nella sua impossibilitĂ  a spiegarsi da sĂ©: essa dischiude infatti una crisi del produttivismo occidentale e del capitalismo industriale che possiede un’origine storica precisa e che dischiude una inedita posta in gioco della trasformazione sociale. In questo quadro, ci interessa sottolineare il protagonismo della riproduzione sociale, cioĂš tutti quei conflitti che parlano una lingua diversa dalla crescita come obiettivo indiscutibile, che prospettano orizzonti altri rispetto all’accumulazione del capitale. Ci riferiamo in particolare ai conflitti che investono i rapporti socio-ecologici e la resistenza alle strategie politiche neocoloniali di appropriazione e spoliazione, ma anche a tutte quelle pratiche sociali che sperimentano forme di riappropriazione della ricchezza sociale e comune, dunque dalle resistenze contadine e bracciantili a quelle ispirate alle relazioni socio-ecologiche pensate all’interno del pensiero e delle pratiche decoloniali e femministe

    Environmental conflicts and defenders: A global overview

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    Recent research and policies recognize the importance of environmental defenders for global sustainability and emphasize their need for protection against violence and repression. However, effective support may benefit from a more systematic understanding of the underlying environmental conflicts, as well as from better knowledge on the factors that enable environmental defenders to mobilize successfully. We have created the global Environmental Justice Atlas to address this knowledge gap. Here we present a large-n analysis of 2743 cases that sheds light on the characteristics of environmental conflicts and the environmental defenders involved, as well as on successful mobilization strategies. We find that bottom-up mobilizations for more sustainable and socially just uses of the environment occur worldwide across all income groups, testifying to the global existence of various forms of grassroots environmentalism as a promising force for sustainability. Environmental defenders are frequently members of vulnerable groups who employ largely non-violent protest forms. In 11% of cases globally, they contributed to halt environmentally destructive and socially conflictive projects, defending the environment and livelihoods. Combining strategies of preventive mobilization, protest diversification and litigation can increase this success rate significantly to up to 27%. However, defenders face globally also high rates of criminalization (20% of cases), physical violence (18%), and assassinations (13%), which significantly increase when Indigenous people are involved. Our results call for targeted actions to enhance the conditions enabling successful mobilizations, and for specific support for Indigenous environmental defenders

    Ecological distribution conflicts as forces for sustainability : an overview and conceptual framework

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    Unidad de excelencia MarĂ­a de Maeztu MdM-2015-0552Centre: ICTA Digital object identifier for the 'European Research Council' (http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100000781) Digital object identifier for 'Horizon 2020' (http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100007601).Can ecological distribution conflicts turn into forces for sustainability? This overview paper addresses in a systematic conceptual manner the question of why, through whom, how, and when conflicts over the use of the environment may take an active role in shaping transitions toward sustainability. It presents a conceptual framework that schematically maps out the linkages between (a) patterns of (unsustainable) social metabolism, (b) the emergence of ecological distribution conflicts, (c) the rise of environmental justice movements, and (d) their potential contributions for sustainability transitions. The ways how these four processes can influence each other are multi-faceted and often not a foretold story. Yet, ecological distribution conflicts can have an important role for sustainability, because they relentlessly bring to light conflicting values over the environment as well as unsustainable resource uses affecting people and the planet. Environmental justice movements, born out of such conflicts, become key actors in politicizing such unsustainable resource uses, but moreover, they take sometimes also radical actions to stop them. By drawing on creative forms of mobilizations and diverse repertoires of action to effectively reduce unsustainabilities, they can turn from 'victims' of environmental injustices into 'warriors' for sustainability. But when will improvements in sustainability be lasting? By looking at the overall dynamics between the four processes, we aim to foster a more systematic understanding of the dynamics and roles of ecological distribution conflicts within sustainability processes

    Changing social metabolism and environmental conflicts in India and South America

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    Firstly, we present some environmental conflicts gathered in 2016 in the EJAtlas, selecting a few that have implied deaths of environmental defenders around the world including India and South America. Such conflicts arise from changing trends in the social metabolism. Secondly, we compare India and South America in terms of internal metabolism and international trade. We show that South America and India are at different moments in the race (concomitant with increased GDP per person) for the use of materials. South America reached a level of extraction of over 10 tons per person/year of all materials. It is unlikely that this will increase much. Maintaining this level already means environmental pressures. A substantial part goes for exports, much larger than the imports. In contrast, India was until recently at a level not much above 5 tons of material use per capita/year. If the Indian economy grows, as it is likely to do, the social metabolism will increase in volume more or less in proportion to economic growth. The use of biomass will increase much less than that of building materials and fossil fuels. This follows the regular patterns of economic growth. Internally, the Indian economy exploits some states as providers of raw materials in a pattern of ecological internal colonialism but internationally (in terms of material flows), it is not subject to 'ecologically unequal exchange', contrary to South America. Finally, we use some statistics from the EJAtlas comparing participation of indigenous and traditional populations and rates of 'success' in local struggles for environmental justice in both subcontinents, to see whether the global movement for environmental justice can help to slow down the destruction of the environment and local livelihoods and cultures. Key words: EJAtlas, material flows, economic growth, ecological distribution conflicts, environmental defenders, ecologically unequal trade, internal colonialis

    Ecologismo dos pobres, Colonialismo e Metabolismo Social

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    InSURgĂȘncia: revista de direitos e movimentos sociais. BrasĂ­lia: IPDMS; PPGDH/UnB; Lumen Juris, vol. 1, n. 2, julho-dezembro de 2015, p. 8-1
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