Tackling interlinked environmental crises in research and practice

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Jale Tosun and Emiliano Levario Saad, Heidelberg University

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres identified climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution as “three interlinked environmental crises”, which need to be addressed simultaneously. The political leaders of the world acknowledged this interlinkage at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP15), which took place in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022.

Academics and researchers were faster than politicians in realizing the interlinkages between environmental protection, including preserving biodiversity, and climate action. They have reflected on this in different literatures, including studies of environmental/climate policy integration.

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 gave pertinent research activities a boost and produced numerous conceptual notes which elaborate on how climate action can have either a positive or a negative impact on measures adopted to protect the environment. Research has examined how climate or environmental policies should be designed to avoid negative interactions (when the achievement of an environmental goals could threaten climate goals), or even achieve positive interactions (when measures for achieving environmental goals reinforce climate goals). An example of a potential negative interaction between climate and environmental action is the installation of offshore windfarms which can have serious implications for marine life. An example of a positive interaction is the protection of forests, which offer a habitat to species as well as serve as natural carbon sinks.

Continue reading “Tackling interlinked environmental crises in research and practice”

Community-Based Initiatives and Public Services Delivery in a Fragile Context: The Case of Yemen

Photo by Anthony Beck on Pexels.com

Moosa Elayah, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar.

With increasing incidence of high-intensity armed conflict around the world, massive and subversive effects on governance systems have resulted, leading to escalated socio-economic vulnerability, food insecurity, commodity dependence, and lack of access to justice for members of civil society. When government authority and legitimacy rapidly decline in the midst of protracted crises, how can civilians access public services? My study (with Nesmah Al-Sameai, Hiba Khodr, andSamah Gamar) looks at how community-based initiatives (CBIs) in fragile states and conflict zones work to overcome state failure to deliver critical and urgent social and economic services through a self-organized, community-based collective. We base our study on the case of Yemen, where hostilities and civil strife collapsed the central government – leaving a huge a void in public service provision. We asked ourselves: ‘In situations of deteriorating government authority and exacerbated humanitarian catastrophe, how can civil society self-organize and play a role in providing essential services to the community?’ 

Continue reading “Community-Based Initiatives and Public Services Delivery in a Fragile Context: The Case of Yemen”

Resilience in recovery? Understanding the extent, structure, and operations of nonprofits addressing disaster survivors’ unmet needs

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Michelle Meyer, Texas A&M University

It is February 16, 2021 and it is 3℉ in Dallas, Texas. It is June 25, 2022 and it is 118℉ in Portland, Oregon. Neither of these examples are isolated incidents, though, as these “extremely rare” weather events are now happening more frequently due to climate change.

I bet you have always wondered how nonprofits help after disasters or extreme weather events like these. If you are not in a disaster prone area, or researching disasters like us, you actually may not have thought about this. Well, it may be time to start.

Continue reading “Resilience in recovery? Understanding the extent, structure, and operations of nonprofits addressing disaster survivors’ unmet needs”

Social Justice, Climate Change and Large Environmental Nonprofits in the U.S.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Erik, W. Johnson, Washington State University

I am a sociologist who has been interested in US environmental movements since my days as an undergraduate student in the early 1990s. Over the course of my career, case studies documenting local conflicts over the siting of hazardous facilities and the unequal distribution of environmental harms across racial and economic categories have been the dominant theme in sociological research on the US environmental movement. I took a different approach for my dissertation research, completed in 2004. I assembled information spanning 1960-2000 for a sample of roughly 1,000 national environmental organizations to assess what the population of environmental organizations does. This “population” based approach to research is common in studies of other social movements, but rare in the case of US environmentalism.

What struck me in my early professional research and what has continued to do so, is the strong disjuncture between sociological studies of the US environmental movement and what environmental organizations actually do.

Continue reading “Social Justice, Climate Change and Large Environmental Nonprofits in the U.S.”