skip to Main Content

Looking beyond justice as universal basic needs is essential to progress towards ‘safe and just operating spaces’

Pasgaard, Maya, Neil Dawson. 2019. Looking beyond justice as universal basic needs is essential to progress towards ‘safe and just operating spaces’. Earth System Governance Journal. Volume 2.

Abstract

Taking point of departure in the ambitious framework for ‘safe and just operating spaces’ for social-ecological systems, this paper explores the applicability of this conceptual framing. Specifically, we draw attention to limitations in the conceptualisation of justice as a question of attaining a minimal level of (material) wellbeing. With an empirical case from Laos, we apply a broader notion of environmental justice based on interconnected dimensions of distribution, procedure and recognition to examine the dynamic relationship between ‘safe’ and ‘just’ at village level, and we question how ‘boundaries’ of social and ecological sustainability are conceptualized and determined. Our findings illustrate important considerations for the way conservation interventions are rationalized and designed, in particular for the way social and environmental sustainability are portrayed and how governance is envisaged to function locally. This paper contributes to current sustainability debates on how to explore and integrate justice dimensions in development and conservation within human-defined planetary boundaries.

Full article available here

You might like these publication categories

Recent publications

Climate Refugees: Global, Local and Critical Approaches

The last few years have witnessed a flurry of activity in global governance and international lawseeking to address the protection…

The Political Impact of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming Governance Through Global Goals?

Written by an international team of over sixty experts and drawing on over three thousand scientific studies, this is the…

The Normative Foundations of International Climate Adaptation Finance

Billions of dollars are annually transferred to poor nations to help them adapt to the effects of climate change. This…