Pulp and participation: Assessing the legitimacy of participatory environmental governance in Umkomaas, South Africa

April, 20 2022 | Article | Biodiversity | Joachim Spangenberg

Hot or Cool Institute - Think Piece series

The paper argues that prevalent corporate instrumentalism and a lack of political will continue to undermine the legitimacy of community engagement processes, which remain characterised by mistrust.

The Sappi Saiccor mill in Umkomaas, KwaZulu Natal (KZN) Province, is a global pulp producer. It is also a major emitter of noxious substances in the heavily polluted and historically marginalised South Durban area. Taking a qualitative, narrative approach, this paper examines Saiccor’s legacy of contamination, community opposition to the mill, and responses of state actors responsible for governing industrial risk. Through a conceptual...

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Only Radical is Realistic Now: International Carbon Rationing in a Climate Emergency

April, 20 2022 | Article | Biodiversity | Joachim Spangenberg

Hot or Cool Institute - Think Piece series

We need to stop regarding the climate emergency as a stand-alone environmental problem.

Climate disruption and biodiversity collapse are but two symptoms of the environmental crisis caused by ever-growing resource consumption. Multiple overshoots of Earth’s planetary boundaries have pushed our natural systems close to or even beyond critical tipping points. Effective reduction of resource consumption, in particular fossil fuels, is now an immediate necessity for civilisation to survive and must be reached within less than a decade. Since traditional policies have failed, and the time pressure is extreme, new instruments for...

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Social innovation for biodiversity: A literature review and research challenges

January, 7 2022 | Journal article | Biodiversity | Rafael Ziegler, Joachim Spangenberg

Ecological Economics

New ways to tackle biodiversity loss through social innovation

Alongside the news about the ecological crisis, there are also stories about new ways on how individuals and communities are changing their behaviour to address the current loss of biodiversity. In this paper, SERI members worked with an international team of authors to examine social innovations regarding actions of the civil society used to mitigate biodiversity loss. Innovation is usually attributed to technological change, which at the same time can also imply negative ecological impacts. In contrast, social innovation can address the reasons of biodiversity loss...

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