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Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade (EJOLT)
Start date: Mar 15, 2011, End date: Mar 14, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Environmental Justice Organizations (EJOs) are civil society organizations locally or globally involved in conflicts over resource extraction or waste disposal. Such conflicts increase in number as the world economy uses more materials and energy. The EJOs focus on the link between the need for environmental security and the defence of basic human rights. The project EJOLT unites a consortium of international actors (scientists, activist organizations, think-tanks, policy-makers) across a range of fields (environmental law, environmental health, political ecology, ecological economics) to promote mutual learning and collaboration among stakeholders who make use of Sustainability Sciences, particularly on aspects of Ecological Distribution. Central concepts are Ecological Debts (or Environmental Liabilities) and Ecologically Unequal Exchange. We focus on the use of these concepts in science and in environmental activism and policy-making. EJOLT will explore the roots of increasing ecological distribution conflicts at different scales, and how to turn such conflicts into forces for environmental sustainability.Thus one of the primary purposes is to empower EJOs and the communities they support that receive an unfair share of environmental burdens to defend or reclaim their rights. Participatory methods, action research and a range of methodologies will be applied to capacitate EJOs, communities and citizen movements to monitor the state of their environment, and document its degradation, learning from other experiences and from academic research how to argue to avoid the growth of ecological debts or environmental liabilities. EJOLT will build on EJOs’ knowledge of environmental risks and legal mechanisms and the translation of their research findings into the policy arena. In the process, EJOLT will enrich the sustainability sciences through the accumulated knowledge of the EJOs and lead to enhanced application of these sciences to real-life policy question.
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