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Research project in Human Ecology

Project's title: Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade 

Project's duration: 2011-2015

Contact person: Alf Hornborg

Researchers in the project:

Research project's homepage


As global consumption of resources and human populations increase, the search for energy and materials cause the “commodity frontiers” to expand. Along the entire global chain of production, from extraction, to processing, to disposal, the impacts of pollution are distributed unequally among populations. 

Those most heavily impacted are marginalized sectors of the population including poor people, women, minorities and particularly indigenous peoples, who depend most directly on natural resources for their livelihood. 

Environmental Justice Organisations (EJOs) are civil society organisations involved in conflicts over resource extraction or waste disposal, focusing on the link between the need for environmental security and the defence of basic human rights with the aim to redress inequitable environmental burdens. 

Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade is an FP7 project supported by the European Commission that will run from 2011 to 2015. 

The project supports the work of Environmental Justice Organisations, uniting scientists, activist organisations, think-tanks, and policy-makers from the fields of environmental law, environmental health, political ecology, and ecological economics, to talk about issues related to 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. 

The Action Plan of EJOLT comprises the production of databases, networking platforms, mutual case study development, workshops, possible legal actions, policy papers, dissemination of best practices, round-table events, and training materials on environmental conflicts for EJOs, other stakeholders and policy-makers, geared to a key issue of great immediate interest to society, namely: Which are the underlying causes of increasing ecological distribution conflicts at different scales, and how to turn such conflicts into forces for environmental sustainability?