The Planet and Ecological Health
Humanity is witnessing the unprecedented impact of its erroneous assumptions about unlimited natural resources and patterns of production and consumption. Despite numerous global agreements to protect the environment, international institutions and governments have not significantly curbed environmental degradation, which includes not only climate change, but also biodiversity loss, the pollution of rivers and water basins, and the depletion of forests. Meanwhile, governments and the private sector promote responses to the environment based on financial markets and technologies that exacerbate inequalities, leaving underlying consumption and production models unquestioned. Environmental degradation hurts grassroots women and poor, peasant and indigenous communities the most, threatening their livelihoods and forcing unsustainable adaptation strategies. Recurrent and worsening ‘natural’ disasters are making evident the need for stronger regulation that places communities above market interests. Also needed are responses that take into account the particular impacts of disasters on women and women’s own experiences in building community resilience and dealing with disasters.
How are women and other marginalized communities such as peasant and indigenous communities organizing and implementing sustainable environmental alternatives? What are the strategies and tools being used by grassroots women and other key actors to broaden the debates and responses to climate change beyond market-based approaches? What are the lessons to learn from women’s experiences in responding to ‘natural disasters’? How can feminisms both inform the strategizing in response to environmental degradation and be enriched by perspectives from the ecological, environmental and climate justice movements?