Tag Archives: ecological integrity

Environmental Justice and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – publication review (J. Ruru)

Author

Jacinta Ruru

Keywords

Ecological Integrity, environment, human rights, climate change, global warming,  globalisation, vulnerability, environmental protection, communities, rights of indigenous peoples.

Abstract

Westra, in this book, brings to the fore the horrors of ‘biological genocide’ that western developed countries have sought to perform on environments that indigenous peoples rely on for their survival. Nuclear testing and chemical spills on indigenous lands are all stories that are told in this book. Westra contends that the eco-footprint of western developed countries is a direct attack on both the right to survival and the right to self-determination of indigenous populations. Her solution, labelled the ‘biological/ecological integrity model’, she argues, is the best possible antidote against eco-footprint crime. She explains: ‘If the rights of indigenous peoples are based, first, on their rights to biological integrity and natural function; and second, these rights cannot be separated from the protection of the ecological integrity of their lands; then third, entrenching such rights would limit the freedom of Western industrial operations to commit crimes’

Citation

(2009) 21(2) Journal of Environmental Law, 385-387.

Paper

Environmental Justice & the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. International & Domestic Legal Perspectives.

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A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design (N.J. Todd)

Author

Nancy Jack Todd

Keywords

Food, Trees, Fishponds, Energy, Sun, Wind, Conservation, Education and Outreach, Shelter to Bioshelter, Consolidation, Restoring the Water

Abstract

In the late sixties, as the world was waking to a need for Earth Day, a pioneering group founded a small non-profit research and education organization they called the New Alchemy Institute. Their aim was to explore the ways a safer and more sustainable world could be created. In the ensuing years, along with scientists, agriculturists, and a host of enthusiastic amateurs and friends, they set out to discover new ways that basic human needs—in the form of food, shelter, and energy—could be met. A Safe and Sustainable World is the story of that journey, as it was and as it continues to be.

The dynamics and the resilience of the living world were the Institute’s model and the inspiration for their research. Central to their efforts then and now is, along with science, a spiritual quest for a more harmonious human role in our planet’s future. The results of this work have now entered mainstream science through the emerging discipline of ecological design.

Nancy Jack Todd not only relates a fascinating journey from lofty ideals through the hard realities encountered in learning how to actually grow food, harness the energy of the sun and wind, and design green architecture. She also introduces us to some of the heroes and mentors who played a vital role in those efforts as well, from Buckminster Fuller to Margaret Mead. The early work of the Institute culminated in the design and building of two bioshelters—large greenhouse-like independent structures called Arks, that provided the setting for much of the research to follow.

Successfully proving through the Institute’s designs and investigations that basic land sustainability is achievable, John Todd and the author founded a second non-profit research group, Ocean Arks International. Here they applied the New Alchemy’s natural systems thinking to restoring polluted waters with the invention and implementation of biologically based living technologies called Ecomachines and Pond and Lake Restorers. A Safe and Sustainable World demonstrates what has and can be done – it also looks to what must be done to integrate human ingenuity and the four billion or so years of evolutionary intelligence of the natural world into healthy, decentralized, locally dreams hard won – and hope.

Citation

Nancy Jack Todd, ASafe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design (Island Press, 2006)

Book

A Safe and Sustainable World: The Promise of Ecological Design

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The Logic of Sufficiency (T. Princen)

Author

Thomas Princen

Keywords

Modern society, material security, citizens, ecological integrity, economic security, ecological constraint, sufficiency, consumption

Abstract

What if modern society put a priority on the material security of its citizens and the ecological integrity of its resource base? What if it took ecological constraint as a given, not a hindrance but a source of long-term economic security? How would it organize itself, structure its industry, shape its consumption?

Across time and across cultures, people actually have adapted to ecological constraint. They have changed behavior; they have built institutions. And they have developed norms and principles for their time. Today’s environmental challenges—at once global, technological, and commercial—require new behaviors, new institutions, and new principles.

In this highly original work, Thomas Princen builds one such principle: sufficiency. Sufficiency is not about denial, not about sacrifice or doing without. Rather, when resource depletion and overconsumption are real, sufficiency is about doing well. It is about good work and good governance; it is about goods that are good only to a point.

With examples ranging from timbering and fishing to automobility and meat production, Princen shows that sufficiency is perfectly sensible and yet absolutely contrary to modern society’s dominant principle, efficiency. He argues that seeking enough when more is possible is both intuitive and rational—personally, organizationally, and ecologically rational. And under global ecological constraint, it is ethical. Over the long term, an economy—indeed a society—cannot operate as if there’s never enough and never too much.

Citation

Thomas Princen, The Logic of Sufficiency (MIT Press, 2005)

Book

The Logic of Sufficiency

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Reconciling human existence with ecological integrity: science, ethics … (L. Westra et al)

Author

Laura Westra, Klaus Bosselmann and Richard Westra

Keywords

Ecological integrity; Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG); sustainability; the Earth Charter; ethics; global governance; emissions; pollution; global warming; human rights.

Abstract

Ecosystems have been compared to a house of cards: remove or damage a part, and you risk destroying or fundamentally and irreversibly altering the whole. Protecting ecological integrity means maintaining that whole dominating influence of humanity. This book, from the Global Ecological Integrity Group, is the definitive examination of the state of the field now, and the way things may (and must) develop in the future.

Written and edited by an international collection of the world’s most respected authorities in the area, the book considers the extent to which human rights—such as the right to food, energy, health, clean air or water—can be reconciled with the principles of ecological integrity. The issue is approached from a variety of economic, legal, ethical and ecological standpoints, providing an essential resource for researchers, students and those in government or business in a wide range of disciplines. It ends with a declaration of the principles the authors believe we must adopt if we are to avoid the destruction that is otherwise envisaged.

Citation

L. Westra, K. Bosselmann and R. Westra, Reconciling human existence with ecological integrity: science, ethics, economics and law (Earthscan, Padstow, 2008).

Book

Reconciling human existence with ecological integrity: science, ethics, economics and law.

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