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Session Overview
6-SP069: Climate-Resilient Development and Social Justice: Squaring the Circle?
Wednesday, 07/July/2021:
12:30pm - 1:45pm

Session Chair: Dr. Edith Kuerzinger, PREMAnet e.V., Germany
Session Chair: Prof. Darley Jose Kjosavik, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway
Session Chair: Dr. Stefano Moncada, University of Malta, Malta

Session Abstract

The window to avert irreversible climate-change, biodiversity loss, vulnerability, and social inequalities is rapidly closing. We invite voices from innovative research, education, and practice to present ideas, sketches, concepts, success stories, research-frameworks and findings, which trigger transformational change towards socially just, peaceful, and climate-resilient societies. An interactive “seed-panel” will allow exchange of views and cooperation among actors involved in climate-resilient change based on solidarity, social justice and peace. Key concepts: innovative/multidisciplinary approaches to climate-resilient, inclusive, and peaceful pathways; vulnerability and resilience (e.g. gender, marginalized social groups, and small island developing states); substitution of fossil by renewable resources accounting for social justice and solidarity.

EADI Working Group: Climate-Resilient Development

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Collective Action, Capabilities and Climate Resilient Community Based Water Management: Perhaps only in Utopia?

Prathivadi Anand, Anisha Samantara

University of Bradford, United Kingdom

At its core, community-based water management is about empowering and giving control- to communities. Communities can do a lot themselves, but they can do a lot better when supported by an enabling web of legislation and principles that enhance their capabilities (Ostrom, 1992; Sen, 2009). In the domain of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), inter-disciplinary approaches are paramount. Here, the essence of human development and welfare is captured in the capability approach (Sen, 1979, 1991, 1999) but that alone is not enough to correct for distributional inefficiencies if environmental costs and climate change impacts are not factored in. However, at a time when the winds of neoliberal institutions have engulfed almost every aspect of water management the demands placed on communities can be unrealistic mainly because for decades such communty based institutions have been weakened or eroded. Rights based approaches including the human right to water have been momentous achievements in the journey towards reducing inequalities in access to water. However, in many countries the development of duty-bearer institutions to deliver this essential human right is still far from complete. An unintended consequence of a human rights based approach is to make the relationship between state and citizen singular and reduce the scope for solidarity and collective action. Community based advocacy organisations such as 'Pani Haq Samithi' in Mumbai, India are attempting to use both human right and collective action to demand such right for the people marginalised and most disadvantaged in the present state-led water distribution systems but these remain exceptions. The vulnerability of communities in the peri-urban regions of large cities has been highlighted in the event of summer droughts in Chennai, India where even a top magazine such as Nature reported this in 2019 but some of the institutional challenges in providing sustainable solution to Chennai's water scarcity goes back a long way (see Anand, 2001; and 2010)..

Can cities such as Chennai and Mumbai reach a situation ever when they can meet the needs of water access of all their citizens without compromising the ability of people in distant regions from where water is pumped to such cities? Even without climate change complications already such spatial inequalities are merely transferring the water scarcity of growing urban populations to far away regions and with climate change the challenge of squaring the sustainability circle is becoming ever more complicated and difficult. In this context, can community based institutions deal with these complexities while contributing to sustainable development in the communities without transferrance of the issues over space (to other regions) or time (to other generations) and lead to climate-resilient development? Are such expectations at all realistic or is this Utopian dream of demanding ever more from community based water management institutions and romanticising their potential when the reality is that they are cementing the cracks to manage dire situations from getting worse?

This research aims to (a) look at community-based water management institutions as a possible solution to repairing failed water management incentives in the global south (b) explore the relationship between vulnerability, sustainable development and capabilities (c) Identify new forms of leadership that are based on community understanding, values and perceptions of collective action and have implications for SDG 6 (as well as SDG11).

Conflicts and Solidarities in Pastoral Adaptation to Climate Change in Borana, Southern Ethiopia

Darley Jose Kjosavik1, Abiyot Anbacha2

1Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway; 2Hawassa University, Ethiopia

Conflicts between pastoralists in Southern Ethiopia are often attributed to historical and political economic reasons. Of late new and protracted conflicts among pastoralists have arisen due to contested ownership of land and ethnic based territories, as the Ethiopian Federal state is organized along ethnic lines since 1991. The impacts of climate change manifested in the form of increased frequency and intensity of droughts and unpredictable rainfall are superimposed on the existing situation of resource crunch and conflicts. On the one hand, studies have shown that such contexts result in an exacerbation of intergroup conflicts, while at the same time hampering the adaptive capacity of the communities due to restricted mobility, destruction of resources, and other insecurities associated with conflicts. On the other hand, there exist stories of social solidarity and cooperation through traditional institutions in the attempts for adaptive transformation. The Borana and Somali are two pastoralist communities living side by side in Southern Ethiopia and often engaged in border conflicts between Regions and Zones. At the same time both communities are increasingly vulnerable to climate change. This study seeks to understand how the traditional institutions in both communities work towards fostering solidarities within and between communities in order to reduce conflicts and vulnerability to climate change based on field work in and around the contested Moyale town area of Southern Ethiopia. The findings from the study could inform the ongoing attempts at conflict transformation as well as peaceful transitions to climate change adaptation.

Social Justice And Re-Distribution Of Benefits In The Climate Change Context: The Case Of The Coffee Sector In Costa Rica

Belen Olmos Giupponi

Kingston University London, United Kingdom

The reduction of greenhouse emissions in developing countries has taken different forms. Multiple initiatives in the agricultural sector have focused on curbing emissions and dealing with the adaptation and mitigation challenges posed by climate change. Few solutions, however, have addressed the needs of producers and local communities. In Costa Rica, initiatives implemented in the coffee sector have emphasised participation of small coffee producers and local communities.

Targeting specific GHG (emissions of nitrous oxide, CO2 and methane), initiatives like carbon neutral coffee or coffee NAMA have been launched. This has led to emissions reductions concerning the use of fertilisers increasing awareness about the release of gases into water and air. By creating a new labelling system, coffee producers have benefited from access to markets. In the quest of engaging local communities in the climate change regime without altering profit margins.

In terms of nitrous oxide and methane in water, the implementation of NAMA generated a curve diminishing pollution. This, in conjunction with the production of renewable energy through biomass, have contributed sustainable solutions. In addition, institutional and legal mechanisms guarantee the stability of the prices. With the idea of introducing sustainability in the supply chain, standards and certifications have been incorporated such as rainforest alliance and good agricultural practices. The advantages presented by other market-based mechanisms, such as ecological services have also contributed to a new paradigm of re-distribution of benefits.

Against this background, the paper analyses social justice in the coffee sector in the context of climate change from a conceptual standpoint, based on empirical evidence collected through fieldwork in Costa Rica. The analysis takes into consideration the following aspects:

  • Transparency, including the participation of sectors involved;
  • Fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Access to environmental information and to environmental justice;
  • Engaging consumers in sustainability through the traceability of the coffee produced;
  • The role of the legal framework and institutional setting;
  • The role of international institutions.

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