6: Structures and agencies in the Global South towards democratic or authoritarian environmental governance? – Vulnerable groups in focus

Chairs: Nina Tokola, University of Eastern Finland (nina.tokola@uef.fi), and Violeta Gutiérrez Zamora, University of Eastern Finland (violeta.gutierrez.zamora@uef.fi)

Time: Friday 17th of February, 15:30-17:30.
Place: House of Sciences and Letters, room 309.

This session invites presentations dealing with environmental governance transitions towards both democratic and authoritarian systems in the Global South. In this working groups we would like to discuss what global and local processes and relations in environmental and natural resources governance are causing concentration of power, inequality, poverty, and environmental degradation; and what the local responses and resistances to this processes are. We shall focus on the roles of and future perspectives for vulnerable and marginalized groups, like women, youth, disable people and ethnic minorities in these environmental governance transitions. Furthermore, for this session we ask: what are the environmental governance trajectories for development envisioned for and practiced in the Global South countries?  What impacts those trajectories bring to vulnerable and marginalized groups? What discourses and practices in environmental governance are enhancing transitions towards democratic or authoritarian forms of rule?

The concept of vulnerability gains attention in environmental change research, particularly in assessing the potential effects of dramatic events, variability and trends on both society and the environment. For example, in the transition towards “bioeconomy”, a timely trend set in different geographical contexts, the overall aims are to establish an economy based on renewable resources stemming from natural resources. Are bioeconomy interventions enhancing or undermining equality in environmental governance structures of the Global South countries? How could bioeconomy interventions be created to increase public discussions and to include the voices of vulnerable and marginalized groups to strengthen social justice?

This working group seeks to bring together presentations of both theoretical and empirical studies, and from various disciplines including development studies, geography, anthropology, sociology, law, environmental and forest sciences. Studies on novel methodologies are also welcome.

15:30 Vulnerability as a legal concept – analysis on the green case law of the Inter-American human rights framework. Heta Heiskanen, University of Tampere:

15:55 Enhancing the resilience of fishing communities to climate Change through co-management in the Hilsa fishery – A case study of Bangladesh. Mohammad Mozumder, University of Helsinki.

16:20 Rethinking democratization in community forest management for the Anthropocene: the role of indigenous peoples in transforming environmental governance in Mexico. Violeta Gutiérrez Zamora, University of Eastern Finland.

16:45 State territorialisation, legitimacy of state and legal pluralism: FLEGT and REDD+ processes in the Lao PDR (Laos). Sabaheta Ramcilovic-Suominen, University of Eastern Finland & Hilary Smith.

17:10 Responsive Natural Resources Governance: The way to enhance justice in global environmental governance? Comparative study in Tanzania, Mexico, Lao PDR, Nepal and Finland. Irmeli Mustalahti, University of Eastern Finland.