Environment and Vulnerability

Chaired by Prof Anja Nygren (University of Helsinki; anja.nygren@helsinki.fi), PhD candidate Mira Käkönen (University of Helsinki) and Dr Anu Lounela (University of Helsinki). Commentator: Prof Jesse Ribot (University of Illinois)

Environmental disasters have become more frequent and devastating in the midst of global environmental change. While these adversities are often understood as natural disasters, they are never simply “natural” nor is people’s vulnerability to them. In recent years, there have been calls to approaches that carefully consider the socio-political dynamics at stake, with thorough examination of the everyday conditions of vulnerability, and the socio-political processes that produce and mediate them. This working group focuses on actors, institutions, and networks involved in the planning and implementation of environmental governance and vulnerability mitigation policies. We are interested in the various effects of these governance efforts and their links to socially differentiated vulnerabilization. We also welcome papers that analyse how people, albeit with differentiated access to power, remake their lives and livelihoods, recuperate from disasters and vulnerabilities, and contest the processes that put them increasingly at risk. Analyses of discourses and framings embedded in environmental governance, as well as of movements challenging the prevalent policies are equally welcome. The papers can be anchored to political ecology, anthropology of nature, or any other approach that takes seriously the power dynamics and the complex human-nature entanglements that shape peoples vulnerability to environmental change.

Working Group Programme:

Thursday 15th Feb, 2018
Part I: 14:00-15:30, Room 505

1. Inguaggiato, Carla: Land users’ rights, governance system and tropical deforestation: a network study in the Argentinean Chaco
2. Lassila, Maija: Replacing a swamp in northern Finland
3. Lounela, Anu: Fire and the making of vulnerability and value
4. Nygren, Anja and Käkönen, Mira: Water and power, water’s power: Governance and socionatural relations shaping rivers and riverine people in Mexico and Laos

Part II: 16:00-17:30, Room 505
4. Wayessa, Gutu Olana: Livelihood impacts of land leases in Oromia, Ethiopia: Changes in local people’s access to cropping and grazing lands
5. Pikner, Tarmo: Environmental futures disentangled from nuclear legacies: “Immunizing” the coastal terrains of Paldiski town
6. Fougère, Martin: One vulnerability may hide another: Online representations of violence on orangutangs as a result of oil palm expansion
7. Heikkinen, Anna: Whose water wars? A multi-scale approach towards human security and water conflicts in the Andes

Friday 16th Feb, 2018
Part III: 10:40-12:10, Room 505
7. Mustalahti, Irmeli et al: Towards “two ways of responsibilization” in responsive forest governance: Lessons from Tanzania, Nepal and Mexico
8. Meriläinen, Eija et al: The right to the city and the making of disaster resilient communities
9. Mozumde, Mohammad: Enhancing social-ecological resilience in the human-altered small-scale fishery: A case Hilsa (Tenualosa ilisha) fishery in Bangladesh.
10. Niva, Venla: The importance of human capabilities to sustainable rural-urban migration