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UNRISD to Hold Parallel Event at Johannesburg Earth Summit

16 Aug 2002



On 30 August 2002, the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and the University of Witwatersrand are to co-host a one-day conference on The Political Economy of Sustainable Development: Environmental Conflict, Participation and Movements. The event is to be held at Wits Club, Gateway 7, West Campus, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, from 09:00-17:00.

The ongoing deterioration in the world’s social and environmental conditions since the Earth Summit in 1992 raises serious questions regarding both the analysis and proposals associated with Agenda 21 and other mainstream policy documents. What went wrong? Part of the problem has to do with the failure of policy makers to adequately address issues such as the contradictions between economic, social and environmental aspects of development, inequalities in social and north-south relations, conflicts of interest and values, and the social forces and alliances that need to be in place to promote change and institutional reform. This conference aims to highlight the importance of “political economy” and “political ecology” perspectives for understanding environmental and development problems and for formulating strategies for sustainable development.

The conference will provide a forum where researchers, activists and policy makers can discuss these and related issues. International scholars will present papers on:
  • Environmental conflict and movements in the North and South, Juan Martinez-Alier
  • Women, participation and environmental management, Bina Agarwal
  • Grassroots mobilization for land, Krishna Ghimire
  • Corporate environmental responsibility and activism, Peter Utting
  • Environmental movements in Latin America and Africa, María Pilar García-Guadilla, Cyril Obi and David Fig

Entry is free and we welcome the media and interested participants from any field.