Seminar: Solar panels for Siberia

The Essex Sustainability Institute’s Seminar Series,Sustainability Contested, continues in 2013 at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public. All are welcome, please spread the word!

Attendance is free, but prior registration is required. Please register by clicking here.

 

Solar panel project for the Lower Kolyma region of the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Russia; a four year collaboration.

Chris Madine, Arklerton Trust 

19th February 2013, Room Room TC.1.10, from 12:30 – 14:00 

Abstract: This presentation will describe the events which have unfolded in the attempt to train two candidates from Siberian communities to become solar engineers. The training is devised and conducted by the Barefoot College, an organization based in India which is primarily involved in rural development. The training process lasts a period of six months and is designed to result in a candidate becoming fully proficient in the construction and maintenance of their community’s own solar powered light project. The aim of this venture was to take solar light technology to the nomadic reindeer herders of the Chukchi Nation (Turvaurgin and Nutendli communities) located in the Lower Kolyma region of the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Russia.

Biography: Chris is currently working as a Consultant Ecologist in the North East of England. He also works closely with the Arkleton Trust. The Trust is a research group, which, founded in 1977, has the aim of ‘studying new approaches to rural development and education’ and ‘improving understanding between rural policy makers, academics, practitioners and rural people’.

 

Seminar: Neoliberalism, Socionature and Water Problems: The Multiple Scarcities of Lima, Peru

The Essex Sustainability Institute  is hosting  a new seminar series, Sustainability Contested, at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public. All are welcome, and attendance is free! Please spread the word! If you would like to meet the speakers on the day, please email Bryony Pound, at balpou (at) essex.ac.uk. The final seminar for the Autumn term is on the 4th of December, 12:30 – 2pm, Room 5N.3.2.

Neoliberalism, Socionature and Water Problems: The Multiple Scarcities of Lima, Peru  
Antonio Ioris (University of Edinburgh) and Rafael Kunter Flores (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil)  

Abstract: The presentation will discuss the failures of water services and the growing scarcity of water in Lima, the capital of Peru. Institutional reforms and large-scale investments in the water sector in the city have been strongly influenced in recent decades by wider economic adjustments and the reconfiguration of the national state. The modernization of the water sector is described as a multifaceted, highly idiosyncratic phenomenon that depends on three interrelated processes: techno-environmental improvements, the marketization of water management and the search for political legitimacy. A condition of water scarcity goes beyond the physical insufficiency of resources, but vividly contains the inadequacy of social institutions responsible for the allocation and use of water. Scarcity is never a single phenomenon but develops into unavoidably associations with other manifestations of shortage and deprivation. The multiple features of scarcity are not only interconnected, but are interdependent and mutually reinforcing.

Water reforms represent a privileged entry point into the kaleidoscopic interlinkages that constitute the socio-politics of the city. Based on three case study areas in Lima (Pachacútec, Huaycán and Villa El Salvador), the interconnection between investments, selective abundances and persistent scarcities will be examined. The presentation will examine why the inversion of money and technology in the water sector in the last two decades has failed to offer a solution to the metabolism of scarcity. Although the modernisation of water services has been based on fleeting investments and on the business-like management of the public utility and of alternative water systems (e.g. micro-credit schemes), the responses to water problems remain centred on the appropriation of scarcity as a key productive force. In the end, the material and symbolic production of scarcity in the Latin American metropolis continues to be predicated upon practices of spatial exclusion and social discrimination.

Overall, the complexity of the institutional reforms in Lima suggests that the metropolitan water sector has travelled a long journey since the introduction of a new regulatory apparatus and calls for environmental governance promoted by multilateral agencies in the 1990s. Successive programmes have included a discourse of public participation, environmental sustainability and even social justice, but also incorporated incentives for the circulation of capital and the maximisation of private profits. In that sense, the case study of Lima intensely encapsulates the growing sophistication of water reform strategies, but also represents a relevant illustration of the intricate urban policies adopted in recent years. Substantial sums of money have been invested in infrastructure and management – which has attracted more international operators than the company can actually handle – while less attention has been dedicated to creating specific solutions to the concrete reality of water problems in different parts of Lima. The insufficiencies and contradictions of the water governance initiatives are becoming increasingly more evident and the allocation and use of water in Lima remain highly contested. Genuine alternatives will require further efforts in terms of public engagement and shared decision-making, as well as reforms in urban policies and the promotion of a more equitable basis of national development.

Antonio Ioris is Lecturer in Environment and Society at the School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh. His main academic interests are related to the political ecology of water policy-making and urban water management, with an emphasis on multiscale conflicts over the allocation and use of natural resources. Recent publications cover empirical work done in Portugal, Brazil, Peru, and Great Britain on the implementation of water institutional reforms, the politico-institutional dimension of climate change, and the influence of economic development demands in the expansion of water services. Recent and ongoing research projects include the reform of the water industry in Lima (Peru), the search for environmental justice in the Glasgow area, climate change and institutional weaknesses in the Paraguay River Basin (South America), integration of water management and agriculture systems, the adoption of digital technologies for the communication of hydrological data and the interface between ecosystem services and poverty alleviation in Brazilian and Bolivian sections of the Amazon River Basin. He is the editor of the book “Tropical Wetland Management”, published in 2102 by Ashgate.

Rafael Kruter Flores is a PhD Student in Administration at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil. He is currently based at the University of Essex for a three month period, working under the supervision of Professor Steffen Böhm. His PhD thesis focuses on contemporary theoretical approaches and the contributions of Marxism to understanding the political economy of water. He is a member of the Organization and Liberation Praxis research group, based at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, and has published the group’s first book, which has the same name. His research interests are water property and social struggles; mining and corporate practices in Latin America; political economies of management and organization; organization of resistance and social movements.

Seminar: The Lies of the Land? Foxhunting, Landscape Policy and the Cultural Appropriation of Space

The Essex Sustainability Institute  is hosting  a new seminar series, Sustainability Contested, at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public. All are welcome, and attendance is free! Please spread the word!  If you would like to meet the speaker on the day, please email Bryony Pound, at balpou (at) essex.ac.uk.

Our next scheduled seminar is on the 29th of November, at 12:30pm in Room TC 2.10.

The Lies of the Land? Foxhunting, Landscape Policy and the Cultural Appropriation of Space. 

Alison Acton 

Abstract: In 2007 the UK Government adopted the European Landscape Convention (ELC).[1] In doing so it became bound to recognise the significance of spaces as more than physical regions; they were also to be regarded as dynamic, living landscapes, characterised by distinctive and diverse identities. However, my analysis of foxhunting culture and spatial identity indicated that local landscape assessments, designed to implement the ELC, removed foxhunting from the English countryside. This is despite the fact that foxhunting has a distinctive, long-standing and fecund physical and social presence in the land.

In practice, policies, which are designed to implement the aims of the ELC and purport to embrace its ethos, actually have a tendency to frame space selectively. They contribute to an appropriation of the landscape and represent a form of bureaucratic colonialism. The ELC claims to incorporate inclusiveness, bottom up involvement and local empowerment. However, in practice, selective representations of the environment wrest power from places and from those who create and give meaning to them.  This paper warns that this precedent represents a danger for our cultural and physical environment.

Alison Acton is an alumnus of Essex University. Her doctoral thesis examined the connection between landscape and the cultural identity of the foxhunting community. Her fieldwork involved participant observation riding as a member of mounted foxhound packs over three years. Since graduating Alison has continued researching aspects relating to foxhunting culture. Most recently this has inolved an analysis of the embodied relationship between landscape, horse and rider in foxhunting culture and the role of custom and praxis in maintaining unowned territory.Alison has presented her work at conferences hosted by the British Sociological Association, the Association of Social Anthropologists, Anthrozoos and the Royal Geographical Society and the Institute of British Geographers. She has contributed to an anthology on hunting and philosophy and has been interviewed by Laurie Taylor on the Radio 4 programme, Thinking Allowed. She is currently working on material for a forthcoming publication, Living with Horses.


[1] The ELC was signed and ratified by the UK Government in 2006 and became binding in 2007.

 

 

 

Seminar: The World Land Trust: International conservation and the human element

The Essex Sustainability Institute  is hosting  a new seminar series, Sustainability Contested, at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public.

All are welcome, and attendance is free! Please spread the word! If you would like to meet the speakers on the day, please email Zareen Bharucha, at zpbhar (at) essex.ac.uk. More on our next seminar below.

Title: The World Land Trust: International conservation and the human element

13th of November 2012, Room 5N.3.2, 12:30 – 14:00 (bring your lunch) 

John has more than 30 years’ experience working in international conservation and started the World Land Trust (www.worldlandtrust.org) in 1989. You can read more about John here.

John will discuss the way World Land Trust works with its overseas conservation project partners; specifically focussing on the way that, by working with local people, WLT ensures the long term continuity and sustainability of a conservation project.

 

Seminar: Corporate Environmental Reporting

The Essex Sustainability Institute  is hosting  a new seminar series, Sustainability Contested, at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public.

All are welcome, and attendance is free! Please spread the word! If you would like to meet the speakers on the day, please email Zareen Bharucha, at zpbhar (at) essex.ac.uk. More on the first seminar below.

Title: Corporate Environmental Reporting: What We Know, What We Don’t Know and What We Want to Know

6th of November 2012, Room 5N.3.2, 12:30 – 14:00 (bring your lunch) 

Abstract: Contrary to what many perceive, corporate environmental reporting is not a new phenomenon and has permeated the consciousness of accounting research as far back as 1977. The fact that it has remained a much-discussed issue spanning over three decades illustrates the importance of appropriately communicating sustainability and environmental information to stakeholders. Once seen as part of a broader corporate social reporting / CSR reporting agenda, environmental and sustainability reporting has emerged as an area of inquiry in its own right. The nature of the work over the past three decades highlights the interdisciplinary nature of this work, encompassing areas such as environmental science, economics, financial reporting, law, management, sociology and even linguistics. This research looks at the development of research in corporate environmental and sustainability reporting over the years, exploring theoretical nuances and arguments inherent in prior work. It concludes by exploring potential avenues for future interdisciplinary research in the area.

Idlan Zakaria joined the Essex Business School in 2006, obtaining both her Masters and PhD in Accounting and Finance at Lancaster University. She teachesfinancial reporting and corporate governance, and her research interests are in comparative corporate governance and voluntary disclosure in financial reporting. She has been published in the British Accounting Review and in the past has reviewed for publications such as the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting, the Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research and the Journal of Accounting and Emerging Economies.

 

Essex Sustainability Institute Seminars: Autumn 2012 Schedule

We’re excited to be able to share the final seminar programme for the Essex Sustainability Institute seminars scheduled for Autumn 2012. The seminars are free to attend, and are open to staff and students at the University of Essex as well as members of the public from outside the University.  Just turn up! If you would like to meet with the speakers, please contact Zareen Bharucha at zpbhar at essex.ac.uk. Attached to this post is a flier you can download and print if you would like!  A guide to campus room numbering can be found here.

26th October 2012 / 12:30 – 14:00 / Room 5S.4.11: Sarah White, University of Bath: Wellbeing and Poverty in Marginalised Communities: Zambia and India Compared. 

6th November 2012 / 12:30 – 14:00 / Room 5N.3.2: Idlan Zakaria, University of Essex: Corporate Environmental Reporting: What We Know, What We Don’t Know and What We Want to Know

13th November2012 / 12:30 – 14:00 / Room 5N.3.2: John Burton, World Land Trust: The World Land Trust: International conservation and the human element.

19th November 2012 / 13:30 – 17:00 / Room 5N.3.2: Joint seminar with the Essex Business School: Corporate approaches to sustainability and responsibility: Cases, Challenges, Contradictions

 29th November 2012 / 12:30 – 14:00 / Room TC2.10: Alison Acton, (alum, University of Essex): The Lies of the Land? Foxhunting, Landscape Policy and the Cultural Appropriation of Space

4th December 2012 / 12:30 – 14:00 / Room 5N.3.2: Antonio Ioris (University of Edinburgh) with Rafael Kruter Flores (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul): Neoliberalism, Socionature and WaMain Programme – Autumn 2012ter Problems: The Multiple Scarcities of Lima, Peru

 

 

 

Sustainable aviation workshop: University of Essex, 14th Sept. 2012

ESRC Sustainable Aviation workshop ProgrammeThe ESRC Sustainable Aviation Workshop is hosting its final event of a seminar series on the politics and policy of sustainable aviation.

Attached to this post is a programme for the day. The event will be attended by key campaigners in the debate about Heathrow and Stansted, including John Stewart and Brian Ross, who will give their thoughts on the latest developments. The workshop will also address plans for future research projects on questions of “sustainable aviation” in the UK.

The workshop starts at 9.15am and finishes at approximately 4/4.30pm and is taking place in room 5A.303.  This room is reached via Square 2, entrance 2NE and then either taking the stairs or lift up to floor 5A.
All participants will be provided with a claim form on the day which they can use to claim back the cost of travel to the university.  Please keep your receipts. The event is free to attend, but you will need to register your interest in attending with Sian Savage (ssavage at essex.ac.uk). 

Download ESRC-Sustainable-Aviation-workshop-Programme1.docx

Seminar: Is a Just Transition Possible?

The Essex Sustainability Institute  is hosting  a new seminar series, Sustainability Contested, at the Wivenhoe Park campus. The seminars are open to staff, students and members of the public.

The first seminar will be held on the 7th of September 2012, in Room 5A.303 at the Wivenhoe Park Campus, between 1:30pm and 3pm. All are welcome, and attendence is free! Please spread the word! If you would like to meet the speakers on the day, please email Zareen Bharucha, at zpbhar (at) essex.ac.uk. More on the first seminar below.

Title: Is a Just Transition Possible? – A southern perspective on the global polycrisis and what happens next.

Abstract: In this seminar Prof Mark Swilling and Eve Annecke will discuss the arguments developed in their recently published book  Just Transitions: Explorations of Sustainability in an Unfair World (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2012). In particular they will address questions about what lies beyond the current global polycrisis and the implications for rapidly industrialising developing economies. Can we anticipate a ‘sixth wave’ of industrial growth? What will the next long-term development cycle look like? They will draw on Prof Swilling’s work on decoupling and global material flows for UNEP’s International Resource Panel as well as their joint local work in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where they have translated their thinking into practice in the building of South Africa’s first socially integrated ecologically designed neighbourhood. Connecting global transition dynamics to local prefigurative examples of sustainable living in practice has been the focus of their work over the past decade.

About the speakers:

Mark Swilling

Mark Swilling is appointed as Professor of Sustainable Development in the School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute. He is responsible for the design and implementation of a Master’s and Doctoral Program in Sustainable Development that gets delivered at the Sustainability Institute in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also heads up the TSAMA Hub, a new Center for the transdisciplinary study of sustainability and complexity at Stellenbosch University. The TSAMA Hub hosts a new transdisciplinary Doctoral Program that involves collaboration between seven ofStellenboschUniversity’s Faculties. Professor Swilling obtained his PhD from theUniversity ofWarwick in 1994.

Eve Annecke

Eve Annecke is the founding director of the Sustainability Institute (SI), a living and learning centre for studies and experience in ecology, community and spirit. She is co-founder of the Lynedoch EcoVillage, and pioneered the work in Learning for Sustainability Further Education and Training College. She leads a child-centred approach to building sustainable communities within the SI.  Her teaching and research at masters level focuses on sustainability, complexity, leadership and environmental ethics.

Download Mark-Swilling-Flier.pdf

Seminar: Indigenous responses to resource development & property shifts

Deh Cho Dene Elder, Photo: Alan R. Emery

{Photo source}

This seminar will be of interest if you’re researching or are involved with traditional cultures  who are navigating the challenges posed by conventional ‘development’.

The Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities at the University of Essex is organising a seminar on the 30th of April at 4pm. Dr Carol Brown-Leonardi will present on Indigenous Responses To Resource Development And Property Shifts In The Arctic Region

Abstract: The common struggle for many indigenous people world-wide is the recognition of their indigenous rights, economic marginalisation and the political participation and representation for making decisions on their traditional land.  This presentation focuses on the Deh Cho Dene indigenous community in Northern Canada, who are currently negotiating for the control over traditional land and resources with the Canadian government. The presentation is fundamentally concerned with understanding how some underlying political influences and the negotiation for land has transformed the concept of the property for the Deh Cho Dene and what such concept means to the Deh Cho indigenous people.

 

 

The New Age of Extractivism: Online Seminar

Dr. Böhm will deliver the a webinar for the St. Andrews Microfinance Society tomorrow, the 24th of April, at 6pm GMT. Participation is free and the talk will be streamed online. Register at http://mfsoc.clickwebinar.com/The_New_Age_of_Extractivism 

Title: The New Age of Extractivism and its Social and Environmental Impacts in Latin America.

Abstract: A new age of extractivism is haunting the world. As natural resources are dwindling at an alarming rate – fuelled by the gigantic economic growth projects of the East (primarily China and India) – mankind seems to be willing and able to dig and drill deeper and go to ever more remote places to access and extract commodities, such as oil, gas, coal, copper, bauxite, to name just a few. This new extractivism is particularly evident in the Global South (but let us not forget the Canadian Tar Sands and Russia’s new richness through oil and gas) – far away from the eyes of the Western consumers who usually end up buying the products, ‘Made in China’, for which these resources are needed. 
In Latin America even progressive, left-leaning governments have signed up to this new age of extractivism and developmentalism. While social and economic inequities are tackled by Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and other countries and their leftist governments, these seem to be paid for, almost exclusively, through the taxes received from large companies (national and multinational) that are given concessions for open pit mining, deforestation, large hydro-power dams and oil/gas explorations. 
In this paper I will introduce some of the most controversial projects in Latin America that are manifestations of this new age of extractivism. I will discuss the social and environmental impacts of these projects, while framing my analysis within a broader politico-economic theory of development (and underdevelopment).  

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Slider Image: Reuters, here.