IAIA18: Environmental Justice in Societies in Transition
Globally, societies are in transition due to environmental challenges such as climate change, shifts in political power as seen in Europe and the USA, and social changes such as mass migration. All these changes and challenges pose a threat to the sustainability of the physical and human environment, and growing inequality threatens both the social and natural environment.
Although the aim of development is to create a more sustainable environment, the reality is often that only few people benefit while others are left to bear the brunt of the impacts and greater inequality. Environmental management should serve to translate environmental costs into wellbeing benefits for all of humankind and not just the privileged few.
South Africa is a good example of a society in transition where reducing inequality is the greatest challenge the country faces. Durban experiences many such challenges. The city boasts both plush upmarket residential suburbs and impoverished informal settlements at the other end of the spec-trum. Durban also bears the legacy of apartheid planning with historical residential areas in the immediate proximity of large-scale industrial operations. In amongst this all is a rich natural environment in the form of the sea, estuaries, rivers, forests and wetlands that lie within the city limits.
This is an ideal setting to engage with the conference theme; your participation is invited.