Key Debates in Environmental Governance


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This series of blog has been prepared by the author (Shahadat Hossain Shaki) for the partial
fulfilment of his master’s program course ―Key Debates in Environmental Governance‖, which has been supervised by Prof. Dr. Maria Kaika.

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Key Debates in Environmental Governance

  1. 1. Key Debates in Environmental Governance Debate-1: The Essentiality of Environmental Governance During the period of reaching nearly 400 PPM of CO2 (IPCC, 2007) in the air or overshooting earths ecological limit near about two-folds (GFN, 2013), only fools will decline the necessity of Environmental Governance at any scale or region. According to UNEP (2008), environmental governance can be defined as “Multi-level interactions (i.e., local, national, international/global) among, but not limited to, three main actors, i.e., state, market, and civil society,…in formulating and implementing policies in response to environment-related demands and inputs from the society;…for the purpose of attaining environmentally-sustainable development”. Governance as a term and concept evolved in the environmental arena significantly after two major events: publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962 and the ground breaking Tragedy of Common theory by Hardin (1968). According to Hulme (2009, p. 310, cited in Evans, 2012) the cause of climate change is “crisis of governance...[not] a crisis of the government or a failure of the market”. Evans (2012, p. 14) states that, “Governance is about what sort of world we want to inhabit and how we can coordinate getting there”. On the other hand as said by Saunier and Meganck (2009, p. 4) “ Global, in the context of governance… acknowledges that a large number of instituitons … are responsible for … management of our planet”. Summarizing the above discussion it can be said that Global Environemtal Governance is inevitable for the challenges we are facing and going to face in near future and to achieve our desired fantasy “sustainable development”. Want to conclude with the quote of William James (1956, p. 42, cited in Evan, 2012) while supporting my motive to study Environmental Governance, “ the world can and has been changes by those for whom the ideal and the real are dynamicallt contiguous”
  2. 2. References: Evans, J. P. (2012). Environmental Governance. Oxon: Routledge. GFN. (2013, June 17). Available At: (Accessed: 25 September 2013) Hardin, G. (1968). The Tragedy of the Commons. SCIENCE, 162, 1243-1248. Hulme, M. (2009). Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity. Cambridge: Cambridge University press. IPCC. (2007). IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 . Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Saunier, R. E., & Meganck, R. A. (2009). Dictionary and Introduction to Global Environmental Governance (2nd ed.). London: Earthscan. UNEP. (2008). Definition of Environmental Governance. Available At: ecision-Making/Core/Def_Enviro_Governance_rev2.pdf (Accessed: 30 September 2013)
  3. 3. Debate-2: The need to ‘Govern’ the Environment springs from the ‘tragedy of the commons’ In this finite world governance in case of environment was not required until the nineteenth century in response to the complications created by industrialization and urbanization, though the City of London passed a measure to control smoke in 1273 (Evans, 2012, p. 23). The inevitability of environmental governance first came to lime light after the publication Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in 1962. It triggered more after the ground breaking Tragedy of the Commons (Hardin, 1968) stating the famous argument that ‘environmental resources have no technical solution because they are common resource problem’ (Evans, 2012) and human being are rational by maximizing their stake (Hardin, 1968, p. 1244). Though this theory has been criticized largely by Ostrom (1999) declaring human being are adaptive in nature and will cooperate in case of disputes arises from common interest. It’s still on the debate by the contemporary researchers (Rodgers, 2010) for its contextual fault. Within the rising global awareness subsequent of Hardin’s theory and witnessing the incident of massive oil spill in Santa Barba (1969), EPA (USA) was formed at late 1970, a formal move to address the issues in concern. According to Saunier and Meganck (2009, p. 5) the visible process of GEG started with the 1972 UN conference, which evolved in the course of time through various events (i.e. 1992-Earth Summit; NDRC, 2005) and now more settled in the form of COP arranged by IPCC (Evans, 2012). Summary of this discussion is within the following statement - The tragedy of the commons ‘supplied the framework in which most environmentalists and those in related social and especially natural sciences understood natural resource issues’ and ‘became an important part of environmental education and applied resource management curricula’ (Berkes & Feeny, 1990, p. 48, cited in, Stewart, 1999).
  4. 4. References: Berkes, F., & Feeny, D. (1990). Paradigms Lost: Changing Views on the Use of Common Property Resources. Alternatives , 17(2). Evans, J. P. (2012). Environmental Governance. Oxon: Routledge. Hardin, G. (1968). The Tragedy of the Commons. SCIENCE, 162, 1243-1248. NDRC. (2005, May 18). The Evolution of International Environmental Governance. Available at: (Accessed : 27 September 2013) Ostrom, E. (1999). Coping with tragedies of the commons. Annual Review of Political Science, 2, 493535. Rodgers, C. (2010). Reversing the ‘Tragedy’ of the Commons? Sustainable Management and the Commons Act 2006. The Modern Law Review, 73(3), 461-486. Saunier, R. E., & Meganck, R. A. (2009). Dictionary and Introduction to Global Environmental Governance (2nd ed.). London: Earthscan. Stewart, K. (1999). 'Avoiding the Tragedy of the Commons: Greening Governance through the Market or the Public Domain?'. Proceedings of 'Auditing Public Domains'. York: Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University. Available at: (Accessed: 25 September 2013)
  5. 5. Debate-3: Devices to Govern the Environment – A Permutation? China’s national plan to control the air pollution of Beijing (Yongqiang, 2013), 2COP series for finding answer towards climate change (UNFCC, 2013), 3feed-in tariff policy of Germany for encouraging renewable energy (Vaughan, 2012), 4UK’s renewable obligation policy (Edie, 2012) as well as 5 Netherlands continuing transformation into green energy (Govt. of Netherlands, n.d.) – All are examples of environmental governance methods. 1 Modes of environmental governance were constantly explored (Stoker 1998; Jordan et al. 2003, p.10; Blowers 1997, pp.860–862) and finally a distinguished representation can be found in Evans (2012). Three prominent modes of governance are – Hierarchy, Network and Market, whereas two other supplementary modes are Transition Management and Adaptive Governance (Evans 2012, pp.34–38). 1 Hierarchy illustrates the traditional government led top-down approach. 2Network governance accumulates stakeholders across the boundary to work together for achieving their common goal. 3Market mode governs the environment by considering all the stakeholders as suppliers or consumers. 4 Transitional Management focuses to redirect massive technological revolution towards sustainable direction. Finally, 5adaptive governance takes place through iterative learning process and adaption in the context of changing environment. Among the above described modes, hierarchy is very rigid but sets a clear outcome target. Network mode is more flexible and sticks its stakeholders with common-interests but has less formal bindings. According to Evan (2012, pp. 214) ‘[i]n terms of institutional qualities demanded, policy-makers are most comfortable with market and transition modes’. ‘Transition management is relatively costlier but it appeals the policy makers for the goal of long-term transformations into a low carbon economy. While adaptive governance is preferable in the face of changing environment and highly unstable political funding’ (Evan, 2012). Network and market mode is the best two options we currently have (Evans, 2012) to find a global solution for contemporary crisis and human beings rational responses towards incentives and levies.
  6. 6. References: Blowers, A. (1997). Environmental Policy: Ecological Modernization or the Risk Society? Urban Studies, 34(5-6), pp.845–871. Edie. (2012). Renewables Obligation (RO) review to bring £25bn of investment into UK economy. Edie (Environmental Data Interactive Exchange). [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 6 2013]. Evans, J.P. (2012). Environmental Governance. 1st ed. Oxon: Routledge. Govt. of Netherlands. (n.d.). Sustainable Energy. Government of Netherlands. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 6 2013]. Jordan, A., Wurzel, R.K.W. and Zito, A.R. (2003). ‘New’ Instruments of Environmental Governance: Patterns and Pathways of Change. Environmental Politics, 12(1), pp.1–24. Stoker, G. (1998). Governance as theory: five propositions. International Social Science Journal, 50(155), pp.17–28. UNFCC. (2013). United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 6 2013]. Vaughan, A. (2012). Q&A: Feed-in tariffs. The Guardian. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 6 2013]. Yongqiang, G. (2013). The Cost of Cleaning China’s Filthy Air? About $817 Billion. Time. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 6 2013].
  7. 7. Debate-4: Actors of GEG – ‘Particulars’ In the backdrop of economic crisis during 1980s, the requirement of alteration form state government towards New Public Management has been realized first, while government alone failed to conceive public anticipations ( Hughes, 2003; cited in, Evans, 2012). Traditional command and control approach has been replaced with the proliferations of different actors and organizations, to formulate policies and providing services in line with state, still under the legislative framework of government. Civil society, business entity, NGOs all are the actors within the enormous GEG process. Communities (local), cities (sub-national) and states (regional and international) are forming alliance to accomplish their goals which otherwise not affordable via existing resources and legislative framework (Jordan, Wurzel, & Zito, 2003; Evans, 2012). . In order to analyze this emerging arena, Pattberg and Stripple (2008) draw upon two concepts, „[f]irst, the concept of agency beyond the state that focuses on the actor dimension and the source of authority (public, hybrid, private), and second, the concept of architecture (hierarchy, market, network)‟. Infrastructure Development Company Limited of Bangladesh is an example of GEG actor, hybrid in authority and market based in mode. It promotes (finance) solar home system (SHS) in the remote rural areas of Bangladesh through its Solar Energy Program with the financial support from the donors - WB, ADB (IDCOL, 2007). Though it‟s a country specific actor but the funding mechanism operates through transnational networking. The proliferation of actors within the GEG process has pros (fewer bureaucratic procedure, innovative approach; Evan, 2012) – and cons (multiplicity of sub regimes, manipulation by powerful state; Biermann & Pattberg, 2008). But within the pragmatic scenario of resource scarcity (finance, knowledge - in the developing world) and stern attitude of the world leaders about climate change (Canada‟s withdrawal form Kyoto), this proliferation is needed under the intensive surveillance from the state and umbrella organizations.
  8. 8. References: Biermann, F., & Pattberg, P. (2008). Global Environmental Governance: Taking Stock, Moving Forward. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 33(1), 277–294. Evans, J. P. (2012). Environmental Governance (1st ed.). Oxon: Routledge. Hughes, 0. (2003). Public Management and Administration. Basingstoke: Plagrave Macmillan. IDCOL. (2007). IDCOL: Renewable Energy Projects. Infrastructure Development Company Limited. Available at: (Accessed: October 14 2013) Jordan, A., Wurzel, R. K. W., & Zito, A. R. (2003). “New” Instruments of Environmental Governance: Patterns and Pathways of Change. Environmental Politics, 12(1), 1–24. Pattberg, P., & Stripple, J. (2008). Beyond the public and private divide: remapping transnational climate governance in the 21st century. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 8(4), 367–388.
  9. 9. Debate-5: Scales-Actors, Proliferation & Alliances-Conflicts – Facts of GEG ‘The multi-scalar character of environmental problems—spatially, socio-politically, and temporally— adds significant complexity to their governance. A common prescription to address the multilevel character of environmental problems is to design governance mechanisms across levels of social and institutional aggregation’ (Lemos & Agrawal, 2006). To support the above mentioned argument for proliferation of actors, ‘[a] variety of factors drive the reworking of environmental governance, including the weakening of central government institutions associated with neoliberal policies of deregulation, budget cuts, privatization, and decentralization, as well as a growth in social activism and new forms of expression and organization such as the Internet’ (Sonnenfeld and Mol 2002, cited in Liverman, 2004). Furthermore ‘globalization and subnational challenges have led to the emergence of a rescaled state that simultaneously transfers power upward to supranational agencies and downward to regional and local levels, changing the way policy-making capacity is distributed (Pelkonen, 2005, cited in Lemos & Agrawal, 2006). This process of proliferation later on creates alliances among the actors of specific networks (e.g. The Global NGO Network, CPP Program etc.) in need of knowledge and resource sharing as well as to ensure local commitment to address global problem (climate change) and building a cleaner image (McCormick, 2011; Betsill & Bulkeley, 2004). On the other hand conflict arises as a byproduct proliferation, which is inevitable within this huge global framework. For instance some nation states disagreed to accept the IPCC assessment process because of the absence of their proportional representation in the working force or scientific body (Siebenhüner, 2003). This is later on addressed periodically by incorporating more democratic way of decision making procedures. Then again, these alliances help the transnational advocacy bodies to bypass their respective national government in some cases to address the local issues more efficiently and to represent the local problem in the global arena. But in contrast it may also lead to misleading in case of reporting standard and creating conflict within networks and between scales (McCormick, 2011; Bulkeley, 2005).
  10. 10. References: Betsill, M. M., & Bulkeley, H. (2004). Transnational networks and global environmental governance: The cities for climate protection program. International Studies Quarterly, 48(2), 471–493. Bulkeley, H. (2005). Reconfiguring environmental governance: Towards a politics of scales and networks. Political Geography, 24, 875–902. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2005.07.002 Lemos, M. C., & Agrawal, A. (2006). Environmental Governance. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 31(1), 297–325. Liverman, D. (2004). Who governs, at what scale and at what price? Geography, environmental governance, and the commodification of nature. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 94(4), 734–738. McCormick, J. (2011). Chapter 5: The Role of Environmental NGOs in International Regimes. In R. S. Axelrod, S. D. VanDeveer, & D. L. Downie (Eds.), The Global Environment : Institutions, Law and Policy (pp. 92–110). Washington D.C.: CQ Press. Siebenhüner, B. (2003). The changing role of nation states in international environmental assessments— the case of the IPCC. Global Environmental Change, 13(2), 113–123. Indirect References: Pelkonen A. 2005. State restructuring, urban competitiveness policies and technopole building in Finland: a critical view on the global state thesis. Eur. Plan. Stud. 13:687–705 Sonnenfeld, D., and A. Mol. 2002. Globalization and the transformation of environmental governance. The American Behavioral Scientist 45 (9): 1318–39.
  11. 11. Debate-6: CSR – Environmental Protection or Creating Disguise? The promotion of environmental responsibility amongst transnational corporations (TNCs) has become an important topic of debate in recent years. While government regulation might achieve environmental goals in a blunt manner, business community argues that voluntary measures can achieve them in a more efficient way (Utting and Marques 2010; Clapp 2005). One of the commercial drivers of private forms of (self) regulation, such as ISO 14001 standards, is desired to keep smaller firms out of profitable markets by raising the barrier to entry and increasing the costs of compliance with standards (Clapp, 1998, cited in Newell and Levy 2006). Tobacco companies for instance claim that they are engaged in CSR because of being concerned corporate citizens. In reality, CSR activities cost tobacco companies very little in relation to their annual profits. In 2009, British American Tobacco (BAT) spent USD $22.3 million on CSR compared to the USD $4.8 billion it earned in profits (TFK 2011). BAT runs several CSR program in Bangladesh notably, Afforestation Program - to offset the deforestation (30% of the country total; TFK, 2011) caused during tobacco drying and Sustainable Agriculture - to minimize the environmental degradation (BATB 2010; Ahmed 2012). Which are greatly outweighed by the detrimental effects of smoking and now illegal in Bangladesh as a signatory of Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO 2013). On the other hand, ‘[c]corporations performed as shapers and negotiators of environmental rules as well as play central position in informal governance of the environment that derives from their daily operations. Corporations play multiple and potentially conflicting roles as lobbyists, experts, (self) regulators and providers of the capital and technologies necessary to realize environmental policy goals’ (Newell and Levy 2006). In contrast, recent years have seen a number of cases of ‘accidental’ or ‘unintentional’ releases of genetically modified organisms (StarLink, Bt10 maize, Liberty Link RICE 601). Behavior of the firms responsible for the illegal releases in these three cases raises important questions about the effectiveness of voluntary corporate responsibility measures. Which demands strong regulatory rules to incorporate regular external monitoring and oversight by governments, as well as more stringent penalties and assignment of legal liability, alongside voluntary codes (Clapp 2008).
  12. 12. References: Ahmed, M. (2012). The Evaluation of the CSR Activities of British American Tobacco Bangladesh. Dhaka: Business School, BRAC University. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 20 2013]. BATB. (2010). British American Tobacco Bangladesh - Our corporate social responsibility. British American Tobacco Bangladesh. [online]. Available from: ent&SKN=1 [Accessed: October 28 2013]. Clapp, J. (2005). Global environmental governance for corporate responsibility and accountability. Global Environmental Politics, 5(3), pp.23–34. Clapp, J. (2008). Illegal GMO releases and corporate responsibility: Questioning the effectiveness of voluntary measures. Ecological Economics, 66(2-3), pp.348–358. Clapp, J. (1998). The Privatization of Global Environmental Governance: ISO 14000 and The Developing World. Global Governance, 4(3), pp.295–316. Newell, P. and Levy, D. (2006). The Political Economy of the Firm in Global Environmental Governance. In C. May, ed. Global Corporate Power. International Political Economy Yearbook. Boulder: Lynne Rienner, pp. 157–181. TFK. (2011). Advertising, Promotion and Sponsorship: Corporate Social Responsibility. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 15 2013]. Utting, P. and Marques, J.C. (2010). Introduction: The Intellectual Crisis of CSR. In P. Utting & J. C. Marques, eds. Corporate Social Responsibility and Regulatory Governance: Towards Inclusive Development? International Political Economy Series. Plagrave Macmillan. WHO. (2013). Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. World Health Organization. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 28 2013].
  13. 13. Debate-7: ‘Pricing the Nature’ – Ethical and Sustainable? Would you mind if someone slaps you intentionally and then ask for apology? The answer is: definitely ‘no’! But while declaring a price for the nature, allowing ‘legal’ exploitation, we forget the fundamental relationship between human and nature made by Marx (1884, cited in Prudham, 2009, p.1600) – “Man lives on nature – means that nature is his body, with which he must remain in continuous interchange if he is not to die”. In recent times we are undergoing questionable pricing of environment by means of carbon trading, levies for pollution, CSR etc. through proliferation of actors within reformed structure of GEG (Liverman, 2004). Carbon trading is the most prominent because of worldwide consensus about climate change and finding its long-run solution – ‘mitigation’, guided and approved by UNFCC. Critiques of this scheme address the positive side of it as taking initiative and recognizing the responsibility by the polluters (global north) other than doing nothing and improving the resilience of the victims (global south) due to climate change via financing. But this brings the long debate of political economy – „accumulation for the sake of accumulation‟, while buying cheaper ‘carbon credit’ resulting more emission per unit cost and absence of local initiative where the problem begun and will remain (Bumpus and Liverman, 2008; Prudham, 2009). Since its launch in 2005, CDM approach offset significant amount of carbon from the atmosphere, claimed by its proponents (EC, 2013) in contrast global GHG emission is on uprising trend accompanying global warming (IPCC, 2013). This fact question the efficiency of CDM to achieve net emission reduction while allowing global elites to pollute in exchange of money. By bringing UK’s celebrity entrepreneur Richard Branson’s pledge to ‘fight global warming’ into the context, we can judge this ‘green capitalism’ approach, which is camouflaged by desire of future competitiveness and secure profit through innovation (Prudham, 2009). Similar thought echoes by Banerjee (2008) while judging the character of CSR – „[m]arkets, however efficient they may be in setting prices, cannot be counted upon to ensure that corporations will always act in the interests of society. Social investment and social justice can never become a corporation‟s core activity‟.
  14. 14. References: Banerjee, S.B. (2008). Corporate Social Responsibility: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Critical Sociology, 34(1), pp.51–79. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 5, 2013]. Bumpus, A.G. and Liverman, D.M. (2008). Accumulation by Decarbonization and the Governance of Carbon Offsets. Economic Geography, 84(2), pp.127–155. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 11, 2013]. EC. (2013). EU ETS 2005-2012. Climate Action - European Commission. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 10, 2013]. IPCC. (2013). Summary for Policymakers. In T. F. Stocker et al., eds. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge, UK & New York, USA: Cambridge University Press. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: May 10, 2013]. Liverman, D. (2004). Who Governs, at What Scale and at What Price? Geography, Environmental Governance, and the Commodification of Nature. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 94(4), pp.734–738. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 21, 2013]. Marx, K. (1884). Estranged Labour. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 11, 2013]. Prudham, S. (2009). Pimping Climate Change: Richard Branson, Global Warming, and the Performance of Green Capitalism. Environment and Planning A, 41(7), pp.1594 – 1613. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 5, 2013].
  15. 15. Debate-8: Participation and Lay Knowledge in Environmental Governance - ‘Significant’? Stakeholder’s participation is a recurrent theme of environmental governance since 1960s, when environmental politics became institutionalized within western developed countries. Scientists, interest groups, media and local protests have been significant in shaping the definition and resolution of environmental issues (Bulkeley and Mol, 2003). In contrast, Beck (1999) argued “in the face of this ‘risk society’, the conventional political institutions of modernity are increasingly…inadequate…as decision-making power, control and legitimacy increasingly locate outside the political system…which were previously considered unpolitical” (cited in Bulkeley and Mol, 2003). Collaborative processes, has been suggested, to enable local actors to place their knowledge in the broader context of what state actors know, and vice versa (Innes et al., 2007 cited in Taylor and de Loë, 2012). Only recognizing expert knowledge as a valid basis for decisionmaking excludes the knowledge and experience of people who live and work in ecosystems (Taylor and Buttel, 1992 cited in Evans, 2012). On the other hand Tatenhove and Leroy (2003) argue, “we should not assume that increased involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process is necessarily symptomatic of a loss of state power. It is vital not to …assume that a linear trend of shifts from government to governance is taking place” (Macleod and Goodwin, 1999, p.522 cited in Bulkeley and Mol, 2003) Additionally, “contextualized knowledge, can lead to problem-specific responses that are more likely to be accepted and supported by the public. [B]ias against local knowledge highlights the critical relationship between knowledge and power in collaborative processes” (Lach et al., 2005; van Ast and Boot, 2003; Flyvbjerg, 2001; Healey, 2003 cited in Taylor and de Loë, 2012) In summation, local knowledge is significant equally as the scientific knowledge (in some cases surpasses) in environmental decision making and planning, in the era of complex challenge imposed by climate change, to adapt and sustain (Reid et al., 2009; Few et al., 2007). Public participation from the beginning of the development planning can make the process more focused, legitimate, resource optimized and worthy (Petts and Brooks, 2006).
  16. 16. References: Bulkeley, H. and Mol, A.P.J. (2003). Participation and Environmental Governance: Consensus, Ambivalence and Debate. Environmental Values, 12(2), pp.143–154. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 17, 2013]. Evans, J.P. (2012). Participation and Politics. In Environmental Governance. Oxon: Routledge, pp. 187–209. Few, R., Brown, K. and Tompkins, E.L. (2007). Public Participation and Climate Change Adaptation: Avoiding the Illusion of Inclusion. Climate Policy, 7(1), pp.46–59. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Petts, J. and Brooks, C. (2006). Expert Conceptualisations of the Role of Lay Knowledge in Environmental Decision Making: Challenges for Deliberative Democracy. Environment and Planning A, 38(6), pp.1045 – 1059. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Reid, H. et al. (2009). Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change: an Overview H. Reid et al., eds. Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) : Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change, 60, pp.9–34. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 15, 2013]. Van Tatenhove, J.P.M. and Leroy, P. (2003). Environment and Participation in a Context of Political Modernisation. Environmental Values, 12(2), pp.155–174. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 17, 2013]. Indirect Citations: Van Ast, J.A. and Boot, S.P. (2003). Participation in European Water Policy. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Parts A/B/C, 28(12–13), pp.555–562. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Beck, U. (1999). World Risk Society. Wiley. Flyvbjerg, B. (2001). Making Social Science Matter: Why Social Inquiry Fails and How it Can Succeed Again. Cambridge University Press. Healey, P. (2003). Collaborative Planning in Perspective. Planning Theory, 2(2), pp.101–123. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Innes, J.E., Connick, S. and Booher, D. (2007). Informality as a Planning Strategy: Collaborative Water Management in the CALFED Bay-Delta Program. Journal of the American Planning Association, 73(2), pp.195–210. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013].
  17. 17. Lach, D., Rayner, S. and Ingram, H. (2005). Taming the Waters: Strategies to Domesticate the Wicked Problems of Water Resource Management. International Journal of Water, 3(1), p.1. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Macleod, G. and Goodwin, M. (1999). Space, Scale and State Strategy: Rethinking Urban and Regional Governance. Progress in Human Geography, 23(4), pp.503–527. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Taylor, P.J. and Buttel, F.H. (1992). How do we know we have Global Environmental Problems? Science and the Globalization of Environmental Discourse. Geoforum, 23(3), pp.405–416. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: November 18, 2013]. Taylor, B. and de Loë, R.C. (2012). Conceptualizations of Local Knowledge in Collaborative Environmental Governance. Geoforum, 43(6), pp.1207–1217. [online]. Available from: [Accessed: October 5, 2013].
  18. 18. Debate-10: Justice/Equity and Environmental Governance Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference (Harvey, 1996) - key themes in that seminal work are: (1) the mutual reciprocity between social and environmental changes; and (2) the contradictions that emerge from a dialectical analysis of these changes in urban spaces. In a time of increasing uncertainty about future changing global climate and the increasingly large-scale displacements resulting from natural disasters, Harvey’s work serves as a reminder that planners and geographers have yet to engage rigorously in dialectical analyses related to notions of justice. Harvey challenges scholars to explore the spatial dialectics associated with environmental and social changes, and his political and intellectual project includes demonstrating the dialectical linkages between notions of justice and nature in urban environment (Dooling, 2009). Responding to Harvey’s call, Dooling (2009) explored justice in urban environment through ‘ecological gentrification’1 in Seattle; where homeless peoples are excluded by the state and society for the sake of maintaining healthy atmosphere from urban common spaces through formal law enforcement. Hossain and Hackenbroch (2012a, 2012b) illustrates through their work on urban informality (Hackenbroch and Hossain, 2012) in Dhaka, how low income peoples are exploited by the city elites periodically for the sake of their interest (to ensure tranquillity and pollution abatement). In spite of these people are the prime sources of informal labour demand by this mega-city. Additionally, while judging urban land market inequalities in China, Wu (2009) states that, ―in the process of land development, the state has expanded its regulatory activities but, at the same time, allowed land to be transacted through different approaches. As regards inequality, the legacy of old state policies persists. In a spatial form such as the urban village, the state is aiming to redevelop the land, while proprietors attempt to gain more rental income by continuing to build unapproved housing for migrants, thus exploit rural migrant though increasing the rent. In contrast environmental protection can be ensured along with the justice and participation of the local people which has been studied by Measham and Lumbasi (2013) trough community based natural resource management in Kenya and Australia. 1 Ecological gentrification is a provocative term that highlights the contradictions that emerge between an ecological rationality and its associated environmental ethics, and the production of injustices for politically and economically vulnerable people
  19. 19. References: Dooling, S. (2009). Ecological Gentrification: A Research Agenda Exploring Justice in the City. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(3), pp.621–639. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 25, 2013]. Hackenbroch, K. and Hossain, S. (2012). The Organised Encroachment of the Powerful‖—Everyday Practices of Public Space and Water Supply in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Planning Theory & Practice, 13(3), pp.397–420. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 26, 2013]. Harvey, D. (1996). Justice, Nature and the Geography of Difference. Wiley-Blackwell. Hossain, S. and Hackenbroch, K. (2012a). The Senseless Destruction of a Vibrant Part of Dhaka. - Opinion. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 25, 2013]. Hossain, S. and Hackenbroch, K. (2012b). The Voice of Korail on Inhabitants’ Sufferings and Aspirations. - Opinion. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 25, 2013]. Measham, T.G. and Lumbasi, J.A. (2013). Success Factors for Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM): Lessons from Kenya and Australia. Environmental Management, 52(3), pp.649–659. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 26, 2013]. Wu, F. (2009). Land Development, Inequality and Urban Villages in China. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 33(4), pp.885–889. [online]. Available from: [Accessed November 25, 2013].
  20. 20. This series of blog has been prepared by the author (Shahadat Hossain Shaki) for the partial fulfilment of his master’s program course ―Key Debates in Environmental Governance‖, Which has been supervised by Prof. Dr. Maria Kaika. Blog Link: Author can be contacted for further query and suggestions at :