Navigating the Landscape: The Nature of Environmental Injustice
The management of natural resources occurs within a dynamic political environment. A fundamental tenet of this management is the asymmetry of the cost-benefit paradigm, especially as people on the periphery experience costs disproportionately. This asymmetry has transformed the environment into a social construct underpinned by opposing narratives. Moreover, this asymmetry reinforces existing social inequities because environmental costs are not quarantined from other inequalities and are often married to other forms of exclusion. Such marginalisation breeds hopelessness, leading to the salience of geographic identities and resource-based conflict. This article explains why environmental justice must take its place within the framework of broader social concerns to minimise the dichotomy between those who control natural resources and those who suffer from their over-exploitation. Ultimately, this demand for environmental justice enlarges the quest for basic civil rights.