Analysis of (un)Invited participation using environmental justice in permanent reserved forest in peninsular Malaysia

Azmi, Alia (2019) Analysis of (un)Invited participation using environmental justice in permanent reserved forest in peninsular Malaysia. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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With current concern over climate change, forests are acknowledged as a vital component of climate change initiatives, translating to an economic subsidy worth billions of dollars. However, continuous deforestation and land development threatens protection and conservation of forests as well as the sustainability of this natural resource. Public participation then becomes important, as it is not only a key requirement of sustainable development, but also an important aspect of a democratic society. However, the overall neglect of the social aspect of sustainability in previous initiatives as well as examples of failed public participation processes highlights the question: How do we understand the process of public participation? What determines the success or failure of a public participation process? One of the ways to explore this issue is by considering the different dimensions of environmental justice and how they can be incorporated in a public participation process. The use of environmental justice provided an alternative perspective to study public participation. Using Malaysia as a case study, four cases of forestry management conflict were examined in peninsular Malaysia. These cases illustrated the interaction between different actors and how invited and uninvited public participations were constructed within permanent reserved forest governance. Application of environmental justice principles to both invited and uninvited participation processes highlight both social subordination of the public and unjust public participation mechanisms in a governance system that was supposedly built on the ideologies of sustainability. Interviews with multiple actors showed not only a disconnected perception amongst the actors regarding permanent reserved forests, but also a flawed forestry system that allowed domination by elite actors, rendering it unsustainable and ensuring public participation remained meaningless. However, the use of uninvited participation as a community based response to meaningless participatory mechanisms highlights the need for social capital, a resource that is available only to the affluent. Environmental justice has proven useful as an analytical lens, and the discovery of unjust and economic-centric forestry governance is indicative of a failed sustainable forestry management system, one that must be rectified.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Users 11011 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 13:10
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2019 13:10


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