What does a just transition mean for urban biodiversity? Insights from three cities globally

Mabon, Leslie, Layard, Antonia, De Vito, Laura, Few, Roger, Hatzisavvidou, Sophia, Selomane, Odirilwe, Marshall, Adam, Marciniak, Gilles and Moersberger, Hannah (2024) What does a just transition mean for urban biodiversity? Insights from three cities globally. Geoforum, 154. ISSN 0016-7185

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Abstract

Just transitions – responses to environmental change that minimise negative impacts on the most affected people and places, while ensuring nobody is left behind – are gaining scholarly and policy significance in areas beyond their original focus on carbon-intensive jobs and sectors. Yet attention to what a just transition means for biodiversity, as another aspect of the global environmental crisis, remains limited. Given the critical role that biodiversity plays in supporting livelihoods and wellbeing, this is a notable gap. This paper assesses what a just transition means for biodiversity, focusing on urban environments as the spaces in which many people encounter biodiversity globally. We undertake interview research across three case study cities representing different geopolitical and environmental contexts: Bristol (UK); Yubari (Japan); and Cape Town (South Africa) and ask two questions: what does biodiversity tell us about the concept of just transitions in the lived environment; and what are the consequences of considering just transitions in the context of biodiversity in the lived urban environment? Based on our findings, we set out six principles for a just transition in relation to urban biodiversity, as areas for further empirical enquiry: a shared sense of what a just transition and biodiversity mean in the local context; diverse social and ecological knowledge systems informing decision-making; integration and cohesion across policies; inclusive, meaningful and early engagement; supporting communities during and after implementation; and measures for assessing the effectiveness of outcomes from an ecological and a social perspective.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Global Development (formerly School of International Development)
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Water Security Research Centre
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Area Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Climate Change
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Global Environmental Justice
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Health and Disease
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2024 09:32
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 01:36
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/95713
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2024.104069

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