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Despite efforts to address the global forest crisis, deforestation and degradation continue, so we need to urgently revisit possible solutions. A failure to halt the global forest crisis contributes to climate change and biodiversity loss and will continue to result in inequalities in access to, and benefits from, forest resources. In this paper, we unpack a series of powerful myths about forests and their management. By exposing and better understanding these myths and what makes them so persistent, we have the basis to make the social and political changes needed to better manage and protect forests globally.
In academic writing from Green perspectives, work on the economy is perhaps the most well developed. This is understandable given that the economy constitutes the metabolism between human society and the wider ecosystem of which it is a part in terms of materials, resources, energy and waste. This chapter explores the critiques that Greens provide of the contemporary economy before considering alternative visions of a Green economy, as well as thinking about how to get from one to the other. Hence, I first outline Green critiques of today’s global economy, in particular its ecological unsustainability and commitment to infinite growth on a finite planet. We then look at what a Green economy might look like and how this departs markedly from ideas which invoke the same label propagated by institutions like the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and World Bank. Finally, we explore the range of strategies Greens employ and propose to build a green economy.
The concluding chapter pulls together key elements of a Green vision for global politics. It summarises the basis o a Green alternative in each of the areas covered in the book: security, economy, the state, global governance, development and sustainability. Recognising diversity of views and multiple theories of change, it suggests critical areas where this vision can be taken forward around the renewal of democracy and subsidiarity, by recommoning and economic democracy, by building new alliances and pursuing just transitions. The politics of the twenty-first century are and will be the politics of sustainability. The question for all of us is: whose politics and on whose terms?
Global governance is a particularly challenging area of global politics in which to assess and develop Green contributions because the nature of global governance reform that Greens would like to see is far less clear than for Green visions regarding related areas such as the economy, the state or security. I argue, nevertheless, that there is a clear need for a Green account of global governance, one which uniquely assesses the project and practice of global governance as a whole from the point of view of its ability to create a sustainable society rather than its ability to preserve order as an end in itself. This chapter firstl outlines Green critiques of prevailing global governance arrangements, focused on their democratic deficits and poor levels of accountability, the concentration of power in global neoliberal institutions such as the World Trade Organization,the World Bank and the IMF and their failure to advance a more sustainable model of development. Second, it proposes a vision for Green global governance in which there is a rebalancing and repurposing of global governance institutions around the need to move towards a sustainable society. Third, it evaluates strategies for achieving Green global governance.
The state figures centrally in Green debates about the prospects and possibilities of a transition towards a Green society. This is true across the spectrum of Green political thought from anarchist traditions that advocate stateless self-governing communities, to emphasis on decentralisation and subsidiarity, through to the multilevel or transnational eco or Green state. The state is viewed, variously, as too large, too small, too captured and compromised by incumbent actors, elites and classes, too exploitative, violent or hierarchical and bureaucratic, depending on which version of Green politics is drawn upon. For some, it represents too large and distant an institution to build an ecological society, especially one which, for Greens, would have to have grassroots' democracy at its heart. Yet for others, it is too small a unit to deal with ecological challenges. This chapter explores Green critiques of the undemcratic, capitalist-industrialist and coercive nature of the state before articulating different ideas about the form a Green state could take. Finally, it evaluates strategies for building a Green state through ecological democracy.
For many practitioners and scholars of International Relations, security is the number one issue in global politics. The need to secure survival trumps all other imperatives where a ‘state of nature’ is said to prevail among nations. It seems appropriate, therefore, to begin our enquiry into the contribution of Green politics to global politics with this central concern. Despite the absolute centrality given to the politics of survival in orthodox representations of IR noted above, ecological questions are largely neglected. This is inspite of a now vast literature on environmental security and environmental conflicts. Here I explore Green critiques of militarism targeting the sources of violence and conflict, as well as the ecological impacts of war, before articulating visions of a Green security and considering strategies for achieving it through ecologising security, multilateralism and democratc defence.
Environmental issues are now firmly on the global political agenda. Major UN summits and even meetings of the G8 most powerful economies in the world often feature environmental issues, especially climate change. We have now had nearly fifty years of international environmental diplomacy, such that unsurprisingly ‘the environment’ is part of everyday parlance in the practice and teaching of global politics. The same cannot be said for Green politics and perspectives on key global issues coming from more radical Green positions. Despite the potential contributions of Green thinking to an understanding and explanation of the underlying causes and potential solutions to the multiple crises engulfing global politics around war, poverty and social inequality or climate change, Green perspectives on global politics issues have rarely been articulated or brought together and have yet to gain traction. In a modest way, this book seeks to remedy that.
Development is sometimes referred to as the central organising principle of our time. So what can Green politics offer to the understanding and practice of international development? Greens have traditionally had a lot to say about key aspects of development, including peace and security, poverty and social exclusion, gender and, of course, sustainability in ways that reflect the involvement of peace, feminist and environmental movements in Green politics. The discourse and practice of ‘sustainable development’, in particular, is now omnipresent. Green politics should be playing a central role in debates about international development, but critical Green insights about the causes of poverty and destitution and how these relate to the organisation of the global economy, the role of aid, trade and multinational corporations, as well as around what inclusive, just and green solutions to these problems might look like, have often been overlooked. There is an urgent need to redress these oversights.
What is Green politics? Ecological thinking can be understood very narrowly, and quite broadly, even in its political manifestations. Like other political ideologies and perspectives, it has things to say across the whole gamut of issues facing society and though there are elements of feminism, pacifism and anarchism in Green political theory, it has its own identity and intellectual heritage and, I argue, a coherent set of critiques, visions and strategies for achieving them in global politics. Despite some of the core areas of consensus around which most Greens would converge, there is a wide spectrum of positions that sit under the broad umbrella of Green politics and many tensions and areas of disagreement amongst them. The term covers a spectrum of sometimes competing perspectives over values, politics and strategy. Here I provide a brief typology of different strands of Green political thinking.
Why deal with sustainability last in a book about Green politics that has as its premise the need to place sustainability at the heart of global politics? The answer lies in the question. If the global economy, global security, development, the state and global governance had the achievement of sustainability as one of their overriding rationales and objectives, a separate set of policies, institutions and initiatives to undo, contain and offset the excesses of industrial society would not be necessary. There would be no need, in other words, for global environmental policies and regimes. The fact that they exist is an indictment of a system and a society living beyond its means and in unsustainable ways. This chapter develops Green critiques of unsusustainable development and more top-downmmethods of'managing' the environment before articulating Green visions of sustainability and ends with reflections on strategies involving law and protest to reform of the state and the pursuit of just transitions.
In light of growing urgency in tackling the global environmental crisis, there is a need for new visions and strategies to ensure a more sustainable and just world. This book provides a comprehensive overview of Green perspectives on a range of global issues, including security, the economy, the state, global governance, development and the environment. Drawing on academic literature on Green political theory, combined with insights from real-world practice and the author's own extensive personal experience, it provides a timely and accessible account of why we need to embrace Green politics in order to tackle the multiple crises facing the world today. Presenting alternative visions and concrete strategies for achieving change, this book will be of interest to activists and policy-makers as well as students of environment, development and politics.
To assess the effect of rural-to-urban migration on nutrition transition and overweight/obesity risk among women in Kenya.
Secondary analysis of data from nationally representative cross-sectional samples. Outcome variables were women’s BMI and nutrition transition. Nutrition transition was based on fifteen different household food groups and was adjusted for socio-economic and demographic characteristics. Stepwise backward multiple ordinal regression analysis was applied.
Kenya Demographic and Health Survey 2014.
Rural non-migrant, rural-to-urban migrant and urban non-migrant women aged 15–49 years (n 6171).
Crude data analysis showed rural-to-urban migration to be associated with overweight/obesity risk and nutrition transition. After adjustment for household wealth, no significant differences between rural non-migrants and rural-to-urban migrants for overweight/obesity risk and household consumption of several food groups characteristic of nutrition transition (animal-source, fats and sweets) were observed. Regardless of wealth, migrants were less likely to consume main staples and legumes, and more likely to consume fruits and vegetables. Identified predictive factors of overweight/obesity among migrant women were age, duration of residence in urban area, marital status and household wealth.
Our analysis showed that nutrition transition and overweight/obesity risk among rural-to-urban migrants is apparent with increasing wealth in urban areas. Several predictive factors were identified characterising migrant women being at risk for overweight/obesity. Future research is needed which investigates in depth the association between rural-to-urban migration and wealth to address inequalities in diet and overweight/obesity in Kenya.