Project Name: Rethinking Environment and Development in an Era of Global Norms: An Exploration of Forests and Water(REDEGN II)

Funding Agency (ies): University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK

Project leader: Hari Dhungana

Project Duration: 2016-2017

Brief Description of the project:

The research responds to the unprecedented emergence of global environmental norms intended to reconcile natural resource management with poverty alleviation. Prominent examples of such norms are the social safeguards included in global conventions and the human rights-based rulings of international courts. The norms possess the potential to transform development practice in the future, so long as they effectively support poor people’s claims on natural resources and rights to sustainable livelihoods. The increasing significance of global environmental norms challenges research to develop new theory on the dynamics of environment and development that attends to cross-scale relationships between local environmental struggles, environmental mobilizations and global norms. This research employs an environmental justice lens to examine the effects of global environmental norms on poverty alleviation in the Global South through explorations of forests and water.

The research seeks to explore whether and how emergent global norms seeking to reconcile natural resource management with improvements in local wellbeing contribute to poverty alleviation in low-income countries (LICs). In stage 1, we have examined how poor women’s and men’s struggles regarding forests and water are, or are not taken up in environmental mobilisations, and how this uptake does, or does not contribute to increases in their wellbeing. In stage 2, we will shift our attention to the resonance of global norms and international mobilisations with marginalized people’s environmental struggles in the South.