Engaging environmental conflicts in political ecology


Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter uses a case study approach to demonstrate how NGOs, social actors and communities can develop resistance strategies through environmental conflicts. The four conflicts reviewed here focus on the impact of extractive and agricultural activities at different scales such as industrial tree plantations and forest management in Chile; aquaculture and fisheries management in Europe; edible birds nest cultivation in Malaysian cities and mining exploitation in Spain. Although these four case studies are all focused on a particular locality, we emphasize that environmental conflicts are not limited to local socio-environmental and political problems. As we illustrate, many of the conflicts emerge through extra-local power relations (based on global political-economic or environmental factors). Thus, resistances often include networks of different actors and alliances across time and space as well.
The contributions in this chapter also present methods for participatory research projects in the urban arena and tactics to increase the influence of CSOs in the political arena. Specific research methods discussed include narrative analysis, which is a useful tool for tracing connections between the various actors involved in a given conflict, and the various hierarchies at play; as well as participant observation that enables sustained engagements between researchers, CSOs and other key stakeholders, which can assist with lobbying and creating impact. Tools for increasing the influence of NGOs in the political arena include the publication of common position papers and the presentation of notice of appeal to different authorities. Another means by which we suggest political action can be taken is through the issue of press releases and reports signed by NGOs and CSOs, in order to enhance the role of civil society in decision-making procedures, as will also be discussed in the following cases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical ecology for civil society
EditorsMaría J. BELTRÁN, Panagiota KOTSILA, Gustavo GARCÍA LÓPEZ, Giorgos VELEGRAKIS, Irina VELICU
PublisherUniversitat Autonoma de Barcelona
Number of pages30
ISBN (Print)9788894071467
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Engaging environmental conflicts in political ecology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this