Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Political Ecology

Political ecology is the study of the relationships between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes. Political ecology differs from apolitical ecological studies by politicizing environmental issues and phenomena.

Summary: I believe that political ecology is when scientists or enviromentalists studt the changes occuring in the enviroment due to change in the political, economic and social factors that a place faces. When a new president is elected is the enviroment affected by this change? Then answer is yes the enviroment is impacted by new leaders because of the decisions they make every day regarding pollution, as well as many other things our leaders do. Overall Political Ecology is the study of the eviroment and how it is affected by politics, the economy, and social factors.

Political Ecology and Conservation:
It is hard to do any type of conservation without the help of the government. Most conservation plans are backed by the government if no their mostly unsuccessful. The government sets aside land that is supposed to be protected but they really dont pay much attention to it. They dont have scientists and conservationist surveying and improving the habitat. Also the government only steps in to help with conservation when it is to late when a plant or animal has already been on the verge of extinction. Conservation should be a huge priority for the government because once we run out of it there is no bringing it back.

Three common assumptions made when practicing Political Ecology:

  • First, costs and benefits associated with environmental change are distributed unequally. Changes in the environment do not affect society in a homogenous way: political, social, and economic differences account for uneven distribution of costs and benefits.
  • Second, this unequal distribution inevitably reinforces or reduces existing social and economic inequalities. In this assumption, political ecology runs into inherent political economies as “any change in environmental conditions must affect the political and economic status quo.” (Bryant and Bailey 1997, p. 28).
  • Third, the unequal distribution of costs and benefits and the reinforcing or reducing of pre-existing inequalities holds political implications in terms of the altered power relationships that now result.
Related Reffrences:
  • Blaikie, P., and Brookfield, H. Land Degradation and Society. Methuen: 1987.

  • Blaikie, Piers. 1985. The Political Economy of Soil Erosion in Developing Countries. London; New York: Longman.

  • Bryant, Raymond L. 1998. Power, knowledge and political ecology in the third world: a review, Progress in Physical Geography 22(1):79-94.

  • Bryant, Raymond L. and Sinead Bailey. 1997. Third World Political Ecology. Routledge.

  • Dove, Michael R., and Carol Carpenter, eds. 2008. Environmental Anthropology: A Historical Reader. MA: Blackwell.
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