Understanding the governance of complex human-ecological systems is vital in a world confronting rapid environmental change, conflicts over dwindling natural resources and crises of economic, social and ecological sustainability. Improved understanding is also essential to promoting social justice approaches which benefit the most marginalised sectors of society and reduce inequality. Developing intellectual capacity in this arena is fundamental to improving governance – a critical requirement for achieving sustainability.
The research undertaken in the various thematic areas within the EEU is fundamentally concerned with understanding and promoting good environmental governance – governance that is underpinned by sustainability and social justice imperatives. Environmental governance for social justice is thus an integrative initiative that allows ideas, debates and lessons from relevant projects in the different thematic areas and natural resource management sectors under investigation to be reflected upon and further explored. A key objective of this theme is to consolidate our work in the field of environmental governance, drawing on the variety of research and applied projects that we have been engaged in since 2000.
Through the UCT-funded Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Initiative, we are also expanding the scope of work to include research partners working on various aspects of environmental governance in southern Africa in order to share ideas and enhance intellectual understanding, knowledge and capacity. A key interest is to bring together expertise from different sectors and disciplines to critically analyse existing concepts and approaches to environmental governance and seek models of governance that uphold principles of equity, social justice and environmental sustainability.
- Institutional Dimensions of Water Resource Management in South Africa
- Environmental Governance for Social Justice: Lessons Across Natural Resource Sectors in Southern Africa
- Analysis of Benefits from Coastal Resources and Mechanisms for Equitable Benefit Sharing in Selected WIO Countries
- Access to the South African Coast: Examining the Attainment of Policy Goals Post-Apartheid