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Kate Wilkinson

Using an ecofeminist critical analysis, this paper examines the extent to which two forest-related ‘payments for ecosystem services’ (PES) schemes maintain a mainstream anti-nature and exploitative conceptualization of human/nature relationships. It does so by integrating various ecofeminist themes to analyse the two PES schemes and to assess the extent to which they can protect women and nature while marketizing and commodifying the environment. The author examines the justifications for integrating PES into a green economy, including the proposed benefits resulting from the implementation of PES, and safeguards ensuring the inclusion and participation of local communities. The author concludes that an ecofeminist examination highlights the inherently exploitative nature of PES and its continuation of the currently exploitative free market paradigm.

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Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

This chapter argues that the campaign for sustainability is inseparable from the campaign for greater equality. We start by showing that inequality has led both to political opposition to policies to reduce carbon emissions and to the rise of populism which has spread climate science denial. But because the carbon footprint of the rich is greater than that of the poor and the poor are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change, sustainability and social justice should be natural allies. They are also natural allies because inequality plays a major role in intensifying the status competition which substantially increases the burden of consumerism on the planet. Lastly, we show that greater equality strengthens community life and increases people’s willingness to act for the common good: hence more equal societies recycle more waste and business leaders are more likely to support environmental policies. In conclusion, we argue that the environmental campaigning should be linked closely to the radical movement for social justice.

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Elizabeth M. B. Doran, Lindsay Barbieri, Ida Kubiszewski, Kate Pickett, Thomas Dietz, Michael Abrams, Richard Wilkinson, Robert Costanza, Stephen C. Farber and Jeannie Valcour

Ecological economics (EE) emerged and persists as a transdisciplinary field in service to creating a sustainable and desirable future for humanity on Earth. The early recognition that humans are inextricably linked and embedded in nature, deriving specific and quantifiable benefits from the healthy functioning of such systems, has resulted in much success for the field, in particular with respect to the concept of ecosystem services. In balance, human wellbeing has also been a central issue for the field, as it has been for other lines of research as well. As the field seeks to further mature and set forth a research agenda, it is time to assess the approaches that have been proposed and try to provide synthesis to illuminate the ways forward. We thus here review the frameworks, and their purposes, that have emerged as EE has matured. In undertaking this review, we pay particular attention to the international sustainable development agenda setting processes (i.e. the UN SDGs) that have transpired over the last two decades, which seek to incorporate variable definitions of wellbeing at a multitude of human and planetary scales. We further develop foundational concepts for systems analysis to enable the future EE agenda and bring coherence, integration and continued progress in the creation of actionable knowledge.