Lecturer in Economic Geography –

Closes:22nd August 2021

Lancaster University – Lancaster Environment Centre

The Lancaster Environment Centre is one of the world’s largest centres for environmental research. Our mission is to perform world-leading research, and to use that research to help understand and respond to global and environmental challenges. We span social- and natural science and work in an interdisciplinary research environment. We wish to appoint a lecturer in Economic Geography who will work within the Critical Geographies or Political Ecology research groups.

We seek an outstanding candidate whose research, engagement and teaching interests are in economic geography as applied critically to areas of environment or climate action and governance. This could include, for example, expertise in the economic or financial dimensions of climate and environment policy, feminist ecological economists, critical perspectives on the political economy/ecology of sustainability transitions, low carbon strategies and practices, the operation of biodiversity and carbon offsets and market-based environmental solutions in water, conservation or other domains, and decolonising perspectives on and approaches to economic geography.  We see economic geography to be an area of the geography discipline currently undergoing much rejuvenation and innovation and are looking for candidates who can contribute substantially to this agenda.  

Applications are invited from early career social scientists from all backgrounds who are building an international reputation for research in the broad area of economic geography. We encourage scholars from backgrounds under-represented in these fields. You will have a clear track record of achievement and publication and a compelling vision for your research. The candidate should be able to demonstrate how they will develop international collaborations that complement or strengthen existing research links in LEC, and internally work with other nodes of excellence in the University, including the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business based in the Management School. You will have a strong commitment to the teaching of human geography. At undergraduate level, you will support delivery of the degree programmes BA/BSc Geography which contain core teaching in economic geography. For our postgraduate taught portfolio, you will contribute to teaching as part of our new MA in Political Ecology.

LEC offers a highly collegial and stimulating environment for career development based on departmental values and embedded Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) considerations and actions. We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. Furthermore, we are active and progressive around sustainability, wellbeing and decolonising agendas.

Informal enquiries can be addressed to Professor Nigel Clark, n.clark2@lancaster.ac.uk, Professor Frances Cleaver, f.cleaver@lancaster.ac.uk or Director Professor Phil Barker, p.barker@lancaster.ac.uk .

We welcome applications from people in all diversity groups.

New Two-year Postdoc Opportunity: Military Supply Chains & Environmental Footprints

https://images.theconversation.com/files/280914/original/file-20190624-97789-11t31n3.jpg?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&rect=0%2C413%2C3000%2C1500&q=45&auto=format&w=1356&h=668&fit=crop
US Air Force fighters during the 1991 Gulf War. Everett Historical/Shutterstock

We welcome applications for a Research Associate to join this new initiative funded by the Economic Social Research Council Secondary Data Analysis Initiative investigating military environmental footprints, led by Benjamin Neimark, Kirsti Ashworth, Patrick Bigger and Oliver Belcher.

The initiative is a partnership between Lancaster University, and the Lancaster Environment Centre (LEC), and in collaboration with the Data Science Institute, and the Institute for Social Futures and Durham University, School of Government and International Affairs. The postholder will join a lively, interdisciplinary department, Lancaster Environment Centre, with a strong tradition of quality research and impact with government, activists and business.

While the casualties and humanitarian costs of war are well-reported, wider socio-economic and in particular environmental impacts are generally overlooked. For instance, if the US military were a country, its fuel usage alone would put it in the top 50 largest emittersof greenhouse gases in the world. Yet they, like other global militaries, are entirely unaccountable. You will develop an open source virtual data laboratory to consolidate and make accessible data around the carbon and pollution impacts of military supply chains from a wide range of sources, bringing transparency to this currently opaque issue.

You will have a PhD in a relevant field (or equivalent experience in a relevant research-intensive role), and experience in economic and political geography, climate or energy policy and governance, geographic information systems, acquisition and managing large datasets and/or deliberative research. This experience could have been gained in an academic or other context. You will have strong skills in collaborating with external stakeholders, as well as managing your own time and contributing to the project team.

You will join us on an indefinite contract however, the role remains contingent on external funding which, at this time is due to come to an end on 30th August 2023.

You are encouraged to contact Ben Neimark (b.neimark@lancaster.ac.uk) before applying, to discuss the role in more detail. 

HOW TO APPLY: https://hr-jobs.lancs.ac.uk/Vacancy.aspx?ref=A3406

Check out a recent new article in DW: Scorched earth: The climate impact of conflict https://www.dw.com/en/the-bootprint-of-war-carbon-emissions/a-57682807

We encourage applications from people in all diversity groups, and with expertise beyond the academic. Applicants will be assessed within the context of your previous study/work environments by, for example, the research facilities available to you, and whether you had opportunities to attend conferences/scientific meetings and develop transferable skills. Applications from those seeking flexible working patterns or jobsharing or wishing to return after a career break are welcome. LEC offers a highly collegial and stimulating environment for career development based on departmental values and embedded Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity (EDI) considerations and actions. We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address gender equality in higher education and research. Furthermore, we are active and progressive around sustainability, wellbeing and decolonising agendas.

Book launch: Coal, Colonialism & Resistance (by Still Burning – network against hard coal and neocolonialism)

Book launch: Coal, Colonialism & Resistance (by Still Burning – network against hard coal and neocolonialism)

Coal is colonial, coal destroys ecosystems and communities, and coal is a climate killer. Across Europe, governments are implementing coal phase-outs and closing down hard coal mines. At the same time, Europe continues to import hard coal, outsourcing the destruction of ecosystems and communities to Russia, Colombia, and elsewhere. The book highlights the colonial entanglements of coal and warns of false green solutions – relying on hydrogen for ‘green steel’, for instance, and on renewables for ‘clean electricity’ – that don’t challenge colonialism, capitalism, and the state. It centres the voices of affected communities and warns of ‘false green solutions’.

After a short presentation of the book, we invite two speakers from Russia and Colombia to share their experiences of the impacts of mining and their resistance, and a decolonial climate justice and degrowth activist to explore ‘false solutions’ and ways to challenge climate injustice and neocolonialism.

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30 March, 2021, 6-7.45pm CEST/5-6.45pm GMT

Speakers include:

Narlis Guzmán Angula (Environmental and human rights activist, Colombia, via video message)
Vladimir Slivyak
(EcoDefence, Russia)
Tonny Nowshin (Climate justice and degrowth activist)
Co-author of Coal, Colonialism & Resistance

Language: English

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/still-burning-coal-colonialism-resistance-book-launch-tickets-144389088651

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Follow-up event: Coal and resistance in Colombia – a critical perspective of a local activist after a year of pandemic

April 7, 2021 7–8.30pm CEST/6-7.30pm GMT

Speaker:

Narlis Guzmán Angulo (environmental and human rights activist)

Languages: Spanish/English

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The book will be available here from 30 March on https://stillburning.net/ in pdf and printed version

We are looking forward to welcoming many of you there!

The editors of the book

#stillburning

Two, 3-year Research Scientist postdoctoral positions in Maritime Geographies/Social Sciences at the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB), Oldenburg, Germany.

Two, 3-year Research Scientist postdoctoral positions in Maritime Geographies/Social Sciences at the Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB), Oldenburg, Germany. Come and join a growing group of geographers and social scientists at the interdisciplinary Helmholtz Institute for Functional Marine Biodiversity (HIFMB). Located in beautiful Oldenburg, Germany, the HIFMB – a collaboration between the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) and Carl von Ossietzky University (UOL) – offers a multi-disciplinary, international, and dynamic environment for researching the marine environment and a vibrant, friendly and supportive culture for postdoctoral staff. 
Within the HIFMB, expertise in marine ecology, data science and biodiversity theory are joined with a ever-growing social science and humanities profile in political ecology, maritime geographies and marine governance. The Carl von Ossietzky University is home to the Institute for Social Science, which has strong ties to the HIFMB.  It is also an established home to work in Marine Spatial Planning.                                                                 

 We invite applications for 2 postdoctoral Research Scientist positions: Research Scientist Position: “Follow the enforcement: Spatialising understandings of monitoring, reporting and sanctioning at sea”(m/f/d)within the Marine Governance Group with Kimberley Petershttps://recruitingapp-5442.de.umantis.com/Vacancies/770/Description/2

Research Scientist Position: “Maritime motorways, global ship routeing and the governance of marine biodiversity” (m/f/d) within the Marine Governance Group with Kimberley Petershttps://recruitingapp-5442.de.umantis.com/Vacancies/769/Description/2

Both roles are paid in accordance with the Collective Agreement for the Public Service of the Federation (Tarifvertrag des öffentlichen Dienstes, TVöD Bund), up to salary level 13 (known as E13). 

These are posted with the appreciation and knowledge that time-limited jobs are far from perfect, but also the hope that 3-year positions and ones that note candidates will be supported in career progression are a step in the right direction. Do get in touch if you have any questions.
 As a reminder, we also offer 4 fully funded PhD positions in projects as diverse as benthic geopolitics to emotional marine governance. Details of all posts are here: https://hifmb.de/news/jobs/
Applications for the postdoctoral positions are due by April 4th 2021 exclusively online. Applications should consist of a cover letter (max.2 pages) outlining the motivations for applying and relevant experience and knowledge, alongside a CV. Further details on the application procedure are available once you click ‘apply’. 

New resources to teach and learn about the political ecology of urban waste management

Original post by Henrik Ernstson of http://situatedupe.net/tlr/

We are proud to present NEW RESOURCES from our #SituatedUPE Collective to teach & learn about the political ecology of urban waste management. We recently finalised our Turning Livelihoods to Waste?-project (TLR) and created this page with outputs: http://situatedupe.net/tlr

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Geopolitical Ecologies of Violence and Resistance

Call for Proposals: POLLEN20

Call for participants
Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN20)
Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration
Brighton, United Kingdom
24-26 June 2020

Session organizers: Benjamin Neimark b.neimark@lancaster.ac.uk & Patrick Bigger, Lancaster University, p.bigger@lancaster.ac.uk; Oliver Belcher, Durham University, oliver.belcher@durham.ac.uk; and Andrea Brock, University of Sussex, A.Brock@sussex.ac.uk

In early October 2019, hundreds of frontline fossil fuel protesters took direct action against hard coal infrastructure across Germany. Under the banner of #deCOALonize, they blockaded railways, ports and utility companies, demanding an end to ‘coal colonialism’ and an immediate phase-out of coal combustion. The state response was predictable: physical violence by police officers, harsh policing and holding protesters for days in custody following nonviolent action. Still making the rounds in the same media cycle was the story of drone strikes targeting the Aramco oil facility in Saudi Aribia, knocking out 50 percent the Saudi’s capacity and 5 percent of global supply. While we generally understand the casual links between fossil fuels and geopolitics, less studied are the direct and indirect geopolitical entanglements of fossil fuel violence – violence against those resisting them, and the inherent violence to humans and ecosystems.

In this session, we look to these events and others as a way to bring together scholars’ understandings of violence, resistance and critical geopolitics of, and through, nature. Beyond direct violence, we also include more entrenched/indirect forms, such as criminalisation, stigmatisation and framings as domestic extremist or eco-terrorism and allowing for looking at more bureaucratic forms of violence, and everyday policing (by non-police – e.g. welfare state, teachers).

We hope to expand on work in geopolitical ecology and other similar frameworks to explore new considerations of contemporary violence and resistance – the role of institutional, state and non-state actors in violent encounters over planetary futures. We also hope to open up our geographic focus of fossil fuels to violence surrounding different forms of energy lock-ins and carbon-based infrastructures and discourses, including alternative energy and financial schemes around carbon trading and exchange. We are also interested in new forms of resistance to fossil-fuelled institutional violence – from digital (e.g., guerrilla archiving, hacktivists) to grassroots student strikes– are now being used to contest against such violence. In doing this, we aim to grapple with the complex picture of what successful resistance might look like. How can diverse coalitions be formed between environmentalists and anti-imperialism activists? How are environmentalists confronting militarism? How are anti-war activists confronting climate change? What political formations can be forged to facilitate a climatically changed future that is just, liveable, and sustainable? How do we envision a world of less violence – environmental and imperial?

Papers in any form may address a broad number of topics related to geopolitical ecologies of violence and resistance, including but not limited to:  

  • Pipelines and pumps
  • Theoretical, empirical, and/or methodological interventions that critically (re)assess the nature-state relationship regarding violence
  • Frontline and back-end resistance, from ‘tree-huggers’ to eco-hacktivists
  • Resistance to eco-state restructuring under multiple ‘Green New Dealings’
  • Paramilitarities and ‘ramping up’ by non-states
  • Climate change adaptation/mitigation, statecraft, and security
  • New hegemonies of ‘green’ political-economic power
  • ‘Green’ developmentalism and violent dispossession
  • War/violence and biodiversity/resource conservation
  • Settler-colonial environmentalisms
  • Financing violence through MDBs or transnational banks
  • Links between ‘slow’ and ‘fast’ violence

Please send abstract of 250 words or less to Ben Neimark, b.neimark@lancaster.ac.uk by November 4th 2019.

Political Ecologies of/at the Edge: Climate Futures, Marginal Landscapes, and Infrastructural Imaginaries

Call for Papers: POLLEN 2020

Brighton, United Kingdom

24-26 June 2020

https://pollen2020.wordpress.com/

Political Ecologies of/at the Edge: Climate Futures, Marginal Landscapes, and Infrastructural Imaginaries

Aurora Fredriksen (University of Manchester)

Nate Millington (University of Manchester)

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Tropical Forest (Double) Standard – Dead on Arrival?

Kathleen McAfee

Professor of International Relations

San Francisco State University

kmcafee@sfsu.edu

September 25, 2019

On September 19, after a day of intense debate, the California Air Resources Board endorsed the contentious proposal for a Tropical Forest Standard (TFS) designed to allow California companies to offshore the consequences of their greenhouse-gas emissions to communities and ecosystems in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

The resulting document may mean little in practice: the vote of 4 to 7 with one abstention was the narrowest vote in the memory of the Board. To persuade reluctant Board members, the Chairperson insisted that there is presently no intention of applying the Standard in California. Even those voting for the TFS expressed serious misgivings about it, and growing numbers of California legislators are skeptical of expanding offsetting options in the state’s climate policy.

The TFS debate was dramatic, with moving testimony against the TFS by indigenous representatives from Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Guatemala, and Indonesia and a strong showing from environmental justice organizations, with the California Environmental Justice Alliance in the lead. These activists were supported by Friends of the Earth, Amazon Watch, Center for Biological Diversity, members of Greenpeace, Sierra Club, and 350.org among others, and by many academics who signed our scholars’ open letter, met with ARB members and legislators, and posted public comments.

The lead organizations promoting the TFS have been the Environmental Defense Fund and Earth Innovations Institute, along with emissions trading entrepreneurs, some indigenous and Latin American government officials, the oil industry lobby (Western States Petroleum Association), and others of the state’s biggest GHG emitters who are also the main users of offsets in California.

The TFS is a list of criteria that was meant to lay the groundwork for a Tropical Forest Sector Offset Protocol under which emitters of GHGs in California could buy offsets from rainforest regions. Under such a protocol, the ARB would allow the use of offset credits sold by national or subnational governments in developing countries that report reduced rates of deforestation if such claims of success are confirmed by technical consultants according to stipulations laid out in the TFS. Companies that buy the credits could then release more GHGs than they could otherwise legally emit under the state’s cap-and-trade system.

But the TFS may prove to be dead on arrival. It is doubtful that any jurisdiction in the global South can honestly comply with the TFS requirements in the present or near future, given their current rates of deforestation and the profitability of the forest-destroying agribusiness and mining that are the main direct drivers of tropical deforestation. It is nevertheless possible that some rainforest states may claim adherence with the TFS and request CA open its cap-and-trade system to their REDD+ credits, taking advantage of the TFS’s vague provisions for determining whether, when, and why deforestation has increased or decreased in their territories.

Similarly to other systems that have allowed trade in carbon credits, California law, restated in the TFS, requires that offsets be “real, additional, quantifiable, permanent, verifiable and enforceable”. The TFS would not be able to ensure that offset credits generated by states or provinces linked to California could meet these criteria, for reasons our researchers’ group has outlined in our submissions to the ARB.

Were a California offset protocol based on the TFS to be developed, it would need an administrative structure, procedures for monitoring implementation in the linked tropical jurisdictions, and a process for adjudication of the conflicts and grievances that would inevitably arise. No such structure exists, nor does the ARB have the mandate and capacity to develop one. But states or industry organizations might claim to be applying the California standard even apart from any formal protocol and oversight mechanism in California. In the likely event that any such offsetting schemes prove problematic, California’s claim to global climate leadership could be discredited.

Many of the TFS proponents argued that, with the Amazon on fire, “California must do something now” even if the TFS is imperfect. Those arguments obscured the fact that applying the TFS would mean doing something that allows emissions increases in exchange for reductions that might not last or might not work – instead of doing what is known to work.

We academics who have supported the “No-TFS Allies” agree with that coalition’s view that offsets are a false promise and a distraction from the real task of reducing our fossil-fuel production, importing, exporting, and consumption here in California and worldwide. 

Market-based finance of conservation is a losing strategy. Revenue from sale of offset credits – markets for which depend on cheap offset prices – cannot compete with the profits from soy, oil palm, beef, minerals, and other extractive industries that are subsidized and promoted by the same governments that seek TFS or REDD+ funding, ostensibly for forest conservation.

As action to reduce GHG emissions has become more urgent worldwide, the role of transnational trade in offset credits in global climate policy is increasingly being questioned. This is the case in California climate policy, too, where offsetting already contributes to the too-slow pace of emissions reductions, and as the environmental injustice consequences of offsetting in California have become more apparent.

Meanwhile in New York, the UN chief has reported that 77 countries so far have pledged to become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2050. That’s not ‘zero carbon’, so it is a positive step but one likely to entail a lot more offsetting. As a research community, we will need to watch any proposed TFS programs carefully and share our results. We have plenty more work ahead.

Kathleen McAfee

Professor of International Relations

San Francisco State University

kmcafee@sfsu.edu

September 25, 2019

Empowering Producers in Commercial Agriculture (EPIC) International insight pooling workshop


Wed 13th – Fri 15th November, 2019 Blantyre, Malawi.
The EPIC project aims to empower rural producers and their wider communities to influence public decisions and private sector conduct in favour of bottom-up, locally beneficial and more sustainable investments in commercial agriculture.
The event
Hosted by IIED and EPIC partners from Malawi and Nepal1, the above event will take stock of and share experiences around the world of approaches to supporting rural producers in their commercial agriculture relations. It will span experiences of supporting producers in informal local markets through to those supplying highly structured or integrated global value chains. The workshop will:
• Gather insights on effective approaches to supporting rural producers and their communities in the context of commercial agriculture, agricultural investments and agricultural value chains.
• Pool experiences and ideas into what is working well, challenges, and important lessons to help guide different actors.
• Focus on practical approaches being applied across diverse geographies and contexts drawing out the contextual factors, enablers and constraints, and considering tips for uptake, scaling and replication.
• Highlight where certain conceptual or analytical frameworks can help strengthen practical approaches, for example in relation to social inclusion and understanding issues of power, agency and behaviour change.
Event duration and structure
The event will run over 3 days, including a field trip to allow time to share insights, interrogate lessons being learnt, generate new ideas and consider ways forwards to strengthen work in this area. It will include:
• Scene setting on challenges and opportunities;
• Participant exchange and skill sharing on a number of key pre-selected tools and approaches;
• Field visits to EPIC work with the Msuwadzi Tea Association and one other site TBC.
• Digging deeper on what is effective in meeting local priorities, generating bottom up approaches, addressing social inclusion and relevant policy and practice spheres ripe for influence;
• Taking forwards the agenda – by documenting and deepening the learning and sharing and engaging with key players.
1 Malawi: Women’s Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC), NEPAL: Centre for community self-reliance (CSRC), Nepal Agriculture Central Cooperative Federation Ltd (NACCFL)
Who is it for?
There will be up to 25 participants with representation from:
• Practitioners supporting rural producers, their associations and their wider communities (e.g. NGOs, development agencies);
• National and regional federations of small-scale rural producers;
• Best-practice agribusinesses and their investors and service providers;
• Policy makers, especially from low and middle-income country governments;
• Donors active in commercial agriculture.
Background to the event
Increased private sector investment in commercial agriculture – from production to aggregation, processing and distribution – has created both risks and opportunities for rural livelihoods in low and middle-income countries. Developing value chains and linking farmers to markets could transform the livelihoods of millions of rural people, expanding choice and creating income-generating opportunities. But there are also concerns about top-down approaches, unequal negotiating power, unfair business relations and social differentiation among rural people.
The ability of rural people to make informed choices, exercise rights and have their voices heard when dealing with the government or the private sector is a key factor in enabling, or constraining, fairer investments, which deliver positive sustainable development outcomes. Yet interactions between governments, companies and rural people in low and middle-income countries usually involve asymmetries in capacity, resources, influence and negotiating power. There is a need to develop, use and upscale innovative legal and other empowerment approaches that strengthen the position of rural people, particularly in their supply chain relations.
EPIC responds to this challenge. Through research and lesson-sharing, alongside testing approaches in two countries, EPIC is generating evidence on effective approaches to supporting rural producers in their commercial agriculture relations. EPIC is funded through the UK Department for International Development (DFID)’s Commercial Agriculture for Smallholders and Agribusiness (CASA) programme. For more information visit the webpage or read the latest research report sharing the conceptual framework being developed and interrogated through EPIC.
Event results
In addition to the learning and knowledge generation and networking amongst participants, the event will result in a briefing note to disseminate the discussions and findings widely and cases discussed may be further developed to contribute to the development of a practitioner toolkit.
Logistics
IIED will support travel and accommodation expenses associated with participating in the event
RSVP
Please RSVP to Jack Lloyd jack.lloyd@iied.org cc. Emily Polack emily.polack@iied.org