The future not only of anthropology but also of humanity is threatened by profound environmental changes in the 21st century. International collaboration is essential for meeting this challenge. This panel asks how anthropologists are contributing to the global debate on environmental change.
The future not only of anthropology but of humanity is threatened by unprecedented and profound environmental changes unfolding now, or predicted to take effect during the 21st century. International collaboration among nations but also among scientists will be essential to meet this global challenge. Yet, environmental responsibility and action are also a local matter. Anthropologists, with their well-developed awareness of local diversity in the ways in which humans relate to the environment, can contribute much to the debate. Anthropology provides insights into how global environmental programs can be localized effectively across different societies and, conversely, how to globalize locally emerging solutions with potential to be used successfully elsewhere - including solutions developed recently in partnerships between international bodies and local people, but also those that have deep roots in local attitudes to the varied natural environments in which humans live. This panel presents an opportunity for anthropologists to share practical experiences from their research on a broad range of environmental issues, from climate change and deforestation to water and food security, from policy to action research, from development impact assessment to the study of environmental movements. Global and local inequalities arise from the uneven distribution of natural resources and risks from development projects. Panel participants thus may wish also to explore power relations involved in the appropriation of nature, with a focus on implications for environmental justice or for (socio- and bio-) diversity. This panel is sponsored by the IUAES 'Commission of Anthropology and the Environment' (CAE, formerly CHE), see: http://www.iuaes.org/comm/humanecology.html