Our colleague Dr George Iordachescu together with Dr Anwesha from Chr. Michelsen Institute are looking for a couple more participants for a panel titled ‘Between invisibility and environmental racism: towards a political ecology of Roma vulnerability in Europe’ prepared for the upcoming AAG Annual Meeting in Denver on March 23-27.
Throughout Europe Roma communities are increasingly affected by environmental degradation, extreme weather phenomena and climate change. Often pushed to the systemic edge, the livelihoods of Roma groups have been in recent decades negatively impacted by land alienation and land tenure disputes which unsettled their socio-ecological lives. Many attempts to address environmental crime on the continent, such as illegal logging and poaching, target predominantly poor Roma groups who are highly dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. Often, they are labelled as scapegoats for a range of environmental crimes and are disproportionately affected by criminalisation attempts and environmental law enforcement. Moreover, recent urban restructuring processes have pushed Roma communities to the margins, usually near wastelands, depriving these people of essential services such as sanitation and clean water, and limiting their access to jobs, education and healthcare. Scholarship shows that evictions and environmental racism make Roma even more vulnerable to climate change. Throughout the European continent, ongoing and projected projects to expand protected areas are progressively impacting Roma communities depriving or limiting their access to important timber and non-timber forest products which have often constituted the basis of their livelihoods.
Despite being increasingly affected by these socio-environmental conflicts, Roma people and their struggles have received little attention from political ecology and geographical research looking at European contexts. This panel aims to advance discussions on the mechanisms of invisibilisation which intensify Roma vulnerability to climate change, to unpack the environmental racism associated to criminalisation and environmental law enforcement, and finally, to explore pathways towards just conservation and restoration planning in Europe.
Keywords: racial justice, Roma, climate change vulnerability, political ecology
If you are interested in being part of this discussion email our colleague George (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 29th of November. Please check details on the registration process to the AAG Annual Meeting here.