How to make our response to climate change more just and sustainable? This central question will be addressed by a new project, Just-Scapes, which we contribute to in collaboration with University of East Anglia, Lille Catholic University, ESPOL – European School of Political and Social Sciences and INRAE – French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.
Climate change requires that we make profound changes in our society and landscapes in order to avoid undesirable future impacts on nature and the benefits it provides us. However, how to make sure these changes are just to everyone? In which situations can perceptions of justice work as barriers or leverage points to implementing transformative changes? And what do we even mean by “just transformations” in the face of climate change?
In Just-Scapes, we look at these questions through the perspectives of people living and working in three rural European landscapes: the Kyjovsko region in Czechia, the Scottish Highlands and the French Pyrénées. We are setting off to collaborate with communities through stakeholder analysis, interviews, surveys, field trips, creative writing workshops and processes of “just transformation labs” to better understand what role people see for justice in the transformation to more sustainable future.
We hope that the findings from Just-Scapes will directly benefit the research sites and people who live there. At the same time, we hope the project will have broader results and will help us improve our understanding and methodologies for proposed rural land-use climate actions in general. We look forward to sharing our findings with our academic and policy networks to promote scientific and social impacts, nationally and internationally.