Participatory Research with Communities
Ensuring environmental justice requires policies
and actions which treat people equitably, and policies and actions
to address current and historical injustices. Environmental justice
also cuts across many policy areas: health, transport, housing, employment,
waste, and policies for many social groups.
Research shows that to achieve environmental justice, a change in
policy and practice is needed in participation and capacity. Decision-making
should involve those affected, and those groups or individuals enduring
environmental injustices need support in order to increase their control
over decisions which affect them.
As recognised by the Århus Convention (1988), governments and
public authorities have obligations regarding access to information
and public participation and access to justice. Specifically, every
person has the right to live in an environment adequate to his or
her health and well-being.... The main pillars of the convention are
three ‘enabling’ rights:
- The right to know - rights to environmental information
- The right to participate in decision making processes - the
right to be consulted and participate in proposals, plans or activities
- The right to access to justice - a guaranteed right to the enforcement
of the above rights via access to courts or other independent
To further the achievement of these “rights”, we have
developed participatory methods to address environment and health
decision-making in a range of communities, and environmental issues.
The Transport and Health project was conducted in four different London
boroughs, and involved the New Horizons Programme, Department of Transport,
Local Governments and the Regions, as well as the Community Development
Foundation. The students from local schools started working with them
to find out what health and transport problems the children were facing.
- Our health and transport
- European Latin American Alliance for Telemedicine
to reach isolated communities in Peru, Cuba and Colombia.
- "Las Semillas de La Vidaî
Participatory Evaluation of organic agriculture and health in
NW Argentina. A three year study of organic agriculture
and food security in North-West Argentina using popular epidemiology.
- It's our Science, our Society, our Health: a collaborative
research project to engage low income children in public health