Report to ESA Governing Board
To: The Governing Board, Ecological Society of America (ESA)
From: Environmental Justice (EJ) planning grant task force: Leanne M Jablonski (Chair)
Marianne Burke, George Middendorf, Charlie Nilon, Rachel O’Malley, with Katherine Hoffman and Rhonda Kranz (ESA staff).
Date: June 30, 2005
Re: Planning Grant Report & Recommendations
The environmental justice (EJ) task force met several times in person and by conference calls from August 2004 through June 2005 to explore how we can advance the role of ecology and ecologists in environmental justice.
- We reviewed the goals of ESA’s Ecological Visions, the recommendations of WAMIE II, the history of ESA’s activities in environmental justice and gathered resources.
- We dialogued with the following individuals and organizations (scholars and practitioners involved in EJ) and some ESA section leaders regarding the role of ecology and ecologists in environmental justice: David Blockstein (National Council for Science and the Environment), Robert Bullard (Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark-Atlanta U.), Cassandra Carmichael (National Council of Churches), William Dent Jr. (North American Association for Environmental Education), Dan Durett (National Council for Science and the Environment/United Negro Fund), Stephan Gasteyer(Rural Communities Assistance Program), Doug Grace (National Religious Partnership for the Environment), Jeanette Greaves (TKL Research, Black Congressional Caucus), Brett Williams (American University - Anthropology). ESA: Jeremy Strickland (SEEDS student coordinator), Jesse Ford & Robin Kimmerer (TEK section), Roarke Donnelly (Urban Ecosystem Section)
- We are developing a plan to advance EJ among all ESA members that includes meeting activities, scholarly writing and conferences, grant-writing and collaboration with other organizations.
- We particularly examined the current ESA mission statement (website), with particular focus on how to best raise the public's level of awareness of the importance of ecological science and ensure the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision making by enhancing communication between the ecological community and policy-makers.
- Based on our discussions, we offer the following:
To accomplish the mission of the Ecological Society of America, the Environmental Justice (EJ) task force recommends that ESA recognize that:
- All ESA members should understand the relationship between ecology and environmental justice, and
- ESA and its members should work to address environmental justice issues.
In order to achieve these goals, the EJ task force recommends that ESA:
- Develop a strategy to engage ESA members in environmental justice activities through:
1.1 educating members in EJ principles by producing an ESA Position Paper
1.2 identifying ESA members with expertise and interest relevant to environmental justice
1.3 assisting ecologists in identifying the EJ-relevant dimensions of their field
- 0btain sufficient resources for sustained and staffed effort by:
2.1 committing funds for staff and budget support
2.2 participating in opportunities for external funding
- Encourage interactions with other organizations engaged in environmental justice issues by:
3.1 collaboration with other professional organizations
- involvement in major environmental projects (e.g. UN decade on education for sustainable development)