Definition of Environmental Justice according to the EPA:
“Environmental Justice is the fair treatment of all people regardless of race, color, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulation, and policies”
When will it happen?
It will be achieved when everyone enjoys the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to the decision-making process to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work
How can ecological restoration assist in addressing environmental injustices?
In the process of ecological restoration it is essential to recognize and consider the communities which are affected by a restoration project. In many cases restoration can assist in remediating situations of environmental injustice. Ecological restoration also has the potential to address additional factors which can affect communities that experience environmental injustice, such as lack of community cohesiveness and ability to mobilize.
Facilitation of Community Involvement
- Ecological restoration can be a form of community empowerment and can serve to mobilize communities
- The restoration process can serve as a platform to address other social ills and community concerns
- Restoration can assist in returning a voice to members of a community
Develops a Sense of Place
- Ecological restoration can assist in returning community pride
- Community members may be more inclined to speak up on behalf of their community
- When an area is repaired and there is green space it can increased the morale of the neighborhood
Improved Environmental Health
- Increased air quality due to additional trees and shrubs that act to absorb carbon
- Decreased exposure to water pollutants and toxins
- Attractive green spaces can lead to new businesses and development in urban areas
- Restoration can lead to a boost in property values for homeowners
In what ways can ecological restoration ignore issues of environmental injustice?
- Other parties can overlook the concerns of the community
- The trust of the community could become broken
- Better surroundings cause increases in property value
- Residence cannot afford to live in community
- The restoration may be create revenue for external parties not the community