Special Issue "Food Security and Environmental Sustainability"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2010)
Dr. Hilary Tovey (Website)
Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin, 1-3 Foster Place, Dublin 2, Ireland
Interests: nature-society relations and dynamics; food and rural development; social movements around environmental and food issues; knowledge use and knowledge dynamics in sustainable development policies and projects; natural resources management and history; animal-human relations
Food security and environmental sustainability are both key policy goals in the contemporary global arena, but there is no necessary congruity between them. This Special Issue welcomes papers which address the possible conflicts and contradictions which may arise when actors (global, national or local) seek to achieve both security in food supply and delivery, and sustainability in the use of the natural resources needed to produce food. It also welcomes papers which discuss attempts at reconciliations between the two goals.
The encouragement of a ‘productivist’ orientation to food production has often been justified on the grounds that we need to feed the hungry of the world, but has been challenged by environmental interests who emphasise how productivism degrades nature. Equally, the introduction into rural areas of new socio-technologies, for instance for renewable energy generation, driven by environmental interests, may help to undermine the social sustainability of such areas in ways which threaten continued food production. Proponents of genetically modified foods claim that their modification techniques can greatly increase yields and thus help to alleviate world hunger, while opponents see such new technologies as putting the survival of non-modified crop varieties, and hence of the whole food chain, at risk. The problematic effects on food production of turning over large tracts of farmland to the production of crops for biofuels are already much debated, while the question of how attempts to mitigate the effects of climate change may impact on the food security of the poor and marginalised is also coming into the foreground. Behind these lie other questions too, about rural conservation and its impacts on farm livelihoods, and about rural-urban relations more generally.
Paper authors are welcome to focus on presenting and discussing empirical cases, or to develop a more theoretical analysis of the issues. In all cases, however, they are encouraged to use their material to reflect further on the idea of ‘sustainability’, and its use in strategies and policies for both food security and environmental sustainabilty.
- new uses of rural natural resources
- rural-urban relations
- South-North relations
- agro-ecology and food security
- climate change and ‘climate justice’
- rights to food
- food supply systems
- environmental management of natural resources