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Environmental Rights

  • By: William James Smith Jr. & Ahmad Safi
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Environmental rights refer to the right to what are often referred to as “environmental services.” These include water, food, and materials for shelter. These services are intertwined with the evolving physical and cultural geographies of place. The geographic scope of such linkages has extended far beyond local influences to the planetary scale, and external pressures on both the quantity and quality of environmental services have created tensions and disparities that can be viewed by class, race, and gender at local, regional, and global scales. In this entry, the example of the right to clean water is highlighted as a case study. Environmental rights represent an area of intense debate in both academic and nonacademic circles and are a matter of life and death for the ...

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