Environmental Entitlements

The Nobel Prize–winning economist Amartya Sen created an entitlement approach to the analysis of hunger and poverty, by which people are entitled to bundles of commodities by virtue of their inherent legal rights. The concept of environmental entitlements is a broadening of Sen's approach. It is an extension not only in terms of linking economic entitlements to environmental resources, but the environmental entitlements perspective stretches much further, integrating actor-oriented approaches, theories of conflict, power and entitlement distribution, and discursive debates over the meaning of entitlements. In a seminal paper on environmental entitlements, Melissa Leach, Robin Mearns, and Ian Scoones started with a fundamental critique of the then prevailing narratives around community-based natural resource management (CBNRM), an approach that had emerged in the 1990s as a ...

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