ICTA-UAB economist Joan Martínez Alier wins the Balzan Prize for Environmental Challenges

Economist Joan Martínez Alier from the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology  of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) is one of the winners of the 2020 Balzan Prize in the category of "Environmental Challenges: Responses from the Social Sciences and Humanities".

Indigenous People Essential to Understanding Environmental Change

An international research involving ICTA-UAB scientists shows how local and indigenous knowledge can help manage ecosystems and wildlife.

New publication in the MAGIC project takes a critical look at circular economy

With the world’s attention focussed on COVID-19, issues that were in the forefront of public concern just a few months ago seem to have magically disappeared.

Economic Benefits of Protecting 30% of Planet’s Land and Ocean Outweigh the Costs at Least 5-to-1

First-of-its-kind report involving ICTA-UAB researcher shows the global economy is better off with more nature protected.

ICTA-UAB awarded the "María de Maeztu” Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time

The Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB) has been accredited a Maria de Maeztu Unit of Excellence Award for the second consecutive time by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Proyecto experimental de agricultura urbana, local y tradicional en Sabadell

El ICTA-UAB y el Ayuntamiento de Sabadell constituyen la comunidad FoodE, que reúne a todos los actores implicados en el sistema de producción alimentaria de la ciudad y en esta iniciativa.

What do we breathe when in the forest?

For the first time, a study characterizes the forest chemistry of the air under the canopy of a Mediterranean holm oak forest and detects maximum concentrations in July and August.

Catalonia's Scientific Contributions to Fighting Covid-19

Sixty ICREA researchers, including Isabelle Anguelovski of the ICTA-UAB, lead more than a hundred research activities on Covid-19.

Academia in the Time of COVID-19: Towards an Ethics of Care


Computer Platform Gives Visibility to Catalonia's Small Villages

A research team from the UAB, in collaboration with the Association of Microvillages of Catalonia, has created a Geographic Information System (GIS) for Active and Sustainable Hamlets (GISASH), which gathers information on the state of and services offered by the more than 330 municipalities in Catalonia with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

Environmental justice defenders victims of violence and murder

Grassroots movements halt environmental degradation in up to 27% of environmental conflicts worldwide, according to a study by the ICTA-UAB.

Technological changes and new low-carbon lifestyles, key to mitigating climate change impacts

In order to mitigate climate change impacts and achieve a more sustainable society, it is necessary to transform the current energy system based on fossil fuels into a model based on renewable energies.

Exploring climate change impacts through popular proverbs

Members of an irrigation community doing maintenance work in an acequia de careo (irrigation canal built at the top of the mountain) to improve the circulation of water for irrigation and human consumption.

Neolithic vessels reveal dairy consumption in Europe 7,000 years ago

Pottery from the site located in Verson (Francia) analysed during the research (Picture by Annabelle Cocollos, Conseil départemental du Calvados ou CD14 publicada en Germain-Vallée et al.

Economic growth is incompatible with biodiversity conservation

A study involving more than 20 specialists in conservation ecology and ecological economics highlights the contradiction between economic growth and biodiversity conservation.

Power struggles hinder urban adaptation policies to climate change

Transformative actions implemented by cities to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change may be hindered by political struggles for municipal power.

Analysis of tropical fire soot deposited in the ocean will help predict future global climate changes

The ICTA-UAB begins a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean to collect dust and smoke samples from the fires of tropical Africa deposited in marine sediments.

Red coral effectively recovers in Mediterranean protected areas after decades of overexploitation

Protection measures of the Marine Protected Areas have enable red coral colonies (Corallium rubrum) to recover partially in the Mediterranean Sea, reaching health levels similar to those of the 1980s in Catalonia and of the 1960s in the Ligurian Sea (Northwestern Italy).

Sub-national “climate clubs” could offer key to combating climate change

‘Climate clubs’ offering membership for sub-national states, in addition to just countries, could speed up progress towards a globally-harmonised climate change policy, which in turn offers a way to achieve stronger climate policies in all countries.
Joan Martinez Alier receives ERC Advanced Grant to analyze Global Environmental Justice Movement

Date: 2016-03-30

ICTA-UAB researcher Joan Martinez Alier receives ERC Advanced Grant to analyze Global Environmental Justice Movement


The project will expand the Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), a worldwide inventory of ecological distribution conflicts.

The initiative will analyze the alliance between the Global Environmental Justice Movement and the Degrowth movement in Europe.

Is there a Global Movement for Environmental Justice helping to push society and economy towards environmental sustainability? The project “ENVJUSTICE” led by ICTA-UAB researcher Joan Martinez Alier will try to prove there is through research on the many facets of this Global Movement for Environmental Justice. The project will be possible thanks to an Advanced Grant from the European Research Council (ERC) awarded to Joan Martinez Alier with a fund of nearly €2 million. This is the most prestigious grant awarded by ERC, and it is designed to allow outstanding research leaders of any nationality and age to pursue groundbreaking, high-risk projects in Europe.

ENVJUSTICE will carry out three main tasks. First, the team will add and analyze cases in a groundbreaking Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas) (www.ejatlas.org), a worldwide inventory of ecological distribution conflicts compiled at the ICTA-UAB, still with uneven coverage. Researchers will update and expand the EJAtlas which was launched in March 2014 as part of the EJOLT project (www.ejolt.org). It will grow thematically and geographically, becoming a unique instrument to conduct comparative, statistical political ecology. The field of political ecology studies “ecological distribution conflicts” ultimately caused by the increase in social metabolism. The links between such socio-environmental conflicts and changes in the social metabolism will be explored. “Even a non-growing industrial economy would require new supplies of fossil fuels and other materials from the commodity extraction frontiers because energy is not recycled and materials are recycled only in part”, says Martinez Alier who adds that the economy is not circular, but entropic “there are therefore many resource extraction and waste disposal conflicts, at different scales, such as greenhouse gases”.

Research based on the EJAtlas will analyze the resistance movements born from such conflicts and the networks they form across borders in a Global Environmental Justice Movement. The project will try to provide answers to questions such as: Who are the social actors and victims in such conflicts, the forms of mobilization, the variables explaining the rates of “success” in creating new alternatives? In this regard, ENVJUSTICE will work together with the project Acknowl-EJ led by Dr Leah Temper (2016-19) at ICTA-UAB and funded by the ISSC (www.worldsocialscience.org/activities/transformations/acknowl-ej/).

Second, it shall expand the scope and deepen the analysis of the Vocabulary of the Movement for Environmental Justice, from its beginning in the United States in 1982 (with terms like environmental racism, popular epidemiology, sacrifice zones) to its deployment in many countries with new crosscutting concepts. In Paris in 2015 (at the 21st COP on Climate Change) there were claims for “Climate Justice”. This is only one of many terms in the vocabulary of environmental justice. The project will investigate how different claims are expressed in Europe, India, China, Africa, Latin America, related to mining and fossil fuel extraction conflicts, biomass and water, waste disposal and transport conflicts.

Third, it shall analyze (following in the steps of Sicco Mansholt and Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen) the elements for a possible alliance between the Global Environmental Justice movement and the smaller Degrowth (Décroissance, Post-Wachstum, “Prosperity without Growth”) movement in Europe.

ENVJUSTICE reinforces the Ecological Economics and Political Ecology group at ICTA-UAB, being able to give contracts to 6 doctoral students / post-docs. Calls will be made in June 2016. 

Joan Martinez Alier
Joan Martinez Alier

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