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The sustainability paradox and the conflicts on the use of natural resources

Chapter in book
Authors Gunilla Almered Olsson
Pernille Gooch
Published in Natural Resource Conflicts and Sustainable Development. Gunilla Almered Olsson, Pernille Gooch (red.)
Pages 1-7
ISBN 978-1-138-57689-6
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication London
Publication year 2019
Published at School of Global Studies, Human Ecology
Pages 1-7
Language en
Keywords Environment/ Politics/ Security and Conflict Studies/Transition
Subject categories Other Natural Sciences, Social Sciences Interdisciplinary


The chapter elaborates on the sustainability and sustainable development concepts in relation to the ongoing conflicts on the use of natural resources. The deterioration of natural and biological resources and the climate challenge are related to the current paradigm of economic growth and The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by UN member states in 2015. Conflicts can be seen as opportunities for change as they open up a range of new options and demand innovations for transitions to sustainable alternatives. The ongoing environmental conflict on climate change, a conflict of lifestyle and overconsumption by the few, a conflict on where the different dimensions of equity, in space and over time, intergenerational equity, are at the conflict centre, could be our great opportunity to enter the transition towards a sustainable future. The span of this book is global with case studies from both Global North and South. The themes elaborated and discussed are exemplified in the case studies and have the ambition to represent the major environmental conflicts – although far from exhaustive. The overriding theme of this book, ‘Natural Resource Conflicts and Sustainable Development’, can be sub-divided into three themes: Theme one – human-environment relationship; Theme two – justice and equity dimensions; Theme three – conflict resolution/transformation and pathways towards sustainability

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