Chapter 7 - The Sociology of Sustainable Development

Grem efforts attempt to gather stakeholders from

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Unformatted text preview: whose members include all of the stakeholder groups in the region of interests.”162 The encompassing organization in this case includes all of the groups that have an interest in the rain forest: “members from fifty Afro-Ecuadorian comunas, the lumber companies, [the government agency in charge of protected areas], the provincial government, environmental NGOs, and international aid missions with interests in the region.”163 In this arena, trade-offs between the competing goals of sustainable development are negotiated. For example, community members must collectively decide to what degree economic gains should outweigh ecological gains and vice versa. One proposal being looked at by the encompassing organization is to attain green certification for the wood from the project. “Selling these woods in the international markets would raise their price. Both the timber companies and the environmentalists support the proposal.”164 This project in Esmeraldas shows a process in which trade-offs among the competing goals of sustainable development can lead to better forest conservation and gains in economic growth. Contrary to radical accounts that external political and economic influences in ecological matters can be exploitative and destructive, Rudel argues that “outside intervention” helped create the encompassing organization in Esmeraldas that may form the basis of a more THE SOCIOLOGY OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 261 sustainable development. Communities around Esmeraldas have taken notice of the project’s success and are taking steps to implement similar plans. Different forms of organizing for sustainable development are taking place in the United States, as well. Weber explains the emergence of “hundreds of rural, place-based, grass-roots ecosystem management (GREM) efforts across the United States [that] constitutes a new environmental movement.”165 These groups are akin to the encompassing organizations that Rudel describes in Ecuador. GREM effo...
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