SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions - A Political Ecology Perspective

Constance L. McDermott, Emmanuel Acheampong, Seema Arora-Jonsson, Rebecca Asare, Wil de Jong, Mark Hirons, Kaysara Khatun, Mary Menton, Fiona Nunan, Mahesh Poudyal, Abidah Setyowati

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Understanding the impacts of SDG 16 on forests and people requires attention to the power dynamics that shape how all 17 SDGs are interpreted and implemented across the Global North and South. As SDGs were agreed upon by nation states, SDG 16 places a strong emphasis on state power and the rule of law. Yet inclusive governance requires the involvement of diverse actors, and consideration for customary laws and other non-state forms of rulemaking at global to local scales. Many national laws governing forests and land use favour political elite, large-scale industry actors and international trade. The development and strengthening of legal frameworks that support all of the SDGs - including those relevant to human rights, income inequalities, land tenure, gender and environmental protection requires equal or greater priority than law enforcement. Otherwise, law enforcement will reinforce inequities and unsustainable practices. SDG 16 provides an opportunity to overcome the stereotypes of the Global North as the referential role model for peace and democracy, by highlighting the role of the North in fostering market inequalities and global conflicts, and drawing attention to barriers to democratic and inclusive participation within the Global North. How transparency, accountability and justice are conceived and prioritised shapes their impact on forests, as well as the degree to which their achievement either empowers forest-dependent peoples or excludes them from meaningful and informed engagement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSustainable Development Goals: Their Impacts on Forests and People
    EditorsP Katila, C Pierce Colfer, W de Jong, G Galloway, P Pacheco & G Winkel
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    ISBN (Print)9781108486996
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


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