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environmental justice & health


The number of available courses addressing environmental injustices from the social justice and health perspective is still regrettably limited. So, please, be inspired to arrange such a course and feel free to adapt the contents of my course syllabus to match your needs. I taught this course in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo, during the Spring Term 2012. My students loved it. I might also be available to teach a course where ever you happen to be, so please don't hesitate to contact me.




The course I designed is an introduction to environmental justice and provides a broad overview to issues and potential solutions connecting social justice, health, and the environment. The course offers theoretical and conceptual understanding of environmental justice relevant for conservation and natural resource management, policy development, food security, agriculture, environmental restoration, social justice, as well as human and ecosystem health.  



  • Focus on a broad range of environmental justice issues in Canada, from genetically modified organisms to pollution and water management to mining

  • A mixture of lectures, movies, video clips, general discussions, and investigations of concrete case studies

  • Tools to learn and opportunities to practice critical and analytical academic thinking

  • Guest speakers

  • Interactive sessions



This course takes a holistic approach to exploring interconnectedness between health and justice from the environmental resource management perspective. It investigates environmental issues in social-ecological context, focusing particularly on social justice issues and the impact that has on sustainable development. There is a significant focus on understanding health impacts of environmental issues, particularly chronic diseases and developmental changes that influence both human and ecosystem well-being. Health and well-being will be studied as desirable outcomes of sustainable governance and resource management and thereby arguing that health needs to be taken into consideration in all aspects of sustainability governance. The course examines theoretical, ethical and historical aspects of environmental justice in the light of concrete case studies, addressing issues such as mining, GMOs, drinking water, and pollution.  Furthermore, various solution options will be debated. The course provides an overview of both theoretical and practical issues in environmental justice from the Canadian perspective but in the global context.



You can download the syllabus for my course here. Please note, however, that university syllabi are in principle  the copyright of the individuals who designed the course. While I believe in promoting environmental justice education and free flow of information, I would appreciate if you could acknowledge my work to which ever extent you are using it. Moreover, to help developing a stronger social network of people working on this topic, I would love to hear about your endeavours.



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