GUST’s Global Studies Center organizes seminar on environmental justice and forest governance

Jan 31, 2017

Global Studies Center (GSC) organized this week a seminar led by Dr. Poshendra Satyal, entitled “Environmental Justice and Forest Governance”.  The lecture, which was open to the public, took place on the university campus in West Mishref. The focus of the event is to consider ways in which the ideas of justice are applied in the national context of policy design and practice of forest management.


Head of the Global Studies Center at GUST, Dr. Martin Rosenstock, said, “The idea of justice in environment and development policies can be considered across scales (i.e. local-national-global) and time (intra- and inter-generationally).  It can also be assessed through three dimensions: distributive justice (who gets what and who has access to policies), procedural justice (who is included or excluded from the policy-making process), and issues of recognition (whether everyone feels valued or not).  Although today’s lecture focused on Nepal, these ideas can all easily be translated into the everyday lives we live, particularly in relation to various policy-making bodies we interact with.”


During the seminar, Dr. Satyal presented a detailed case study of Nepal’s forestry sector policies and processes, and examined how the ideas of justice are applied in the domain of forest governance.  The discussion continued with a treatment of the subject of opportunities and challenges in Nepal with regards to addressing issues of justice and rights, through community forestry.  The topic of REDD+, (which is a mechanism whose objective is to mitigate climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases via enhanced forest management in developing countries) was also introduced and explained, which was then followed by a Q&A session.


Dr. Satyal, guest speaker at the latest GSC event, said, “Despite some challenges and national context of poor public sector management, Nepal has become a world leader in community forestry. Nepal's example of forest management offers an empirically rich material, which should be of interest to a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars, policy-makers and practitioners worldwide.”


Dr. Satyal has fifteen years of experience in interdisciplinary research, teaching, consultancy and project management in environment and development sector, received his PhD from the Open University in the UK in Geography, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Environment and Development from the University of Cambridge. 


The GSC regularly holds seminars with experts in various fields of study. The center was founded in 2015 in partnership with the National University of Singapore, and aims to conduct cutting-edge research on cross-national political, economic, social, cultural, and environmental issues of critical importance, as well as share research output and information regionally and globally.  It seeks to foster public understanding of global issues and support the policy-making processes of concerned states. 


Previous events hosted by the GSC include a discussion to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, sponsored by the US Embassy in Kuwait, a lecture by Dr. Peter Sluglett, an expert on Middle Eastern history and Director of the Middle East Institute at NUS, entitled: “An Improvement on Colonialism? The ‘A’ Mandates and their Legacy in the Middle East”, and another by Dr. Daniel Brumberg, the Kuwait Program Visiting Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs, on US-Arab Relations in a Time of Crisis.