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Environmental Justice and Land Use Conflict. The governance of mineral and gas resource development

Conflict over the extraction of coal and gas resources has rapidly escalated in communities throughout the world. Using an environmental justice lens, this multidisciplinary book explores cases of land use conflict through the lived experiences of communities grappling with such disputes.

Drawing on theories of justice and fairness in environmental decision making, it demonstrates how such land use conflicts concerning resource use can become entrenched social problems, resistant to policy and legal intervention. The author presents three case studies from New South Wales in Australia and Pennsylvania in the US of conflict concerning coal, coal gas and shale gas development. It shows how conflict has escalated in each case, exploring access to justice in land use decision making processes from the perspective of the communities at the heart of these disputes. Weaknesses in contemporary policy and regulatory frameworks, including ineffective opportunities for public participation and a lack of community recognition in land use decision making processes, are explored.

The book concludes with an examination of possible procedural and institutional reforms to improve access to environmental justice and better manage cases of land use conflict. Overall, the volume links the philosophies of environmental justice with rich case study findings, offering readers further insight into both the theory and practice of land use decision making.

Table of Contents




1. Land use conflict and the role of justice

2. Theories of environmental justice

With Lisa de Kleyn and Matthew Ryan

3. The Bulga case study

4. The Namoi catchment Case Study: Part 1 – Coal mining on the Liverpool Plains

5. The Namoi catchment Case Study: Part 2 – Coal seam gas exploration in the Narrabri Shire

6. The Marcellus Shale Case Study

7. The search for justice in the governance of extractive resource development