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Bioregional Justice

Bioregional justice ensures that the benefits, opportunities, and risks arising from creating, operating and living in human settlements, within a particular bioregion (i.e., a territorially defined life-place where urban, rural, working lands/waters and wildland spaces coevolve socially, culturally and ecologically), are shared equitably through healthy relationships and secure place-based attachments that are human-scaled, locally rooted, regenerative and resilient. Bioregional justice seeks equity, diversity and inclusion (participatory democracy) in how a bioregion’s socio-cultural and physical assets—including nature’s sources and sinks needed for life and living—are accessed, utilized, and sustainably conserved for current and future generations.


Global Implications of Bioregional Justice

Understanding and improving Bioregional Justice is necessarily bound up with the reality of transboundary flows of resources and wastes taking place worldwide. This is where bioregionalism—as a form of "localization"—is entangled with "globalization." This local-global entanglement involves asymmetrical power relationships that transcend the bioregion as a unit for analysis, planning and action. The disposition and location of global command and control capabilities, including relationships that shape transboundary rules of engagement governing trade, warfare, peace, infrastructure and building priorities, manufacturing and consumption (e.g., extraction, production, waste disposal, labor relations, intellectual property, marketing, etc.) brings a global moral and ethical imperative into the idea of Bioregional Justice.

If the quality of life and living in one bioregion is improved at the expense of degrading the quality of life and living in another bioregion, this is not just. Nor is it just if the manner of reproducing life in a more advantaged (comparatively wealthy) bioregion occurs at the expense of degrading life sustaining planetary ecosystem services and sinks for wastes (e.g., our atmosphere) that all of humanity depends upon for survival.  Realizing Bioregional Justice thus hinges on understanding and improving the ethical and practical means necessary for transitioning to sustainable, regenerative, and resilient forms of localization at a bioregional scale, while also ensuring equity and justice across bioregions in a 21st century, worldwide bioregional transition.