In everybody’s backyard? Examining the intersection of invasive alien species and environmental justice

Brack W. Hale, Franklin University Switzerland
Patrick Della Croce, Franklin University Switzerland

This paper explores the development of scholarship examining invasive alien species and their impacts from an environmental justice perspective. As the scope of the environmental justice field grows to encompass considerations of ecological integrity, invasive alien species should be part and parcel of this discourse, because they have the potential to harm human health directly and interfere with ecosystem services upon which vulnerable groups sometimes rely. Further, invasive alien species might cause environmental justice issues at the international level, as developing countries are likely at greater risk from their impacts. We propose that research should investigate the distribution of direct impacts from invasive alien species, as well as those via changes of ecosystem functioning and services, across different socioeconomic populations. We highlight the need for a holistic approach to understanding these impacts that includes environmental justice concerns and recommend the development of a framework that would enable consideration of cultural, ecological, economic, and social issues involved in the management of invasive alien species.

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