Nordia Geographical Publications <p>NORDIA GEOGRAPHICAL PUBLICATIONS (NGP) is a non-profit, peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Geographical Society of Northern Finland and the Geography Research Unit at the University of Oulu.</p> <p>Scopus CiteScore 2017 index 0.29.</p> The Geographical Society of Northern Finland and the Geography Research Unit en-US Nordia Geographical Publications 1238-2086 Affirming political ecology: seeds, hatchets and situated entanglements Tuomo Alhojärvi Heikki Sirviö ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 1 6 The affect of effect: affirmative political ecologies in monitoring climate change adaptation interventions <p>All over the world, climate change adaptation interventions (CCAIs) are being implemented in a variety of ways, but mostly monitored using outcomes-based monitoring and evaluation (M&amp;E) frameworks that are prone to oversimplification and outside-imposed priorities and knowledges about climate change. Existing monitoring and evaluation practices can only provide results with reference to project goals and processes, and tend to be top-down and neo-colonial in method and scope. This means they may frequently miss unexpected or localised aspects of adaptation interventions, some of which may be useful beyond the local level. While it may be possible to just explore the neo-colonial aspects of this political ecology of monitoring and evaluation of climate change adaptation interventions in our fieldwork in Thai Binh Province of Vietnam, an affirmative political ecology also tries to identify and proliferate alternative possibilities for meaningful monitoring and evaluation of adaptation interventions. In this essay, we reflect on the ways in which our research into embodied knowledge in local level monitoring and evaluation in rural Thai Binh province of Vietnam could be understood as affirmative political ecology. Through paying attention to the embodied knowledges and the cares and concerns of farmers and ourselves as scholars, we can get at the physical and material changes in environment and livelihood, but also move beyond critique into rethinking how new worlds and ways of being in and with the more than human can emerge.</p> Kelly Dombroski Huong Thi Do ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 7 20 Meaningful engagement and oral histories of the indigenous peoples of the north <p>This paper explores the question of what constitutes endemic evaluation, genuine success and engagement of Indigenous peoples and their communal oral histories. The materials discussed are derived from a range of oral history processes in the boreal and in the Arctic. Having long been an elusive and marginalized method of conveying cultural knowledge, oral history is enjoying emerging recognition in assessments of biodiversity, natural resources and climate change. As early as the 1970s, the Mackenzie Pipeline Inquiry utilized the oral histories of the Inuvialuit, Dene and Gwitchin. The 1997 Supreme Court Decision <em>Delgamuuwk</em> validated Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations’ oral histories as sound evidence in courts on matters of Indigenous history. This paper reviews experiences from the authors of the Mackenzie Pipeline Inquiry and the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations in a post-<em>Delgamuuwk</em> era, to determine key aspects of oral history work. Additional examples of the uses of communal oral histories in environmental research, and their transferability, emerge from Canada, Finland and Sweden. At its best, oral history does what it is supposed to do – makes invisible histories visible. Such new readings of Indigenous landscapes are urgently needed to understand rapid changes currently underway in the North.</p> Tero Mustonen ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 21 38 Row: a thinkivist art intervention* <p><em>Row</em> art project by Ozhopé collective consists of performances and temporary sculptures with dugout canoes used by fishers on the shores of Lake Malawi. The sculptures and performances feature the ephemeral, play, bricolage, and site-specificity to engage the lake as a space for contesting extractivism, and for dealing with issues of the ecosystem. Using the lens of <em>racial capitalocene</em>, <em>Row</em> plays with the ongoing wrangles around Lake Malawi, fuelled by the spectre of oil speculation on the lake. Through temporary sculptures the work seeks to read the dugout canoe as text by focusing on the sedimentation of paint, tin, plastic and tar on the canoe’s body as traces of the histories of its transformation. The dugout canoe is considered an artefact of contemporaneity on which can be read narratives of biography, aid, trade, and capitalist extractivism and the ecosystem. Besides racial capitalocene, <em>thinkivism</em> and<em> biopolitical collectivism</em> underpin Ozhopé’s subject-centred, collaborative production.</p> Massa Lemu Emmanuel Ngwira ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 39 54 Transcending binaries: a participatory political ecology of the Faroese foodscape <p>This paper discusses some methodological aspects of a participatory research project on political economic dynamics of food in the Faroe Islands, in particular how to balance between the critical perspective and an affirmative practice when doing engaged research in political ecology. Drawing from Gibson-Graham’s diverse economies framework combined with the concept of food sovereignty, familiar conceptual binaries (capitalism-noncapitalism, growth-degrowth, affirmation-critique) are challenged. The paper argues that instead of remaining locked in the analytical distinction between say a ‘capitalist/global food-system’ versus an ‘alternative/local food-system’, a critical-affirmative political ecology of food would ultimately have to entail a transcendence of such binary thinking. In particular, it would put more attention on the complexity and queerness of the foodscape, take more notice of the ‘in-betweens’ and the nuances that do not fit such categorisation. Participatory research with local activists is suggested as a fruitful and ethical methodology to facilitate such a process as it emphasises the <em>doing</em> of research and engages with the situated knowledge and experience of local activists.</p> Elisabeth Skarðhamar Olsen Rebecca Whittle ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 55 73 Land in transition: the role of land for Finnish households striving for self-sufficiency <p>This short essay is based on ongoing ethnographic fieldwork that focuses on post-growth work in the global North. Some of the people I have met during my fieldwork are in the process of altering their life according to their understanding of more affirmative ways of living. Here the focus is on households that strive for self-sufficiency in terms of food. However, in order to cultivate land, one needs to access it. This essay focuses on describing self-sufficiency households’ everyday needs for private land ownership and its implications for the households. It seems to be hard to completely rid oneself of owning land because of the institutional arrangements beyond one’s immediate influence. For discussions concerning transitions toward more sustainable societies, projects exploring other ways of organising land ownership are important.</p> Eeva Houtbeckers ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 75 84 Pluriversal learning: pathways toward a world of many worlds <p>In varied contexts around the world, groups and communities forging different kinds of futures are challenging the universal desirability of development toward ever-greater production, consumption, and ecological footprints. This article is about learning from some of those pathways in order to broaden horizons for conversations about degrowth beyond Europe where they first gained traction. It reviews empirical research on wide-ranging phenomena, and documents processes of mutual learning among researchers from varied cultural, linguistic, and national backgrounds. Affirmative political ecology is appraised as a framework for analyzing relations among differently shaped phenomena operating in different contexts and on various scales, and for supporting life-affirming efforts to co-construct worlds that might be healthier and happier for more people and other nature. Pluriverse is explored as an epistemological stance and a dialogic method to enhance appreciation of multiple ways of knowing and being in the world, and to foster enquiry that decenters models of science and development that have been portrayed as universally true and good. After conceptualizing key ideas and reflecting on learning processes and challenges among a network of 40 collaborators, the text turns to some movements that I have engaged in Latin America in search of insights to support ongoing development of thought and practice with degrowth.</p> Susan Paulson ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 85 109 Affirmative and engaged political ecology: practical applications and participatory development actions <p>Academic critique drives most political ecology scholarship. An engaged and affirmative political ecology, however, is practiced in scholarly, everyday and activist communities. Many academic political ecologists, including some founding figures like Piers Blaikie, take an interest in the ‘relevance’ of their work and wish to remain ‘engaged’ with the communities and policy actors that their research identifies as vital for positive social and environmental change. A biographical approach provides clues to what makes ‘affirmative’ scholarship important and viable. Research engagement, and particularly activism, is desirable but often deemed to be nonconformist by the research culture of Western research universities and organisations. I argue for a more affirmative political ecology, illustrated with examples from research work in an international development project in West Africa. The use of participatory research techniques can reveal injustices, but in this case it was less successful at redressing power imbalances. The more general conclusion is that strong engagement can be effective and satisfying. As environmental problems and injustices worsen, it is essential.</p> Simon Batterbury ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-03-19 2019-03-19 47 5 111 131