Environmental Justice Atlas


The environmental justice atlas documents and catalogues social conflict around environmental issues. Across the world communities are struggling to defend their land, air, water, forests and their livelihoods from damaging projects and extractive activities with heavy environmental and social impacts: mining, dams, tree plantations, fracking, gas flaring, incinerators, etc. As resources needed to fuel our economy move through the commodity chain from extraction, processing and disposal, at each stage environmental impacts are externalized onto the most marginalized populations. Often this all takes place far from the eyes of concerned citizens or consumers of the end-products.

The EJ Atlas collects these stories of communities struggling for environmental justice from around the world. It aims to make these mobilization more visible, highlight claims and testimonies and to make the case for true corporate and state accountability for the injustices inflicted through their activities. It also attempts to serve as a virtual space for those working on EJ issues to get information, find other groups working on related issues, and increase the visibility of environmental conflicts.

The Atlas is directed at ICTA-UAB by Leah Temper and Joan Martinez Alier and coordinated by Daniela Del Bene, at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA) at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. It is supported by the ENVJUST project (ERC Advanced Grant 2016-2021), and the ACKnowl-EJ (Academic-Activist Co-Production of Knowledge for Environmental Justice, 2015-2018) funded by the Transformations to Sustainability Programme.

Find out more here:

This data set is made available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. You are free use the work for noncommercial purposes only, with attribution given to the EJatlas and a link to this page. Resulting work must be distributed under the same license or one similar. If you wish to use the data for academic publications please cite as follows:

  • Leah Temper, Daniela del Bene and Joan Martinez-Alier. 2015. Mapping the frontiers and front lines of global environmental justice: the EJAtlas. Journal of Political Ecology 22: 255-278.

You may find the full article explaining the methodology and aims of the atlas here: http://jpe.library.arizona.edu/volume_22/Temper.pdf

What type of information can you find in the Atlas?

The EJatlas maps conflicts across 10 main categories:

  • Nuclear
  • Mineral Ores and Building Extractions
  • Waste Management
  • Biomass and Land Conflicts
  • Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
  • Water Management
  • Infrastructure and Built Environment
  • Tourism Recreation
  • Biodiversity Conservation Conflicts
  • Industrial and Utilities Conflicts

The database contains information on the investors, the drivers for these deals, and their impacts, basic data, source of conflict, project details, conflict and mobilization, impacts, outcome, references to legislation, academic research, videos and pictures.

New featured maps have being designed for the second launch of the Atlas in collaboration with different organizations. Featured maps integrate geospatial indicators to better illustrate specific topics and contexts in which socio-environmental conflicts take place. This entails showing a number of socioeconomic indicators in form of intensity/choropleth maps (i.e. GDP, poverty or material extraction) or representing different types of land uses and biophysical parameters (i.e. pasture lands, forests, location of mines, protected areas or water scarce areas). The geodata used include vectors from national planning agencies (such as the case of Colombia´s SIGOT) or international agencies providing geodata such as UNEP, World Resource Institute, NASA´s SEDAC, as well as data generated by organizations working in one specific topic such as shale gas (www.unconventionalenergyresources.com) or land uses (www.globallandproject.org). Socioeconomic data from SIPRI, materialflows.net, UN Comtrade and others have also being transformed into geographical layers specifically for the EJAtlas, through geo-referencing statistical data. Further featured maps will be developed in collaboration and coordination with ongoing campaigns or research projects.


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