Into the Fray: A Call for Policy-engaged and Actionable Environmental Humanities
As European countries strive to meet their targets in support of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by UN member states in 2015, the importance of integrating all knowledge communities in coordinated responses to sustainability challenges becomes an increasing priority. The creativity and depth of knowledge within philosophical, cultural, aesthetic and historical disciplines of the humanities has been underutilized in coordinated international assessment initiatives that aim to inform policy and facilitate solutions of sustainability governance. The Environmental Humanities (EH) is a field of growing significance internationally. While it can no longer be called an emerging field, EH still holds only the promise of bringing knowledge of social and cultural systems to coordinated international efforts to address the human dimensions of global environmental change. The significant knowledge and expertise on the human dimensions of environmental change available within the EH field should be regarded as an indispensable resource to policymakers and to those on the ground who work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. This essay makes a case for actionable, policy-engaged environmental humanities, an ambition that should certainly extend to the domain of the humanities more generally.
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