October 9, 2012
By Pacific Institute Staff
Who profits from our use of environmental resources? Who suffers the consequences of pollution and environmental degradation? Creating and sustaining healthy and thriving neighborhood environments is a challenge, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, who carry disproportionate environmental burdens. Issues from access to safe water and sanitation, air quality, access to open space, employment opportunities, healthy food, and more are issues of both environment and of justice. Decisions from where to build a dam to where build a wastewater treatment plant to the siting of toxic facilities, truck routes, and liquor stores – and who is at the table where the decisions are made – are matters of environmental health and justice.
The Pacific Institute partners with community-based organizations and coalitions both in the U.S. and abroad to build community power to create and sustain healthy and thriving neighborhood environments. Building the community power to self-determine the environment they live in is the most effective and sustainable way to create solutions to environmental, economic, and health disparities. Bringing community voices to the decision-making process is necessary to ensure that all communities have access to environmental benefits.