Intersectional Environmentalism & Black Lives Matter

The new Intersectional Environmentalism movement encourages conservationists to take part in the fights for social and environmental justice. Image credit: Leah Thomas

Intersectional Environmentalism is a growing movement calling on conservationists to commit to addressing environmental and social justice issues within the framework of sustainability. Intersectional environmentalism operates on the following tenets:

  • No environmental organization should minimize or silence social and environmental justice concerns.
  • Social and environmental justice are a fundamental part of sustainability.
  • Working to promote environmental and social justice does not mean that environmentalists are unable to focus on “other issues” like conservation of wildlife or habitat.

After reading Leah Thomas’s article on why environmentalists need to be actively anti-racist, I was inspired to amplify The Orangutan Gang’s response to both the Black Lives Matter and the Intersectional Environmentalism movements. Social justice as well as environmental stability are pillars of sustainability, and as conservationists we need to look beyond our narrowed viewpoints to promote a more holistic view of sustainability activism. This includes within the framework of the palm oil issue.

The fight for palm oil sustainability is also a fight for social and environmental justice, both for workers on palm oil plantations who experience human rights abuses and are not provided adequate worker protections and for Indigenous communities whose homes are disrupted by plantations. Aiming for sustainable palm oil means that we are aiming not only for palm oil produced without threat to rainforest and endangered species, but also for palm oil produced equitably for everyone involved.

You can learn more about Intersectional Environmentalism and why conservationists should support social justice and Black Lives Matter on the Intersectional Environmentalist website.

Thank you for saving the rainforest and pressing for environmental justice today.

Pangaea Finn, Founder and Director

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