Social Movements and Sustainability

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Social Movements and Sustainability

Social Movements and Sustainability


Social movements are groups that focus on specific political or social actions. The main aim of social of social movements is to create social change with regards to certain issues (Johnston, 2014). Environment is one of the main aspects that have attracted a lot of concern among the people. Social movements have emerged in order to spearhead the environmental protection (Ricketts, 2012). The freedom of expression which is increasingly becoming common in most parts of the world has contributed to the rise of the environmental social movements which has a wide range of support. The paper thus discusses the art of activism with regards to the environmental social movements.


The modern social movements in the environmental sector have played an essential role in the promotion of activism. The mobilization of the population is therefore one of the main characteristics of the social movement that deal with the environmental issue. In most cases the social movement creates awareness about the negative environmental effect of the society (Ricketts, 2012). This includes the activities of some of the major corporations in the world. In the United States of America, the social movements played an essential role in organizing campaigns against BP which was impacting negatively on the environment. This was after the oil spillage as well as other activities that the company was involved in. Sustainable management of resources of resources as well as stewardship is one of the main activities that the environmental social groups are involved in (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). The social movements have played an important role in terms of influencing the change in public policy with regards to the environmental issues. The social movements have been active in advocating for change even at the higher levels including the United Nations. This has seen policies being developed for the purposes of ensuring that the environment is protected.

The Kyoto protocol is one of the agreements that were signed by the developed countries as a result of intense lobbying the environmental groups. This was aimed at ensuring that the member states are able to put in place laws that promote environmental conservation. The movements are centered on ecological, health and human rights issues (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014). Environmental issues is closely related to the human rights issues and hence the reasons for the advocacy. Most of the environmental movements are represented at the international levels with representations at the grassroots level. However, it is important to note that not all the environmental movements are united in their goals.

The environmentalist movements in most cases are comprised of comprised of private citizens as well as professionals. Politicians are also members of the environmental movements in most of the countries (Ricketts, 2012). This has played an important role in terms of ensuring that the governments are involved in change of policies. The industrial revolution is known to have triggered the rise of the environmental movements. This is due to the emission of high levels of smoke at the time. The movements played an essential role in ensuring that the levels of environmental pollution are reduced.


In conclusion, it is evident that the social movements play an important role in advocating for the conservation of the environment. The lobbying has been successful in influencing the change in policies with regards to environment.


Zed Books, London.The activists’ handbook: a step-by-step guide to participatory democracy, Ricketts, A., 2012.

Cengage Learning, London. Business and society: Ethics, sustainability, and stakeholder management, Carroll, A. & Buchholtz, A., 2014.

. Wiley, Hoboken, London.What is a Social MovementJohnston, H., 2014,