John Aloysius Zinda is Assistant Professor of Development Sociology at Cornell University. He studies how people respond to environmental and developmental interventions, and the consequences for social and ecological change, with a focus on land management in China.

Managing the Anthropocene: The Labour of Environmental Regeneration

Since 2010, China has seen new carbon markets, closures of polluting factories, and expanded efforts to regenerate degraded landscapes and protect wildlife in intact ecosystems. All of this entails a great deal of labour. Yet when reporters or researchers discuss China’s environmental management efforts, they may chronicle policies, regulatory actions, infrastructures, carbon figures, or impacts on humans and animals, but they seldom say much about the labour of environmental protection or the people who perform it. This is because scholars and journalists alike tend to place environment and labour in separate boxes.

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