In most of the European countries immigration is occurring since decades, which leads to an increasing intercultural mixture of the national population. In Germany the scientific and public discourse on sustainable development has hardly noticed possible effects of “ethnicity”. Research on the actual situation of intercultural participation in environmental planning is missing as well as on the needed preconditions for an appropriate “intercultural empowerment” of public engagement. Up to now the percentage of immigrants engaged in organisations of the ecological movement or institutions dealing with environmental or sustainability affairs is very low (Katz/ Kontzi 2009).
There is a lack of profound knowledge about the attitudes or every day acting of (im-)migrants towards nature and its management, about their interests in environmental protection, about risk awareness and demands regarding environmental and sustainability issues. But, ethnicity is nothing fixed which can be easily analysed or “allocated” to people or a societal group. It is a construction which evolves if certain similarities are supposed.
The contribution is stressing this point: According to the approach of critical whiteness the exclusion and the construction of “the other”, of “being involved” in procedures of “doing nature relations” is scrutinized. Qualitative Data of an explorative study on environmental organisations in Germany and their efforts in “acting intercultural” are introduced. The existing mental images and ideas about migrants´ interests and public engagement in nature and sustainability issues by environmental actors are presented and reflected.
Katz C., Kontzi K. (2009b) Interkulturalität: Kein Thema im Nachhaltigkeitsdiskurs?! Politische Ökologie 115-116, S. 86-87.
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