PERC in 2020

Lisa Vonk Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis 2020 has been another successful year for PERC, with more national and international activities and publications.

In conjunction with the Sociology of Development and Change (SDC) group at Wageningen University, we ran our third nearly carbon neutral online conference Extraction. This conference bought together over 80 presenters across 18 panels and featured a mini-forum ran by the Center of Excellence in Data for Society at the University of Arizona, 3 films, and 6 live sessions.

Laura Jean McKay’s book The Animals in That Country was nominated for the Readings Prize for new Australian fiction. The book also received glowing reviews in media outlets including the Guardian, which wrote ‘The novel becomes both a stirring attempt to inhabit other consciousnesses and a wry demonstration of the limits of our own language and empathy.’

Tom Doig’s book Hazelwood was nominated for the Walkley Book Award for excellence in Australian nonfiction and long-form journalism.

Sy Taffel’s book Digital Media Ecologies received an honourable mention in the Association of Internet Researchers Nancy Baym book award. The panel describe the book as ‘a timely and relevant book multiply useful for the AoIR community. Taffel centers the environmental impacts of contemporary technology assemblages, extends the ecological framework and carefully explains diverse theoretical concepts increasingly used for making sense of networked media.’

PERC contributed to a new iteration of a proposed architecture for a global plastics agreement designed to assist country engagement in United Nations Environmental Agency processes leading up to UNEA-5 in 2021. In conjunction with the Environmental Investigation Agency, WWF, and the Centre for International Environmental Law, PERC produced the report Islands of Opportunity: Toward a Global Agreement on Plastic Pollution for Pacific Island Countries and Territories. PERC co-director Trisia Farrelly peer reviewed and contributed to PEW Charitable Trust report, Breaking the Plastic Wave, a comprehensive assessment of pathways towards stopping ocean plastic pollution. Dr. Farrelly also produced a 60-page gap analysis for the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) with Dr Stephanie Borrelle (University of Toronto, Canada) and Dr Sascha Fuller (University of Newcastle, Australia), Plastic Pollution Prevention in Pacific Island Countries: Gap analysis of current legislation, policies and plans.

Along with APPA, Para Kore, GAIA and the NZPSC PERC hosted the webinar Where do NZ’s Plastic Exports Go? Stories from Receiving Countries.

PERC member Laura Jean McKay will take part in the online event On The Brink, which brings together 20 writers and cultural figures (including Margaret Atwood and Emma Thompson) to raise awareness of the immense threat posed by extinction.

PERC presented at the webinar Laying the Pacific Building Blocks for a Global Agreement to Prevent Plastic Pollution hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

PERC members Nicholas Holm and Sy Taffel were invited to discuss carbon free and more equal conferencing at the Comparative and International Education Society 2020 conference, following on from PERC’s 2018 Feral conference.

Dr. Farrelly presented these plastic pollution prevention policy gap analysis findings at the Global Zero Waste Digital Summit. The study identified key policy and legislative gaps and the unique challenges facing ten Pacific Island countries in responding to plastic pollution in the region.  The findings and recommendations are likely to resonate with other Large Ocean Small Island Developing States.  The report will be included in the meetings in the lead up to the 5th United Nations Environmental Assembly in February 2021.



PERC co-director Sy Taffel. Digital Media Ecologies: Entanglements of Content, Code and Hardware. Bloomsbury.

Laura Jean McKay. The Animals in that Country . Scribe.

Tom Doig. Hazelwood. Penguin.

Tom Doig, ed. Living with the Climate Crisis. Bridget Williams Books.

Journal Articles

Laura Schoenberger and Alice Beban. Rupturing violent land imaginaries: finding hope through a land titling campaign in Cambodia. Journal of Agriculture and Human Values.

Trisia Farrelly and Laura Green. The Global Plastic Pollution Crisis. Policy Quarterly.

Mark NewtonTrisia Farrelly and Jim Sinner. Discourse, agency, and social license to operate in New Zealand’s marine economy. Ecology and Society.

Aurathai Phongchiewboona, Trisia Farrelly, Karen Hytten, John Holland. Political ecology, privation and sustainable livelihoods in northern Thailand’s national parks. Journal of Political Ecology.

Thomas Robertson and Trisia Farrelly. An Ethnography of Entanglements: Mercury’s Presence and Absence in Artisanal and Small-scale Gold mining in Antioquia, Colombia. Deja Lu.

Jim Sinner, Mark Newton, Jaye Barclay, James Baines, Trisia Farrelly, Peter Edwards, Gail Tipa . Measuring social licence: What and who determines public acceptability of aquaculture in New Zealand? Aquaculture.

Regina Scheyvens, Glenn Banks, Suliasi Vunibola, Hennah Steven, Litea Meo-Sewabu. Business serves society: Successful locally-driven development on customary land in the South Pacific. Geoforum.

Sy Taffel. Ecological Crises and Equitable Futures, in Anna-Maria Murtola and Shannon Walsh (eds) Whose Futures, Economic and Social Research Aotearoa

Other Media

Glenn Banks. Climate explained: why we need to focus on increased consumption as much as population growth. The Conversation.

Trisia Farrelly, Hannah Blumhardt, Takunda Y Chitaka. How life-cycle assessments can be (mis)used to justify more single-use plastic packaging. The Conversation.

Trisia Farrelly. An international convention is needed to fill gaps in national, regional, and international efforts to prevent plastic pollution” in How social science is continuing to change and improve marine ecosystem conservation and management: Part I.

Trisia Farrelly. What Happens to NZ’s Plastic Exports? Stories from Receiving Countries. Break Free From Plastic.

Trisia Farrelly quoted in Microbeads are banned, but plastic-filled products are everywhere. Stuff.

Trisia Farrelly quoted in Government to regulate environmentally harmful plastic packaging, tyres, e-waste. Break Free From Plastic.

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