Greening Novib: Historicizing the Environmentalization of Novib's Developmental Aid, 1986-1992
Wit, Annabel de Wit de
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In the second half of the 20th century, the global environmental discourse experienced a major change. From a focus on conservation and preservation until the late 1960s, sustainable development became the norm in the 1970s and 1980s. Hereby, the concept of environment changed as well during this period, environment degenerated from a limited concept, which was mainly related to agriculture and nature itself, to a concept that was completely intertwined with human survival. This study will demonstrate that this change in discourse is reflected in the norms and practices of Novib, a Dutch developmental NGO, within the form of ‘environmentalization’. By examining primary sources from the Oxfam Novib Archives situated in the National Archives in the Hague this study will attempt to illustrate this process of environmentalization within Novib’s policy through the years 1986 to 1992. The focus of the analysis is on Novib's discourse, norms, and practices of both North-South relations and the related link between environment and development. In doing so, this study not only extends the existing work on environmentalization by applying it to foreign aid but brings in a historicizing factor as well by applying the contemporary theory of environmentalization to a historical case.