Big Data as A Tool to Monitor and Deter Environmental Offenders in the Global South: A Multiple Case Study

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nir B. Kshetri, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: While prior research has looked at big data’s role in strengthening the environmental justice movement, scholars rarely examine the contexts, mechanisms and processes associated with the use of big data in monitoring and deterring environmental offenders, especially in the Global South. As such, this research aims to substitute for this academic gap through the use of multiple case studies of environmental offenders’ engagement in illegal deforestation, as well as legal deforestation followed by fire. Specifically, we have chosen four cases from three economies in the Global South: Indonesia, Peru and Brazil. We demonstrate how the data utilized by environmental activists in these four cases qualify as true forms of big data, as they have searched and aggregated data from various sources and employed them to achieve their goals. The article shows how big data from various sources, mainly from satellite imagery, can help discern the true extent of environmental destruction caused by various offenders and present convincing evidence. The article also discusses how a rich satellite imagery archive is suitable for analyzing chronological events in order to establish a cause-effect chain. In all of the cases studied, such evidentiary provisions have been used by environmental activists to oblige policy makers to take necessary actions to counter environmental offenses.

Additional Information

Sustainability, 12(24), 10436.
Language: English
Date: 2020
big data, environmental offenders, environmental sustainability, Global South, multiple case studies, satellite

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