In 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by state nations across the globe to eradicate poverty in all its forms, combat inequality, preserve the planet, create sustainable economic growth and foster social inclusion (United Nations [UN], 2015:5). Social work is committed to contributing to sustainable development by responding to social and economic injustices (Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development, 2012).
The goal of this research study was to explore and describe the role of social workers in promoting environmental justice for sustainable communities from a non-government perspective in Tshwane.
The researcher adopted a qualitative research approach and an instrumental case study design. The sample of eight participants was purposively selected from non-governmental organisations in Tshwane and data was collected through semi-structured one-on-one interviews.
The findings of the study indicate that participants had some understanding of environmental justice and that both people and the natural environment should be equally protected and advocated in social work interventions. Although some current interventions reflect an environmental focus, participants were not consciously aware of their role in environmental justice and sustainable development. The study concluded that social workers understand the challenges that are respectively posed by the social and natural environment but not necessarily how they are intertwined and related to environmental injustices and green social work. Recommendations include education and awareness-raising of social workers on environmental justice and adopting green social work as a practice model.
Mini Dissertation (MSW (Social Development and Policy))--University of Pretoria, 2020.