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Abstract

Rural communities, like all communities, face myriad social, economic and ecological challenges as they endeavor to resolve precarious dependencies on critical, energy-intensive and supply-chain extensive resource systems. With increasing impacts of climate change and related incidents of human and more-than-human displacements, including losses of life and habitat, rural communities have become beset with frequent, prolonged and persistent recovery and coping obligations. The progressive resolution of injustices will need to occur in the face of serious ecological stressors. Designing for and increasingly demonstrating social work practices that prioritize the multi-modal skills of sustainable living may well be the most effective means to realize and sustain environmental justice advancements. Practitioners, educators, researchers and students engaged in mobilizing social work’s professional commitments to environmental justice causes would be well-served by acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to realize sustainable livelihoods. Permaculture design principles and methods are cited as means for social work professionals to begin with their own personal and professional practices. Considerations for social work practice, research and education are provided.

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