Anthropology and Environment Society
Oral Presentation Session
Defining environmental justice through changing conversations around land and space can benefit from a focus on the body. Based on ten years of ethnographic research in indigenous communities in Belize, this paper explores environmental heritage as a changing and embodied practice with a critical role in the maintenance of wellbeing. It examines narratives of health maintenance and “living a good life” through economic, environmental and temporal change, asking how practices and knowledges defined as “traditional” are operationalized as preventative care and/or restorative justice. Following indigenous Belizeans from community lands throughout the country, beyond and back again, this paper discusses how environmental heritage is not static but carried, defined and replicated in the body, and passed through the generations, through practice. It reimagines a kind of cognitive phenomenology, which moves beyond environmental knowledge to address wellbeing in times of change.