Emilija is an ecologist from North Macedonia and holds an MPhil in Conservation Leadership from the University of Cambridge, UK. Most recently, she has worked at the Regional Environmental Center – Country Office Macedonia where she focused on climate change mitigation in cooperation with the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and governmental institutions towards increasing industrial energy efficiency and improving the Macedonian fuel economy policy. Emilija has also passionately worked on mainstreaming circular economy principles into local economies and enabling private sector compliance with national and international environmental legislation.
The food that fuels the growth-driven free-market economy are natural resources. The circular economy (CE) aims to optimally use the natural resources. The current over-exploitation of natural resources leads to degradation of natural ecosystems and loss of its ecosystem services, such as climate change mitigation potential. Therefore, the CE concept focuses on resource efficiency towards curbing the excessive exploitation of natural resources. But, nature is only instrumentally valued as a resource that enters into the CE with the intention for its maximal retention in the cycle. A lack of attention to how and from where the natural resources have been extracted and introduced in the CE remains to be examined. Therefore, this PhD research will delve into creating a theoretically-grounded critique of the valuation of nature within the context of the ‘circular economy’, also placing attention to its justice and equity implications.