All posts by Anna

Environmental Justice and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. International and Domestic … (L. Westra)

Author

Laura Westra

Keywords

Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Eco-footprint Crime, ‘Biological/Ecological Integrity Model’, Environmental Justice, Cultural Integrity, Ecological Integrity, International Law, Cosmopolitanism, Natural Law, Individual, Community Rights, International Jurisprudence, World Bank, United States, ATCA Jurisprudence, Canada, Principles, Genocide, Eco-crime, Aboriginal Rights, Domestic Law, International Law, Arctic Peoples, Global Governance, Indigenous Human Rights, Obligations of State and Non-State Actors, Global Integrity, Environment; Human rights, Climate change, Global warming, Globalisation, Vulnerability, Environmental protection, Communities.

Abstract

More than 300 million people in over 70 countries make up the world’s indigenous populations. Yet despite ever-growing pressures on their lands, environment and way of life through outside factors such as climate change and globalization, their rights in these and other respects are still not fully recognized in international law.

In this incisive book, Laura Westra deftly reveals the lethal effects that damage to ecological integrity can have on communities. Using examples in national and international case law, she demonstrates how their lack of sufficient legal rights leaves indigenous peoples defenceless, time and again, in the face of governments and businesses who have little effective incentive to consult with them (let alone gain their consent) in going ahead with relocations, mining plans and more. The historical background and current legal instruments are discussed and, through examples from the Americas, Africa, Oceania and the special case of the Arctic, a picture emerges of how things must change if indigenous communities are to survive. It is a warning to us all from the example of those who live most closely in tune with nature and are the first to feel the impact when environmental damage goes unchecked.

Citation

L. Westra, Environmental Justice & the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. International & Domestic Legal Perspectives (Earthscan, Padstow, 2008)

Book

Environmental Justice and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. International and Domestic Legal Perspectives

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… Encouraging Collaborative Approaches to Controversial Development Decisions (S.F. Nolon)

Author

Sean F. Nolon (Vermont Law School, USA)

Keywords

Consensus Building, Mediate, Negotiated Agreement, Process Advocate, Collaborative Decision-Making, Collaboration, Controversional Development Decisions, Mediation, Land Development, Environmental, Community Benefits, Process Manager, Facilitation, Land Use, Land Use Permiting

Abstract

Significant land development decisions have the potential to tear at the civic fabric of a community and cause irreversible environmental, aesthetic and economic harm. Conversely, these decisions also have the potential to rebuild and repair civic capacity with minimal impact and delivering significant community benefits. While the underlying facts of a development proposal and the conditions of the community are certainly factors in these different outcomes, the other, often overlooked, factor separating these outcomes is the process used to conceive, deliberate and decide what is included in a development. Through this article, the author uses four case studies featuring collaborative decision-making to explore the impact that process has on how parties interact in significant development decisions and how attorneys can play an important role as advocates for sound processes. Among the many distinguishing features of those cases is the use of a process manager with a stake in the outcome instead of an outside neutral. After examining the structure of the required process and looking at the four collaborative case studies, the author examines and organizes almost four decades of dispute resolution practice and theory to provide a concise set of recommendations for lawyers seeking to create better processes. This guidance will also help protect against abuses of power when hiring a mediator is not practicable.

Citation

(2009) 27 Pace Environmental Law Review 103-144

Paper

The Lawyer as Process Advocate: Encouraging Collaborative Approaches to Controversial Development Decisions

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Property and Liberty (E.T. Freyfogle)

Author

Eric T. Freyfogle

Keywords

Private property, complex, land-use conflicts, common good, liberty

Abstract

Private propertyandliberty, particularly in the case of privately owned land, are intertwined more complexly than we commonly realize. When we study how private property operates in daily life, looking at the full array of land-use conflicts, what we see is that private rights backed by state power are as apt to restrict liberty as they are to promote it. To regain the complexity of the situation in human-inhabited landscapes is to see why we cannot start with the idea of liberty, or with any conception of natural rights, and produce a working, morally justified system of private property. To produce such a system, we need to start instead in a much different place, looking to the various ways that private property can foster the common good. Ultimately, lawmakers crafting and updating a scheme of property must choose among the many types of liberty that they want to secure, based on their assessment of the common good. Only after they have done that, choosing among the options, can we see how private property promotes liberty. Liberty, in short, is the product of a private property regime, not a point of beginning to craft such a regime.

Citation

(2010) 34 Harvard Environmental Law Review 1

Paper

Property and Liberty

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Property rights and governance of Africa’s rangelands: A policy overview (E. Mwangi)

Author

Esther Mwangi ( Harvard University )

Keywords

Property rights, Complexity, Policy problem, Africa, Rangelands, Governance

Abstract

Recent efforts at securing property rights in dryland Africa have generally involved several interrelated processes such as legal and policy reforms that recognize and strengthen customary rights or the seasonal rights of pastoralists, and the decentralization of land allocation and administration to lower governance levels. These solutions are in turn beset by new problems, key among them are establishing norms for local participation in decision making, preventing manipulation and capture by elites, lack of accountability of local level institutions and authorities, and the onset of a new generation of resource user conflicts. Increasing avenues through which dialogue and communication can occur among policy actors (including local communities) in order to mobilize multiple experiences, information, and to manage power relationships — a collaborative approach to policy governance — is one way of approaching the complexity paradox. This is anticipated to provide opportunity for learning, innovation and adaptability.

Citation

(2009) 33 Natural Resources Forum 160-170

Paper

Property rights and governance of Africa’s rangelands: A policy overview

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Environmentalism in periods of rapid societal transformation: the legacy…(B.Barrett)

Author

Brendan F. D. Barrett

Keywords

Sustainability; human and natural systems; complexity; population; Industrial Revolution; Meiji Restoration; rural societies; industrialisation; pollution; urban; social movements; human rights.

Abstract

The pursuit of environmental sustainability implies dramatic transformation of modern society in order to bring about a more benign interaction between human and natural systems. It is now widely recognized that this paradigm shift would require the restructuring of society in order to deal with increasingly complex environmental problems and the current high rates at which natural resources are being depleted. These changes need to be made quickly, say within the next 50 years, since the worlds population in 2050 would be between 10 and 12 billion.
Examples of breathtakingly rapid societal change in the past include the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom and the Meiji Restoration in Japan. The direction of change, however, was a move away from the relatively close (though not necessarily harmonious) relationship between humans and nature found in rural societies to one characterized by distance and isolation in the new factories and industrial towns. Meanwhile, pollution problems, which have always been associated with urbanity, became more widespread and intensified.
Related to this, the notions of environmentalism began to take shape in both countries during these periods. In the United Kingdom, the roots of environmentalism are intertwined with the Romantic Movement that sought to conserve the natural beauty of the land and cultural heritage of the nation. In Japan, the Meiji Restoration witnessed the emergence of new social movements backed by intellectuals fighting for popular rights and against development.

Citation

(1999) 7(4) Sustainable Development, 178-190.

Paper

Environmentalism in periods of rapid societal transformation: the legacy of the Industrial Revolution in the United Kingdom and the Meiji Restoration in Japan.

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