Category Archives: Human Rights

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies (eds. R. S. Abate and E. A. Kronk)

Editors

Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk

Keywords

environment, climate change, environmental law, law – academic, environmental law, human rights, law and development, politics and public policy, human rights, Asia, Kenya, Arctic, South America, Pacific Island Nations, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, indigenous rights, sovereignty, climate justice, adaptation, equality, water rights, Aboriginal communities

Abstract

Indigenous peoples occupy a unique niche within the climate justice movement, as many indigenous communities live subsistence lifestyles that are severely disrupted by the effects of climate change. Additionally, in many parts of the world, domestic law is applied differently to indigenous peoples than it is to their non-indigenous peers, further complicating the quest for legal remedies. The contributors to this book bring a range of expert legal perspectives to this complex discussion, offering both a comprehensive explanation of climate change-related problems faced by indigenous communities and a breakdown of various real world attempts to devise workable legal solutions. Regions covered include North and South America (Brazil, Canada, the US and the Arctic), the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia), Australia and New Zealand, Asia (China and Nepal) and Africa (Kenya).

PART I INTRODUCTORY CONTEXT AND PRINCIPLES
1. Commonality among unique indigenous communities: an
introduction to climate change and its impacts on indigenous
peoples 3
Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk
2. Introduction to international and domestic climate change
regulation 19
Deepa Badrinarayana
3. Introduction to indigenous peoples’ status and rights under
international human rights law 39
Lillian Aponte Miranda
4. Introduction to indigenous sovereignty under international
and domestic law 63
Eugenia Charles-Newton and Elizabeth Ann Kronk
5. Climate change and indigenous peoples: comparative models
of sovereignty 79
Rebecca Tsosie
6. Indigenous environmental knowledge and climate change
adaptation 96
Maxine Burkett

Climate change and indigenous peoples
PART II GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES
International Organizations
7. REDD+: its potential to melt the glacial resistance to
recognize human rights and indigenous peoples’ rights at the
World Bank 123
Leonardo A. Crippa
South America
8. REDD+ and indigenous peoples in Brazil 151
Andrew Long
9. REDD+: climate justice or a new face of manifest destiny?
Lessons drawn from the indigenous struggle to resist
colonization of Ojibwe Forests in the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries 178
Philomena Kebec
Lower 48 States of the United States of America
10. Natural resource development and indigenous peoples 199
Sarah Krakoff and Jon-Daniel Lavallee
11. Climate change and tribal water rights: removing barriers to
adaptation strategies 218
Judith V. Royster
Arctic
12. Canadian indigenous peoples and climate change: the
potential for Arctic land claims agreements to address
changing environmental conditions 243
Sophie Thériault
13. America’s Arctic: climate change impacts on indigenous
peoples and subsistence 263
Peter Van Tuyn
14. The Saami facing the impacts of global climate change 287
Irina L. Stoyanova
15. Complexities of addressing the impacts of climate change on
indigenous peoples through international law petitions: a case
study of the Inuit Petition to the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights 313
Hari M. Osofsky

Pacific Island Nations
16. Climate change, legal governance and the Pacific Islands: an
overview 339
Erika J. Techera
17. Fiji: climate change, tradition and Vanua 363
Victoria Sutton
18. Islands in the stream: addressing climate change from a small
island developing state perspective 377
Clement Yow Mulalap
19. The rising tide of international climate litigation: an
illustrative hypothetical of Tuvalu v Australia 409
Keely Boom
Asia
20. The impacts of climate change on indigenous populations in
China and legal remedies 441
Wenxuan Yu, Jingjing Liu and Po Dong
21. Changing climate and changing rights: exploring legal and
policy frameworks for indigenous mountain communities in
Nepal to face the challenges of climate change 468
J. Mijin Cha
Australia and New Zealand
22. Climate change impacts to Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander communities in Australia 493
Megan Davis
23. Negotiating climate change: Māori, the Crown and New
Zealand’s Emission Trading Scheme 508
Naomi Johnstone
Africa
24. Climate change, law and indigenous peoples in Kenya:
Ogiek and Maasai narratives 535
Patricia Kameri-Mbote and Elvin Nyukuri

Citation

2013. Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies, eds. Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk. Cheltenham: Elgar.

Paper

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies

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Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions (Neil A. F. Popovic)

Author

Neil A.F. Popovic

Keywords

environmental justice, environmental rights, international human rights, state constitution, environmental racism, environmental degradation, poverty, social rights, environmental hazards, inequality, civil rights

Extract

I. Introduction

Notwithstanding the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the law, environmental racism thrives in the United States. Its manifestations include toxic waste dumps on indigenous lands, hazardous industrial facilities in communities of color, lead paint in decrepit housing projects, and use of dangerous pesticides in industrial agriculture. Environmental racism feeds on and perpetuates the social, economic and political marginalization of low-income communities and communities of color. As such, environmental racism in the United States represents a serious blight on the country’s human rights record.

Discriminatory siting decisions for environmentally hazardous facilities and uneven enforcement decisions do not necessarily result from consciously racist policy choices. More likely, they issue from a political and social system that marginalizes the participation and concern of communities of color, often through ostensibly neutral criteria. The effect, however, is no less racist than overt discrimination.

The United States has a substantial body of both environmental and civil rights laws, but none of these laws addresses the link between racism and environmental quality. 2 At best, environmental laws can enhance protection of the environment while civil rights laws can facilitate the rectification of overt racial discrimination. Neither body of law, however, addresses the impact of environmental degradation on human communities, and neither deals specifically with environmental racism.

Citation

(1996) 15 Stanford Environmental Law Journal 338 pp. 344-47

Paper

Pursuing Environmental Justice with International Human Rights and State Constitutions

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An Environmental Rights Amendment: Good Message, Bad Idea (J. B. Ruhl)

Author(s)

J.B. Ruhl

Keywords

Constitutional law, United States constitution, environmental law, right to clean and healthy environment, rights of future generations, natural resources, national natural resources, constitutional amendment

Extract

“After having lain dormant for almost twenty years, proposals for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would elevate environmental protection to the status of a fundamental right are on the rise. Since 1990, several such measures have been offered by groups as diverse as New Jersey fifth graders and well-funded environmental preservation organizations. Now, led by concerned members of thirty-seven state legislatures, a politically viable initiative is fully underway to have such a resolution introduced in Congress. See Richard L. Brodsky and Richard L. Russman, A Constitutional Initiative, Defenders, Fall 1996, at 37. The proposed language of their environmental rights amendment declares:

The natural resources of the nation are the heritage of present and future generations. The right of each person to clean and healthful air and water, and to the protection of other natural resources of the nation, shall not be infringed by any person.

These two sentences, faithful to the constitutional tradition of conciseness, express an elegant message of national commitment to environmental protection and to a future of environmental sustainability. But what a terrible idea it is to embody that message in the form of an amendment to the Constitution” (46).

Citation

(1996-1997) 11 Natural Resources & Environment pp. 46-49

Paper

An Environmental Rights Amendment: Good Message, Bad Idea

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Gas Flaring, Environmental Corporate Responsibility and the Right to a Healthy Environment: The Case of the Niger Delta (B.E. Umukoro)

Author

Brown E. Umukoro

Keywords

Human Rights, Environmental Rights, Right to Life, Constitutional Law, Nigeria, Oil, Public Policy

Extract

Introduction
[…]
In this chapter, we thus discuss the national legal framework for the continuation of gas flaring in Nigeria, the advancement of the concept of threat to right to life to include harmful activities of multinational companies and how these companies can be held accountable for the environmental degradation caused by oil exploration activities in Nigeria. It then closes with some valuable suggestions for strengthening the will of the Nigerian government in overcoming its weakness in the effective enforcement of environmental laws and policies.

Citation

(2009) in Law and Petroleum Industry in Nigeria: Current Challenges, 49, Eneri and Deinduomo (Eds.), Malthouse Law Books

Paper

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Environmental and Developmental Rights in the Southern African Development Community With Specific Reference to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of South Africa (K. Bindu)

Author

Kihangi Bindu

Keywords

Environmental rights, International Law, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Development, United Nations

Extract

Summary
This study examines the effectiveness of environmental and developmental rights within the SADC region, especially the status of their implementation and enforcement in the DRC and the RSA. The SADC Treaty recognizes implicitly the rights to environment and to development. Unfortunately, the unequivocal commitment to deal with human rights within the region is not translated with equal force into the normative framework established by the Treaty or into SADC’s programmed activities. No institution has been established with the specific mandate to deal with human rights issues, neither are there any protocols or sectors especially entrusted with human rights protection and promotion. The SADC member States do not share the same understanding or agenda on matters pertaining to the respect for, and the promotion, protection
and the fulfilment, of human rights at the regional level. The inception of environmental and developmental rights within the Constitution of the DRC is still in its infancy compared to the situation in South Africa. Implementation and enforcement remain poor and need important support from all organs of state and from the Congolese citizens. A strong regulatory framework pertaining to human rights (environmental and developmental rights) remains an urgent issue. Guidance may be found in the South African model for the implementation and enforcement of human rights, although the realization of the right to environment in South Africa is hampered by a number of factors that cause the degradation of the environment. Against South Africa’s socio-economic and political background, the constitutionalization of the right to development remains of critical concern to a sustainable future for all. The Congolese and South African peoples need to be made aware of their constitutional rights, especially their environmental and development rights, and the institutions and the mechanisms available to enforce them. They need to be empowered to demand justice as a right not as an act of charity. It is patently clear that the authorities will not protect the environment or tackle the development agenda unless there is a strong people’s movement to challenge the State and other role players over environmental and development issues and ethics.

Citation

(2010) submitted in accordance with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Laws at the University of South Africa

Paper

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