Category Archives: Intergenerational Justice

Justice, Equity and Benefit-Sharing Under the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity (E. Morgera)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera

Keywords

benefit-sharing, biodiversity, equity, justice, Nagoya Protocol, mutual supportiveness, indigenous peoples

Abstract

This article attempts to bridge the multi-disciplinary debate on environmental justice and the traditional international legal debate on equity with a view to analysing the legal concept of fair and equitable benefit-sharing in international law. To that end, the article uses the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity as a testing ground for: i) unpacking different notions of justice that may be pursued through fair and equitable benefit-sharing from access to genetic resources and the use of associated traditional knowledge, and ii) relating different notions of justice to the different functions that equity plays in international law. The aim is to test the potential wider application, in other areas of international law that refer to benefit-sharing, of linking a pluralist notion of environmental justice to different functions of equity. It is argued that this helps systematically unveil implicit legal design choices in relation to the pursuit of justice through international law-making, and interpret international legal instruments in ways that can contribute to negotiate concrete understandings of justice on a case-by-case basis.

Citation

(2015) 24 Italian Yearbook of International Law pp. 113 – 141

Paper

Justice, Equity and Benefit-Sharing Under the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity

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Our Rights and Obligations to Future Generations for the Environment (E. B. Weiss)

Author(s)

Edith Brown Weiss

Keywords

environmental destruction, desecration, natural resources, future generations, duties, obligations, inter-generational justice

Introduction

We read every day about the desecration of our environment and the mismanagement of our natural resources. We have always had the capacity to wreck the environment on a small or even regional scale. Centuries of irrigation without adequate drainage in ancient times converted large areas of the fertile Tigris-Euphrates valley into barren desert. What is new is that we now have the power to change our global environment irreversibly, with profoundly damaging effects on the robustness and integrity of the planet and the heritage that we pass to future generation.

Citation

(1990) 84 American Journal of International Law 198

Paper

Our Rights and Obligations to Future Generations for the Environment

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From Environmental to Ecological Human Rights: A New Dynamic in International Law (P.E. Taylor)

Author

Prudence E. Taylor

Keywords

International Law, Environmental Law, Ethics, Ecological Rights

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

One of the most interesting developments in international environmental law in recent years has been the attempt to create links between the ethics debate and law reform. These attempts began with the recognition that philosophical discussions concerning the relationship between humanity and nature, and the moral worth of nature, were not only relevant to understanding the limitations inherent within current law, they were also fundamental to creating new legal obligations. As a consequence the language of philosophers began to emerge in the context of legal discourse. Phrases such as the “intrinsic value” of nature, “respect for nature,” “responsibility for nature,” and “future generational equity” have often found a place in dialogue and writings concerning traditional and new environmental legal obligations. At the municipal level this trend can be traced back to the late 1970s, while developments at the international level occurred more slowly. Nevertheless, by 1991 one of the first texts on international environmental law acknowledged that “ethical and philosophical concepts are crucial in understanding the actual nature of environmental law and the challenge it poses to international law.” 1

The task of this article is to consider a link between environmental ethics and human rights law in the form of “ecological rights.” The phrase “ecological rights” is used here to describe human rights which are subject to certain limitations. These limitations recognize that individual freedoms are exercised in an ecological context, in addition to a social context. In comparison, “environmental rights” …

Citation

(1998) 10 Georgetown Environmental Law Review 309

Paper

From Environmental to Ecological Human Rights: A New Dynamic in International Law

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The Human Rights System as a Conceptual Framework for Environmental Law (R. S. Pathak)

Author(s)

R.S. Pathak

Keywords

Environmental Rights, Natural Order, Future Generations, Common Concern of Mankind, Indigenous People, Anthropocentrism, Environmental Philosophy, Refugees, International Law, Enforcement Procedures

Excerpt

The fundamental significance of environmental protection in shaping the quality of life of a people was reflected, from the commencement of the second half of this century, in the enacted constitutional law of a large number of countries, which include both developed and developing nations. There is a growing volume of environmental legislation and an increasing number of environmental protection agencies.
And as the gap closes between the developed and the developing countries in regard to the significance of the environmental philosophy, an enlarging consensus has become possible in the adoption of global policies and programmes providing for environmental protection.
Environmental law is concerned with our natural heritage and our cultural heritage. The natural heritage includes the atmosphere, the oceans, plant and animal life, water, soils, and other natural resources, both renewable and exhaustible. Our cultural heritage includes the intellectual, artistic, social, and historical record of mankind. Natural heritage is linked with cultural heritage, the survival, protection, and progress of both being interdependent. Man is the bridge between the two. Cultural heritage is the product and record of human perceptions of the natural order through visual, ethical, or mystical perspectives. It issues from man’s vision of his natural heritage. In turn, the protection and preservation of man’s natural heritage depends on human attitudes emanating from cultural, ethical, and religious beliefs.

Citation

(1992) in Environmental Change and International Law: New Challenges and Dimensions, Edith Brown Weiss ed., Chapter 8 (United Nations University Press: Tokyo)

Paper

The Human Rights System as a Conceptual Framework for Environmental Law

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A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics, and the Problem of Moral Corruption (S. Gardiner)

Author(s)

Stephen M. Gardiner

Keywords

intergenerational ethics, moral corruption, global warming, tragedy of the commons, game theory, global environment

Abstract

The peculiar features of the climate change problem pose substantial obstacles to our ability to make the hard choices necessary to address it. Climate change involves the convergence of a set of global, intergenerational and theoretical problems. This convergence justifies calling it a ʻperfect moral stormʼ. One consequence of this storm is that, even if the other difficult ethical questions surrounding climate change could be answered, we might still find it difficult to act. For the storm makes us extremely vulnerable to moral corruption.

Citation

(2006) 15 Environmental Values 397-413

Paper

A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics, and the Problem of Moral Corruption

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