Category Archives: Sustainability

The Need for an Interdisciplinary Approach to Norm Diffusion: The Case of Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing (L. Parks and E. Morgera)

Authors

Louisa Parks and Elisa Morgera

Keywords

benefit-sharing, international law, environmental law, human rights law, human rights, oceans law, regulation, national law, regional law, indigenous peoples, local communities, norm diffusion, scholarship, conservation, sustainability, natural resources, power asymmetry

Abstract

No systematic study discusses the evolution of fair and equitable benefit-sharing across various areas of international law (environment, human rights, oceans), as well as at different levels of regulation (regional and national laws and guidelines, private law contracts, transboundary codes of conduct, customary laws of indigenous peoples and local communities). This article explores the usefulness of an interdisciplinary approach to the study of norm diffusion for understanding how and why fair and equitable benefit-sharing is articulated in different sites. The article discusses mechanisms, actors and frames in norm diffusion, drawing on literature from sociology, international relations and law. The article uncovers underlying similarities in scholarship on norm diffusion across the disciplines considered. It also reflects on the value of an interdisciplinary approach that encourages legal scholars to consider the implications of power structures in the diffusion of law, while the nuances of legal knowledge may lead other social scientists to revisit accepted findings on norm diffusion. These findings appear particularly useful for informing an assessment of the potential of fair and equitable benefit-sharing to promote the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in a fair and equitable manner in the face of power asymmetries.

Citation

(2015) 24:3 Review of European, Comparative and International Environmental Law 353-367

Paper

The Need for an Interdisciplinary Approach to Norm Diffusion: The Case of Fair and Equitable Benefit-sharing

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Indigenous Rights and the Environment: Evolving International Law (C. Metcalf)

Author

Cherie Metcalf

Keywords

indigenous rights, international law, international environmental law, environmental rights, cultural integrity model, self-determination, recognition, autonomy, state sovereignty, participation, sustainability, sustainable environmental management

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between indigenous peoples’ rights in international law and international environmental law. Two models underlie the protection of indigenous environmental rights. A “cultural integrity” model recognizes indigenous peoples’ environmental rights as a corollary to the protection and preservation of indigenous culture. In the alternative ‘self-determination” model, indigenous peoples’ environmental rights flow from their recognition as distinct communities with an inherent degree of autonomy and control over their own development. Both models have the potential to transform international environmental law. Recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights allows principles of international environmental law to pierce the veil of state sovereignty. The cultural integrity model offers the potential to broaden the legal framework of international environmental law
through the inclusion of human rights instruments. The self-determination model may lead to indigenous peoples’ independent participation in international agreements addressing environmental concerns. There is a crucial difference between the models. The cultural integrity model incorporates a connection between indigenous rights and sustainable environmental management while the self-determination model is based on indigenous peoples’ right to choose their own environmental policy. There is no inherent relationship between recognition of indigenous rights and sustainable environmental management in the latter model. The implications for international environmental law are more uncertain.

Citation

(2003) Ottawa Law Review 35 (1) 103-40

Paper

Indigenous Rights and the Environment: Evolving International Law 

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Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol: A Commentary on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity (E. Morgera et al.)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera, Elsa Tsioumani, Matthias Buck

Keywords

access, benefit-sharing, environmental sustainability, sustainable development, international law, human rights, intellectual property rights, health, food, oceans

Abstract

The Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing is an international environmental agreement that concerns environmental sustainability, other sustainable development issues and equity. It addresses a complex subject matter that affects a range of research, development and commercial activities and is relevant to different areas of international law such as human rights, intellectual property rights, health, food and oceans.

Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol identifies textual, contextual and systemic interpretative questions and suggests solutions that aim to give a coherent and balanced meaning to the text of the Protocol. Offering a systematic discussion of the Protocol’s legal innovations against the background of general international law, this commentary aims to be of use to international biodiversity law scholars and practitioners, as well as to international lawyers that approach access and benefit-sharing for the first time

Citation

E. Morgera et al. 2014. Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol: A Commentary on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Martinus Nijhoff.

Paper

Unraveling the Nagoya Protocol: A Commentary on the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing to the Convention on Biological Diversity

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The Right to be Cold: Global Warming and Human Rights (M. Wagner)

Author(s)

Martin Wagner

Keywords

Climate Change, Human Rights, Indigenous People, Inuit, The Right to Be Cold, Cultural Rights

Excerpt

The relationship between global warming and human rights is something that is beginning to be talked about now, but six or seven years ago no-one had made the connection.  I am going to explore the relationship through the context of some work I have done with the Inuit people of the Arctic regions of the world, and in particular a case that I have brought on their behalf. I want you to remember that this connection between global warming and human rights is not limited by any means to the people of the Arctic; there are potential human rights implications of global warming everywhere around the world.
{…]
So you have the Inuit culture that depends on the ice, snow and cold and you have the effects of global warming in the Arctic. It all raises the question: Is there a human right to be cold? Or to make it more global, is there a human right, for example, to be dry? Let me explain about why I think there is a connection between human rights and global warming. The first thing to remember is that international law and the international community recognise a special place for indigenous people in the community of nations and the special responsibility of nations. But in particular, international human rights recognises that there is a connection between indigenous people and the territory that they occupy and depend on for their livelihood and for their culture that is special and it needs to be
maintained and protected. That is relevant because many of the most vulnerable communities that are being affected first by global warming are indigenous communities.

Citation

(2007) in Human Rights 2007, The Year in Review, Smith and Contini (Eds) (Monash Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, 2008)

Paper

The Right to be Cold: Global Warming and Human Rights (Pre-Publication Conference Paper)

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Suma qamaña in Bolivia Indigenous Understandings of Well-being and Their Contribution to a Post-Neoliberal Paradigm (K. Artaraz and M. Calestani)

Author(s)

Kepa Artaraz and Melania Calestani

Keywords

well-being, policy, constitution, Bolivia, sustainability, Law of Mother Earth, National Development Plan, indigenous rights, legislation

Abstract

English:

In recent decades there has been increasing interest in academic, governmental, and nongovernmental circles worldwide in developing universal definitions of well-being. Governments have progressively shifted their policies on this concept and are currently engaged in improving the well-being of their populations. Bolivia’s concept of suma qamaña (living well together) is broader than “well-being,” emphasizing the importance of harmonious relations between nature and human beings and providing an important link to sustainability that current conceptions of well-being fail to make. Exploring the concept is highly relevant at this historical moment because the Morales government is engaged in a wide-ranging process of social transformation to implement it. Its translation into public policy and the adoption of a development model consistent with it have proved problematic. While the introduction of the concept into the National Development Plan, the new constitution, and the Law of Mother Earth has addressed the need to move from individualized understandings of well-being to collective ones, the government has not overcome the conflict between growth-driven approaches and sustainability that is inherent in all its legislation. Moreover, understandings of the concept are constantly being negotiated and transformed, calling for an understanding of it that is rooted in people’s practices and beliefs rather than in theoretical constructions.

Spanish:

En las últimas décadas ha habido un creciente interés en los círculos académicos, gubernamentales y no gubernamentales de todo el mundo en el desarrollo de las definiciones universales de bienestar. Los gobiernos han cambiado progresivamente sus políticas en este concepto y se dedican actualmente a la mejora del bienestar de sus poblaciones. Concepto de suma qamaña (vivir bien) de Bolivia es más amplio que el “bienestar,” enfatizando la importancia de las relaciones armoniosas entre la naturaleza y los seres humanos y proporcionando un vínculo importante con la sostenibilidad que las concepciones actuales de bienestar no pueden hacer. Explorar el concepto es muy relevante en este momento histórico, porque el gobierno de Morales está involucrado en un amplio proceso de transformación social para implementarla. Su traslación en las políticas públicas y la adopción de un modelo de desarrollo coherente con ella han demostrado ser problemático. Si bien la introducción de este concepto en el Plan Nacional de Desarrollo, la nueva Constitución, y la Ley de la Madre Tierra ha abordado la necesidad de pasar de entendimientos individuales de bienestar a los colectivos, el gobierno no ha superado el conflicto entre los enfoques impulsados por crecimiento y la sostenibilidad que es inherente a toda su legislación. Por otra parte, las comprensiones del concepto están siendo constantemente negociados y transformados, reclamando una comprensión que está enraizada en las prácticas y creencias de las personas y no en las construcciones teóricas.

Citation

(2015) Latin American Perspectives 42 (5) 216-233

Paper

Suma qamaña in Bolivia Indigenous Understandings of Well-being and Their Contribution to a Post-Neoliberal Paradigm

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