Welcome to the new GNHRE News and Community Page

Welcome to our new News and Community page!

This is a space where members can post events, job postings, upcoming conferences and other news, but it is also a space for comment, opinion, debate and blogging.

The idea is that this is a platform for members to come together and ask each other questions, keep each other informed and engage with each other about the crucial issues animating the field. We want it to be a new hub for the human rights and environment community, as well as a community-built resource on events and developments in the field.

Please have a look at recent posts on the upcoming Symposium on Dignity Rights and Environmental Justice, on the latest edition of the Journal of Human Rights and Environment, and a welcome to new members of the network.

At this stage, all are welcome to comment on the page. If, in addition, you would like to post any news, blogs or other content, please send the details to community@gnhre.org. Over the next few months we will be opening the page up to members to post directly, and we will keep you updated on the details. In the meantime, please send us your thoughts and comments.

Feature image: Josh Gellers

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Call for emerging scholars to join the GNHRE

In an effort to enhance the diversity of GNHRE and expand its membership among early career individuals, we are calling upon current members to nominate one new emerging scholar for membership in the Network.

Emerging scholars are those scholars, activists, and practitioners in academic institutions, think tanks, law firms, and other organizations whose work relates to the intersection of human rights and the environment, and who have earned a doctoral or professional degree within the past 7 years.

Nominations should include the name and contact information (including email) of a prospective member, and should be sent to Josh Gellers (josh.gellers@unf.edu). Josh will reach out to all those nominated and encourage them to apply for membership according to the GNHRE Membership Guidelines, which will be made available on the GNHRE website.

Feature image: Anna Grear

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Critical Reflections on Ownership (M. Warnock)

Author(s)

Mary Warnock

Keywords

ownership, gardens, Locke, Hume, philosophy, private ownership, common ownership, property, responsibility, global environmental degradation, Romantic Movement, nature

Abstract

In this thought provoking work, Mary Warnock explores what it is to own things, and the differences in our attitude to what we own and what we do not. Starting from the philosophical standpoints of Locke and Hume, the ownership of gardens is presented as a prime example, exploring both private and common ownership, historically and autobiographically. The author concludes that, besides pleasure and pride, ownership brings a sense of responsibility for what is owned and a fundamental question is brought to light: can we feel the same responsibility for what we do not, and never can, own? Applying this question to the natural world and the planet as a whole, a realistic and gradualist perspective is offered on confronting global environmental degradation. Critical Reflections on Ownership examines the effect of the Romantic Movement on our attitudes to nature and is a salient commentary on the history of ideas.

Citation

Warnock, Mary (2015) Critical Reflections on Ownership. Cheltenham: Elgar

Paper

Critical Reflections on Ownership

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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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Igloo As Icon: A Human Rights Approach to Climate Change for the Inuit? (J. Hohmann)

Author(s)

Jessie Hohmann

Keywords

right to housing, indigenous rights, human rights approach, climate change, cultural rights, aboriginal rights, native rights, identity, culture, cultural survival

Abstract

Global climate change has triggered a period of great instability in the Arctic. Indigenous communities are experiencing rapid social and cultural transformation: changes in the physical landscape are contributing to the relentless pressures on their traditional ways of life, which, in large part, are dependent on the persistence of snow and ice.

This paper is an exploration of what a ‘human rights approach’ to climate change can offer Inuit communities. It analyzes the potential contribution of the human right to housing, which recognizes that housing must be culturally adequate; that its location must allow access to employment and social facilities; and that certain services, materials, facilities and infrastructure must be available to the dwellers. This right takes on particular significance for the Inuit because of the iconic nature of their traditional homes and building materials and the location and climate specific nature of their ways of life. But can this right be harnessed to respond to the threats climate change poses to the ways of living of the Inuit without appealing to a static, traditional view of indigenous culture, a view that poses its own risks to the survival of their unique identity?

The paper mounts a critical analysis of the prospects and boundaries of the right to housing, so that the human rights strategies – both discursive and legal – that the Inuit are beginning to employ in the face of climate change can be pursued with greater awareness of their implications, and thus with greater prospects for success. Emerging attempts to link climate change with human rights around the globe give the issues addressed in this paper significance for other marginalized communities considering rights strategies in response to climate change, from Alaska to Bangladesh.

Citation

(2009) 18 Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems 295.

Paper

Igloo As Icon: A Human Rights Approach to Climate Change for the Inuit?

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