Tag Archives: commons

Which direction for international environmental law? (Anderson)

Author

Paul Anderson

Keywords

Sustainability, governance, neoclassical economics, distributive justice, democracy, commons

Abstract

An enduring challenge to international environmental law is to facilitate the resolution of environmental problems faster than they are being caused. Prominent among potential foundations for substantive international environmental law to this end are (a) neoclassical economic theory (NET) and (b) distributive justice and deliberative democratic theories. Building upon existing critique, this paper makes two broad arguments. The first is that despite the influence of NET’s market-based prescriptions, solutions lie not in introducing and extending the privatization and pricing of nature, but instead in subsuming markets within an expanded and enriched public sphere that is characterized inter alia by decentralized, deliberative democratic decision-making. This contention suggests a need to reform substantive environmental law that is informed by NET. The second argument made is that limitations, in particular, of the deliberative democratic approach to environmental problems (e.g., prospects of achieving consensus on natural resource use and the efficacy of any consensus that might be reached) may be overcome by combining it with common key resource control – to put it crudely, by combining meaningful political with economic democracy. This revised foundation would offer a potentially viable foundation for IEL. It also offers guidance for incipient efforts to democratize environmental regulation.

Citation

(2105) 1 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 98-126

Publication

Which direction for international environmental law?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Community stewardship: the foundation of biocultural rights (Bavikatte and Bennett)

Author(s)

Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte and Tom Bennett

Keywords

Biocultural rights, stewardship, property, environment, law, nature, indigenous people, customary law, commodity, post-development, political ecology, commons, Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya Protocol, traditional resource rights

Abstract

The term ‘biocultural rights’ denotes a community’s long established right, in accordance with its customary laws, to steward its lands, waters and resources. Such rights are being increasingly recognized in international environmental law. Biocultural rights are not simply claims to property, in the typical market sense of property being a universally commensurable, commodifiable and alienable resource; rather, as will be apparent from the discussion offered here, biocultural rights are collective rights of communities to carry out traditional stewardship roles vis-à-vis Nature, as conceived of by indigenous ontologies.

Citation

2015 1 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 7-29

Paper

Community stewardship: The foundation of biocultural rights

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Toward a recalibrated human right to a clean and healthy environment: making the conceptual transition (B. Weston and D. Bollier)

Authors

Burns Weston and David Bollier

Keywords

ecological survival, ecological governance, commons, human rights, biocentrism, cooperation, subsidiarity, precaution, ecocide, anthropocentrism, neoliberal hegemony, competition

Abstract

Despite many noble efforts to champion the right to a clean and healthy environment and related regulation, the official recognition and jurisdictional reach of this right is highly limited. It does not matter if it is understood as an entitlement derived from other substantive rights, as a substantive right autonomous unto itself, or as a cluster of procedural entitlements. Our highly decentralized and far too voluntarist international legal order is far more concerned with privileging commercial imperatives than in protecting human rights and environmental values. However, we may be approaching a ‘Grotian Moment’ that presents an unusual opening for change. A variety of civil resistance movements, new sorts of Internet-based collaboration and governance, and dissenting schools of thought in economics, environmental stewardship and human rights, are gaining both credibility and adherents – locally, nationally, regionally, globally, and points in between. This convergence points to a new paradigm of law, economics, and governance that could provide a practical new way to reframe the human right to environment as the human right to commons- and rights-based ecological governance – what we call ‘Green Governance.’ Unlike the right to environment now practiced – theoretically appealing but troublingly indeterminate operationally – the human right to Green Governance would be anchored in a cognizably well-defined, rich history of both substantive and procedural justice. As we explain, Green Governance can provide a powerful means for challenging the State/Market’s structural limitations by drawing upon the power of Human Rights, Vernacular Law, and Self-Organized Governance as a complement or substitute for State-based governance. A human right to Green Governance could help protect the creations of nature and related societal institutions that we inherit jointly and freely from our forebears, hold in trust for future generations and seek to manage democratically in accordance with human rights principles. To advance this vision, we offer a Universal Covenant Affirming a Human Right to Commons- and Rights-based Governance of Earth’s Natural Wealth and Resources, a declaration ready for immediate adoption by and for all levels of concerned society worldwide.

Citation

(2013) 4/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 116-142

Paper

Toward a recalibrated human right to a clean and healthy environment: making the conceptual transition

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Coastal dune conservation on an Irish commonage (J. McKenna, et al)

Author(s)

John McKenna ; Anne Marie O’Hagan ; James Power; Michael MacLeod; Andrew Cooper

Keywords

Ireland , dune commonage, degradation, conservation, community management

Abstract

In Ireland ‘commonage’ refers to lands jointly owned by several individuals who have grazing rights. Commonage can provide the low-intensity grazing regime regarded as optimal for habitat conservation, and it is also unlikely to suffer the negative impacts of building development or coastal engineering. Today, however, the traditional control systems of coastal commonage are generally moribund, leading to habitat degradation. The only viable future management model is likely to be one based on local community control. Community management would have the legitimacy to counter the negative perceptions of external authority that generate environmental degradation.

Citation

(2007) 173 Geographical Journal 157-169

Paper

Coastal dune conservation on an Irish commonage: community-based management or tragedy of the commons?

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Indigenous people and sustainable development in Amazonas (C.E.C. Freitas, et al)

Author(s)

Carlos E.C. Freitas (Universidade Federal do Amazonas , Brazil )
James R. Kahn ( Lee University , USA )
Alexandre A.F. Rivas (Universidade Federal do Amazonas , Brazil )

Keywords

Amazonas; indigenous people; rain forest; sustainable development

Abstract

Indigenous populations have lived for many generations in a sustainable fashion, developing knowledge about how to live in harmony with the environment. However, the sustainability of their life styles, their quality of life and the maintenance of intact ecosystems are threatened by a series of changes, including incorporation into the general fabric of society, conflict with non-indigenous migrants, expansion of indigenous populations and the globalization of national economies. This paper looks at the potential for policy to deal with these issues. In particular, it is shown that the ‘polluter pays principle’ is not appropriate for indigenous societies. The paper recommends a set of policies and shows how international cooperation in the areas of monitoring and enforcement, augmentation of demand for rain forest products and eco-certification can help indigenous groups improve their quality of life and maintain ecosystems in their current undisturbed state.

Citation

(2004) 11 International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 312-325

Paper

Indigenous people and sustainable development in Amazonas

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail