Tag Archives: ecosystem services

Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment (A. Grear and L.J. Kotzé eds)

Editor

Anna Grear and Louis J. Kotzé

Keywords

Human rights, environment, epistemology, Ecological Subjectivities, natural law, United Nations, Australasia, New Zealand, environmental justice, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Aarhus, climate displacement, North-South, ecosystem services

Abstract

Bringing together leading international scholars in the field, this authoritative Handbook combines critical and doctrinal scholarship to illuminate some of the challenging tensions in the legal relationships between humans and the environment, and human rights and environment law.

The accomplished contributors provide researchers and students with a rich source of reflection and engagement with the topic. Split into five parts, the book covers epistemologies, core values and closures, constitutionalisms, universalisms and regionalisms, with a final concluding section exploring major challenges and alternative futures.

An essential resource for students and scholars of human rights law, the volume will also be of significant interest to those in the fields of environmental and constitutional law.

Citation

(2015) Edward Elgar

Book

Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment

 

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‘A price for everything?’: The ‘natural capital controversy’ (R.Read, M.Scott Cato)

Authors

Rupert Read and Molly Scott Cato

Keywords

sustainability, natural capital, capital controversy, ecosystem services

Abstract

‘Sustainability’ is a contested concept. This contestability – and its basis in deep, oppositional convictions – means that the argument between those who would substitute financial for natural capital and those who believe that such substitution is impossible and/or dangerous is unlikely to be resolved. Some of those in the latter group who have previously argued for a strong view of sustainability (one that privileges nature or perhaps ‘natural capital’ as primary and sacrosanct) appear to have despaired of their ability to influence policy and have capitulated to capitalist hegemony – in semantic terms, at least – by adopting its language, that is to say, the language of ‘money’. Our purpose in this paper is to argue that this is a logically inconsistent position and that acceptance of the monetary valuation of nature necessarily entails acceptance of its commodification – a commodification inimical to sustainability in the deep sense. We further suggest that this debate might be called the ‘natural capital controversy’. Thus we explicitly draw a parallel between this debate and the so-called ‘capital controversy’ that took place in some of the leading economics journals in the 1950s to 1970s.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 153-167

Paper

‘A price for everything?’: The ‘natural capital controversy’

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Whose ecosystem is it anyway? Private and public rights under new approaches to biodiversity conservation (C.T.Reid, W.Nsoh)

Authors

Colin T. Reid and Walters Nsoh

Keywords

biodiversity, human rights, property rights, nature conservation, biodiversity offsetting, ecosystem services

Abstract

A range of legal tools is increasingly being used for the conservation of biodiversity. These tools include conservation covenants, biodiversity offsets and payment for ecosystem services. There are benefits to these approaches, but also challenges to be met if these mechanisms are to be applied successfully.

Among the challenges is the fact that these schemes generate new relationships between land, people and the environment, especially wildlife. This requires consideration of the basic position of ownership of wild flora and fauna, the extent of the property rights of landowners and others with interests in the land, and of how far the state is justified in restricting, and even taking over, these rights for conservation purposes. The restriction of property rights for environmental purposes has already given rise to litigation under the European Convention on Human Rights, and as ideas of long-term stewardship in land or new rights in relation to ecosystem services develop, there are questions over the nature and extent of the rights being recognized. Moreover, there are concerns over the acceptability of an approach that converts nature from a ‘common heritage’ to a bundle of property rights. Mechanisms that confer rights on nature add a further dimension to the discussion. Using examples from the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions, this article attempts to highlight the different ways in which rights can be viewed in the context of developments in conservation law and the need to appreciate the consequences from different perspectives.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 112–135

Paper

Whose ecosystem is it anyway? Private and public rights under new approaches to biodiversity conservation

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Ecosystem services and capitalism: a valuation or de-valuation of ‘nature’? K Morrow

Author

Karen Morrow

Keywords

Ecosystem services, payment for ecosystem services, capitalism, valuation, de-valuation

Abstract

As with many of Oscar Wilde’s amusing but apparently flippant statements, the quotation above, on closer consideration, raises something much more profound, and here seems to get to the heart of the concerns raised by the thematic topic of this edition of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment – ecosystem services and capitalism, with a particular focus on the currently topical incarnation of this wider debate in the form of payment for ecosystem services (PES).

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 107-111

Paper

Ecosystem services and capitalism: a valuation or de-valuation of ‘nature’?

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Common Ground: The Sharing of Land and Landscapes for Sustainability (M. Everard)

Author

Mark Everard

Keywords

Human society; landscapes; ecosystem services; human wellbeing

Abstract

Common Ground explores the shifting relationship between human society and the landscapes that bear it. Examining the changing understandings of the natural world and its management and exploitation, environmental activist Mark Everard presents solutions in the nature of ecosystem services.

Notwithstanding our total dependence on the Earth’s natural resources, the relationship between humanity and the land has shifted significantly and frequently throughout our tenure, brief as it is relative to the evolution of planetary life. Appropriating increasing proportions of nature’s resources to meet our shifting and growing demands, we have been degrading the quality and extent of ecosystems, nearly destroying their capacities to meet the needs of a burgeoning population.

The book offers a fresh and vital whole-system approach to the key under-pinning the issue of sustainability. Everard looks ahead to what is required to live sustainably, respecting the central role of landscapes in supporting human wellbeing into the long-term future.

Citation

Mark Everard, Common Ground: The Sharing of Land and Landscapes for Sustainability (Zed Books, 2011)

Book

Common Ground: The Sharing of Land and Landscapes for Sustainability

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