Tag Archives: indigenous people

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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Getting over the Hump: Establishing A Right to Environmental Protection for Indigenous Peoples in the Inter-American Human Rights System (T. Thompson)

Author

Travis Thompson

Keywords

Human Rights, International Law, Human Right to a Healthy Environment, Environmental Protection, Inter-American Human Rights System, Indigenous People, Inuit

Excerpt

Introduction
Climate change is threatening the traditional way of life for indigenous peoples and the Inter-American Human Rights System  declines to combat this growing problem by refusing to acknowledge a right to environmental protection for indigenous peoples. The Inter-American Human Rights System has thus effectively cut off the possibility of remedying the harms suffered by indigenous peoples as a result of climate change. Because the problems that indigenous peoples face place them at the intersection of human rights and environmental law, an acknowledged right to environmental protection is crucial to their ability to sustain their customary way of life. Until recently, many scholars simply felt that a right to environmental protection did not exist.  Inaction based on this assertion, however, becomes increasingly difficult to justify given the number of treaties, declarations, and decisions by domestic, regional, and international bodies specifically acknowledging such a right. Without acknowledging a right to environmental protection, and more importantly, without providing effective means to remedy environmental abuses in the international community, indigenous peoples will continue to be marginalized and ultimately may not be able to protect their time- honored way of life.
Using the Inuit tribe as a principal example, Part I of this paper will demonstrate the unique impact climate change has on indigenous peoples. Part I will begin by identifying the effects of climate change which already strain this indigenous community’s relationship with its traditionally inhabited land After mentioning the anticipated challenges the Inuit face in …

Citation

(2009) 19 Journal of Transnational Law and Policy 179

Paper

Getting over the Hump: Establishing A Right to Environmental Protection for Indigenous Peoples in the Inter-American Human Rights System

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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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Human Rights Violations and Climate Change: The Last Days of the Inuit People? (S. Nuffer)

Author

Sarah Nuffer

Keywords

human rights violations, climate change, Inuit, Arctic, vulnerability, responsibility, future generations, United Nations, native groups, indigenous people

Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The climate is changing. There is little debate left with regard to this statement. However, the world is still grappling with what exactly this change means. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, recently stated that he is “convinced that climate change, and what we do about it, will define us, our era, and ultimately the global legacy we leave for future generations.” 3 Global Climate Change (“GCC”) has the potential to affect the world’s most developed groups, however, the people whose lives will likely be changed most by GCC are those who have “contribute[d] the least to greenhouse emissions.” 4

One of the groups that will be most affected by GCC are the Inuit of the Arctic region. There is a large degree of certainty that the Arctic’s climate is changing and as a result the Inuit people are being forced to change their way of life, their cultural identity, and in some cases, they are being forced to leave their ancestral lands. While the Inuit people must pay the “highest price … [and] are directly threatened by these rapid climatic changes” 5 because of their traditional way of life, they contributed little to GCC. This unfortunate paradigm, that those most affected by GCC are not responsible for its creation, is a theme that runs tragically true for many native people that lead a traditional and near carbon-free life. This Note will explore the effects of GCC on the Inuit people …

Citation

(2010) 37 Rutgers Law Record 182.

Paper

Human Rights Violations and Climate Change: The Last Days of the Inuit People?

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Procedural Rights as a Crucial Tool to Combat Climate Change (S. Kravchenko)

Author(s)

Svitlana Kravchenko

Keywords

human rights, procedural rights, combating climate change, freedom of expression, right to access information, right to participate in decision-making, access to justice, transparency, indigenous people, jurisprudence, human rights treaties, multilateral environmental agreements, civil society participation

Abstract

This Article will discuss how a subset of human rights – procedural rights – can play an important role in limiting climate change. These include freedom of expression and the right to seek and receive information, the right to participate in decision-making and the right of access to justice. States must address climate change through a transparent process of giving the public full and complete information during the early stages of decision-making in climate change related issues. States must also give the public a voice by allowing participation by all affected communities, including indigenous peoples.

In Part II, this Article will first discuss how freedom of expression and access to information are embedded in human rights treaties, multilateral environmental agreements, national constitutions and information laws, and in the jurisprudence of regional human rights and domestic courts, as well as national reporting and how these rights can be used for combating climate change. Part II will also briefly evaluate the right of investors to disclosure of climate risk information and the role of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in light of the agency’s new interpretive guidance on existing public company disclosure requirements relating to the issue of climate change.

In Part III, this Article will discuss public participation in decision-making related to climate change, first exploring the established legal framework for public participation in “soft law” MEAs, and in environmental impact assessments (EIAs), including the transboundary context. Part III concludes by providing case examples how procedural rights have been used to combat climate change. Finally, Part IV will evaluate the role of civil society participation in the negotiation of an international treaty at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Fifteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties in Copenhagen, as well as the author’s participation in the Working Group on Human Rights and Climate Change.

Citation

(2010) 38 (3) Georgia Journal of International and Comparative Law 613

Paper

Procedural Rights as a Crucial Tool to Combat Climate Change

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