Tag Archives: local communities

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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Rights with limits: biocultural rights – between self-determination and conservation of the environment (Sajeva)

Author

Guilia Sajeva

Keywords

Biocultural rights, conservation of the environment, indigenous peoples, local communities, stewardship

Abstract

Kabir Bavikatte has recently argued that a new ‘basket’ of group rights is emerging from the interpretation of multilateral environmental agreements, domestic law and case law, and from shifts in the development discourse and the struggles of communities. He refers to this new set of rights as ‘biocultural rights’ and defines them as being all the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities required to secure their stewardship role over their lands and waters. Biocultural rights build on two foundations: the self-determination and cultural diversity of indigenous peoples and local communities, and the conservation of the environment. This article suggests that the second foundation is what makes biocultural rights potentially more appealing than other human rights but that it is also the reason for their sui generis potential. Unlike human rights generally, biocultural rights seem to be aimed at protecting not only the interests of their right-holders, indigenous peoples and local communities, but also seem to protect a general interest of humankind in the conservation of the environment through the impositions of stewardship duties on rights-holders. Therefore, it is suggested that while biocultural rights provide a promising instrument for the promotion and protection of the interests of indigenous peoples and local communities, they also require such peoples and communities to be conscious of the fact that they, as biocultural rights-holders, take on a potentially inequitable duty towards environmental sustainability that limits their self-determination interests. The article explores some of the conceptual tensions emerging from this possibility and from the fact that indigenous peoples and local communities are presented as co-referents for the same umbrella of rights.

Citation

(2015) 1 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 30-54

Publication

Rights with limits: biocultural rights – between self-determination and conservation of the environment

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Environmental Rights and International Peace: Protections of Biological and Cultural Diversity: Emerging Recognition of Local Community Rights in Ecosystems Under International Environmental Law (L. P. Breckenridge)

Author(s)

Lee. P. Breckenridge

Keywords

United Nations, UN, environmental protection, development, international policies, biological diversity, ecosystems, international peace, cultural diversity, local communities, community rights

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992 forged a new consensus on international environmental policies to protect the world’s biological diversity and its most fragile ecosystems. The documents produced by UNCED (the Rio Declaration, 1Agenda 21, 2 and the Forest Principles 3 ) and the two conventions opened for signature at the conference (the Convention on Biological Diversity 4 and the Convention on Climate Change 5 ) all take important steps toward the formulation of international standards governing the use and management of living resources to preserve their diversity and renewability into the future.

The articulation of international environmental requirements is accompanied, strikingly, by a new recognition of local communities’ roles in protecting biological diversity and ecosystem viability. “Grassroots” empowerment has become a centerpiece of the environmental agenda. Throughout the UNCED documents, 6 a mandate for decentralization goes hand-in-hand with the centralization expressed in new international environmental norms and institutional mechanisms. International environmental law is emerging as a new source of authority for pluralism, and protection of biological diversity has become inextricably linked to protection of cultural diversity…

Citation

(1992) 59 Tennessee Law Review 735

Paper

Environmental Rights and International Peace: Protections of Biological and Cultural Diversity: Emerging Recognition of Local Community Rights in Ecosystems Under International Environmental Law

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Unmasking Chinese Business Enterprises: Using Information Disclosure Laws to Enhance Public Participation …(T. Riley and C. Huiyan)

Author(s)

Timothy Riley and Cai Huiyan

Keywords

China, access to environmental information, corporate disclosure, Chinese businesses, government decisions, corporate decisions, public participation, impact, local communities, ecosystems

Abstract

This article argues that the existing state of corporate disclosure law and regulations in China is insufficient to allow the Chinese public adequate access to environmental information. As a result, citizens are unable to participate properly in crucial government and corporate decisions that impact local communities and ecosystems.

Citation

(2009) 33 Harvard Environmental Law Review 177

Paper

Unmasking Chinese Business Enterprises: Using Information Disclosure Laws to Enhance Public Participation in Corporate Environmental Decision Making

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Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity (R. Boelens, et al)

Editor(s)

Rutgerd Boelens, David Getches and Armando Guevara Gil

Keywords

Water, land, culture, livelihoods, identity, multicultural societies, indigenous communities, local communities, social mobility, sustainability

Abstract

Water is not only a source of life and culture. It is also a source of power, conflicting interests and identity battles. Rights to materially access, culturally organize and politically control water resources are poorly understood by mainstream scientific approaches and hardly addressed by current normative frameworks. These issues become even more challenging when law and policy-makers and dominant power groups try to grasp, contain and handle them in multicultural societies. The struggles over the uses, meanings and appropriation of water are especially well-illustrated in Andean communities and local water systems of Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Bolivia, as well as in Native American communities in south-western USA. The problem is that throughout history, these nation-states have attempted to ‘civilize’ and bring into the mainstream the different cultures and peoples within their borders instead of understanding ‘context’ and harnessing the strengths and potentials of diversity. This book examines the multi-scale struggles for cultural justice and socio-economic re-distribution that arise as Latin American communities and user federations seek access to water resources and decision-making power regarding their control and management. It is set in the dynamic context of unequal, globalizing power relations, politics of scale and identity, environmental encroachment and the increasing presence of extractive industries that are creating additional pressures on local livelihoods.

While much of the focus of the book is on the Andean Region, a number of comparative chapters are also included. These address issues such as water rights and defence strategies in neighbouring countries and those of Native American people in the southern USA, as well as state reform and multi-culturalism across Latin and Native America and the use of international standards in struggles for indigenous water rights. This book shows that, against all odds, people are actively contesting neoliberal globalization and water power plays. In doing so, they construct new, hybrid water rights systems, livelihoods, cultures and hydro-political networks, and dynamically challenge the mainstream powers and politics.

Citation

Rutgerd Boelens, et al (eds), Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity (Earthscan, 2010)

Book

Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity

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