Tag Archives: natural resources

An Environmental Rights Amendment: Good Message, Bad Idea (J. B. Ruhl)

Author(s)

J.B. Ruhl

Keywords

Constitutional law, United States constitution, environmental law, right to clean and healthy environment, rights of future generations, natural resources, national natural resources, constitutional amendment

Extract

“After having lain dormant for almost twenty years, proposals for an amendment to the United States Constitution that would elevate environmental protection to the status of a fundamental right are on the rise. Since 1990, several such measures have been offered by groups as diverse as New Jersey fifth graders and well-funded environmental preservation organizations. Now, led by concerned members of thirty-seven state legislatures, a politically viable initiative is fully underway to have such a resolution introduced in Congress. See Richard L. Brodsky and Richard L. Russman, A Constitutional Initiative, Defenders, Fall 1996, at 37. The proposed language of their environmental rights amendment declares:

The natural resources of the nation are the heritage of present and future generations. The right of each person to clean and healthful air and water, and to the protection of other natural resources of the nation, shall not be infringed by any person.

These two sentences, faithful to the constitutional tradition of conciseness, express an elegant message of national commitment to environmental protection and to a future of environmental sustainability. But what a terrible idea it is to embody that message in the form of an amendment to the Constitution” (46).

Citation

(1996-1997) 11 Natural Resources & Environment pp. 46-49

Paper

An Environmental Rights Amendment: Good Message, Bad Idea

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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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Our Rights and Obligations to Future Generations for the Environment (E. B. Weiss)

Author(s)

Edith Brown Weiss

Keywords

environmental destruction, desecration, natural resources, future generations, duties, obligations, inter-generational justice

Introduction

We read every day about the desecration of our environment and the mismanagement of our natural resources. We have always had the capacity to wreck the environment on a small or even regional scale. Centuries of irrigation without adequate drainage in ancient times converted large areas of the fertile Tigris-Euphrates valley into barren desert. What is new is that we now have the power to change our global environment irreversibly, with profoundly damaging effects on the robustness and integrity of the planet and the heritage that we pass to future generation.

Citation

(1990) 84 American Journal of International Law 198

Paper

Our Rights and Obligations to Future Generations for the Environment

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Payment for ‘ecosystem services’ and the ‘green economy’: green-washing or something new? (K. Wilkinson)

Author

Kate Wilkinson

Keywords

ecofeminism, green economy, payment for ecosystem services, ecosystems, environment, capitalism, free market, economics, REDDES, REDD+, UNFCCC, ITTO, forests, natural resources, gender, participation

Abstract

Using an ecofeminist critical analysis, this paper examines the extent to which two forest-related ‘payments for ecosystem services’ (PES) schemes maintain a mainstream anti-nature and exploitative conceptualization of human/nature relationships. It does so by integrating various ecofeminist themes to analyse the two PES schemes and to assess the extent to which they can protect women and nature while marketizing and commodifying the environment. The author examines the justifications for integrating PES into a green economy, including the proposed benefits resulting from the implementation of PES, and safeguards ensuring the inclusion and participation of local communities. The author concludes that an ecofeminist examination highlights the inherently exploitative nature of PES and its continuation of the currently exploitative free market paradigm.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 168-191

Paper

Payment for ‘ecosystem services’ and the ‘green economy’: green-washing or something new?

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The ‘Economics of Necessity’, Human Rights and Ireland’s Natural Resources (J. F. Curtis)

Author

Joshua Frank  Curtis

Keywords

international law, human rights, natural resources, foreign direct investment, economic necessity

Abstract

This paper proceeds from the premise that international human rights law provides both an important counterpoint to mainstream economic theory and a paradigmatic context that can enlighten the proper place of foreign direct investment (FDI) in national development. The people’s rights to self-determination and permanent sovereignty over their natural resources can ground a response to the prevailing economic wisdom, emphasising the duties thereby assumed by states in achieving a balance between attracting FDI and ensuring an actual benefit to the people from that investment.

Following the latest global financial crisis, an international bail-out loan for Ireland strictly conditioned drastic austerity measures and the continuation of an ‘investment friendly’ tax and regulatory environment. This neo-liberal formula is being sold from all quarters as the ‘economics of necessity’. Ireland’s current oil and gas licensing regime provides the discursive terrain for an application of a human rights response to this supposed necessity. The analysis concludes that the terms of the current regime, the intransigence of the government regarding change, and the lack of opportunities for public participation combine such that the situation may be viewed as a prima facie violation of the people’s rights to self-determination and their sovereignty over, and use of, natural resources.

Citation

J. F. Curtis, The ‘Economics of Necessity’, Human Rights and Ireland’s Natural Resources (2014) Volume 7, Irish Yearbook of International Law, Hart Publishing, Oxford (May 2014, Forthcoming)

Paper

The ‘Economics of Necessity’, Human Rights and Ireland’s Natural Resources

 

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