Tag Archives: ownership

Critical Reflections on Ownership (M. Warnock)

Author(s)

Mary Warnock

Keywords

ownership, gardens, Locke, Hume, philosophy, private ownership, common ownership, property, responsibility, global environmental degradation, Romantic Movement, nature

Abstract

In this thought provoking work, Mary Warnock explores what it is to own things, and the differences in our attitude to what we own and what we do not. Starting from the philosophical standpoints of Locke and Hume, the ownership of gardens is presented as a prime example, exploring both private and common ownership, historically and autobiographically. The author concludes that, besides pleasure and pride, ownership brings a sense of responsibility for what is owned and a fundamental question is brought to light: can we feel the same responsibility for what we do not, and never can, own? Applying this question to the natural world and the planet as a whole, a realistic and gradualist perspective is offered on confronting global environmental degradation. Critical Reflections on Ownership examines the effect of the Romantic Movement on our attitudes to nature and is a salient commentary on the history of ideas.

Citation

Warnock, Mary (2015) Critical Reflections on Ownership. Cheltenham: Elgar

Paper

Critical Reflections on Ownership

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Using Eminent Domain Powers to Acquire Private Lands for Protected Area Wildlife…(N. Sifuna)

Author

Nixon Sifuna

Keywords

Compensation, compulsory acquisition, eminent domain, opportunity cost, parks, private lands, protected areas, tourism, wildlife

Abstract

Under Kenyan law, the provisioning for eminent domain is in the Constitution, as well as in legislation. Exercising these powers, the State may compulsorily acquire private lands, provided the acquisition is for a public good and compensation is given. Generally, eminent domain is a fairly contentious legal issue: the law on the one part guarantees the sanctity of private property and, on the other, allows the government to expropriate such property even against the will of the landowner. With regard to land, the State has a legal obligation to respect and protect privately owned lands, and a corresponding moral obligation to ensure that land is available to sustain other forms of life as well.

While Kenya’s wildlife estate is slightly less than eight per cent of the total land area, it is fast shrinking due to an increasing human population and human activities. As such, the wildlife sector has a bleak future unless the trend is reversed. One way of doing this is by using the powers of eminent domain to acquire private lands for purposes of creating and expanding the wildlife protected areas and their support zones. However, for this manner of acquisition to be desirable and advisable, it has to be fair, humane, democratic and honest. This is to ensure that conservation does not violate the rights of people or undermine livelihoods.

Incidentally, the process of eminent domain in Kenya is bereft of these attributes and tends to be draconian and militaristic. The paper critically examines the potential of using eminent domain for acquiring lands for protected area conservation and makes recommendations for reforms.

Citation

(2006) 2(1) Law, Environment and Development Journal 84

Paper

Using Eminent Domain Powers to Acquire Private Lands for Protected Area Wildlife Conservation: A Survey under Kenyan Law

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Contesting Privatization: NGOs and Farmers’ Rights in the African Model Law (N. Zerbe)

Author

Noah Zerbe

Keywords

Farmer’s rights, FAO, African Union, private property rights, plant breeders, ownership, biodiversity, biotechnology, African Model Law, indigenous control, TRIPs

Abstract

The development of the concept of farmers’ rights in the Food and Agriculture Organization, and its adoption by the African Union as a counterbalance to the private property rights of plant breeders, highlights the divisiveness of the question of ownership in biodiversity and biotechnology. This article examines the development of the African Model Law, a regional regime intended to promote indigenous control over local biodiversity. The principal argument is that key nongovernmental organizations were able to draw on African efforts and concerns regarding conceptions of private property rights embodied in international agreements, framing the question of farmers’ rights in a way that spoke to the African experience. Farmers’ rights thus came to be a focal point for African negotiators at international discussions on intellectual property rights and biodiversity, enabling Africa to take a key role in the articulation of alternatives to the Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) Agreement.

Citation

(2007) 7 Global Environmental Politics 97-119

Paper

Contesting Privatization: NGOs and Farmers’ Rights in the African Model Law

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