Tag Archives: political ecology

Community stewardship: the foundation of biocultural rights (Bavikatte and Bennett)

Author(s)

Kabir Sanjay Bavikatte and Tom Bennett

Keywords

Biocultural rights, stewardship, property, environment, law, nature, indigenous people, customary law, commodity, post-development, political ecology, commons, Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya Protocol, traditional resource rights

Abstract

The term ‘biocultural rights’ denotes a community’s long established right, in accordance with its customary laws, to steward its lands, waters and resources. Such rights are being increasingly recognized in international environmental law. Biocultural rights are not simply claims to property, in the typical market sense of property being a universally commensurable, commodifiable and alienable resource; rather, as will be apparent from the discussion offered here, biocultural rights are collective rights of communities to carry out traditional stewardship roles vis-à-vis Nature, as conceived of by indigenous ontologies.

Citation

2015 1 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 7-29

Paper

Community stewardship: The foundation of biocultural rights

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Farmer–herder conflicts, pastoral marginalisation and corruption (T.A. Benjaminsen & B. Ba)

Author(s)

Tor A Benjaminsen and Boubacar Ba

Keywords

Mali , farmer–herder conflicts, political ecology, rent seeking, corruption

Abstract

This study aims to explain a farmer–herder conflict in the inland Niger delta of Mali. We focus on the interests and motivations of the actors involved in the conflict and the rent seeking of the local administration in handling the conflict. Since independence, the customary pastoral leaders (the jowros) have gradually lost power and wealth to the benefit of previously underprivileged farmers (the rimaybé). We argue that this process is mainly the result of national policies and laws giving priority to agricultural development at the expense of pastoralism. The result has been large-scale conversions of dry season pastures to rice fields. This pastoral marginalisation also results in increased land use conflicts between herders and farmers. In addition, rent seeking by local officials is perpetuating land use conflicts in the area. Hence, officials are benefiting from conflicts, while especially pastoralists, but also farmers, are losing out. The droughts of the 1970s and 1980s, leading to a more rapid encroachment of rice fields on pastures, as well as the power vacuum that emerged in the early days of the decentralisation process, further aggravated land disputes. Finally, we use this case study to call for an inclusion of issues of rent seeking and corruption more centrally in political ecology.

Citation

(2009) 175 Geographical Journal 71-81

Paper

Farmer–herder conflicts, pastoral marginalisation and corruption: a case study from the inland Niger delta of Mali

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Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts (P. Le Billon)

Author

Philippe Le Billon

Keywords

Natural resources; economic development; social development; resource wealth; curse; resource exploitation; vulnerability; of resource-dependent countries

Abstract

A generous endowment of natural resources should favour rapid economic and social development. The experience of countries like Angola and Iraq, however, suggests that resource wealth often proves a curse rather than a blessing. Billions of dollars from resource exploitation benefit repressive regimes and rebel groups, at a massive cost for local populations. This Adelphi Paper analyses the economic and political vulnerability of resource-dependent countries; assesses how resources influence the likelihood and course of conflicts; and discusses current initiatives to improve resource governance in the interest of peace. It concludes that long-term stability in resource-exporting regions will depend on their developmental outcomes, and calls for a broad reform agenda prioritising the basic needs and security of local populations.

Citation

Philippe Le Billon, Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts (Routledge, 2006)

Book

Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts

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Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (E. Weinthal, et al)

Editor(s)

Erika Weinthal, Jessica Troell, and Mikiyasu Nakayama

Keywords

Water, Livelihoods, Economic Reconstruction and Recovery, Political Ecology, Water Resource Management, Agricultural Productivity, Flood Control, Peace Processes, Confidence Building, Transboundary Cooperation, Peace and Dialogue, Riparian Stakeholders, Water Security and Scarcity, Transnational Cooperation, Refugee Rehabilitation, Policy, Institutional Aspects, Water ServicesCommunity Water Resource Management, The Right to Water and Sanitation, Legal Mechanisms, Sustainable Water Management

Abstract

Water resources play a unique and varied role in post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding. As a basic human need, the provision of safe water is among the highest priorities of government and humanitarian interventions during post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding. Water, sanitation, and infrastructure also play a critical role in supporting the recovery of livelihoods and economic development in the aftermath of war. Moreover, despite predictions of “water wars,” shared waters have proven to be the natural resource with the greatest potential for interstate cooperation and confidence building. Indeed, water resource management plays a singularly important role in both facilitating the rebuilding of trust following conflict and preventing a return to conflict. This volume draws on case studies from around the world to create a framework for understanding how decisions and activities governing water resources in a post-conflict setting can facilitate or undermine peacebuilding. The lessons learned are of particular interest to international development and humanitarian practitioners, policymakers, students, and others interested in post-conflict peacebuilding and the nexus between water resource management and conflict.

Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding is part of a global initiative to identify and analyze lessons in post-conflict peacebuilding and natural resource management. The project has generated six volumes of case studies and analyses, with contributions by practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. Other volumes address high-value resources; land; livelihoods; restoration, remediation, and reconstruction; and governance.

Citation

Erika Weinthal, et al (eds), Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding (Earthscan, 2011)

Book

Water and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

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Human Rights and the Environment (B.R. Johnston)

Author

Barbara Rose Johnston (Center for Political Ecology)

Keywords

Human rights and the environment, environmental justice, political ecology

Abstract

This issue of Human Ecology focuses on the interrelated nature of crisis in human and environmental systems and argues that the right to a healthy environment is a fundamental human right. In this article I present a conceptual framework for the ‘human rights and environment’ special issue, followed by a brief review of significant insights offered by each contributor. Collectively the cases presented in this issue explore connections between international and national policy, government action or sanctioned action, and human environmental crises. Cultural notions are seen to play a key role in influencing social relations, legitimizing power relations, and justifying the production and reproduction of human environmental crises. And finally, these cases explore the ways in which political, economic, and cultural forces influence and at times inhibit efforts to respond to human environmental crises.

Citation

(1995) 23 Human Ecology 111-123

Paper

Human Rights and the Environment

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