Tag Archives: sustainability

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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Indigenous Rights and the Environment: Evolving International Law (C. Metcalf)

Author

Cherie Metcalf

Keywords

indigenous rights, international law, international environmental law, environmental rights, cultural integrity model, self-determination, recognition, autonomy, state sovereignty, participation, sustainability, sustainable environmental management

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between indigenous peoples’ rights in international law and international environmental law. Two models underlie the protection of indigenous environmental rights. A “cultural integrity” model recognizes indigenous peoples’ environmental rights as a corollary to the protection and preservation of indigenous culture. In the alternative ‘self-determination” model, indigenous peoples’ environmental rights flow from their recognition as distinct communities with an inherent degree of autonomy and control over their own development. Both models have the potential to transform international environmental law. Recognition of indigenous peoples’ rights allows principles of international environmental law to pierce the veil of state sovereignty. The cultural integrity model offers the potential to broaden the legal framework of international environmental law
through the inclusion of human rights instruments. The self-determination model may lead to indigenous peoples’ independent participation in international agreements addressing environmental concerns. There is a crucial difference between the models. The cultural integrity model incorporates a connection between indigenous rights and sustainable environmental management while the self-determination model is based on indigenous peoples’ right to choose their own environmental policy. There is no inherent relationship between recognition of indigenous rights and sustainable environmental management in the latter model. The implications for international environmental law are more uncertain.

Citation

(2003) Ottawa Law Review 35 (1) 103-40

Paper

Indigenous Rights and the Environment: Evolving International Law 

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Suma qamaña in Bolivia Indigenous Understandings of Well-being and Their Contribution to a Post-Neoliberal Paradigm (K. Artaraz and M. Calestani)

Author(s)

Kepa Artaraz and Melania Calestani

Keywords

well-being, policy, constitution, Bolivia, sustainability, Law of Mother Earth, National Development Plan, indigenous rights, legislation

Abstract

English:

In recent decades there has been increasing interest in academic, governmental, and nongovernmental circles worldwide in developing universal definitions of well-being. Governments have progressively shifted their policies on this concept and are currently engaged in improving the well-being of their populations. Bolivia’s concept of suma qamaña (living well together) is broader than “well-being,” emphasizing the importance of harmonious relations between nature and human beings and providing an important link to sustainability that current conceptions of well-being fail to make. Exploring the concept is highly relevant at this historical moment because the Morales government is engaged in a wide-ranging process of social transformation to implement it. Its translation into public policy and the adoption of a development model consistent with it have proved problematic. While the introduction of the concept into the National Development Plan, the new constitution, and the Law of Mother Earth has addressed the need to move from individualized understandings of well-being to collective ones, the government has not overcome the conflict between growth-driven approaches and sustainability that is inherent in all its legislation. Moreover, understandings of the concept are constantly being negotiated and transformed, calling for an understanding of it that is rooted in people’s practices and beliefs rather than in theoretical constructions.

Spanish:

En las últimas décadas ha habido un creciente interés en los círculos académicos, gubernamentales y no gubernamentales de todo el mundo en el desarrollo de las definiciones universales de bienestar. Los gobiernos han cambiado progresivamente sus políticas en este concepto y se dedican actualmente a la mejora del bienestar de sus poblaciones. Concepto de suma qamaña (vivir bien) de Bolivia es más amplio que el “bienestar,” enfatizando la importancia de las relaciones armoniosas entre la naturaleza y los seres humanos y proporcionando un vínculo importante con la sostenibilidad que las concepciones actuales de bienestar no pueden hacer. Explorar el concepto es muy relevante en este momento histórico, porque el gobierno de Morales está involucrado en un amplio proceso de transformación social para implementarla. Su traslación en las políticas públicas y la adopción de un modelo de desarrollo coherente con ella han demostrado ser problemático. Si bien la introducción de este concepto en el Plan Nacional de Desarrollo, la nueva Constitución, y la Ley de la Madre Tierra ha abordado la necesidad de pasar de entendimientos individuales de bienestar a los colectivos, el gobierno no ha superado el conflicto entre los enfoques impulsados por crecimiento y la sostenibilidad que es inherente a toda su legislación. Por otra parte, las comprensiones del concepto están siendo constantemente negociados y transformados, reclamando una comprensión que está enraizada en las prácticas y creencias de las personas y no en las construcciones teóricas.

Citation

(2015) Latin American Perspectives 42 (5) 216-233

Paper

Suma qamaña in Bolivia Indigenous Understandings of Well-being and Their Contribution to a Post-Neoliberal Paradigm

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Which direction for international environmental law? (Anderson)

Author

Paul Anderson

Keywords

Sustainability, governance, neoclassical economics, distributive justice, democracy, commons

Abstract

An enduring challenge to international environmental law is to facilitate the resolution of environmental problems faster than they are being caused. Prominent among potential foundations for substantive international environmental law to this end are (a) neoclassical economic theory (NET) and (b) distributive justice and deliberative democratic theories. Building upon existing critique, this paper makes two broad arguments. The first is that despite the influence of NET’s market-based prescriptions, solutions lie not in introducing and extending the privatization and pricing of nature, but instead in subsuming markets within an expanded and enriched public sphere that is characterized inter alia by decentralized, deliberative democratic decision-making. This contention suggests a need to reform substantive environmental law that is informed by NET. The second argument made is that limitations, in particular, of the deliberative democratic approach to environmental problems (e.g., prospects of achieving consensus on natural resource use and the efficacy of any consensus that might be reached) may be overcome by combining it with common key resource control – to put it crudely, by combining meaningful political with economic democracy. This revised foundation would offer a potentially viable foundation for IEL. It also offers guidance for incipient efforts to democratize environmental regulation.

Citation

(2105) 1 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 98-126

Publication

Which direction for international environmental law?

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‘A price for everything?’: The ‘natural capital controversy’ (R.Read, M.Scott Cato)

Authors

Rupert Read and Molly Scott Cato

Keywords

sustainability, natural capital, capital controversy, ecosystem services

Abstract

‘Sustainability’ is a contested concept. This contestability – and its basis in deep, oppositional convictions – means that the argument between those who would substitute financial for natural capital and those who believe that such substitution is impossible and/or dangerous is unlikely to be resolved. Some of those in the latter group who have previously argued for a strong view of sustainability (one that privileges nature or perhaps ‘natural capital’ as primary and sacrosanct) appear to have despaired of their ability to influence policy and have capitulated to capitalist hegemony – in semantic terms, at least – by adopting its language, that is to say, the language of ‘money’. Our purpose in this paper is to argue that this is a logically inconsistent position and that acceptance of the monetary valuation of nature necessarily entails acceptance of its commodification – a commodification inimical to sustainability in the deep sense. We further suggest that this debate might be called the ‘natural capital controversy’. Thus we explicitly draw a parallel between this debate and the so-called ‘capital controversy’ that took place in some of the leading economics journals in the 1950s to 1970s.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 153-167

Paper

‘A price for everything?’: The ‘natural capital controversy’

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