Environmental Justice and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – publication review (J. Ruru)


Jacinta Ruru


Ecological Integrity, environment, human rights, climate change, global warming,  globalisation, vulnerability, environmental protection, communities, rights of indigenous peoples.


Westra, in this book, brings to the fore the horrors of ‘biological genocide’ that western developed countries have sought to perform on environments that indigenous peoples rely on for their survival. Nuclear testing and chemical spills on indigenous lands are all stories that are told in this book. Westra contends that the eco-footprint of western developed countries is a direct attack on both the right to survival and the right to self-determination of indigenous populations. Her solution, labelled the ‘biological/ecological integrity model’, she argues, is the best possible antidote against eco-footprint crime. She explains: ‘If the rights of indigenous peoples are based, first, on their rights to biological integrity and natural function; and second, these rights cannot be separated from the protection of the ecological integrity of their lands; then third, entrenching such rights would limit the freedom of Western industrial operations to commit crimes’


(2009) 21(2) Journal of Environmental Law, 385-387.


Environmental Justice & the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. International & Domestic Legal Perspectives.