Tropical deforestation, international agenda, human rights, climate change, forest governance, mitigation of forest-based emissions, procedural rights, Aarhus Convention, justice and equity, risks, trade-offs
Following the decline over the years of interest relating to tropical deforestation, that was highlighted at the Rio Conference in 1992 (UNCEC), in recent years it has seemingly reappeared on the international agenda as has linked overwhelmingly to climate change. The Stern Review (2007) asserted that controlling deforestation was ‘one of the least expensive strategies for reducing emissions’ and subsequently reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) is a focal point of global and national mitigation strategies. Aside from the environmental consequences of deforestation management of tropical forests is relevant to human rights owing, in part, to many of the world’s poorest people being dependent on forests for their survival and livelihoods. Unclear property rights, the absence of public scrutiny and historically repressive state actions are all socio-economic characteristics that contribute to climate change whilst infringing human rights. This article/chapter acts as an overview concerning the interconnection of deforestation, climate change and human rights issues.
Frances Seymour, Human Rights and Climate Change (CUP, Cambride 2010), Ch. 7, 207.
Forests, climate change, and human rights: managing risks and trade-offs.
Development of rights, development of children’s rights, standing for ‘natural objects’.
This article, from the era when the birth of modern environmentalism and conservationism arguably emanated, is an abstract but serious attempt to propose that forests, oceans and rivers, in fact the entire natural environment, should be afforded legal rights. The piece explains that the granting of new rights involves two aspects; first, legal-operational aspects and second psychic and socio-psychic aspects. The author argues that it would be seemingly ridiculous to state that ‘natural objects’ should have no rights to seek legal redress merely because they cannot speak up for themselves. It is considered normal for corporations, who cannot speak, to employ lawyers to act on their behalf; the same can be said for states, estates, children etc. The mentally incompetent or any person that is incapable of managing their own affairs is provided, by the courts, with someone who can whilst a business entity that has become ‘incompetent’ is, for example, appointed a trustee in bankruptcy; conceivably someone could apply to the courts to be the ‘guardian’ of a natural object that is perceived to be in danger.
(1972) 45 Southern California Law Review 450
Should trees have standing? Towards legal rights for natural objects.