Category Archives: Ecosystems

Bringing Local Voices to the Global Negotiation Table: Norm Dissemination and Consensus Building on Tropical Forests and Climate Change (M. G. Rodrigues)

Author(s)

Maria G. Rodrigues

Keywords

transnational advocacy networks, norm dissemination, Amazonia, Brazil, REDD + , climate change

Abstract

Initially rejected by the parties to the Kyoto Protocol, efforts to protect tropical forests are now an accepted strategy to mitigate the impact of climate change. Inspired by long-standing demands of Amazonia’s forests peoples, the notion of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD +) has been embraced in global arenas. What accounts for this shift in perceptions about the relation between forests and climate change? Answers lie in the efforts of a transnational advocacy network (TAN) at norm dissemination and consensus-building within Brazil and in the Kyoto Protocol. This study highlights the importance of domestic activism unfolding in democratizing societies to enhance the influence of transnational advocacy networks in norm dissemination and consensus building in global arenas. It enlarges the explanatory power of normative approaches by documenting a case in which the idea and set of values being globally propagated do not emanate from a Western liberal tradition.

Citation

(2015) New Global Studies 9(2) pp. 125–157

Paper

Bringing Local Voices to the Global  Negotiation Table: Norm Dissemination  and Consensus Building on Tropical  Forests and Climate Change

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Greening the International Human Rights Sphere? Environmental Rights and the Draft Declaration of Principles of Human Rights and the Environment (K. Wolfe)

Author(s)

Karrie Wolfe

Keywords

natural environment, human rights, basic rights, natural ecosystems, environmental rights, United Nations, Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights and the Environment

Abstract

Introduction

A vital connection exists between the natural environment and fundamental human rights. Basic survival of the human species is inherently linked to the healthy functioning of natural ecosystems, from which the essential components of daily life are directly and indirectly derived. The linkage between the environment and human rights has been recognized internationally in numerous human rights instruments. It formed the basis of a United Nations (“UN”) sub-commission study on human rights and the environment in the early 1990s. The UN Special Rapporteur submitted her final report in 1994. Appended to her report was a Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights and the Environment (“the Draft Declaration”).

Despite these efforts, and seemingly widespread recognition of the connection between human rights and the environment, formal recognition of “environmental rights” on a global level remains elusive. While the concept still generates occasional debate in international legal and political spheres, the Draft Declaration, which was designed to comprehensively address the environmental dimensions of human rights, has all but disappeared from the human rights agenda. The reasons for this are unclear.

This examination begins with a contextual overview of environmental rights. The paper continues with an outline of the history and current status of the Draft Declaration, followed by a general analysis of the document. The paper explores arguments advanced by both supporters and critics of the rights-based approach, and briefly discusses two …

Citation

(2003) 9 Appeal: Review of Current Law and Law Reform 45

Paper

Greening the International Human Rights Sphere? Environmental Rights and the Draft Declaration of Principles on Human Rights and the Environment

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No Need to Reinvent the Wheel for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Tackling Climate Change: The Contribution of International Biodiversity Law (E. Morgera)

Author(s)

Elisa Morgera

Keywords

human rights, biodiversity law, climate change, livelihood, ecosystems, mitigation, adaptation, international law, international biodiversity regime, international climate change regime, implementation

Abstract

This chapter provides a systematic analysis of the ways in which international biodiversity law contributes to the fight against climate change by assessing and preventing the negative impacts on biodiversity and community livelihoods of measures to address climate change (‘response measures’), and adopting the ecosystem approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. In highlighting readily available legal avenues for ensuring the mutual supportiveness of the international biodiversity regime and the international climate change regime, the chapter argues that positive interaction between the two regimes can promote a human rights-based approach to the development of the international climate change regime and its implementation at the national level.

Citation

(2013) 21 IUS Gentium 359

Paper

No Need to Reinvent the Wheel for a Human Rights-Based Approach to Tackling Climate Change: The Contribution of International Biodiversity Law

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Payment for ‘ecosystem services’ and the ‘green economy’: green-washing or something new? (K. Wilkinson)

Author

Kate Wilkinson

Keywords

ecofeminism, green economy, payment for ecosystem services, ecosystems, environment, capitalism, free market, economics, REDDES, REDD+, UNFCCC, ITTO, forests, natural resources, gender, participation

Abstract

Using an ecofeminist critical analysis, this paper examines the extent to which two forest-related ‘payments for ecosystem services’ (PES) schemes maintain a mainstream anti-nature and exploitative conceptualization of human/nature relationships. It does so by integrating various ecofeminist themes to analyse the two PES schemes and to assess the extent to which they can protect women and nature while marketizing and commodifying the environment. The author examines the justifications for integrating PES into a green economy, including the proposed benefits resulting from the implementation of PES, and safeguards ensuring the inclusion and participation of local communities. The author concludes that an ecofeminist examination highlights the inherently exploitative nature of PES and its continuation of the currently exploitative free market paradigm.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 168-191

Paper

Payment for ‘ecosystem services’ and the ‘green economy’: green-washing or something new?

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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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