Tag Archives: property rights

David Bollier, Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons – Book Review (A. Grear)

Author

Anna Grear

Keywords

business as usual, collective commons, commoners, digital commons, dispossession, market, neoliberal ideology, norms, property rights, urban food production, values

Abstract

At a time when there is widespread disillusionment with ‘business as usual’, attention is turning, thanks in part to the high-profile publication of books such as Jeremy Rifkin’s, The Zero Marginal Cost Society, towards the notion of ‘collective commons’ as an
alternative paradigm to neoliberal free-market economics.

David Bollier’s book broadens the focus to identify the centrality of commons (and ‘commoning’) to an epochal shift in consciousness now emergent across the world. Such scholarship suggests that a fundamentally different mode of being appears to be surfacing from beneath neoliberal market hegemony and the assumptions of ‘business as usual’ – presenting a renaissance of something much more ancient in the light of which the free market economy and the rise of homo economicus stand revealed as a historical anomaly.

This book provides a short, engaging and important introduction to the commons and to the dynamics of commoning, while unsettling important mainstream assumptions underlying life in the ‘real world’ of neoliberal globalization and the duopoly of the state-market complex.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 213-9

Paper

David Bollier, Think Like a Commoner – Book Review

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Whose ecosystem is it anyway? Private and public rights under new approaches to biodiversity conservation (C.T.Reid, W.Nsoh)

Authors

Colin T. Reid and Walters Nsoh

Keywords

biodiversity, human rights, property rights, nature conservation, biodiversity offsetting, ecosystem services

Abstract

A range of legal tools is increasingly being used for the conservation of biodiversity. These tools include conservation covenants, biodiversity offsets and payment for ecosystem services. There are benefits to these approaches, but also challenges to be met if these mechanisms are to be applied successfully.

Among the challenges is the fact that these schemes generate new relationships between land, people and the environment, especially wildlife. This requires consideration of the basic position of ownership of wild flora and fauna, the extent of the property rights of landowners and others with interests in the land, and of how far the state is justified in restricting, and even taking over, these rights for conservation purposes. The restriction of property rights for environmental purposes has already given rise to litigation under the European Convention on Human Rights, and as ideas of long-term stewardship in land or new rights in relation to ecosystem services develop, there are questions over the nature and extent of the rights being recognized. Moreover, there are concerns over the acceptability of an approach that converts nature from a ‘common heritage’ to a bundle of property rights. Mechanisms that confer rights on nature add a further dimension to the discussion. Using examples from the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions, this article attempts to highlight the different ways in which rights can be viewed in the context of developments in conservation law and the need to appreciate the consequences from different perspectives.

Citation

(2014) 5/2 Journal of Human Rights and the Environment 112–135

Paper

Whose ecosystem is it anyway? Private and public rights under new approaches to biodiversity conservation

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Water Rights and Human Rights: The Poor Will not Need Our Charity if We Need Their Water (D. Zetland)

Author

David Zetland

Keywords

Human rights, property rights, institutions, political-economy, water markets, water quality, MDGs

Abstract

Each year, about 2.8 million people die due to problems with poor water supply, sanitation and hygiene. Over three-quarters of the dead are children. Some argue that a human right to clean water would improve this situation. This paper shows that human rights are not sufficient to improve access to clean water and argues that it would be more productive to give people a property right to water. Because property rights — unlike humanrights — are alienable, some portion of an individual’s rights can be exchanged for access to clean water. Besides this basic equity outcome, property rights could enrich the poor, increase the efficient use of water, and improve water supply reliability in countries with poor governance.

Citation

SSRN Working Paper Series (18 June 2010)

Paper

Water Rights and HumanRights: The Poor Will not Need Our Charity if We Need Their Water

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Sustainable Development, Environment and Human Right: An Issue (P. Kaur)

Author

Prithpal Kaur

Keywords

Environment, human rights, sustainability

Abstract

The history of sustainability traces human dominated ecological systems from the earliest civilizations to the ecological systems from the earliest civilization to the present. It is becoming apparent that climate change will have implications for the enjoyment of humanrights. Technological advances over several millennia gave humans increasing control over the environment. By the 20th century, the industrial revolution had led to an exponential increase in the human consumption of resources. Late 20th century environmental problems were now becoming global awareness, through the work of climate scientists. Sustainable development is a pattern of resources uses that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generation. Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. The effects of global warming and climate change are of concern both for the environment and human life. Climate change means that extreme weather events will become more frequent and more dangerous. The key to sound environment policy is respect for private property rights. The strict enforcement of property rights corrects environmental wrongs while increasing the cost of polluting. It’s important to keep in mind that you don’t have to live off the land or move to a cabin in the mountains to start helping the environment. We must have noticed how environmental issues are in discussion every where these days, not to be ignored. We can’t continue to be conspicuous with our consumption habits and we have to understand what exactly means is and think about every single action that we take during our daily lives. This paper offers two perspectives i.e. sustainability of environment and human rights.

Citation

(2010) 1(4) OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development 73

Paper

Sustainable Development, Environment and Human Right: An Issue

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Sustainable development (1987-2005): an oxymoron comes of age (M. Redclift)

Author

Michael Redclift

Keywords

Sustainable development; environmental justice; social capital; property rights; rights based approach; materiality.

Abstract

The paper examines the conceptual history of sustainable development, from the Brundtland Commission’s definition in 1987 to the present day. It argues that the superficial consensus that has characterized much of the early debate has given way to a series of parallel but distinct discourses around sustainability. The underlying assumptions behind much of the discussion are assessed, as is the move, after the first Earth Summit (1992), to focus on rights, rather than needs, as the principal line of enquiry. This analytical attention to rights is linked to the neo-liberal economic agendas of the 1990s, and the growth of interest in congruent areas, including human security and the environment, social capital, critical natural capital and intellectual property rights. The paper argues that increasing attention to questions of biology and science studies has strengthened this rights-based approach, as well as interest in the linkages between natural and human systems, including attention to questions of environmental justice. It is clear that issues of global environmental justice are as important as they were when the concept of sustainable development was in its infancy, but the new material realities of science and the environment in the 21st century demand a re-engagement with their social consequences, something which is largely ignored by the (market) liberal consensus.

Citation

(2005) 13(4) Sustainable Development, 212-227.

Book

Sustainable development (1987-2005): an oxymoron comes of age.

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