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Shawkat Alam and Sheikh Noor Mohammad

Abstract

The ecosystem approach emerged in the international environmental realm to promote equity and justice for both people and nature. It provides a set of mechanisms, including equitable benefit sharing; conservation and sustainable use; adaptive management; and participatory practices. This article explores how the ecosystem approach that is used in natural resource management shares synergies with notions of environmental justice, including distributional justice, procedural justice and justice-as-recognition. It also explores how the ecosystem approach responds to two additional principles of environmental justice that are specific to environmental disciplines, namely, intergenerational equity and the precautionary principle. The article illustrates the complementarity between the ecosystem approach and environmental justice through practical examples and argues that environmental justice can be promoted by utilizing the ecosystem approach as a vehicle for policy-makers.

Ben Boer, Rowena Cantley-Smith and Tianbao Qin

Beatriz Garcia, Mandy Meng Fang and Jolene Lin

Abstract

Marine plastics pollution (MPP) is an alarming problem affecting many countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and generated mostly from land-based sources. Five Asian countries (i.e. China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka) have been identified as the largest sources of MPP globally. This article presents two cases studies focused on the two largest polluters: China and Indonesia. Both countries face similar challenges in dealing with plastic pollution. They have weak legal and institutional frameworks in place to deal with MPP. The two case studies also show that there have been more creative and effective measures taken at the domestic level by local governments and non-state actors, many of which involve partnerships among different stakeholders. This article argues that governance efforts to address MPP require an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, involving multi-level and multi-actor strategies and targeted regulatory and non-regulatory measures. However, our findings also suggest that most efforts should be directed at the subnational level, from which the problem mainly originates. This article proposes a number of legal and policy recommendations, based on the lessons learned from the case studies, which can be instrumental in reducing the global MPP crisis.

Michael Addaney, Michael Gyan Nyarko and Elsabe Boshoff

Abstract

Scarce environmental and natural resources, such as minerals and water, are traditional origins of armed conflicts in Africa. There are persuasive and wide-ranging claims to the effect that environmental degradation will intensify resource scarcity and consequently contribute to an increase in armed conflict. Existing studies show that most governments in Africa overexploit valuable natural resources such as diamonds, oil and timber to finance war, without regard to environmental protection. Environmental protection during armed conflict has therefore gradually gained significant attention at international, national and regional levels. This article explores how regional laws could fill gaps in the international legal frameworks for the protection of the environment and natural resources in the context of armed conflicts in Africa. It considers the extent to which the enforceable content of regional and international norms apply to environmental damage in times of armed conflict and assesses the main shortcomings of existing normative frameworks to make a case for reform. The article argues that regional law (the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) offers strong and direct protection to the natural environment during armed conflict and requires a lower threshold for its application as compared with the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. It concludes by providing recommendations on finding durable solutions to protection of the environment during resource-fuelled armed conflict in Africa.

Incorporating Indigenous Rights in the International Regime on Biodiversity Protection

Access, Benefit-sharing and Conservation in Indigenous Lands

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Federica Cittadino

Series:

Federica Cittadino

Abstract:

In Incorporating Indigenous Rights in the International Regime on Biodiversity Protection Federica Cittadino convincingly interprets the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its related instruments in light of indigenous rights and the principle of self-determination. Cittadino’s harmonisation of these formally separated regimes serves at least two main purposes. First, it ensures respect for the human rights framework that protects indigenous rights whilst implementing the biodiversity regime. Second, harmonisation allows for the full operationalisation of the indigenous related provisions of the CBD framework that concern traditional knowledge, genetic resources, and protected areas. Federica Cittadino successfully demonstrates that the CBD may allow for the protection of indigenous rights in ways that are more advanced than under current human rights law.

Series:

Federica Cittadino

Abstract:

In Incorporating Indigenous Rights in the International Regime on Biodiversity Protection Federica Cittadino convincingly interprets the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its related instruments in light of indigenous rights and the principle of self-determination. Cittadino’s harmonisation of these formally separated regimes serves at least two main purposes. First, it ensures respect for the human rights framework that protects indigenous rights whilst implementing the biodiversity regime. Second, harmonisation allows for the full operationalisation of the indigenous related provisions of the CBD framework that concern traditional knowledge, genetic resources, and protected areas. Federica Cittadino successfully demonstrates that the CBD may allow for the protection of indigenous rights in ways that are more advanced than under current human rights law.