One predominant presumption in the present international legal discourse is that indigenous peoples, when allowed to participate, can make a valuable contribution to the sustainability of the global environment due to their traditional knowledge and practices relating to the environment. The aim of this article is to discuss whether and under which conditions the legal recognition of the special rights of indigenous peoples in relation to the environment can be seen as promoting the protection of the planet Earth.
Indigenous peoples have attracted a lot of attention in international legal and political instruments during the last couple of decades. Only very recently, however, have international institutions started to address the situation of minorities within minorities that often experience multiple discrimination. This article focuses on the vulnerable situation and the rights of Sámi persons with disabilities in Finland as the case study to demonstrate the inadequacy of different legal regimes to recognise and thus help to prevent and overcome the multiple discrimination of persons with disabilities who also belong to the indigenous community. The article calls for an intersectional approach to law, in order to recognise that persons with multiple identities may need legal protection that recognises the problem of multiple discrimination, and thereby adequately protects their rights and equality.
Leena Heinämäki, Thora Martina Herrmann and Antje Neumann
Culturally and spiritually important landscapes in the Arctic region express the interconnectedness of Indigenous Peoples with the natural and spiritual environment, and their preservation has been, and continues to be, essential to Indigenous People’s identity and traditional livelihoods. During the last decade, the importance of cultural landscapes for the conservation of biological and cultural diversity has received increasing legal attention. One of the international legal instruments developed are the Akwé:Kon Voluntary Guidelines, under the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). This paper elaborates on the worldwide first implementation process of the Akwé:Kon Guidelines in Finland, and draws on first experiences made during the testing case of these guidelines in the management process of the Hammastunturi Wilderness Area, in order to investigate to what extent culturally and spiritually important landscapes of Arctic Indigenous Peoples are recognized internationally, especially under the CBD and related international agreements and jurisprudence, and in the national context of Finland, in particular at the local level of the Hammastunturi Wilderness Area.