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International Environmental Law and the Global South

  • The most comprehensive study to date to address the North-South divide in international environmental justice
  • Historical background shows how the current North-South divide grew out of and is in some ways an extension of Western colonialism
  • Includes a diverse range of perspectives with contributing authors based on five continents

By: Shawkat Alam (Editor), Sumudu Atapattu (Editor), Carmen G Gonzalez (Editor), Jona Razzaque (Editor), Christopher Weeramantry (Foreword By)

576 pages, 1 b/w illustration, 2 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Sep 2015 | #221920 | ISBN-13: 9781107055698
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $132/€121 approx

About this book

The unprecedented degradation of the planet's vital ecosystems is among the most pressing issues confronting the international community. Despite the proliferation of legal instruments to combat environmental problems, conflicts between rich and poor nations (the North-South divide) have compromised international environmental law, leading to deadlocks in environmental treaty negotiations and noncompliance with existing agreements. International Environmental Law and the Global South examines both the historical origins of the North-South divide in European colonialism as well as its contemporary manifestations in a range of issues including food justice, energy justice, indigenous rights, trade, investment, extractive industries, human rights, land grabs, hazardous waste, and climate change. Born out of the recognition that global inequality and profligate consumerism present threats to a sustainable planet, International Environmental Law and the Global South makes a unique contribution to international environmental law by emphasizing the priorities and perspectives of the global South.


Foreword Christopher Weeramantry
1. The North-South divide in international environmental law: framing the issues Sumudu Atapattu and Carmen G. Gonzalez

Part I. History of the North-South Divide and Global Environmental Governance:
2. History of the North-South divide in international law: colonial discourses, sovereignty and self-determination M. Rafiqul Islam
3. Unsustainable development Ruth Gordon
4. The significance of international environmental law principles in reinforcing or dismantling the North-South divide Sumudu Atapattu
5. The Stockholm conference and the creation of the South-North divide in international environmental law and policy Karin Mickelson
6. Global environmental governance and the South Ved P. Nanda
7. Quest for international environmental institutions: transition from CSD to HLPF Bharat H. Desai and Balraj K. Sidhu

Part II. Selected International Environmental Law Examples:
8. Human rights, the environment and the global South Louis J. Kotzé
9. Access and benefit sharing: North-South challenges in implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity and its Nagoya Protocol Jorge Cabrera Medaglia
10. Emerging powerful Southern voices: role of BASIC nations in shaping climate change mitigation commitments Rowena Maguire and Xiaoyi Jiang
11. Sustainable development in the era of bioenergy and agricultural land grab Chidi Oguamanam
12. Trade in hazardous waste Zada Lipman
13. The right to water: constitutional perspectives from the global South Carlos Bernal

Part III. Trade, Investment, and Sustainable Development:
14. Trade and the environment: perspectives from the global South Shawkat Alam
15. From a divided heritage to a common future? International investment law, human rights and sustainable development Shyami Puvimanasinghe
16. Project finance and sustainable development in the global South Shalanda H. Baker
17. International environmental law and sovereign wealth funds Benjamin J. Richardson
18. Transnational corporations and extractive industries Sara L. Seck

Part IV. Environmental Justice and Vulnerable Groups:
19. Food justice: an environmental justice critique of the global food system Carmen G. Gonzalez
20. A justice paradox: climate change, small island developing states, and the absence of international legal remedy Maxine Burkett
21. South of South: examining the international climate regime from an indigenous perspective Elizabeth Ann Kronk Warner
22. Water wars: anti-privatization struggles in the global South Jackie Dugard and Elisabeth Koek
23. Natural disaster and climate change Paul Govind and Robert R. M. Verchick
24. International law, cultural diversity, and the environment: the case of the general forestry law in Colombia Daniel Bonilla Maldonado
25. The contours of energy justice Lakshman Guruswamy

Part V. Challenges and Options:
26. South-South cooperation: foundations for sustainable development Koh Kheng-Lian and Nicholas A. Robinson
27. Public participation in international negotiation and compliance Lalanath de Silva
28. Access to remedies in environmental matters and the North-South divide Jona Razzaque
29. Sustainable development versus green economy: the way forward? Shawkat Alam and Jona Razzaque

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Shawkat Alam is an Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Centre for Environmental Law at Macquarie University, Sydney. An expert on international environmental law, he is the author of Sustainable Development and Free Trade (2008).

Sumudu Atapattu is Associate Director of the Global Legal Studies Center at the University of Wisconsin Law School and lead counsel for human rights at the Center for International Sustainable Development Law, Montreal. Her book, Emerging Principles of International Environmental Law, was published in 2006.

Carmen G. Gonzalez is a Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law. A widely published author on the subject of international environmental justice, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of Earthjustice and co-chair of the Research Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Academy of Environmental Law.

Jona Razzaque is a Professor of Environmental Law at Bristol Law School, University of the West of England, where she specializes in the intersection of human rights and the environment. Her most recent book is Environmental Governance in Europe and Asia (2012).

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