The case of environmental injustice and its impact on indigenous rights


By  Keila McFarland Dias

Climate change is widely perceived as a by-product of our contemporary socio-economic model, which rotates around the exploitation of nature, unrestrained extractivism, excessive pollution, deforestation, land degradation. Nevertheless, the environmental crisis is in itself a consequence of colonialism, as the imperial expansion heavily relied on the widespread plunder of colonies’ natural resources, thus marking the ‘genesis’ of environmental destruction. Nature’s conservation became a priority when colonisers recognised the rapid environmental decay caused by their own activities, as it acted to their detriment of the colonial powers. It is thus important to highlight that, albeit framed as a universal good, the first environmental policies were structured to solely benefit the West.

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The environmental crisis and climate justice: putting human rights at the heart of the fight against climate change 

By  Keila McFarland Dias


In 2007, the pioneer Male’ Declaration on the Human Dimension of Global Climate Change  was adopted at a time where the invocation of human rights norms as tools to fight the environmental crisis seemed chimerical. Human rights treaty bodies had insufficient evidence to link human rights to environmental issues, much less with respect to climate change.  Notwithstanding, this groundbreaking declaration paved the way for Resolution 26/27, in which the UN Human Rights Council established the relationship between climate change and human rights, thus highlighting that the environmental crisis poses an immediate, far-reaching threat to people and communities around the world and has implications for the full enjoyment of human rights.

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