Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development within the International Biodiversity Regime
in Beatriz Felipe Pérez, Daniel Iglesias Márquez, Lorena Martínez Hernández (eds.), Rethinking Sustainable Development in Terms of Justice. Issues of Theory, Law and Governance, Cambridge Scholars, 2018
Posted: 31 Oct 2018
Date Written: August 31, 2017
This chapter appraises the role of the principle of sustainable development at the intersection between the rights of indigenous peoples and the management of biodiversity under current international law. Although environmental protection and the realisation of indigenous rights are frequently portrayed as mutually supportive under human rights law, the former is not necessarily instrumental for the latter and conflicts can emerge between the two. This is particularly evident when looking at the obligations concerning the establishment of protected areas and the regime of access to genetic resources and traditional knowledge and related benefit-sharing under the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol. Notwithstanding opposing social and environmental needs, the principle of sustainable development has not provided useful indications on how to concretely integrate the rights of indigenous peoples into the CBD regime in order to avoid conflicts. The chapter concludes that this integration is indeed crucial to the harmonization of the two regimes and will only be realised when the substantive content of indigenous rights is taken into account and when procedural mechanisms are established to make indigenous peoples participate in the decision-making processes concerning the management of biological resources.
Keywords: sustainable development, indigenous peoples, Convention on Biological Diversity, Nagoya Protocol
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation