Constitutional Law, Ecosystems and Indigenous Peoples in Colombia: Biocultural Rights and Legal Subjects

29 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2020

See all articles by Elizabeth Macpherson

Elizabeth Macpherson

University of Canterbury

Julia Torres Ventura

University of Canterbury

Felipe Clavijo Ospina

University of Canterbury

Date Written: July 08, 2020

Abstract

The recognition of rivers and related ecosystems as legal persons or subjects is an emerging mechanism in transnational practice available to governments in seeking more effective and collaborative natural resource management, sometimes at the insistence of indigenous peoples. This approach is developing particularly quickly in Colombia, where legal rights for rivers and ecosystems are grasping onto, and evolving out of, constitutional human rights protections. This enables the development of a new type of constitutionalism of nature. Yet legal rights for rivers may obscure the rights of indigenous peoples and their role in resource ownership and governance. We argue that the Colombian river cases serve as a caution to courts and legislatures elsewhere to be mindful, in devising ecosystem rights, of the complex and interrelated rights, interests and tenures of indigenous peoples and local communities.

Keywords: Colombia, ecosystem rights, biocultural rights, legal personhood

Suggested Citation

Macpherson, Elizabeth Jane and Torres Ventura, Julia and Clavijo Ospina, Felipe, Constitutional Law, Ecosystems and Indigenous Peoples in Colombia: Biocultural Rights and Legal Subjects (July 08, 2020). Transnational Environmental Law Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 July 2020 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S204710252000014X, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3697748

Elizabeth Jane Macpherson (Contact Author)

University of Canterbury ( email )

Christchurch, 8140
New Zealand

Julia Torres Ventura

University of Canterbury ( email )

Ilam Road
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Felipe Clavijo Ospina

University of Canterbury ( email )

Ilam Road
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

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