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11 - Indigenous Environmental Rights and Sustainable Development

Lessons from Totonicapán in Guatemala

from Strategies, Challenges, and Vulnerable Groups

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2021

Sumudu A. Atapattu
Affiliation:
University of Wisconsin School of Law
Carmen G. Gonzalez
Affiliation:
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Sara L. Seck
Affiliation:
Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia) Schulich School of Law
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Summary

International environmental law (IEL) has been slow to incorporate the social dimension of sustainable development. In this chapter, we seek to unpack the process of integration of international human rights norms and IEL.1 We focus on the integration of Indigenous rights and IEL, by looking at the recent Escazú Agreement on environmental rights.2 We argue that, while Escazú represents an important step toward integrating human rights and IEL, not all human rights have been equally integrated. Indigenous rights were largely left outside the Escazú Agreement.3 We use a case study from Guatemala to illustrate what this left unprotected, and to shed light on the persisting dominance of Western/Eurocolonial epistemologies in shaping IEL.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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