Contemporary Challenges in International Environmental Law

*Posted on behalf of Ros Vickers

The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. It is intended to promote “the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including Indigenous Peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in national and international REDD+ implementation”. The stated ideals of the programme are ‘to (i) direct support to the design and implementation of UN-REDD National Programmes; and (ii) complementary support to national REDD+ action through common approaches, analyses, methodologies, tools, data and best practices developed through the UN-REDD Global Programme.” Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation is a scheme that was first presented to the Conference of Parties in 2005, and adopted in 2007.  It seeks to protect large forested areas in developing countries.  It is a scheme that has been developed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and has received widespread support for the theories connected to the scheme from parties generally, however the finer details and are yet to be determined.  Included in the finer details are issues of indigenous peoples’ human rights and other safeguards.  Discussions and agreements have largely focused on technical scientific and economic mechanisms to implement REDD.

To achieve true success,  such a scheme will depend on the application of the legal rights contained in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the context of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Ros Vickers will be attending the Conference on Contemporary Challenges in International Environmental Law in Slovenia in June 2014 where she will be presenting a paper on Climate Change programmes and Indigenous Human Rights.  The conference will  discuss REDD projects, and whether the REDD projects can in fact achieve justice and equity for indigenous peoples in accordance with the Declaration.  Ros’s  paper will focus on these aspects and also compare the expected outcomes the Declaration and what justice and equity means in the context of human rights and contrast them with the UNFCCC and REDD projects, ultimately concluding that the different areas of international law have vastly different goals however together it could be possible achieve a type of justice and equity for indigenous peoples that engage in REDD projects.  Ros’ s paper will be published as part of a conference booklet. To register for the conference click here

Environmental Law Seminar Series coming to Darwin in 2014

The CDU Law School, together with the Environment Defenders Office NT and the NT Law Society will be running an Environmental Law Seminar Series throughout 2014 for the Darwin legal profession and students.  Topics that will be covered in the seminars include: General Introduction to NT Environmental Law, Water Management in the NT, The Carbon Economy, Regulation of mining in the NT and Protection of biodiversity in the NT.  There is a wide range of speakers from CDU, EDONT, NT EPA, private law firms and the NLC will present and participate as panel members.

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