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Edited by David L. VanderZwaag, Nilüfer Oral and Tim Stephens

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Edited by David L. VanderZwaag, Nilüfer Oral and Tim Stephens

This important Research Handbook provides a guide to navigating the tangled array of laws and policies available to counter the ominous threats of ocean acidification. It investigates the limitations and opportunities for addressing ocean acidification under national, regional and global governance frameworks, including multilateral environmental agreements, law of the sea and human rights instruments.
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Edited by Francesco Sindico, Stephanie Switzer and Tianbao Qin

This cutting-edge book considers the functional inseparability of risk and innovation within the context of environmental law and governance. Analysing both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ innovation, the book argues that approaches to socio-ecological risk require innovation in order for society and the environment to become more resilient.
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Claire O’Manique, James K Rowe and Karena Shaw

Endless economic growth on a finite planet is impossible. This is the premise behind the degrowth movement. Despite this sound rationale, the degrowth movement has struggled to gain political acceptability. We have sought to understand this limited uptake of degrowth discourse in the English-speaking world by interviewing Canadian activists. Activists have a proximity to the political realm – both with its barriers and openings – that scholars working primarily in academic institutions sometimes lack. Our interviews reveal that class interests – particularly those of fossil fuel companies – are a substantial barrier to realizing degrowth goals. Interviewees highlighted the importance of centring class-conscious environmentalism, ‘anti-purity’ politics, and decolonization as essential parts of a degrowth agenda capable of overcoming these class interests. We conclude by unpacking how the Green New Deal – a discourse and movement that gained considerable traction after we completed our interviews – addresses the obstacles shared by our interviewees, thus making it a promising ‘non-reformist reform’ for the degrowth movement to pursue.

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Edited by Anna Grear

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Amaya Álvez-Marín, Camila Bañales-Seguel, Rodrigo Castillo, Claudia Acuña-Molina and Pablo Torres

Diverse existing legal paradigms have dealt with the interaction of humans and Nature in different ways. We identify three main lenses through which current constitutional systems in Latin America have operated to resolve conflicts. We focus on rivers as emblematic elements of Nature that offer concrete possibilities to operationalize an emerging paradigm that recognizes legal personhood for Nature. The objective is to examine, from a critical interdisciplinary perspective, the existing paradigms, describe their limits and open the debate to alternative jurisdictional venues for favouring the coexistence of humans and natural systems. Through the comparative analysis of three case studies in Chile, Colombia and Ecuador, we outline the challenges and opportunities offered by an emerging legal tradition, ‘The New Latin American Constitutionalism’, and question what would effectively be different with a change of paradigm towards the recognition of Nature’s rights.

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Yaffa Epstein and Hendrik Schoukens

A growing number of jurisdictions throughout the world have recognized some type of legal rights of nature. This jurisprudential trend has thus far made few inroads in Europe. However, its apparent absence is misleading. In this article we argue that, explicit or not, nature as protected by European Union (EU) law already has certain legal rights in the Hohfeldian sense because other entities have legal obligations towards it. Moreover, we argue that recent decisions of the Court of Justice of the EU can be interpreted to support our claim that nature, as protected by EU law, already enjoys some legal rights that cannot be trumped by mere utilitarian interests, and that these rights can in turn be recognized and applied by national courts. We further suggest that public interest litigation can contribute to developing rights for nature in Europe, even absent any explicit recognition of these rights in EU law or in national legislation.

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Rosemary J Coombe and David J Jefferson

In a decolonial determination to resist the modern ontological separation of nature from culture, political ontologies and posthuman legalities in Andean Community countries increasingly recognize natural and cultural forces as inextricably interrelated under the principle of the pluriverse. After years of Indigenous struggles, new social movement mobilizations and citizen activism, twenty-first-century constitutional changes in the region have affirmed the plurinational and intercultural natures of the region’s polities. Drawing upon extensive interdisciplinary ethnographic research in Ecuador and Colombia, the article illustrates how Indigenous, Afro-descendant and campesino communities express multispecies relations of care and conviviality in opposition to modern extractivist development through the concept of buen vivir. These grassroots collective life projects and life plans articulate rights ‘from below’ to support new practices of territorialization that further materialize natures’ rights and community ideals. Although human rights have modern origins, the implementation of third generation collective biocultural rights to fulfill natures’ rights may help to materially realize community norms, autonomies and responsibilities that exceed modern ontologies. The ecocentric territorial rights struggles and posthuman legalities we explore are examples of a larger emergent project of decolonizing human rights in a politics appropriate to the Anthropocene.