Abstract This chapter provides an overview of the context of development, rationale, history and status of the right to public participation. Distinguishing between the individual right and indigenous peoples’ collective right to public participation, it discusses relevant interna-tional treaties and soft law, with reference to international and regional jurisprudence, and with particular focus on the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. It finally draws attention to the dynamic research area revolving around the status of the right to public participation in environmental matters as customary international law or a general principle of international law.
This chapter examines issues related to sustainable land management and agriculture, dryland biodiversity and traditional knowledge, with focus on participatory approaches and poverty alleviation, in the context of two relevant international treaties, the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and the 1994 UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). This examination is accompanied by an exploration of soft-law instruments, such as the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security, and technical guidance, such as that provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and the CGIAR Consortium. Some concluding remarks point to linkages related to global efforts on food security and sustainable agriculture and the need for renewed academic reflection on the role of international law in sustainable land management.