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Feja Lesniewska

Keywords: forests, colonialism, illegal timber trade, FLEGT, climate change, REDD+, sustainable forest management, forest-based communities, justice. In tropical forest countries a colonial legacy of injustice for many forest peoples, especially indigenous peoples, is the foundation that contemporary forest related law and policy interventions often have to contend with. Attempts to create law and policy that advance forest peoples rights whilst also protecting ecosystem functions including carbon sequestration capacity, promoting sustainable and legal forest activities and trade, without perpetuating any legacy of injustice have proven a challenge at all levels of governance. This chapter examines a range of these initiatives and considers how effective they have been at not only realising their objective but also in correcting colonial injustices that many forest dependent peoples continue to live with. It concludes that despite attempts to incorporate corrective measures there remains some distance to go before historic injustices are no longer perpetuated by contemporary forest law and policy reforms.

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Feja Lesniewska

Renewable energy is perceived as a primary ingredient in the world’s transition to a green, clean, low-carbon sustainable economy from a brown, dirty, high carbon unsustainable one. The global renewable energy installed capacity, especially for wind and solar, has increased rapidly in the last decade as countries have adopted laws and policies to mitigate climate change and air pollution, as well as improve energy security. As the sector matures the focus on renewable energy needs to turn to consider system infrastructure design to ensure that the take-make-dispose rationale that contributed to the unsustainable fossil fuel economy is not perpetuated under the guise of a green low-carbon economy. The EU is a leader in installed solar PV and wind energy capacity. It also has a well-established waste management legal framework that is based on hierarchy and producer responsibility principles. This chapter considers how the EU is responding to the future challenges that waste management from end of life cycle solar PV panels and wind turbines poses. It questions whether steps taken to date are in line with the more advanced agenda laid out in the EU’s Circular Economy Action Plan (2015) which calls for a paradigm shift in developing law and policy that pursues holistic sustainability goals in relation to resource management throughout the value-supply chain.

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Feja Lesniewska

Since the late 1940s law and policy interventions on forest issues in the global South have perpetuated exploitative business models established under colonialism in pursuit of national development. Evidence from reform processes consistently reveals that forest dependent and indigenous peoples are excluded, impoverished and discriminated against by more powerful agents, from both the public and private sector, in the design and execution of laws and policies. Most recently the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) mechanism despite some notable efforts is continuing this long-established tradition. This chapter draws on country examples to illustrate how investments in legal preparedness for REDD+ are repeating previous forest law and development initiatives by imposing objectives and techniques upon forest peoples. The chapter concludes that satisfying economic, social and environmental objectives is only possible where resource use is prescribed by forest peoples and indigenous peoples.