This article discusses the existence and shape of a discursive space for local and indigenous voices in the arena of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Critical literature on global environmental governance argues that dominant or hegemonic discourses shape international-level decision making on environmental protection, and delimit the boundaries of possible policy choices. These discourses are identified by such scholarship as reflecting a dominant worldview stemming from a capitalist view of value and a dichotomous view of nature as separate from culture, which precludes discursive spaces for worldviews based on different conceptions of value and more holistic views of nature as inextricably bound up with culture. Such worldviews are often held by indigenous peoples and local communities considered to be crucial in protecting the environment and natural resources. The present article aims to contribute to this debate by looking in detail at decisions of the parties to the CBD, which is an arena argued by some to be more open to local and indigenous voices. The article presents a discourse analysis of the CBD's decisions since its creation and up to its most recent meetings held in late 2016. The analysis applies the arguments of the critical literature to the decisions of the CBD in order to investigate how far they conform to the critical view of them, or whether, and if so to what extent, they host spaces for local and indigenous voices.
Elisa Morgera, Louisa Parks and Mika Schroeder
The chapter starts by discussing the growing need for law students and researchers to develop and keep honing specific skills to understand complex and increasingly frequent transnational phenomena in environmental law. We highlight three inter-related methodological challenges. First, we discuss the use and further development of comparative legal methods for the study of transnational environmental law. We assess whether settled methods and long-standing methodological debates in comparative law that focus on transnational law are apt to address current questions emerging from the scholarship in transnational environmental law. Secondly, we highlight the reliance on empirical legal research for the study of transnational environmental law and identify related methodological questions. Finally, we evaluate progress in collaborative and inter-disciplinary work and highlight questions around research ethics and funding that need to be addressed to advance research on transnational environmental law. The chapter ends on questions for further research and key issues to be addressed through embedded peer-learning and peer-review in postgraduate education and in collaborations between researchers and other stakeholders.
Maria Gaglia Bareli, Miranda Geelhoed, Louisa Parks, Elisa Morgera and Elsa Tsioumani
This chapter discusses the unintended consequences for local communities of major EU-wide policies. It focuses on agriculture-related policies, namely on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with a secondary focus on animal welfare and food safety legislation. A case study of the Greek island of Ikaria is used to explore this theme. More specifically, the case study examines the impacts of the implementation of these policies on the livelihoods of traditional goat pastoralists and their relationship with other inhabitants of Ikaria, as well as on the delicate ecosystem of the island. The effects of progressive reforms of the CAP and the introduction of stringent food safety and accompanying animal welfare rules illustrate the ways in which the law and politics of the EU intertwine and translate into unintended consequences such as environmental degradation and the erosion of traditional practices, leading to loss of community cohesion.