Challenges, Key Issues and Perspectives
3. 1. Legal framework guiding natural resource management INTRODUCTION In the realm of natural resource management, both substantive and procedural rights play a crucial role. Sustainable natural resource management requires strong substantive rights supported by inclusive participatory rights. The issue is not only about having a liberal judiciary, strong environmental legislation and explicit constitutional provisions; there should also be public access to decision-making and to information. Over the last few years, a number of legal instruments have influenced the development of procedural rights. Along with Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration,1 several international and regional treaties include references to public participation in the decision-making process.2 Although regional in scope, the 1998 Aarhus Convention reflects the increased concern of the international community in the transparency of environmental decisionmaking and asks the states parties to consult local communities before undertaking development activities.3 The move from economic to sustainable globalisation is evident as international actors including the business community acknowledge that a market-based approach alone is not adequate to meet social obligations. Sustainable globalisation emphasises the importance of collaboration among state and non-state actors for the equitable sharing of natural resources and partnership with local communities which promotes good 1 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992), adopted by the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), UN Doc. A/ CONF.151/26 (Vol. I) (1992). 2 Pring, G. and S.Y. Noe (2002), ‘The Emerging International Law of Public Participation Affecting Global Mining, Energy and Resource Development’, in D. Zillman, A. Lucas and G....
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