Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples
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Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples

The Search for Legal Remedies

Edited by Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk

Indigenous peoples occupy a unique niche within the climate justice movement, as many indigenous communities live subsistence lifestyles that are severely disrupted by the effects of climate change. Additionally, in many parts of the world, domestic law is applied differently to indigenous peoples than it is to their non-indigenous peers, further complicating the quest for legal remedies. The contributors to this book bring a range of expert legal perspectives to this complex discussion, offering both a comprehensive explanation of climate change-related problems faced by indigenous communities and a breakdown of various real world attempts to devise workable legal solutions. Regions covered include North and South America (Brazil, Canada, the US and the Arctic), the Pacific Islands (Fiji, Tuvalu and the Federated States of Micronesia), Australia and New Zealand, Asia (China and Nepal) and Africa (Kenya).
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Chapter 20: The impacts of climate change on indigenous populations in China and legal remedies

Wenxuan Yu, Jingjing Liu and Po Dong


China’s indigenous populations are primarily concentrated in the northeast, northwest, and southwest parts of the country due to a variety of natural and socio-cultural factors. For example, indigenous populations in southwest China include ethnicities such as Menba, Naxi, Hani, Shui, Zhuang, Miao and Yi. Most of these ethnicities have their own languages, characters and religious beliefs, and they work primarily in agriculture. Many of southwest China’s indigenous populations live in communities consisting primarily of people of their own ethnicity. Depending on where these different indigenous communities are located, there are significant regional differences in the natural environment where they reside. However, one thing is common: indigenous populations live primarily in ecologically sensitive areas. In China ecologically sensitive areas refer to various natural and cultural protection zones established in accordance with law, as well as areas particularly sensitive to certain types of pollutants or elements impacting the ecology from construction projects.

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