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School of Law

Indigenous Peoples and Sustainability

On 21 July 2023, Centre for European and International Law Affairs, Queen Mary and the Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law, Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, hosted an event at the Law Department, on 'Indigenous Peoples and Sustainability', in collaboration with the University of Arctic Law Thematic Network and the University of Arctic Chair in Arctic Legal Research and Education.

A man sat on the grass playing a wind instrument with a woman and child. They are wearing traditional dress.

The speakers raised a very broad range of issues like such as climate change litigation, with Dr Agnes Rydberg discussing Climate Change Litigation in General and Dr Leena Heinämäki discussing Climate change and the rights of Indigenous (including Sámi) peoples: a progress or stagnation? The event also featured general environmental law questions such as Professor Malgosia Fitzmaurice discussing the Right to a Clean Environment and Intergenerational Equity; Dr Alexis Alvarez-Nakagawa speaking on the Rights of Nature and Indigenous Peoples, and Dr Kamrul Hussain on Indigenous Cosmovision for Planetary Governance: Deconstructing the Normative Structure of International Law? Mohammad Golam Sarwar's presentation concerned a very important aspect of Global South and Global North Relationship: The role of indigenous and local values in implementing the rights of Nature framework: Lessons from the Global South.

Ms Pauline Martini made concluding observations and reflections, commenting on the presentations. The ensuing debate was very robust and also focused on issues of general international law, such as current multitude of various actors shaping present international relationships. Quite a lot of comments also related to a still anthropocentric nature of international environmental law, despite the rights of nature.

The event was covered by the University of the Arctic (UArctic).

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