Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment

October 2015

Last week the Lincoln Centre for Environmental Justice (based in Lincoln Law School) hosted the annual symposium of the Global Network for the Study of Human Rights and the Environment on the theme of 'environmental racism'.

The symposium began with contribution from Dr. Sam Adelman of the University of Warwick on Images of Development: Environmental Racism and Slow Violence which prompted extended discussion about the nature of environmental harm and environmental justice as a prerequisite to other forms of justice. Next, Prof. Janet Dine of Queen Mary University of London discussed Environmental Racism In the Caribbean: Reparations and Green Energy in which she argued that the capacity for transformational change in law is within/begins with our own altruistic selves. This was followed by an insightful discussion from Caiphas Soyapi of North-West University in South Africa on Environmental Racism and the Extractive Industry in Post-apartheid South Africa: Marikana in Context. Dr. Louisa Parks of the University of Lincoln rounded off the morning's discussion by presenting her large-scale empirical work Comparing Benefit-sharing 'on the ground'€™: Evidence from 5 Local Community Case Studies. In the afternoon the session was opened up to general discussion and questions around the theme of the symposium.

The limits of law in the environmental context became a strong theme of the conversation as did the UN Sustainable Development Goals. There was also extended debate about the nature of human rights as legal instruments or moral tools. In sum the day provoked an insightful and rigorous discussion and also signified the official launch of the Centre.

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