ISBN 9780198098669,Stewarding the Earth : Rethinking Property and the Emergence of Biocultural Rights

Stewarding the Earth : Rethinking Property and the Emergence of Biocultural Rights



Oxford University Press

Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9780198098669

ISBN-10 0198098669

Hard Back

Number of Pages 775 Pages
Language (English)


Environmental law is fast changing in the face of increased threats of an ecological apocalypse. Growing evidence of effective conservation practices by generations of communities with strong cultural and spiritual ties to the land has triggered a new discourse of biocultural rights. Biocultural rights are community rights to stewardship of their lands and waters. Unlike private property rights, these refuse to conceive of Nature as a commodity with exchange value. Rather they secure the role of communities as trustees of their ecosystems and affirm the integral link between protecting these rights and environmental conservation.

Weaving a fascinating tapestry of law, economics, anthropology and philosophy, this book insightfully deconstructs dominant notions of private property while making a powerful case for biocultural jurisprudence. Drawing on his years of experience as an international environmental lawyer and having represented indigenous peoples and advised governments, Bavikatte maps and argues for biocultural rights through compelling examples of environmental agreements, legislation, judicial decisions and community practices. Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, this work is sure to engross all those concerned about the future of our planet.

About the Author

Sanjay Kabir Bavikatte has worked for a number of years as an international environmental lawyer representing indigenous communities in their struggle to secure their rights to their ways of life and territories. He is the founder and former co-director of Natural Justice, an international collective of environmental lawyers working in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Bavikatte is a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow based at the United Nations University, Tokyo. He currently coordinates the Heroes Project, an initiative workingwith indigenous peoples to complement legal empowermentstrategies with culturally sensitive psychosocial interventions to heal collective trauma.