Local and Globalist Perspectives on ‘Natural Resources’

By Lieselot Verdonck.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 21, 2014 $US5.00

The indigenous rights regime is regularly applauded for being an example of an excellent counter-hegemonic process which challenges traditional top-down conceptions of globalization. Nevertheless, the regime has not yet reached its full potential in protecting indigenous peoples against the dominant development paradigm, under which development is mainly measured in terms of economic growth. In order to truly safeguard the rights of indigenous peoples, they have to be able to assert their own development path and to freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources. A rights-protective delimitation of ‘natural resources’ is essential for this purpose. This concept takes center stage in the indigenous rights regime; it is not only an important criterion in identifying the holders of indigenous rights, but these rights also originate in the special attachment of indigenous peoples to their resources. A rights-protective approach to the concept of ‘natural resources’ will allow indigenous peoples to effectively use human rights laws in their battle against the dominant development paradigm. This paper analyzes current interpretations of ‘natural resources’ and identifies their shortcomings in ensuring a full protection of indigenous peoples’ rights.

Keywords: Natural Resources, Indigenous Peoples, Human Rights Law

Global Studies Journal, Volume 7, Issue 2, December 2014, pp.17-33. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 21, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 704.762KB)).

Lieselot Verdonck

Doctoral Candidate, Human Rights Centre, Public Law Department, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium


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