Contribution to Book
The Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development
sustainability, indigenous rights
The chapter argues that in order to contribute to a more comprehensive theoretical understanding of the many nuances of the social dimension of sustainable development, IEL scholars should engage more systematically with emerging national and international research on Indigenous alternative perspectives on environmental governance. The approach highlighted here is distinct from existing discussions related to environmental justice and Indigenous peoples, which highlights the disproportionate environmental impacts Indigenous peoples suffer as a racialized social group, because of their close cultural and existential interaction with the environment. The aim is to move from treating Indigenous peoples as victims of environmental racism, to appreciating their active role in shaping alternative forms of natural resources management and environmental stewardship that better integrate the social dimension of sustainable development.
We recognize that this is just a first exploration of the theme, which deserves more scrutiny and further empirical research. We intend this exploratory work to be an invitation to other environmental law scholars to engage in more systematic conversations with the scholarship on Indigenous Rights and Indigenous legal traditions, when carrying out research on the social dimension of sustainable development, particularly the cutting-edge work Indigenous law scholars in the Americas are undertaking.
Galvao-Ferreira, Patricia and Mancilla, Mario. (2021). Indigenous Environmental Rights and Sustainable Development: Lessons from Totonicapán in Guatemala. The Cambridge Handbook of Environmental Justice and Sustainable Development, 164-182.