ERCC | Environmental Rights in Cultural Context
Constitutions and statutory provisions in many countries around the world have combined environmental protection with rights by stipulating individual or collective guarantees relating to a sound or healthy environment. Similar guarantees can be found in a number of international documents. Environmental rights are normally granted to human beings, but sometimes to nature itself (earth rights or rights of nature), thereby putting human beings in the position of trustees. By conducting selected case studies, the ERCC project aims to examine the extent to which environmental rights provide protection and serve as a tool of resilience in the face of challenges to local cultural identity and autonomy resulting from environmental threats such as climate change, degradation through harmful economic activities, so-called land grabbing, etc. At the same time, the project recognizes the need for economic development and prosperity and the tensions that result from this. The analysis aims to show to what extent environmental rights as fundamental rights may constitute a powerful tool of protection whilst allowing for the necessary flexibility to help local communities adapt to changing circumstances.