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Call for Book Chapters: Research Handbook on Human Rights and the Environment in Africa – Legal, Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives

Environmental protection and natural resource governance have been, and remains, a thorny issue in Africa, despite explicit constitutional and statutory provisions in domestic legal regimes endorsing and propelling a human right approach to environmental governance. Africa is home to numerous environmental problems caused by human activities and natural processes on Africa’s natural and built environment, including: loss of biodiversity, desertification and land degradation, illegal logging and deforestation, global warming and climate change, pollution, water scarcity, waste disposal, and acid rain. Related to these are concerns about human displacement caused by climate change, arm conflicts, and foreign agricultural investments on Africa’s farmland, raising fundamental questions about the environmental rights of climate refugees, internally displaced people, and impoverished communities and the future of environmental protection/governance in Africa. While concerns about Africa’s environmental issues are predicated in part on inadequate or weak domestic and regional regulatory frameworks, it is also attributed to the deliberate failure and lack of political will by some African States to galvanize efforts to adequately protect the environment and associated rights-based entitlements of people through a right-based approach. African Union’s Agenda 2063, underpinned by the prospect of African States to make Africa a significant force in international development, seems to exacerbate Africa’s already deteriorated environmental landscape, which Africa pride itself with.

Continuous assessment of the domestic, African regional and comparative approaches to human rights and the environment in Africa, is relevant, to complement or augment the situations in other countries, and provide valuable lessons on environment governance that would take Africa out of its environmental misery. This edited volume adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the philosophical interrelationship and human rights approaches to environmental governance in Africa. It explores theoretical, philosophical, doctrinal and empirical researches on pertinent human rights and environmental issues in Africa, to examine and determine how and whether human rights approaches and policy implications have been effective in enhancing environmental protection/governance in Africa, the position of the African Charter and its subsidiary bodies as well as domestic legal regimes, in crucial environmental issues in Africa. Contributions are invited on the following indicative, but not exhaustive themes:

  • African human rights systems and environmental protection
  • African regional economic blocks and environmental protection
  • Agenda 2063 and the future of environmental protection in Africa
  • Climate change and natural resource governance in Africa
  • Comparative domestic human rights approaches to environmental protection/governance in Africa
  • Corporate social responsibility and environmental protection in Africa
  • Environmental protection and the Anthropocene in Africa
  • Human rights and extractive industries in Africa
  • Human rights and forest conservation in Africa
  • Human rights and environmental constitutionalism in Africa
  • Human rights, climate change-induced persons, asylum seekers and other vulnerable groups in Africa
  • Human rights approaches to environmental protection under the Africa Charter (including the three environmental procedural rights)
  • The notion of inequality and environmental protection in Africa (North-South divide)
  • Human rights, foreign agricultural investments and biodiversity loss in Africa
  • Philosophy of environmental ethics in Africa
  • Rights to development and environmental protection in Africa
  • Sustainable development and the question of environmental sustainability in Africa
  • Theories of human rights approaches to environmental protection/governance in Africa
  • The normativity of international environmental law principles in environmental protection in Africa
  • The rights of vulnerable communities (indigenous and local communities) and environmental protection in Africa
  • The role of the judiciary in environmental protection in Africa
  • Trade and endangered species in Africa
  • Transboundary waste regulation in Africa
  • Transboundary water governance in Africa
  • The normativity of human rights and environmental protection in Africa

Abstracts of not more than 300 words should be submitted to: Dr. JCN Ashukem ( and Professor SM Sama ( by 30 December 2021. Deadline for accepted abstracts is 10 February 2022, and 30 June 2022 for full chapters. Each chapter of (7000-8000 words) will undergo a rigorous double-blind peer-review process.

NB: Potential contributors are encouraged to submit their abstracts (and full chapters) early to avoid the festive hold-me-down syndrome.

Deadline: 30/12/2021
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