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Indigenous Rights and Biodiversity

picture credits: Armonia by Chiara Cittadino, published in 2019 on the backcover of Incorporating Indigenous Rights in the International Regime on Biodiversity Protection by Federica Cittadino

This symposium discusses Federica Cittadino’s book Incorporating Indigenous Rights in the International Regime on Biodiversity Protection. Access, Benefit-sharing and Conservation in Indigenous Lands (Brill, 2019). The book starts from the assumption that Indigenous peoples are not only considered as stewards of the environment in international law but may become victims of the international protection of biodiversity.

Cittadino argues that this misalignment is the result of a flawed implementation of two complex normative regimes, the Indigenous peoples’ rights and the Convention on Biological Diversity with its additional protocols. The author suggests a combined reading of the both too often competing regimes. However, the alignment of these normative systems may cause further problems that will be taken up in the symposium, such as the questions of implementation or legal pluralism. The present book symposium brings these aspects together with the author’s response and seeks to open the legal debate on these issues.

The symposium kicks off with a post of Giada Giacomini (Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’), who considers the aspect of legal pluralism in this topic. In the next post, Lucas Lixinski (UNSW Sydney), analyses and comments on the utopian dimension of Cittadino’s work. Mauro Barelli (City, University of London) focuses on the human rights aspects of a synchronized protection of biodiversity and indigenous peoples’ rights. Eventually, Federica Cittadino (EURAC Bolzano/Bozen) will respond to the comments and critique raised in the previous posts.

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