INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
NORMANDY CHAIR FOR PEACE
IUCN WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
International Symposium on Environmental Law 3 september 2021
The second day of the International Symposium on Peace with Nature opened with the theme “Renewing the foundations of rights in harmony with nature and the right of future generations”.
Emilie Gaillard presented her thesis on the right of future generations and its implementation. Corinne Lepage presented her Universal Declaration of Human Rights based on the principles of responsibility, sustainability of life, human dignity and intergenerational equity. Next, James May traced the history of the recognition of the rights of nature at the local, national and international levels. Finally, Stéphane Pessina unveiled his mesological legal approach to the rights of nature, emphasizing the need for a paradigm shift.
Then, an international panel spoke about good stories and the harmonization of law with the Earth’s natural systems. Durwood Zaelke emphasized the need to unite to preserve the Stratospheric Ozone (IGSD) and the importance of the role of science in its protection. Andrew David Raine of the United Nations Environment Program then focused on presenting the key points of the Montevideo Environmental Law Program and its link to the good stories. Finally, Sasha Koo-Oshima from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations linked the role of water in food production, animal, human and environmental health and presented the work of the FAO.
Prof. Yann Aguila and Marie-Cécile De Bellis spoke on the question “Why are states reluctant to recognize “rights”? They presented their book “What a Martian sees in us: why the Earth needs a Global Compact”. In this book, the authors expose the limits of international action in the environmental field.
In the afternoon, the first panelists addressed the issue of a response to the “existential” crises of the Earth. Justice Michael Wilson insisted on the interests of creating a commission on the climate crisis and the associated motion 003. Then, Prof. Elisa Scotti of the Global Pandemic Network (GPN) returned to the need to preserve biodiversity to avoid the spread and transmission of infectious diseases from animals to humans (zoonoses). Christopher Sudol and Prof. David Forman added that it is also essential to preserve the knowledge and skills of indigenous peoples and to finally recognize their existence in history. This implies, more than ever, abandoning the doctrine of discovery. Finally, the energy crisis and the IUCN program were addressed by John Notoris, Carly Hopkings and Prof. Richard L. Ottinger.
The next panel focused on conservationists, especially those who have lost their lives in defense of their rights, nature, and the land on which they live. Antonio Benjamin, Patricia Mbote, Antonio Oposa, and Smita Narula denounced the inaction of governments in the face of the appropriation and destruction of territories and ecosystems with impunity, and paid tribute to the victims of their struggle for life.
Finally, this international symposium on peace with nature ended with a video message of peace with Tony Oposa, completed by the message of hope of Prof. Emilie Gaillard.