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Rights for Ecosystem Services (RES): a framework to protect the environment and sustainable local communities in the EU.

Project description

Researching the legal rights of sustainable local communities

With climate change being an ever-present danger for communities worldwide, many people are taking measures to prevent or at least lessen its effects. In this context, questions have arisen about whether the legal instruments of the local communities that hold environmentally sustainable practices will be enough for them to continue to do so. The EU-funded RES (Rights for Ecosystem Services) project aims to focus on non-indigenous local communities in the EU, researching the intersection of EU and national law, and constructing a theoretical and legal framework that could better allow for the rights of local communities to be recognised.


Is currentIs current legal protection adequate to prevent local communities in the EU from abandoning their traditional and environmentally sustainable practices? Environmental protection is increasingly gaining recognition as essential for the fulfilment of human rights. However it remains unclear whether human rights offer sufficient protection for local communities that contribute to environmental protection. The project will break new ground compared to current scholarship, which focuses on indigenous peoples in developing countries. It will focus on non-indigenous local communities in the EU, investigating the intersection of international, EU and national law. The experienced researcher (ER) will build on her research on biocultural rights (monograph published by Oxford University Press) to develop an innovative theoretical and legal framework – Rights for Ecosystem Services (RES) – according to which local communities could be recognized the rights needed to maintain their sustainable practices, in so far as they are bound to remain sustainable. If the hypothesis is correct, RES would be ‘rights with duties’, leading to the identification of needed legal and policy changes to protect the environment and the interests of sustainable local communities. Methodologically, the ER will originally integrate: legal theory; analysis of international, EU and national law; conservation science; religious studies; empirical legal research (fieldwork). The ER will be supervised by Prof. Elisa Morgera (world-leading expert in international and EU environmental law and human rights) and hosted at Strathclyde Centre for Environmental Law and Governance (SCELG) - centre of excellence on human rights and the environment. SCELG will benefit from the ER’s expertise in legal theory, religious studies and conservation biology, and the ER will be engaged in embedded peer-learning and peer-review approaches to develop research, teaching, knowledge exchange, and policy advice skills.


Net EU contribution
€ 224 933,76
Richmond Street 16
G1 1XQ Glasgow
United Kingdom

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Scotland West Central Scotland Glasgow City
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 224 933,76