Editors' Note

Author:Mark Borak - Bethany Peak
Pages:2-2
 
CONTENT
Informed Consent, Tendai Zvogbo addresses the concept of free
prior informed consent and how it can be used by communi-
ties to benefit from foreign direct investment. She posits that
by employing this principle, both indigenous communities and
multinational corporations can benefit by facilitating economic
growth while protecting the environment. In A Legal Standard
for Post-Colonial Land Reform, Amelia Peterson gives us a com-
prehensive legal framework for how to equitably and feasibly
accomplish land redistribution. She draws upon international
human rights law to fill a conceptual gap in the legal justifica-
tions for such policies, and demonstrates that human rights
can be protected within land redistribution programs. Finally,
Hdeel Abdelhady proposes a sustainable and innovative way to
enhance food security for vulnerable populations by harnessing
a time-tested Islamic financing mechanism in Islamic Finance
as a Mechanism for Bolstering Food Security in the Middle East.
We would like to offer our sincerest thanks to all of our pas-
sionate and talented authors. It is our hope that their articles not
only contribute to the academic study of environmental justice
and equity, but that the ideas presented herein create a positive
impact in communities disproportionately suffering under the
environmental burdens of our society.
2Sustainable Development Law & Policy
Environmental justice and environmental equity repre-
sent two ideas that, while seemingly straightforward
and complementary, tend to foster controversy both in
the environmental community and in the public at large. The lat-
ter term has been described as a movement to equally distribute
environmental risks between and among populations, while the
former is seen as a movement to eliminate those risks entirely,
but with special attention to those populations most affected. At
the heart of both is the idea that people should be treated fairly
with respect to the application and impact of environmental pol-
icy and practice, regardless of a community’s race, gender, class
or income. In the United States and abroad, a growing number
of states and organizations are striving to achieve environmental
justice for affected citizens, but how they define and implement
“justice” and “equity” with regard to environmental risks and
benefits varies widely. In this latest issue of Sustainable Devel-
opment Law & Policy we highlight some of the most pressing
domestic and international concerns and struggles of the envi-
ronmental justice movement.
Three of our articles address the domestic implications of
environmental justice concerns. Mike Ewall’s article, Legal Tools
for Environmental Equity vs. Environmental Justice, focuses on
the quest within the judicial system for remedies of environmen-
tal injustices against minorities and disadvantaged communities.
He examines various claims brought under Title VI of the Civil
Rights Act, suggesting policy changes that could rectify much of
the disparate impact of environmental actions. In On Diversity
and Public Policymaking, Professor Simms examines the inter-
nal composition and structure of U.S. environmental agencies
and sees an opportunity to advance environmental justice aims
by integrating disparate and underrepresented voices into the
ranks of decision-makers. Professor Alice Kaswan also focuses
on domestic issues in her article, Seven Principles for Equitable
Adaptation, urging policymakers to incorporate equity consid-
erations and socioeconomic factors in addressing the potential
damage from climate change. She posits that long-range land
use planning, culturally sensitive communications and services,
participatory processes, and reducing underlying environmental
stresses top the list of priorities that could prepare the most vul-
nerable populations for a changing climate.
Moving to an international scope, in her article, The
Growth of Environmental Justice and Environmental Protection
in International Law, E.A. Pheby addresses threats to the
indigenous peoples of the Arctic. She criticizes the application
of international law, while highlighting the tension between
states’ rights to natural resources and the rights of indigenous
groups to health, safety and self-determination. In Free Prior
EDITORS’ NOTE
FEATURES:
20 | ON FERTILE GROUND: THE ENVIRONMENTAL
AND REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE MOVEMENTS AS A
UNIFIED FORCE FOR REFORMING TOXIC CHEMICAL
REGULATION by Angie McCarthy
36 | EDIBLE COMMUNITIES: INSTITUTIONALIZING THE
LAWN-TO-GARDEN MOVEMENT TO PROMOTE FOOD
INDEPENDENCE FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
by Chelsea Tu
47 | DANGEROUS SEPARATION: AN ECOSYSTEM AND
WAY OF LIFE IN THE WEST BANK AT THE BRINK
OF DESTRUCTION by Elana Katz-Mink
Mark Borak Bethany Peak