The UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants — A New Legal Paradigm for the Arctic?

Dr Nikolas Sellheim1

1Helsinki Institute Of Sustainability Science (helsus), Helsinki, Finland

On 17 December 2018 the UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNROP) was adopted by the UN General Assembly. This human rights instruments is the first that recognises the needs and interests of indigenous and non-indigenous rural populations.

This paper discusses how the UNROP can serve as a basis for a new paradigm in the Arctic that goes beyond the nation state/indigenous peoples dichotomy. It argues that the impacts of legal decisions concerning rural populations are oftentimes similar, irrespective of whether they are of indigenous or non-indigenous origins. A closer legal recognition of rural populations might thus prove helpful in the Arctic, particularly regarding Arctic mineral and marine resource extraction.

In light of the UNROP, and for a post-ArCS legal and policy research agenda, special emphasis could be put on the role of the indigenous/non-indigenous dichotomy in the context of Arctic sustainable development. Thus, this presentation aims to trigger the discussion on whether (or not) it might be better to apply a rural/non-rural dichotomy rather then distinguishing between indigenous and non-indigenous populations within the Arctic Council and other Arctic governance bodies.


Biography:

Nikolas Sellheim is a postdoctoral researcher at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki. His research focuses on the role of local communities in international conservation law. He has extensively published on the seal hunt. He is the author and editor of several books and works as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Polar Record, the journal of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

Biography:

Nikolas Sellheim is a postdoctoral researcher at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki. His research focuses on the role of local communities in international conservation law. He has extensively published on the seal hunt. He is the author and editor of several books and works as Co-Editor-in-Chief of Polar Record, the journal of the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge.

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