09 Dec Reframing Humans (Homo Sapiens) in International Biodiversity Law to Frame Protections for Climate Refugees
Reframing Humans (Homo Sapiens) in International Biodiversity Law to Frame Protections for Climate Refugees
William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review
Vol (No), pp
Currently, application of international environmental law assumes that humans are separate from nature. Yet, the terminology commonly adopted for persons displaced as a result of climate change, “climate refugees,” represents the ultimate expression of the nexus where impacts from both natural and human systems coalesce. “Climate” represents the physical conditions appearing as a result of climate change and altering a person’s home to render it no longer habitable. While suitability of the term “refugees” in the climate change context is debated, it represents the political and societal conditions forcing the person to flee from their home, potentially across national borders, and to seek refuge under a new international state. When “demographic pressure and chronic poverty” are paired with environmental degradation, political, ethnic, social, and economic tensions can easily escalate and lead to violence and persecution, forcing people to find new places for survival. There is potential to fill in existing gaps in protection under international law by reframing human individuals and especially those impacted by climate change, such as climate refugees, as Homo sapiens, as any other species within the biodiversity regime.
Kim, J. (2018). “Reframing Humans (Homo Sapiens) in International Biodiversity Law to Frame Protections for Climate Refugees.” William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review 42(3): 805. URL : http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmelpr/vol42/iss3/4/