Volume 17:2 (2021)

Volume 17:2 Introductory Material (Coming Soon!)

Arsalan Ahmed

Here, readers can find useful information concerning the McGill Journal of Sustainable Development Law, including its Editorial, Management, and Advisory Boards. The MJSDL is a student-run, peer-reviewed, bi-annual academic journal mandated to provide a forum for critical analysis on the intersecting themes of economics, society, human rights, and the environment, and the resulting implications for sustainable development law. The MJSDL is affiliated with the Faculty of Law at McGill University and is fully bilingual. Our 2020-2021 Editor in Chief, Arsalan Ahmed, provides an introductory note introducing this volume.

Indigenous Economic Development and Sustainability: Maintaining the Integrity of Indigenous Culture in Corporate Governance

Frankie Young

Economic development provides a pathway for Indigenous peoples to become self-sustaining. Yet, constraints in current Canadian laws and legislation impact the ability of Indigenous Nations to create and develop sustainable economies on their own terms. Consequently, alleviating the poverty and economic disadvantage plaguing Indigenous communities in Canada, while preserving Indigenous culture, requires some creativity. One solution is to integrate Indigenous economies into the “mainstream economy.” However, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that when Indigenous peoples participate in the mainstream economy, they do so on the same terms as non-Indigenous peoples. This approach results in the danger that an Indigenous Nation’s cultural and traditional values — that which makes them a Nation — are at risk of being compromised in the course of doing “mainstream” business. While various contemporary forms of asset governance, including non-profit or corporate structures, may assist in advancing Indigenous economies, an unconventional hybrid structure may more closely align with the ambitions of Indigenous communities seeking to merge business enterprise with social purpose and the communal values inherent to many Indigenous cultures. This article discusses the various corporate structures available to Bands in Canada then critiques the newly available hybrid structures for how they may or may not meet the sui generis needs of Indigenous Nations.

Mettre en œuvre la Convention de l’UNESCO de 2005 au profit des expressions culturelles autochtones : une voie à explorer pour stimuler le dialogue interculturel au sein de la société canadienne et québécoise

Caecilia Alexandre, Véronique Guèvremont, Iris Richer

La Convention de l’UNESCO sur la protection et la promotion de la diversité des expressions culturelles de 2005 offre un cadre favorable pour guider les Parties vers un mieux « Vivre ensemble » au sein de notre société. Or, cet objectif ne saurait être atteint sans que toutes les cultures soient valorisées, ce qui inclut nécessairement les cultures des peuples autochtones. Des actions en ce sens contribuent à l’atteinte des Objectifs de développement durable du Programme de développement durable à l’horizon 2030 et sont susceptibles de stimuler le renouvellement du dialogue interculturel au Canada et au Québec. Ces actions doivent cependant être déployées dans le respect du droit à l’autodétermination des peuples autochtones reconnu par la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones de 2007. En tenant compte de cet impératif, cet article présente la place accordée aux expressions culturelles autochtones dans la Convention de 2005 et clarifie les engagements des Parties à leurs égards. Les mesures de protection et de promotion des expressions culturelles autochtones mises en œuvre par le Canada et le Québec sont ensuite examinées et comparées aux actions menées par quelques Parties à la Convention de 2005 en faveur de leurs propres communautés autochtones. Ce faisant, cet article entend stimuler le recours à de nouvelles formes de soutien aux expressions culturelles autochtones, conformément aux exigences de la Convention de 2005 et de manière à soutenir les processus de réconciliation en cours au sein de la société canadienne et québécoise.

 

Le droit forestier à l’épreuve de la transition énergétique : des limites affectant la production durable de biomasse forestière au Québec 

Andrée-Anne Côté-Jinchereau, Christophe Krolik, Evelyne ThiffaultLuc Bouthillier

Dans une perspective de transition énergétique, la production et la consommation de bioénergie forestière, reconnue comme étant un outil important de la lutte contre les changements climatiques et de la transition énergétique mondiale par le Groupe intergouvernemental d’experts pour le climat, est une filière énergétique particulièrement intéressante pour le Québec. La province a l’opportunité de valoriser un volume considérable de biomasse forestière afin de revitaliser son industrie forestière tout en luttant contre les changements climatiques. Malgré ce potentiel, le droit forestier québécois constitue, à certains égards, un obstacle au développement de la production de biomasse forestière et une évolution du cadre juridique s’impose. L’objectif de cet article est d’identifier les limites du cadre juridique des forêts publiques québécoises, principalement la Loi sur l’aménagement durable du territoire forestier, et de proposer des pistes de solution. Cet article s’attarde aux enjeux de la production de biomasse forestière résiduelle ainsi qu’aux bois sans preneurs, soit la disponibilité de la biomasse, le coût de la récolte et la préservation de l’écosystème forestier. La planification forestière doit être repensée afin d’intégrer davantage les opérations de récolte de biomasse forestière, qui devraient être considérées comme un outil qui participe dans la lutte aux changements climatiques. L’accès à la biomasse doit être favorisée au niveau économique grâce à des modalités de droits de récolte plus adaptées à la réalité des chaînes de production. Dans cette perspective, une nouvelle définition légale de la biomasse forestière est proposée, intégrant des bois marchands non désirés par l’industrie, des bois sans preneurs, cela dans le but de mieux aménager les forêts dans une perspective de lutte aux changements climatiques. Enfin, cet article propose des pistes de solution afin de mieux concilier la préservation de l’écosystème forestier et la récolte de biomasse forestière.

 

This article reviews the recent book, Regulation of Extractive Industries: Community Engagement in the Arctic. The book is an edited collection by Rachael Lorna Johnstone and Anne Merrild Hansen and is focused on engagement and consultation practices between Arctic communities and resource development actors. The collection contains thirteen chapters from authors with various backgrounds including the law, public policy, social sciences, and business. The authors consider the legal regimes governing community interaction with extractive actors and their geographies, histories, and experiences, emphasizing the place of Indigenous peoples. Overall, this diversity supports the book's intersectional appeal to researchers interested in the Arctic, community engagement, and extractive development more broadly.

 

This article reviews the recent book, Regulation of Extractive Industries: Community Engagement in the Arctic. The book is an edited collection by Rachael Lorna Johnstone and Anne Merrild Hansen and is focused on engagement and consultation practices between Arctic communities and resource development actors. The collection contains thirteen chapters from authors with various backgrounds including the law, public policy, social sciences, and business. The authors consider the legal regimes governing community interaction with extractive actors and their geographies, histories, and experiences, emphasizing the place of Indigenous peoples. Overall, this diversity supports the book's intersectional appeal to researchers interested in the Arctic, community engagement, and extractive development more broadly.

 

Book Review - Canadian Law of Mining, by Barry Barton, 2nd Edition, Toronto, LexisNexis, 2019, liii + 1030 pp., $350 (Hardcover), ISBN 978-0-433-46580-5

Martin-Joe Ezeudu

After 26 years of waiting, Professor Barry Barton has finally provided a rebranded and information-packed second edition of the Canadian Law of Mining, first published in 1993 by the Canadian Institute of Resources Law. This review provides insight into this work in which Barton sets out to and achieves the goal of conceptualizing mining law as a distinctive field of law, much like other popular fields of law. He also takes the opportunity in this book to explore some of the more topical issues and recent innovations in the mining industry, such as the social framework for mining, the Aboriginal title to minerals in Canada, and online staking of claims, among others. While the book has its shortcomings, on the whole, Barton succeeds in making the subject matter accessible to a readership far beyond mining scholars and practitioners.

 

The Transformational Character of Sustainable Development Law in Multilateral Energy Investment: Why Principles Matter

Vincent Bellinkx

The world is currently going through an era-defining energy transition. The two main challenges are (1) dealing with climate change and (2) providing adequate and secure energy access to all. This paper attempts to assess whether sustainable development as a legal framework has a transformative impact in guiding the energy investment policies of multilateral development banks towards addressing the two challenges. It scrutinizes the roles of the International Finance Corporation branch of the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Green Climate Fund in this energy transition. The following questions arise: (1) Can the investment banks balance their economic development objective with the environmental bottom line that is imposed by sustainable development law? (2) Is any normative environmental bottom line present in the investment banks’ legal frameworks? (3) Does the investment banks’ legal framework allow them to observe the public participation principle? (4) How effectively does the investment banks' legal framework accommodate adaptivity and reflexivity? The article concludes that sustainable development law has the potential to have a transformative impact on investment schemes, through legal innovations to guide energy investment decision-making and the energy transition towards an environmentally feasible and socially acceptable energy system.

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