Entradas
¿Por qué un derecho humano al medio ambiente?

La tarea de buscar la paz ambiental 
marzo 2017

No todo lo que brilla es oro - Cajamarca dijo no a un megaproyecto de oro
abril 2017

¿Qué desarrollo es este?
La Corte Constitucional Colombiana reconoce los efectos negativos de El Cerrejón
mayo 2017

¿Qué va a pasar con la salida de EE.UU. del Acuerdo de París sobre Cambio Climático?
28 junio 2017

Corte Constitucional colombiana despide por fin el uso del glifosato en las aspersiones aéreas de cultivos ilícitos 
15 agosto 2017

Es urgente defender a los defensores. Aportará el Proyecto de Acuerdo Regional Americano sobre el principio 10 de Río al ejercicio del derecho a la participación sin correr peligro de muerte?
20 de septiembre de 2017 

La voz indígena en el Foro de Naciones Unidas sobre las Empresas y los Derechos Humanos 2017
5 de diciembre 2017

El Tratado de Prohibición de Armas Nucleares de 2017: ¿Un acuerdo simbólico o un modesto comienzo?
15 de febrero 2018

Preservar los idiomas indígenas es proteger el medio ambiente: 
Un reconocimiento a las transmisoras del conocimiento tradicional
21 de mayo 2019

Preserving indigenous languages ​​is protecting the environment:
An acknowledgment to the transmitters of traditional knowledge
May 28, 2019

Participation in the 19th International Wildlife Law Conference - University of Barcelona Faculty of Law in partnership with the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy of Stetson University College of Law 
7th June 2019

Bloguero invitado
Luis Felipe Guzmán: Futuro incierto de las consultas populares ambientales en Colombia ¿Qué se dice sobre esto en el debate electoral?
9 de marzo 2018
Por_que_DHAMA.htmlPor_que_DHAMA.htmlNo_todo_lo_que_brilla.htmlNo_todo_lo_que_brilla.htmlNo_todo_lo_que_brilla.htmlNo_todo_lo_que_brilla.htmlQue_desarrollo_es_este_El_Cerrejon.htmlQue_desarrollo_es_este_El_Cerrejon.htmlQue_desarrollo_es_este_El_Cerrejon.htmlQue_desarrollo_es_este_El_Cerrejon.htmlSalida_de_EEUU_del_Acuerdo_Paris.htmlSalida_de_EEUU_del_Acuerdo_Paris.htmlSalida_de_EEUU_del_Acuerdo_Paris.htmlCorte_Glifosato.htmlCorte_Glifosato.htmlCorte_Glifosato.htmlCorte_Glifosato.htmlDefensores.htmlDefensores.htmlDefensores.htmlDefensores.htmlDefensores.htmlDefensores.htmlDefensores.htmlForo_UNBHR.htmlForo_UNBHR.htmlForo_UNBHR.htmlForo_UNBHR.htmlTratado_Armas_Nucleares.htmlTratado_Armas_Nucleares.htmlTratado_Armas_Nucleares.htmlTratado_Armas_Nucleares.htmlLenguasIndigenasMA.htmlLenguasIndigenasMA.htmlLenguasIndigenasMA.htmlLenguasIndigenasMA.htmlLenguasIndigenasMA.htmlLenguasIndigenasMA.htmlLenguasIndigenasMA.htmlIndigenousLanguagesMA_2.htmlIndigenousLanguagesMA_2.htmlIndigenousLanguagesMA_2.htmlIndigenousLanguagesMA_2.htmlIndigenousLanguagesMA_2.htmlIndigenousLanguagesMA_2.htmlConsultas_populares_L._F._Guzman.htmlConsultas_populares_L._F._Guzman.htmlConsultas_populares_L._F._Guzman.htmlConsultas_populares_L._F._Guzman.htmlConsultas_populares_L._F._Guzman.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1shapeimage_1_link_2shapeimage_1_link_3shapeimage_1_link_4shapeimage_1_link_5shapeimage_1_link_6shapeimage_1_link_7shapeimage_1_link_8shapeimage_1_link_9shapeimage_1_link_10shapeimage_1_link_11shapeimage_1_link_12shapeimage_1_link_13shapeimage_1_link_14shapeimage_1_link_15shapeimage_1_link_16shapeimage_1_link_17shapeimage_1_link_18shapeimage_1_link_19shapeimage_1_link_20shapeimage_1_link_21shapeimage_1_link_22shapeimage_1_link_23shapeimage_1_link_24shapeimage_1_link_25shapeimage_1_link_26shapeimage_1_link_27shapeimage_1_link_28shapeimage_1_link_29shapeimage_1_link_30shapeimage_1_link_31shapeimage_1_link_32shapeimage_1_link_33shapeimage_1_link_34shapeimage_1_link_35shapeimage_1_link_36shapeimage_1_link_37shapeimage_1_link_38shapeimage_1_link_39shapeimage_1_link_40shapeimage_1_link_41shapeimage_1_link_42shapeimage_1_link_43shapeimage_1_link_44shapeimage_1_link_45shapeimage_1_link_46shapeimage_1_link_47shapeimage_1_link_48shapeimage_1_link_49shapeimage_1_link_50shapeimage_1_link_51shapeimage_1_link_52

Claudia Gafner-Rojas

Derecho ambiental - Derechos humanos

Participation in the 19th International Wildlife Law Conference - University of Barcelona Faculty of Law in partnership with the Institute for Biodiversity Law and Policy of Stetson University College of Law



7th June 2019

El blog de Claudia Gafner-Rojas Copyright © 2018                           Claudia Gafner-Rojas  rojasrojasrojas@hotmail.com                                 Inicio

Imagen: Isabella Gafner (10 años)

On June 3th 2019 I had the opportunity to participate in this event and to talk about the lack of reference in environmental law of the existing interaction between linguistic and biological diversity.


It is no coincidence that most of the regions inhabited by indigenous peoples have the greatest biological diversity. In several international forums and instruments, it is recognized that indigenous peoples have been the guardians for centuries of valuable spaces and natural resources, that represent 80% of the planet's biological wealth.


The analysis of the interaction between linguistic, biological and cultural diversity in relation specifically with indigenous peoples and the reflection of this in the law must take into account essential elements such as the way in which traditional knowledge is transmitted (usually orally), the particular indigenous world-views and the central position of the land and territories for these peoples, because it is in them where their cultures and languages develop. If the people are displaced or dispossessed of their lands, as is so often the case unfortunately, the danger of losing the language and with it the knowledge that they have about the natural environment is enormous, and in turn these physical spaces become the object of exploitation or abandonment often losing their natural characteristics or ecological properties.


Since indigenous peoples are mostly economically and politically "weak/fragile", there is a danger that they lost their own way of life, languages and cultures due to exploitation, oppression or discrimination by corporations, governments or - especially in Colombia - by paramilitary groups or guerrillas. In addition, other factors, such as the low number of speakers, the oral tradition of the majority of indigenous languages, and the general tendency not to transmit the languages to the next generations, contribute to the extinction of these languages. Moreover, they are historically underestimated, and in many cases their speakers are ashamed of their own language.


The intimate link between indigenous languages and environmental preservation finds neither a precise nor adequate reflection in environmental law. The protection of indigenous languages ​​constitutes not only a moral and cultural imperative, but also an important resource that can contribute to confronting global environmental problems, as it has been recognized institutionally but not legally. While Principle 22 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of 1992 and art. 8 (j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity refers to the need to preserve traditional knowledge, neither these instruments nor any other explicitly consider the importance of promoting and protecting indigenous languages, so it is worth considering the convenience of integrating the issue in environmental standards, in addition to the adoption of an international instrument that covers all aspects (not only the environmental one) related to the protection of these languages ​​and the rights of their speakers.


In the course of my research studies I have designed a list of the basic criteria that should be considered for the purpose of adequate protection of indigenous languages*. Based on this list, I have reviewed the main international legal instruments with the objective of knowing whether such criteria are sufficiently covered to protect, promote and revalue indigenous languages. Subtle references are found in different international instruments related to the protection of indigenous rights, human rights in general, cultural protection, but these references do not constitute complete protection, as they do not cover all the necessary criteria to guarantee their protection, revitalization and promotion, as well as the respective rights of their speakers.


Only for objective 18 on traditional knowledge of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets in the framework of the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) have been considered as indicator the "Trends of linguistic diversity and numbers of speakers of indigenous languages”, but without indicating so far specific actions, which in the current state of the situation are urgent.


This is an interdisciplinary issue that must be faced from different fronts, especially from the integral protection of the rights of indigenous peoples. At the same time, it is also important to incorporate the consideration of languages in the instruments and mechanisms of environmental protection.



* Criteria for the legal protection of indigenous languages

- Self-identification as a member of an indigenous language community

- Use of the indigenous language in public and in the private sphere

- Non-discrimination regarding the use of the indigenous language

- Education in the indigenous language

- To learn the appropriate official language or national language

- Communication with authorities in indigenous language

- Indigenous language presence in the media

- Presence of indigenous language in cultural events

- Presence of indigenous language in socio-economic relations

- Linguistic self-determination and participation

- Protection and promotion of indigenous languages per se