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  • Title: Eco-Dogmatism: Nature’s Values and Rights in High-Level Environmental Governance Initiatives
  • Author(s): Laÿna Droz
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice
  • Keywords: Intrinsic Value; Values of Nature; Valuation; Rights of Nature; Rights to Nature; Environmental Ethics; Environmental Policy; Environmental Justice; Sustainability; Environmental Governance
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue: 1
  • Date: March 17, 2023
  • ISSN: 2325-1166 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2325-1182 (Online)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Droz, Laÿna. 2023. "Eco-Dogmatism: Nature’s Values and Rights in High-Level Environmental Governance Initiatives." The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice 19 (1): 1-27. doi:10.18848/2325-1166/CGP/v19i01/1-27.
  • Extent: 27 pages

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This article scrutinizes how nature and other-than-human elements are included in global environmental governance, specifically focusing on the ideas of intrinsic values and rights of nature. It reviews the definitions, usages, and framing of these ideas in seventy-six high-level environmental governance documents. It shows a progressive tendency through time toward stronger statements in international environmental governance documents, moving from descriptive to normative, prescriptive, political, and legal claims regarding the values and rights of nature. By being integrated in global governance, these ideas are being promoted in international environmental laws and policy-making beyond regional sociocultural contexts and disciplines. Depending on their definition and framing, these ideas could present novel challenges when used in international environmental governance, such as that of eco-dogmatism. Eco-dogmatism is defined in this article as the expression of an opinion or a belief as if it were a fact that comes from or can be found in nature itself. The concept of eco-dogmatism helps to contrast the framings in terms of rights of nature versus rights to nature. It also highlights the need for transparency regarding procedural questions such as who can legitimately take part in the decision-making processes about which elements of nature are endowed with intrinsic values and rights.