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This article suggests a rights-based approach (RBA) to conservation of environmental resources. The article points out benefits of an RBA model, such as identifying the causes of environmental impacts on citizens’ human rights and bettering the regulation of environmental resources. However, the RBA also poses challenges, such as resistance from non-State actors, comparing the importance of different rights, and a commitment of many resources. The article next identifies substantive and procedural rights provided by international law. An RBA implicates, among others, the right to life, the right to health, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to work, the rights to religion and culture, the right to property, the right to privacy and home life and the rights to information and participation. The article concludes by providing detailed guidance about how to implement an RBA, and the main steps include analyzing the situation, disseminating information, guaranteeing participation, making a decision about the activity, monitoring and evaluating the RBA, and ensuring the rights by enforcement of the commitments undertaken by various actors.

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GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2013-30; GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2013-30

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