The Right to Responsibility


Natural Justice and the United Nations University – Institute of Advanced Studies (UNU-IAS) have just released a new book for peer review, entitled: The Right to Responsibility: Resisting and Engaging Development, Conservation, and the Law in Asia. This edited volume explores how Indigenous peoples’ and local communities’ resilience to external factors is often undermined by laws, institutional arrangements, and judicial systems. It also examines how particular peoples and communities are striving to overcome such structural barriers to self-determination by resisting unwanted developments and engaging proactively with a range of actors at multiple scales.

It is edited by Natural Justice’s Holly Jonas and Harry Jonas, and UNU-IAS’s Suneetha M. Subramanian. It is comprised of the following three parts (available for download separately):

Part I: Context and Theoretical Framework
(4.1 MB)
Part II: Community Experiences
(14.2 MB)
Part III: Analysis and Looking Ahead
(4.7 MB)


It can also be downloaded in full (23.1 MB) or by each individual chapter (below):

Part I, Chapter 1Between Development, Conservation, and the Law
By Harry Jonas and Holly Jonas
Part I, Chapter 2: Will the Flamingos Return to the Fishing Shelters? Engaging with Diverse Biocultural Realities
By Kanchi Kohli
Part II, Chapter 3The Role of Traditional Knowledge and Customary Arrangements in Conservation: Trans-boundary Landscape Approaches in the Kailash Sacred Landscape of China, India and Nepal
By Krishna Prasad Oli, Luorong Zhandui, Ranbeer S. Rawal, Ram Prasan Chaudhary, Shi Peilli, and Robert Zomer
Part II, Chapter 4Defending and Strengthening Sharwa (Sherpa) Rights and ICCAs in Sagarmatha (Mount Everest) National Park, Nepal
By Stan Stevens
Part II, Chapter 5: A National Park, River-dependent Sonahas and a Biocultural Space in Peril
By Sudeep Jana
Part II, Chapter 6: Empowering Rights-holders and Facilitating Duty-bearers to Secure Farmers’ Rights in Nepal
By Bikash Paudel and Sajal Sthapit
Part II, Chapter 7: Livestock Keepers’ Rights in South Asia
By Ilse Köhler-Rollefson
Part II, Chapter 8: Forest Rights and Conservation in India
By Tushar Dash and Ashish Kothari
Part II, Chapter 9Local Forest Governance, FPIC and REDD+ in Indonesia: A Case Study from Aceh, Sumatra
By Patrick Anderson and Marcus Colchester
Part II, Chapter 10: Asserting the Right to Safeguard Biocultural Heritage and Customary Lands in Ulu Papar, Sabah, Malaysia
By Justine Vaz and Agnes Lee Agama
Part III, Chapter 11: Reforming Rights to Support Responsibilities
By Harry Jonas and Holly Jonas
Part III, Chapter 12: Recommendations
By Harry Jonas and Holly Jonas
Part III, Chapter 13: Legal Empowerment for Landscapes
By Harry Jonas and Holly Jonas

If you have any comments or feedback, please send them by 1 September to holly (at)

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