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ItemThe importance of information and participation principles in environmental law in Brazil, the United States and beyond(2013) Cassuto, David Nathan; Sampaio, Rômulo Silveira da RochaThis article explores the two different kinds of uncertainty, 'hard' uncertainty (unknown unknowns) and 'soft' uncertainty (known unknowns), in the context of environmental law decision making. First, it is argued that these different categories should not be treated the same when facing decisions under uncertainty. To deal with these different uncertainties, a tiered risk analysis process is called for, wherein participatory techniques are used both to turn hard uncertainty into (more manageable) soft uncertainty as well as to increase the legitimacy of environmental decision making, even in cases of hard uncertainty. This methodology can and should apply to all instances of domestic, transnational and international environmental law making. This article applies this conceptual platform to analyze how participatory techniques can be factored in to manage uncertainty by reference to two domestic systems - American and Brazilian environmental law - as well as to international (environmental) law. The article concludes that managing uncertainty in the environmental decision-making process is a procedural justice tool to promote more balanced and equitable outcomes. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ItemImportance of local participation in achieving equity in benefitsharing mechanisms for REDD+: a case study from the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve(2013) Gebara, Maria FernandaReducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD+) in tropical countries is now a critical piece of any international agreement that aims to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. An important issue refers to the distribution of benefits or, in other words, benefit sharing mechanisms. In this paper, I examine the degree of local participation in benefit-sharing mechanisms in the case of the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in the State of Amazonas, Brazil, and assess how local participation - or lack of it - affects the outcomes, particularly with regard to equity. The analysis seeks to address the gap between theory and practice by considering the main concerns regarding equitable benefit sharing for REDD+, namely, the types of benefits to be distributed, eligible beneficiaries, the structure of benefits, and mechanisms for distributing them, and by identifying the possible negative and positive effects of benefit-sharing mechanisms. In doing so, my aim is to contribute to the more effective design and implementation of benefit-sharing mechanisms and to expand debate on the topic. The main research question of this paper is: how important is local participation for achieving equity in benefit-sharing mechanisms for REDD+? The results of this analysis indicate that the adaptation and mitigation goals of REDD+ are more likely to be achieved if the development and implementation of benefit-sharing mechanisms involve democratic and interactive processes for local participation, because such processes will lead to greater flexibility in the definition of benefits and distributional mechanisms. I draw the following conclusions: (1) the criteria for equity should be considered when benefits are defined, rather than when they are distributed and (2) given the complex and diverse relationships and issues involved in deforestation, it is important to adopt a multidimensional approach when identifying beneficiaries and benefits and designing benefit-sharing mechanisms. ItemLost in participation: how local knowledge was overlooked in land use planning and risk governance in Tōhoku, Japan(Elsevier Ltd, 2016) Oliveira, José Antônio Puppim de; Fra Paleo, UrbanoThis article aims to identify gaps in public participation in land use planning to improve risk governance, using the case of the Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE) in 2011. Overreliance on technical information and on the opinion of experts is occurring side by side along with negligence of local knowledge and lack of effective public participation in decision-making, creating a sense of overconfidence regarding scientific knowledge and new infrastructure's abilities to withstand future disasters. Using the case study method in GEJE, our research identified three main overall gaps in participation. Firstly, a lot of local knowledge from previous experiences was not incorporated into land use plans in the region even after similar events in the past. Secondly, there was technical information that alerted to possible risks for land use in certain areas, but this information did not impede development in risk areas due to lack of effective participation in the land use planning processes. Finally, Japan allows participation in many land use planning process, but some of the most important decisions, such as on the sitting of nuclear plants had little or any local participation. Thus, strengthening public participation in land use by closing those three gaps could improve risk governance and resilience of localities to cope with large natural and technological disasters in the future. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.