In this paper, I interrogate the potential for the realisation of the right to sustainable
development in relation to the green economy agenda. This is based on the rationale that
development paradigms that prioritise economic growth and the market economy over
people-centred development are morally and ethically unjustifiable. Focusing on the
indigenous communities of the Equatorial rainforest, I establish that the manner in which
guaranteeing the right to sustainable development is envisaged to be achieved through
the green economy raises human rights concerns. I argue that the market-oriented green
economy is neither people-centred nor human rights-based, and because it lacks the potential
to achieve sustainable development and on the contrary rather poses a threat to indigenous
peoples’ right to sustainable development, its advancement into the indigenous space should
be embraced with caution.
This article is the
outcome of the conference presentation.