Multinaturalism in International Environmental Law: Redefining the Legal Context for Human and Non-Human Relations

A. Nunes Chaib*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


International environmental law has come a long way in addressing humans' extractive and negative relationship with nature, although despite its profound anthropocentrism and economic focus. This paper analyzes how and whether international environmental law can be conceived differently by incorporating different perspectives about the human/nature relationship. More specifically, the article engages with the concept of multinaturalism, as developed by anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, to address the advantages and significance of admitting indigenous forms of life in international environmental law. Forms of life which not only relate to nature differently but can conceive of nature differently. Taking such an approach requires a methodological shift to examine the existence of forms of life that invert the traditional Western conception of nature and culture, thus allowing for the potential to move international environmental law beyond anthropocentrism, while providing elements to resolve the tension between development/economic concerns in ecological conservation and long-term species survival.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberS204425132200008X
Pages (from-to)82-104
Number of pages23
JournalAsian Journal of International Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Environmental Law
  • History and Theory of International Law
  • Human Rights


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