Following the introductory section, the Article is divided into three parts. The first portion of Part 1 will chart the relatively thin case made in the U.S. literature for what this Article labels "positive environmental justice." The second section in Part 1 then looks outside the United States and analyzes an important and relatively recent decision of the Colombian Constitutional Court. The Colombian decision, which affirmed the constitutional and other international and domestic law rights of native and Afro- Colombian peoples in that country to make decisions regarding the use and exploitation of the nation's abundant forests," provides a nuanced and extensive defense of what I characterize as positive environmental justice. As such, it provides a compelling model for those interested in heeding the call to expand environmental benefits. Part 2 will then identify and critically evaluate normative advantages that can be derived from a capacious notion of environmental justice that seeks to secure benefits as well as burdens. Part 3 will conclude, finally, with reflections on the consequences of doing so. Specifically, Part 3 will argue that by moving towards this more capacious notion of environmental justice, it also will be possible to begin to erode the artificial distinction between "environmental" and "land use" decisions that so effectively impede needed changes in land use, environmental law, and regulation structures and institutions in the United States.
32 U. Pa. J. Int'l L. 911 (2011).