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A new human right of public participation by those affected by natural resource development is set to define major economic developments in the twenty-first century. It is a fundamental part of the international norm of 'sustainable development', designed to harmonize economic betterment and environmental-cultural-social protection for this and succeeding generations. A recognized human right since the 1940s, public participation today is assuming many different legal and political forms - citizen involvement, indigenous peoples' rights, local community rights, sustainable development agreements, public hearings, consultation, advisory councils, right to information, right to justice, decisional transfers, benefits sharing, and more. The right to be heard is a fundamental principle of public law in most of the world's legal systems, but in practice ranges from being deeply ingrained in some cultures to non-existent in others. Understanding this new human dimension in law and development is now essential not only for lawyers but also for companies, governments, international agencies, NGOs, IGOs, and citizens.;This book, authored by international resources law experts from all over the world, provides the theoretical and practical guidance essential to understanding and dealing with this new development. Its first section lays out the basics of what is becoming known as public participation law - its origins, history, theories, modern sources, and future directions. The second section presents the international legal authorities. The third section analyzes the current experience and future trends in over a dozen nations and regions of critical resource development interest, from Africa, Australasia, Southeast Asia and China to Europe and North, Central, and South America.