[Author: Carmel McNamara, IOS Press]
Amsterdam, NL – Over the past year, since Environmental Policy and Law (EPL)’s website was launched in March 2020, much has changed in our global situation. Working practices were transformed overnight as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and, during a difficult time for everybody, we have been so appreciative of the time and efforts of board members, authors, and reviewers who made it possible for us to continue to publish the journal while at the same time plan for some key events, which we are pleased to announce in this post. We stand in a unique position as we approach the closing of Volume 50 and look to the future. We are on the brink of a new horizon that will take us on a forward-looking environmental journey.
Much work has been going on behind the scenes with some recent transformations. We will be forever grateful for the long-serving duties of Tomme R. Young, who has now stepped down as Managing Editor and moved to a role of Associate Editor (read her last editorial here), and we are pleased to announce that the journal now has a new Editor-in-Chief – Bharat H. Desai, PhD – who is only the second person to hold this title; the first being the late Wolfgang E. Burhenne. Of his new appointment, Dr. Desai states: “The entrustment of the EPL editorship has led me to follow in the footsteps of Wolfgang’s legendary energy, skills, and encyclopedic knowledge. Editorship of a journal takes place on the shoulders of the previous contributors. Hence, it is humbling to don this new mantle.”
Dr. Desai is Professor of International Law as well as Chairperson of the Centre for International Legal Studies at the School of International Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India. He has a long-standing involvement with EPL, both as a board member and an author, and lately as a Managing Editor (as announced last August). Over recent months, he has been working hard to gather together many expert scholars and decision-makers to contribute to a number of upcoming special publications and one exclusive event that promises to be a highlight of this exclusive series.
Celebratory special issue, book, and webinar
It has been long since in the planning that the last issue of Volume 50 would be an anniversary issue, with specially commissioned content covering an important theme: Our Earth Matters. With EPL celebrating its 50th volume, we are also on way to reach the 50th anniversary of the United Nations (UN) Conference on the Human Environment, which was held in Stockholm in June 1972 (read more here), so this is perfect timing to probe the future trajectory for our better common environmental future. The invited authors have been asked to reexamine the current global approaches, as well as to explore the future trajectory with new ideas, tools, techniques, processes, ecological frameworks, and new institutional innovations.
Our Earth Matters
The outstanding content that will be published within the Our Earth Matters series will reach a global audience via a multitude of guises, as outlined below.
The invited contributions from across the globe will seek to explore answers to the environmental crisis will cover four main areas that cover predictions, processes, problems, and prospects. The 21 articles in the issue seek to ask various pertinent questions, for instance: What do we envision for the next 50 years? Do we need any major course correction in our global regulatory approach and the ethical underpinnings of the human–nature interaction? How do we leave a healthy environmental legacy for the next generation in the Anthropocene? Contributions come from esteemed Editorial Board members Edith Brown Weiss (Pace University Law School), David Freestone (George Washington School of Law), and Nicholas Robinson (Pace University Law School), along with environmental experts affiliated to institutions in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, and USA.
Dr. Desai has done such a great job curating this issue that, in fact, the content will be published over multiple issues of the journal, which will be compiled on this website in a special section. In his Guest Editor’s role for this special issue, he comments: “Outstanding scholars have been invited to contribute a thinking piece for this EPL special issue. A carefully calibrated topic will be taken up by each of the contributors to form part of a mosaic that could provide the best possible scholarly gaze into the future.” All the content will be available online by the end of May.
These important contributions to the environmental landscape will not only appear in EPL – they will also be co-published in a luxurious volume, as a standalone book that is being released on this special occasion by IOS Press. The exclusive volume and its content calls for an honest introspection as regards to what we have attained during the past 50 years relating to regulatory processes and the use of innovative tools and techniques of lawmaking. Dr. Desai asks: “Has it brought about changes in human mindsets, jettisoning of greed and defining our needs? What could be the new ideas, approaches, processes, regulatory tools, and institutional structures to address the ‘world problematique’? It still continues to haunt us after 50 years.” The book will be available to pre-order in June.
Webinar on June 5
A highlight of EPL’s Our Earth Matters series will take place on World Environment Day on June 5, 2021. On this day, Dr. Desai will lead a panel of high-profile experts – contributors to the special issue and book – via an online discussion platform that will raise pertinent questions about how we might move ahead to forge those pathways to a better environmental future – what are the next steps and priorities? More details will be available soon and you will be able to register to take part in this free event.