Advertisment
Loading...

Our Earth Matters: Watch the Webinar Recording

Illustration of Earth with birds flying

24 June 2021 | Amsterdam, NL – On World Environment Day, expert scholars joined in our webinar to raise awareness to the fact that current global environmental law and policy are failing. On the theme of "Our Earth Matters," the webinar was moderated by EPL's Editor-in-Chief Bharat H. Desai, PhD, and included two sessions chaired by Edith Brown Weiss, PhD, and Nicholas A. Robinson, JD, who were joined by expert scholars. The panel probed urgent new approaches for international environmental governance and you can watch the full recording of the webinar now!

Current global environmental law and policy are failing, experts say

[by Carmel McNamara, IOS Press] 

Amsterdam, NL – On World Environment Day, expert scholars joined in our webinar to raise awareness to the fact that current global environmental law and policy are failing. On the theme of "Our Earth Matters," the webinar was moderated by EPL's Editor-in-Chief Bharat H. Desai, PhD, and included two sessions chaired by Edith Brown Weiss, PhD, and Nicholas A. Robinson, JD, who were joined by expert scholars. The panel probed urgent new approaches for international environmental governance and you can watch the full recording of the webinar now!

The webinar on June 5, 2021 was also the occasion to officially launch the limited-edition book Our Earth Matters and EPL special issue (view the press release here). In these publications, the invited authors reexamine the current global approaches, as well as explore the future trajectory with new ideas, tools, techniques, processes, ecological frameworks and institutional innovations for international environmental governance in the 21st century and beyond. 

The first session included discussions around the review of global environmental change, chaired by Edith Brown Weiss (Georgetown University, Washington, DC); and the second session, chaired by Nicholas A. Robinson (Pace University School of Law, New York), turned to look forward and focus on actions that can be taken. We were delighted that a large number of the special issue/book contributors could participate in this webinar to discuss these important topics.

Watch the recording at the foot of this page or online here

 

Watch the recording of the Our Earth Matters webinar

 

Probing urgent new approaches for international environmental governance

During the event, the panel of high-profile experts took part in a major discussion that raised pertinent questions about how we might move ahead to forge those pathways to a better environmental future – what have the last 50 years taught us and what are the next steps and priorities?

Of this occasion, Dr. Desai comments: “The launch of ‘Our Earth Matters’ on June 5, 2021 – World Environment Day – provides us a pathway to Stockholm+50 (in 2022) and beyond. We have only one Earth, so it is imperative that the decision-makers of all the sovereign states, the UN, and other international institutions urgently translate into action the scholarly ideas contained within the pages of our book and special issue, and the topics discussed during the webinar, for our better common environmental future.”
The webinar began with a number of participants outlining their initial comments. “This is a very important and remarkable day, on World Environment Day, because we do face a crisis,” commented Edith Brown Weiss prior to the first session beginning. She then gave an overview of the contribution on Earth System Law (as unfortunately Louis Kotzé could not be in attendance) which emphasizes the need for a new legal paradigm and highlighted a particular section of the paper (see Box 1), which was shared because it broadens the framework and challenges us to ask "What do we need in the age of the Anthropocene?" The other panelists in this session then provided a short discussion based on the findings in their papers.

“Environmental law is a necessary set of tools but is insufficient to meet the challenges of our degrading global environment,” commented Nicholas A. Robinson, chair of the second session, in which six of the participants presenting their papers. After which the chair then posed the question: “What can be done to awaken ourselves, the body politic, the governments to the fact that in 2022 there is a chance to reset the agenda. If we are to have some sort of solidarity in a move toward more implementation of environmental law, what are the steps to take?” In response, Ole K. Fauchald (University of Oslo, Norway) considers there will be some sort of awakening during this year: “What we can do as an academic community is being willing to spend time in efforts to promote these issues in our respective jurisdictions, to make politicians and those involved in bureaucracy aware of what’s going on.”

 

What are the steps to take in a move toward more implementation of environmental law?

Professor Robinson concluded the session by commenting: “We know the problems, we know what the deficiencies are. What we don’t have the next step the jump ahead to deal with those questions, and I think it is very important for those of us that deal with law look for what are the ‘change agents’ in law. We do have tools in place – like the ‘environmental impact assessment’ (EIA) – but they are at the periphery of environmental law making and not at the center of decision making.”

The session ended with a response from Owen McIntyre, PhD (University College Cork, Ireland): “It actually goes beyond EIA and it is about the development of methodologies in law, and those methodologies being promoted through law, so that they have a legitimacy and be employed at multiple scales – regional, national, transnational, and global. Methodologies and, for example life cycle analysis, are absolutely critical to be able to identify, and to help people understand, the true cost of what they consume, what they eat, how they travel, what they wear, what they buy, what they dispose of. In terms of law, transnational laws reach areas that others cannot reach and methodologies support that. Law can promote various methodologies to highlight and that can help environmental protection to be more effectively integrated into trade, etc.”
 

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the entire recording below or online here.

 

Watch the recording of the Our Earth Matters webinar

 

The topics discussed in the webinar are all covered in the book Our Earth Matters and it is hoped that many environmental law students and institutions around the world will get to read the important papers that lay the groundwork for the future.

 

Webinar program

The full program, participants, and supporters are listed below.

 

PROGRAM

Introduction

Welcome: Bharat H. Desai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India)

 

Session 1

Topic: Review of Global Environmental Challenge 
Chair: Edith Brown Weiss (Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA)
Panelists: Yann Aguila (represented by Lionel Chami), Bharat H. Desai, Louis Kotzé (could not join due to unforeseen circumstances), Nele Matz-Lück, Nicholas A. Robinson, and Nico Schrijver

 

Session 2

Topic: Road Ahead to Stockholm+50 and Beyond
Chair: Nicholas A. Robinson (Pace University School of Law, New York, NY, USA)
Panelists: Ole K. Fauchald, Said Mahmoudi, Owen McIntyre, Greg Rose, Oliver Ruppel, Anna Sundström

Contributor affiliations:
- Yann Aguila (Global Pact Coalition, France)
- Edith Brown Weiss (Georgetown University, USA)
- Bharat H. Desai (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India)
- Ole K. Fauchald (University of Oslo, Norway)
- Louis Kotzé (North-West University, South Africa)
- Said Mahmoudi (University of Stockholm, Sweden)
- Nele Matz-Lück (Kiel University Law School, Germany)
- Owen McIntyre (University College Cork, Ireland 
- Nicholas A. Robinson (Pace University School of Law, USA)
- Greg Rose (University of Wollongong, Australia)
- Oliver Ruppel (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
- Anna Sundström (Olof Palme International Centre, Sweden)
- Nico Schrijver (Leiden University, the Netherlands)

From IOS Press:
- Marten Stavenger (IOS Press, the Netherlands)
- Steffen de Jong (IOS Press, the Netherlands)

Supporting organizations

Global Pact Coalition

Since 2018, the Global Pact for the Environment project is under discussion at the United Nations. Civil society must come together and demand that States recognize our right to live in a healthy environment. Discover more via the Global Pact Coalition website.

View website

Global Pact Coalition logo

-----

 

ICEL

The International Council of Environmental Law (ICEL) was founded in 1969. The need for deploying ICEL expertise is greater now more than ever, as environmental degradation trends worsen, and the face of the Anthropocene epoch is ever more visible. Discover more via the ICEL website.

View website

ICEL logo

-----

 

IUCN

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) harnesses the experience, resources and reach of its member organizations. This diversity and expertise makes IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. Discover more via the IUCN website.

View website

       IUCN logo

-----

 

Jawaharlal Nehru University

Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is the foremost university in India, and a world-renowned center for teaching and research. The School of Environmental Sciences has received the University Grants Commmision's recognition as a Centre for Excellence. Discover more via the JNU website.

View website
          Jawaharlal Nehru University logo

-----

Olof Palme International Center 

The Olof Palme International Center (OPIC) is the Swedish labour movement's umbrella organisation for international solidarity and advocacy. The organization works globally for democracy, human rights, peace and social justice. Discover more via the OPIC website.

View website

Olof Palme International Center (brown logo)

Those people who joined on June 5 were able to participate and submit questions directly to the speakers during the event.

 

Thank you to everyone who participated, supported, and joined us for the webinar on World Environment Day!

 

Box 1: Extract of Article

Exploring the Analytical, Normative and Transformative Dimensions of Earth System Law

by Louis J. Kotzé and Rakhyun E. Kim

"Planetary justice considerations depart from the acknowledgement that there will be winners and losers in the Anthropocene. The role of earth system law, and indeed earth system governance more broadly, is then to provide a normative framework for prioritizing the needs and interests of the marginalized and vulnerable within a paradigm of planetary stewardship. Such prioritization will involve addressing difficult and complex allocation challenges both within and between countries and among the rich and the poor in these countries. But the allocation challenges also go beyond the short-term, anthropocentric dimension to include those between the current and future generations as well as between humans and non-humans. Addressing these allocation challenges for planetary justice will form a core part of earth system law, and it could help to define a democratic form of earth system governance that this law will contribute to.

It is challenges such as these that would require earth system law scholarship to provide a critical perspective on the role of law in entrenching or disrupting patterns of planetary injustice and earth system governance democracy. In this context, it would be key for the notion of justice to be expanded and to become applicable to questions of inequality, for example, between human and more-than-humans. After all, as difficult as this might be to do, should we not also be listening to the voices of the voiceless when defining earth system targets and pursuing planetary justice for “everyone”? Answers to questions such as these will need to be found through open and inclusive deliberation, and through legitimate and democratic earth system governance institutions, and then ultimately institutionalized in earth system law, which could guarantee future generations and non-human species a seat at the table, as it were."

 

View full open access article via the button below.