This article seeks to develop the role law could play in contributing to the achievement of ecosystem resilience. Therefore, adopting Aldo Leopold’s view of conservation, by which the first step should be to understand nature, this article will begin with a brief explanation of the ecological background to the concept of ecosystem resilience. Next, the article will consider Aldo Leopold’s land ethic in order to discuss the values we should look for when implementing conservation for resilience. Regarding those values and concepts, the following part of the article will be dedicated to consolidating and contextualizing the legal principle.
In order to carry out a more detailed analysis about how the principle of resilience can be pursued in the application of the law, this article will focus on certain sectors of environmental law and policy making. Those sectors are: adaptive governance, adaptive management, environmental impact assessment, land use and climate change adaptation, and market mechanisms for conserving ecosystem services. The article will be based on cases from different parts of the world. As the adoption of the concept of resilience by law seems to be incipient in the jurisdictions of most countries, such case studies will be helpful to any jurisdiction in the world where this concept is still not effective.
Law as a discipline thus must seek greater prominence in the raging debates on the efficacy of modeling as a bioenergy policy driver. To ultimately determine law’s proper role, Part II of my article first assesses the universe of key economic and lifecycle models used in current bioenergy policy initiatives, as well as the models deployed in general environmental decision-making that could affect the siting and operation of biomass cropping and bioenergy facilities. Part III then dissects these models to uncover the multiple ways in which law can improve models both structurally and procedurally to achieve greater accuracy. The conclusion speculates that scientific modelers likely have ignored law’s valuable place at the table because of the value judgments inherent in policymaking, particularly under scientific uncertainty.
International Deployment of Microbial Pest Control Agents: Falling Between the Cracks of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol?
This paper considers one tangled web of conflicting developments. It involves the popular desire to replace chemical pesticides with more “natural” biological control strategies, plus a slowly emerging awareness of a less benign side to microbial pest control agents, based on their potential invasiveness and sometimes striking similarities to agents of bioterrorism and biological warfare. This desire, however, is overshadowed by concerns about the environmental release of genetically engineered organisms. I argue that as some of the concerns about ecological diversity, as captured by the Convention on Biodiversity, were channeled into the subsequent Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Cartagena Protocol) with its emphasis entirely on products of biotechnology, microbial pest control agents have “fallen through the cracks” of international environmental law.
Part I of this paper reviews the current opinion surrounding carbon tax proposals as they appear in the literature. Part II will provide an overview of the current cap-and-trade proposals. Part III will introduce a carbon tax with reinvestment. Part IV of this article reviews the leading proposals arguing that a carbon tax is superior to cap-and-trade. And finally, for Part V explains why a carbon tax with reinvestment trumps cap-and-trade.
Harmony with Nature and Genetically Modified Seeds: A Contradictory Concept in the United States and Brazil?
Looking at the differing regulatory frameworks for genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in the United States and Brazil, this Article will help demonstrate how a lack of scientifically objective standards has allowed regulatory agencies to circumvent environmentally protective and sustainable policies. Additionally, this analysis will help illuminate what corrective steps can be taken.
Big Things in Small Packages: Evaluating the City of Berkeley’s Nanotechnology Ordinance Effectiveness as a Model of Targeted Transparency
The purpose of this article is threefold. First, a practical ideal model of a nanotechnology disclosure policy is developed based on relevant literature. Second, the City of Berkeley’s Engineered Nanoparticle Disclosure Ordinance (BENDO) is assessed using the practical ideal type characteristics. Finally, recommendations to improve the BENDO are presented based on the assessment.
This paper will first present an introduction to nanotechnology and its potential environmental, health, and safety (EHS) issues. It will then briefly review the current United States’ situation with regard to nanotechnology regulation before examining the new French regulation on engineered nanomaterial substances, which is a good first step toward a nano-specific legal framework.
This paper on nanotechnology discusses not only the regulatory concerns but also health risk and hazard assessment. The next section examines present and potentially future regulatory issues. The following two sections review traditional and time tested-methods that the practicing engineer and scientist employ in health and risk analysis assessment—procedures that are also employed in the nanotechnology field today. This paper concludes with a discussion of nanotechnology’s future and other associated concerns.
This Article reviews regulatory attempts to define nanomaterials to date, including the European Commission’s definition. It then sets forth and explains why agencies should adopt what I am calling an information-forcing definition of nanomaterials. Nanomaterials implicate the same informational problem as many other substances or practices that are the subject of political and legal debate: that is, we (the public) know enough to know that there are some risks but not enough to specify and assess those risks. We know risks are posed by some kinds of small-scale materials in some contexts, but not enough is known to define the universe of which particular materials pose risk and which do not (or how much risk is posed by those materials that do pose risk). Regulators, therefore, do not know enough to specify the health and environmental risks from nanomaterials with any precision. Regulatory definitions are, therefore, needed that facilitate the production and sharing by industry of information about the small-scale materials they use, why they use them, and what behaviors those materials exhibit that may translate into human health and/or ecological risk. The regulatory definitions should be structured so as not only to force information from industry, but also to force, or at least encourage, agencies not to give in to powerful forces of bureaucratic inertia and stick with regulatory definitions even after emerging science and other public information suggest they are obsolete.