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Chapter

Catherine Redgwell

The development of international environmental law is typically divided into three periods. The first demonstrates little genuine environmental awareness but rather views environmental benefits as incidental to largely economic concerns such as the exploitation of living natural resources. The second demonstrates a significant rise in the number of treaties directed to pollution abatement and to species and habitat conservation. Here an overt environmental focus is evident, yet the approach is still largely reactive and piecemeal. The final phase, which characterizes current international environmental law, demonstrates a precautionary approach to environmental problems of global magnitude such as biodiversity conservation and climate change. Concern transcends individual States, with certain global problems now considered the common concern of humankind. This chapter defines international environmental law, its key sources and actors, and difficulties of enforcement, before embarking on a sectoral examination of the extensive treaty law applicable in this field.

Chapter

This chapter argues that the conservation of marine living resources presents complex problems of regulation and management. The oceans represent the least understood ecosystem on this earth and this makes the conservation of marine life and resources, and the regulation of such, very difficult and complicated. The chapter gives an overview of the law as it stands. International law on conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources has developed very slowly thus far. Effective regimes for conservation of marine living resources have to address not only sustainable use of targeted stocks, but also incidental catch of other species, conservation of biological diversity, and protection of the marine ecosystems which provide the main habitat for fish stocks and other species. The chapter concludes that developing a legal regime that provides for sustainable use and conservation of the ocean’s living resources and biological diversity within the framework of the general law of the sea will continue to remain problematic.

Chapter

This chapter focuses on nature conservation law. This area of law includes a diverse range of legal regimes which are concerned with protecting the natural environment and includes laws that protect individual species and laws that protection particular areas. Nature conversation regimes exist at the national, EU and international level. The reasons for protection can vary as can by the types of law included in these regimes.

Chapter

This chapter turns to issues related to fresh water. Fresh water is a finite resource and the more we pollute it, the more issues we have with its use. A sustainable supply of fresh water is vital to life. Historically, international water law was not particularly concerned with environmental problems. This chapter talks of ‘international watercourse’ which is a convenient designation for rivers, lakes, or groundwater sources shared by two mor more states. The law of international watercourses has for most of its history been concerned with the allocation and use of a natural resource of international significance, not with its conservation or environmental protection. While it can be asserted with some confidence that states are no longer free to pollute or otherwise destroy the ecology of a shared watercourse to the detriment of their neighbours or of the marine environment, definitive conclusions concerning the law in this area are more difficult to draw.

Chapter

Our survival on earth, this chapter argues, depends on the conservation of the world’s natural resources. These resources comprise of soil, water, the atmosphere, plants, trees, and other life forms. The chapter looks at the earth’s current ‘ecological footprint’ and the future of that ecological footprint as it stands now. There is now widespread scientific consensus that biodiversity is being lost, and that pressures on biodiversity are increasing. The chapter asks what we can do about this, in terms of international law. The chapter identifies how international law seeks to ensure the protection and conservation and sustainable use of nature, its ecosystems and biodiversity, and the effectiveness of measures developed to conserve land?based living resources, forests, and deserts.

Chapter

Elisa Morgera and Kati Kulovesi

This chapter examines EU environmental law. It first introduces the legal framework of EU environmental policy by explaining its historic evolution, as well as its current objectives and principles. It then explores three representative areas of EU environmental law - nature conservation, water, and climate change - with a view to highlighting two trends of broader relevance to the understanding of EU environmental law as a whole: the interaction between environmental protection and economic development, and the interaction between EU and international environmental law.

Book

Elizabeth Fisher, Bettina Lange, and Eloise Scotford

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. Environmental Law: Text, Cases & Materials provides students with a deep understanding of environmental law while also encouraging critical reflection of legal reasoning and pointing out areas of controversy and debate. The authors present a wide range of extracts from UK, EU, and international cases, legislation, and articles to help support learning and demonstrate both how the law works in practice and how it should or could work, clearly guiding students through key areas while providing insightful explanations and analysis. Topics have been carefully selected to support a wide range of environmental law courses, within law school and beyond. These include pollution control, nature conservation, climate change regulation, town planning, and water regulation, all incorporating aspects of law from local, UK, EU and international legal cultures. With its unique combination of extracts and author discussion, this new edition provides a wide-ranging, stimulating, and fresh approach to environmental law, which can be relied upon throughout your course and career. This book is also accompanied by an Online Resource Centre that features updates to the law, further reading suggestions, and useful weblinks.

Chapter

This chapter provides an overview of the purpose of this book. It starts by saying what the book does not expect to do. The text does not intend to answer the question whether the law we have now serves the needs of environmental justice or fairness among nations, generations, or peoples. It does, however, attempt to show, inter alia, how international law has developed a framework for cooperation on environmental matters between developed and developing states; for the adoption of measures aimed at control of pollution and conservation and sustainable use of natural resources; for the resolution of international environmental disputes; for the promotion of greater transparency and public participation in environmental decision-making; and for the adoption and harmonization of national environmental law.

Chapter

This chapter examines environmental law and policy in the European Union, considering Union powers and the international context. It discusses the framework for Union environmental law and policy; environmental principles; European Union environmental law by sector; trade in endangered species; nature conservation; environmental protection implementation and enforcement; and environmental litigation.

Chapter

The international law of the sea is one of the oldest disciplines of public international law. In fact, the identification and application of principles for governing the roughly 70 per cent of the earth’s surface that consists of water has been a topic of interest for centuries. This chapter deals with the main principles and rules that make up the international legal regulation of the seas. It begins by discussing the most important legal sources in the law of the sea, including the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention. It then discusses the spatial partitioning of the sea and the different maritime zones that exist in the law of the sea; discusses piracy; and examines a number of selected issues relating to the conservation of marine life. The final section provides a short introduction to dispute settlement in the law of the sea.

Chapter

The international law of the sea is one of the oldest disciplines of public international law. In fact, the identification and application of principles for governing the roughly 70 per cent of the earth’s surface that consists of water has been a topic of interest for centuries. This chapter deals with the main principles and rules that make up the international legal regulation of the seas. It begins by discussing the most important legal sources in the law of the sea, including the 1982 United Nations Law of the Sea Convention. It then discusses the spatial partitioning of the sea and the different maritime zones that exist in the law of the sea; discusses piracy; and examines a number of selected issues relating to the conservation of marine life. The final section provides a short introduction to dispute settlement in the law of the sea.

Chapter

This chapter reviews environmental law and policy in the European Union, considering Union powers and the international context. It discusses the framework for Union environmental law and policy; environmental principles; European Union environmental law by sector; trade in endangered species; nature conservation; environmental protection implementation and enforcement; and environmental litigation.