Table of Contents

Implementing Environmental Law

Implementing Environmental Law

The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series

Edited by Paul Martin and Amanda Kennedy

At the Rio +20 conference attention was focused upon the variable effectiveness of a large range of international instruments. The IUCN too has recently began to focus upon the effectiveness of legal arrangements for environmental governance. Both of these developments are representative of an increasing awareness that legal environmental governance arrangements frequently fail to achieve the desired outcomes, or give rise to perverse and unexpected effects. The reasons why this may be so include issues such as the limited commitment of the responsible government or its agents, issues of corruption or incapacity, problems arising from the choice of the governance instrument, or the design of the law. This book tackles the challenges of implementation of environmental law, drawing upon the expertise of an international cast of contributors and investigations across a range of jurisdictions.

Chapter 13: Hybrid governance and ‘wicked’ natural resource risks

Paul Martin and Peter Noble

Subjects: environment, environmental governance and regulation, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, law - academic, environmental law


Paul Martin and Peter Noble1 This chapter focuses on the changing nature of natural resource sustainability issues, the ability of traditional legal arrangements to cope, and the necessity for a transition to a new form of hybrid governance.2 Natural resource governance is the system through which an organisation (a society, country, culture, corporation) governs (controls, manages, directs, shapes) how natural resources are used or protected, to avoid abuses of power or opportunity and to ensure that the collective interest is protected.3 The IUCN defines governance as ‘interactions among structures, processes and traditions that determine how power and responsibilities are exercised, how decisions are taken, and how citizens or other stakeholders have their say in the management of natural resources – including biodiversity conservation’ (IUCN WCC Resolution 3.012). Environmental law academics often focus on command and control regulation by government. This under-emphasises the systemic functions of law, and overstates the role of government. Relevant legal arrangements also include laws necessary for market instruments (such as property law) and private action (such as actions for environmental nuisance), administrative law (such as controls over government decisions or abuses of process), corporations’ law (including directors’ and 1 The continuing support of TAL Life Limited (Australia) and Dai-Ichi Life (Japan) and the research assistance of Dr. Elodie LeGal, are gratefully acknowledged. The support of the Australian Research Council for the ‘Next Generation Landscape Governance’ research project is thankfully acknowledged. 2 Hybrid natural resource governance involves government, NGO and/or commerce or industry. It is different to ‘co-regulation’...

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