This article examines the comprehensive reform of the Chinese environmental governance system since the early 2010s after the goal of constructing ecological civilization was integrated into China's state policies. Legislative changes have been undertaken in order to improve the environmental governance system and juridical environmental protection has been reinforced to tackle environmental challenges through a revised public interest litigation system. China's current environmental public interest litigation system consists of civil environmental public interest litigation and administrative environmental public interest litigation. Only procuratorates have standing in administrative environmental public interest litigation whereas environmental non-government organizations who are permitted to undertake civil cases are in practice marginalized. Individuals, on the other hand, do not have standing in either civil or administrative environmental public interest litigation cases. The ecological and environmental damages litigation system has been established in order to recognize government agencies that have standing in protecting environmental public interest.
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Han Jiang, Patricia Blazey, Yan Wang and Hope Ashiabor
Guy Dwyer and Tristan Orgill
Anthropogenic underwater noise pollution (AUNP) generated by, inter alia, commercial shipping, military exercises, the use of sonar and seismic surveys has increased dramatically since the early 1950s. This has caused or contributed to the death and suffering of marine biota.
International and domestic law must adequately regulate AUNP in order for this transboundary and transjurisdictional form of pollution to be addressed. This article examines the two most comprehensive multilateral international conventions regulating the world's oceans and biodiversity – the Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Convention on Biological Diversity – to address the question of whether these two conventions adequately protect marine biota from AUNP. It is argued that the existing regimes established under these conventions are inadequate because they do not: sufficiently recognise AUNP as a form of pollution; provide comprehensive and binding direction as to practical measures to prevent, mitigate or eliminate AUNP; or provide adequate enforcement regimes. To remedy these inadequacies, this article concludes by outlining a number of non-exhaustive law reform recommendations.
Ed Couzens, Tim Stephens, Katie Woolaston, Manuel Solis, Kate Owens, Saiful Karim, Cameron Holley and Evan Hamman
Biopiracy, largely defined as misappropriation of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge, has occurred all around the world. Southeast Asia, one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, has been a victim of biopiracy in a number of cases across the region. Despite the high occurrence of the exploitation of resources, the region has not responded to the problem of biopiracy adequately. One of the most important reasons for this lack of response to biopiracy is the absence of a legally binding regional instrument(s). However, considering that (i) biopiracy does not respect national borders, (ii) most of the Southeast Asian states have ratified the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and (iii) soft law instruments adopted so far have failed to tackle biopiracy, this article argues that a legally binding regional regime should be established to tackle biopiracy in a consistent manner. Following an analysis of a number of biopiracy cases in the region, this article discusses why a legally binding instrument(s) is necessary. It suggests how to improve the current regional instruments pertaining to access and benefit sharing in relation to biological resources and associated traditional knowledge, based on the analysis of instruments adopted to tackle biopiracy in other regions.
Edited by David M. Konisky
Edited by David M. Konisky
Civic Engagement and Public Discourse in Times of Crises
Edited by Christian Lahusen
One of the far-reaching consequences of climate change relates to the forced displacement of people. Climate-induced migration is a very complex issue. The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants noted the varied reasons for migration as being armed conflict, poverty, food insecurity, persecution, terrorism, human rights violations, climate change and natural disasters. Despite the recognition in the very first IPCC report in 1990 that the greatest single impact of climate change could be on human migration, it took climate negotiators over two decades to include displacement in climate documents. This article discusses complexity, scale and displacement scenarios, paying particular attention to the plight of small island states and to the climate-conflict-displacement nexus. It analyses the legal regime applicable to political refugees under international law and the current legal lacuna with regard to climate refugees. It surveys recent developments including the Global Compact on Migration, and the Task Force on Climate Displacement. This article argues that while current human rights law provides some protection, it is insufficient, and that the international community should take urgent action to design a legal regime to protect the rights of climate displacees. This is especially true of inhabitants of small island states who will be forced to move because their states are ‘disappearing’. The article argues that major emitters owe a legal duty to help climate displacees and especially the inhabitants of small island states.