Edited by Paul Martin, Li Zhiping, Qin Tianbao, Anel Du Plessis, Yves Le Bouthillier and Angela Williams
Chapter 3: Creating Next Generation Rural Landscape Governance: The Challenge for Environmental Law Scholarship
Paul Martin, Jacqueline Williams and Amanda Kennedy1 3.1 INTRODUCTION The pursuit of sustainability in most countries is characterized by a continuous stream of bad news about the trajectory of the state of our natural resources (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Board 2005; World Resources Institute 2006; IUCN 2009) alongside government or private sector announcements of new investment schemes, market or regulatory arrangements and other initiatives which are intended to stem this tide of loss (OECD 2008; Snape and de Souza 2006; Better Regulation Task Force 2005; Eliadis et al 2005; Weber and Hemmelskamp 2005). Australia shares this characteristic of documented loss (Beeton et al 2006; NLWA 2002; Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council 2002) alongside significant but eventually insufficient preventative or remedial action (Australian National Audit Office 2008; Commonwealth of Australia 2008; Murray-Darling Basin Authority 2009; Martin et al 2007). Australia is the principal case study for this chapter though the concepts are applicable in most if not all jurisdictions. There are seeds of hope in the efforts that are made by many volunteers, governments, private citizens, agency staff, activists, scientists, landowners and philanthropists and others who struggle to leave to the next generation an intact natural inheritance (Wentworth Group 2002; Standing Committee on Heritage and the Environment 2001; Martin and Werren 2009), but their efforts are simply insufficient to stem the tide of losses. The facts suggest that we need far more investment in conservation and rehabilitation of landscapes, but they also suggest that the ability to obtain this investment...
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