Earth Charter workshop at 12th IUCN AEL Colloquim

On June 30th, a side event called “Importance of ethics for international environmental policy and law” took place during the 12th IUCN Academy of Environmental Law Colloquim, at Universitat Rovira I Virgili.

The workshop was organized by Klaus Bosselmann and Prue Taylor Professors at the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, in the University of Auckland; Donald A. Brown, Professor at the Widener University School of Law and Peter Burdon, Senior Lecturer at the Adelaide Law School.

The aim of this workshop was to explore the importance of global ethics for international policy, law and governance, particularly with respect to the Earth Charter and to global climate change. 

The workshop was attended by approximately fifty participants, mostly environmental law scholars from around the world.
During the event, Klaus Bosselmann gave a presentation on the history and significance of the Earth Charter for the development of international environmental law, highlighting two aspects:

  • the all–inclusive character of the Earth Charter (representing many sectors of emerging global civil society), hence its potential for a “world constitution” and
  • its recognition in a number of international agreements (mostly around the notion of ecological integrity) and in the legal literature.

The discussion centered on promotion of the Earth Charter in law courses, research/publications and actual policy formulation.

Then, Peter Burdon spoke on “ethics in action” making the point that any ethical documents will only ever have a significant impact if fully implemented and tested on a day-to-day basis. This led to a discussion about IUCN’s responsibility to “walk the talk” (following its own endorsement of the Earth Charter).

The second part of the workshop was devoted to climate change ethics and a new international project coordinated by Prue Taylor and Don Brown.  Find more information about this project here.