The Earth Charter, International Environmental Law and Global Governance
Who is Prue Taylor?
Prue Taylor received her legal qualifications from Victoria University, New Zealand, and Tulane University, USA. She teaches environmental and planning law at the School of Architecture and Planning. She is the Deputy Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law and an elected member of the IUCN Commission of Environmental Law and its Ethics Specialist Group. She has been involved in the Earth Charter movement since 1992. Her book, An Ecological Approach to International Law: Responding to the Challenges of Climate Change (Routledge), won a NZ Legal Research Foundation Prize. In 2007, Prue received an outstanding achievement award from the IUCN in recognition of her contribution to law, ethics, and climate change.
Who is Klaus Bosselmann?
Dr. Klaus Bosselmann is Professor of Environmental Law and Founding Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law at the University of Auckland. During his long-standing academic career in Germany and New Zealand, he has served as a consultant to the United Nations, the OECD, the European Union and several governments. He has been involved in the drafting of key international agreements including the UN Climate Change Convention, the Earth Charter and the Global Pact for the Environment. Professor Bosselmann has published thirty books and over a hundred articles in the areas of environmental ethics and law, political ecology, global governance and international environmental law including the one together with Prue Taylor, Ecological Approaches to Environmental Law (2017).
Prue Taylor and Klaus Bosselmann recall how their concerns over the existing laws and systems led to their participation and collaboration in the drafting of the Earth Charter. On the Earth Charter relevance to current times, Prue draws attention to the global citizenship movement and also explains how the Earth Charter is a tool to hold ourselves to account and to continue the needed ongoing dialogues on how to care and protect the Earth. Klaus stresses on the Earth Charter’s ongoing importance, especially to informing and influencing decision making. Additionally, he expresses his view on how the Earth Charter is neither a hard law nor a soft law.
Additionally, they share their understandings of ecological integrity, and elaborate on key concepts such as “the commons” and “trusteeships,” and relevant arguments in their publications. They conclude with a reflection on humanity’s major challenge, which Klaus believes is fear, and Prue identifies as disturbed and fractured human-Earth relationships.
Questions and Topics Addressed in this Episode
- How did you get involved in the Earth Charter Movement?
- What is the great strength or value of the Earth Charter to the current times and in the midst of so many other similar declarations?
- What is ecological integrity? and how it is articulated in the Earth Charter?
- Prue Taylor comments on her chapter “The Earth Charter, the Commons and the Common Heritage of Mankind Principle (2014),” and on the meaning of “the commons” and its implications.
- Klaus Bosselmann shares how the Earth Charter can be seen as an instrument to clarify “the strong sustainability approach” and how global governance and the Earth Charter are related.
- What is the major challenge that humanity is facing?
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