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 Dr. 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 includingthe one together with Prue Taylor, Ecological Approaches to Environmental Law (2017).
Prue Taylor and Dr. 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 document’s relevance nowadays, Ms. Taylor 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. Dr. Bosselmann stresses on the Earth Charter’s ongoing importance, especially to informing and influencing decision making. Additionally, he expresses his opinion on how the Earth Charter is neither a hard law nor a soft law.
Additionally, Ms. Taylor and Dr. Bosselmann 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 discussion on humanity’s major challenge, which Dr. Bosselmann believes is fear, and Ms. Taylor identifies as disturbed and fractured human-Earth relationships.
Questions and Topics Addressed in this Episode
- How did Ms. Taylor and Dr. Bosselmann 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? Is it well articulated in the Earth Charter?
- For Ms. Taylor, regarding the chapter written in 2014 entitled “The Earth Charter, the Commons and the Common Heritage of Mankind Principle,” what is the role of the Earth Charter, both today and in the future? What is “the commons” and what are the implications?
- For Dr. Bosselmann, how is the Earth Charter a vision based on “the rule of law in ecological context”? How is the Earth Charter an instrument to clarify “the strong sustainability approach” to the design and implementation of legal regimes that are “grounded in the Earth in the sense that the integrity of its ecological systems is preserved”? How are global governance and the Earth Charter related?
- What is the major challenge that humanity is facing?
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