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Untapped capacity for resilience in environmental law
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Number of Authors: 102019 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 116, no 40, p. 19899-19904Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the past several decades, environmental governance has made substantial progress in addressing environmental change, but emerging environmental problems require new innovations in law, policy, and governance. While expansive legal reform is unlikely to occur soon, there is untapped potential in existing laws to address environmental change, both by leveraging adaptive and transformative capacities within the law itself to enhance social-ecological resilience and by using those laws to allow social-ecological systems to adapt and transform. Legal and policy research to date has largely overlooked this potential, even though it offers a more expedient approach to addressing environmental change than waiting for full-scale environmental law reform. We highlight examples from the United States and the European Union of untapped capacity in existing laws for fostering resilience in social-ecological systems. We show that governments and other governance agents can make substantial advances in addressing environmental change in the short term-without major legal reform-by exploiting those untapped capacities, and we offer principles and strategies to guide such initiatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 116, no 40, p. 19899-19904
Keywords [en]
resilience, law, social-ecological systems, environmental governance
National Category
Economics and Business Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175861DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1906247116ISI: 000488828000028PubMedID: 31527247OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175861DiVA, id: diva2:1369245
Available from: 2019-11-11 Created: 2019-11-11 Last updated: 2019-12-10Bibliographically approved

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Garmestani, AhjondChaffin, Brian C.Craig, Robin K.Folke, CarlAllen, Craig R.
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Stockholm Resilience Centre
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