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Losing the Forest for the Trees: Environmental Reductionism in the Law


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  • Klaus Bosselmann

    (New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, Faculty of Law, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland 1142, Aotearoa, New Zealand)

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    Environmental laws and policies have saved some “trees”, but the “forest” is being lost as critical global issues including climate change, biodiversity loss, and our ecological footprint continue to worsen. Existing laws and policies mitigate the ecological damage inflicted by industrial economies and western lifestyles. The article essentially makes the case for a sustainability approach to law that aims for transformation rather than environmental mitigation. Relevant trends in international law and domestic law reflective of a sustainability approach are discussed, and the article describes some contours of “law for sustainability” or “sustainability law”.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 8 (July)
    Pages: 2424-2448

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:8:p:2424-2448:d:9122

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    Related research

    Keywords: environmental reductionism; compartmentalization; fragmentation; subject of environmental law; anthropocentrism vs. ecocentrism; sustainability; ecological integrity; sustainability law;

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    Cited by:
    1. John C. Dernbach & Joel A. Mintz, 2011. "Environmental Laws and Sustainability: An Introduction," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(3), pages 531-540, March.


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