Environmental Law and Governance for the Anthropocene
Edited by Louis J Kotzé
The era of eco-crises signified by the Anthropocene trope is marked by rapidly intensifying levels of complexity and unevenness, which collectively present unique regulatory challenges to environmental law and governance. This volume sets out to address the currently under-theorised legal and consequent governance challenges presented by the emergence of the Anthropocene as a possible new geological epoch. While the epoch has yet to be formally confirmed, the trope and discourse of the Anthropocene undoubtedly already confront law and governance scholars with a unique challenge concerning the need to question, and ultimately re-imagine, environmental law and governance interventions in the light of a new socio-ecological situation, the signs of which are increasingly apparent and urgent. This volume does not aspire to offer a univocal response to Anthropocene exigencies and phenomena. Any such attempt is, in any case, unlikely to do justice to the multiple implications and characteristics of Anthropocene forebodings. What it does is to invite an unrivalled group of leading law and governance scholars to reflect upon the Anthropocene and the implications of its discursive formation in an attempt to trace some initial, often radical, future-facing and imaginative implications for environmental law and governance.
If we expect to get through the “Anthropocene” - an emerging geological epoch where human activity may drive global environmental change towards and beyond the boundaries of self-regulating planetary systems such as climate – a road map offering guidance and direction will come in handy. This compelling volume of essays by seventeen passionate and respected scholars suggests some of the conceptual landmarks – sustainability, precaution, integration, restoration, planetization – on an environmental law and governance pathway that might promote better human choices while choices remain to be made.
Louis J Kotzé is Research Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law of the North-West University, South Africa.