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The structure, form and language of international environmental norms – from absolute to relative normativity (Book chapter)

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ISBN: 9781784714642 9781784714659 Year: Pages: 28 DOI: 10.4337/9781784714659 Language: English
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing
Subject: Law
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-05 15:10:01
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International environmental law has a dual nature being both formal (attached to explicit state will) and instrumental (detached from explicit state will). In this chapter it is argued that normativity of international environmental legal norms is relativised due to the softening of hard law and hardening of soft law. The softening of hard law is caused primarily by the interpretative nature of language and the interplay between formalism and instrumentalism as interpretative paradigms. As a consequence, the normative content of hard law is always a matter of interpretation which by default causes hard law to be more or less indeterminate. The hardening of soft law is visible inter alia in the informal legal status that several soft law instruments such as UN resolutions, accords, executive board decisions and informal initiatives may enjoy through their legitimacy and effectiveness. This results in some soft law instruments gaining relative legal effect even when lacking formal legal status. Based on these observations it is concluded that the normativity or validity of legal norms in international environmental law can only be evaluated after a careful analysis of all the traces of normativity (form, legitimacy and effectiveness) at play.

Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities: A Global Assessment

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ISBN: 9789400770874 9789400770881 Year: Pages: 755 DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-7088-1 Language: English
Publisher: Springer
Subject: Business and Management --- Biotechnology --- Pharmacy and materia medica --- Ecology --- General and Civil Engineering
Added to DOAB on : 2013-09-30 12:05:04
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Urbanization is a global phenomenon and the book emphasizes that this is not just a social-technological process. It is also a social-ecological process where cities are places for nature, and where cities also are dependent on, and have impacts on, the biosphere at different scales from local to global. The book is a global assessment and delivers four main conclusions:Urban areas are expanding faster than urban populations. Half the increase in urban land across the world over the next 20 years will occur in Asia, with the most extensive change expected to take place in India and ChinaUrban areas modify their local and regional climate through the urban heat island effect and by altering precipitation patterns, which together will have significant impacts on net primary production, ecosystem health, and biodiversityUrban expansion will heavily draw on natural resources, including water, on a global scale, and will often consume prime agricultural land, with knock-on effects on biodiversity and ecosystem services elsewhereFuture urban expansion will often occur in areas where the capacity for formal governance is restricted, which will constrain the protection of biodiversity and management of ecosystem services

Society - Water - Technology: A Critical Appraisal of Major Water Engineering Projects

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Book Series: Water Resources Development and Management ISSN: 1614810X ISBN: 9783319189703 9783319189710 Year: Pages: 295 DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-18971-0 Language: English
Publisher: Springer
Subject: Environmental Sciences --- Environmental Technology
Added to DOAB on : 2016-04-12 15:09:21
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This book presents the results of the Interdisciplinary Research Group 'Society – Water – Technology' of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities. It describes interdisciplinary evaluation criteria for major water engineering projects (MWEPs) and portrays an application to the Lower Jordan Valley (Middle East) and the Fergana Valley (Central Asia). Both areas are characterised by transboundary conflicts, by challenges due to demographic and climate change and by political and societal pressures. Based on the findings, the book provides recommendations for science and political decisions makers as well as for international financing institutions. In addition, it outlines research gaps from an interdisciplinary perspective.In the past, MWEPs have been used as an instrument to cope with the demands of growing populations and to enhance development progress. Experiences with MWEPs have shown that a purely technical approach has not always brought about the desired results. In many cases, MWEPs have even resulted in negative implications for society and environment. Therefore, improved management strategies and enhanced technologies for a sustainable water resource management system are a prerequisite to meet present and future challenges. And, moreover, the continuous evaluation and optimisation of these measures is, likewise, a must.

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