Earth system governance

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Earth system governance is a recently developed paradigm to conceptualize the system of formal and informal rules, rule-making mechanisms and actor-networks at all levels of human society (from local to global) that are set up to steer societies towards preventing, mitigating, and adapting to global and local environmental change and earth system transformation, within the normative context of sustainable development.[1]

Introduction[edit]

Earth system governance builds on earlier notions of environmental policy and nature conservation, but puts these into the broader context of human-induced transformations of the entire earth system.

Governance, in this terminology, differs from government. Earth system governance denotes variant forms of societal steering that are often non-hierarchical, decentralized, open to self-organization, and inclusive of non-state actors that range from industry and non-governmental organizations to scientists, indigenous communities, city governments and international organizations.

The study of earth system governance has evolved in recent years into an active research area in the social sciences that brings together a variety of disciplines including political science, sociology, economics, ecology, policy studies, geography, sustainability science, and law. In 2011 the term delivered 200 000 hits on Google.

The integrative new paradigm of earth system governance helped shape a research field that spans different levels of research and different social science disciplines within a broader set of problems beyond the classic environmental policy paradigm.

Conferences[edit]

Major international conferences on ‘Earth System Governance’ have been held, or are being prepared, with around 300-400 participants each, in Amsterdam (2007, 2009), Colorado (2011), Lund (2012), and Tokyo (2013)[2] Workshops, summer schools, and training programmes have been organised in many places in Europe, Asia, and North America.[3]

On 16–19 May 2011, more than twenty Nobel Laureates, several leading policy-makers and some of the world’s most renowned thinkers and experts on global sustainability met for the Third Nobel Laureate Symposium on Global Sustainability at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm. The Nobel Laureate Symposium concluded with the Stockholm Memorandum: Tipping the Scales towards Sustainability, calling for "strengthening of Earth System Governance" as a priority for coherent global action.[citation needed]

Memorandum[edit]

This memorandum has been submitted to the High-level Panel on Global Sustainability appointed by the UN Secretary General and will feed into the preparations for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Research centres on ‘Earth System Governance’ have been set up or designated at Colorado State University, Lund University, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Australian National University, University of East Anglia, and VU University Amsterdam.[4] MIT Press launched in 2009 a new book series on Earth System Governance. Recent papers drawing on the paradigm of integrated earth system governance research have analysed issues as diverse as river basin management in Hungary,[5] deforestation policies in the Amazon,[6] and climate change adaptation in Australia.[7]

History[edit]

The new paradigm of earth system governance was originally developed in the Netherlands by Professor Frank Biermann in his inaugural lecture at the VU University Amsterdam, which was published later in 2007[8] Based on this pioneering contribution, Biermann was invited by the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change to develop a long-term comprehensive international programme in this field, which became in 2009 the global Earth System Governance Project.

Key researchers who have applied the earth system governance framework in their work include Michele Betsill, John Dryzek, Peter M. Haas, Norichika Kanie, Lennart Olsson, and Oran Young. In 2011, Lund University appointed Biermann as guest professor of Earth System Governance, making him the worldwide first chair holder in this rapidly developing field of research.

The Earth System Governance Project[edit]

The UN-sponsored global change research networks have set up in 2009 a ten-year research programme in this field, the Earth System Governance Project. In 2011, this project had about 300 members world-wide, along with a broader network of about 1800 researchers and policy experts. The International Project Office of the Earth System Governance Project is based at Lund University, Sweden.

Conceptual Framework[edit]

The Earth System Governance Project builds on a conceptual framework that is organized into five analytical problems, four cross-cutting themes, and four flagship activities as case studies. The five analytical problems identified in the Science and Implementation Plan of the Earth System Governance Project are:[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Biermann, Frank, Michele M. Betsill, Joyeeta Gupta, Norichika Kanie, Louis Lebel, Diana Liverman, Heike Schroeder, and Bernd Siebenhüner, with contributions from Ken Conca, Leila da Costa Ferreira, Bharat Desai, Simon Tay, and Ruben Zondervan. 2009. Earth System Governance: People, Places and the Planet. Science and Implementation Plan of the Earth System Governance Project. Earth System Governance Report 1, IHDP Report 20. Bonn, IHDP: The Earth System Governance Project.
  2. ^ Earth_System_Governance_Project#Conferences
  3. ^ Earth System Governance Project: Events. Website retrieved 24 November 2011
  4. ^ Earth System Governance Project: Places. Website retrieved 24 November 2011
  5. ^ [2] Werners, Saskia E.., Zsuzsanna Flachner, Piotr Matczak, Maria Falaleeva, and Rik Leemans. 2009. Exploring earth system governance: A case study of floodplain management along the Tisza river in Hungary. Global Environmental Change, 19 (4): 503-511
  6. ^ [3] Schroeder, Heike. 2010. Agency in international climate negotiations: the case of indigenous peoples and avoided deforestation. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 10 (4): 317-332
  7. ^ [4] Gero, A., Méheux, K. and Dominey-Howes, D. 2010. Disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Pacific: The challenge of integration. ATRC-NHRL Miscellaneous Report 4.
  8. ^ [5] Frank Biermann. 2007. ‘Earth system governance’ as a crosscutting theme of global change research. Global Environmental Change. Volume 17, Issues 3-4, August–October 2007, pp. 326-337.
  9. ^ [6] Biermann, Frank, Michele M. Betsill, Joyeeta Gupta, Norichika Kanie, Louis Lebel, Diana Liverman, Heike Schroeder, and Bernd Siebenhüner, with contributions from Ken Conca, Leila da Costa Ferreira, Bharat Desai, Simon Tay, and Ruben Zondervan. 2009. Earth System Governance: People, Places and the Planet. Science and Implementation Plan of the Earth System Governance Project. Earth System Governance Report 1, IHDP Report 20. Bonn, IHDP: The Earth System Governance Project.
  • Betsill, Michele M., Philipp Pattberg, and Eleni Dellas, 2011. Agency in Earth System Governance. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics 11 (1): 1-6.
  • Biermann, F. 2007. ‘Earth system governance’ as a crosscutting theme of global change research. Global Environmental Change Nr. 17 (2007) 326–337.
  • Biermann, Frank., Michele M. Betsill, Joyeeta Gupta, Norichika Kanie, Louis Lebel, Diana Liverman, Heike Schroeder, Bernd Siebenhüner and Ruben Zondervan. 2010. Earth system governance: a research framework. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 10 (4): 277-298.
  • Biermann, F., M. M. Betsill, J. Gupta, N. Kanie, L. Lebel, D. Liverman, H. Schroeder, and B. Siebenhüner. 2009. Earth System Governance. People, Places and the Planet. Science and Implementation Plan of the Earth System Governance Project. International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, IHDP Report No. 20.
  • Biermann, Frank., Michele M. Betsill, Susana Camargo Vieira, Joyeeta Gupta, Norichika Kanie, Louis Lebel, Diana Liverman, Heike Schroeder, Bernd Siebenhüner, Pius Z Yanda, and Ruben Zondervan. 2010. Navigating the anthropocene: the Earth System Governance Project strategy paper. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2 (3): 202-208.
  • Biermann, Frank, Ruben Zondervan (editors). 2010. Earth System Governance. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 10 (4): 273-276.
  • Bouteligier, Sofie. 2011. Exploring the agency of global environmental consultancy firms in earth system governance. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 11 (1): 43-61.
  • Bowen, Kathryn J., Sharon Friel, Kristie Ebi, Colin D. Butler, Fiona Miller and Anthony J. McMichael. 2012. Governing for a Healthy Population: Towards an Understanding of How Decision-Making Will Determine Our Global Health in a Changing Climate. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 9: 55-72.
  • Dellas, Eleni., Philipp Pattberg, and Michele Betsill. 2011. Agency in earth system governance: refining a research agenda. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 11 (1): 85-98.
  • Dryzek, John S., Hayley Stevenson. 2011. Global democracy and earth system governance. Ecological Economics, 70 (11): 1865-1874.
  • Gupta, Joyeeta., Louis Lebel. 2010. Access and allocation in earth system governance: water and climate change compared. International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, 10 (4): 377-395.
  • Spagnuolo, Francesca. 2011. Diversity and pluralism in earth system governance: Contemplating the role for global administrative law. Ecological Economics, 70 (11): 1875-1881.
  • Steffen, W., S. Sanderson, P. D. Tyson, J. Jäger, P.M. Matson, B. Moore, III, F. Oldfield, K. Richardson, H.J. Schellnhuber, B.L. Turner II, and R.J. Wasson. 2004. Global Change and the Earth System: A Planet under Pressure. New York: Springer.
  • Werners, Saskia E., Zsuzsanna Flachner, Piotr Matczak, Maria Falaleeva, and Rik Leemans. 2009. Exploring earth system governance: A case study of floodplain management along the Tisza river in Hungary. Global Environmental Change, 19 (4): 503-511.
  • Young, O.,H. Schroeder and L. A. King (eds). 2008. Institutions and Environmental Change: Principal Findings, Applications, and Research Frontiers. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Zondervan, Ruben. 2009. Looking toward the Future - The Earth System Governance Project. IHDP Update, 1: 47-50.

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Related projects[edit]

Related fields of study[edit]