Literature on global environmental policymaking abounds yet the same old issue of designing effective decision-making tools suitable to be integrated in the policymaking process continues to elude experts and civic leaders. As the dangers posed by climate change become evident, never before has the issue of sustainability been so central in the use of natural resources. Global economic prosperity has led to intense competition for limited natural resources putting the environment at greater risk. The sovereignty clause of the UN Charter continues to provide ‘legal’ backing for nation-states to assert their rights on environmental exploitation. Thus, the environmental policymaking process remains state-centric even in a fast globalizing world that is no longer an exclusive arena of nation-states.
From a sociopolitical ecology perspective, the paper weighs in on the state-centric approach to international environmental policy and instruments design, particularly with regard to preservation of areas of delicate biodiversity. Specifically, the paper examines the historical development and trends in international environmental policy design, with the aim of creating a framework for a dialectic engagement between the need for development and environmental conservation. This focuses on participatory engagement of local communities in environmental policy design and development. Such an approach will augment policy-making instruments by focusing not on the uncomfortable convergence of developmental and environmental needs, but more on the dialectics of these two paradigms as guided by public trusteeship principles.
|Keywords:||State-Centric, Environmental Policy Design, International Instruments, Development, Community Engagement, Public Trusteeship, Natural Resources, Sociopolitical Ecology|
Doctoral student and Graduate research assistant, School of Urban and Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA
Professor, School of Urban and Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, Texas, USA
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