Environmental Law

A special issue of Laws (ISSN 2075-471X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Law Issues".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 24196

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
1. Department of Environmental Engineering, Federal Institute of Goiás, R. 75, nº 46, Centro, Goiânia-GO, 74055-110, Brazil
2. Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, Università di Pisa, 56126 Pisa, Italy
Interests: environmental; constitutional and international law

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The objective of this Special Edition is to discuss issues related to public policies directed to the environment.
Studies and research involving comparative law and suggestions for countries to improve control or contribute to the mitigation of emissions and pollution are encouraged.
The aim is to contribute with scientific publications in Environmental Law to bring together the vanguard works that result in positive actions to improve the global environment for our and future generations.

Prof. Dr. Aldo Muro Jr
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Environmental law
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental constitutionalism
  • Government and public policy towards the environment

Published Papers (6 papers)

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27 pages, 2027 KiB  
Article
China’s Environmental Vertical Management Reform: An Effective and Sustainable Way Forward or Trouble in Itself?
by Di Zhou
Laws 2020, 9(4), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws9040025 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5497
Abstract
An environmental management system provides the institutional foundation for sound environmental governance. Conventional environmental management systems, deriving from the combination of the vertical management of competent authorities and the localized management of local governments, can lead to local protectionism and implementation deviation at [...] Read more.
An environmental management system provides the institutional foundation for sound environmental governance. Conventional environmental management systems, deriving from the combination of the vertical management of competent authorities and the localized management of local governments, can lead to local protectionism and implementation deviation at the local level. Since 2016, environmental vertical management reform has been performed as a significant part of the overall promotion of the ecological civilization in China. Representing the most fundamental reform of China’s local environmental management system since the Environmental Protection Law of 1989, the environmental vertical management reform focuses on the reconstruction and adjustment of the environmental management functions among the local governments, and their environment protection authorities at the provincial, city, and county levels. In this paper, we provide an overview of the basic theory of the vertical management model, as well as the motivation for—and the legal/policy background, focuses/content, local practices, and results of—the environmental vertical management reform in China. In the discussion section, we analyze the current problems that impede the effectiveness and sustainability of this reform. On the basis of the analysis of the present and the problems, we raise the question of whether this round of reform is effective and will be sustainable in the future. In response to the challenges, feasible recommendations are proposed. These suggestions include firmly promoting the rule of law in the process of implementing the reform, enhancing the institutional supply and capacity building at the grassroots level, and taking advantage of the holistic governance under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law)
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15 pages, 1192 KiB  
Article
Implementation of Good Practices in Environmental Licensing Processes
by Emiliano Lobo de Godoi, Thiago Augusto Mendes and André C. S. Batalhão
Laws 2022, 11(5), 77; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11050077 - 12 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2345
Abstract
One of the main command and control mechanisms for the environment is the environmental licensing process. However, the isolated adoption of this mechanism has not satisfactorily ensured the environmental quality of natural resources. On the other hand, an increasing number of organizations are [...] Read more.
One of the main command and control mechanisms for the environment is the environmental licensing process. However, the isolated adoption of this mechanism has not satisfactorily ensured the environmental quality of natural resources. On the other hand, an increasing number of organizations are voluntarily adhering to good environmental practices. As a result, approximating the relationship between command and control instruments (state regulation) and good practices becomes increasingly important for improving the environmental performance of organizations. Within this context, the present work proposes to evaluate how good environmental practices can strengthen and advance current environmental licensing models adopted in South America. This research consists of an exploratory case study, conducted with a qualitative approach. Several countries in South America were evaluated because of the great natural resources that the region has, as well as the European Economic Community, due to their adoption of the so-called “best available techniques” of environmental management since 1996. The results of the study indicated that voluntary adherence to international environmental management standards has evolved in the analyzed countries and that environmental agencies in South American countries could establish legal bases to consolidate the inclusion of good environmental practices in environmental licensing processes. It was also observed that some benefits could be given to organizations that implement good environmental practices, such as granting of licenses with extended terms; debureaucratization (with time gain) of administrative procedures; exemption or reduction of fees; and facilitation of financing. This study could thus support debates for the effective advancement of the current environmental licensing model. However, this hypothesis must be evaluated and consolidated through further research, carried out individually for each country analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law)
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17 pages, 596 KiB  
Article
The Protection of Estuarine Margins under the Maritime–Terrestrial Public Domain, the Cases of Portugal, Angola, Brazil, and Mozambique
by Marco Antunes, Teresa Fidélis and Miguel Lucas Pires
Laws 2022, 11(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11020034 - 09 Apr 2022
Viewed by 3116
Abstract
Coastal and estuarine margins are considered natural resources with various functions and are covered by different management and protection tools. In Portugal, the Maritime Public Domain (MPD) aims to regulate property in maritime and coastal areas, assuming that these are public resources of [...] Read more.
Coastal and estuarine margins are considered natural resources with various functions and are covered by different management and protection tools. In Portugal, the Maritime Public Domain (MPD) aims to regulate property in maritime and coastal areas, assuming that these are public resources of the nation. Little is known, however, about how the MPD considers estuarine margins, which are also valuable, and vulnerable, environmental areas. This article analyses how the concept of MPD applies to the estuarine margins in Portugal. Moreover, as this concept has been subsequently adopted by other countries with close roots such as Angola, Brazil, and Mozambique, this paper also explores if estuaries are further considered in their legislation. For this purpose, it undertakes an analysis of legal documents establishing the MPD, focusing on the definition, types of areas where it applies, the width of the margins, ownership, and use restriction. The findings show that estuaries are considered by the MPD in Portugal and in the similar instruments of the other three countries. Nevertheless, their approaches differ, especially on the width of margins and the flexibility of the ownership regime, suggesting that the potential to protect margins has not been globally reinforced by the countries adopting MPD after Portugal. This study offers new insights on the MPD and brings to the fore a gap in the literature that deserves to be further explored in other countries with different legal traditions and deepening the analysis on the added value for the protection of estuarine margins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law)
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18 pages, 1224 KiB  
Systematic Review
Understanding the Illegal Wildlife Trade in Vietnam: A Systematic Literature Review
by Hai Thanh Luong
Laws 2022, 11(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11040064 - 22 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5050
Abstract
As one of the earliest countries in the Southeast Asia region, Vietnam joined the CITES in 1994. However, they have faced several challenges and practical barriers to preventing and combating illegal wildlife trade (IWT) after 35 years. This first study systematically reviews 29 [...] Read more.
As one of the earliest countries in the Southeast Asia region, Vietnam joined the CITES in 1994. However, they have faced several challenges and practical barriers to preventing and combating illegal wildlife trade (IWT) after 35 years. This first study systematically reviews 29 English journal articles between 1994 and 2020 to examine and assess the main trends and patterns of the IWT’s concerns in Vietnam. Findings show (1) slow progress of empirical studies, (2) unbalanced authorship between Vietnamese and non-Vietnamese conducting their projects, (3) weighting of wildlife demand consumptions in Vietnamese communities rather than investigating supply networks with high-profile traffickers, (4) lacking research in green and conservation criminology to assess the inside of the IWT, and (5) need to focus on potential harms of zoonotic transmission between a wild animal and human beings. The article also provides current limitations before proposing further research to fill these future gaps. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law)
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13 pages, 267 KiB  
Article
The Application of the Environment Act 2021 Principles to Carbon Capture and Storage
by Angelica Rutherford
Laws 2022, 11(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws11010015 - 18 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4652
Abstract
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a new technology considered to have the potential to decarbonise economies. However, nationally and internationally the use of CCS has also been raising concerns about its potential global risks and adverse impacts on the environment. CCS was [...] Read more.
Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is a new technology considered to have the potential to decarbonise economies. However, nationally and internationally the use of CCS has also been raising concerns about its potential global risks and adverse impacts on the environment. CCS was part of the discussions at the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in March 2019 and in side-events in the 26th UN Climate Change Conference that took place in Glasgow in November 2021. The UK Government aims to deploy CCS at scale during the 2030s, subject to cost reduction. At the same time, the UK Government has recently enacted the Environment Act 2021, which provides a set of five environmental principles: the integration principle, the principle of preventative action, the precautionary principle, the rectification at source principle and the polluter pays principle. This work seeks to analyse the application of the UK environmental law principles to carbon capture and storage policies in the United Kingdom and its balance with other considerations. Given the concerns surrounding the use of CCS, the debate about its legality may arise in the United Kingdom and in other countries. To this end, this paper initially carries out a systematic review of CCS policy documents to discover the policy considerations that support the development of CCS. It then examines the application of the UK environmental law principles to CCS initiatives and its balance with other considerations, such as reduction of carbon emissions, security of energy supply, economic growth and technological leadership. In doing so, this paper aims at contributing to the debate surrounding recent technological developments that have been utilised to help address climate change and some of the legal challenges emerging through the use of CCS under UK environmental law. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law)
13 pages, 885 KiB  
Article
Brazil’s Return to the Hunger Map: An Analysis of Public Policies and Effective Measures for Food Security
by Ana Tereza Souza Domingos, Carolina Oliveira Mesquita, Emiliano Lobo de Godoi and Thiago Augusto Mendes
Laws 2023, 12(6), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/laws12060090 - 14 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1318
Abstract
The planning and application of public policies in the panorama of the right to adequate food stands out for the development of the food supply of the Brazilian population. However, it is questionable whether these public policies have been effective in contributing to [...] Read more.
The planning and application of public policies in the panorama of the right to adequate food stands out for the development of the food supply of the Brazilian population. However, it is questionable whether these public policies have been effective in contributing to adequate nutrition. The aim of this article is to study the effectiveness of public food security policies in Brazil between 2012 and 2022. Also, urban agriculture is analyzed as an alternative food policy that can be carried out by the population, and contributes to the use of urban space. To understand the country’s food security situation and the effectiveness of public policies in avoiding a scenario of hunger and insecurity, the hypothetical-deductive method and the technique of bibliographical and documentary research are used, together with the theoretical framework in the theory of the cycle of public policies. It is concluded that the public policies developed were gradually weakened, and that between 2019 and 2022, the Brazilian government took measures discouraging the implementation of food policies. Brazil, with disjointed policies, facing the pandemic and an economic crisis, is in a situation of food insecurity and has portions of the population in a situation of hunger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Law)
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