Next year will see the world celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Stockholm Conference, often considered as the birthplace of international environmental law. The early 1970s corresponded more broadly with the rapid development of environmental law throughout the world. Accordingly, 2022 provides an important juncture to reflect on the successes and limits of developments over the past five decades.
This anniversary will also take place under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the first pandemic-related lockdowns in 2020, as economies came to a standstill, there were some predictions that it would provide a catalyst to re-evaluating our economies and societies and become a harbinger of a greener future. However, it has become abundantly clear that this has not occurred.
Nevertheless, a key feature throughout the COVID-19 crisis is that governments around the world have shown an impressive willingness to take stringent measures to address the very novel threat that engulfed country after country in early 2020. The rapid development of several vaccines, spearheaded by substantial public funds, demonstrates that governments are still able and sometimes willing to adopt the necessary far-reaching measures.
The response to the COVID-19 crisis can be contrasted with the response to the environmental planetary crises. The cases of global warming, mass biodiversity extinction and land degradation are a few of the global environmental emergencies that have been well documented. Natural sciences whose data remains the prevailing basis for environmental law making have amply demonstrated the extraordinary gravity of the many crises that we are facing. This is the case even for such complex problems as climate change where a lot of long-term impacts cannot be predicted with absolute certainty. Despite this, the IPCC has published increasingly specific reports that provide much greater risks and certainty than what the world knew about the coronavirus when government’s imposed stringent measures to address the public health risk.
Reflecting on the fiftieth anniversary of Stockholm, the converging crisis of the present moment, we welcome submissions addressing some of the following broad themes. In each case, we particularly welcome papers that speak to specific countries/regions of the global South.
- Critical reflections on environmental law from the point of view of planetary health in the context of the year 2022 that marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stockholm Conference;
- Decolonization and the environment, in its multiple forms and dimensions from the local to the global level;
- Critical perspectives on environmental justice and equity, in particular from the point of view of the global South and/or from a gender, social/racial equity point of view;
- Rethinking the bases for environmental law beyond the existing framing that has led to the current crises, such as paradigms going beyond sustainable development (including degrowth, radical ecological democracy);
- Critical reflections on evolving environmental governance and institutional developments;
- Critical reflections on public health and the environment.
Papers can be framed at the international, transnational, or domestic level (with an emphasis on countries in the global South).
The Law, Environment and Development Journal (LEAD Journal) is a peer-reviewed academic publication based in New Delhi and London and jointly managed by the Law, Environment and Development Centre of the School of Law at SOAS University of London and the International Environmental Law Research Centre.
A title, 250-word abstract and short biography should be sent to Ms Jessy Thomas, Managing Editor at email@example.com by 30 November 2021.