Ecosystem Management and the Law | L4704EM

In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between the tenets of ecosystem management – also sometimes referred to as adaptive management -- and attempts to implement those tenets into law and policy for natural resource conservation. The phrases ecosystem management and adaptive management are scattered throughout modern discussion about conservation and climate change adaptation, but understanding their implications for legal regimes for the protection of natural resources is far from simple. Ecosystem management is an approach to conservation that highlights, among other things, the complexity of nature. In response, some policy-makers and lawyers have tried to make laws more adaptive and more responsive to science, changing existing paradigms for conservation. These attempts are, to date, incomplete and fraught with difficulties, as we will explore in the seminar. The seminar will consist of readings on the history of ecosystem management and how it has been incorporated into various legal and policy regimes such as forest management in the U.S. and climate change, biodiversity protection, and marine protection regimes in international law. Students will then conduct their own research into particular regimes in order to answer key questions that we develop as a group about the relationship between ecosystem management and the law. Students will write a paper based on that research and the grade for the course will be based on both class participation and the paper.

Prerequisites: None
Credit Hours: 3
ULW: This course will meet the Upper Level Writing requirement (ULW)

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