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Rethinking legal objectives for climate-adaptive conservation


McDonald, J and McCormack, PC and Fleming, AJ and Harris, RMB and Lockwood, M, Rethinking legal objectives for climate-adaptive conservation, Ecology and Society, 21, (2) Article 25. ISSN 1708-3087 (2016) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance

DOI: doi:10.5751/ES-08460-210225


This paper examines conservation objectives in Australian law in the context of climate change. The rate of climate change and the scale and extent of its impacts on natural systems drive the need to re-evaluate current conservation objectives, from basic concept definitions, to overarching goals and values, to the way they are operationalized at all levels. We outline the case for reform of objectives in the legal framework for conservation and discuss three key strategies that would facilitate this transition: (1) acknowledgment in conservation law of system dynamism; (2) focus on ecosystem function, stability, and resilience; and (3) an explicit recognition that systems operate across multiple scales. Law reform is a slow process, but the potential of climate change to drive transformational changes means that urgent action is needed to overcome the limitations of current objectives and in the legal framework itself.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change adaptation, conservation law, conservation objectives, law reform
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Terrestrial systems and management
Objective Field:Rehabilitation or conservation of terrestrial environments
UTAS Author:McDonald, J (Professor Jan McDonald)
UTAS Author:McCormack, PC (Ms Phillipa McCormack)
UTAS Author:Fleming, AJ (Dr Aysha Fleming)
UTAS Author:Harris, RMB (Dr Rebecca Harris)
UTAS Author:Lockwood, M (Associate Professor Michael Lockwood)
ID Code:109069
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:14
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2016-05-19
Last Modified:2018-03-09
Downloads:150 View Download Statistics

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