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Planetary health: values, law and governance

Te hauora ā-ao: ngā uara, te ture me te whakahaere tikanga

Monday 18 February 2019

Does the current state of planetary health leave you concerned for its future and searching for new ideas? This course will bring you up to date with current thinking on today’s ultimate questions: how to achieve the radical, value-based change that is necessary for new law and governance to be effective in ensuring global health, wellbeing, and survival.

The course features two international thinkers sharing their perspectives on the rapidly evolving fields of ‘earth laws’ and ‘ecological governance’. Our current legal and economic system has been shaped to promote infinite economic growth, with the environment just a resource to be exploited by human beings. In contrast, Earth jurisprudence or ‘Earth laws’ advocates the re-design of the governance of human societies to reflect our interconnectedness and dependence on the living world.

Key principles include recognising the intrinsic right of nature to exist and flourish; creating governance structures that enable human societies to fit within our ecological limits; and engaging with indigenous knowledge systems and the rights and aspirations of First Nations Peoples.

Topics covered

  1. Earth-centred philosophy, law and governance: an introduction to the multi-disciplinary approaches of Earth jurisprudence. How are these approaches different to traditional environmental law and will they help in ensuring planetary health and wellbeing?
  2. Ecological law and governance: an overview of current approaches and proposals for new forms of governance
  3. Perspectives from Aotearoa New Zealand: do these ideas resonate with us and are they useful?

Style of course

The course will have be seminar based, with several presentations, panel discussions, and time for involvement by participants.

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at health practitioners, policy makers, lawyers and all interested in law and governance for future survival and wellbeing of people and the planet.

By the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • Appreciate the inherent relationship between public/global health and environmental law, values and philosophy
  • Understand emerging ideas for reinvigorating environmental law and ecological governance
  • Know how to form relationships with existing organisations in Aotearoa New Zealand to promote earth law and ecological governance

Draft timetable

Time Session Presenter(s)
8:30am Registration  
9:00am Welcome  
9:10am Introduction Louise Delany
9:20am Earth-centred law, values and law: what is this and why? Michelle Maloney
10:10am Discussion and questions  
10:30am Morning tea  
11:00am Ecological law and governance:  what is this and the need for new  ways forward Klaus Bosselmann
11:45am Tikanga Maori and law in Aotearoa New Zealand: the interface Maia Wikaira
12:15pm Discussion and questions  
12:30pm Lunch break  
1:30pm Will earth-centred law help practically in achieving and safeguarding planetary health? How do we get from here to there?  Michelle Maloney
2:15pm International developments in rethinking ecological law and governance Klaus Bosselmann
  Discussion and questions  
3:00pm Afternoon tea  
3:30pm How relevant are these ideas for Aotearoa New Zealand ? an NGO perspective To be confirmed
4:15pm A dialogue based on the multiple perspectives presented during the day: concepts in common? Convergence and diversity? Framing, opportunities, and politics. Ideas for ways forward and collaboration. Panel and all participants
5:00pm Finish  

Teaching staff

  • Dr Michelle Maloney is Co-Founder and National Convenor of the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA). She has a PhD in Law from Griffith University, Australia and more than 25 years’ experience creating and managing ecological justice, community development and social justice programs.

    Michelle is a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, the Steering Group of the Ecological Law and Governance Association, the International Coordinating Group of the Yes to Life, No to Mining International Network and is Co-Founder and National Coordinator of the New Economy Network Australia (NENA). Please visit Michelle’s profile and publications page
  • Dr Klaus Bosselmann is the Director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law. He has vast expertise in the areas of public international law, European law, global environmental law and governance, and environmental constitutionalism. For his pioneering work on ecological law, he has received numerous awards including the Inaugural Senior Scholarship Prize of the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law.

    Klaus is Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL) Ethics Specialist Group, Chair of the Steering Committee of the Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA), Co-Chair of the Global Ecological Integrity Group (GEIG), and executive member of several other professional networks including Sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand (SANZ) and the New Zealand Centre of Global Studies (NZCGS).
  • Louise Delany has a background in public health and law, and teaches Public health law and ethics and Global health law and ethics as part of the Diploma of Public Health at University of Otago, Wellington.
  • Maia Wikaira (Ngā ti Tūwharetoa, Ngā puhi, Te Rarawa), Special Counsel at Whā ia Legal is trained in and has practiced for some years in environmental law, and has recently completed an LL.M in Environmental Law and Policy - Stanford Law School, US, with a focus on indigenous American issues and water rights.

Course cost and registration

$300 early bird, $400 after 20 December 2018.

A 50% discount is available to full-time students, those unwaged and University of Otago staff.