Navigating the Anthropocence: Improving Earth System Governance

Type of practice:

Biermann, F./Abbott, K./Andresen, S./Bäckstrand, K./Bernstein, S./Betsill, M. M./Bulkeley, H./Cashore, B./Clapp, J./Folke, C./Gupta, A./Gupta, J./Haas, P. M./Jordan, A./Kanie, N./Kluvánková-Oravská, T./ Lebel, L./Liverman, D./Meadowcroft, J./Mitchell, R. B./Newell, P./Oberthür, S./Olsson, L./Pattberg, P./Sánchez-Rodríguez, R./Schroeder, H./Underdal, A./Camargo Vieira, S./Vogel, C./Young, O. R./Brock, A./Zondervan, R. (2012), Navigating the Anthropocence: Improving Earth System Governance. Science Magazine, 335/6074, pp. 1306-1307.



A more effective environmental governance system needs to be instituted soon, according to an article published in the journal Science. Researchers in the Tyndall Centre have contributed to the piece, which is a key contribution of the science community to the June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”). Professor Andrew Jordan (ENV), Dr Heike Schroeder (DEV) and Professor Peter Newell (Sussex, formerly DEV) were one of 32 leading international experts who are affiliated with the international Earth System Governance Project.

The article argues that reducing the risk of potential global environmental disaster requires a “constitutional moment” comparable in scale and importance to the reform of international governance that followed World War II. It calls for a UN Sustainable Development Council to better integrate sustainable development concerns across the UN system, an upgrading of the UN Environment Programme to a full-fledged UN agency and stronger consultative rights for representatives of civil society in global governance, based on mechanisms that balance differences in influence and resources among civil society representatives.

UEA is a partner in the LIAISE Consortium and a research centre of the Earth System Governance project. The assessment underlying the article was mandated by the organizers of the huge science conference “Planet under Pressure”, which was held 26-29 March 2012 in London, with several thousand scientists participating.

Year of IA Practice: