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Centralizing and decentralizing responsibility for species protection: A comparative study of the Endangered Species Act and Habitats Directive
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Law, Department of Law.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Habitats Directive and Endangered Species Act (ESA) are the primary legal instruments governing species protection in the European Union and United States, respectively. These two legal regimes locate the responsibility for their implementation, administration, and enforcement at different levels of government, or governance. The division of responsibility between the Federal authority, state governments, and non-government actors is perhaps the most significant distinction between these two systems. This article looks at this division of responsibility along with several legal features of the two instruments: the prohibitions on killing protected species, the role of hunting, their enforcement mechanisms, and their flexibility to adapt to changing or uncertain circumstances in nature. These features highlight some differences in the legal mechanisms of the Habitats Directive and ESA, as well as some surprising similarities. As the EU continues to gain federation-like competences, it is not surprising that responsibility for biodiversity protection has shifted from the states to the central authority. This authority is also shifting from the state to the non-state actor. In this way, biodiversity protection in the United States and European Union is becoming more similar.

National Category
Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208129OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-208129DiVA: diva2:650867
Available from: 2013-09-23 Created: 2013-09-23 Last updated: 2013-10-16
In thesis
1. Governing Ecologies: Species Protection in Overlapping and Contiguous Legal Regimes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Governing Ecologies: Species Protection in Overlapping and Contiguous Legal Regimes
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The Directive on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (Habitats Directive) aims to protect biodiversity in the European Union. It does so within a complex ecology of legal regimes for environmental protection at the international, EU, national, and regional levels. As the EU has continued to expand its competence, and the role of EU law for environmental protection continues to develop within the member states, it is important to examine the effect that EU law is having on biodiversity horizontally between states for the protection of transboundary populations, and the effect it has vertically as it interacts with international and national law.

This collection is a licentiate thesis consisting of four articles addressing the challenge of protecting species populations across legal jurisdictions. Its central aim is to examine how interactions and shifting centers of authority between different legal species protection regimes impact species protection. These legal systems may be contiguous, such as in the case of neighboring countries, or overlapping, such as in the case of EU and national law. Four sub-questions develop the analysis, each the central investigation of an article. The first article asks how EU law, and international law, affects the protection of transboundary populations of protected species in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. The second narrows in on a single concrete example in a member state, analyzing how EU law has affected the evolution of species protection in Sweden. The third lifts the analysis out of the Nordic context to examine more closely how the cooperation and tension between international and EU species protection law help or hinder the policy objectives of both. The fourth widens the scope further still, using a comparison with species protection in the United States to query how the division of responsibility for species protection between the federal or union level and the state or member state level affects protection.

Human laws manage the natural world, as best they can. But the resultant tangle of overlapping jurisdictions of laws and rules and management strategies becomes its own ecology to be explored, mapped and ordered. The title, “Governing Ecologies”, refers to this investigation of the governing of ecology and the ecology of governing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Juridiska institutionen, 2013. 26 p.
National Category
Law
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-208223 (URN)978-91-506-2373-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2013-11-08, Faculty Room, Department of Law, Trädgårdsgatan 1, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-10-16 Created: 2013-09-25 Last updated: 2013-10-16Bibliographically approved

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