DOI: 10.12924/cis2017.05010043 |Publication Date: 20 March 2017

You Can't Eat Biodiversity: Agency and Irrational Norms in European Aquatic Environmental Law

Tim G. O'Higgins
Marine Governace Group, MaREI, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
Abstract: Policies of the European Union cover a range of social, environmental and economic aspirations and the current environmental directives and laws have evolved from a suite of norms which have changed over time. These may be characterised loosely according to 'Three Ps': Practical, those taking an anthropocentric approach; Pure, those taking an ecocentric approach and Popular, those appealing to the general public. In this paper I use these three perspectives as a tool to analyse the complexity and identify contradictions in European aquatic environmental legislation. Some trade-offs between development and conservation are identified and used to characterise the potential qualities of more successful agency to achieve environmental goals in the governance of European aquatic environments.

Keywords: biodiversity; environmental policy; ecosystem services; transformation

Citation


2012 - 2017 by the authors; licensee Librello, Switzerland. This open access article was published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).