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Scientific paper


Interpretation of Ecological Integrity according Planetary Boundaries: Towards improved implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements to promote degrowth

Volker Mauerhofer, Rakhyun Kim

Entry type:
Scientific paper

Year of publication:

Degrowth Conference Leipzig 2014


global limits, international law, re-interpretation

Abstract: This paper assesses whether and in how far the legal and political expression of Ecological Integrity in Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) correlates with the scientific quantification of the Planetary Boundaries in order to identify status as well as challenges for environmental policy towards environmentally sustainable and socially just strategies of degrowth on multi-geopolitical levels. We apply an in-depth review of literature to improve the understanding of the current interpretation of Ecological Integrity, search for its use in a randomly chosen sample of 116 MEAs and analyse the results in quantitative and qualitative ways with regarding Planetary Boundaries identified. We find that many key international environmental soft law instruments contain the notion of Ecological Integrity in their cores. We argue that these existing uses can often already be interpreted in the sense of the quantifiable Planetary Boundaries and show innovative implications of this proposal for degrowth strategies.
Keywords: global limits, international law, re-interpretation

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