October 7, 2014: Guest Lecture
Natasha Affolder

IRES Seminar Series

Time: 12:30pm to 1:20pm

Location: AERL Theatre at 2202 Main Mall


Contracting for Conservation: Law Hiding in Plain View

This talk provides an unorthodox account of environmental law-making. Environmental law has long been conceived as purely a public law field, often closely linked with domestic administrative law. The key question that underlies most environmental law scholarship is “what should the government do?” to most effectively achieve environmental protection. Yet environmental deal-making is all around us. And it is not without relevance for law.  Consumers are insisting on environmental standards throughout long, murky and complex supply chains.  Indigenous communities are negotiating environmental monitoring regimes as part of benefit agreements with mining companies.  Environmental NGO’s are paying local communities not to cut down their forests.  Countries are requesting payments to leave oil deposits in the ground in areas of high biodiversity.  The contractual basis of environmental law is hiding in plain view.  This ‘hidden’ environmental law forces us to confront assumptions about both the nature of law and the existing law to protect nature.