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Title: From international principles to local practices: a socio-legal framing of public participation research
Contributor(s): Howard, Tanya  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2015
DOI: 10.1007/s10668-014-9572-3
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Abstract: Natural resource management (NRM) is a complex public policy field, which challenges conventional governance structures. Increasing the role of community in the protection, restoration and management of natural resources is a stated priority of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) principles. Despite a proliferation of legal requirements for public participation and non-legal guidelines that promote community access to environmental decision-making at both the international and national scale, implementation is often unsatisfactory and difficult to evaluate. There is a need to develop methodologies that can improve the design, implementation and evaluation of community engagement. Australia is a member of the United Nations and has participated in the development of international principles for public participation, most notably agreeing to the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21. The terminology of ESD appears in much environmental legislation developed at the national and intra-national level. This paper examines the role of international legal and non-legal frameworks in driving national reform. This paper suggests that existing international frameworks can connect social norms of public participation with legal norms of procedural justice to provide a pathway for improving governance in this complex area. The need to develop robust socio-legal methodologies that can assess implementation of ESD principles provides the impetus for this paper. A possible methodology is outlined, and early empirical results described.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Environment, Development and Sustainability, 17(4), p. 747-763
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
Place of Publication: Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-2975
Field of Research (FOR): 180111 Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960799 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards not elsewhere classified
949999 Law, Politics and Community Services not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Environmental and Rural Science

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