A ‘legislation-check’ based on ‘3-D sustainability’ – addressing global precautionary land governance

Mauerhofer, Volker, (2012). A ‘legislation-check’ based on ‘3-D sustainability’ – addressing global precautionary land governance. Land Use Policy, 29(3), 652-660

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Mauerhofer, Volker
    Title A ‘legislation-check’ based on ‘3-D sustainability’ – addressing global precautionary land governance
    Appearing in Land Use Policy   Check publisher's open access policy
    Volume 29
    Issue No. 3
    Publication Date 2012-07
    Place of Publication Amsterdam
    Publisher Elsevier
    Start page 652
    End page 660
    Abstract

    This paper aims to provide a new and practical approach called ‘Legislation-Check’ to identifying shortcomings in national legislation in terms of how well it implements sustainable development, and ways of improving the legislation. National legislation was chosen as it represents a sort of ‘skeleton of society’ and defines the status quo, as well as setting the main environmental, societal and economic directions of the population covered.

    The approach presented is based on a new concept called ‘3-D Sustainability’, which focuses on the precautionary principle. 3-D Sustainability provides criteria in a flexible hierarchy for solving conflicts of interest between economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability. In this paper, these criteria and dimensions are applied to various sectors of Austrian national environmental legislation to identify the shortcomings of the legislation and ways of addressing these shortcomings.

    This paper shows, by way of quantitative data, a significant increase in the use of sustainability related terms in generally applicable legal instruments (both federal and provincial) in Austria since 2003. In qualitative terms the results of the paper further indicate, using national environmental legislation, several hierarchical disorders between different legal acts and opportunities for improving them. Furthermore, inadequacies in the way that the legislation handles sustainable development and a total lack of overall objectives and targets in terms of sustainability are highlighted, which can jeopardise sustainable development.

    The concept of ‘3-D Sustainability’ has not previously focused on national legislation, despite the practical importance of the legal implementation and enforcement on this geographic level. Hence, this paper contributes, through scientifically-based decision support, to practical pathways for the innovation of institutional, procedural and substantive arrangements in existing legislation.

    The approach presented in this paper is not restricted to environmental issues, but is applicable to all thematic areas. It is also not geographically limited, but could be implemented in any country and also beyond national borders. Furthermore, the approach can be easily replicated and provides systematically gained results for global governance change towards sustainable development.

    Keyword Method
    Sustainability assessment
    Environmental legislation
    Decision support
    Global governance change
    Copyright Holder Elsevier
    Copyright Year 2011
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISSN 0264-8377
    DOI 10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.10.008
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    Created: Tue, 26 Aug 2014, 13:18:04 JST