Large-Scale Ecosystem Restoration as Part of the “Green Economy”
University of Idaho Seed Grant
Environmental degradation has direct and indirect costs on national and local economies.Many States have responded to ongoing ecological losses with publicly funded large-scale ecosystem restoration projects (see e.g. coastal mangrove reforestation in Southeast Asia). Will these ad hoc but increasingly state-driven ecosystem restoration projects become part of a shared vision of the “green economy” that will be debated at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (“Earth Summit”)? This is an important question because how the“green economy” is ultimately defined at this summit will have long-term repercussions for both the implementation of sustainable development and international environmental law.This seed grant will be used to research whether publicly funded large-scale ecosystem restoration will create new legal obligations under the emerging “green economy.” The grant funds will be primarily used to provide travel funding for the researcher to attend the Rio+20Earth Summit in order to interview stakeholders about what activities contemporary policymakers include as part of the emerging “green economy”. The researcher will communicate her findings in an environmental law and policy journal article. This research will serve as the foundation for future projects to identify existing or develop new legal mechanisms for effective large-scale ecosystem restoration within the emerging “green economy”.