Framework for assessing and improving law for sustainability: a legal component of a natural resource governance framework

Despite a proliferation of legal instruments related to the environment, environmental challenges such as ecosystem degradation, climate change and species loss continue to accelerate. At local, national and global scales, environmental legal systems are not consistently achieving the goals for which they were designed. A publication by the IUCN Environmental Law Programme proposes ways to better understand and evaluate the effectiveness of environmental law, and to work towards its improvement. The Framework for Assessing and Improving Law for Sustainability, edited by Paul Martin, Ben Boer and Lydia Slobodian, represents a collaboration between the IUCN Environmental Law Centre, the World Commission on Environmental Law, and the IUCN Academy of Environmental Law. It includes a framework for evaluating the implementation of legal principles across four levels: instrumental, institutional, behavioural and outcome. It also includes six case studies, which use the framework to assess legal effectiveness in different countries and contexts, including case studies from Brazil, New Zealand, China, Australia, and South Africa.