23 Jan 2014

Author: Shahadat Hossain Shakil

The Essentiality of Environmental Governance

During the period of reaching nearly 400 PPM of CO2  (IPCC, 2007) in the air or overshooting earths ecological limit near about two-folds (GFN, 2013), only fools will decline the necessity of Environmental Governance at any scale or region. According to UNEP (2008), environmental governance can be defined as “Multi-level interactions (i.e., local, national, international/global) among, but not limited to, three main actors, i.e., state, market, and civil society,…in formulating and implementing policies in response to environment-related demands and inputs from the society;…for the purpose of attaining environmentally sustainable development”. Governance as a term and concept evolved in the environmental arena significantly after two major events: publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 and the ground breaking Tragedy of Common theory by Hardin (1968).

According to Hulme (2009, p. 310, cited in Evans, 2012) the cause of climate change is “crisis of governance…[not] a crisis of the government or a failure of the market”.   Evans (2012, p. 14) states that, “Governance is about what sort of world we want to inhabit and how we can coordinate getting there”. On the other hand as said by Saunier and Meganck (2009, p. 4) “ Global, in the context of governance… acknowledges that a large number of institutions … are responsible for … management of our planet

Summarizing the above discussion it can be said that Global Environmental Governance is inevitable for the challenges we are facing and going to face in near future and to achieve our desired fantasy “sustainable development”. Want to conclude with the quote of William James (1956, p. 42, cited in Evan, 2012) while supporting my motive to study Environmental Governance, “ the world can and has been changes by those for whom the ideal and the real are dynamically contiguous

Evans, J. P. (2012). Environmental Governance. Oxon: Routledge.
GFN. (2013, June 17). Available At: (Accessed: 25 September 2013)
Hardin, G. (1968). The Tragedy of the Commons. SCIENCE, 162, 1243-1248.
Hulme, M. (2009). Why We Disagree About Climate Change: Understanding Controversy, Inaction and Opportunity.
Cambridge: Cambridge University press.
IPCC. (2007). IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 . Geneva: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Saunier, R. E., & Meganck, R. A. (2009). Dictionary and Introduction to Global Environmental Governance (2nd ed.). London: Earthscan.
UNEP. (2008). Definition of Environmental Governance. Available At: (Accessed: 30 September 2013)