Shawkat Alam and Sheikh Noor Mohammad


The ecosystem approach emerged in the international environmental realm to promote equity and justice for both people and nature. It provides a set of mechanisms, including equitable benefit sharing; conservation and sustainable use; adaptive management; and participatory practices. This article explores how the ecosystem approach that is used in natural resource management shares synergies with notions of environmental justice, including distributional justice, procedural justice and justice-as-recognition. It also explores how the ecosystem approach responds to two additional principles of environmental justice that are specific to environmental disciplines, namely, intergenerational equity and the precautionary principle. The article illustrates the complementarity between the ecosystem approach and environmental justice through practical examples and argues that environmental justice can be promoted by utilizing the ecosystem approach as a vehicle for policy-makers.

Ben Boer, Rowena Cantley-Smith and Tianbao Qin

Beatriz Garcia, Mandy Meng Fang and Jolene Lin


Marine plastics pollution (MPP) is an alarming problem affecting many countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and generated mostly from land-based sources. Five Asian countries (i.e. China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Sri Lanka) have been identified as the largest sources of MPP globally. This article presents two cases studies focused on the two largest polluters: China and Indonesia. Both countries face similar challenges in dealing with plastic pollution. They have weak legal and institutional frameworks in place to deal with MPP. The two case studies also show that there have been more creative and effective measures taken at the domestic level by local governments and non-state actors, many of which involve partnerships among different stakeholders. This article argues that governance efforts to address MPP require an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach, involving multi-level and multi-actor strategies and targeted regulatory and non-regulatory measures. However, our findings also suggest that most efforts should be directed at the subnational level, from which the problem mainly originates. This article proposes a number of legal and policy recommendations, based on the lessons learned from the case studies, which can be instrumental in reducing the global MPP crisis.

Michael Addaney, Michael Gyan Nyarko and Elsabe Boshoff


Scarce environmental and natural resources, such as minerals and water, are traditional origins of armed conflicts in Africa. There are persuasive and wide-ranging claims to the effect that environmental degradation will intensify resource scarcity and consequently contribute to an increase in armed conflict. Existing studies show that most governments in Africa overexploit valuable natural resources such as diamonds, oil and timber to finance war, without regard to environmental protection. Environmental protection during armed conflict has therefore gradually gained significant attention at international, national and regional levels. This article explores how regional laws could fill gaps in the international legal frameworks for the protection of the environment and natural resources in the context of armed conflicts in Africa. It considers the extent to which the enforceable content of regional and international norms apply to environmental damage in times of armed conflict and assesses the main shortcomings of existing normative frameworks to make a case for reform. The article argues that regional law (the African Convention on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) offers strong and direct protection to the natural environment during armed conflict and requires a lower threshold for its application as compared with the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. It concludes by providing recommendations on finding durable solutions to protection of the environment during resource-fuelled armed conflict in Africa.

Biblical Geography

Maps in Sixteenth-Century Printed Bibles from the Low Countries

August den Hollander


Maps in Dutch printed Bibles made their debut when the Bible was first printed in large folio format in the Low Countries. The first complete Dutch Bible in the folio format that appeared on the market, by Jacob van Liesvelt in 1526, already included a map. This was a map of the Exodus, the Israelites’ journey through the desert from the land of Egypt to the promised land of Canaan. In the course of the second half of the sixteenth century, additional maps appeared in Bibles published in the Low Countries. In the sixteenth century, maps are found in both Catholic and Protestant Bibles.