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The Yearbook of Polar Law is based at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law at the University of Akureyri in Iceland and the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland and covers a wide variety of topics relating to the Arctic and the Antarctic. These include:
- human rights issues, such as autonomy and self-government vs. self-determination, the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources and cultural rights and cultural heritage, indigenous traditional knowledge,
- local, national, regional and international governance issues,
- environmental law, climate change, security and environment implications of climate change, protected areas and species,
- regulatory, governance and management agreements and arrangements for marine environments, marine mammals, fisheries conservation and other biological/mineral/oil resources,
- law of the sea, the retreating sea ice, continental shelf claims,
- territorial claims and border disputes on both land and at sea,
- peace and security, dispute settlement,
- jurisdictional and other issues re the exploration, exploitation and shipping of oil, gas and minerals, bio prospecting,
- trade law, potential shipping lines through the northwest and northeast passages, maritime law and transportation law, and
- the roles and actual involvement of international organizations in the Polar Regions, such as the Arctic Council, the Antarctic Treaty System, the European Union, the International Whaling Commission, the Nordic Council, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the United Nations, as well as NGOs.

The papers in this volume are based on presentations at the ninth symposium in Akureyri in October 2016.
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The Right to Development and Sustainable Development

The Perspective of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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In The Right to Development and Sustainable Development authors offer a new path for the implementation and protection of the right to development from the new perspective of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Instead of excessive emphasis on the economic perspective, this book focuses on how to realize the right to sustainable development by resolution of conflicts among economy, environment and society.
Integrating the value analysis into the empirical analysis method, this book expands the scope of the United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development and strengthens its practical function, extracts Chinese experiences, lessons from South Asia, Local knowledge in South Africa and practice model in Peru on the implementation of the right to development, and put forward the idea of building a version of human rights criterion in the South.
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Piotr Szwedo

Cross-border Water Trade: Legal and Interdisciplinary Perspectives is a critical assessment of one of the growing problems faced by the international community — the global water deficit. Cross-border water trade is a solution that generates ethical and economic but also legal challenges. Economic, humanitarian and environmental approaches each highlight different and sometimes conflicting aspects of the international commercialization of water. Finding an equilibrium for all the dimensions required an interdisciplinary path incorporating certain perspectives of natural law. The significance of such theoretical underpinnings is not merely academic but also quite practical, with concrete consequences for the legal status of water and its fitness for international trade.
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Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility

Another Road to China's Sustainable Development

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Mengxing Lu

Corporate social and environmental responsibility (CSR/CER) can be understood as practices which voluntarily extend beyond mere compliance with mandatory social and environmental standards. Corporate social and environmental responsibility: Another road to China’s sustainable development, by Mengxing Lu, contributes to the current debate of CSR/CER by providing a legal and economic analysis of CSR/CER and its relationship with regulation. Although the development of CSR/CER is at an early juncture in China, it is nevertheless a prominent topic for Chinese policy makers and business leaders alike. By depicting the landscape of CSR/CER in China, Corporate social and environmental responsibility: Another road to China’s sustainable development successfully demonstrates the vast potential for CSR/CER’s contribution to China’s sustainable development.
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This 10th thematic issue of International Development Policy presents a collection of articles exploring some of the complex development challenges associated with Africa’s recent but extremely rapid pace of urbanisation that challenges still predominant but misleading images of Africa as a rural continent. Analysing urban settings through the diverse experiences and perspectives of inhabitants and stakeholders in cities across the continent, the authors consider the evolution of international development policy responses amidst the unique historical, social, economic and political contexts of Africa’s urban development.
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Hendrik Schoukens

The concept of adaptive management is generally defined as a flexible decision-making process that can be adjusted in the face of uncertainties as outcomes of management actions and other events become better understood. These experimental management strategies, which may grant permit agencies more discretion to authorise economic developments, have become increasingly popular as tools to overcome deadlock scenarios in the context of the EU Nature Directives. One notable application is the Dutch Programmatic Approach to Nitrogen (Programma Aanpak Stikstof – PAS), which puts forward a more reconciliatory and integrated approach towards permitting additional nitrogen emissions in the vicinity of Natura 2000 sites. The purpose of this paper is to use the Dutch PAS as a benchmark to explore the margins available within the EU Nature Directives to implement more flexible adaptive management strategies. This paper argues that the Dutch PAS, especially taking into account the immediate trade-off that is provided between future restoration actions and ongoing harmful effects, appears to stand at odds with the substantive underpinning of the EU Nature Directives. As a result, its concrete application might be stalled through legal actions which advocate for a more restrictive approach to the authorization of additional impacts on vulnerable EU protected nature. It therefore remains highly doubtful whether the Dutch PAS is to be presented as a textbook example of a genuine sustainable management strategy within the context of EU environmental law.

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New Cases on Article 9 of the Aarhus Convention

Court of Justice of the EU, Judgments of 20 December 2017, Protect Natur-, Arten- und Landschaftsschutz Umweltorganisation, C-664/15, EU:C:2017:987, and of 15 March 2018, North East Pylon Pressure Campaign and Sheehy, C-470/16, EU:C:2018:185

Christoph Sobotta

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Lorenzo Squintani and Dionne Annink

The need to ensure a uniform interpretation and effective application of the large corpus of EU environmental regulation in the jurisdictions of the Member States remains a task of pivotal importance for the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). A quick look at the CURIA database reveals that many judgments are handed down every year to clarify the meaning of EU environmental provisions. It is therefore important to study the proper functioning of the tandem composed of the CJEU and the national courts in this field of EU law. In that sense, this article responds to Bogojević’s call ‘to draw a grander map of judicial dialogues initiated across various Member States’. More specifically, the topic investigated by this article is how Dutch courts have followed up on responses received from the CJEU to their preliminary reference requests in the field of EU environmental law, until January 2017. Almost all the cases we have retrieved from the Netherlands show various degrees of willingness to cooperate with the CJEU. This article highlights the existence of three trends: full cooperation, gapped cooperation and withdrawn cooperation.

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Paolo Bevilacqua, Matteo Fermeglia, Luca Toneatti and Salvatore Dore

Diffuse soil pollution is an example of damage caused by human activities and can be understood in the urban context as a combination of causes due to the presence of various and multiple sources of contamination, such as: car traffic, industrial activities and heating. Importantly, the steadfast expansion of city districts over time has brought either industrial activities to enclose residential areas or (although in a few cases) neighborhoods to envelop previously highly industrialized areas. In Italy, both phenomena represent a widely acknowledged reality, e.g., the municipalities of Taranto and Trieste.

Yet, despite the widespread awareness of the impact of this form of pollution on natural resources and human health, EU environmental legislation depicts an overall picture of fragmentation and poor coordination. Thus, Italian local administrations are striving to devise appropriate methodologies and planificatory measures to bridge such regulatory gap and ultimately find an adequate and comprehensive solution to the problem.