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Option 2: Global environmental protection 25% of course time



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Option 2: Global environmental protection 25% of course time



Principal focus: Through the use of contemporary examples, students investigate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal processes in promoting and achieving environmental protection.

 

Outcomes

H1. identifies and applies legal concepts and terminology

H3. analyses the operation of domestic and international legal systems

H4. evaluates the effectiveness of the legal system in addressing issues

H5. explains the role of law in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict, as well as initiating and responding to change

H6. assesses the nature of the interrelationship between the legal system and society

H7. evaluates the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice

H8. locates, selects, organises, synthesises and analyses legal information from a variety of sources including legislation, cases, media, international instruments and documents

H9. communicates legal information using well-structured and logical arguments

H10. analyses differing perspectives and interpretations of legal information and issues

 
Themes and challenges to be incorporated throughout the topic:



  • the impact of state sovereignty on international cooperation and the resolution of conflict in regard to environmental protection

  • issues of compliance and non-compliance

  • the impact of changing values and ethical standards on environmental protection
  • the role of law reform in protecting the global environment


  • the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses in protecting the environment.

 

Assessment: Written response.

 


Students learn about:

Students learn to:

Suggested teaching and learning strategies

Themes and challenges

1. The nature of global environmental protection










  • the definition of global environmental protection




  • the development of global environmental law



  • the need for global environmental protection




  • the importance of ecologically sustainable development: biodiversity, intergenerational equity, intragenerational equity, the precautionary principle

  • define global environmental protection

  • outline the development of global environmental law

 

  • outline the need for laws to protect the global environment




Define global environmental protection using media reports to highlight issues.

Construct a basic timeline of global environmental law from the Stockholm Conference to the present. This will be added to throughout the topic.

Activity: In groups, students briefly research each major event on the timeline. Groups add captions to the timeline.

Discuss reasons for increased environmental protection over time.
Define ecologically sustainable development, biodiversity, intergenerational equity, intragenerational equity, the precautionary principle and relate the definitions to media reports. Discuss and make notes on the importance of each concept.

Resources: www.un.org/esa/dsd

www.environment.gov.au

www.geni.org


  • the impact of changing values and ethical standards on environmental protection


  • issues of compliance and non-compliance




2. Responses to global environmental protection










The roles of:

  • nation state and state sovereignty





  • examine the role of sovereignty in assisting and impeding the resolution of global environmental protection  issues


Compile a media file about global environmental issues.

Discuss the media reports and the problems associated with sovereignty and the link with the concept of political will.



Mind map: As a class, create a mind map of when nation states are likely to comply with international law and when not.

Discuss reasons for compliance and non-compliance with international law, and use case studies to support opinion, such as Australia’s support of fishing regulations and whaling, but non-compliance in other issues.




  • the impact of state sovereignty in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict in regard to environmental protection



  • issues of compliance and non-compliance

  • the United Nations


  • international instruments



  • courts and conferences

  • outline the structure and function of the United Nations in relation to environmental protection




Visit www.unep.org/ to investigate the United Nations environmental programs. Research the role of the General Assembly in environmental issues.
Ensure that the class timeline has international instruments and conferences highlighted.

Discuss the effectiveness of these instruments and conferences (due to the limitations placed on them by sovereignty), and suggest reasons for limits to their effectiveness.

Research the effectiveness of the International Court of Justice in global environmental issues.

Resources: www.eea.europa.eu

www.unep.org

www.greenpeace.org.au

www.icj.org

  • the role of law reform in protecting the global environment


  • the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses in protecting the environment


  • media


  • Australia’s federal structure







  • explain the effects of Australia’s federal structure in responding to global environmental protection



  • evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in protecting the global environment

Undertake a webquest of the variety of global and regional intergovernmental and non-government organisations that advocate global environmental protection.

In groups, students prepare a brief report to be presented to the class describing the aims and methods of a major NGO.
What is the role of the media in raising awareness of global environmental issues?

Examine the issues that attract media attention.
Investigate the impact of the division of powers on environmental protection in Australia. Choose two examples of Australian environmental protection.

Discuss problems of protecting the environment that arise because of the different levels of government in Australia and the ability of the federal government to enact laws under section 51. Note problems of protecting the environment with different elected government’s responses to international instruments such as the Kyoto Protocol.

Resources: www.environment.gov.au
www.unep.org

  • the impact of changing values and ethical standards on environmental protection



  • the role of law reform in protecting the global environment


  1. Contemporary issues concerning global environmental protection





On a world map, identify areas where there is a threat to the global environment.




Issues that must be studied:

  • the role of the law in relation to global threats to the environment

  • legal responses to conflict between the demand for resources and global environmental protection


  • Australia’s response to international initiatives for global environmental protection



  • barriers to achieving an international response to global environmental protection




  • identify and investigate these contemporary issues involving the protection of the global environment and evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses to these issues

 

Brainstorm and create a mind map of the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses in protecting the global environment. Support with case studies.

Conduct a class debate about the conflict between the demand for resources versus the need for global environmental protection. Refer to a world map to identify this conflict (eg north-west Australia).
Research Australia’s responses to international initiatives.

Brainstorm and create a mind map about the barriers to achieving an international response.
Written response: Mind map the various responses to global environmental protection.

Scaffold an extended response to ‘Evaluate the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures in protecting the global environment’.

Cite media reports, international instruments, cases, documents or legislation with a judgement about the effectiveness of legal and non-legal measures, backed up with a logical argument.


Resource: Hot Topics, No. 69, International Law, 2009.


  • the effectiveness of legal and non-legal responses in protecting the environment





  • the impact of state sovereignty in encouraging cooperation and resolving conflict in regard to environmental protection







These issues can be studied at the end or integrated throughout the unit especially with reference to the United Nations. Revisit the scaffolded extended response and assess the role of these issues in achieving global environmental protection.







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