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Legal Perspectives on Sustainability$
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Margherita Pieraccini and Tonia Novitz

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781529201000

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529201000.001.0001

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Sustainability and Marine Conservation Law

Sustainability and Marine Conservation Law

(p.213) 8 Sustainability and Marine Conservation Law
Legal Perspectives on Sustainability

Margherita Pieraccini

Policy Press

This chapter takes at its point of departure SDG 14 (life below water) and the specific target of conservation (SDG 14.5). It shows that interpreting SDG 14.5 within the context and purpose of Agenda 2030 means paying attention to three main sustainability criteria. The first relates to substantive socio-ecological inter-pillar relationality, that is to say an acknowledgement of ontological relationality between pillars, beyond an understanding of sustainability as trade off. The second relates to intra-pillar relationality, that is links between conservation and other environmental sectors and the third to procedural inclusion through participatory decision-making in line with the epistemic pluralisation of sustainability. These three criteria are used to assess the sustainability of current EU marine conservation law. One legislative instrument on marine conservation in EU law is chosen as example, namely the Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora. The Habitats Directive is the cornerstone of conservation law in the EU and it is among the instruments listed by the European Commission as ways to support the implementation of Agenda 2030 and target 14.5.

Keywords:   Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC; epistemic plurality, ontological relationality, SDG 14.5

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