This book, the result of a joint effort of the IUCN Commission on Environmental Law and the IUCN Environmental Law Centre, is a contribution to the ongoing discussions about environmental governance.

In an increasingly global world with growing demands on natural resources, this is a very timely publication which addresses three key issues: globalisation, democracy and sustainability.

It offers a thoughtful consideration of concepts which are critical to enhancing our understanding of how societies respond to environmental challenges. The book also provides a number of practical case studies, which look at the experiences faced by people and communities around the world as they address pressing local and national issues. These case studies demonstrate a range of governance models and highlight the obstacles faced by communities as well as their successes.

Importantly, the book does not attempt to conclude on the benefits or advantages of any one model or theory. Rather the authors invite all of us engaged in environmental issues to begin a renewed dialogue on the issue of governance for sustainability in order to seek solutions which will make a real difference on the ground. We hope that the readers will take up that difficult but important challenge.

Sheila Abed Alejandro Iza
Chair, Commission on Head, Environmental Law Programme
Environmental Law Director, Environmental Law Centre

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