Law & Nature

The Program on Law and Nature concerns the complex relationships between humans, the natural environment and biological diversity (from ecosystems to genetic resources) in Australia and globally. One of the major challenges of the twenty-first century is how to respond to the significant challenges posed by these relationships, including food and water security, the global ‘carbon crisis’, and the responsibility of humans in the anthropocene.

Researchers in the Program are at work on a broad array of important issues, including animal law, environmental and planning law, bio-discovery laws, intellectual property protection for naturally occurring organisms, and water rights and obligations. Researchers in the Program are also investigating legal (and extra-legal) mechanisms for effectively regulating water conservation, ecological restoration, climate change and alternative energy, exploitation of mineral resources within and beyond national jurisdiction, the Polar Regions, and the protection of biological diversity and use of genetic resources.

In 2016, the Program commenced a major three-year research project on the environmental future of Northern Australia, supported by a new post- doctoral researcher. The LFC Annual Conference for 2017 will showcase the research output of the project.