International climate change law and policy expert Prof. Joyeeta Gupta of VU University Amsterdam delivered a Pardee Center Lecture titled “Sustainable Development Governance: ‘Glocal’ Challenges and Opportunities” at the BU Castle on October 11. Along with the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, co-sponsors of the talk included the Boston University Earth and Environment Department, and the Clark University Graduate School of Geography.
Prof. Gupta began her lecture by addressing governance challenges, including the definition of sustainable development governance, the shape of policymaking, and the role of scale in matching problems with solutions. She used the “North-South” paradigm as an example of how dominant national views — in particular U.S.- and EU-centrism — can shape international power relationships, and thus policy agendas and approaches to sustainable development.
She discussed three sustainable development case studies involving water, forests, and climate change. For each case she touched on the “glocal” component, or how local problems can have an impact on national and global policy decisions.
She concluded by advocating constitutionalism, rule of law, and well-functioning courts as necessary components of good sustainable development governance practice, especially in establishing the scientific basis for policies and standards of proof.
Prof. Gupta’s talk was the keynote address associated with the Pardee Center Task Force on Global Environmental Governance in and for the 21st Century, which met at Pardee House on Oct. 11 and 12. The Task Force includes a dozen experts on environmental governance at various scales, including Prof. Gupta, and is co-chaired by Pardee Faculty Fellows Anne Short and Henrik Selin along with Prof. James McCarthy of the Clark University Graduate School of Geography. As an outcome of the meeting, the group will produce a Pardee Task Force Report to be published in 2013.