The Earth System Governance Project is convening a panel discussion called Environmental governance for the Anthropocene:  Opportunities and challenges for advancing knowledge and practice. The panel is part of the 19th International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. The theme of this year’s conference is “a time for integration”, since the lack of integration among the sciences is a major constraint to dealing with the complex nature of today’s environmental problems. The panel will introduce the Earth System Governance Project as an exciting global initiative whose main objective is to address this issue. Panelists will discuss the opportunities, challenges, and applications of environmental governance research across different contexts, especially that of the “Anthropocene.”

The “Anthropocene” has emerged as a way of describing the epoch of history in which humans are the primary influence in shaping the planet’s environmental systems, from land and natural resource use and management to atmospheric emissions and oceanic chemistry.  Environmental governance can be defined as the formal and informal institutions, policies, rules, and practices that shape how humans interact with the environment at all levels of social organization. While the environmental sciences are producing information about how earth systems are changing – and the trends, risks, and thresholds associated with these changes — there is a parallel need and opportunity for social sciences to generate knowledge about the governance approaches that drive these trends, risks, and thresholds.  

The panel will be held on Friday June 7, from 13:30 – 15:30 in Assembly Hall B of the Estes Park Center. The preliminary conference schedule can be found here.

Panelists and their presentations are as follows:

  • Michele Betsill (Dept. of Political Science, Colorado State University): “The earth system governance research agenda: an introduction to the project’s science plan
  • Erik Nielsen (School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, Northern Arizona University): “Accountability across scales – Latin American community-based conservation and the Four Forest Restoration Initiative
  • Shannon McNeeley (North Central Climate Science Center): “Adaptation in the United States: Where are we now? From assessment to action to accountability

Audience members are invited to participate with their experiences, ideas, and challenges about advancing knowledge and practice of environmental governance.

Tony Cheng, Director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute at Colorado State University and Earth System Governance Senior Research Fellow is the Panel Organizer. For more information, please refer to the conference website.