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When implementation works: A comparison of Ramsar Convention implementation in different continents
University of Vienna, Department of Botany and Biodiversity Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, Austria.
Griffith Law School, Griffith University, QLD, Australia.
United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS), Japan.
2015 (English)In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, Vol. 51, p. 95-105Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What are the processes that shape implementation of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in multilevel governance? In an attempt to address this question, we move from a top-down view of implementation as compliance with international rules to viewing it as a dynamic process shaped by action at various levels. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands offers an important context to understand the mechanisms that shape multilevel implementation outcomes. We examine Ramsar Convention implementation in Austria, Mexico, and the Republic of Korea in order to identify relevant processes that define multilevel implementation. These cases represent three different types of government, and shed light on the ways in which international law is implemented by respective governments. The Austrian case, a federal government, illustrates the ways in which subnational authorities (the provinces) are influenced by binding regional institutions (EU-rules) to create a more robust context for protection in terms of designation of Ramsar sites. The Mexican case, a semi-federal government, shows how spurred involvement by local NGOs, states, and scientists can result in significant expansion of efforts. The Korean case, a unitary government, demonstrates the ways in which aligning institutional interests (in this case local governments with national ministries) can lead to strong implementation. Analysis of these cases provides two robust findings and one deserving additional study. First, overlapping governance efforts where activity has ties with multiple regional and international biodiversity efforts tend to see cumulative implementation. Second, institutional and organizational complexity can provide opportunities for local actors to drive the implementation agenda through a mix of processes of coordination and contentious politics. A third, more tentative finding, is that multilevel funding sources can ease implementation. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier Ltd , 2015. Vol. 51, p. 95-105
Keywords [en]
Biodiversity conservation, Funding, Global environmental politics, Implementation, International law, Local public participation, Multilevel governance, Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, Regional integration, Article, Austria, biodiversity, environmental planning, government, Mexico, multilateral environmental agreement, priority journal, Ramsar Convention, South Korea, wetland
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-38002DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2015.03.016Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84927918872OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-38002DiVA, id: diva2:1378529
Available from: 2019-12-13 Created: 2019-12-13 Last updated: 2019-12-13Bibliographically approved

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Mauerhofer, Volker

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