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Challenge to western lifestyles

Media release
23 September 2008

Challenge to western lifestyles

Drastic changes in how we produce and consume are required in order to save the environment from further catastrophic harm.

Professor Klaus Bosselmann from The University of Auckland Law School will deliver this blunt warning in his inaugural professorial lecture on 21 October.

Addressing the topic “Losing the forest for the trees: Reductionism of the environment in law and policy” he will argue that sustainability law must transform the way people live.

“Environmental laws and policies have saved some trees,” says Professor Bosselmann, “but the ‘forest’ is being lost as critical global issues including climate change, biodiversity loss and our ecological footprint continue to worsen.

“Current laws and policies merely mitigate the ecological damage caused by industrial economies and western lifestyles. They assume that environmental problems can be managed without significant changes to production and consumption patterns.”

A “sustainability approach” is needed, says Professor Bosselmann. “Sustainability law is proactive, aiming for transformation rather than mitigation.

“The good news is that sustainability-related values and principles are evolving into accepted norms of international environmental law. The bad news is that governments and courts are not adopting them fast enough.”

Klaus Bosselmann, director of the New Zealand Centre for Environmental Law, is NZ’s first professor of environmental law. This year alone has seen publication of four books written or edited by him on sustainability and governance, “ecological integrity”, and the global environment.

Event: Inaugural lecture by Professor Klaus Bosselmann on “Losing the forest for the trees: Reductionism of the environment in law and policy”

Date: Tuesday 21 October

Time: 7pm (drinks and canapes to follow at 8pm)

Venue: Lecture Theatre 401.439, School of Engineering, 20 Symonds Street, Auckland. Admission is free and all are welcome. No bookings.

RSVP: 373-7599 ext 85971,


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