Conflation of, and Conflict Between, Regulatory Mandates: Managing the Fragmentation of International Environmental Law in a Globalised World
The concepts of globalisation and fragmentation present both challenges and opportunities for international environmental governance. They are, nevertheless, contradictory concepts. On the one hand globalisation emphasises notions of interdependence and linkage between problems and solutions. Within the field of environmental protection the concept of ecological interdependence has long since been recognised and the globalisation of international environmental law is arguably a necessary component of modern international environmental governance. On the other hand, fragmentation of international law – as characterised by “the emergence of specialized and (relatively) autonomous rules or rule complexes, legal institutions and spheres of legal practice”1 – emphasises the isolation and disconnect between regimes and institutions. Nevertheless, both globalisation and fragmentation create similar challenges to international environmental governance: how to manage the interaction between environmental regimes so as to minimise unnecessary conflation of, and conflict between, their regulatory mandates. It is this question that provides the central theme of this paper.