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The thesis of the E4A and L4E Law and Governance Research Initiative, led by Geoffrey Garver, is that the Anthropocene imposes a pressing need to reframe law and governance toward a mutually enhancing human-Earth relationship, with rigorous reliance on contemporary science and traditional knowledge systems. The research initiative is coordinated closely with the work of the Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA)  ELGA emerged out of the 2016 Oslo Manifesto for Ecological Law and Governance. Per the Manifesto, “the ecological approach to law is based on ecocentrism, holism, and intra-/intergenerational and interspecies justice. From this perspective, or worldview, the law will recognise ecological interdependencies and no longer favour humans over nature and individual rights over collective responsibilities. Essentially, ecological law internalizes the natural living conditions of human existence and makes them the basis of all law, including constitutions, human rights, property rights, corporate rights and state sovereignty.”

Key Activities for 2022

1) Continuation of the EL&G webinar series, in partnership with ELGA, the Australian Earth Laws Alliance,  The Center for Environmental Ethics and LawEarth Law Center and the World Commission on Environmental Law.

2) Ongoing development of a series of Ecological Law Case Studies in Quebec, Vermont, Brazil, Nigeria and elsewhere, with a view to publishing the studies along with a comparative analysis in 2022.   The case studies were the topic of two ELGA webinars in February 2020 and June 2021.


3) Coordination of EL&G panels at relevant conferences and symposia.

4) Ongoing collaboration with ELGA and ELGA partners and regional research centers on joint areas of interest. Click here for more details.

5) Launching of L4E law and governance research publications, including Ecological Law and the Planetary Crisis: A Legal Guide for Harmony on Earth and Posthuman Legalities: New Materialism and Law Beyond the Human. Click here and here for more details.

Past EL&G webinars covering the intersection of ecological law and governance with topics such as rights of nature, oceans, ethics and spirituality, human rights, climate change, COVID-19 and more are archived on the ELGA website.

Upcoming Work Plan


The L4E Community is in the process of reviewing and updating its law and governance research and outreach workplan and activities, taking into account the ongoing evolution of L4E and new relationship of L4E with CICADA [see here] and the McGill Department of Anthropology.  An updated work plan is expected in Summer 2022.

Past Work Plan

The 2020 work plan for the E4A L&G Research Initiative built on previous efforts, notably an October 2017 joint E4A/ELGA workshop on the transition from environmental to ecological law and Ecological Law and Governance webinars that began in 2017. New in 2020 was work on ecological law case studies, which are designed 1) to highlight how ecological law transforms not just environmental law but all areas of contemporary law and 2) to give the mostly theoretical concepts of ecological law concrete ground in real life situations around the world. 

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