This volume examines environmental law and governance in the Pacific, focusing on the emerging challenges this region faces. The Pacific is home to some of the world’s most astonishing biological and cultural diversity. At the same time, Pacific Island nations are economically and technically under-resourced in the face of tremendous environmental challenges. Destructive weather events, ocean acidification, mining, logging, overfishing, and pollution increasingly degrade ecosystems and affect fishing, farming, and other cultural practices of Pacific Islanders. Accordingly, there is an urgent need to understand and analyse the role of law and governance in responding to these pressures in the Pacific. Drawing on academic and practitioner expertise from the Pacific region, as well as Europe and the United States, this unique collection navigates the major environmental law and governance challenges of the present and future of the Pacific. Environmental Law and Governance in the Pacific discusses 21 Pacific Island countries and territories, including Cook Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Samoa, and a broad range of themes, such as deep-sea mining, wetlands and mangroves, heritage, endangered species, human rights, and access to justice, are addressed, thus providing a comprehensive and state-of-the-art overview of environmental law and governance within specific jurisdictions as well as across the Pacific region as a whole.

This volume will be essential reading for students and scholars interested in environmental law and governance in the Pacific region, as well as policy-makers, practitioners and NGOs involved in the development and implementation of environmental law and policy.

part I|26 pages

Overview and context

chapter 1|7 pages


ByMargaretha Wewerinke-Singh, Evan Hamman

chapter 2|17 pages

Environmental law in the context of legal pluralism

BySue Farran

part II|64 pages

Climate change

chapter 3|19 pages

Climate change law in the Pacific Islands

ByMargaretha Wewerinke-Singh, Sarah Mead

chapter 4|19 pages

Traditional customary law responding to climate change

ByKirsten Davies

chapter 5|24 pages

Customary land in Pacific Island countries

Laws and threats
ByJoseph D. Foukona

part III|122 pages

Biodiversity and natural resource management

chapter 6|31 pages

The international institutional framework for seabird conservation in the South Pacific

ByEduardo Gallo-Cajiao, Evan Hamman, Bradley K. Woodworth

chapter 7|27 pages

Endangered and invasive species

Pacific Island legal responses to complex environmental challenges
ByErika Techera

chapter 8|37 pages

Mining in the Pacific

Principles and practices for environmental regulation
ByEvan Hamman, Aline Jaeckel, Calvy Aonima

chapter 9|25 pages

Wetlands of the Pacific

Towards effective law and governance
ByEvan Hamman, Vainuupo Jungblut

part IV|77 pages


chapter 10|22 pages

Heritage law in Pacific Island states

The legacies of colonialism and the elusive possibilities of cultural emancipation
ByLucas Lixinski

chapter 11|26 pages

Human rights and the environment in Pacific Island states

ByMargaretha Wewerinke-Singh, Tammy Tabe, Hansdeep Singh, Jaspreet K. Singh

chapter 12|27 pages

Access to environmental justice for Pacific Islanders

ByElaine Johnson, William Kadi, Evelyn Wohuinangu