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  Editorial


  by Professor Evangelos Raftopoulos,
  Editor and Director of MEPIELAN Centre,
  Panteion University of Athens, Greece





Welcome to the new edition of MEPIELAN E-Bulletin.

We are gratified that the previous editions have been so well received by many readers. Nearly a year after the MEPIELAN E-Bulletin’s launch, there have been over 5.500 visits to the Bulletin’s website from 133 countries worldwide. Once more, I wish to express my gratitude and thanks to all those who have been instrumental in the success of this Bulletin.

Each time we are striving to offer contributions from a variety of perspectives and approaches. Commited to serve the vision of this Bulletin, we provide a dynamic forum for inter-disciplinary knowledge and discussion, engaging international scholars, enlightened policy makers and promising young researchers in addressing critical environmental issues from the standpoint of promoting and developing international common interest. This edition is featured by several new articles, along with the steady stream of thematic news and the presentation of selected new, knowledge-advancing books. A Guest Article written by Peter M. Haas, Professor of Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst, offers an insightful and critical  view of the effort of the next global environmental conference “Rio Plus 20” to accelerate the shift to a “green economy” and institutional reform arrangements, “a seriously disjoined agenda” as he calls it, underlining their deficiencies in view of the indispensable need for building the social capacity for sustainable development and for broadening the discussion for institutional reform extending it beyond the monotonous UN restructuring.

Three Insight Articles also feature this edition: Valerie Brachya, Director of the Environmental Policy Center, Jerusalem Institute for Israel Research, drawing upon her rich experience and using three examples of transgovernmentalism for management of environmental issues (MAP, OECD and EU-ENP), acutely proposes that effective environmental governance requires reform of environmental performance that can be attained not “through top down or bottom up processes, or a combination of both”, but through a more horizontal approach, engaging the environmental professional epistemic community across the participating countries and developing links between the environmental and economic community within a country. Meinhard Doelle Associate Professor of Environmental Law, Associate Director, Marine & Environmental Law Institute, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, skillfully presents an overview of the complexities, dynamics and the various stages of the negotiation process shaping the future UN Climate Change regime, focusing on the legal, technical and policy complications of the separate tracks of this process (the Kyoto track and the UNFCC track) and highlighting the key issues at stake. Ms. Ekaterini Lygkoni, Environmentalist, provides an interesting presentation of the success story of Shetland Islands, which set a world example of effective sustainable development governance in the management of their oil and gas resources for the benefit of their local community, and she analyzes the legal, institutional and policy factors and instruments that determine and affect the implementation of this governance process. Finally, a Critical Forum Article, written by Alexandros Kailis, a Ph. D. Candidate and a Researcher at the MEPIELAN Centre, usefully and perceptively points to the imperative need for education and continuously training of negotiators engaged in all phases and aspects of international environmental negotiation, underlining the multifaceted complexities embedded in this  process, and provides, in this context, an interesting presentation of two Guides for negotiators of international environmental agreements.

MEPIELAN E-Bulletin is a dynamic electronic newsletter of MEPIELAN Centre, Panteion University of Athens, Greece.  It features guest articles, insights articles, critical forum textual contributions and reflections, specially selected documents and cases, book reviews as well as news on thematic topics of direct interest of MEPIELAN Centre, presented in a clear, insightful and attractive way whilst shedding light on topical issues of environmental law, governance and policy significance. Content bridges theory and practice perspectives of international law, international environmental law, sustainable development, and international negotiating process, and includes notifications of MEPIELAN cooperation updates and news. The Bulletin is an addition to our communication instruments which include an edited Series, the MEPIELAN Studies in International Environmental Law and Negotiation.

It is hoped that its content will contribute to a scholarly debate on important issues of current interest, providing an independent, open access forum for the promotion of innovative ideas and enlightened critical views of distinguished authors. The Bulletin further aims at offering a knowledge- and information-sharing platform for MEPIELAN audience, striving to serve a modern thinking and questing community, in the hope that it will stimulate constructive discussions on the issues presented.  The audience includes academics, researchers, university students, international lawyers, officials and personnel of international organizations and institutional arrangements, heads and personnel of national authorities and administration at all levels (national, regional and local), members of Non-Governmental Organizations, as well as the relevant private sector.

My deepest appreciation goes to the authors of the articles and other contributions to this edition, to the members of the editorial team, and to our worldwide audience sharing with us the ideas and message of this Bulletin, who unfailingly keep up its momentum against the odds.



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