Law and the Governance of (Potential) Ecosystem Collapse with Dr Reuben Makomere

Presenter: Dr Reuben Makomere, University Associate, University of Tasmania, Australia; Visiting Scholar, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge, UK

Moderator: Dr Kennedy Mbeva, Research Associate, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge, UK

We are now in the Anthropocene, an era defined by the significant impact of human activities on our planet. This includes global climate change, the loss of biodiversity, increasing ocean acidification, among other crises. Taken together, these challenges not only threaten our livelihoods but our very existence, representing a profound risk to the entire societies.

In response, governments worldwide have implemented various policies, laws, and regulations. However, a growing gap exists between these governance measures on one hand, and the escalating and increasingly complex risks and crises on the other. Additionally, governance often faces gridlock, making it challenging to effectively mitigate and manage these risks. It is crucial, therefore, to re-evaluate our current approach and efforts in governing these crises, which present both catastrophic and existential risks to socio-ecological systems.

Against this backdrop, this seminar will explore the role of law in managing complex, catastrophic and existential risk. It will particularly focus on the approach to, types, and effectiveness of legal mechanisms used by governments to respond to the threat of potential collapse of marine ecosystems while also balancing the developmental needs of societies that depend on the threatened ecosystems.

The event is organised by the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) and convened by the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK.

Dr Makomere will share insights drawn from his original research on the governance of marine ecosystems in the United States, Australia, and the Western Indian Ocean. His presentation will cover not only the ecological impacts of climate-ocean change but also the broader socio-economic repercussions of associated ecosystems at risk of collapsing. His research combines academic study with practical policy engagement, involving policymakers, diplomats, local communities, and other stakeholders across regions.

This interdisciplinary research offers valuable insights for a diverse audience, including legal professionals, scholars from various scientific and social disciplines, and interested members of the public.

Online Link (Teams):

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Meeting ID: 314 773 065 737
Passcode: 6VAdrZ 

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