The Environmental Defence Society has published a report titled Environmental Advocacy in a Future Resource Management System. Authored by EDS Policy Director Dr Greg Severinsen, it investigates how advocacy could be improved as part of the reform process replacing the Resource Management Act.
A key recommendation is the creation of an Environmental Defender’s Office, comparable to the UK’s new Office for Environmental Protection, which has powers to take the government to court.
Advocacy is defined in the report as how people and institutions argue for better environmental outcomes within the resource management system.
“The importance of advocacy, in achieving positive environmental outcomes in the public interest, is often not fully appreciated,” says Dr Severinsen. “Who persuades decision-makers, how and for what purpose can be as significant in influencing decisions as who the actual decision-maker is. Such persuasion can occur in places like the courtroom, the Beehive, council chambers or the realm of public opinion.”
The full report, a shorter report highlighting key recommendations, and a four-page summary document can be found on the EDS website here.
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