The purpose of this article is to use the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development’s Agenda 21 discussion of globally significant fragile ecosystems as an imaginative launching point for some tentative explorations of what a recent Stanford Law Review Symposium terms "law and borders" studies. More specifically, I am interested in sketching and briefly analyzing what I call the "legal-geo-philosophical" characteristics of three examples of globally significant fragile ecosystems addressed in Agenda 21: (1) drylands, (2) mountains, and (3) coastal areas. The article's legal-geo-philosophical analysis, then, is an initial attempt to ponder some of the connections between law, geography and philosophy as these fields relate to the mapping of human concerns about globally significant fragile ecosystems. In the remainder of this article I shall, initially, in Part II, delineate pertinent geographical characteristics of drylands, mountains, and coastal areas and explain why they are deemed to be globally significant fragile ecosystems by the drafters of Agenda 21. Part III considers various philosophical aspects of the aforementioned globally significant fragile ecosystems. This discussion commences with (a) political and ethical aspects, then considers (b) epistemological aspects, and concludes with (c) aesthetic aspects. In Part IV, I offer some brief thoughts on a possible "virtual" form of international public space which could conceivably, consistent with insights gained through legal-geo-philosophical edification, enhance our understanding of and appreciation for globally significant fragile ecosystems. The article concludes with Part V.
Robert F. Blomquist,
Virtual Borders - Some Legal-Geo-Philosophical Musings on Three Globally Significant Fragil Ecosystems under United Nations' Agenda 21 ,
45 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol45/iss1/4