Search By Topic


2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance – Access and Allocation in the Anthropocene

Date: March 31, 2014

The challenge of establishing effective strategies for mediating the relationship between humans and the natural world represents one of the most daunting tasks in the quest for environmental sustainability at all levels, from the local to the global. Environmental problems, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, water quality and access problems, soil erosion and others, call into question the fundamental viability of how humans have organized the relationship between society and nature. There is an urgent need to identify and develop new strategies for steering societies towards a more sustainable relationship with the natural world.

The Earth System Governance Project was launched in 2009 to address these problems of environmental governance.

The 2014 Norwich Conference on Earth System Governance will address themes of environmental governance with a special focus on access and allocation.

Access and Allocation not only relates to material resources (e.g. water, forests) but also to the allocation of immaterial values such as rights, benefits, responsibilities and risks. Issues of access and allocation demand new answers in times of the Anthropocene. Such responses need to be interdisciplinary and reconcile with governance effectiveness. Conflicts about natural resources such as water, forests, food, energy and carbon are in essence questions related to the allocation of and access to these resources, and often linked to concepts of security, i.e. “food security” and “water security”.

This conference will include a plenary session on Future Earth.

There will be an Early Career Researchers Workshop on Monday 30th June.