A model national legal framework for mangrove ecosystem services

February 2019January 2023
ARC Discovery Project

Coastal wetlands like mangroves provide significant ecosystem services, including water filtration, carbon sequestration, fisheries habitat and shoreline protection. Unfortunately though, these marine ecosystems have been historically undervalued, with between 30-50% of global coastal wetland extent lost during the 20th century. Although this rate of loss has declined, urgent efforts are still needed to protect, restore and rehabilitate coastal wetland extent.

The object of this project is to consider how coastal wetland ecosystem services can be integrated into legal and policy frameworks in Australia. Using a mix of doctrinal and empirical law research, the outcome will be recommendations for new legal and policy approaches to better project these important ecosystems.

Project outcomes

Bell‐James, JustineFitzsimons, James A.Gillies, Chris L.Shumway, Nicole and Lovelock, Catherine E. (2022).Rolling covenants to protect coastal ecosystems in the face of sea‐level rise. Conservation Science and Practice, 4 (1) e593. doi: 10.1111/csp2.593

Shumway, NicoleBell-James, JustineFitzsimons, James A.Foster, RoseGillies, Chris and Lovelock, Catherine E. (2021).Policy solutions to facilitate restoration in coastal marine environments. Marine Policy, 134 104789, 104789. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104789

Archibald, Carla L.Dade, Marie C.Sonter, Laura J.Bell-James, JustineBoldy, RobynCano, BeatrizFriedman, Rachel S.Siqueira, Flavia FreireMetzger, Jean PaulFitzsimons, James A. and Rhodes, Jonathan R. (2021).Do conservation covenants consider the delivery of ecosystem services?. Environmental Science and Policy, 115, 99-107. doi: 10.1016/j.envsci.2020.08.016

Bell-James, Justine (2020).Ecosystem services as a metaphor in environmental law: balancing intrinsic and instrumental values. University of Queensland Law Journal, 39 (3), 525-548.

Bell-James, JustineLovelock, Catherine E. and Phelan, Anya (2020).Introduction to the Special Issue on Ecosystem Services and Law. University of Queensland Law Journal, 39 (3), 389-390.

Bell-James, JustineBoardman, Tessa and Foster, Rose (2020).Can’t see the (mangrove) forest for the trees: Trends in the legal and policy recognition of mangrove and coastal wetland ecosystem services in Australia. Ecosystem Services, 45 101148, 101148. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoser.2020.101148

Bell-James, Justine and Lovelock, Catherine E (2019).Legal barriers and enablers for reintroducing tides: An Australian case study in reconverting ponded pasture for climate change mitigation. Land Use Policy, 88 104192, 104192. doi: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2019.104192

Bell-James, Justine (2019).Integrating the ecosystem services paradigm into environmental law: a mechanism to protect mangrove ecosystems?. Journal of Environmental Law, 31 (2), 291-314. doi: 10.1093/jel/eqz010

Project members

Associate Professor Justine Bell-James

Associate Professor & Director of Higher Degree Research & of T.C. Beirne School of Law
TC Beirne School of Law