The law and science are two separate fields, mutually independent of the other, however often there are instances when the two fields must work together for a common greater good.
Preservation and promotion of the environment is one such instance when scientific and legal efforts should work in concert to achieve a positive outcome.
Science explains why and how certain environmental phenomena occur, it lends insight into the scientific processes that have led to the current climate and environmental crises that we face today.
More than that, science is instrumental in offering a pool of potential solutions to the problems associated with environmental degradation and climate change.
That being said, it is important to note that science cannot confront the aforementioned issues without a proper legal framework.
This is where the law comes in.
A proper legal framework is as essential as good science in the fight against climate change and environmental issues. The law serves as a guide as to the extent that science can go in a bid to solve the issues in question.
The balance between sound legal doctrine and sound science is illustrated in the following example. Take for instance the debate regarding alternative fuel from maize (known as corn in some countries) and food security. The fact that alternative fuel can be derived from maize was a wonderful scientific breakthrough, however, the law has been able to ask the important human rights questions regarding the effect of prolonged usage of a food source as alternative fuel. The legal framework in place is able to keep checks and balances necessary for an all round positive outcomes.
Some solutions may seem appropriate from a scientific perspective, but may prove inappropriate from a legal standpoint.
Similarly, law and policy may sometimes propose ambitious measures to address environmental and climate change issues. Science is then needed to offer a realistic picture of the measures proposed.
Ultimately, the two fields must work together to achieve optimum results.
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