The Future of Environmental Law Mapping

…from World Changing

“GIS applications have been evolving in many directions, well beyond geography. Many fields such as environmental economics, social science, health science and administration are now aggregated with scientific representations. The methods for environmental and social mapping are now participatory too. Together, these tools offer new, integrated visions of our territories (or anthromes) and could greatly assist environmental lawyers and policy makers.

“Maps and plans have been considered legal tools in urban and planning law for a long time here in France. The “Plan Local d’Urbanismes” (formerly “POS” ) with its “graphical documents” are both legally binding. Sectoral environmental legislation also offers legally binding spatial representations, such as boundaries in protected areas, water catchments or industrial zones. In international law, the Counsil of Europe developed guidelines on coastal management that include “legal mapping” as a relevant tool (art. 26).”