A Regulatory Primer of International Environmental Policy and Land Use

  • Beth Ann Fiedler


A review of international environmental regulation and land use in action establishes the high-level legal foundation of regulatory guidelines to define concepts, highlight important areas of law to promote fundamental understanding, create general discourse, address existing conditions, and prioritize ecosystem destruction avoidance from common ground. The analysis discusses natural resources, land use, and economic development on a global scale guiding the reader through high-level international environmental policy with a focus on land use and land degradation. The chapter demonstrates the overarching role of international environmental policy and land use in the development of policy at subsequent levels of government—national, state, or local—shaping land use policy and decision-making that can incrementally contribute to overall improvements to the global landscape, and thus population health.


Environmental law Public health law Land use Land degradation 



The author would like to thank the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School for their commitment to open access of legal topics and associated law in their online directory. Also, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for thought-provoking content and forward-thinking research. Finally, The World Bank in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations for access to their consistent and reliable data. Dissemination of this information is the sole responsibility of the author and utilization of this material does not imply legal advice or endorsement.



The number of different species contained within specific ecosystems

Biodiversity loss

A consequence of land degradation; when species are lost to an ecosystem due to deforestation and other human activity


A consequence of land degradation; when human activity strip forests without concern for the long-term consequences of land and water quality


One consequence of land degradation; when a region that is already characterized as being dry with relatively less precipitation or naturally occurring bodies of water, plants, and animals suffers losses from human activity, weather, and other conditions

Environmental impact assessments

Analyzing various effects on social, economic, environmental conditions and taking measures to minimize impact of new development

Land degradation

When land is unable to produce natural resources (e.g., crops, wilderness, grazing areas) due to overuse, contamination or other causes elicited from human activity and production

Land use

Linked to several major areas of public administration such as natural resource management, waste disposal, transportation, urbanization, agriculture, recreation, and forest

Land use planning

Task of local governments to utilize national or regional spatial planning guidance to formulate specific land use


Dangerous disease transmitted when an infected mosquito bites several humans; impacts human red blood cells that, in turn, impact organs such as the brain, kidneys, and liver

Soil erosion

A consequence of land degradation; when human activity removes soil stabilizing canopies that protect water resources and soil fertility is lost as weather (e.g., wind, rain, direct sunlight) removes top soil rendering it useless for crops

Spatial planning

A task of national governments to determine the potential general structure of human activity to guide local planners on specific land use

Zika Virus

Spread by infectious mosquitoes; particularly harmful to fetus development

Zoonotic disease

The transmission of infectious diseases in animals to humans caused by a variety of pathogens including viruses (e.g., rabies, HIV, and Ebola), bacteria (anthrax found in soil consumed by goats, sheep; bartonella from cat scratches), fungi (dermatomycoses from rats), or parasitic activity (Trichinella found in cows and pigs)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth Ann Fiedler
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent Research AnalystJacksonvilleUSA

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