Countries around the world recognize the importance of global and regional environmental governance and express their willingness to cooperate and support common goals. However it is increasingly apparent that most current governance regimes have not proven effective. The issue is therefore what steps could be taken to transform global or regional agreements into effective measures for implementation at the national level. Commitment will remain as good intentions without results if a country’s governmental system does not translate them into operational processes which affect environmental performance. Consequently a key issue, is what brings a country’s government system to reform its environmental performance?
It is frequently proposed that transformation is achieved through top down or bottom up processes, or a combination of both. This paper proposes that transformation can often best be achieved through the middle rung of the ladder, neither top nor bottom, but through a horizontal shift generated by the epistemic community of professional environmentalists inside government.
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