Environmental Management: Evolution of Institutional Changes

Georgy Fomenko

Published: Problems of regional ecology. 2019. №4. pp.52-63.

The article is devoted to increasing the effectiveness of activities in the field of environmental protection through the reorientation of environmental institutions towards sustainable development, taking into account the socio-cultural characteristics of the territories. Use of tools of economic and social geography allowed to consider the problems of importing environmental institutions in various  historical and geographical conditions. Analysis of the evolution of formal and informal environmental institutions, using the behavioral model of homo responsibilis proposed by the author, made it possible to identify a socio-cultural corridor of institutional changes in environmental management and the most significant directions for its expansion.
Analysis of the evolution of environmental institutions showed how the scale of environmental regulation has increased and environmental institutions integrated into territorial institutional systems have developed and become more complex over the centuries. An analysis of institutional changes in environmental management on the example of Russia proved that, starting with the Mesolithic and with the globalization of environmental problems and the complexity of human civilization, there has been an expansion in the scale and spectrum of use of natural resources and ecosystem services, as well as an increase in environmental risks and threats of global environmental disasters.
The article notes that the implementation of the global sustainable development goals in Russia involves the development and application of new environmental institutions and relevant indicators of their effectiveness at all levels of the territory organization. The import of environmental institutions from the experience of other countries, own history or theory will be limited in the short term by the socio-cultural institutional corridor. For environmental activities, such institutional constraints explain the modern dominance of control and administrative methods of public administration (administrative ban on the development of dirty industries, budget programs for the elimination of environmental damage, etc.).
The institutional situation in Russia regarding the SDGs implementation creates the need for a targeted systemic “subtle” expansion of the institutional corridor for future changes. In this context, the article emphasizes the importance of developing mechanisms of strategic spatial planning and design on a sustainable basis and using full economic value. Public-private partnership can help increase the interest of business and local communities in the implementation of the SDGs with minimal economic and social costs. This is not feasible without appropriate information and analytical support, which involves the development and use of indicators of environmental-economic accounting.

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