S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.07 (1998)
ROLE OF SCIENCE IN MULTILATERAL ENVIRONMENTAL NEGOTIATION
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 국제지역원
- 국제지역연구, Vol.07 No.2, pp. 21-34
- According to Porter and Brown, multilateral environmental negotiations involve four phases, namely issue definition, fact-finding, bargaining, and regime strengthening. Scientific investigations and their results can play an important role in these four different phases. However, a review of most of the multilateral environmental negotiations since the 1972 Stockholm conference shows that in most cases scientific evidence has been of limited value or even irrelevant. There are several reasons for this, but probably the most important one is related to scientific uncertainty hovering over environmental negotiation. Due to such uncertainty, scientific findings are easily subject to manipulation for extraneous ends. Moreover, scientific uncertainty allows political actors to exercise greater control over decision making. Therefore, in order to make environmental negotiations proceed upon scientific evidence, it is crucial to handle uncertainty properly. One way of handling uncertainty is to promote research cooperation. It is also important to give science its due, and maintain a balance between science and politics. Moreover, new environmental treaty-making techniques should be explored. Montreal Protocol is probably the best example of science playing a major driving force behind political action. Four major scientific discoveries were to influence the negotiation process. Some important lessons can be learned which should be applied to other multilateral negotiations. For instance, agreements should be made flexible enough to accommodate new scientific information. To assure the acceptance of scientific data, scientists must be perceived as unbiased and nonpartisan. Scientific working groups and workshops between politicians and scientist should be a part of the negotiation process.