Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The law of the land-Sustainability Research Conducted by Professor Jody Endres and Rayane Aguiar

The information in this article appeared originally on International Innovation's website in October, 2015. A copy of the article can be found on their website here. Jody Endres is an EUC affiliated faculty and Rayane Aguiar is a Master of Arts in European Union Studies alum.

At first glance, it may appear that farming is not as harmful to the environment like other practices such as drilling for fossil fuels or overfishing. However, environmental concerns can stem from agricultural practices, and each farmer has a different idea of how their work impacts the environment. Dr. Jody Endres and PhD candidate Rayane Aguiar have been conducting research on the implementation of "agricultural policy" around the world to create some consistency.

Dr. Endres' research

...focuses on the legal environmental regimes that surround biomass-based cropping systems. “Renewable energy policy in Europe is driving discussions in the US about how to verify the sustainability of bioenergy feedstocks, whether for transportation fuels or power, particularly for export to Europe,” she explains. [...]For more than seven years, Endres has been concerned with developing new standards for biofuels sustainability that can encourage a sustainable system like the one maintained in Europe – or even, ultimately, a perennial cropping system. “Bioenergy served as the perfect platform to consider how to redesign agricultural and forested landscapes to include more diverse systems that can include many perennial bioenergy crops,” she enthuses. Indeed, with rising consumer concern in the US over forest use for biofuels, private and public organisations have never been under greater pressure to ensure that the agri-forest supply chain is sustainable. In order to achieve this, though, sustainability attributes must be measured and legal frameworks developed.
Since the late 2000s, Endres has been examining topics such as the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive and the US Clean Water Act to help guide her research in agricultural policy. She has also worked on grants to continue her work.

Dr. Endres' research also collaborate with Rayane Aguiar's research.  "The objective of Aguiar’s research is to mobilise her holistic view of how law and policies can be used to remedy societal and environmental problems, in turn supporting sustainable farming on local and global scales." Together, the two work together to gather information and research regarding changes in agricultural policy.

To learn more about Endres and Aguiar's research, the full article and interview questions can be found on International Innovation's website .

Jody Endres is Professor of Law in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her JD from the University of Illinois College of Law in 2000. Her research centres on how to develop integrated sustainability policy at the nexus of agricultural, environmental and energy systems, and her current work includes institutional and comparative approaches for building green development metrics in law and policy. She is also involved in several national and international collaborations.

Rayane Aguiar is a lab student of Endres, conducting PhD research on environmental law and policies, and sustainable farming at the local and global level.


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