Professor Keith Hirokawa delivered a talk last month on “Sustaining Ecosystem Services through Local Environmental Law” as part of a seminar series presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its employees and partners.
Based on an article that Professor Hirokawa published in the Pace Environmental Law Review, the presentation laid out the advantages of local regulation over federal control in protecting ecosystem services. Ecosystem services concern the important benefits that humans receive from ecosystem processes, such as climate and storm control, water filtering, and species biodiversity. In contrast to the goods that come from ecosystems (such as bananas and minerals) and have market value, it is often difficult to measure value of ecosystem services. In his presentation, Professor Hirokawa suggested that local governments are essential to ecosystem services protection because of the importance of community norms in measuring ecosystem value.
At Albany Law School, Professor Hirokawa teaches Property, Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law, State and Local Environmental Law, Land Use Law, and a seminar on Environmental Law, Policy and Ethics. His scholarship explores convergences in ecology, ethics, economics, and law, with particular attention given to local environmental law, ecosystem services policy, watershed management, and environmental impact analysis. He frequently publishes articles in books and law journals on these topics and was the co-editor of Greening Local Government with Touro Law Dean Patricia Salkin.
Ecosystem services concern the important benefits that
humans receive from ecosystem processes, such as climate and storm
control, water filtering, and species biodiversity.
Professor Hirokawa has been active with the State and Local Government Section of the ABA. He currently serves on the Executive Committee for the Environmental Law Section of the NYSBA and is an issue editor for the NYSBA Environmental Law Section's publication, The New York Environmental Lawyer.
He earned his law degree and master's degree from the University of Connecticut, and his L.L.M. from Lewis and Clark Law School.