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Bolster legal boundaries to stay within planetary boundaries

Environmental laws are binding and enforceable tools that constrain human impacts on the environment, but how effective are they at keeping humanity away from critical planetary boundaries?

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Figure 1: Feedbacks between human activities (red area) and legal boundaries (yellow bands) relative to planetary boundaries (Earth).


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G.C., Y.E. and J.V.L.B. acknowledge the support of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency to the research program Claws & Laws ( A.T. acknowledges the support of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research to the research program Ius Carnivoris (

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G.C. designed the study. G.C. and Y.E. collected and analysed data. G.C., Y.E., A.T. and J.V.L.B. jointly wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Guillaume Chapron.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Chapron, G., Epstein, Y., Trouwborst, A. et al. Bolster legal boundaries to stay within planetary boundaries. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 0086 (2017).

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