Agriculture, one of the oldest activities subject to legal regulation, is undergoing a revolutionary redefinition of its own identity. From a monofunctional idea (in which agriculture was exclusively focussed on producing goods for private use and on the economic remuneration of the producers) we have now passed to a multifunctional idea (in which agriculture is perceived as a source of providing the community with a series of public ecosystemic services, whose global value is inestimable).
This change has been accompanied by the birth of a new interdisciplinary science: agroecology, established in the 1980's. Agroecology has progressively integrated the viewpoint of disciplines like agronomy, ecology, sociology, economy, philosophy, until it has become fully transdisciplinary. However, law has remained outside the lines of research of the young science agroecology. It is important to attempt to include the viewpoint of law within agroecology.
In order to do so, legal practitioners should go beyond the current limits of the academic sectors and exceed the distinction between agricultural law and environmental law. A new analysis is necessary. A law of sustainable agricultural ecosystems has to be drawn up. More radically, the whole environmental law field has to be re-thought and reconstructed as a general law and special law of ecosystems, meaning suppliers of diversified public services. The general part of law of ecosystems should determine the common legal principles, which are valid for protecting all ecosystems. The special part of law of ecosystems should be divided into homogeneous areas, which correspond to the different types of ecosystems according to the classifications of ecology.European Energy and Environmental Law Review