Biodiversity and the law

Mapping the international legal terrain

Authored by: Burton Ong

Routledge Handbook of Biodiversity and the Law

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138693302
eBook ISBN: 9781315530857
Adobe ISBN:


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The multi-faceted significance of biological diversity (biodiversity) to the well-being of planet Earth and its inhabitants is reflected in the spectrum of jurisprudence, straddling multiple branches of law, establishing international legal norms relating to the conservation and exploitation of Nature’s biological bounty. These legal frameworks are underpinned by a broad range of objectives relating to how biodiversity ought to be protected, managed and utilized by the myriad of stakeholders – including state governments, local authorities, indigenous communities, scientific and commercial researchers, farmers and agricultural practitioners, as well as the biotechnology industry. Biodiversity law is thus embedded within an international legal eco-system of treaties whose norms are implemented at regional and national levels by countries around the world. This chapter seeks to provide an overview of the principal features of this selection of legal frameworks, explaining their significance in understanding the transnational web of contemporary biodiversity-related issues encountered within the fields of international law, environmental law, trade law and intellectual property law.

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