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The Convention On Biological Diversity Notes

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This is an extract of our The Convention On Biological Diversity document, which we sell as part of our International Environmental Law Notes collection written by the top tier of University Of Otago students.

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Environmental Law Lecture 10th May: The Convention on Biological Diversity: Exam: Two questions. Will have to answer them both. One is an essay, saying Daniel Bodanski cooperation/coexistence, do you agree or disagree? 50%. The other half will be a problem question; various vessels/species moving in and out of Antarctic waters - problem this year will be providing advice for a country who is going to want to take on international environmental obligations, do you think it should or shouldn't?
The Road to the CBD:

* 1989 UNGA Resolution, calling for UNCED Rio Conference, conservation of biodiversity was identified as a key issue.

* G77 vs developed countries, especially US as the exemplar of the interests of the developed countries. Main issue is that most of what is left of the world's biodiversity can be found in the developing nations because they haven't exploited it or destroyed its habitat in the way the developed countries have. From their POV part of the reason why they are developing and not developed is that they haven't exploited their biodiversity and they need to engage in and enjoy the benefits of economic development. They're not really interested in protecting their biological diversity. US was way further ahead with biotechnology. It's really concerned with protecting those commercial interests.

* UNEP started Working Groups. One of these working groups put forward a draft convention on biodiversity, and that's what they debated about.

* Boyle: looks at three key things that were left out of the draft - changes needed to secure agreement.

1. Precautionary principle moved out of text into preamble

2. Original text included a provision to be rendered for damage to BD. Maybe if liability had stayed then we would have a liability scheme like in AT regime. Nothing in Convention abuot liability except that the parties will look at it later.

3. There are no annexes or appendices like in CITES and ACAP that contain global lists of protected species (leaves this to states). This convention applies to biodiversity, not any particular species. Definitions, General Objectives and Jurisdictional Issues: Preamble:

* Values; S&E states; responsibility of states to protect BD; a "new age" convention (more modern than CITES and CMS) - because: (precautionary approach, indigenous and local communities, developing country interests, future generations, investment benefits)

* The "fundamental requirement" is for in-situ conservation, but ex-situ measures also "have an important role to play". These are tied into Articles 8 and 9. References in the preamble to ex-situ and in-situ conservation set up a priority. While the convention creates for states obligations to protect BD both in and ex-situ, there is a clear preference for in-situ (protected in its natural habitat) conservation, rather than ex- (where you have to take a species out of its natural habitat).

* The parties are: "Determined to conserve and sustainably use BD for the benefit of present and future generations" - dual purpose, conservation and sustainable use. Nil use is generally regarded as a more Western approach - has become less fashionable. Sustainable use is becoming more fashionable, partly (nicola thinks) because of the recognition of customary and indigenous use.

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