International Biodiversity Law


The global nature and seriousness of the threats to biodiversity have created a pressing need for international law. In 1992, under the aegis of the United Nations, States adopted the Convention on Biological Diversity. Numerous sectoral and/or regional conventions coexist alongside it, as well as a body of customary rules. The study of international biodiversity law also leads us to go beyond the issues of protection and preservation, to address the questions raised by the use and exploitation of biodiversity. In this respect, international biodiversity law interacts, and sometimes conflicts, with other rules of international law.
The ambition of this book is not to offer an exhaustive presentation of an abundant but still scattered body of law, but rather to contribute to its conceptualization. International biodiversity law is also an excellent laboratory for studying current developments in contemporary international law, notably the institutionalization of cooperation, the development of secondary law, the articulation between customary and conventional rules, and innovative mechanisms for monitoring and assisting States.

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Sandrine Maljean-Dubois is Director of Research at the CNRS's CERIC Research Center in Aix-en-Provence, a member of the UMR Droits international, comparé, européen. She devotes her teaching and research activities to international environmental law. Anthropocene, planetary boundaries, global threats to the environment, and in particular the international regimes governing climate change and biodiversity, currently constitute her main field of study.
1. The invention of biodiversity
2. The crisis of biological diversity and the issues at stake
3. What is international biodiversity law?
Chapter I. The legal and institutional framework
Section 1. The construction of the international law on biodiversity
1) The infancy (1885-1946)
2) The development phase (1946-1992)
3) The consolidation phase (since 1992)
Section 2. The apprehension of biodiversity by international institutions
1) The role of intergovernmental organisations
2) The multifaceted institutionalisation of co-operation within the conventional framework
3) Non-State actors
Chapter II. The status of biodiversity in international law
Section 1. The legal regime of biodiversity in international law
1) Biodiversity within the States’ territorial jurisdiction
2) Biodiversity outside territorial jurisdiction
Section 2. The values of biodiversity in international law
1) The instrumental value of biodiversity
2) The heritage value of biodiversity
3) The intrinsic value of biodiversity
4) From the value of biodiversity to ecosystem services: The return to an instrumental approach
Chapter III. International law and biodiversity conservation
Section 1. The focus of conservation
1) Global approaches
2) Targeted approaches
Section 2. The substance of protection measures
1) General prevention obligations
2) Protection against exploitation
3) Protecting environments
4) Ex situ conservation
Section 3. New perspectives
1) Offsetting
2) Rights-based approaches
Chapter IV. International law and biosafety
Section 1. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity
1) Two conflicting logics
3) The implementation of the Protocol
Section 2. The Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety
1) Lengthy negotiations
2) The content of the Protocol
3) The impact of the Protocol
Chapter V. International law and access and benefit-sharing
Section 1. The need for a Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity on access and benefit-sharing
1) A novel approach?
2) The ambiguities of the Convention
3) The need to expand the rules laid down in the Rio Convention and the launch of negotiations for a new Protocol to the Convention
Section 2. The contribution of the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization
1) The general economy of the Protocol
2) The challenging relationship of the Protocol with other international agreements
3) A limited impact
Chapter VI. Supporting States in the implementation of the international law on biodiversity
Section 1. Technical and financial co-operation tools
1) Technical co-operation
2) Financial co-operation
Section 2. International implementation monitoring and sanctions for non-compliance
1) The institution of specific and non-judicial compliance procedures
2) Judicial review
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