Abstract and Keywords
In the past century, a large number of bilateral, regional, and global agreements have been adopted relating to the protection, preservation, conservation, and management of the Earth's terrestrial and marine species and genetic resources. Despite the vast amount of international law relating to the conservation of biological resources, species, habitat, and genetic diversity loss is now considered to be reaching crisis proportions, with potentially catastrophic consequences for humankind. This article examines the current international legal regime for the protection of the Earth's biological resources. It begins with a discussion of the meaning of the term ‘biological resources’, the philosophical rationales for their protection, and the theoretical approaches thereto. The article then examines the various legal regimes and regulatory measures that have been adopted. The types of regimes for the conservation of biological resources include the regulation of harvest (harvest of species and genetic resources), habitat protection, and regulation of trade (control of exploitation and introduction of alien or invasive species). The article also considers measures regulating direct threats and indirect threats.
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