Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law

Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law

New Horizons in Environmental and Energy Law series

Alexander Gillespie

This important and timely book provides a rigorous overview of the defining issues presently facing conservation at international level. The author provides detailed coverage of topics ranging from the classification of species right through to access and benefit sharing, drawing on his personal experience at intergovernmental level. Each question is examined through the prism of dozens of treaties and hundreds of decisions and resolutions of the key multilateral regimes, and the law in each area is supplemented by the necessary considerations of science, politics and philosophy – providing much-needed context for the reader.

Chapter 8: Trade

Alexander Gillespie

Subjects: environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, public international law

Extract

1. INTRODUCTION The first part of this chapter is about the scale of the take of species, and illegal take in particular. The second part of this chapter is about the documentation required, in terms of permits and certificates, to facilitate the trade in all of these species. The final part of this chapter deals with the exceptions to the trade constraints that operate within the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) treaty. Article VII of CITES deals with basic exemptions and other special provisions relating to trade for all countries from Articles III, IV, and V.1 Basically, the provisions do not apply to the transit or transshipment of specimens through or in the territory of a Party while the specimens remain strictly in closely-monitored customs control.2 Aside from these structural exceptions, most of the focus within CITES is with regards to pre-convention specimens, specimens which are personal or household effects, trophies, are from captive breeding, ranching, for scientific work or travelling exhibitions. 2. THE SCALE OF THE TAKE OF SPECIES Since 1600, hunting and deliberate extermination has claimed 23 percent of all species which have been lost. In a contemporary context, over-harvesting of species threatens 25 percent of all at risk mammal species, 32 percent of all threatened birds, and is the primary threat to marine species. Such hunting can be either legal or illegal and covers a remarkable multitude of species which range from a possible one billion frogs taken each...

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