Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Biodiversity and Law

Research Handbook on Biodiversity and Law

Research Handbooks in Environmental Law series

Edited by Michael Bowman, Peter Davies and Edward Goodwin

This wide-ranging Handbook presents a range of perspectives from leading international experts reflecting up-to-date research thinking on the subject of biodiversity law, the crucial importance of which to human welfare is only now being fully appreciated. Through a rigorous examination of the principles, procedures and practices that characterise this area of law, this timely volume effectively highlights its objectives, implementation, achievements, and prospects. Presenting thematic rather than regime-based coverage, the editors demonstrate the state-of-the-art of current research and identify future research needs and directions.

Chapter 10: The Convention on Biological Diversity and the concept of sustainable development: the extent and manner of the Convention’s application of components of the concept

Veit Koester

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


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)was adopted on 22 May 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993. According to Article 1 the objectives of the CBD are: (1) conservation of biological diversity; (2) sustainable use of biological resources; and (3) fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilisation of genetic resources by means of access to genetic resources, access to or transfer of relevant technologies, and funding. The CBD is based on, inter alia, two principles/rules: States exercise sovereign rights over their natural resources (Article 15(1) and Preamble, subpara, 4), but the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are a common concern of humankind (Preamble, subpara. 3). The substantive scope of the Convention is biological diversity (biodiversity), encompassing all plants, animals and microbial species and ecosystems and processes of which they are part. More specifically, biodiversity is defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part, including diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (Article 2). According to a decision by the governing body of the CBD, the Conference of the Parties (COP), human genetic resources are, however, not included within the framework of the Convention.On the other hand, it has been recognised that humans, with their cultural diversity, are an integral component of many ecosystems.

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