The Political Economy of Sustainable Development

The Political Economy of Sustainable Development

Policy Instruments and Market Mechanisms

Timothy Cadman, Lauren Eastwood, Federico Lopez-Casero Michaelis, Tek N. Maraseni, Jamie Pittock and Tapan Sarker

Since the Rio ‘Earth’ Summit of 1992, sustainable development has become the major policy response to tackling global environmental degradation, from climate change to loss of biodiversity and deforestation. Market instruments such as emissions trading, payments for ecosystem services and timber certification have become the main mechanisms for financing the sustainable management of the earth’s natural resources. Yet how effective are they – and do they help the planet and developing countries, or merely uphold the economic status quo? This book investigates these important questions.

Chapter 4: Conservation of biological diversity – PES and BOM

Timothy Cadman, Lauren Eastwood, Federico Lopez-Casero Michaelis, Tek N. Maraseni, Jamie Pittock and Tapan Sarker

Subjects: development studies, development economics, economics and finance, political economy, environment, environmental economics, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy


As mentioned in previous chapters, the CBD was one of the three legally binding agreements adopted at the 1992 ‘Earth Summit’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. As was the case with the text for the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the text of the CBD had been generated through a series of meetings prior to the Rio meetings, so that very little negotiation at the actual UNCED meeting was necessary. The text of the agreement itself (including a preamble, 42 Articles and three annex segments) is predicated on expanding upon and further specifying the primary objectives of the Convention, which are ‘the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources’ (Convention on Biological Diversity 1992). The Convention entered into force in 1993. Currently (2015) 195 nation states have committed to being Parties to the Convention, which means that they have not only signed on to the Convention, but their governments have ratified it. Parties to the Convention (in addition to observers and other officially recognised and accredited stakeholders) meet every two years at COP meetings, during which Meetings of Parties (MOP) of the various protocols also often simultaneously take place. While the treaty sets goals and objectives, the responsibility of achieving those goals – the implementation of agreed-upon objectives – lies with the nation states (Parties to the Convention) themselves.

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