Challenges, Key Issues and Perspectives
INTRODUCTION Globalisation offers both opportunities and challenges for biodiversity management. The legal instruments regulating biodiversity at the international level create opportunities including capacity building and technology transfer from developed countries to the developing countries. At the same time, there remain serious challenges, including over-exploitation, bioprospecting, unsustainable resource consumption, poverty, exclusion and inequality within and among states. One challenge of particular importance is where multinational companies are accessing genetic resources found in the biodiversity-rich developing countries and disseminating the product for commercial gain. A number of developing countries have inadequate law or environmental standards or standards lower than the parent country of the multinational company to protect and conserve their biological resources. Biological resources have characteristics of both private and public goods. They are private goods as these resources are generally situated within the boundary of countries which control the use and conservation of these resources. Biodiversity or the diversity of living species is also a public good as the inherent value of and information on these resources are available to all, and everyone has an interest in contributing to their protection.1 This public good aspect of biological resources can be found in the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on ensuring environmental sustainability which explicitly deals with the wise use of biological resources.2 Other MDGs can be linked to biological resources: e.g. MDG 1 on eradicating hunger requires sustainable agriculture, and MDGs 4, 5, and 6 on improving health and sanitation depend on healthy freshwater ecosystems.3 In the WSSD Johannesburg Declaration (2002)...
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