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Peter H. Sand

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Peter H. Sand

There has been an exponential growth in international environmental treaty-making over the past fifty years, to the point of ‘treaty congestion’ – with a total of more than 1,300 multilateral (global and regional) agreements on the topic and close to 3,000 bilateral ones currently in force. This research review addresses this phenomenon from a variety of disciplinary perspectives: international law, political science, and ‘ecological economics’. The objective is comparative analysis, with a view to identifying common features and common problems of transnational environmental regimes, in light of their historical evolution, their application and effectiveness in practice, and possible lessons learned in their institutional ‘interplay’ with each other.
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Peter H. Sand

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Peter H. Sand

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Peter H Sand

This article begins with an assessment of an elderly wildlife-related treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 1973 (CITES), and explains both how the convention was originally designed and how its Parties managed to develop it in innovative ways not envisaged by the original drafters. The article then turns to an assessment of the effectiveness of the convention in the modern world, and how an enforcement regime based on trade embargoes has been developed. This success, at least measured by indicators such as length of time it takes for states subject to sanctions to fall back into compliance, aside, the article then proceeds to question effectiveness as measured by indicators with less ‘high face validity’. Through close analysis of the history of trade embargoes, it is demonstrated that by and large it is developing countries that have been the subjects of sanctions under CITES. In view of recent enforcement issues (illustrated by current whaling in the North Pacific), the article concludes by highlighting the quality of trust which, it is argued, is a critical requirement that must underpin the international regime if there is to be true legitimacy and, ultimately, credibility.