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Werner Scholtz

The legal and moral significance of animals has generated a considerable corpus of scholarship. The discourse in relation to the moral significance of animal interests is characterised by the juxtaposition of advocates of animal welfare on the one hand and animal rights on the other. In general, law responds to animal interests through welfare legislation, which regulates the ‘humane’ treatment of non-human animals in order to mitigate animal suffering. Domestic jurisdictions respond to animal welfare concerns through anti-cruelty legislation. However, animal welfare legislation applies predominantly to domestic and agricultural animals. The situation in relation to the regulation of wildlife, both on the domestic and international plane, differs considerably from the approach to domestic and agricultural animals. Legal scholars have criticised the lack of wildlife welfare protection. The views in relation to the ignorance on wildlife range from despair expressed by one commentator who argued that ‘wild animal welfare law is sparse, bordering on the non-existent at the international level’ to glimmers of hope in the recognition that international environmental law is not wholly agnostic in relation to this issue. It is, however, abundantly clear that wildlife law (of the majority of jurisdictions) as well as international wildlife law do not contain welfare protection as an objective but rather the focus of wildlife law is to pursue the sustainable use and conservation of wildlife law. This approach is indicative of the anthropocentric and instrumental ethic that underlies the disconnect between the objectives of animal welfare and conservation.

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Werner Scholtz

Conservationists argue that trade may be conducive to the conservation of endangered species. This approach has surfaced on the international plane in the context of the deliberations of the CITES COP as well as in South Africa, which recently published draft regulations on the domestic trade in rhinoceros horn. South Africa is home to the majority of African rhinoceroses and also faces a poaching crisis. The ‘sustainable utilisation through commercialisation’ approach, however, ignores the emergence of the importance of wildlife welfare in law. Hence, this chapter assesses the link between trade in rhinoceros horn and the conservation of rhinoceros in the context of the relationship between animal welfare and conservation.

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Animal Welfare and International Environmental Law

From Conservation to Compassion

Edited by Werner Scholtz

At a time when the planet’s wildlife faces countless dangers, international environmental law continues to overlook its evolving welfare interests. This thought-provoking book provides a crucial exploration of how international environmental law must adapt to take account of the growing recognition of the intrinsic value of wildlife.
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Werner Scholtz

This Chapter deals with the relationship between the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights of 1981 (Banjul Charter) and environmental protection. Article 24 of the Banjul Charter includes an environmental right that reads ‘[A]ll peoples shall have the right to a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development’. The linkage between development and the environment raises several questions; especially due to the explicit recognition of a right to development (Article 22) in the same instrument. The author accordingly discusses Article 24 in the context of the relationship between the environmental right and the right to development. Subsequent to a critical analysis of the meaning and scope of Articles 22 and 24, the author argues that the potential conflict between the aforementioned rights must be reconciled via sustainable development. The Banjul Charter also provides fertile ground for an analysis of the human rights-environment relationship due to the fact that it does not include a jurisdiction clause, the lack of which opens the door for the extraterritorial application of the rights contained in it. These findings therefore affirm the important role that the regional human rights framework may play in relation to the promotion of sustainable development.

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Werner Scholtz and Jonathan Verschuuren

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Daniel M. Pallangyo and Werner Scholtz

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Regional Environmental Law

Transregional Comparative Lessons in Pursuit of Sustainable Development

Edited by Werner Scholtz and Jonathan Verschuuren

The core focus of this timely volume is to ascertain how regional environmental law may contribute to the pursuit of global sustainable development. Leading scholars critically analyze the ways in which states may pool sovereignty to find solutions to environmental problems, presenting a comparative legal analysis of the manner in which the AU, EU, OAS and ASEAN deal with the issues of climate change, human rights and the environment.
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Werner Scholtz and Michelle Barnard

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) collectively embody the global stance on the economic, social and environmental actions needed to achieve sustainable development. With reference to the environmental component of the SDG framework, one sees that four distinct Goals pertaining to different elements of planet earth, namely: the atmosphere (SDG 13), water resource – both fresh (SDG 6) and marine (SDG 14), as well as biodiversity (SDG 15) are included. The deconstruction of the environment in this way is strongly criticized by some as a step back from the single Millennium Development Goal (MDG) dealing with environmental sustainability (MDG 7) contained in the Millennium Declaration, 2000. The current approach to achieving sustainable development is now fragmented along the lines of the above-mentioned silo-ist division. Another point of criticism against the SDGs framework is the lack of explicit reference to international legal instruments pertaining to individual SDGs. This general critique is to some extent also true of the specific environmental SDGs where we see little cross-referencing to international environmental law that could provide a more solid legal base for the enforcement of the SDGs – which are legally non-binding. It is, however, possible to read in implicit references to a number of international environmental law instruments when analysing the wording of the Targets which underpin the individual environmental SDGs. In this chapter the legal nature of the SDGs, the fragmentation of the environment and the potential role of binding international law in solidifying the legal nature of the 2030 Agenda will be discussed in order to answer the question we pose in the title: the environment and the SDGs – are we on a road to nowhere?