Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law
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Conservation, Biodiversity and International Law

Alexander Gillespie

This important and timely book provides a rigorous overview of the defining issues presently facing conservation at international level. The author provides detailed coverage of topics ranging from the classification of species right through to access and benefit sharing, drawing on his personal experience at intergovernmental level. Each question is examined through the prism of dozens of treaties and hundreds of decisions and resolutions of the key multilateral regimes, and the law in each area is supplemented by the necessary considerations of science, politics and philosophy – providing much-needed context for the reader.
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Chapter 14: Compliance

Alexander Gillespie


INTRODUCTION The principle that all nations will comply with their commitments to ensure the conservation of their listed protected areas can be traced to the 1933 African Convention.1 Although the word ‘compliance’ is rarely seen in conservation-based agreements, compliance-based systems have become common in a number of regimes with regards to both protected areas and endangered species. The type of compliance at focus in this chapter is about ensuring that State Parties achieve the conservation commitments they have undertaken. Before details of substance can be examined in both of these areas, it is assumed that all countries engaged in their respective conservation regimes of international importance will have adequate laws and resources to achieve their goals. Once these fundamentals are assumed, a degree of similarity has developed with regards to both areas in international conservation law, as both areas place a large degree of importance on reporting, monitoring, and the utilization of independent inspections. If these processes detect that the promised conservation obligations are not being met, then a series of methods falls into place, which seek to bring Parties back into a position of complying with the commitments they have undertaken. 2. LAWS Legal recognition is the first point that must be addressed before substantive considerations of compliance within a country (as opposed to within a regime) can be examined. This is necessary, as it is from legal recognition that a State recognizes and attributes resources to meet its international obligations. The problem is that large amounts of areas...

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