The Privatisation of Biodiversity?
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The Privatisation of Biodiversity?

New Approaches to Conservation Law

Colin T. Reid and Walters Nsoh

Current regulatory approaches have not prevented the loss of biodiversity across the world. This book explores the scope to strengthen conservation by using different legal mechanisms such as biodiversity offsetting, payment for ecosystem services and conservation covenants, as well as tradable development rights and taxation. The authors discuss how such mechanisms introduce elements of a market approach as well as private sector initiative and resources. They show how examples already in operation serve to highlight the design challenges, legal, technical and ethical, that must be overcome if these mechanisms are to be effective and widely accepted.
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Chapter 9: Reflections

Colin T. Reid and Walters Nsoh


The conclusion reached after the detailed analysis in preceding chapters is the pragmatic one that whilst there are major dangers that must be avoided, carefully designed schemes of the sort considered here have the potential to improve on the current position where biodiversity is simply ignored in many situations. The legal mechanisms discussed can provide means of enabling biodiversity to be ‘part of the game’ as important decisions are being made, as opposed to being left outside consideration. Nevertheless, the uncertainties involved in assessing equivalences and securing long-term and enduring results do pose particular challenges. Halting and reversing biodiversity loss is essential for human survival and will best be served by using a combination of different legal techniques. No regulatory mechanism is without flaws and we should recognise the strengths and weaknesses of each and assess where each can be beneficially deployed, whilst being alert to the ethical values embedded in them.

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