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Environmental Natural Resources Law

The Precautionary Principle in Biodiversity Conservation and by Rosie Cooney

By Rosie Cooney

The precautionary precept, or precautionary process, is now extensively permitted in environmental legislation and coverage at foreign and, more and more, nationwide point. although, the main is still hugely debatable, its that means contested, its attractiveness and implementation inconsistent throughout sectors and contexts and its affects doubtful. This paper goals to notify and help IUCN and its individuals in constructing higher shared figuring out of the which means and implementation of the primary within the context of biodiversity conservation and typical source administration, respecting priorities of either conservation and sustainable improvement. It examines the that means of the precautionary precept and its incorporation into biodiversity and source administration legislations and coverage, and discusses a chain of matters raised by way of its implementation during this quarter for biodiversity conservation and for livelihoods and poverty relief.

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Extra info for The Precautionary Principle in Biodiversity Conservation and Natural Resource Management: An Issues Paper for Policy-Makers, Researchers and Practitioners (IUCN Policy and Global Change Series)

Sample text

Uncertainty in the context of biodiversity and NRM is endemic, and is frequently of the latter type. The dynamics, behaviour, and responses to disturbance, disease, habitat destruction and hunting, extraction or fishing even of single species are usually poorly understood. Ecosystems, particularly the most biodiverse, are composed of myriad interacting species engaged in complex interactions with each other and with abiotic factors such as nutrient, temperature, and hydrological regimes. They exhibit the dynamics of complex systems, characterized by chaotic dynamics, threshold effects, state changes, and inherent stochasticity.

Incorporation at national level Few States have specific fisheries legislation incorporating broad policy principles, although fisheries may be subject to general biodiversity conservation/natural resource management legislation. However, broad legislation focussing on the marine environment and incorporating the precautionary principle has been developed in various States in recent years. The “need to apply precautionary approaches” is highlighted in the South African Marine Living Resources Act (1998), covering the conservation and sustainable utilization of marine living resources.

Incorporating the broader socio-economic and political context Management and exploitation of wildlife and natural resources takes place as part of a complex interaction involving people and human institutions, mediated by economic, political and cultural specificities, as pointed out above. However, in practice, the conservation risks facing 30 The language of risks and benefits, or costs and benefits, is adopted throughout this discussion, but this is not intended to imply that costs and benefits should be limited to the monetary or quantifiable.

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