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Biodiversity Conservation in Terrestrial Transboundary Ecosystems- An International Law Lacuna

Biodiversity Conservation in Terrestrial Transboundary Ecosystems- An International Law Lacuna


Dr. Michelle Lim


‘Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (under the auspices of UNESCO)


Dundee International Law Society (DILS)


14th October 2014 Carnegie Lecture Theatre, CEPMLP.


Dr. Michelle Lim will discuss how intact ecosystems across jurisdictional boundaries are of growing importance as the world continues to experience the impacts of climate change. This is because habitat loss and degradation are the greatest sources of pressure on biodiversity worldwide. Habitat fragmentation reduces the capacity of species to adapt to climate change as it limits the possibilities for migration to more suitable areas. International boundaries have however been drawn for political rather than ecological reasons and are not aligned with ecological needs. Ecosystem components often occur in more than one nation and are consequently subject to conflicting management and land use practices. Legal and governance approaches for the conservation of biodiversity that occurs in transboundary ecosystems are therefore essential. The international law regime is however limited in this area particularly with regards to terrestrial ecosystems.


This seminar examines the extent of the international legal regime for terrestrial transboundary biodiversity conservation. Finding the current regime lacking the discussion explores whether the development of a Multilateral Environmental Agreement (MEA) for transboundary biodiversity conservation is an appropriate goal. The seminar sets out a range of options for international action for transboundary biodiversity conservation and recommendations for a shift in approach to international environmental law making.

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