The current framework for international governance of biodiversity: Is it doing more harm than good?

Adalheidur Jóhannsdóttir, Ian Cresswell, Peter Bridgewater

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The latest international status reports confirm that change, and especially loss, of biodiversity continues all over the globe. Consequently, it would seem the body of international biodiversity law and its attendant governance apparatus have failed to deliver their intended effects. From this standpoint, we argue that particular weaknesses in existing biodiversity governance are contributing to this situation, instead of being supportive. Thus, some structural changes seem inevitable if the global biodiversity governance system is to arrest the current rates of biodiversity decline. Based on these propositions and viewed through the lens of environmental law methodology, this article proposes particular changes in international biodiversity law which would enhance international biodiversity governance presently and in the future. Governments are seeking to develop new targets, goals and strategies to prevent biodiversity loss, but what is needed is little short of a revolution in biodiversity governance. We propose some first steps for a radical system redesign, which, underpinned by appropriate science, will enable the international community to regain control of the diminishing status of biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalReview of European Community and International Environmental Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


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