Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This article provides a general overview of international environmental law and biodiversity. First, the article argues that biodiversity is an international issue because international cooperation is necessary to implement national preservation policies effectively and because the benefits of biodiversity accrue in part to the international community. Second, the article discusses existing international law relevant to biodiversity, including wildlife and habitat protection treaties, the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity, and general principles of international environmental law such as the precautionary principle, the principle of intergenerational equity, and the principle of differentiated responsibilities. Finally, the article recommends that the international community use incentives rather than trade bans to encourage Third World nations to protect their biological resources. Professor Bodansky suggests expanding the recognition of intellectual property rights in biological resources and the use of transfer payments to compensate poorer countries for protecting biodiversity.