Protection of Global Biodiversity

Converging Strategies

Protection of Global Biodiversity

Book Pages: 440 Illustrations: 8 tables, 8 figures Published: June 1998

Environmental Studies, Politics > Public Policy

The rate of extinction of biological species is greater today than at any time in the last 65 million years. Some predict that if this rate continues, two-thirds of all living species will disappear during the next century. Because reaching consensus on specific courses of action involves complex issues, any adequate response to this impending crisis must include coverage of many areas of inquiry and understanding. Protection of Global Biodiversity features essays by distinguished international experts who communicate with each other across disciplinary boundaries to address the challenge of formulating policies to protect biodiversity.
Although the global community has recently adopted a Convention of Biological Diversity, the agreement sets forth only abstract goals. Contributors to this volume advance the Convention’s initial steps by providing workable solutions that can be implemented regionally, nationally, and locally. The contributors—including natural, social, and political scientists; economists; lawyers; and environmentalists; and decisionmakers in business, agriculture, and government—have united to create a common discourse and to evaluate and propose strategies for halting this alarming loss of biodiversity. In recognizing the diverse aspects of this task—scientific, economic, institutional, moral, and legal—this book presents a new picture of emerging action.

Contributors. S. James Anaya, Gregory Benford, Graciela Chichilnisky, S. Todd Crider, Yvonne Cripps, Robert T. Fraley, Anil K. Gupta, Lakshman D. Guruswamy, G. M. Heal, Brent Hendricks, Robert B. Horsch, Laura L. Jackson, Annie Lovejoy, Ariel E. Lugo, Jeffrey A. McNeely, Brian G. Norton, Elinor Ostrom, Peter H. Raven, John W. Reid, Walter V. Reid, Mark Sagoff, Roger A. Sedgo, R. David Simpson, Ana Sittenfeld, Christopher D. Stone, Gary H. Toenniessen


Protection of Global Biodiversity goes beyond the borders of the United States and the species-protection paradigm of the Endangered Species Act to provide an intriguing interdisciplinary examination of the problem of global biodiversity. . . . The book is a collection of essays in which the ideas concerning how and why to protect biodiversity from the physical and social sciences are interwoven with ideas based in law and philosophy. The synthesis is ultimately and effectively used to suggest practicable policies and effective laws. . . . [T]he greatest value of the book for those versed in the law are the essays discussing science, economics, social theory, and philosophy underlying the methods and reasons for protecting biodiversity. The book’s usefulness is in expanding horizons: effective preservation strategies must not run contrary to the principles discoverable by the differing fields.” — , Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy

“[A]n extraordinary book that not only warns of the destruction of biodiversity, but also proposes interdisciplinary solutions. . . . [T]he authors break ground by presenting practical proposals for policy making, which is, in the end, at the heart of environmental assessment. . . . This book is highly recommended for its vision, broad scope and refreshing practicality. The book is essential for policy makers charged by the CBD with protecting biodiversity, as it is for the layperson interested in the subject.” — Robert J. Cerny , Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management

“Guruswamy and McNeely have produced a landmark book which will help launch the global debate of how we might—and indeed must—conserve the world’s biodiversity.” — , Tulsa World

“In response to the increasingly alarming rate of species extinctions today, this book presents a timely overview of workable solutions to the problem. A surprisingly broad perspective of the complex biological, legal, sociological, and even moral issues involved. Interesting chapter on the commercialization of indigenous genetic resources as conservations and development policy. A consensus building book!” — , Northeastern Naturalist

“The book is a mighty contribution to the popular argument that the preservation of species is key to effective conservation. . . . The topics treated here are significant, perhaps among the most important of our era. . . . [W]hat is treated in the volume is very well done. It raises the argument to a new, higher, and appropriately provocative level.” — George M. Woodwell , Environment

“The rate of extinction of biological species is greater today than anytime in the last 65 years. This collection features essays by distinguished international experts who communicate with each other across disciplinary boundaries to address the challenge of formulating policies to protect biodiversity.” — Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and Environment

“This book contains the views of various advocates on a highly contentious issue. Those who are interested on the views of various advocacy organizations on this issue would benefit from reading this book.” — Environment International

“This is a timely and important book which brings together a wide range of leading academics and policy practitioners to discuss strategies to conserve global biodiversity. . . . [A] useful resource on what efforts have been undertaken to date to address these issues. . . . [A]n informed and stimulating read. . . .” — Peter Newell , Environmental Politics

"[T]his book weaves a tapestry out of the collective wisdom of the disparate disciplines represented by the authors . . . . [T]he real beauty of the tapestry derives from the bold pattern deriving from some of its more prominent strands." — , Environmental Conservation

“This collection covers an impressive range of —a great deal of information not readily available is finally concentrated in one place. And it is presented by an unusual and successful mix of practitioners and theorists, policymakers and academics, natural scientists and humanities scholars.” — Benedict Kingsbury, Duke University School of Law

“Many passionate, inspiring appeals to ‘save’ the environment offer no clue as to how it should be accomplished. This book, therefore, is a significant contribution to understanding the magnitude of the problem and the obstacles to its solution.” — Lynton Keith Caldwell, Indiana University

“This book covers an enormous span of issues and disciplinary perspectives. Especially welcome is the authors’ efforts to address the moral and ethical aspects of this important topic.” — Walter A. Rosenbaum, University of Florida


Availability: In stock
Price: $30.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Lakshman D. Guruswamy is Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa and Director of the National Energy-Environmental Law and Policy Institute.

Jeffrey A. McNeely is the Chief Scientist of the World Conservation Union (IUCN).

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Introduction / Lakshman D. Guruswamy and Jeffrey A. McNeely 1

I. Identifying the Problem: An Overview

Biological Extinction: Its Scope and Meaning for Us / Peter H. Raven and Jeffrey A. McNeely 13

Biodiversity and Public Policy: The Middle of the Road / Ariel E. Lugo 33

II. Scientific Responses

Biotechnology Can Help Reduce the Loss of Biodiversity / Robert B. Horsch and Robert T. Fraley 49

Agricultural Industrialization and the Loss of Biodiversity / Laura L. Jackson 66

An Ex Situ "Library of Life" Strategy / Gregory Benford 87

III. Economic Responses

Sustainable Development and North-South Trade / Graciela Chichilnisky 101

Markets and Biodiversity / Geoffrey M. Heal 118

The Commercialization of Indigenous Genetic Resources as Conservation and Development Policy / R. David Simpson, Roger A. Sedjo, and John W. Reid 129

IV. Institutional Responses

Scales, Polycentricity, and Incentives: Designing Complexity to Govern Complexity / Elinor Ostrom 149

Halting the Loss of Biodiversty: International Institutional Measures / Walter V. Reid 168

Rewarding Local Communities for Conserving Biodiversity: The Case of the Honey Bee / Anil K. Gupta 180

International Research on Crop Plants: Strategies for Utilizing Biotechnology and Proprietary Products / Gary H. Toenniessen 190

The Mayagna Indigenous Community of Nicaragua: Moving from Conflict to a Convergence of Interests / S. James Anaya and S. Todd Crider 202

Biodiversity Prospecting Frameworks: The INBio Experience in Costa Rica / Ana M. Sittenfeld and Annie Lovejoy 223

V. Moral Responses

Biological Resources and Endangered Species: History, Values, and Policy / Bryan G. Norton 247

On the Uses of Biodiversity / Mark Sagoff 265

VI. Legal Implementation

What to Do About Biodiversity: The Earth's Biological Riches in Law and Economics / Christopher D. Stone 287

Aspects of Intellectual Property in Biotechnology: Some European Legal Perspectives / Yvonne Cripps 316

Animals as Inventions: Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights / Mark Sagoff 331

The Convention of Biological Diversity: A Polemic / Lakshman D. Guruswamy 351

Transformative Possibilities: Reinventing the Convention on Biological Diversity / Brent Hendricks 360

Conclusion: How to Save the Biodiversity of Planet Earth / Jeffrey A. McNeely and Lakshman D. Guruswamy 376

Appendix 393

Contributors 415

Index 421
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-2188-0 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-2150-7
Publicity material