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Mind the Compliance Gap: How Insights from International Human Rights Mechanisms Can Help to Implement the Convention on Biological Diversity
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7657-3102
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Romance Studies and Classics, Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies. University of British Columbia, Canada; Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4901-0950
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Stockholm Resilience Centre.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6649-5232
2022 (English)In: Transnational Environmental Law, ISSN 2047-1025, E-ISSN 2047-1033, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 39-67Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Humanity is at a crossroads inaddressingbiodiversity loss. Several assessments have reported on the weak compliance with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets by the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). To address this lack of compliance, the challenges in implementing and enforcingCBDobligations must be understood. Key implementation challenges of the CBD are identified through a content analysis of policy documents, multi-stakeholder interviews, and participant observation at the recent CBD Conference of the Parties. Building on this analysis, the article explores the extent to which the review mechanisms of international human rights law, with their various strategies for eliciting compliance, can help to improve CBDmechanisms. The findings of this article reveal insights that the CBD can draw from international human rights law to address these compliance challenges, such as facilitating the participation of civil society organizations to provide specific input, and engaging independent biodiversity experts to assess implementation. The article concludes that insights fromhuman rights review mechanisms are useful for improving the emerging peer reviewmechanismof the CBD, which is important for strengthening accountability within the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 11, no 1, p. 39-67
Keywords [en]
Accountability, Human rights review mechanisms, Gender equality, Human right to a healthy environment, Convention on Biological Diversity, Post-2020 global biodiversity framework
National Category
Law and Society
Research subject
Sustainability Science; Environmental Law; International Law
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-199912DOI: 10.1017/s2047102521000169ISI: 000766278100003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85112476155OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-199912DiVA, id: diva2:1621150
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-01556, 2019-01078Available from: 2021-12-17 Created: 2021-12-17 Last updated: 2022-05-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Safeguarding nature and people: Integrating economics, politics, and human rights to transform biodiversity policies and governance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safeguarding nature and people: Integrating economics, politics, and human rights to transform biodiversity policies and governance
2022 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

None of the world’s biodiversity goals from the last decade were fully met, as biodiversity losses are occurring at an unprecedented rate. Policies are not always effective; their use may have adverse effects on people and nature. Biodiversity offsets are an example of a policy that can be used to protect and restore biodiversity loss from economic development. Yet, offsets have been criticized for poor ecological outcomes, commodifying nature, and creating social inequality. To address this challenge, we need to learn from the shortcomings of biodiversity policies and governance as new goals are being drafted under the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

This thesis examines how biodiversity policies can be designed and implemented for effective and equitable outcomes for people and biodiversity. I focus on the design (Paper I) and implementation (Paper II) by examining economic instruments in conservation. I then broaden to the governance landscape by analysing the implementation of policies in national (Paper III) and international regulatory contexts (Paper IV).

The 4 papers cover a diversity of cases across the globe at different governance levels. Paper I conducted a policy analysis of offsets from six countries (Australia, England, Germany, Madagascar, South Africa, and the US), through an economic framing of biodiversity trading and institutional arrangements. Paper II reviewed market instruments for conservation, ecotourism and sport hunting in eastern and southern Africa, to analyse whether these instruments can be compatible with new ideas for conservation such as conviviality. Paper III investigated the politics around Mekong hydropower development, through multi-stakeholder interviews and a discourse analysis of the social and environmental impacts of a dam in Laos. Paper IV examined the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and how review mechanisms of human rights law can improve compliance.

This thesis highlights that a human rights-based approach provides important conceptual and political support for biodiversity governance. It contributes to the science-policy interface with these insights. First, the institutional design and implementation are as important for the outcomes as the type of policy. In economic policies such as offsets, a high involvement of the market does not influence the level of commensurability, but increases the degree of commodification. Second, the contextual factors (politics and power relations) of policies should be acknowledged to address inequality. An institutional design and implementation that ensures meaningful participation and a balance of power is crucial for effective and equitable outcomes. Review mechanisms used in human rights help to navigate power inequities, by ensuring that all rights-holders have a substantial voice.

Third, offsets can be designed with different institutional arrangements (state, market, voluntary). If a market approach is chosen with biodiversity trading, effective monitoring and regulation is needed to safeguard biodiversity. Lastly, to foster compliance with policies, management and enforcement approaches can be used in a complementary manner through positive incentives, sunshine methods, and negative incentives. Overall, this thesis provides insights of how to meet our global goals for protecting and restoring biodiversity, while safeguarding people and nature.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, 2022. p. 53
Keywords
global environmental governance, human rights review mechanisms, biodiversity offsets, commensurability, commodification, economic instruments, transformations, Convention on Biological Diversity, compliance, safeguards
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Sustainability Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-200666 (URN)978-91-7911-752-8 (ISBN)978-91-7911-753-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2022-02-24, Vivi Täckholmsalen (Q-salen), NPQ-huset, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 and online via Zoom, public link is available at the department website, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2016-01556
Available from: 2022-02-01 Created: 2022-01-11 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Koh, Niak SianItuarte-Lima, ClaudiaHahn, Thomas

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