Unclear regulations obstacle to biological diversity

March 04, 2009

International environmental law on biological diversity is now being called into question in a dissertation at Uppsala University. Unclear legislation entails that biological diversity falls under an old legal system, and this negatively affects coordinated efforts, according to Aðalheiður Jóhannsdóttir.

On March 5 she will publicly defend her dissertation in environmental law. International environmental law involving biological diversity, the object of study, is called into question.

"What we have found is that there are clear weaknesses throughout international law. This means that the old fundamental rules apply instead," says Aðalheiður Jóhannsdóttir.

She studied the rules and regulations surrounding biological diversity in order to find out how far the regulations go. But the jurisprudence underpinning environmental law is entirely too weak, so the old norms apply instead, according to Aðalheiður Jóhannsdóttir. "Each country decides for itself what they want to do with their own land, their own water, and their natural resources," she says, adding:

"This is not sustainable in the long term. We would never attain the objectives of sustainable development."

International environmental law is dependent on coordinated efforts to save and preserve the environment, and as early as 2010 it is projected that the loss of biological diversity will start to be reversed.

"But considering the legislation that is in place, this is not a realistic goal. Getting there requires a paradigm shift in law," says Aðalheiður Jóhannsdóttir.
-end-
For more information, please contact:
Aðalheiður Jóhannsdóttir, Department of Law
+354 525 42 57 or
Staffan Westerlund, supervisor and professor of environmental law at the Faculty of Law, +46 (0)18-471 26 11 or Staffan.Westerlund@jur.uu.se

Uppsala University

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