The protection of plants in international law, theory and practice

Amos, Robert (2017) The protection of plants in international law, theory and practice. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis provides a comprehensive overview of international environmental law as it relates to plants. In doing so, it offers new perspectives on some of the key debates in the law, as well as on humanity’s relationship with the natural world.
The first part of the thesis looks at the philosophical rationales for giving legal protection to plants. Drawing on the literature relating to value, different interpretations of the value of plants are identified, including instrumental, intrinsic and ecological. Each interpretation is then tracked in international conservation law and policy. An almost exclusively anthropocentric picture is revealed, and the implications of this for conservation policy and practice are discussed.
Attention then turns to global and regional approaches to protecting plants. First, the construction and content of key legal agreements are assessed against a range of criteria for effectiveness. Second, an analysis of the design and form of conservation mechanisms is conducted, focussing on the extent to which protected areas reflect the ecological needs of plants and the representativeness of lists of protected and endangered species. In each case the law is found to fall short, and proposals on how to address this are given.
In the third part of the thesis, how the law responds to some of the main threats to plants, namely climate change, international trade and alien/invasive species, is considered. Each impacts on plants in different ways and has been subject to very different legal responses. In each case, however, weaknesses can be identified that undermine the law’s ability to adequately protect plants.
Finally, the extent to which the law supports and frustrates the work of conservation practitioners is examined. As well as offering practical reforms to make the law a better tool for practitioners, consideration is given to wider governance reforms to international environmental law.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law in General. Comparative and uniform Law. Jurisprudence > K0520 Comparative law. International uniform law > K3581 Environmental law
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2017 11:37
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2017 11:37
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71815

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