Straddling border and legal regimes : a legal framework for transfrontier biodiversity conservation in SADC
Lubbe, Willem Daniel
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Traditional conservation models focus on conservation within sovereign national borders and therefore ignores the fact that biodiversity extends beyond these political boundaries. Since the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, as a whole, is rich in endemic and vulnerable biodiversity, a more holistic approach to the conservation of biodiversity is required. This thesis explores transfrontier biodiversity conservation (TFBC) in transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) as one method whereby a possible holistic conservation approach can be achieved. This thesis argues that sustainable TFBC depends on a legal framework facilitating specific legal principles according to which effect is given to the two main drivers behind TFBC: sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. From the foregoing the following question is answered by the thesis: which legal principles should facilitate TFBC in SADC, and to what extent does the current AU and SADC legal framework facilitate the implementation of these principles? In answering the foregoing question this thesis distils TFBC legal principles by using two prominent soft law instruments relevant to the drivers of TFBC: the New Delhi Declaration on the Principles of International Law Related to Sustainable Development, 2002 and the UNEP Principles of Conduct in the Field of Environment for the Guidance of States in the Conservation and Harmonious Utilization of Natural Resources Shared by Two or More States, 1978. The TFBC principles are distilled with the purpose to serve as a guiding framework for TFBC governance in SADC. The principles are unique as they portray the diverse range of issues that is facilitated in TFCAs. The principles range from principles protecting biodiversity (such as sustainable use) to principles protecting the people dependent on the biodiversity (such as good governance and its elements). After the distillation of the TFBC principles this thesis analyses the African Union (AU) and SADC governance frameworks in order to establish to what extent the frameworks facilitate the TFBC principles. This thesis further explores the governance frameworks of two TFCAs, the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and the Kavango-Zambezi TFCA. This is done to establish to what extent the TFBC principles are present at grass-roots level. The perusal of the governance frameworks of the TFCAs also provide important information informing the recommendations of the thesis. After establishing the TFBC principles and the extent to which the principles are found in the relevant frameworks, recommendations are made with a view of improving the chances of sustainable TFBC.
- Law