Special Issue "The Law of Climate Change and Biodiversity Protection"

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A special issue of Diversity (ISSN 1424-2818).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2012)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. J.B. Ruhl

Law School, Vanderbilt University, 131 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37203, USA
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +1 615 322 6631
Interests: climate change adaptation; ecosystem services; endangered species; complex systems theory; land use

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Biodiversity conservation law and policy has been built around an assumption that nature’s dynamic equilibrium, while incorporating change, fluctuates within a relatively stable envelope of variability. Climate change will render that “stationarity” assumption obsolete, meaning biodiversity law and policy over the next century will confront a no-analog future of transforming ecosystems and migrating species.  What relevance will familiar policy concepts of preservation, natural conditions, historic baselines, and invasive species have over time as climate change intervenes to impose a regime of constant change across all ecological dimensions? What goals will law and policy set for public resource managers, and what conservation demands will the law place on private landowners? How can legal measures protect species likely to be doomed by climate change unless we intervene? These are pressing questions for biodiversity law and policy as climate change begins already to take hold and impose changes never before anticipated as requiring legal and policy attention, thus it is fitting that Diversity devote an issue to the topic of The Law of Climate Change and Biodiversity Protection.

Prof. Dr. J. B. Ru
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • climate change
  • biodiversity law
  • stationarity
  • invasive species
  • preservation
  • natural conditions

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Transboundary Wildlife Conservation in A Changing Climate: Adaptation of the Bonn Convention on Migratory Species and Its Daughter Instruments to Climate Change
Diversity 2012, 4(3), 258-300; doi:10.3390/d4030258
Received: 21 April 2012 / Revised: 4 June 2012 / Accepted: 14 June 2012 / Published: 25 June 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (474 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Species migrating across boundaries represent the classic case for international cooperation in biodiversity conservation. Climate change is adding fresh challenges to such cooperation, on account of the shifting ranges and particular vulnerabilities to climate change of migratory wildlife. In view of the need
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Species migrating across boundaries represent the classic case for international cooperation in biodiversity conservation. Climate change is adding fresh challenges to such cooperation, on account of the shifting ranges and particular vulnerabilities to climate change of migratory wildlife. In view of the need to help migratory species adapt to climate change with minimal losses, this article performs an in-depth analysis of the present and potential future role in respect of climate adaptation of the main intergovernmental regime for migratory species conservation, the 1979 Bonn Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and its various daughter instruments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Law of Climate Change and Biodiversity Protection)
Open AccessArticle Marine Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Governance of the Oceans
Diversity 2012, 4(2), 224-238; doi:10.3390/d4020224
Received: 19 March 2012 / Revised: 9 May 2012 / Accepted: 14 May 2012 / Published: 18 May 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (231 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Governance of marine biodiversity has long suffered from lack of adequate information about the ocean’s many species and ecosystems. Nevertheless, even as we are learning much more about the ocean’s biodiversity and the impacts to it from stressors such as overfishing, habitat destruction,
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Governance of marine biodiversity has long suffered from lack of adequate information about the ocean’s many species and ecosystems. Nevertheless, even as we are learning much more about the ocean’s biodiversity and the impacts to it from stressors such as overfishing, habitat destruction, and marine pollution, climate change is imposing new threats and exacerbating existing threats to marine species and ecosystems. Coastal nations could vastly improve their fragmented approaches to ocean governance in order to increase the protections for marine biodiversity in the climate change era. Specifically, three key governance improvements would include: (1) incorporation of marine spatial planning as a key organizing principle of marine governance; (2) working to increase the resilience of marine ecosystems be reducing or eliminating existing stressors on those ecosystems; and (3) anticipation of climate change’s future impacts on marine biodiversity through the use of anticipatory zoning and more precautionary regulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Law of Climate Change and Biodiversity Protection)
Open AccessArticle Adaptive Management to Protect Biodiversity: Best Available Science and the Endangered Species Act
Diversity 2012, 4(2), 164-178; doi:10.3390/d4020164
Received: 13 February 2012 / Revised: 20 March 2012 / Accepted: 21 March 2012 / Published: 30 March 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (228 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Although flawed, the most powerful tool for protecting biodiversity in the United States is the Endangered Species Act, which requires the use of the best available science to ensure that endangered and threatened species are not put in jeopardy of extinction. Unfortunately, the
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Although flawed, the most powerful tool for protecting biodiversity in the United States is the Endangered Species Act, which requires the use of the best available science to ensure that endangered and threatened species are not put in jeopardy of extinction. Unfortunately, the best available science mandate is virtually meaningless and imposes no additional scientific rigor in agency decision making beyond what is normally required of administrative procedures. In this paper, we propose to define best available science in a way that shifts from a way of using science to a way of doing science, and a sound method of doing science for wildlife management and climate change is via the principles of adaptive management [1]. Adaptive management, as a means of data accumulation and continuous learning, can fulfill and give teeth to the best available science mandate while increasing the adaptive capacity of wildlife management agencies to protect biodiversity in an unpredictably dynamic environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Law of Climate Change and Biodiversity Protection)

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