University Of Tasmania
2009_Campbell_et_al_Dialogue_CBD_vs_WTO.pdf (253.7 kB)

Conflict between International Treaties: failing to mitigate the effects of introduced marine species.

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posted on 2023-05-26, 11:23 authored by Campbell, ML, Grage, A, Mabin, C, Hewitt, CL
Humans have changed the face of the earth - we have intentionally altered the locations of species in order to achieve food and economic security (eg, aquaculture of the freshwater fish Tilapia and the marine algae Kappaphycus) while also appealing to our cultural and aesthetic values (eg, the introduction of gorse to New Zealand and Australia). We have accidentally spread pathogens and diseases beyond their natural ranges1 and we have improved our technologies (such as shipping) to such an extent that we can transit our planet in shorter and shorter timeframes. All of these activities have occurred over many hundreds of years and have led in one way or another, to an increasing number of species being introduced beyond their natural ranges. Such introductions are now considered one of the top five threats to native biological diversity. This paper examines how humans have impacted upon the marine environment through the introduction of species beyond their native ranges. Introduced species impact upon native biodiversity, spread diseases and pathogens, and have had economic and social impacts in their 'new' ecosystems. Because of the range and extent of introduced species impacts, numerous methods to mitigate the effects of introduced species have been developed and implemented. Within this paper we will examine how two international legal instruments, the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992 (CBD) and the World Trade Organization's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994 (GATT), in particular its associated Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS), deal with introduced species. In this context, the paper focuses on the potential for conflict that may arise with the application of these international legal instruments, thus causing a failure to effectively mitigate for the effects of introduced species.


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  • Published

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Originally published in Dialogue (the journal of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia) (2009), 28, 1: 46-56.

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  • Open

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