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Paterson, Alexander (2023) 'Scoping the Potential Influence of Law on Terrestrially Located Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures.' Law, Environment and Development Journal, 18 (1). pp. 32-50.

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Area-based conservation initiatives have historically been a key component of international efforts to conserve biodiversity and promote climate mitigation and adaptation. Significant strides have been made over the past decade to expand the coverage, effectiveness and equitable management of these initiatives, fuelled by global commitments made by parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 2010, specifically Aichi Target 11 embedded within the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020). However, these strides have been skewed in favour of protected areas with other effective area-based conservation measures (OECMs) largely playing second fiddle. The delay in defining what are OECMs and developing guidelines to clarify their form and nature, have been identified by several commentators as key reasons for them playing second fiddle. OECMs nonetheless remain a key component of the future global agenda with the draft Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework anticipating a target of ensuring that ‘at least 30 percent globally of land areas and of sea areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and its contributions to people, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes’. Efforts under the auspices of the CBD and International Union for the Conservation of Nature to introduce Scientific and Technical Advice on OECMs (including a definition) and Guidelines on Recognising and Reporting OECMs in 2018 and 2019 respectively, have brought much needed clarity relating the form and nature of OECMs. These efforts are, however, largely silent on the potential influence of law. Law may have a significant influence on OECMs, and this article has sought to scope this potential and develop understanding on it, with the aim of promoting the increased recognition of OECMs across the globe. It identifies an array of generic legal issues which domestic law and policymakers could use as an initial frame of reference to evaluate the current and potential influence of their domestic legal frameworks on OECMs. It uses several elements of the definition of OECMs to structure this scoping exercise, concluding that law has a significant potential influence on each. It acknowledges that: legal interventions need to be tailored to the specific domestic context; law brings both potential benefits and constraints and these need to be carefully managed; a blend of many different areas, spheres and levels of law may be of influence emphasising the need to promote legal alignment and integration; and that legal pluralism should be recognised and promoted where relevant as OECMs may frequently overlap areas subject to customary tenure and governance systems.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: School Research Centres > Law, Environment and Development Centre
SOAS Open Access Journals > Law, Environment and Development Journal (LEAD Journal)
ISSN: 17465893
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2023 14:33

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