Killing the green goose: legal limits to develop and sell biodiversity goods

José Augusto Fontoura Costa, Liziane Paixão Silva Oliveira


Biodiversity and its protection are at the centre of international environmental discussions. The legal regimes set by the Convention of Biological Diversity and the Nagoya Protocol, not yet in force, are aimed to foster the protection of biodiversity through legal distribution of rights and a regime focused on ecosystems, not singular species. However, the tension between economically efficient protection and distributive concerns, as well as a complex structure of entitlements, mitigates the use of market mechanisms to approach a sustainable use of biodiverse resources. This article proposes the evaluation of the conventional dispositions from an economic perspective, as well as the tensions between two predominant legitimating discourses. It concludes that the international legal regime in force is not enough to grant an efficient use of biodiverse resources, as well as an optimal standard of protection, since it limits the state capabilities to lay down more efficient statutes and implement liberal policies.


Biodiversity; Convention on Biological Diversity; Nagoya Protocol; genetic resources, biodiverse resources.

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