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Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment
Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment places legislation on the protection of the environment firmly at the core of its argument. It uses sharp and thorough analysis of the law, sharing knowledge and experience. The chapters provide a unique perspective on the implications of international regulation, promoting a wide understanding of the pertinent issues impacting upon the law. The text starts by looking at international law and the environment. It looks at the rights and obligations of states concerning the protection of the environment. The text also considers interstate enforcement which includes state responsibility, compliance, and dispute settlement. It moves on to consider non-state actors such as environmental rights, liability, and crimes. Climate change and atmospheric pollution are given some consideration. The text also examines the law of the sea and protection of the marine environment. Conservation is dealt with in detail, including the conservation of nature, ecosystems, and biodiversity and marine living resources. Finally, the text looks at international trade.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

10. International Watercourses: Environmental Protection and Sustainable Use  

This chapter turns to issues related to fresh water. Fresh water is a finite resource and the more we pollute it, the more issues we have with its use. A sustainable supply of fresh water is vital to life. Historically, international water law was not particularly concerned with environmental problems. This chapter talks of ‘international watercourse’ which is a convenient designation for rivers, lakes, or groundwater sources shared by two mor more states. The law of international watercourses has for most of its history been concerned with the allocation and use of a natural resource of international significance, not with its conservation or environmental protection. While it can be asserted with some confidence that states are no longer free to pollute or otherwise destroy the ecology of a shared watercourse to the detriment of their neighbours or of the marine environment, definitive conclusions concerning the law in this area are more difficult to draw.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

11. Conservation of Nature, Ecosystems, and Biodiversity  

Our survival on earth, this chapter argues, depends on the conservation of the world’s natural resources. These resources comprise of soil, water, the atmosphere, plants, trees, and other life forms. The chapter looks at the earth’s current ‘ecological footprint’ and the future of that ecological footprint as it stands now. There is now widespread scientific consensus that biodiversity is being lost, and that pressures on biodiversity are increasing. The chapter asks what we can do about this, in terms of international law. The chapter identifies how international law seeks to ensure the protection and conservation and sustainable use of nature, its ecosystems and biodiversity, and the effectiveness of measures developed to conserve land?based living resources, forests, and deserts.

Chapter

Cover Birnie, Boyle, and Redgwell's International Law and the Environment

12. Conservation of Marine Living Resources  

This chapter argues that the conservation of marine living resources presents complex problems of regulation and management. The oceans represent the least understood ecosystem on this earth and this makes the conservation of marine life and resources, and the regulation of such, very difficult and complicated. The chapter gives an overview of the law as it stands. International law on conservation and sustainable use of marine living resources has developed very slowly thus far. Effective regimes for conservation of marine living resources have to address not only sustainable use of targeted stocks, but also incidental catch of other species, conservation of biological diversity, and protection of the marine ecosystems which provide the main habitat for fish stocks and other species. The chapter concludes that developing a legal regime that provides for sustainable use and conservation of the ocean’s living resources and biological diversity within the framework of the general law of the sea will continue to remain problematic.