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International treaties vital for biodiversity conservation

In the battle to halt and reverse the global biodiversity crisis, a crucial role is reserved for international legal instruments. A new open-access viewpoint article in BioScience, written by an international assemblage of wildlife lawyers, conservation biologists and social scientists and led by Tilburg lawyer Arie Trouwborst, highlights the importance of international law in wildlife conservation.

The article explores the various ways in which treaties can contribute to conservation, as well as their limitations, and calls for increased cooperation between lawyers and other conservation professionals.

As the 21 authors conclude:

"With their long-term, legally binding commitments on a transboundary scale, international legal instruments can be important, sometimes-indispensable implements in the conservation toolbox. Having explored why international wildlife law matters and what can and cannot be expected of it, we are convinced that by joining forces, lawyers and other conservation professionals can improve the contribution of international wildlife law to biodiversity conservation. There is much to be gained, partly by enhancing the legal framework itself but especially by seizing the many opportunities offered for advancing the effective application of the law as it stands. We hope that this article can be a useful step along this path."

From Tilburg Law School three researchers contributed to the article: Floor Fleurke, Melissa Lewis and Arie Trouwborst.


Arie Trouwborst, Andy Blackmore, Luigi Boitani, Michael Bowman, Richard Caddell, Guillaume Chapron, An Cliquet, Ed Couzens, Yaffa Epstein, Eladio Fernández-Galiano, Floor Fleurke, Roy Gardner, Luke Hunter, Kim Jacobsen, Miha Krofel, Melissa Lewis, José Vicente López-Bao, David Macdonald, Steve Redpath, Geoffrey Wandesforde-Smith & John Linnell, "International wildlife law: Understanding and enhancing its role in conservation", BioScience 2017

For more information please contact first author Arie Trouwborst: